Friday, November 21, 2008

Right Into The Damn Ditch!

Three private corporate jets touched down in Washington on Wednesday. Each jet carried the entourage and CEO of one of the big three automakers. The group was limousined in comfort to testify in front of Congress to justify why the auto industry shoul;d be bailed out by federal money.
The American Auto industry has been losing billions of dollars for years. The corporate heads want to use this opportunity to bust the unions and are scapegoating them instead of facing the blame. The rust started long ago at the top!
To talk of the impending catastrophe of the failure of detroit is redundant. The catastrophe has happened. It is happening and will only get worse if the "bail out" is allowed to proceed like the Wall Street Bail out...favoring the corporate infrastructure and with out over sight. Allowing the bail out of Detroit to be a matter between federal Agencies and the already proven profligate incompetency of the CEO's is just plain idiocy and only the powder to light the keg that will result in an even bigger disaster down the line.
One question, if the Corporate solution to their problems is to simply destroy the labor unions and create a labor force working for the peanut salaries they are drooling over,
then what will happen to the middle class who buys the vehicles that Detroit wants to keep pumping out? Just a thought.

Here's a great article from the Wall Street Journal's Paul Ingrassia that summarizes how and why the US auto industry fell to pieces. My favorite part was this telling excerpt:
In Detroit, amid worker alienation and the "blue-collar blues," Chevies, Fords and Plymouths rattled, rusted and rolled over -- and those were the good ones. The Ford Pinto's gas tank was prone to explode into flames when the car was hit from the rear, making the Pinto the poster product for corporate callousness. In 1978, after three Indiana girls burned to death when their Pinto got rear-ended, Ford became the first company to be indicted for reckless homicide. The company later was acquitted, but public opinion judged the Pinto guilty.

For all the Pinto's infamy, perhaps no car better captured America's decade-long haplessness than the pug-ugly AMC Gremlin, which debuted in 1970 and died -- mercifully -- in 1980. The Gremlin's shape, fittingly, was first sketched out by an American Motors designer on the back of a Northwest Airlines air-sickness bag. On Aug. 20, 1979, 18-year-old Brad Alty, fresh out of high school in Mechanicsburg, Ohio, was driving his Gremlin to work when the car broke down. He was two-and-a-half hours late to his first day on the job at a new motorcycle factory that Honda Motor was opening in central Ohio.

For the next few weeks, Mr. Alty and his 63 co-workers did little but sweep floors and paint them with yellow lines. Then they started building three to five motorcycles a day. And at the end of each day they would disassemble each bike, piece by piece, to evaluate the workmanship.

Click here to read the entire article.

1 comment:

mud_rake said...

The arrogance of the three was priceless. They had no plan, either, Perhaps they thought it was the Welfare Department.