Ethically consistent

Compared to Crony Car Capitalism grafting 5 billion in ethanol pork onto a tax-increase prevention bill is almost ethical. Of course, it’s habituation to that sort of thinking that makes it easy to give the UAW hundreds of billions when the opportunity arises. Don’t Waste It. It is the Right Thing to do.

The slope is not so much slippery as it is non-existent. That’s what statists mean when they say “level playing field.”

Read the link.

Straight out of Atlas Shrugged

The future of the auto industry, from

The [Wall Street] Journal report quotes one anonymous — but asinine — Obama administration official as opining that:

“You don’t need banks and bondholders to make cars,” said one administration official.

…that official — who’s probably never run any business more complicated than a lemonade stand — will soon discover just how wrong s/he was. It’s called CAPITALism for a reason, after all.

…If creditors get tired of getting screwed, the Chrysler debacle and the looming repeat at GM may mark a major shift in the ability of American business to finance operations and growth.

At least if there is union or government involvement.

RTWT and don’t skip the comments.

Obama’s first hundred days

…from page 1 of yesterday’s LSJ:

I think he has done a terrific job based on the challenges he has faced. There hasn’t been a president who has walked into the job with so many challenges1 to face. He has assembled a team of very capable people2 around him, and I have every confidence that his policies will fix what’s wrong3 with America.”
Brian Fredline, president UAW Local 602

Emphasis mine.

Let me just say –

1 Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and FDR.

2 Biden, Clinton, Geithner, Gibbs, Cardela and Napolitano. (Buffoon count only)

Too many GM employees and retirees being paid too much.

Tales from the Line

In the summer of 1965 I worked as a “Sweeper” on the assembly line at the Fisher Body plant in Lansing, Michigan. I found that my job required less than 3 hours actual work in an 8 hour shift. Being a guy who liked to read, I would spend much of the 5 hours I had no work sequestered in various nooks and crannies with a book.

One day, I was reading Atlas Shrugged while sitting on a box of parts about 8 feet off the floor. This height proved insufficient to avoid the notice of the General Foreman, and he reamed me from stern to stem. What I gathered from this was that I should not appear idle, even if the job more or less implied idleness for an able bodied adult.

This seemed just bizarre until the end of the shift, then it got yet a bit more curious. As I punched out, the guys doing the same job before and behind my section of the line gestured me over. They were leaning on their brooms as they held a discussion as if I were not there. They discussed what it looked like if someone didn’t pretend to have 8 hours work as a sweeper, and how that could screw up everybody’s life – mostly the life of the guy who couldn’t dawdle through 8 hours while accomplishing 3 hours of work.

I said, “You know, if you don’t like the way I do the job you could complain to the General Foreman. In any case, I can do your jobs on top of mine and I’d do it for only double the pay. Should I ask about the possibility?” This drew a string of expletives and threats that I probably should have taken more seriously. In any event, 2 months later I was at the very beginning of the process of flunking out of the University of Michigan. The veteran sweepers (and there has to be an oxymoron there) didn’t have me to think about kicking around any more.

After a year at UofM, where I learned much of value – but little of it from classes – I returned to working at Fisher Body in the spring of 1966.

Later that year I was working “extra board,” basically I could do all the jobs on my section of the line and filled in for absentees, or I provided “relief” breaks by doing someone’s job for 12 minutes at a time. I was often lent out to other departments where I had to pick up a new job on the fly. I was paid an additional dime an hour for this flexibility.

1967 was the year a few line workers had an extra task added to their job. That was to apply a sticker to the inside frame of the driver side door.

This is the sticker.
The small type at the bottom says “MARK OF EXCELLENCE”.

I observed the first half-dozen jobs to go down the small car line (the bigger 98’s had a completely separate line from 88’s and F-85’s) with this sticker applied upside down. It was not an accident. It was a protest based on a perverted understanding of “work rules,” and a complete misunderstanding of the importance of customers. It was a naked statement of entitlement.

I thought UAW/GM had improved since then. Until Ron Gettelfinger’s comments rejecting UAW “targets” (not “requirements”) for George Bush’s UAW bailout, I had assumed the UAW had gained some small understanding of their members’ relationship to people who buy cars. Obviously, I was wrong.

Perhaps less wrong than Gettelfinger, however.

Who’s Losing the U.S. Car Business?

Who Is at Fault for the Decline of the Big Three?

Shock: Al Sharpton Takes on the Unions

Baby, Who’s Your Stakeholder Now?

General Motors, Corporatist Giant

OK, what’s better for GM in the long run, a bailout leaving the creditors and Union contracts in place or a Chapter 11 chance to reset?

Just asking. Seems like this is more a bailout of the UAW.

Update. 7:50PM From Carpe Diem:

Also read

Update. 8:10PM Professor Bainbridge – No Bailout for the Auto Industry