Friday, December 12, 2008

New Tank, but the Data's in the Car! How long will the car companies last?

I refueled yesterday afternoon but forgot the notepad this morning. I
got like 10.8 gallons and went about 408 miles or something. If those
numbers are close to right, my mileage was 37.78 mpg for the tank. I'll
straighten this out next week.

Meanwhile, I am waking up to hear that our congress did not approve the
"bailout" for the American car manufacturers. (on a side note, the
first "bailout" was turned into a "rescue plan" after the election, and
this remained a "bailout" the whole time. We should have seen this

Apparently, if the news is to be trusted, it failed because the
automobile workers union did not agree to a pay cut. Since the workers
did not want to accept a pay cut, it now looks like one, two, or maybe
all of the "big three" will go into bankruptcy, and many many people
will lose jobs as a result.

So my initial call is that I suppose these union workers are assuming
THEY won't get fired. But if the companies go out of business, won't
they ALL lose their jobs?

This may be a significant case study in MBA as well as psychology
courses in the future. The group had a chance to save all of themselves
if they agreed to take a pay cut. I guess each individual thought he or
she would not be a casualty during layoffs, so they voted down the pay
cuts, thinking they'd stay while the guys next to them would get the
axe. Because of this choice, now they all seem to be in danger of
losing not only their jobs, but all the support workers who make parts
and sell the cars might lose work as well.

This is just amazing. Most everyone knows times are tough and the
country is in poor economic times. But isn't a pay cut better than no
pay at all?

One can shout "fairness" at how irresponsible banks are being bailed
out-- er, "rescued"-- as the workers in the trenches are being hung out
to dry. But I think banks are canning people, and some (not all, I
imagine) CEOs are losing pay and benefits as well.

Is it fair that the automobile workers union voted not to take a pay
cut? We shall see...

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