One of the foundations of the modern conservative political movement has been its steadfast opposition to the heavy handed and often irrational policies and behaviors of organized labor. So this week’s movement by Michigan state legislators and their Republican governor to remove regulations that require mandatory membership and dues payment to said labor unions is a huge milestone, especially in the state that is most known for its domestic automotive production.
To say the recent troubles of two of our American auto giants were largely self-inflicted would be a huge understatement. General Motors and Chrysler landed right where their hideous behavior and business practices put them, broke, busted and holding the bag for the union bullies DBA the United Auto Workers.
You gotta love the UAW! They may know how to build cars (feel free to debate that one) but their math skills leave a helluva lot to be desired.
That union bigwigs did not see or understand that they were riding their horse into the ground should be considered nothing short of criminal negligence. These folks were either incredibly crazy or incredibly stupid or both. The numbers have been right under their noses since the early ’70s; only a moron wouldn’t have known what was coming. But still their demands were made and still their demands were met.
The unions and the idiots who signed off on the booty not only killed the goose that laid the golden eggs, they fed it whole straight into a wood chipper.
But this wasn’t a sudden development; the slaughter was years in the making.
Once the example by which all global industrialized development was measured, our domestic automotive producers put out dependable machines, paid a fair wage to workers and managed to make a profit for their investors.
Then someone decided that the workers were getting the short end of the stick. Sadly, management caved (as did the feds) and allowed the unions to dictate policy, profit margin and just about everything else that mattered.
They got fat, they got lazy, and they got their fannies kicked by the competition.
In the ’70s, the American car companies started building substandard vehicles (that continued up until very recently), paid their labor far more than reasonable wages and guaranteed retirees benefit packages that looked like something Warren Buffet should be getting (at least he still works!). The upside down financial mess that GM and their compadres find themselves stuck in is almost 100 percent the fault of the unions and piss poor management decisions.
The only thing the 2007 global economic meltdown did was rip away the thin sheet that had been covering the mangled remains of the industry for most of the prior two decades.
So what happens?
Instead of calling this abortion of a business model out for what it is, we have not one, but two American presidents take taxpayers’ hard-earned money and continue to feed the addicts with no real corrective action, much less any honest assessment of what put their ass in the wringer.
Okay, I understand that President Barack Obama is about as likely to attack a labor union as I am to run a marathon, but GW? C’mon now!
President George W. Bush could have used his bully pulpit to nail these greedy union SOBs for everything they have ever done wrong, but instead, he quietly steps out of the way while handing over a big fat check for billions of your dollars. That is like paying a gang of thugs to slap your grandmother. I have never been more disappointed in a so-called conservative. It was enough to make me pine for Jack Kemp.
The good news is that the unions had to accept steep pay cuts and a near top to bottom common sense reform of their gluttonous pension plans in order for GM and Chrysler to survive.
The move now to remove mandatory union membership as a condition of employment in the state of Michigan is a beautiful thing. Mandatory participation in anything is about as anti-American as it gets. To those who say conservatism is dead, look north. Oh, and give credit to the Yankees for appreciating the right-to-work philosophies the south embraces like a righteous religion. You Might Also Like: