Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Maybe it is Time To Redistribute the Wealth ... Back to the Taxpayers!

h/t to Mark J. Perry at the University of Michigan for this analysis:
Maybe the chart above offers one reason that 61% of the American public oppose a bailout of the troubled U.S. auto industry. According to data from Chrysler, a UAW assembler earned $64,100 in monetary wages in 2006 (not including benefits), and a UAW electrician earned $74,800 in monetary wages. According to BLS data (available here from Economagic), the average manufacturing wage in mid-2006 was $16.78 per hour, meaning that the average manufacturing worker earned cash income $33,560 in 2006, or about half of a UAW worker.

Stated differently, a UAW assembler earned 91% more in monetary wages than the average worker in the manufacturing sector, and a UAW electrician earned 123% more in wages than the average manufacturing worker. Moreover, there's been a lot of discussion lately about how "unions built the American middle class, and the middle class is what makes America run." But is a typical UAW worker really "middle class"?

Consider a married couple, both UAW workers, one assembler and one electrician, making a combined household income of $139,000 in 2006. Is that a "middle class" household? Hardly, it would be an upper class household, since that household income would put them close to being in the top 10% of American households (see 2005 data here, I'm assuming that UAW wages in 2005 would be comparable to 2006).
... $73/hour to assemble a car? Where can I sign up for that deal? Not in America for much longer... the socialists have now bled that well dry, unless of course Washington gives these bloated, outdated, outmoded more of our money to postpone the enivitable.

One wonders why the U.S. Government never had to bail our the AM radio manufacturer companies or the buggy whip manufacturers, or the camera film companies, or the glass TV tube companies, or the pop-top soda can makers, or the dot matrix printer companies, or the vinyl record companies, or the cassette tape recorder companies, or the Betamax makers, or the carbon paper makers, or the .... well you get the idea... what happened to the free enterprise system?

This is the land of opportunity, not the land of guarantees. Lead, Follow, or Get out of the way for those who play to win. We should not subsidize the auto industry any more than we should have bailed out mortgage companies.
Maybe it's time we didn't pay our empty suits $10M/year salaries with $50M retirement packages and expect to still make money and remain competitive ... yeh think??


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