Don’tcha Wish Romney Had Been the Nominee?

Filed under:Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on November 18, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

Tough love for Detroit from one of its sons.

First, their huge disadvantage in costs relative to foreign brands must be eliminated. … That extra burden is estimated to be more than $2,000 per car. Think what that means: Ford, for example, needs to cut $2,000 worth of features and quality out of its Taurus to compete with Toyota’s Avalon. Of course the Avalon feels like a better product — it has $2,000 more put into it. Considering this disadvantage, Detroit has done a remarkable job of designing and engineering its cars. But if this cost penalty persists, any bailout will only delay the inevitable.

The new management must work with labor leaders to see that the enmity between labor and management comes to an end. This division is a holdover from the early years of the last century, when unions brought workers job security and better wages and benefits. But as Walter Reuther, the former head of the United Automobile Workers, said to my father, “Getting more and more pay for less and less work is a dead-end street.”

The need for collaboration will mean accepting sanity in salaries and perks. At American Motors, my dad cut his pay and that of his executive team, he bought stock in the company, and he went out to factories to talk to workers directly. Get rid of the planes, the executive dining rooms — all the symbols that breed resentment among the hundreds of thousands who will also be sacrificing to keep the companies afloat.

No bailout. Figure it out, UAW. Figure it out, management. It’s very simple economics–you know it’s simple because I can understand it. Do not come crying to the taxpayer, auto workers, when you want execs to bear the full burden of pay & benefits cuts and surprise! they won’t want to any more than you would want to. Figure it out and someday I might actually buy an American car.

Romney’s business sense could be a real asset in the White House after four years of–potentially–socialist-leaning economic policies.

Via Hot Air.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace