So typical-Obama auto team drives imports

Reply Wed 25 Feb, 2009 06:57 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Claims substantiated such as your blurb you linked about employment costs for plants which go idle? Where was the part of that substantiated claim which dealt with what proportion of the cost of automobiles comes from management pay and benefits? Where was the part which reviewed the corporate profitability of Japanese companies which don't rely upon the North American market to assure that profitability? Where was the part of that substantiated claim which dealt with the ability of the Japanese companies to sustain losses, if they feel it necessary, year after year in North American to keep their position vis-a-vis the Detroit companies, or even to improve it?

I suspect you meant there is no need for a dictator. If you're talking bankruptcy, and you're willing to see that happen, why have you wasted to much energy and time developing the "labor costs are ruining our capitalist paradise" bullshit?

How much profit have you earned, by the way, with your discussions with others? I threw in the dictator remark to amuse myself, and don't really care if it amuses you.

You are ranting on about "my focus." All i did was point out the historical reasons for the high cost of labor in the auto industry, and provide an example of the cost of labor as a function of the profit at the dealership--that was from a radio interview with the Toronto Sun automotive reporter on CBC yesterday--the Canadians discuss this issue at least as much as do the Americans, if not more. He also pointed out that labor costs and the costs of management pay and benefits are roughly equal, but i don't remember the exact percentages he referred to--and i'll take his word for it over your deafening silence on the subject of how management costs compare to the costs of labor. The remarks about the piece work production of small auto parts in Japan, much of it done in family homes, with the elderly and children chipping in their labor (social security sucks in Japan) comes from a white paper television report done by Lloyd Dobbins in the 1980s, after he had retired from the NBC Overnight program, and was then living in Japan, where he had long been a correspondent. The documentary showed footage of these operations in people's homes, piece work taken on by the modern equivalent of the Burakumin class. Dobbins also made the p0int about subsidized steel, because it was then an issue in the United States, desperately attempting to defend a failing steel industry.

As for Japanese tactics to drive competitors out of business, and their huge corporate footprint across the globe, i can only suspect you are horrendously naive if you doubt any of that. If you are unaware how the Japanese exclude the goods of any nation which compete with goods produced domestically, you must have lived your entire life under a rock.

So far, the only thing you have substantiated is a willingness to look at labor costs, and only labor costs, when looking for the cause of the failures in Detroit. I had no offered no plan for fixing the problem, and have already noted that i don't have a problem with seeing them go into bankruptcy protection. Your hysterical ranting as a result of what i wrote about the history of UAW labor negotiations and Japanese trade practices is a product of your perfervid imagination, and nothing i feel obliged to argue against. If you want to believe that labor costs are the only cause and axing them the only solution to Detroit's problems, help yourself.
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Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2009 05:19 pm
while i think that the U.S. automobile industry is going to shrink mightily , see : FORBES - america's fastest dying car brands ( http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/18/dying-car-brands-lifestyle-vehicles_car_brands.html ) , there is still one question on my mind .
there has been much complaining about the "legacy" costs of the U.S. manufacturers - pensions mainly , i would think .
those pensiom costs were accumulated over many decades , so should the money for those pensions not have been set aside regularly in a "trust fund" so that they would be available to fund the retirees pensions ?
did GM and others simply not set aside those monies in a diversified trust fund ? if they did set aside appropriate amounts of money , there should be benefits available - even with the downturn in the stockmarket .
if they did not set aside those monies , it seems to be that's outright embezzlement .
anyone hear where those monies are being kept ?

can at least part of the answer be found here ? :


Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Pension obligations pose risks for GM
David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON -- General Motors Corp. said it needs to make $12.7 billion in pension contributions by 2014 and is exploring options for its underfunded pension plans.

In a conference call today, GM chief financial officer Ray Young said the company was "trying to understand what our options for pension funding are."

"trying to understand what our options for pension funding are."
so GM did not "understand" what their options (obligations) are ?
one has to wonder if GM managemant staff obtained degrees in mis-managemant from correspondence schools .
if they did , they would give correspondence schools a bad name and should be asked to give their "certificates" back .

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