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AI

Is $27 an hour really third world wages in your opinion?? Even if 70 is inflated, it can't be THAT inflated.

Lance Mannion

AI,

Did you follow the link?

And, no, I don't think $27 an hour is a third world wage. But they're not going to be making that after the next round of concessions are they? And what about the next round? And the round after that? I think the intention is to drive down autoworker wages to the point where they're making a less than middle class income. I think the dream is to drive down the wages to the point where they're working for Third World Wages. We're talking about a class of people who think that it's too great a sacrifice for them to have to live on 500 grand a year but who think that spot welders making a tenth of that are living in the lap of luxury.

Mark

Third-world wages is exactly what big business wants labor to make, and if they can't do it here, they move the jobs to third-world countries.

Apostate

*applause*

As Lance already explained, he did not say $27/hr is a third world wage; he said third world wages is what our capitalist overlords WANT to pay us. They are already paying non-unionized (majority) of the working class starvation wages.

Still, $27/hr is peanuts to raise a family on, even if both parents make that. It would still only be about 100 grand for both parents combined - if you have a mortgage, two cars and two kids to send to college (a middle class lifestyle, in other words), this is just barely enough to live on and put a little by, even in areas of the United States where cost of living is not sky high.

Me and my husband were until recently making $150,000 combined and living in the Bay Area of California. We don't have kids and didn't have a mortgage. We didn't feel exactly rich; just barely comfortable. Even with that income, we couldn't afford a house in California, not unless we saved for ten years.

It puzzles me how people don't realize how expensive it has gotten to live in this country and how our wages really haven't kept pace with rising costs. This is simply an economic fact.

And this bears repeating: "The cost of paying autoworkers a wage that keeps them in the middle class adds 2000 bucks to the cost of an SUV? What added the other 30 thousand?"

AI

My point is however, that Honda and Toyota are paying their workers $27 an hour now and aren't in need of bailing out. I don't think that concessions are designed to punish the workers. And I think it's also worth pointing out that $27 an hour is better than $0 an hour. And where ever the fault lies with these companies (And I'll go on record and say it's in management) labor is the biggest expense and when demand is in the crapper it's also the easiest to lose. I'm not saying it's right I'm saying it's reality.

Also, is there any information these jobs are going elsewhere? I don't think they are outsourcing these or moving them south are they??

I just want to sum up by saying there has to be something wrong with the GM way of doing thing. There can be no rational way around that conclusion. Trying to fix that is not un-american.

Apostate

AI, your observation that the Honda/Toyota workers make $27-30 an hour and those companies don't need bailouts actually contains the answer to one of your questions. It's quite obviously not the "high" wages which are resulting in these corporations going bust. Some other causes are at work and cutting wages further is not the answer. Because guess where the cut wages go? Not in lowered prices, thus increasing the industry's competitiveness. They go into executives' pockets.

Lance wrote a long post on the American auto industry a few months ago. Take a look. It may answer some of your other questions.

Apostate

I think it's also worth pointing out that $27 an hour is better than $0 an hour.

Working a shit job in the US for less than the minimum wage as an undocumented immigrant is better than working a shit job in Mexico for even less.

So what?

"Be grateful you at least have a job" is a well-known capitalist strong-arming technique to squeeze the worker dry of everything possible without actually killing him.

Ronzoni Rigatoni

Is this Kenysian economix? Seems to me if yawanna sell something, the folx who are gonna buy need to have some munny. Henry Ford decided on the 8 hour day, 5 bux an hour to create a market for his cars. What's so hard to figger?

Leave the poor folx out there broke, and nobody buys, then nobody sells, and then the whole damned house of cards comes crashing down.

Yuwanna viable economy? Then make sure the little guy has some bux.

Tom Joad is back! Unfortunately, we can't migrate to California. That paradise was also killed by the Republican Party.

julia

I'm kind of, well, disgusted, but also amused, that the same group that are arguing the inalienable right to earn bonusses the interest on which in tax free municipal bonds would represent more than the median household income are so incensed about working people getting more than WalMart wages.

