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November 12, 2008

Gap between haves, have-nots

Any time in history that you have no middle class, you have the haves and have-nots. It’s just like having a 24-foot ladder with eight feet of rungs missing from the middle. There is no way to work your way to the American dream at the top.

The Republicans would have you believe the trickle-down theory will get you there.

Without a middle class, the have-nots will be cleaning houses, cutting grass, cleaning windows and cooking for the haves. Although these are all honorable occupations, you would never be paid enough to ever think of opening your own small business.

Anyone who doesn’t believe this, just ask yourself why unions had to be formed. They were formed so the have-nots could make a living wage, have decent working conditions and save for that dream.

To break up the unions and get rid of the middle class is the haves’ goal.

Thomas Taylor
Independence

Comments

Bob

Me thinks someone is angry he doesn't have as much money as other people

Marctnts

Whispering,

Weaseling out as usual, using a criticism of the source as an excuse to back up your claim that the numbers were "made up".

Stay classy...

whispering_to_kc

The Westfall GMC shop charges $100/hr.

Their 2nd shift mechanic who fixes my truck isn't making $100/hr.

whispering_to_kc

"I'll take my apology now, please."

Fat chance.

I searched it out. Your $81.13/hr number comes from the WSJ, Cal Thomas or Neal Boortz.

Ha!!

The $81.13/hr number was pulled out of your ...

Marctnts

Pub,

Your example only makes since if we are talking about GM's balance sheet. We are talking about hourly rates (including future liabilities bsed upon present commitments).

I noticed that you still won't address the fact that the comparables were all completed with the same methodology, so whether we're talking about $1/hr or $100/hr, the order of magnitude diference bewteen the Big Three and the rest of the nation is immense.

Let's try one more time.

Which is it? Are union auto workers the only one making the "proper" market wage (with everyone else woefully short), or are the unions handcuffing the Big Three into a situation where they are in a significant and unnecessary competitive disadvantage?

BTW - You don't appear to be getting much done on that book of yours (uh-huh...).

Pub 17

That's even sillier. Again, try declaring bankruptcy, and include your share of projected Medicare and Social Security shortfalls among your present liabilities.

Marctnts

Pub,

Nice try, but nope. It includes projections of future legacy costs (which is part of the reason why pension-oriented manufacturers are higher than the US average for manufacturing).

Quit straining at gnats and swallowing camels. Fact is, the UAW has saddled the Big Three with labor costs almost double that of non-union manufacturers and 2.5 times the average market cost of typical industrial and manufacturing employees.

Which is it? Are union auto workers the only one making the "proper" market wage (with everyone else woefully short), or are the unions handcuffing the Big Three into a situation where they are in a significant and unnecessary competitive disadvantage?

Marctnts

Just to make sure my figures were correct and up-to-date (since the study I read was from 2006), I researched the 2007 figures.

It ain't looking any better the union, Whispering:

Average Hourly Wage - Big Three: $73.20/hour(wages and benefits inc. future legacy costs)

Average Hourly Wage - Toyota: $48.10/hour (wages and benefits inc. future legacy costs)

Average US Compensation - Management and Professional Workers: $47.40/hour (wages and benefits inc. future legacy costs)

Average US Compensation - Industrial and Manufacturing Workers: $28.00/hour (wages and benefits inc. future legacy costs)

So, to do the math, in the year 2007:

- Big Three union employees make 52% more than non-union auto manufacturing employees

- Big Three union employees make 54% more than the US average for management and professional employees

- Big Three union employees make 157% more the the US average for industrial and manufacturing employees

Does any of this help you see the strangle-hold the UAW has on the American auto manufacturers?

Again, I'll take my apology for the accusation of fabrication please...

Pub 17

No, it's not accurate, marctnts, and you should be ashamed of yourself. It distributes benefit costs for retirees across total hours worked by current employees, and is as bogus as trying to include your share of the national debt in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Marctnts

"You pulled the $80/hr number out of your ..."

The figure is accurate. It includes legacy health care and retirement benefits that will be required to be paid, and are thus, accurate to include in an employees WAGES AND BENEFITS, as expressed as Union Labor Costs Per Hour Worked. The study came out in 2006, and was widely referenced at the time (search it out).

Even more interesting, the method of calculation is the same as used for non-union Toyota employees, and includes the same cost categories (no "Toyota has no retirees argument" here). As such, whether it's $80/hour or $8/hour, GM has to pay it's union employees 2.3 times as much.

I'll take my apology now, please.

"Republican trickle down economics is only a golden shower for most of us."

No one is talking about "trickle down" economic policy, we're talking about an industry being handcuffed by the unions.

whispering_to_kc

"... GM employee makes $81.18/hour ..."

No. No they don't. The hourly wage is in the mid/upper 20s plus retirement endowments and health insurance benefits.

The only way to get even close to the $80 figure is to include the cost of current retirees and somehow lump their expense in with active hourly employee labor costs. But with one GM retiree (or more) for every active worker, that wouldn't hardly be a fair comparison to the Asian transplants who have "no" retirees on their books.

You pulled the $80/hr number out of your ...

Republican trickle down economics is only a golden shower for most of us.

repete

The unions of today are much different than those of the early 20th century. Back in the coal mines and other places, people were dropping like flies and sometimes earning less than nothing. Unions were needed then. So what happened? How did we get from unions desiring fairness to unions milking the cow for everything they can get? Where's the justice in that? How is that not an abuse of power? How can a company that is forced to pay so much in wages and benefits ever compete? How can a body that is responsible for demanding so much from the Big Three not accept a good portion of responsibility for the failure of the U.S. auto makers? How can they deny responsibility for their jobs going elsewhere? I am not in favor of outsourcing but what other option to they have?

Marctnts

"To break up the unions and get rid of the middle class is the haves’ goal."

Who is advocating breaking up the unions?

I've heard some push to take away union government protections and force them to compete on a level playing field, and I've heard many complain that a bill that eliminates secret ballots and forces BINDING arbitration on unwilling parties is wrong. That's a long way from breaking up unions.

An example. With all the latest talk about GM' need for a bailout, lets look at the union's effect on their bottom line.

The average hourly NON-UNION Toyota worker (US operations) makes about $35/hour ($72,000/year) in wages and benefits. Not bad, considering this is about $10/hour more than the US average for industrial workers.

The average hourly UNION GM employee makes $81.18/hour in wages and benefits ($168,850/year). This is about $56/hour more than the average US industrial worker.

That's right, the union's have put GM in a place to pay about 2.3 times as much for labor as a similar non-union labor manufacturer. It's awfully hard to compete when looking down the barrel of that gun.

 
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