I don’t know if there is an earlier reference, but the credit for the quote below goes to Spock (really some script writer) in the old “Star Trek” series.
I can’t remember the exact story line, but somewhere in the episode, Spock stated, “The truly successful parasite lives in harmony with its host.”
Unions are bleeding the taxpayers and industries dry. This will not end well.
The two parties that turned the Big Three into a perennially limping freak of unwritten industrial policy now will take formal ownership of their handiwork. The United Auto Workers (UAW) would own 39% of GM. The federal government would own 50%. The creditors will be shafted with just 10%. (In the Chrysler plan being discussed, labor would own 55%, making it effectively a subsidiary of the UAW.)
The day after any such settlement is finalized, the clock will start ticking down to the next collective-bargaining session between a monopoly UAW and what remains of the Big Three — though now the UAW would be sitting on both sides of the table.
Lately some have doted, with wonderment and admiration, on the Obama administration’s apparent willingness to drive a hard bargain with the UAW as it tries to impose a stage-managed replica of bankruptcy on GM and Chrysler. Please.
In a real bankruptcy, which is the natural fate of companies unable to meet their obligations, Chrysler and GM would be run (or liquidated) for the benefit of their creditors, not their workers. But, here, “pattern bargaining” will remain the law of the Detroit jungle. The UAW will continue to use its unnaturally augmented clout to extract uncompetitive pay and benefits (it can do no other given its internal incentives). As it has for 40 years, Washington will pitch in with one improvisation after another, disguised as energy policy, trade policy, health-care policy or environmental policy, to stop the rivets from popping off. Politics, especially Democratic electoral politics, will play a more dominant role than ever.
When I read about these auto bailouts, I get depressed. I’m proud to be Anti-Union. I can honestly say that I’ve never understood the collective mindset, and regardless of how I may be outnumbered, I’m damn glad I’ve never suffered from it.
You want to bargain collectively? Fine. But you Union-heads have got exactly what you wanted, the power to destroy the companies that employ you. Once your “public union” counterparts finish off the rest of the productive sector through their pension and tax greed, you can all celebrate in your socialist paradise.
It will be a dismal paradise, with stagflation, British style health care, and stupid lazy people acting like they are working, but hey, you won.