Friday, December 12, 2008

Herbert Hoover Territory

Yesterday in a closed door meeting with Senators, VP Dick Cheney said
that voting down the auto bailout would put the Republicans at risk of being in Herbert Hoover Territory. That is remembered for disemboweling the American Economy and pushing our nation into a Depression.

I watched with the rest of the nation as Senators Shelby (in the pay of foreign auto makers) Senator Vitters (of Brothel Fame) and Senators from around the South demanded that the UAW give up wages for existing workers and that the UAW cut off the millions of retirees who depend on pensions and health care from that contract.

They insisted that American automakers operate under the 'same rules' as the foreign plants in their states. It is interesting to me that their hypocrisy is not exposed. Here are the realities of the foreign plants in the USA:
  • These companies are all from nations that have national health insurance paid by taxes in their own home countries. The result is that unlike American companies they have no legacy costs.
  • These companies all receive support in terms of training and retooling in their domestic plants from their home governments freeing up money to expand globally.
  • These companies also do not have to exist in the USA under that VAT tax system in their own countries and most pay little or no taxes here.
  • These companies all received huge government subsidies from Southern States to locate there plants there.

The reality is that American companies receive none of these benefits. These American companies have had to compete for years with Japanese and European and now Chinese car makers that get all kinds of perks from their home nations. We have done nothing for our domestic industries.

That is the reason that Japan and Germany both nations that approach our standard of living still make large amounts of money from exports of cars, machinery and technical goods and America's industries are dying or dead. This is not to exonerate the automakers of their guilt but why is it that Southern Senators who are in the pay of these foreign companies can be allowed to destroy the domestic, American owned auto industry?

Why is it that these rapid anti-Union hating senators can demand that American workers see years of wage gains lost but we make no demands on foreign companies that benefit from our markets? Because it is not about money it is about a failed ideology, Neo Liberal Economics and even now in the face of Obama's ascent they will not stop their assault on the Middle Class.

The fact is that I do not come from a Union household in fact my family has always been ambivalent about Unions. But as someone who has worked globally my entire career it is unacceptable that we let foreign companies receive subsidy from their governments which I have seen with my own eyes- and yet it is considered "good" and "just" to let millions of Americans lose their jobs for some crazy idea that free markets and Social Darwinism are just.

Senator Jim DeMint said that if we bail out the auto industry their would be riots in his region.

Riots, huh?

Why is it that there is money for subsidizing water, power, roads, foreign auto plants, Wall Street Banks, in the South but there is nothing to save the economy in the Midwest and there has not been for 30 years?

It is because of an agenda that views educated, hard working, Union members as something less and views my region of the country as passe because we make things and do not push paper around.

I will say this to Senator Vitter of Louisiana imagine what your state would look like without bailouts? There would be nothing, no power, no roads no ports, yet for the Midwest there is a collective F-You- I don't see why we cannot get our tax dollars back that built everything down there?

Or would that be Socialism?

No comments: