It's time to get 2009 kicked off properly - by bashing socialism and proclaiming the virtue of manly qualities like perseverance, taking responsibility for one's own actions, honoring agreements, and living within one's means.
The UAW, along with a lot of other unions, do none of that. Thus, the UAW is unmanly, and unmanliness is not tolerated here. After the most recent $17.3 billion bail-out (it has always been a 'bail-out' and not a 'stimulus package'), it has come to my attention that these funds were not to bail out the companies, but to save the unions who have a stranglehold on them. Such a relationship as what the UAW has with the Big Three is any organized labor fan's wet dream: dictate to a company its hiring/firing policies, dictate non-market wages, be able to "negotiate" paid vacations for workers on disciplinary leave, bleed the company dry, and then get rescued by the government (unions donate heavily to Democratic candidates, who they know will shore up their positions) when their disastrous relationship nearly sinks the company.
The Obama administration's soft spot for organized labor will ensure more handouts if any other large unionized industries start to go belly-up. Sympathy for habitual screw-ups is the favored tone for the Democratic party.
One thing I discovered about the UAW is that they built a posh resort and golf course in northern Michigan (top part of the 'mitten'), of course using union dues to pay for the whole thing. The website is HERE. Your average factory worker probably couldn't/wouldn't cough up the $55 for 18 holes on the off-season, unless they went twice a year and didn't bring anyone else. A decent cable subscription, a few 6-packs and some large pizzas will be easier on the wallet than trying to take 8 blue-collar guys to a swank golf resort at $55 per head. To compound the sarcasm, there's a nice little "Public Always Welcome", even though union members get preferential tee times. The resort, in actuality, is pretty far out in the hinterlands, relative to your average rich-snob country club, thus making it perfect for the fat cats of the UAW to live very well off of factory workers and taxpayers.
Sadly (trying to keep a straight face here, folks) the resort is losing money, to the tune of a cool $23 million over the last 5 years. It's estimated that the whole thing was worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $33 million earlier in 2008. This is where some of that bailout money is likely going.
People were livid about the Big 3 leadership flying to the Congressional hearings by private jet, but not a peep out of those same detractors regarding the patrician lifestyles of the UAW leadership.
Here's a nice article written by an ex-supervisor at a GM plant, who pulls no punches in her descriptions of the rampant corruption and ineptitude that the UAW encouraged: HERE
"To put it bluntly, the UAW takes the hard earned money of the best workers and spends it defending the very worst workers while tying up the industry with thousands of pages of work rules that make it impossible to be competitive. And the spineless management often makes short sighted decisions to satisfy the union and maximize immediate benefits over long term sustainability."
In other words, organized labor is protecting those who cannot do their manual labor jobs properly in order to score points with neo-socialists (who will be running our country come January 20th), squandering union dues on multi-million dollar country clubs, and then shifting the blame to the management who would never stand up to a political and economic force like the UAW.
"The strength of the union and the weakness of management made it impossible to conduct business properly at any level. For instance, I had an employee who punched in his time card and then disappeared. The rules were such that I had to spend hours documenting that this man was not in his three foot by three foot work area. I needed witnesses, timed reports, calls over the intercom and a plant wide search all documented in detail. After this absurdity I decided to go my own route; I called the corner bar and paged him and he came to the phone. I gave him a 30 day unpaid disciplinary lay off because he was a “repeat offender”. When he returned he thanked me for the PAID vacation. I scoffed, until he explained: (1) He had tried to get the lay-off because it was fishing season; (2) The UAW negotiated with GM Labor Relations Department to give him the time WITH PAY."
This is the same kind of mindset that perpetuates our growing welfare state: subsidize poor performance, mollycoddle the immature and stupid, and then blame someone else when the whole three-ring circus goes down in flames. I cannot bring myself to even fathom the utter intellectual nebulosity that occurs inside the heads of those who consider centralized goverment involvement in industry and large bureacratic unions to be "good things", especially when they consider corporations with the same kind of bureaucracy and luxurious golf resorts to be "bad things".
As St. Milton (Friedman) once said, "Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it." What is so different about corporations and unions? The leadership of each have their own interests in mind - economic, and personal, respectively. If we also would like to look at government, the chief interest of a government is its institutions and positions of leadership, and not necessarily the ordinary people who compose it - yet Leftists will throw tantrums because there's "not enough" self-interested institutions and bureacracies with their involvement in our economy.
[aside: Leftists like to talk about "good" and "bad" in very concrete terms, yet they will dialectically invert themselves in the same breath and declare that one's value judgments are solely based on perspective, whether it be geographical, cultural, class/gender/race-based, or otherwise.]
Back to the article.
"I supervised a loading dock and 21 UAW workers who worked approximately five hours per day for eight hours pay. They could easily load one third more rail cars and still maintain their union negotiated break times, but when I tried to make them increase production ever so slightly they sabotaged my ability to make even the current production levels by hiding stock, calling in sick, feigning equipment problems, and even once, as a show of force, used a fork lift truck and pallets and racks to create a car part prison where they trapped me while I was conducting inventory. The reaction of upper management to my request to boost production was that I should 'not be naïve'."
They act like welfare leeches and dreadlocked trust-funded Community Studies majors - wanting to be given everything, but suddenly getting very defensive and even outright hostile when they are expected to actually work for what they're given.
Even with the $17 billion, the UAW has now refused to make any concessions, despite its statements prior to the bailout money being awarded.
Screw the UAW. It's too bad the Bush administration won't be around much longer to rescind the loans, because I have a feeling that Zero is going to want to appease union fat cats by letting them keep their change, so they can fix up their golf courses, pay incompetent workers full benefits, and give the finger to the American taxpayers.
If capitalism and market forces were allowed to take their course, we wouldn't be having this problem. It's not simply about "deregulation" or "overregulation" - it's about who's doing the "regulation": the market, the government, or unions? Markets are self-correcting. They do not lend themselves to the rapid increases or decreases that result from government involvement. Letting go of useless baggage like workers who mouth off and harass the management is a manly thing. Excusing and rewarding that kind of behavior is UNmanly.
Enough With That Peace Bullshit, Give Capitalism A Chance!