So, probably the biggest news story right now is this 14 billion dollar auto industry bailout. For those of you who don’t live in Michigan, this is a REAL big deal here. I find myself firmly on both sides of this issue.
On one hand, I think it is borderline criminal that the UAW has their workers making what most MD’s make in their practice for doing a job that my 7 year old could do. An avg. of $75 an hour? really? Come on. In Tenn, the same line workers at Nissan are making $22 an hour w/ all the benefits and seem to support their families fine.
On the other side, I am really fearful of what the bankruptcy of GM could do to the thousands of people affected up here, most of all my Grandma. For almost 30 years, my Grandfather worked for Oldsmobile and after his passing, my Grandma depends on his pension check every month. Beyond that, we aren’t just talking about those lineworkers loosing their jobs, we’re also looking at loosing hundreds of thousands of other jobs all over our state in the body plants, tool and die shops and so on who have exclusive contracts with GM. A sudden loss of GM alone will gut this state economically and I don’t know how we’ll recover.
Gov. Granholm has been trying to shift the economic base from the auto industry to new technologies, but that is a slow change and not one that can handle a sudden loss of the auto industry.
So, I’m kind of holding my breath watching how Washington will move. I mean really, we can give 300 billion to bail out execs of banks and investment firms, but can’t use $14 billion to ensure that avg. joe lineworker has a job tomorrow?