Ed Driscoll

UAW's "Legacy" At GM

In the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Ralph R. Reiland has this classic quote from a representative of the union that made General Motors the automaker it is today–the one we’re all paying to keep in business:

“No one wants to see GM go down the tubes,” said picketing Jim Brown. “But we have to keep our standard of living, and GM is going to have to cooperate.”

Reiland concludes:

And so, at last count, GM has lost $70 billion since 2004, the number of UAW members has been cut in half since 2004 at GM, Chrysler and Ford, from 300,000 to 150,000, and the rest of us are now stuck with the tab for the rescue.

Meanwhile, the city of Detroit finally has a bond rating to match its sterling quality of life.

The great Walter Williams writes:

Congress and the White House aren’t finished with the taxpayers yet. Once a bailout parade gets started, it has a momentum of its own. President Bush, citing danger to the economy, signed a $17 billion bailout for the auto industry. According to the Wall Street Journal article “Shovel-Ready on Campus” (December 17, 2008), presidents of 36 state government universities have called for bailouts; they call it a “federal infusion of capital.” Soon, if not already, state governors and city mayors will descend on Washington seeking bailouts. California is $15 billion in the hole, Florida $5 billion and things are so bad in Michigan that the governor has shut down one prison to save money.

What kind of assumptions do politicians and news media make about the intelligence of Americans to expect us to buy the idea that our current mess results from deregulation and free markets? I do not find that assumption flattering.

As P.J. O’Rourke surveys the leftwing lethargy and concludes, “we may speak without compunction of the failed Obama presidency:

What a blessing that it’s a failure. Things are bad enough the way they are. There’s already a huge ongoing government intervention in
the economy. Bringing the government in to run Wall Street is like saying, “Dad burned dinner, let’s get the dog to cook.” Now the government’s going to take over the auto industry. I can predict the result–a light-weight, compact, sustainable vehicle using alternative energy. When I was a kid we called it a Schwinn.

These days, we call it this.

(HT: CG)