Wednesday, February 16, 2011
This kind of irks me
GM workers are getting up to a $4,000 bonus.
No it isn't exactly this headline that tweaks my hot button. It's the reaction from the right who keep trying to spin the story to their favor. Let's hear the rest of the story as Paul Harvey used to say. Unlike AIG and Wall Street, GM received a loan to get them over these trying times. As part of the agreement they were required to get their financial house in order. To do so they had to make some drastic cuts to their workforce and methods. Support plants that made parts were cut (some shipped overseas) and hourly workers had to take a pay cut of up to 12%. New hires were making nearly half of what the veteran workers were making. All of this to bring the company back from the brink. These workers unlike the boys on Wall Street sacrificed a great deal to help a company survive. And unlike Wall Street who got money thrown at them with no strings attached were required to pay back this loan. And what did the whizzes on Wall Street do with their bail out? They threw a party and gave their top people billions in bonuses. Not bad for nearly bringing down the economy of not just the U.S. but of about half the industrialized world in the process.
So think of it this way. You take a large pay cut for nearly two years amounting to over double what you got back in a measly bonus. $4,000 might sound like a lot but not when you've lost more than that in shuffling bills around, the pay cut for two years, and if they don't negotiate a raise in the next contract to make up for what they've lost then they've gained nothing. Average autoworker makes around $40,000. Average Wall Streeter makes $360,000 plus guaranteed bonuses. The autoworker did nothing wrong and were punished for it. Wall Street did everything wrong and were rewarded for it. Orwell was right we've come to the point were right is wrong war is peace and I think you get the picture.
So what's next? Keep you eyes glued to food prices. With a drought in Russia a flood in Austrailia and crop fails in China this will be the next economic bubble. But what will really determine the out come will be... if you guessed speculators you get a gold star. Yep once again the Wall Street boys are fixing to muck things up again for the rest of us. But I'll save the rest of that for another post.