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« The Great Divide – the debate continues | Main | Doing the Haffey Sidestep on PERS »

02 June 2012

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Douglas Keachie

Did the Unions make the decisions to keep right on making gas guzzlers because of high profit margins, or did the Boardroom and stock holders make the decision? I'm confused, who was responsible for driving the American auto industry off the cliff?

The Unions may be be the wheels and tires, but Management is the steering, accelerator and tyranical tranny. Let those who broke the bank and ran off with all the cookies fix it, and let them develop new respect for the 99%, and set up a working system that works for more than just the 1%.

{end morning liberal rant}

George Rebane

DougK 845am - I believe it was the American consumer who convinced GM to make the cars that they did. The cars sold well, but couldn't be made cheaply enough to compete with equivalent cars that were made cheaper. And we all know that labor is the largest element of cost in vehicle manufacture. Thanks to the unions and a stupid government bailout, GM seems to be solving that problem now in China.

Steven Frisch

Might make sense if it was the labor cost of the average American made car that was the issue. The truth is the average labor cost for an American made auto is less than 10% of the retail price, the average foreign owned but American made about 9%, and the average foreign made and imported auto, about 8%. And while assembly of autos is largely unionized, parts and component manufacturing is not.

Go do your own research readers, and you will quickly see that the issue is not the UAW--it is trade policy, corporate compensation, and other competitive factors, like the product mix, engineering and marketing of foreign versus domestic autos. Sure, labor is important...but the statement that "we all know that labor is the largest element of cost in vehicle manufacture" is flat out wrong.

Scott Obermuller

The biggest check GM wrote every month was the medical insurance that the unions demanded. Labor costs include not just pay, but bennies and pension costs.
Related news item:
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-01/classified/sns-rt-us-gm-pensionbre85014s-20120601_1_pension-liability-pension-shortfall-pension-overhaul

There is plenty of blame to go around for the collapse of GM. The unions are just as responsible as the management. The only thing the govt should have done for GM (and the country) would have been for them to clear the judicial decks and speed the bankruptcy through. Instead, Obama cheated small investors and then lied about it.
Gave the company our tax dollars and then lied about that.
All of the feds dealings with the auto industry during the Obama admin have been corrupt, inept, duplicitous and wasteful. Just this winter, the same management that the left calls out as the entire problem at GM were given bonuses with our tax dollars and they wouldn't even reveal how much. Crony capitalism at it's worst.

Todd Juvinall

My research shows that just the healthcare costs for a union employee at GM-USA is more than the steel in the vehicle. Yep, it isn't the Unions fault SteveF, it is the healthcare industry! What a hoot.

Douglas Keachie

Workers who are sick or dead cannot build cars.

George Rebane

The Borroni-Bird model of manufacturing costs ascribes 13% to labor, and that does not include the labor costs included in the 'materials' (separate parts and components) that make up a car. As a manufacturing cost component, labor costs definitely are the largest single component. That cost is not to be confused nor claimed with the other add-on costs after the product goes into the distribution channel.

The bottom line though is that products manufacture is moving overseas not because their materials are cheaper, or even necessarily because they are closer to their markets (although that is a factor), but because labor and labor regulatory costs are lower. To argue otherwise - as the Left fervently does - is to misconstrue reality that reflects in the kind of public policies we adopt. But looking at what's been going on recently in America, I bet you knew that.

The GM-China piece stands on its merits. And you may again ponder why the Left lamestream has been sooo silent on reporting this major move by an American icon saved by another piece of social engineering gone sour.

Douglas Keachie

Hey job creators, is this that difficult?

All call centers will answer by an American citizen within 3 minutes or face a $1000 fine, each time. Job creation made simple, for bonehead 1% Americans, who have no clue Make it a federal law. I want to see low call volume, just once before I die.

Steven Frisch

My statistics come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and include benefits. Parts and component manufacture are largely non-union jobs and would be consistent between US domestic manufacturers and foreign manufacturers operating on US soil, which is where the majority of US foreign cars come from. Bottom line, you guys only look at facts that support your preconceived opinions.

Todd Juvinall

SteveF, you are loosey-goosey with the "facts" most of the time. Your 300 feet to the poll regarding campaigning is the one that was pretty easy to find and you screwed the pooch on that one. We find the liberals make things up and then repeat them over and over until they become true. We tell the truth and use real world facts.

George's point about the labor component in a car is spot on. Even the smallest screw has a labor component in its creation and then it transport then installation. You must have just forgot that right?

So, tell us SteveF, what is the cost of the material only, of steel in a Buick LaCrosse? Also, tell us the cost of the healthcare package a union man gets as a part of the LaCrosse.

Oh, and don't give us the crap you always do about doing our own homework. This is a test, only a test, we will return control of your TV momentarily. What a Hoot!

Douglas Keachie

Frankly, Todd, I always thought you were the ghost writers for "Horns in the Tree Tops."

"My research shows that just the healthcare costs for a union employee at GM-USA is more than the steel in the vehicle"

And my research shows that most workers produce more than one vehicle in their lifetimes.

Current price of steel per ton in US$ = 788. My wife and I pay more than that every month for school district subsidized health care. So what else is new?

Douglas Keachie

"Even the smallest screw has a labor component" even if it is done by Todd. ;)

Douglas Keachie

Weight ranges from 2835 to 4045 total weight, if all steel, about $3200

Todd Juvinall

Liberal logic is missing but I do get a chuckle from the knuckleheads of the left.

Scott Obermuller

I can't speak for any one else here. I just stated that GMs largest amount they payed anyone monthly was for the workers health care. That doesn't mean that they pay more for that than the sum total of all of the components. Some of the sub assemblies that they buy contain steel, aluminum, plastic, what ever. Some of the steel they buy comes in as raw product. A lot of things that are made of steel such as wheels, come from outside suppliers (most are union or the unions wouldn't allow GM to do business with them). The main issue here is that before they went under, GM could engineer the best car in the world (and they weren't) and build it as efficiently as anyone, and still lose to the competition on cost because of legacy labor and pension costs. As stupid and short sighted as any management can be, it was the unions that drove those costs up so high for GM.
As for Keachie's "solution", that would actually be the start of the great automated computer operated call center boom. They hire a few certified Americans for a day and have them record words for the computer to learn and synthesize and then no one is hired to answer calls. The computers and the programmers are all in India.
Keachie's solution is the perfect example of not learning from history. It is nothing more than a trade restriction that costs everyone and solves nothing. Money flows to where it can be used most efficiently and anything that impedes it ends up as a bad thing for every one. I have no idea what it will take to wake the left up to the fact that we are in a true world economy and it ain't ever gonna be like it was. Britain barely learned this (and some would say they still haven't) at the first quarter of the 20th Century. The Chinese govt knows they will lose out to other countries in the future as places for development and they are taking pro-active steps to protect themselves as much as possible. One example is that they are buying up all over the world extraction rights to all of the rare earth elements. Another is the large buildup of the Chinese navy and aerospace. They do it with our money where as we use printed or borrowed money. Remember how the USSR was brought down? The Chinese do and they don't even have to reverse engineer this solution.

Steven Frisch

Todd, you are such a lying sack. I did not sy the rules are 300 feet in Nevada County, I clearly stated over on Pelline's, where you got this reference, that I was quoting other jurisdictions in California, and suggested that Jeff post the rules for Nevada County. You just lie, and lie, and lie.

THEMIKEYMCD

George, you are correct, GM is another great example of "another piece of social engineering gone sour." The left can't blame either of their sworn enemies ('the free market' or George Bush-LOL). Progressive policies driven by labor unions and backfired trade agreements/central planning crushed GM. A quick bit of research shows that GM is alive today due to drastically cutting labor expenses (2005 labor related expenses were north of $16 Billion, 2010 'just' $5 Billion).
This is the most leftist media outlet I could find to confirm:
http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/09/28/8017968-gm-holds-the-line-on-labor-costs-with-new-contract?lite

George Rebane

ScottO 259pm - thanks for bringing us back to the post topic and contributing to the discussion.

Gregory

A cultural revolution part deux would do wonders to really push crude oil down in price and manufacturing back to the US.

Brad Croul

What a load of hooey (that's Chinese for BS)! These vidiot producers are such a hoot!

"GM" manufactures most of its China market vehicles locally through Shanghai GM, a joint venture with the Chinese company SAIC Motor, which was created on March 25, 1997. The Shanghai GM plant was officially opened on December 15, 1998, when the first Chinese-built Buick came off the assembly line. The SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile joint-venture is also successfully selling microvans under the Wuling marque (34 percent owned by GM). -Wiki

1997 was a "few" years before 2008, yes?

