Your Tax Dollars At Work

Bailing out the Chinese

DETROIT (AP) – As thousands of General Motors workers await word on more U.S. plant closures, reports that the company plans to import Chinese-made vehicles to the U.S. have created a political problem for the automaker and the White House.
The reports, which GM will neither confirm nor deny, could mean trouble because GM is supported by $15.4 billion in U.S. government loans, largely due to the Obama administration’s desire to preserve the company’s 90,000 U.S. jobs.
The United Auto Workers charged last week that the Detroit automaker intends to almost double over the next five years the number of vehicles it imports to the U.S. from Mexico, South Korea, China and Japan.
“GM should not be taking taxpayers’ money simply to finance the outsourcing of jobs to other countries,” Alan Reuther, the union’s Washington lobbyist, wrote in a letter to U.S. lawmakers.

Pinch me hard sweet baby jeebus, because I find myself agreeing with the UAW.
I also feel like barfing.

10 Responses to “Your Tax Dollars At Work”

  1. major dad says:

    WTF? And just what sort of cars do the Chinese make that Americans will buy? I don’t get this. These guys are starting to scare me.

  2. Rob says:

    GM, and ALL other automakers, has their eye on the Chinese market. Over 1 billion people and only a tiny fraction of them have automobiles. Most of them can’t afford one now but that’s changing by the day. The pittance of cars coming here from there keeps their foot in that door. The UAW is just a little near-sighted.

  3. Mr. Bingley says:

    That China Fantasy has sunk many a company, Rob.

  4. Rob says:

    It might have been a fantasy in the 70s and 80s but it’s not now. What it’s going to sink is that Chinese government.

  5. Skyler says:

    As a manufacturing engineer, I find little sympathy for the UAW. Having seen my jobs dry up and go overseas or south of the border, I don’t see why car companies should be exempt.
    There are no forces on Earth that will stop this. The cost difference is too great. Companies will find a way to get the cheap labor or they will go out of business. The only solution is equally unpalatable, and that is to start paying people here substantially lower wages, and that won’t happen until people here start getting a lot hungrier.
    So perhaps B. Hussein’s and Bush’s policies on printing money will work out in the end. When the economy collapses from printed money then people here will start accepting that level of pay to entice manufacturing back to the US. Once the UAW starts signing contracts paying their workers twenty cents an hour, then jobs will be saved.
    We can complain about jobs moving out of the country all we want. I’m certainly not happy with it, it’s cost me dearly and directly in my life, but there literally is nothing we can do about it, and it has nothing to do with politics or political party. It will happen and we can’t stop it. The car companies have been living in a fantasy world until now, propped up by extreme efficiency of the manufacturing process they’ve created over the past hundred years. But it’s getting common to reproduce that efficiency elsewhere at much lower cost and the chickens will come home to roost.
    We’re doomed and this time it has little to do with having a marxist in the oval office.

  6. Rob says:

    That may seem to be the case, Skyler, but that doesn’t work for those companies. If they want to sell their products and services on the American market at premium prices, Americans will have to make the premium wages.

  7. Dave E. says:

    The story I read last week stated that the models being made in Korea and China are compact cars that are geared for that market. GM stated that only around 5% of the cars made at those plants would make it to the US because they most likely will not be popular in the US market. If that is true, it makes sense to build them closer to the markets that will buy them. Mexico is probably a bigger threat to US and Canadian UAW members.
    If we are doomed it will not be because somebody can make cheaper widgets in some BF country. It will be because we allowed Congress to strangle us with policies and regulations that make us uncompetitive. CPSIA, cap and trade on carbon, stifling energy development, corporate taxes, and on and on. We shouldn’t kid ourselves about this stuff. Yes, there are forces we can’t control out there, but for the most part we are screwing ourselves.

  8. Dave J. says:

    Remember, according to Obama and the UAW, supporting the “American” auto industry does not mean bailouts for plants in red states that employ American workers making cars in America (and actually bought by American)for companies that happen to have been incorporated in Japan, Germany or Korea, yet it DOES mean American taxpayer money going to bailout plants in Canada, Mexico or apparently China, just because those plants belong to a “company” (now an arm of the government and/or the union) with an HQ in Detroit.
    Could someone please explain how that makes any sense? Oh, right, it makes sense if you’re trying shovel money into the hands of the UAW.

  9. Yeah, as Dave said, Toyota, et al., seem happy to make cars here, provided they’re not burdened with excessively high union wages and pensions, or worse, union workplace rules. I think I’ve read that workers at the Toyota plant in Tennessee are making $27 an hour plus bennies. That’s not bad for assembly and more than many, perhaps most, lab techs (with a required bachelor’s degree, mind you) make in the biotech industry.
    Let the big three die if it’s their fate. Other car companies will fill the gap with American workers. Why? Because with cars made by extremely low-wage labor overseas, you get what you pay for. How many Yugos do you see nowadays?

  10. Skyler says:

    $27 an hour? Sheesh. It’s not even skilled labor.

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