The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

The True Cost of Unions Today

Back in 1989, 20 years ago, I purchased a brand new Chevrolet 4x4 Silverado truck.  I had it all decked out and sweet.  It only cost me around $16,000.  It was a great ride.  Except for it being a lemon (bad rear-end, bad battery, bad electronics, bad clutches, bad transmission), I liked that truck.

Now, thanks to union demands and union blackmailing of corporations, I went to price out a new 2010 Dodge 4x4 truck and found that the price has almost tripled in price.  The cost of a truck now is over $40,000.

You can't tell me that the cost of the parts, or the cost of repair work, has led to this increase.  The blame for this massive increase in product price can be laid solely at the feet of the business-sucking-leeches of the unions.

This needs to end.  Unions need to be busted as their relevance has come and gone.  Their incessant need for more and more money, more and more benefits, more and more conciliations, are driving businesses in to bad business economic practices.

Proof can be seen in the recent auto bailouts and massive DOT transportation and construction contracts that have shown nothing but the ability to line Democrat and Union boss pocketbooks.

This economy can not continue like this.  Businesses can not continue like this. 

The sole reason that GM started to go under was due to union demands that it agreed to and its long-term benefits to those workers who no longer work for the company.  Heck, they even pay the salaries to workers who do not work.  This is unsustainable.

We need a new policy of pro-business.  Businesses should be allowed to either allow or disallow union presence.  They should even be allowed to be full or partial unionized.

The baiout of GM made things even worse for this country - not bybailing out the company directly, but - by actually bailing out the unions expenses that the company has incurred over the years. 

Had GM been forced to submit to bankruptcy like any normal company, the bankruptcy court would force the unions and suppliers to recalculate their agreements.  This would have had the benefit of reducing corporate expenses but also showing the world that it was the unions that caused GM's demise.

How many more people could GM hire if unions didn't force GM to pay a worker 3x their worth, or to pay people to not work, or to pay for retirement at the age of 35?  How much cheaper would their products be compared to their competition without prices going to union boss' pockets and to Dem coffers?

OK, I am off my soapbox.

[UPDATE]  Unfortunately for America's sanity and freedoms, Unions are now gaining foothold after foothold in our political system as well.  Our poor little experiment has become tainted and infected from a very bad virus.  (H/T Warner Todd Huston at Gateway)



#1 Gordon 26-Sep-2010

Two words, Toyota Tundra. I'm just kidding, of course. I used to try to buy American, but I got tired of hearing year after year, "yeah, we had a quality problem, but it's improving". I think I first heard that with the Chrysler K car in the 80s and then every 5 years since.


#2 captainfish 26-Sep-2010


I agree.  And I am strongly looking at them.  Do they have V8's???  I really wanna a V8.

Yeah, that quality and price issue was the whole reason why Toyota and Nissan and Datsun got their foot in to our door.  People hated the crappy quality since GM, Ford, Chrysler knew that they had the monopoly on the market.

#3 J. Tyler Ballance 26-Sep-2010

The total of both cash compensation and benefits provided to GM hourly workers in 2006 was about $73.26 per hour worked. $39.68 in cash compensation and $33.58 in benefit and government required programs. To make a Toyota car in the U.S. plants cost only $48 per hour. The latest agreement associated with the GM bailout entitles GM to lay off workers and eliminates some medicare and subsidies. This move will reduce the labor costs by about $1.2 billion per year for "government motors." Diana Tremblay, Vice President of Labor Relations at GM has reported that the "bailout" agreement, "...will enable GM to be fully competitive and has eliminated the (hourly wage) gap with our competitors."BTW, the Siverrado is a POS of a truck. Forget Dodge and buy a Ford F250.

#4 captainfish 26-Sep-2010

Thanks for that Ballance.

The latest agreement associated with the GM bailout entitles GM to lay off workers and eliminates some medicare and subsidies.

This does not make any sense to me.  Does it to you guys?  GM gets BILLIONS from US and Canadian taxpayers, and that money allows them to lay off people??????


The only "eliminate medicare and subsidies" I can think of is that this bailout money was used to make those payments for them.  That is why a company gets a cash infusion right?  To help it make payments or to buy capital improvements?

Speaking of which, didn't GM buy and remodel a plant in Mexico or Brazil??  This occurred after they got their bailout.  I have a post about it somewhere. hehee

#5 captainfish 26-Sep-2010

I may have to rethink this.  Something is off here.  I just priced a Toyota Tundra CrewMax with 4x4 and 5.7liter V8 engine.... over $43,000.

Wonder what gives there?!?

However, my concern still remains.... why do vehicles cost so much these days!??!?  The price curve is not in line with the time line.  There is no reason why the costs of vehicles have nearly tripled in the last 20 years. 

My original assumption was due to union expenses. 

What do you guys think?

#6 boyscout 18-Oct-2010

First of all I want to say I believe everyone should have fair wages for a job done well and there shoud be minimum wage laws as well.  But I absolutely agree that unions are out of hand and have long ago forgotten their purpose. 

And this has indeed made everything manufactured in America priced higher regarding the actual manufacturing costs and still does nothing to guarantee quality as seen by the never-ending recalls on most products. 

Unions have priced American manufacuring out of the labor market and this is why everyone sends the jobs overseas.  Getting a worker a fair wage is one thing but massive overhead expenses for union management and companies unable to fire some workers because of union contracts is ridiculous and no longer serves itsinitial purpose.

Now on the other side of this coin is the insane executive pay rivaling sports legends.  Yhis is as much an issue with job losses and productivity from workers as well so both sides have a responsibility to each other.

Then you have everyone living above their means and wanting more and more and thinking themselves more and more valuable.  The problem with that is there are so many people needing jobs that  there is no more loyalty from either side.

This also reflects in the profits a company desires.  Every year there is some team somewhere in an office along with management letting  a computer forecast higher and higher desired earnings every year or even every quarter.

Anyway bottom line is we all keep wanting more and more of everything and there is a cost for this.  And it always comes back on us but we don't seem to get that.  It also effects how many jobs are available and quality of products.

#7 captainfish 18-Oct-2010

Can't argue with much of what you said Boyscout.  Except for this part:

First of all I want to say I believe everyone should have fair wages for a job done...

Now on the other side of this coin is the insane executive pay rivaling sports legends.

What is a fair wage?  Who is to decide what a fair wage is?  The Minimum Wage takes away the agreement between the company and the employee.  It takes out the financial choice away from the company.  And the employee.

Who is to say that people won't work for less than Minimum?  Who is to say how much more someone is worth in a leadership position?

If a state wants to have, or not have, a minimum wage law... fine.  But there shouldn't be a federal law.  That is none of their business.

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