Daily Archives: October 17, 2005

Party Time

That is Tea Party Time!
Don’t like the way the gov’mnt is spending your money? Will write a real letter to a congress critter (senate and house) letting them know your thoughts and include a tea bag (I’m thinking used tea bags will be most appropriate).
While it is unlikely that any of these folks will listen to you instead of their k street or texas masters it will be a bit of fun to jab away at the republocrats.
Oh, and no reason to exclude your state and local folks.
Via Carnival of Liberty.

On The Detroit Dole

Or one reason you might be paying a little more for less when you buy a car from Detroit’s big three:

Pool is one of more than 12,000 American autoworkers who, instead of installing windshields or bending sheet metal, spend their days counting the hours in a jobs bank set up by Detroit automakers and Delphi Corp. as part of an extraordinary job security agreement with the United Auto Workers union.
The jobs bank programs were the price the industry paid in the 1980s to win UAW support for controversial efforts to boost productivity through increased automation and more flexible manufacturing.

Assuming benefits at 20% and using the $31/hour dole noted in the article this works out to about $928 million/year. This tracks closly to the $4.17/billion that the participants agreed to contribute over 4 years beginning in 2003.To us watching from the sidelines this seems like a lot of money and a big deal.
On the other hand just how big a deal is this? That $4.17 billion over 4 years will be a very small portion of the big three’s revenue during the same period: less than 2-tenths of 1 percent. This doesn’t make living on the dole right but perhaps the auto companys should not be screaming too loudly or folks might start looking at some of the taxpayer provided subsidies (PDF) they get.
It does not strike me as unreasonable for an employer to help a layed off employee retrain and find another job. However, after a year (more or less) of retraining I can’t think of any good reason these 12,000 should not have been sent out to get real jobs.
Via overtaken~by~events.
Update (10/18): The last paragraph may lead you to believe, as it did Don Singleton, that I think these 12,000 are in a retraining program. I don’t. I understand that they are sitting on their duff (some doing various volunteer work) and apparently not even looking for new skills/jobs on their own initiative. I should have provided a better transition to the suggestion that employers might be expected to provide substantially more assistance to riffed workers than they do today but that should take a specific form as suggested.