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Old 11-18-2008, 12:13 PM   #31
longride
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I agree they didn't make fuel efficient cars quickly enough. They put all their eggs in the SUV/Truck basket. As far as reliablity, that gap closed long ago. Yes, the Japanese are still slightly more reliable, but there isn't enough difference there to justify not buying American. I have driven American autos my whole life and had very few problems. GM and Ford still have the image problems that Harley still has for some people. They DO need to market better.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:14 PM   #32
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"I can't stand it, I keep agreeing with LR..."

Nothing in this thread pains me more than this!
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:16 PM   #33
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"The American automakers produced a bunch of crap and had horrible union contracts on top of it."

It isn't 1972 Buz. You sound like the guys that still claim Harleys leak oil and shed parts. I doubt you would work for those 'good wages' those other companies offer.
Pay at Japanese auto plants in the US is a bit lower than UAW plants, but they have other incentives. BTW, the reason that there is no UAW at those plants is that the employees repeatedly and emphatically reject the UAW's "us vs them" mentality and refuse to vote them in. They know that UAW's own costs would eat up any supposed wage benefits and very quickly turn American produced Hondas and Toyotas into the same sort of junk that Detroit produces.

The American unions that are collapsing are doing so because they are corrupt and live in the 50's. The new laws eliminating secret ballots that the Unions want the DemocRATS to pass that will allow unlimited union thuggery and intimidation will not save these dying beasts that only exist by exacerbating labor/management problems.

But arguing amongst ourselves about who makes more or less than whom is a losing game. The fact is that we all earn far less than we could because of the various parasites that steal the wealth before it even sees a balance sheet. Taxes, regulations, torts.... so much wealth is siphoned by parasites. The average wage earner in real terms creates more wealth than ever before and he sees a smaller relative proportion of it than ever because of these parasites. Unfortunately the average wage earner thinks that he can get relief by relying on the most viciously corrupt parasites of all.... politicians.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:17 PM   #34
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I can't stand it, I keep agreeing with LR. I hear a lot about the evil unions and their crushing contracts for retirement and health care. BULLSH|T! Those deals were made in good faith with concessions on both sides. The manufacturers could easily afford them. Then the management decided to make bad, short term decisions that undercut their ability to meet their obligations.

If I sign a deal with you to provide a service, whatever that might me, and you pay me for it, if I go spend all the money you gave me on bad investments and crack *****s, it's not my fault. You still owe me that benefit/money/service. You should have put the $$ away and planned to pay it all along.
Well, they DO have money for CrackHo's and Smack - they're just running out of money for sheetmetal to make hoods and doors and buy rubber-gloves for the Janitor...........
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Nothing to see here, Citizen. Move along now...
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:24 PM   #35
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The weird part of this whole discussion is that I can see both sides because I was a Union Firefighter, and I am now in management. I was a Union officer and negotiated numerous contracts back in the day. I also see companies I work for taking advantage of the workers like you couldn't believe. The last company I was at gave no assembly worker any bonus or raise last year because of bad sales, yet all of us in management got bonuses and raises. I voiced my displeasure with this type system to the President and CFO, and needless to say they didn't like me much after that. I thought we were all in it together there, but it doesn't work that way in reality. When I became a firefighter in 1980, there was only one Union department in Cook and Dupage counties. About 6 years later, almost every single city department went Union. There was a reason. The guys got tired of getting screwed over by favoritism and supposed 'budget shortfalls'. Both sides have a gripe, and I can see them both. I still have to buy American when I can regardless of how I feel about management or Unions.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:30 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by longride View Post
I agree they didn't make fuel efficient cars quickly enough. They put all their eggs in the SUV/Truck basket. As far as reliablity, that gap closed long ago. Yes, the Japanese are still slightly more reliable, but there isn't enough difference there to justify not buying American. I have driven American autos my whole life and had very few problems. GM and Ford still have the image problems that Harley still has for some people. They DO need to market better.
GM still has some quality/reliability problems. The last report I saw (I believe it was an '08 report) mentioned that Ford was on par with Toyota and Honda for reliability and quality.

