Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Save the World!" -- Part I

A few weeks back, at the start of this so-called “economic meltdown,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated at a press conference that she wants to “Save the World.” She elaborated that she saw it not only as her individual responsibility, not only as the Congress’ responsibility, but as the responsibility of the country as a whole.

The idea, when spouted, seemed to touch the depths of absurdity, but Ms. Pelosi is proving that she means it.

Not only has she single-handedly “saved” the economy via the $700 billion “rescue” but she now wants to “save” the automobile industry by “giving” – “with strings,” of course! – another monumental amount of taxpayer money to that industry. The premise for this is supposedly that the “Big Three” employ so many people that allowing them to founder would throw too many people out of work.

Her close partner in crime – oops, I meant, co-savior, of course – Barney Frank, has tried to place the reticence (expressed by Republicans) to hand out the additional funds on the level of “white collar vs. blue collar,” stating that the previous monumental “bail-out” was solely for “Big Business,” and not for the “little people.” (So much for unity and workin’ together, huh?)

When are people like Pelosi and Frank and Dodd and the rest of them going to stop condescending to the American people? When are the American people going to stop allowing those people to condescend to them and assume We the People really don’t understand what is going on?

The original “bail-out” was not to save big corporations alone. Those big, bad corporations, I am sure, employed hundreds of people, if not thousands. The original bail-out kept those hundreds, if not thousands, on the payroll – whether blue or white collar is immaterial – they are employed. That, I would think, would be the ultimate goal of any “bail-out.”

Mind you, my husband and I were, and are still, against the very idea of the government taking over ill-run, failing companies on the premise that the economy will suffer “too much.” Companies that go out of business follow the ebb and flow of this economic system: capitalism, where the best run, strongest companies manage to adjust to and survive through all economic problems. Those that do not survive probably did not run themselves well enough to get through extremely difficult times, and therefore would not be expected to survive, anyway.

Like the automobile industry.

When we see the leaders of the American Automobile Industry go hat-in-hand before the Congress to beg for funding “just to keep them going,” we must admit that it is probably much easier on their psyches and their pride rather than having to face the unions to which they already ceded so much and having to say “no” to more “requests.”

The money being “requested” (read “begged for,” and “demanded,” and “blackmailed for”) by the automobile industry is not to save the industry; rather, it is to save the unions from having to face their members and explain that they, the members, will not be able to get everything they had gotten the industry to agree to at the bargaining table.

What We the People must accept is that there is a population of this country, unions and their members, who have already done very much to negatively affect the economy of this country. They – and we – are reaping the “rewards.”

Why is the automobile industry extremely important at this time? Because it is one of the very, very few homegrown industries we still have operating within the territory. What happened to the rest of them? Remember the steel industry? What happened there is the very same thing that is in the process of happening with the automobile industry.

Union demands to Management, the use of blackmail (strikes) to force management to capitulate, and the power amassed in the hands of a few (remember Hoffa and his cohorts?) who claimed to know what was best for thousands.

Unions are “big business.”

In our estimation, unions have outlived their usefulness in the last 20+ years. The unions of yesteryear that fought for livable wages, safer workplaces, dignity for the working man, respect for an honest, hard-working workforce, better benefits for the worker and that gave labor a voice in negotiating contracts are now gone.

Labor unions are now used primarily by the Democrats as spear carriers, delivering votes on demand. Unions have demanded more and larger pieces of the pie while at the same time demanding to be less productive and more highly paid, to the point of pricing their industries and products out of the U.S. (and world) markets.

Union leaders promise the rank-and-file much and are expected to deliver. If the industry is priced out of both the domestic and global markets, the industry will inevitably experience massive shutdowns resulting in equally massive numbers of suddenly unemployed people.

What we are seeing in Congress these days is Managements’ answer to the Unions’ demand that they “DO SOMETHING!” to avoid the companies’ demise and the resulting loss of jobs, ongoing perks, and legacy benefits. In the past, when faced with similar situations they could not win at the bargaining tables, union leaders have merely shrugged at their members and moved along to unionize another industry.

This issue we face today is another level altogether, however.

It is not the “auto industry” that Ms. Pelosi and Messieurs Frank and Reed wish to save. It is their biggest political base they wish to please: the unions and the millions upon millions of dollars they bring to the election table every so many years in terms of union voters. The unions who, by the by, were instrumental in ensuring the results of November 4, 2008.

What we are watching is another industry unionized into oblivion, hoping We the People will save them.

We the People must refuse their "request."

Copyright MCzwz, November 19, 2008. All Rights Reserved.

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