Buying Obama: How the UAW Got the Best Investment Returns in History – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

Buying Obama: How the UAW Got the Best Investment Returns in History – John Ransom – Townhall Finance.

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent expose by Sharon Terlep about how Obama’s economic policies end up as bad investments- for the rest of us.

You know? The 99 percent non-bailout people.

OK, it’s really not about that.

It’s about how even the worst union workers and plants under the UAW bailout got bailed out, while great workers at productive plants got the shaft- because they weren’t UAW shops.

Reports Terlep:

In the end, “we had to take care of our own members,” says Cal Rapson, the former UAW vice president leading negotiations with GM. “It was unfortunate what happened to the others. But there wasn’t enough to go around.”

There never is enough when you’re a union boss and you are getting an $80 billion bailout.



That’s supposedly why we elect a president of the United States.

The president is supposed to be the president of ALL of us. But as Obama has made increasingly clear, he’s only the president of Trayvon Martin and Sandra Fluke and Eric Holder, and the half the Keystone pipeline that he himself squashed as well as Bob King, titular president of the UAW. 

Because the truth is, as president of the United States, Obama has made a real fine UAW president.

I don’t think there is a special interest, a lobby or a donor who Obama wouldn’t screw over in order to take care of the 1 percent of workers who represent the UAW:

Despite being one of GM’s most productive and cooperative factories, Moraine was closed following the company’s 2007 labor pact with the United Auto Workers union. Under a deal struck by the UAW during GM’s bankruptcy two years later, Moraine’s 2,500 laid-off workers were barred from transferring to other plants, locking them out of the industry’s rebound.

Oh, yes. The Moraine plant was a union shop, just not UAW. Instead the folks at the Moraine were represented by the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers.

Right: Who?

That’s what Obama thought too.

Since 1990, the UAW has given $27,371,075 to Democrat candidates and $184,500 to Republicans according to the database Opensecrets.org.

In other words, while GM and Chrysler shareholders and bondholders got the shaft, the UAW realized a 292,200 percent return on their investment from the money that they have invested in Democrat politicians.   

The International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers? They got no return at all. Perhaps because they aren’t listed as a donor for any candidates.

But that’s far better than the negative return that taxpayers are seeing from the bailout;

bailouts that tended to favor Obama’s biggest donors in 2008- financial services and unions.

The latest inspector general report says total bailout losses so far equal about $133 billion, with about 19 percent of that loss coming from the automotive industry

Over time, some of that money may be recouped, but total losses are expected to be from $50 billion to $75 billion, and they could be higher.

The total bailout cost for automakers to taxpayers is expected to be about $25 billion. 

Thanks Obama.

That plan is really working out for some of you.

Liberal Nostalgiacs Don’t Understand Jobs of the Future – Michael Barone – Townhall Conservative Columnists

United Auto Workers

United Auto Workers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Liberal Nostalgiacs Don’t Understand Jobs of the Future – Michael Barone – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen liberal commentators look back with nostalgia to the days when a young man fresh out of high school or military service could get a well-paying job on an assembly line at a unionized auto factory that could carry him through to a comfortable retirement.

As it happens, I grew up in Detroit and for a time lived next door to factory workers. And I know something that has eluded the liberal nostalgiacs. Which is that people hated those jobs.

The assembly-line work was boring and repetitive. That’s because management imbibed Frederick W. Taylor‘s theories that workers were stupid and could not be trusted with any initiative.

It was also because the thousands of pages of work rules in United Auto Workers contract, which forbade assembly-line speedups, also barred any initiative or flexible response.

That’s why the UAW in 1970 staged a long strike against General Motors to give workers the option of early retirement, 30-and-out. All those guys who had gotten assembly line jobs at 18 or 21 could quit at 48 or 51.

The only problem was that when they retired they lost their health insurance. So the UAW got the Detroit Three auto companies to pay for generous retiree health benefits that covered elective medical and dental procedures with little or no co-payments.

It was those retiree health benefits more than anything else that eventually drove General Motors and Chrysler into bankruptcy and into ownership by the government and the UAW.

The liberal nostalgiacs would like to see an economy that gives low-skill high school graduates similar opportunities. That’s what Barack Obama seems to be envisioning when he talks about hundreds of thousands of “green jobs.”

But those “green jobs” have not come into existence despite massive government subsidies and crony capitalism. It’s become apparent that the old Detroit model was unsustainable and cannot be revived even by the most gifted community organizer and adjunct law professor.

For one thing, in a rapidly changing and technologically advanced economy, the lifetime job seems to be a thing of the past. Particularly “lifetime” jobs where you work only 30 years and then get supported for the next 30 or so years of your life.

Today’s young people can’t expect to join large organizations and in effect ride escalators for the rest of their careers. The new companies emerging as winners in high tech — think Apple or Google — just don’t employ that many people, at least in the United States.

Similarly, today’s manufacturing firms produce about as large a share of the gross national product as they used to with a much smaller percentage of the labor force.

Moreover, there’s evidence that recent growth in some of the professions — the law, higher education — has been a bubble, and is about to burst.

The bad news for the Millennial generation that is entering its work years is that the economy of the future won’t look like the economy we’ve grown accustomed to. The “hope and change” that Barack Obama promised hasn’t produced much more than college loans that will be hard to pay off and a health care law that lets them stay on Mommy and Daddy’s health insurance till they’re 26.