GM sold close to 3 million cars in the US in 2008 and, in 2010, sold 2.4 million cars in China. -Wiki

It is not rocket science, gentlemen. Look at where the cars are selling.

Also, according to Wiki, "GM employs 202,000 people[1] and does business in some 157 countries".

Don't we have a few Toyota plants here in the USA?

Wasn't the gripe with them that the profits were going overseas?

Well, now, the profits are coming in from overseas.

Todd Juvinall

Hey did SteveF call me a liar? Somewhere back in my mind I remember some lib named SteveF who was always stretching the truth out and when confronted started calling people names. What a hoot.

The fact that SteveF made ridiculous facts up about the components of a car is just par for the course for him. Heck, I bet his Obama paid for trip to China last year was a tour of the GM plany in China, right?

Regarding SteveF's fib and bad info on polling places, one would need to hire a Gordian Knot undoer (is that a word?) to make sense of SteveF's facts. Amazing!

Steven Frisch

Here isthe link to the comment Todd was referring too:

http://sierrafoothillsreport.com/2012/05/29/local-tea-party-plans-election-integrity-effort-as-june-5-nears-mayberry-rfd-were-not/#comments

I will let the readers read and decide who the liar is.

Douglas Keachie

The real culture experiment in China is the excess population of males, produced by killing off the females. Could make everything dicey. Not sure how far along that bubble is in the population charts.

Steven Frisch

Oh yeah...it is my post from 6:28 a.m.

Todd Juvinall

Here SteveF is a copy/paste from your post.

"Poll observers may not:

1) Handle ballots
2) Electioneer within 300 feet of a polling place
3) Remove or use any items on a poll workers table
4) Approach privacy booths"

So, when you posted this as a fact I noticed no link for it. So you must have made it up from whole cloth eh?

All one needs to do is check the state law. Sheesh!

Scott Obermuller

GM has been allowed to cut costs by a simple matter of not paying any corp taxes for ten years. Another is that taxpayers help subsidize their cars in the form of rebates. It's been shown that the folks getting rebates are above average in income among tax payers. Another progressive scheme to help re-distribute wealth to the wealthy from those that aren't. Pres Zero once again talks out of both sides of his mouth. Another cute trick is not having to honor judgments against the company. Defective junk killed little Suzie? Not to worry - Pres Zero made sure the evil big company full of rich executives slides out without having to pay a dime. Ah, the progressives - full of BS start to finish. As the saying goes - if the Dems didn't have double standards, they wouldn't have any standards. And just when are we getting all of our money back from GM that was promised?

Douglas Keachie

Todd, post the damn link so we can check it ourselves, and see the whole story.

Todd Juvinall

DougK, it is SteveF's link from a prior above comment. Must I hold your hand?

Douglas Keachie

Todd, his link was obvious, you were supposed to post the link to the state law. SteveF needs to post a link to the 300 foot rule in some county somewhere. I am working the polls, and will photograph/video any apparent violations of the 100 foot rule that occur, time permitting. As a citizen journalist, I will also photograph/video anything going on at distances beyond the 100 foot rule, again time permitting. I really do not expect to see anything, but who knows?

I suspect that the 300 foot rule is a hold over from before bumper stickers.

Douglas Keachie

The full quote from SteveF was:

"Jeff, if Nevada County has guidelines for what observers can and cannot do, I think you should post them. Here is what I have read from other jurisdictions in California:"

Here is what a poll observer may do:

1) Observe the voting process before, during and after voting hours
2) Copy voter names from the polling inspectors list which is posted on the wall of a polling place periodically
3) Observe the voting process, but only if they remain quiet and keep their distance from official poll workers
4) Pictures can be taken in the polling place, but only if it does not interfere with the process. Poll watchers cannot take pictures of ballots.

Poll observers may not:

1) Handle ballots
2) Electioneer within 300 feet of a polling place
3) Remove or use any items on a poll workers table
4) Approach privacy booths
5) Use any electronic device within the polling place (this includes cell phones)
6) Talk to voters

Douglas Keachie

Of interest, and I be searching for more information:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/ballot/electioneering.asp

Douglas Keachie

If the Tea Party "T" shirt is politically neutral, then what are we to make of this?

http://m3.civic-engage.com/fs/distribution:wl/10ceak8c33t9ns5/10lra7yn6eo9vp9/daid/10lrjc53xuna3ao?_c=d|10ceak8c33t9ns5|10lrjc53xuna3ao&_ce=1338415276.558b2ae023740d239670af3665140b19

Seems to me that a Tea Party shirt pretty much says: "I'm backing Aanestad." and is therefore electioneering. Be of interest to see if we have another election 2010 incident this time around.

