Tag Archives: United Auto Workers

I’ll buy cars made in America, but not from American companies

I’ve owned cars from foreign companies (though sometimes built in the U.S.), mainly Honda, and I’ve owned cars from U.S. companies.  The quality differences have been significant.  It isn’t just the cost, it is the stress and wasted time of taking cars for repairs.

In 2002 a friend wanted to borrow our Consumer Reports auto issue to do some research.  I happened to scan the “used cars to avoid” section and was saddened to discover that I owned two of them, both from U.S. companies: a Ford Windstar and a Cadillac Catera. They had many problems but I didn’t realize how badly they compared to other vehicles.

We traded those in and bought a Honda Odyssey and a Honda Accord, and other than a failed transmission in the Odyssey, both have been very reliable and low-maintenance and are going strong at nearly 10 years of age.

See You Can’t Rely On American Cars Because American Car Makers Rely On Bailouts.

The Consumer Reports Company just rated the reliability of 28 makes of automobile from around the world. No American car manufacturer scored better than 13th in ordinal ranking. Ranked on a Lickert Scale from 1 to 5, Jeep, the best American competitor, scores approximately 3.0. No American car does better than average at staying in one piece. This raises a fair question: did we really save GM and Chrysler or did we just screw the bondholders to put off the inevitable?

Much-hyped and manfully-bailed General Motors finished 22nd out of 28 world manufacturers.

Not surprisingly, the biggest problem in terms of cost and quality has been unionized labor.  Entitlements are very destructive.

This harkens back to the “Lordstown Syndrome” that ironically afflicted this very same plant back in 1971. GM modernized their line until it was the fastest in the world at that time. This led to an explosion of labor unrest from employees who felt they were being driven too hard and paid too little.

The brand new production line was the fastest in the world, cranking out 100 cars per hour. Lordstown workers protested the speed of the line, and the lack of control they held over their own work. As Jefferson Cowie describes, “The workers balked at the speed and discipline by working strictly to rules, letting production slip by unfinished, pushing absenteeism and turnover to new highs, taking drugs and alcohol on the job, and engaging in a wide array of sabotage on the job.”* The situation led to a long strike, beginning in March 1972, and the press coined the term “Lordstown Syndrome” to cover the dissatisfaction many American workers felt toward the quality of their jobs in the early 1970s.

Defenders of the bailout of GM, and the socialization of American industry in general, would point to Ford Motors falling from 10th to 20th place out of the 28 manufacturers rated. They would pointedly ignore the fact that Honda manufacturers Civics in Ohio (not too far from Lordstown.) Honda Motors finished 5th in reliability without any “assist” from President Obama or the UAW.

That is Honda used workers from virtually the same socio-economic and cultural pool as GM except for two vital differences. Honda has no bailout backstop and Honda doesn’t have a UAW shop. Honda cars and Honda factories work. GM cars and GM factories do so with much less predictability. American labor can and does build very reliable cars. They just don’t seem to build those cars as members of the UAW or employees of America’s Shrinking Three Auto-makers.

This reprises my initial question. Did we really succeed with the bail-out, or have we just incinerated money to postpone Darwinian Evolution in the automobile industry?

Unions are even more destructive in the public sector.  Sadly, Ohio is about to take a big step backwards and reward the unions with more wasted taxpayer funds.

Roundup

Dhimmitude Attitude: Minnesota Head Start Caves to Santa Hating Muslim Somalis – I’m not a Santa fan, but this is ridiculous.  Anyone entering this country – or currently living here, for that matter – needs to be told that there is no Constitutional right to never be offended.

If things go wrong in a relationship, who is to blame? – You!  Just kidding . . . maybe.  Go read this provocative piece by the Wintery Knight.

My basic contention is that whenever something goes wrong in a relationship, then the person whose expectations are dashed is to blame.

The reason why I think this is because you have to take people as you find them and then vet them as if they were job applicants applying for the job of marriage. The job of marriage has very specific requirements, and these requirements are objective. Someone is going to have to raise the kids, someone is going to have to cook the meals, someone is going to have to earn the bulk of the money, someone is going to have to deal with the beasties that invade the home. The goal of the relationship is not to test the person to see if they are “fun” or whether your friends are envious. The goal of the relationship is to test the person for the role they will play in the marriage.

. . .

In short, the problem is this: women go to the pet store, pass by all the dogs and cats and bird, and bring home a trendy and attractive alligator, who then promptly bites each of their limbs off. And then the women complain that the alligator is very unfair and immoral. Who is really to blame here? The alligator, who is just doing what comes naturally for alligators, or the woman who passed the good pets by and brought home a monster?

Eighteen peer-reviewed scientific publications that support intelligent design – that must be a typo, because everyone knows that those documents can’t exist.

UAW’s Announces 2011 Goals: Target Foreign-Owned Auto Plants – their agenda worked so well for the domestic auto makers and their union members.  What could possibly go wrong?

NLRB Plans to Promote Union Organizing Among Private Employers – great, as if they hadn’t caused enough destruction already.  The ills of unions are beginning to manifest themselves and it will be very, very painful.

Party of Sodomy and Abortion Suffers Demographic Decline — Unexpectedly!

The Ladies of the View Owe Bill O’Reilly an Apology – 40% want Sharia law and . . .

Around a third of young British Muslims favour killing in the name of Islam, according to a survey revealed by the WikiLeaks’ publication of U.S. diplomatic cables.

A survey of 600 Muslim students at 30 universities throughout Britain found that 32 per cent of Muslim respondents believed killing in the name of religion is justified.

Religion of peace?  Uh, sure.  An equally valid path to God?  Nope.

Also see Why do feminists ignore the plight of women under Islam?

From RedState – even if the Left wants to blame Bush (ignoring, of course, the 2007-2008 Democrat controlled Congress and Frank & Co.’s financial ineptitude), then you’d think that after spending over a trillion dollars that things might have improved a bit more.

You can really feel the love from these pro-gay groups.  How quaint that they scripted the little kids to swear and hate as well.

Perfect 14 second slam on the pro-abort / anti-meat / anti-Palin Left.   Hat tip: Hillbuzz