Okay, so the ink is finally drying on that "stimulus" package signed by the President. And the stock market falls ANOTHER 200 points. Add to this the "settlement" made by the BIG 3 auto makers and the UAW, and you've got the makings of the perfect crap sandwich.
(hold the mayo)
Seriously, I guess I could blow that whole $400 from the economic recovery debacle on another pistol or at least, a lot more AMMO. Looks like I might NEED it, given the nature of the impending storm clouds on the horizon.
First off, I've never been much of a fan of modern day unions. I've seen the problems they can cause to their rank and file, as well as local economies, but you do have to admit that once, they DID have a purpose.
Unions were originally formed to PROTECT workers from such things as poor working conditions. dangerous environments, safety protocols, and so on. And that was all well and good. We no longer suffered the sweatshop mentality of employers here in America.
Then, a curious thing happened...
Unions loved the "power trip" they embarked on. They (like those sharks I mentioned in yesterday's post) savored the taste of blood wrested from the employers, and began a new mission; to line their OWN pockets by any means necessary, and at whatever cost to anyone that got in their way.
Case in point: Back in WW2, nearly every auto manufacturer had UAW representation, except Henry Ford and his company. With the UAW firmly entrenched in this manufacturing juggernaut, it was impossible to directly aid the war effort.
All other auto manufacturers were given substantial government contracts to make war-related materiel, even though FORD had UNDERBID every other company, and had a proven track record of making good on whatever promises it made.
It wasn't until those other companies became OVERBURDENED with government requests that they enlisted the assistance of Ford to make their contractual obligations.
Bantam Automotive (once located in Butler, Pennsylvania) originally prototyped and produced the first JEEP for the military (thanks to it's designer, Karl Probst). So who was the contract given to? Willys Overland got the contract (because Bantam was a small company with no UAW union, but it did produce 3000 units), and became the major contract player, with Bantam reduced to making TRAILERS for those jeeps. Such a small bone they were tossed when THEY introduced the JEEP to our servicemen and women.
After the war, Ford caved and got union representation, Willys went back to making cars and jeeps, went under and merged with a struggling American Motors, which itself went under and was bought out by Chrysler, who is NOW claiming bankruptcy for the second time - the first being under Lee Iacocca's watch, and HE bailed them out with a government LOAN that he made SURE was payed back in full.
Or the Henry Fords?
I have a nasty feeling that the UAW will begin anew the process it started post-war with ever-increasing wages, health costs, benefits that serve few, save the union bosses, just so we can jack up car prices further.
We have the latest technologies in those shops that produce these vehicles, and workers are paid damn near ridiculous wages. I've done production work, both large and small (and in union shops), and I never came close to the money auto workers make (to pay for those unions).
It becomes a vicious circle with higher wages driving consumerism, which drives the supply & demand gig, which drives inflation, which drives higher wages...and so on.
Pretty soon, you've got a national economy that's writing checks it's infrastructure can't begin to cash.
Welcome to NOW.
Still, it could be worse.
We could be like MEXICO...has the largest silver mine in the world, and it's economy sucks outright. It's got corruption out it's ass, drug cartels all but running the show (and supplying OUR nation quite well in the process), it's citizens pouring across our southern border (although that's been slowing with OUR economic situation as of late), and relative confusion in it's government.
Well, we've got drug dealers running our streets, and we've got corruption at near every level of government. We don't have that silver mine to fall back on, but we CAN sure as hell keep printing more money...does that count?
At least OUR citizens aren't running across any borders...not YET, anyway.
(Thank God for small things, right?)
This here stimulus package DOES sound a lot like the old NRA (no, not the National Rifle Association...the National Recovery Act), which was intended to "jump-start" our economy after the GLOBAL depression (yeah, it wasn't just OUR "great" depression)
And curiously enough, it was during THAT time, that socialist party memberships GREW in America, and came to power in other nations in Europe. Hell, even the FASCISTS got in on the "fun"...remember some little Nazi sh*t named Hitler? Yeah, he came to power, and got Germany back on it's damn feet with his "plan".
Well, some plans are destined to fail from the git-go...
Personally, I'd like to see this plan work, with NO "fallout" from it for ANY future generation, and no socialization of this nation.
All we hope to accomplish here in OUR country, is some serious damage-control.