The good news is that information technology provides the iPod/Facebook generation with the means to find work and create careers that build on their own personal talents and interests.

As Walter Russell Mead writes in his brilliant the-american-interest.com blog, “The career paths that (young people) have been trained for are narrowing, and they are going to have to launch out in directions they and their teachers didn’t expect. They were bred and groomed to live as house pets; they are going to have to learn to thrive in the wild.”

But, as Mead continues, “The future is filled with enterprises not yet born, jobs that don’t yet exist, wealth that hasn’t been created, wonderful products and life-altering service not yet given form.”

As Jim Manzi argues in his new book “Uncontrolled,” we can’t predict what this new work world will look like. It will be invented through trial and error.

What we can be sure of is that creating your own career will produce a stronger sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. Young people who do so won’t hate their work the way those autoworkers hated those assembly line jobs.

UAW, Occupy and Obama Hang Themselves Together – John Ransom – Townhall Finance

 

English: Members of the Democratic Socialists ...

Image via Wikipedia

UAW, Occupy and Obama Hang Themselves Together – John Ransom – Townhall Finance.

I’m going to skip the nonsensical projections regarding what the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. would think about today’s topical issues like Occupy Wall Street, so-called income inequality and Tim Tebow.

I can afford to do this because another man named King has already instructed me on his views.

Bob King, head of the United Auto Worker’s Union, got together with 500 of his fellow travelers over the weekend in a vanity-channeling of Dr. King by praising Occupy Wall Street and the UAW’s largest shareholder, Barrack Obama

In this, King (Bob) seems to be operating out of a liberal playbook that looks to associate Occupy with King (Martin Luther).

It’s called “Occupy the Dream.”

I’m not sure if the irony is intentional or just accidental.

“So much of what he says is the same today, is about the world today,” said King on King “We’re at very difficult times in the United States of America right now. We’re at a time of great injustice and growing injustices. Thank God for the occupy movement and the young kids that are out there.”

Bob King has seen the past and tells us that the past is our future.

Our future is one where inequality is everywhere more relentless; where progress on issues, like racial equality is just a chimera, even as an African American sits in the White House.

He has to tell us that, this King named Bob does.

Even more, he needs for us to believe it, because without that belief, he’s a man without a job, as even he admits.

King (V.2.0) has placed a big bet that Americans not as familiar with him as the people he represents have bought into his rhetoric about inequality, especially as it pertains to income. His organization, the UAW, has been losing members, dollars and assets for decades as workers and consumers have repeatedly rejected the union label.

According to Reuters, the UAW has already had to “sell assets and dip into its strike fund to pay for its activities.”

In fact King (Bob) thinks that if he can’t win converts soon, there is no future for his union. “I have said that repeatedly, and I believe it.”

It’s a measure of the UAW’s desperation that King has pinned his hopes on Occupy and Obama, two movements that, like the UAW, seem to be tracking in the wrong direction from Main Street American thought.

“While Occupy Wall Street isn’t necessarily affiliated with a particular party, its anti-big business message may not be resonating with majorities in any party,” wrote Gallup’s Elizabeth Mendes as reported in the Washington Post. “Republicans, independents, and now close to half of Democrats are more concerned about the threat of big government than that coming from big business.”

According to Gallup 64 percent think big government is a bigger threat, and 26 percent think the bigger threat comes from big business.

And why shouldn’t they? Occupy Wall Street is mostly an extension of the extra-legal Big-Government-knows-best philosophy that ignores individual rights, private property rights and redistributes according to its own ideas of who is a have and who is a have-not.

From the New York Post:

Occupy Wall Street protesters announced with great fanfare last month that they moved a homeless family into a “foreclosed” Brooklyn home — even though they knew the house belonged to a struggling single father desperately trying to renegotiate his mortgage, The Post has learned.

Even though the single father is still the rightful owner, that didn’t stop the Occupiers from placing one of their own people into the house: 

Meanwhile, the family that OWS claimed to be putting into the vacant house has not yet permanently moved in. And it turns out the family is not a random victim of the foreclosure crisis, but cast for the part, thanks to their connection to the OWS movement.

OWS last week said it has spent $9,500 breaking into the house and setting it up for the homeless Carrasquillo family. A photo of the smiling family covers a window, under the slogan, “A place to call home.”

The head of the family, Alfredo Carrasquillo, 28, is an organizer for VOCAL- NY, a group that works with OWS. His Facebook page shows him in a “99 Percent” T-shirt at an OWS protest in November.

Like King’s UAW, which hasn’t been able to force folks to give them what they aren’t entitled to legally, Occupy is a last-gasp movement that has failed to convince us of either the justice or logic of their cause.     

Into this two-ringed circus now steps Ringmaster Obama, who has promised us all a campaign that will pit the UAW and Occupy have-nots against the rest of the country. Presumably, just as he’s done with the UAW, the domestic auto industry, student loans and green company investments, Obama will campaign that government eventually gets to pick the winners and the losers with a kind of group bailout for unions, Occupiers, Democrats and donors.

That’s how the GOP will campaign too. 

And if I were a Democrat, here’s where I’d be concerned:

If Obama doesn’t hang you all separately with this strategy he most certainly will hang you all together.

And if Democrats don’t win this campaign, they might never win another.

I say it and I believe it.