If Cokie Roberts' brother, the chief lobbyist for WalMart, made the wages that people who actually provide value for WalMart make, he'd have long since moved on to the lecture circuit.

Chris The Cop

Lance - I agree with you that the dude from Fox was a smug cock, but the mayor of Lansing was no bargain, either. This whole notion of Wall Street not having paid a price is just nonsense. There are tens of thousands of Streeters now unemployed with more to come as the big banks and brokerage houses merge. Plus he had a habit of when asking about one supposed oturage, ranting about another, which is a tad Limbaughesq in my book.

The way I understand it, a good portion of what's killing GM and the rest isn't so much the wages but retirees' health care. I'm not sure what can be done about that (and I certainly can't bitch about it since as a retired city employee, I pay $30/month for my WHOLE FAMILY), but I'm told it's bleeding the car companies---GM in particular---dry.

But the fault certainly isn't with the workers. Last year, 2008, union employees at the GM plant just outside Syracuse voted to voluntarily drop their top wages by $9 to $20/hour--still an okay wage in an area where the cost of living is not that high. This month the union was asked to vote on dropping wages to $16 an hour ($13 for some jobs) if the company failed to break even by this July. The union turned it down 2 to 1, the plant is slated to close and 1400 people will be out of work. And they voted that way because they know there's no change the company will make a profit so why give permission to give back more in a losing cause.

I'm not a big class warfare kind of guy, but I have little sympathy for the CEOs having to limit their bonuses to $500,000. If you can't skate by on that, don't accept the government's bailout money.

Uncle Merlin

I don't agree Chris the Cop at all with your points and I think you answered your own question. The Mayor of Lansing is absolutely correct in all his rantings.

"The way I understand it, a good portion of what's killing GM and the rest isn't so much the wages but retirees' health care. I'm not sure what can be done about that (and I certainly can't bitch about it since as a retired city employee, I pay $30/month for my WHOLE FAMILY), but I'm told it's bleeding the car companies---GM in particular---dry."

Here is your answer, the reason GM is getting killed with health care is BECAUSE of the CEO/Government mentality of "worker take care of your own needs , WE will take care of Big Business needs. That kind of entrenched thinking was ahead of 1946!
In 1946 it was proposed to Congress to institute a form of National Health Care, it was rejected to protect big business & big government. As I currently understand it we are the ONLY first world industrialized nation with no National Health Care system. And the CFO's I know personally in the current Health Care field have all told me the system TODAY is absolutely and completely BROKEN!

If GM never had to deal with Health Care then the fight today would be directly between the CEO's pockets and the Workers pockets. But with Health Care on the table the CEO's can manipulate and bait and switch the Workers and take home the ungodly bonus of $500,000 dollars a year.

The Mayor of Lansing has it absolutely correct.

The only reason we are seeing any of this at Congress or in the Media is because the Corporate Greed mentality has finally come full circle, GM will go out of business and the CEO's will loose all their fat pay too. It took 60 years but now the ship will go down due to the Captains not the Crew!!

And the reason we have a Zombie Congress and Zombie Leadership is because OUR Government By the People For the People has only ever listen to the Corporate Lobbyists for the LAST 60 years. So today NO ONE in Government has ANY idea what the middle needs; is ABOUT or even how important a Middle Class is to this Countrys welfare! They don't even know how to listen to US anymore!


Remember the Bastile, learn your history.

UM

Uncle Merlin

An open note to Chris the Cop:

Chris I re read my post and the last line was not directed at you personally "Remember the Bastile, learn your history." It was directed at everybody with the idea that when the monarchy was overthrown in France the Bastile was set up and it grew so big that it finally consumed everybody that had set it up and they all went to the Guillotine as well as the monarchy. These fools we have here who set up all these giant merged corporations in the 1980's are now themselves being consumed by what they wrought, unfortunately we are caught up in the malestrom.
That is what I meant by the last line of my post , it was not directed at you personally as a comment on your exposure to history. When I re read that I realized it might appear that way.

Uncle Merlin

actor212

My point is however, that Honda and Toyota are paying their workers $27 an hour now and aren't in need of bailing out.

They don't, mostly because the Japanese government subsidizes them already.

You could look it up.

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