Monday, December 15, 2008

Tuesdays with Corkie

Best-selling author and sports writer Mitch Albom has a few words for Tennessee's Bob Corker and his GOP ilk:
History will show that when America was on its knees, a handful of lawmakers tried to cut off its feet. And blame the workers. How suddenly did the workers — a small percentage of a car’s cost — become justification for crushing an industry?

And when did Detroit become the symbol of economic dysfunction? Are you kidding? Have you looked in the mirror lately, Washington?

In a world where banks hemorrhaged trillions in a high-priced gamble called credit derivative swaps that YOU failed to regulate, how on earth do WE need to be punished? In a bailout era where you shoveled billions, with no demands, to banks and financial firms, why do WE need to be schooled on how to run a business? ....

Sen. Richard Shelby, Sen. Bob Corker, Sen. Mitch McConnell, your names will not be forgotten. It’s amazing how you pretend to speak for America when you are only watching out for your political party, which would love to cripple unions, and your states, which house foreign auto plants.

Corker, you’ve got Nissan there and Volkswagen coming. Shelby, you’ve got Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes-Benz and — like McConnell — Toyota. Oh, don’t kid yourself. They didn’t come because you earned their business, a subject on which you enjoy lecturing the Detroit Three. No, they came because you threw billions in state tax breaks to lure them.
Albom goes on to allude to the sadistic hypocrisy that many of us sense in the quick salvation of high finance with bailout capital teamed with the slow strangulation of an industry dominated by blue collar workers. I've felt ambivalent about bailing out either one, but I find the contrived high-horse of opposing the automotive bailouts disturbingly hostile to those at the base of the income pyramid.

1 comment:

  1. Labor is a small portion of an auto's cost?!!! The labor force is at the base of the pyramid?!!! What rock did this author come out from under? Health care for each employee is over $2,000 of each car sold alone! These union employees make over $70 an hour, and you have the idiocy to say they don't make much impact on the cost of an automobile?

    The auto unions have incrementally forced our car makers to increase their prices to such highs they have ourstripped the consumers' willingness to purchase their cars. This has been going on since WW II ended.