Folks in Detroit have been giving one another lots of concessions ... but the biggest hit in the last ten years has been on the UAW - the gals and guys who actually build the cars we drive.
White collars have felt it, too - plenty of downsizing and cutbacks all over the place ...
But what I hear these days reflects a wretched bias against unions - that if only the unions would go away, we could have labor nirvana ... and business, of course, "will take care of its workers."
Bullshit, if I may say so.
We easily forget the hideous history between labor and management, and we forget that labor money is trickle down money - the working folks buy the homes, the TVs, the golf clubs and everything else that drives America's middle class economy.
But the moneyed buy $27,000 bathtubs (yup, saw it advertised the other day) or $25,ooo wrist watches - that doesn't trickle down very well.
Without the unions, there'd be no middle class.
When the Great Liar (Mr. Reagan) busted the Flight Controllers Union, he added another brutal, selfish, chapter to the American story and it's prejudice against the working class. Even a lot of the working class bought the story for a long time - everyone wanted to be rich, so many of the working class felt that if they gave up their union, Mama would take care of them.
But what we see with Wall Street and the latest from the auto execs, when they actually get out in public - they don't give a damn about the folks working for them. They care deeply about themselves, sustaining their preposterous lifestyles, and keeping up appearances for the sake of their investors.
I think we ought to bail 'em out and then buy 'em up! The working millions need our support, and it's time for Uncle Sam to set the pace!
Michael Moore has it right - we need a World War 2 approach - the government has to tell them what to build - not only hybrids and hyper efficient cars, but mass transit - to rebuuld the nation's infrastructure. We've done it before, and we can do it again.