Todd Juvinall

DougK trying to debate me in polling lace aw is like me trying to debate him in liberal teaching techniques.

The rule is a state law and is not a county option. Sheesh!

Douglas Keachie

Todd, let's see if Steve can find otherwise.

BTW, if the Tea Party shirt/bumper sticker/pin is not a political statement in favor of certain candidates, and opposed to others, I'll be a monkey's uncle:

Sam Aanestad, a former Republican state senator considered one of LaMalfa's top challengers in the upcoming June primary, didn't once criticize his top Republican rival, who has the endorsement of retiring U.S. Rep. Wally Herger, R-Chico.

Instead, Aanestad focused on establishing himself as the more experienced and most conservative member of the group. He noted he also has the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Granite Bay.

Aanestad said that while he represented the north state as an assemblyman and a senator, he was widely criticized by liberal groups and praised by conservative ones for being staunchly pro-gun, anti-tax and anti-environmentalist.

He pledged to resign should he ever vote to raise taxes or the national debt.

"If I ever violate that pledge I'd hope you kick me out of office before I resigned," he said.

Aanestad, an oral surgeon from Grass Valley, also used humor to try to win the support of the staunchly conservative tea party crowd. He told a joke with the punch line: "A radical environmentalist, a socialist and illegal alien walk into a bar. The bartender says, 'What you having Mr. President?'"

The crowd guffawed.

See also: http://m3.civic-engage.com/fs/distribution:wl/10ceak8c33t9ns5/10lra7yn6eo9vp9/daid/10lrjc53xuna3ao?_c=d|10ceak8c33t9ns5|10lrjc53xuna3ao&_ce=1338415276.558b2ae023740d239670af3665140b19

Steven Frisch

Doug: Todd does not want to post the full quote because he wants to intentionally misrepresent what I said...If you read my full statement clearly I want us to be accurate....In other words TODD wants to lie about what I said....because the only way he can "win" is to lie.....because all he gives a shyte about is "winning"...instead of caring about being either accurate or honorable.

The guide I paraphrased from was from KING County (I believed it to be KINGS County at the time)

http://your.kingcounty.gov/elections/observers/ObserverandPollWatcherGuidelines.pdf

BUT NOTE: I specifically asked that Jeff post the NEVADA COUNTY guidelines so that we could all have the accurate information.

Todd Juvinall

DougK, I have no idea what your last post is about.

SteveF, so you are denying your own post and your misinformation eh? When you post something from somewhere else and agree with it that we should not believe you agree with it? You are simply back pedaling your long post because it was a "made from whole cloth" lie and you were caught. I have no desire to win anything here but I do want people to know you are an ignorant person who makes things up about important issues like voting and the polls. Get educated and get back to us.

Douglas Keachie

"DougK, I have no idea what your last post is about."

It is a clear indication that wearing a Tea party shirt at a polling place may well be grounds for illegal electioneering if done within the 100 foot limit. Love to see if this get tested this time around. Bullying and intimidating at polling places was a specialty of the brown shirts in an earlier generation.

Steven Frisch

I hope it is tested....100 feet, any closer and any red shirt should be arrested. If I saw one I would demand it be removed immediately. This is bullsh*t gamesmanship on the part of the Tea Party, and is totally a 'brownshirt" move.

Todd, you are such a putz, my original post at Pelline's CLEARLY asks for Jeff to get the local guidelines and post them.

George Rebane

DougK 245pm - I'm sure that such will be the claim of the Left, and to the extent that a given Tea Party has endorsed candidates, that concern will be valid. This has not happened in Nevada County, though I am sure that no one will wear their Tea Party t-shirts either here or anywhere else near polling places.

However, it is very hard to get members of the Left to respond to videos and pictures of club wielding, leather jacketed black hoodlums at polling places intimidating anybody they consider of a different race. Or of poll workers counting and adjudicating ballots wearing their purple SEIU t-shirts.

