Monday, November 21, 2005

Two Kinds of Phase Out Plans

GM Engineers work on exciting new alternative fuel model, the Buick Moonshiner to compete with the Prius in 2009

Why’s it so hard to withdraw from a war and so easy to withdraw jobs GM cuts 30,000 jobs? I can imagine the following at a GM shareholders’ meeting if they ran their company the same way the administration is running the war.

CS (common shareholder):   We’re losing 4 billion dollars a year?

GM:  But isn’t it great that we’re not making Corvairs or Vegas anymore?

CS:  But that’s already done.

GM:  We were misinformed when we announced that we could turn the company around.

CS:  You told us the no interest buying incentives were working?  Did you lie?

GM:  You had the same information we did.  You held our stock all that time.  How can you accuse the company of lying?  Do you want the public to lose confidence and hurt our share price even more?

CS:  We want our company to make money. But, what’s the plan to fix the problem?  Do you have a plan?

GM:  If we close plants in the US, then foreign auto companies will overrun the US market.

CS:  They already are.  

GM:  If we close plants at home, then how will we generate the taxes to support the war in Iraq? Besides, you're ignoring all the improvements we've made.

CS:  If we don’t close plants, we’ll be a division of Toyota in a few years.

GM:  Almost all of the workers in those plants support keeping them open.

CS:  Do they have a choice?

GM:  When you talk like this, you’re just helping our competitors.

It’s simple enough for the real GM, they put together a phase out plan and address the fact that they are making more cars than they can actually sell at profitable prices.  Even though the administration has worked hard to disable the SEC, the company’s not allowed to lie about the obvious.  GM has a serious problem.  It can not just hold on to its plants and workers out of blind pride.  At some point, no company can sustain a losing venture forever.  I do hope GM finds a way to restore those jobs.  It might have helped if they had some models that are serious contenders to save gasoline or employ alternative fuels.  

Rumsfeld claims that there are 212,000 trained Iraqi security forces.  Even if true, this is a bit like McDonald’s or Walmart claiming that every worker it has ever trained is available to jump behind the counter and say “Welcome to Walmart” or to produce a super-sized portion of fries in under a minute.  It’s not at all the same question as how many workers do you actually have and how many of them really can work the swing shift tonight?  In fact, many estimates suggest that there are roughly 2,000 reliable Iraqi troops right now.

Consider this, these alleged 212,000 trained Iraqis are currently serving with a comparable number of coalition forces, who by all accounts are much better trained and equipped.  Even that’s not keeping the peace in Iraq right now.  How many Iraqis would we have to train before we can withdraw even 10,000 American soldiers?  Btw, there are only 27 million Iraqis and not all of them support our side.  Oh, and by the way, some of them have to make the non-security economy there work.  Has Arthur Andersen been helping the Secretary of Defense with his numbers?

How much does it cost to keep all those troops in Iraq?  So far, it’s about 200 billion dollars (for the war alone).  How much will it cost to train, what is it a million, more Iraqi security forces?  Why didn’t the Secretary suggest what the total needs to be?  How much of that money might have gone to spending on consumer items like environmentally-sounder vehicles?  How many American workers might be working in auto factories or other industries instead of launching white phosphorous somewhere in the Middle East?  

For such a pro-corporate administration, they wouldn’t be able to compete in the world market with real businesses unless they only marketed in competition with Mongolia.  No wonder, when Pres. Bush had a bad day in China, America found a closed door instead of the one it opened a century and a half ago.


At 11/22/2005 12:52:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Locked Door was a nice touch by Fat E. She owes us.

At 11/22/2005 10:58:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

It is something like Abysmal senior throwing up all over the prime minister of Japan.

One of my questions is what happens to these 30,000 workers? Where are the resources to retrain them, support them, etc.
How viable is the American economy right now?


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