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Class Warfare

The Shrubbery decided to make the GM/Chrysler loans, but the terms attack the United Auto Workers, because if they can’t have real slavery, they’ll settle for wage slavery.

A couple of days ago, Badtux took a hard look at GM labor costs, and discovered the Republicans are basically lying, just as they have lied about almost everything else. The average Toyota line worker takes home about $2/hour more than the average GM worker.

The big differences are that GM has been in business long enough in this country to have retirees, while the foreign car makers haven’t, and, unlike every other industrialized nation, the US doesn’t have a national health system, so employers are stuck with the costs.

David S Morgan, CBS News, covers a lot of the same ground in his piece, The True Price Of Auto Labor Costs. He did find one area where labor costs are excessive at US companies: the foreign companies pay their entire management teams about what the Big Three pay their CEOs.

Mr. Morgan also notes, that unlike the loans the US companies requested, because after $350 billion the banks still aren’t making loans, the foreign companies are recipients of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives to build plants in the Southern states.  These aren’t loans, they are grants.

December 19, 2008   2 Comments

Where’s The Pea?

MSNBC has an interesting piece on April Charney, a Jacksonville Legal Aid attorney who deals with foreclosures

“You ever look into a place where snakes hang out?” she asks in the middle of a conversation about the loan officers, appraisers, investment bankers, attorneys and others that she believes are responsible for the nation’s worsening financial crisis. “That’s what I see here. They’re writhing and oozing and morphing into creepy stuff with slime all over it.”

Then in her quiet, gentle drawl — the kind of voice that could get you invited to afternoon drinks on the finest porches in South Florida, where she grew up — she leans forward and says quite earnestly, “Not to discredit snakes or anything.”

A genuine “bless their hearts” moment from a woman who is saving people’s homes by requiring that those who are foreclosing on them obey the law.

[Read more →]

December 19, 2008   6 Comments

Uh, Oh

From Australian Broadcasting things you don’t want to hear on final approach:

Speaking over the address system as the Flybe flight approached Charles de Gaulle airport, the pilot announced to startled passengers “I am not qualified to land the plane” and turned back to Cardiff.

While is was a technical licensing issue, and not competence, it really is not a confidence builder.

December 19, 2008   2 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Inspection Tour

Friday Cat Blogging

You cats need to do some housekeeping!

[Editor: Molly, the ALPHA of alpha females comes by during the day to complain about all of the acorns.

Friday Ark

December 19, 2008   8 Comments