…for the thinking-impaired.
DATELINE: WASHINGTON D.C.: Today the President [who is suddenly worried about his ‘legacy’] announced that the [lame duck] Administration has put together a plan to give GM and Chrysler a loan [throwing bad money after good] of 17 Billion Dollars [further devaluing our currency and likely triggering inflation on a scale not seen since Carter and the 1970’s] to help them avoid bankruptcy [which, paradoxically is the only thing that would save them from annihilation]. The plan calls for the companies to submit a turn-around plan [which won’t work without bankruptcy] by March 31st [long after Bush is gone, and it’s Obama’s problem], or they will have to give the money back [as if they’d have anything left, at the rate they’re bleeding red ink]. United Auto Workers head [bully] Ron Gettlefinger immediately stated that the Bush plan was unworkable, and had far too many restrictions [that might result in the UAW having to accept salary and benefit cuts]. Gettlefinger offered that they would immediately demand that the Obama Administration rewrite the plan to remove the offending restrictions [and thus keep Gettlefinger’s job safe, and force the Big Three to continue to dance to organized labor’s tune].
Here’s the truth, people. The Big Three will not be able to avoid bankruptcy, sooner or later. The union will not allow any kind of meaningful compromise. Gettlefinger doesn’t get it – times have changed. There’s a healthy automotive industry in the USA. Just not in Detroit – and it’s one his union has nothing to do with. The 800 pound gorilla in the room that nobody – Republican OR Democrat – wants to acknowledge is that the only way to save the Big Three is to kill the union. Without the union contracts, union pension plan and union health plan, they can survive. With them, there’s no way to make it work. Period.
All Bush did with this plan was to insure that the bankruptcies would happen on Obama’s watch. Obama won’t be able to stop it, no matter how much he wants to, how much Gettlefinger bullies/pleads/bribes, or how much the Democrats want to save union jobs (read: “union votes”). The Big Three will survive – in dramatically altered forms. The UAW won’t. Ironically, Gettlefinger’s legacy will be to kill the American Labor movement, because once the UAW goes, companies like Boeing will take on the machinist unions, the airlines will take on the pilots and baggage handlers unions, and the transportation industry will take on the Teamsters unions. Bet on it. By playing brinksmanship instead of compromising for the good of his membership, Gettlefinger has signed the UAW’s death warrant. It’s literally a Dead Union Walking, only Gettlefinger and his sycophants in Congress don’t realize it yet. Just wait. By this time next year, we’ll be well into a new era of competitiveness for what’s left of the Big Three. Only Gettlefinger and the UAW won’t be around to enjoy it.
And I can’t wait.