Ford's model line is awful. Their cheap model isn't cheap enough, they don't have a true luxury model, and they have/had too many SUV/truck models.

Both Ford and GM's marketing is far too heavily geared towards the...well, for a lack of a better term...NASCAR crowd.

From a marketing standpoint Ford frustrates me far more than GM. Ford has Ford Motor Credit which gives them a huge financial advantage and gives them no excuse for not being more flexible with their designs, models, and technology.

Ford SHOULD be what Toyota and Honda is combined.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:41 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Kenneth_Moore View Post
I can't stand it, I keep agreeing with LR. I hear a lot about the evil unions and their crushing contracts for retirement and health care. BULLSH|T! Those deals were made in good faith with concessions on both sides. The manufacturers could easily afford them. Then the management decided to make bad, short term decisions that undercut their ability to meet their obligations.

If I sign a deal with you to provide a service, whatever that might me, and you pay me for it, if I go spend all the money you gave me on bad investments and crack *****s, it's not my fault. You still owe me that benefit/money/service. You should have put the $$ away and planned to pay it all along.
Be that as it may things have changed and the money isn't there. I never once saw a union official complain about the long term effects of lousy US auto quality. Never once heard a union guy say anything except "gimmee more, gimmee more... f*** the American consumer". No one really thought about the future. It can get so bizarre that we were entertained last year by union pilots striking a company that was going into bankruptcy. Yikes!

Well things have changed and factors have intervened that no one foresaw. So they have to deal with the market they have today and they have to face the reality that there isn't a magical hidden font of unlimited wealth. And, frankly, $40+ per hour for unskilled labor can't last forever. No industry that pays that much for jobs one can learn in an afternoon can survive forever. That's just the way it is.

You made a good point about the myopia engendered by the Stock Market. Publicly trading a company seems to encourage bad decision making. But, having people advance to leadership positions though @ss kissing like the Unions do is a recipe for disaster. We've seen the Steel Workers union insanity wreck the domestic steel industry. The Auto workers are committing mass suicide as we speak.
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:00 PM   #38
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" So they have to deal with the market they have today and they have to face the reality that there isn't a magical hidden font of unlimited wealth."

Does that go for the CEO and all the White Shirts too? It hasn't so far! So when the CEO gives himself another million buck bonus and all the White Shirts get big bonuses for the year, they then go to the Union and ask for concessions? That is the history of the US Auto Industry in a nutshell.
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:18 PM   #39
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" So they have to deal with the market they have today and they have to face the reality that there isn't a magical hidden font of unlimited wealth."

Does that go for the CEO and all the White Shirts too?
Ya gotta know that I wish it did, LR. The only people I detest more than greedy CEOs who get big bounses for wrecking their own companies are whining welfare scammers, bureaucrats and elected offcials.

Seems to be the way of the world though. Become a blue collar worker and you get what you asked for. The inequities of the free market are legion. Once someone comes up with a solution that isn't worse than the problem I'll be all for it. Wish I could think of one.

Dang those greedy CEOs! They are just as greedy as the people who work for them!

For that matter is a greedy CEO any worse than a greedy welfare cheat? Let me know when I can get a good job from a union worker or a welfare cheat, please. Until then I gotta suck up to the CEOs, thank you.
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:22 PM   #40
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Ya gotta know that I wish it did, LR. The only people I detest more than greedy CEOs who get big bounses for wrecking their own companies are whining welfare scammers, bureaucrats and elected offcials.

Seems to be the way of the world though. Become a blue collar worker and you get what you asked for. The inequities of the free market are legion. Once someone comes up with a solution that isn't worse than the problem I'll be all for it. Wish I could think of one.

Dang those greedy CEOs! They are just as greedy as the people who work for them!

For that matter is a greedy CEO any worse than a greedy welfare cheat? Let me know when I can get a good job from a union worker or a welfare cheat, please. Until then I gotta suck up to the CEOs, thank you.
I'm not greedy. I just really like money.

So are we buying HOG or not? Can't you damn mofos ever stay on the topic????
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