Originally Posted by hyperion
[i]#1. If any pension plans are voided they are dumped onto the government plan especially designed for this. The pensioner gets pennies on the dollar but the government takes another twenty billion dollar hit in the deficit. You can critisise GM, United Air Lines, in fact most of the old majors for negotiating contracts which were morally correct during the "good times" and encouraged by the government. They were good for the country, the company who retained employees until retirement age and the employees who accepted the benefit package as a reason to stick with their employers.
This all worked until the government changed it's attitude and morals. Let the "free market" prevail and most foreign companies jumped right in and took over and now the government is talking of giving tax incentives back to companies to get them to resume offering benefit packages back to their employees. Watch out "wall-mart" The cost of doing business will have to go up.
Even the discount companies like Soutrhwest airlines are in a fight. Jet Blue has just announced plans for full short haul US service. , Jet Blue who got extremely low rates for their government (French) subsidised fleet of Air Buses has now signed a contract with a Brazilian government subsidised manufacturer for a fleet of short haul jets.
GM management wasn't at fault when they negotiated the contracts with their employees. They were adhering to the norm then of American business. My gosh, the US procurment dept has just ordered several French made helicopters for the Presidents use. I would hope that their muslim employees are happy ones, just as I wish the same for those on the "Air-Bus" lines.
And how do you like the idea of spending taxpayers dollars to enlarge several of our major airports around the country so that the new "JUMBO" airbus who can't meet our present requirements can operate here.
Boeing has had no problem designing for our present runways!
Well yes, and that government agency is in serious financial trouble.
http://money.cnn.com/2005/11/16/retirem ... /index.htm
And the pensioner will feel the hit. And far too many of our elderly are far to close to the financial edge. Shameful really.
I think with GM, the pension thing has nothing to do with moral right at the time. 2 things, 1) American union factory workers priced themselves right out of jobs and 2) If GM still had the market share, they would be fine, they would have enough coming in to cover the obligation, the problem is they are very top heavy right now in pensioners. I think, but am not sure I read that in the US they have more pensioners than employees
in terms of the gvmn't changing the morals, weren't we always a capatalistic economy?
Southwest is doing fine last I heard. They were weathering the post 9/11 world better than any of the old dogs.
And the companies that get money from their government, pay more in taxes, the money goes around, it doesn't just start and end anywhere. And you don't think our government subsidizes farming? or the defense industry?
And why is it so important to you what the religeous beleifs are of anyone working for a company in France?
And I know around here our airports around here don't use tax dollars to fund expansions. They get the money from gate fees, which they get from the airlines, which they get from you. In the end it is the same of course, but you chose to fly, you don't really chose to pay taxes.
Not to into the airplane scene, but doesn't the new AirBus offer significant savings to the airlines in terms of operational costs? Making the expanded runways make more sense in the long run.
Originally Posted by JDavies
But really, this problem they are in is the result of decades and decades of incredibly poor management.
I couldn't agree more. You're 100% (well.. 95%) right.
But there's a lot more folks than the old guy screwing on the bumpers that stand to get hurt as the US auto industry star fades.
For example:There are hundreds of smaller US shops who do piece work for GM. Thousands of sales and service people who are sweating next month's house payment. In many ways, GM (and Ford and Chrysler) were America. Do we want to be supporting these people on unemployment..into their old age..? Will anyone gloat because they watched it happen. It happened to the steel industry not that long ago. Our air transportation system, once the envy of the world, is going broke.
I personally think Bush Jr. made a bad call in Iraq but I sure don't hope our guys get creamed and run out of town. I don't want to see The Prez eating the, "I told you so's" as the body count rises.
I see GM in a similar if certainly less tragic light. Maybe that's a little over the top but there are several ways to die.
I'd love to see our US car builders making the best stuff in the world and selling em by the millions. I don't want to dance on their graves.
Forgive me for pontificating... When you hit 75, you start lookng back down the road at what once was...and wonder where it went...
I really enjoy my Prius. It's the best car since my 27 Studebaker. 8) ~JD~
Yes, there is a lot more down the road than the GM pensioner, but I tend to go with the idea that the mney will spread out. We as a nation, and even the car buying world aren't going to shrink. IF GM really did go bust, those car purchasers aren't going to go away, they will just buy some other brand -- maybe a Ford with a falling gas tank (http://www.cnn.com/2005/AUTOS/11/16/for ... ml?cnn=yes
). So those vendors are still going to be selling parts, they have to compete on a different level, but, heck if they are here, they should have a leg up for the factories here.
The service personell will still work, the dealerships will still thrive, just with different makes. Well, the repair shops will suffer, with everyone driving more reliable cars :D
So I don't think in the long run, across the US, unemployment would be significantly different. Maybe in pockets around a specific plants, but not everywhere. And even that might be marginal, it seems like fewer and fewer US makes are built here and more and more foreign makes are.
And you are right, at one time GM was America. And the fact that they pissed it away, pisses me off. But I don't think they are America any more.
The steel industry, got Bushy to give them protection -- even though no one thought it would be enough for a long term solution, and it defied international trade law (but then he has shown a certain distain for international law). He did it to look good. But there were hundreds of other people affected. Companies that bought steel, then paid a higher rate for it. They didn't give raises, or didn't hire more people, or didn't buy new equipment and some got into trouble financially because of it. Those that had long term sales contracts with fixed prices on their products. Ironically, many of them were automotive suppliers.
The airlines to me are a victim of their own doing and 9/11 of course, which killed them. But they set up a system were people didn't trust them, similar to the car industry. You could be next to someone on the plane, and have paid 3 times as much for your ticket. Prices change at all times, from moment to moment. With no rhyme or reason. That is why Jet Blue and Southwest are so successful. Less BS. When I go home to NY, they don't care if I stay for 3 days or 8 days, the others do. They don't care if I buy the ticket 2 days before I fly or 2 years.
When I had to go home on a rush for a funeral, the airlines tell you they have berevement fares, 50% off. Call them up and get the quickest flight I can reasonably make and Jeez, it is like $600. OK, 50%, means $300, that is reasonable. Oh no, that is a SuperSaver discounted price ($600 is the SuperSaver discounted price?!) for the berevement discount I have to buy the full priced regular fare. Which by the way that haven't sold anyone on since 1954. That price was like $1,700. Half off wasn't enough to make it less than what I could get just calling them and saying, "hey, I need to go to NY tonight; no reason." Thanks for the sympathy, I'll take the SuperSaver regular fare.
When I really beat up the poor ticket agent about it (not her fault but I was not in a good mood). She offered that by paying more, and getting the "regular fare" I could return it if I didn't go, unlike the SuperSaver fare which was non-refundable non exchangeble. So, if my cousin really wasn't dead, I guess, I would be able to get my $$ back. Thanks!
Bush made a HUGE error in Iraq on so many levels; just HUGE. We should have never gone in -- never.
And yes, they were once the envy of the world. Caddy in particular. But thay have alienated a HUGE portion on my generation. And world wide I don't see them having any cachet at all anymore -- none. They sell in the US, Canada, and Mexico as far as I know; everywhere else they are a niche player. In some parts of the world to buy US, means you are supporting terroism and rampant imperialism.
On a related note, one of the car mags -- don't remember which one. Just did a review of 4 vanilla family sedans, the Accord, the Camry, the Hyundai Sonata (definately a Hyundai, maybe not the Sonata) and the Ford Fusion. Out of the 4, only one is not built in the US. Which one? The Hyundai? No, that is built here. The Accord? BZZZT, wrong again. The Ford is the only one not built here in the US. The figgin Ford.