People cry about manufacturing job loss in this country without having an understanding of why we lose manufacturing jobs. “Everything is going to China!” Well, this is partially true, but it isn’t totally true and it doesn’t have to be this way. Low Cost Country Sourcing is an industry phrase that describes a US company finding suppliers overseas that can make parts at a greatly reduced price. Labor costs are a significant reason for this. The UAW is threatening to go on strike, crippling production lines for GM and Delphi. Obviously if you follow the business world at all you know GM and Delphi have significant profitability problems. The main reason for this is labor and health care costs for labor. I was at a trade show a few weeks ago. I met an automotive professional. He was well versed on the industry ins and outs and we talked about what was going on. He told me that if the UAW would agree to a $5 co-pay on their health insurance vs. no co-pay which they have currently, GM and Delphi would have both been profitable companies last year. That is an incredible indictment of the US labor situation and unions in general. Inflexibility is corporate killer. It is also a job killer.
When unions first came into existence they were incredibly important. Laborers were routinely exploited by company management and conditions for workers were brutal, dangerous, and more than that, unfair. Management had all the power and they wielded it like a club. The American Federation of Labor, the Teamsters, and the UAW changed all that. They fought tirelessly for the workers and they won legal and moral battles that swung the pendulum back and created an equitable relationship between worker and management. Now, in 2006, it has gone too far. Labor has far too much power and the benefits they have won for their constituency are more costly than most companies can afford. If the UAW would give just a little bit, they could probably avoid significant job losses, but they won’t. They have a “slippery slope” philosophy, as do most unions, which means they believe that any concession will lead them back to the dark ages. It is understandable, but shortsighted. Only through true partnership between worker and ownership will anything ever be resolved and both sides need to see that. If they don’t, more and more manufacturing will go overseas and the American economy will continue to suffer because of it.
Onward to far less important things:
SNL did another rap. Just in case you have been living under a rock 2 SNL guys did a rap earlier this season called Lazy Sunday. It was really funny and as one of my friends said, “the funniest thing to come out of SNL in the last 15 years.” Of course, because the show totally lacks creativity and focus they have ripped themselves off, this time wrangling Natalie Portman into the rapping game. Watching Padme Skywalker rap about getting drunk and having sex is pretty funny, but she really looks like a 12 year old boy these days, so it goes from funny to disturbing pretty quickly. It is just a sad state of affairs watching one of the most innovative TV shows of all time languish in unimaginative irrelevance.
Shocking upset in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
Hey do you care about soccer? Me either, but this is pretty funny. I don’t think it is fair for only one team in the league to have wings.
No 1 of Consequence