Thursday, December 4, 2008

Big Three and the Vichy Dems

I thought I'd be clever and see if could match up the GM Board of Directors on their lists. HAH! No such luck - they probably direct their "donations" to PACs and make donations with the names of their housekeepers and estate caretakers hired help.


Check out the charts on Automotive: Long-Term Contribution Trends
(can't post the charts - they're flash images)
DO click on all the tabs too!

It's pretty obvious who that industry spent HUGE money on: the SAME PEOPLE that have driven us into this abyss and put the auto industry on the brink of implosion.

And now The Big Three come crying to a DEM Congress for help and Harry "milquetoast" Reid deadpans (from his dog-eared 3"x5" response card) "I don't think we have the votes" while THE VERY PEOPLE THE BIG THREE HELP ELECT TO OFFICE is leaving them high and dry (mostly, i think, to break the UAW).

Who gets stuck? NOT the members of The Board is a hint. Now comes the UAW saying (once again) THEY are prepared to "make concessions". Again. How many times do the Union Workers have to take it up the a$$? When I was in the CWA the union made "concessions" EVERY TIME, with the threat of "we'll just have to begin layoffs" over their head from "management".

The sad part is that The Dems don't even TRY to help these companies, if anything, to keep their once-core constituency of Union Workers in good-paying benefit-added jobs.

SOME MAY SAY "Why not let the workers become owners? Let the Big Three declare Bankruptcy and emerge stronger?" Well, they tried that at United Airlines, remember? I'll let that Proud Lefty BEN STEIN explain:

at NYT When You Fly in First Class, It's Easy to Forget the Dots

Here comes the good part: management has asked the bankruptcy court to let it have — free — roughly 15 percent of the stock in the new company, or about $900 million. Mr. Tilton, the chief executive, who plays the Orson Welles character in this drama, would get about $90 million personally for his hard work shepherding UAL through bankruptcy (for which he was already paid multiple millions of dollars).

The bankruptcy court, instead of ordering Mr. Tilton's arrest, instead cut the management share to about 8 percent, so he will get more than $40 million, more or less. That is more than Lee R. Raymond, the chief executive of Exxon Mobil, one of the most successful companies of all time, was paid in 2004 (not counting Mr. Raymond's 28 million shares of restricted stock).

So here it is in a nutshell: employees are goaded into investing a big chunk of their wages and benefits in UAL stock. They lose that. Then they lose big parts of their pay and pensions. They become peons of UAL. Management gets $480 million, more or less. "Creative destruction?" Or looting?

Wait, Mr. Tilton and Mr. Bankruptcy Judge. The employees were the owners of UAL. They were the trustors, and Mr. Tilton and his pals were trustees for them. How were the trustors wiped out while the trustees, the fiduciaries, became fantastically rich? Is this the way capitalism is supposed to work? Trustors save up, and their agents just take their savings away from them?

If the company is worth so much that management has hundreds of millions coming to them, shouldn't the employee-owners get a taste? Does capitalism mean anything if the owners of the capital can be wiped out while their agents grow wealthy? Is this a way to encourage savings and the ownership society? Or is this a matter of to him who hath shall be given?

Yeah, Ben, good questions.
And THE BEST the Vichy Dems can offer is "I don't think we have the votes".


November 5

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