Posted by: endithinks | February 23, 2009

On Ford, bailouts and taking government money

Ford is distancing itself from the other two in the “big three.”  This weekend they had a spokesperson talking about the misnomer of that nickname since Ford is so very different from its two competitors.  Ford is actually doing relatively well in comparison to GM and *cough* Chrysler. 

In this article herethe Ford company is making headway with the UAW about the most costly of the labor costs, health care.  Now, firstly the rhetoric about the UAW earning too much for their worth is ridiculous.  The cost of health care is included in their wages that most critics of unionized, organized labor like to throw around.

The war against the rights and safety of workers is a topic for another time, but basically they want workers to work for shreds and settle for the worst conditions to maximize profit.  If you have a problem with organized labor (firstly why are you reading this blog) then go to your boss and beg to ask for 60 hour work weeks, a reversal on OSHA, the right to bring your child to work to work in the coal mine, the reversal of women’s rights to work at all outside the kitchen and or bedroom, the lowering of wages to whatever the boss feels like, the reversal of any paid time off, the reversal to any sick leave, the reversal on the right to even talk to others about your treatment and so on and so on.  (Sorry for the long paragraph.)

The UAW, the united auto workers, are not the cause of the big three’s demise; the demise was caused by idiotic management decisions including the lack of using hybrid technology in anything other than SUVs increasing their miles per gallon from 8 mpg to 12 mpg, the lack of any type of forward thinking in regards to electric cars (see the film Who killed the electric car) and of course their utter lack of customers as more and more Americans buy from other companies regardless of the so called “American pride” clause in which the big three worshiped and believed in so fervently that they did not trust the actual facts and sales records.

I also know that there was a bit of nationalistic snobbery involved here.  The Big Three did not think that a foreign company would ever outsell the native born companies.  Toyota became the most sold company in America in 2006.

And lastly, if you take money from someone they will for sure demand some compensation.  It is surprising that some companies that accepted government money are surprised that the government wants to regulate what they do with that money.  Did they think that we were helping them out of the goodness of our hearts?

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Responses

  1. When borrowing money from any source, that money comes with strings attached. If borrowed from a bank, the bank attaches terms and interest rates. When borrowed from the government, the government (by extension the tax payers) include their terms. Too bad. Either don’t take the money or comply. Really, I wish none of the private institutions – automakers, insurance giants, banks, etc. – would get to the point of asking funds from Washington, DC. That type of loan entangles government and private industry interests and that just makes me shudder (excluding, of course, anti-trust and other safety-net laws that should govern fair business practices – we shouldn’t go beyond that, but the current crisis is what happens when we go below that relationship).
    Either suck it up and do as the lender tells you, or don’t take the money. It’s very simple.


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