Surly Curmudgeon

   The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.
-- Robert A. Heinlein
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    Wednesday, February 18, 2009


    Here we are again

    General Motors and Chrysler are back at the hog trough, begging for more money. It seems like we just did this dance. And check out the prediction from the last time:

    If the government does bail out GM, rest assured that this will not be the last time.

    Mission accomplished on that count. The next sentence though, is especially telling:

    But even if the government gives GM a check every week, there will come a time when no amount of government money will be enough to save them.

    So the question is, how long will it go on like this? This is where Obama could show some real moral courage and say "no, you've been bailed out enough. You need to work this out on your own." The problem is, Michigan is a core electoral state for Democrats and thus for Obama's hopes of re-election. Yes, he's only been on the job for a month, but I guarantee he's already thinking about it, or has someone on his staff who is. I'm willing to bet that GM and Chrysler have a better chance of being bailed out than a company employing thousands of people in Texas, for example.

    The thing I cannot fathom at all is how a worker in Detroit right now, one who is dependent on the auto industry, could simply be sitting around hoping their job survives. This is the triumph of optimism over reason. From the article:

    "Everyone is very anxious because we need these jobs," said Liz Lackey, 51, of Roseville. She has worked for 14 years at Chrysler's assembly plant in Sterling Heights. "We have no idea if we're going to have a job or not."

    I'm sorry Liz, but the writing is on the wall. These companies are going down. The unions and the management have completely destroyed them. The very best thing you can do right now is some combination of the following:

    1) get out of debt and build a savings
    2) start looking for a new job, especially in other parts of the country
    3) start learning some new marketable skills

    When I lived in Detroit, I worked for ANR Pipeline. It was purchased by the Coastal Corporation, and the day they made the announcement, I started looking for a new job. It took me 6 months to find the right opportunity, but I still got out before the doors closed and landed on my feet. Several of my coworkers, the ones who vowed to stick it out until the end, were not so fortunate. The moment you discover that your livelihood is forfeit no matter how hard you work, it's time to move on under your own power.

    Posted by Tom, 2/18/2009 6:36:09 AM (Permalink). 0 Comments. Leave a comment...