Where I fear most law violations will occur is when poll watchers are restricted to locations from which they cannot reasonably observe the vote counting and adjudicating poll workers. For example Elections Code Sec 15104 par(d) as cited in the 7may12 Memorandum #13143 Jana M. Lean, Chief, Elections Division of the office of California Secretary of State. The non-partisan Election Integrity Project in their 9may12 '2012 Poll Observer Training' document cites chapter and verse of numerous California election codes that have not been uniformly observed by county clerks and registrars of voters in this state. There will be more to be said about all this, I am sure.

George Rebane

Nevada County poll watcher and poll worker training sessions have been held around the community. I don't know what the 100 or 300ft debate is all about - the correct answer is 100ft (cf par 3 in cited booklet). The county website has had the 'Poll Watchers' Guidelines' booklet available for downloading for some time now. It also cites the relevant law from the California Elections Code as appropriate. You can download it here
http://www.mynevadacounty.com/nc/elections/docs/2012%20Elections/June%205%202012/Poll%20Watchers%20Guidelines.pdf

Scott Obermuller

Wearing a T shirt while voting is bullying and intimidating? Good grief. It wouldn't bother me in the least. I think the great divide can be traced to something here. Could some one on the left please explain why you can post thugs with clubs at the door but conservatives going to vote can't even wear a T shirt? What if the T shirt depicted the original Tea Party? What if it just had an American flag?

Douglas Keachie

Who knows? I'll be wearing my SS United States "t" shirt when I work the polls.

http://www.ssunitedstatesconservancy.org/store/

Dixon Cruickshank

What was the topic? t shirts? 300' of what - I really had to go back and look.

Now GM sold alot of SUV's and pickups, Camaro's and Firebirds were good too and they made good money on them - when it became Gov Motors not so many Volts and they sell alot in china now. I can't imagine anybody that has lived in this country and eat their own food for more than 30 yrs didn't see the Japs taking over the auto industry on price and quality - and most semi intelligent people saw it was the unions

Hello Mc Fly anybody home

Douglas Keachie

GM made 5000 electric cars and leased them out, back in the late 1990's. People loved them and wanted to buy them, but GM's Board of Directors RECALLED the lot and DESTROYED them.

You can verify this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_EV1

Scott Obermuller

re: Keachie complaining with CAPS that the evil villains at GM DESTROYED cars. Gasp - shock, horror! Get a clue Doug. The cars belonged to GM. They didn't belong to you or anyone else. Your property is your property. GM's property is their property. If you don't like that arrangement, I would suggest that you go first and allow everyone in Nevada County to come and partake of your belongings. OK? Another left wing tenet. What's mine is mine and what's your's is mine.

Douglas Keachie

Obermiller, I wonder how much in tax breaks and subsidies GM got to make the cars? I rather doubt that the government didn't help fund those vehicles one way or the other. Your tax dollars, DESTROYED.

Scott Obermuller

Funny Doug. Ha Ha - first of all, the govt destroys my tax dollars on a pretty constant basis as well as destroying the value of what I try to save. So let's not start selectively worrying about the ant while ignoring the elephant. It doesn't matter how many public funds were involved, the cars (as well as the liability) belonged to GM. As I suspected, GM was on the hook by Fed and state laws to supply parts for these handmade cars for quite a few years, had they sold them to the public. They were never meant to be sold to the public. I found a reference to the fact that GM did get an unspecified amount from a program from the Clinton admin. The total amount of the program was 1.25 bil. What GM got and spent on the EV1, I haven't found. Other car manufacturers as well as govt overhead admin costs shared in that pot. GM reported that their total cost for the EV1 program was 1 bil. The lessees, who earned above average incomes were given govt tax breaks (your money) never came close to paying GM the true costs of those cars. So, even with the govt subsidy, GM lost money on the deal. Had they sold the cars, they would have ended up losing far more money. Cash For Clunkers used up far more of my money and destroyed far more good running cars. Bottom line? The left continues to take from the middle class and hand it to the wealthy, and their motto is still "what's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine". If the whiney left want electric cars, why don't they just build them and make oodles of money?

Born2bitchatya

This is what happens when Big Business takes over! They profit, we pay. Is this what you want for America?

George Rebane

Born 933am - You may have misunderstood the post. It was the feds that set GM to become a Chinese manufacturer. Had government left things alone, the company's bankruptcy would have seen its design and manufacturing assets sold off to make its creditors whole. The buyers would have strapped together a more competitive GM brand (one of the assets) and revamped how they made vehicles in the USA.

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