Copyright 2008 by William A. Mays, Proprietor
All politicians being professional liars, they by habit look out almost exclusively for what is best for themselves alone. The difference between the parties commonly has been that on occasion Democrats–while lolling around on a coffee break with nothing better to do–will propose and pass something that is actually useful to the American public. Republicans, on the other hand, prefer to deal with the issues of the day by convincing themselves that the issues don't exist. Republicans favor the Estragonian sentiment "Don't let's do anything. It's safer." But as the train barrels down the tracks with a certain head-on collision in clear view, Republicans will stand calmly undisturbed at the switch, the appearance of being in command more important than actually being in command. In view of this attitude of vigorous inaction–in order to show the folks back home that they are actually busy at work protecting them from the malignant brickbats ceaselessly hurled at decent Americans by the multitude of enemies everywhere–Republicans steadfastly hold their ground in the fight against gays, Muslims, Mexicans, blacks, professors, scientists, journalists, civil rights lawyers, socialists, Communists, environmentalists, the French, fluoridation, unwed mothers, intellectuals, residents of the Northeast, Hollywood and San Francisco, pacifists, and unions. This last group being a favorite target, Republicans perhaps didn't know what they were doing when they correctly pointed out that the United Auto Workers union has obtained from management over the years benefits and compensation so far above what would be given workers in comparable occupations around the nation it makes the jaw drop while the head spins.
Senate Republicans unwittingly got something right when they blocked the $14 billion auto bailout plan, saying they would not support the measure until the union agreed to substantial cuts in benefits and compensation effective immediately. Of course, we here at the Gazette do not care what rate of pay a person is able to obtain. We feel that everyone should be millionaires–if only the economy would support it. In fact, there's persistent folklore around the offices at this publication that there's a sporting editor in our employ who makes $97.25 an hour. No one can remember ever meeting him, but somehow he keeps appearing in the payroll records. In any case, Republicans came Jackie Harvey-like to the realization that workers should take cuts after the matter had already been addressed. The management of the Big Three and the UAW already dealt with these issues when they renegotiated their contract two years ago. The problem is the cost savings will take time to show up on the bottom line. So Republicans are correct to suggest the acuteness of the current crisis requires that any future savings be accelerated.
How did it come to this? If the economic crisis illustrates nothing else, it shows how the leaders of American business and finance are preternaturally corrupt and incompetent, if not a total waste of their respective father and mother's sperm and eggs. For their own part, unions tend to have a blind focus on one thing only: more money. The relationship between the two then tends to play out accordingly. Management doesn't know or care how to deal with unions. They really just want them to go away. But the unions keep pestering them anyway, so management usually will throw its hands up and give them more money–like giving an annoying child a dollar to leave one alone. And usually the unions are happy with that. Neither side has had an interest in focusing on long-term, all-inclusive strategies for success. The incentives are not there. For example, if CEOs lost their homes and went on food stamps (like the workers do) when the company goes under it might inspire them to work a little harder on building a strong foundation. The fact that these companies are going under less than one year after the start of an economic downturn says a lot about their ability to plan more than three months ahead.
So the Republicans got one right: for the good of the industry, auto workers need to be brought down to earth with most of the rest of the American public. Meanwhile, now that Fred Goldman's chief quest has seemingly come to a conclusion, he should be turned loose on every top auto-company executive of the last 30 years to dog them for restitution until they end up in jail or the poor house where they obviously belong.
|Republicans Get Something
Right for First Time