12 December 2008

Republican Senators as Union Busters, Our Anti-Social Democratic Legacy, and the Fruits of 'Pragmatic' Bi-Partisanship

The problem with U.S. automakers is not union labor. As this graphic from The New York Times suggests, the differential between American auto workers employed by Japanese and U.S. firms by is hardly massive. The differential exists. No denying that. But the biggest chunk of costs is generated by legacy costs embedded in the current wage structure. In other words the U.S. auto companies are paying for decades during which we've lacked (largely due to Republican policy) Social Democratic provisions for health care and adequate social security.

I am not going to excuse the Auto execs who've been peddling giant gas guzzling vehicles. But let's be clear, the Republican Senators want to do in the U.A.W.; they want to level wages and benefits down. Not only is that bad for individual families, it is bad from the now consensual Keynesian view that we need spending to work our way out of the recession.

And let's be crystal clear ~ the opposition to the auto rescue plan last night was overwhelmingly Republican (according to the Washington Post 31 out of 35 opposed votes were Republicans). So much for bipartisan cooperation. Obama-ites take notice!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


13 December, 2008 18:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


15 December, 2008 05:09  

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