18 February 2009

Humpday Happenings...
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.
And when Willys found out IT couldn't meet the quotas for the government, they "recruited" FORD as it's subsidiary to pick up the balance of all those orders. Henry Ford just smiled and STILL outproduced everyone else...and with NO union involved in HIS operations.
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.
Interestingly enough, when the military was looking for a "replacement" vehicle for the venerable M38A1 jeep (the last descendant of the WW2 era jeep, which lasted into the mid-sixties) FORD was tapped to produce the M151 "mutt" (big in 'Nam), but it was pulled from service after a brief time, due to it's individually sprung wheels, which allowed easy rollovers (not good for drivers OR passenger - no rollbars). Civilian use of this vehicle is not allowed on highways, and is all but denied to off-roading, except by re-enactors who portray Vietnam-era soldiers.
That's why we have the HUMVEE today, but I digress...
At this point, the question I HAVE to ask is this:
Where ARE the Iacocca's NOW, hmm?
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.
I'd love to see Utopia come to America, but it's not going to happen.
Our nation is too firmly enmeshed with OTHER nations to allow that to occur. And these other nations are too intertwined with America to make it happen as well.
It's a marvelous no-win scenario.
All we hope to accomplish here in OUR country, is some serious damage-control.
Kinda feels more like a MONDAY now, doesn't it?

4 comments:

Daniel Short said...

Bob, I was a UAW member for 13 years before I escaped that hell. It's not that I disagree with the concept of a union, but I have seen it first hand. They make everything more difficult, more costly and less efficient. I saw no count dead beats doing nothing all day and earning the same pay as me because of that union. Never again. The UAW is an artifact of an era past.

The only unions in the future will be in government, which come to think of it will have a stake in every industry....crap, so I guess I can forget that theory.

Bob G. said...

Daniel:
Thanks for that most insightful glimpse into the charade that passes for a labor union.

Glad you made it out in one piece!

And thanks for commenting.

B.G.

indy said...

we have a union where i work at too. says in the union manual (not many people read it) that when your section is being reduced and jobs are going away that the union stewards will be the last to go. most people dont understand that the stewards have super senority and they are kissing the stewards axx thinking they can save their jobs. whatever....... oh whatever. i did have a point to this posting but, i am sure you arent stupied and can see much of the delima that i am in if i would have stayed on the dayshift. so now i am on the afternoon/nights and most people are now saying that they wish they had left days when i did. the union didnt do anything to protect their jobs. they will be out of a day run. the union didnt care if they had to bid with EVERYONE in the plant. lol those union stewards. oh, yes, they dont know what to say becouse the offical word isnt out yet but they are working on making sure nothing in the contract is violated. whatever.....whatever..omg. i think i'll be quite now.
BTW i was the crazy woman until a few days ago. people would say it behind my back. the only person that had my back was my very best friend. and he was a little doubtful at first but supported me (mentally) becouse i asked him too. now when i point out a sign from God i have even seen him jump just a little. i know now that i will always have that mans full support.

Bob G. said...

Indy:
I ve been in a union ONCE...was the worst experience I ever had.
All the money we had to put out...and got nothing back.

No real representation, but the union boss had himself a nice NEW MERCEDES (I'll always remember that).

Unions today look out for THEMSELVES FIRST...and maybe will toss the rant & file a bone now and then...just to keep them happy.

Hope things pan out for you.
You made a bettr call than the others on 1st shift.
Be wary of those stewards...


B.G.