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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

That damned Chevy

What's Mallard raving about today?

Chevy, Ford, Mexico.

It surprises me that Mallard is not a fan of NAFTA since it is Free market economics in action.

Unless this is some sort of well-disguised anti-Mexican slur.


confused said...

I think this is one of those "A broken clock is right twice a day" moments for me. I often get tired of the "I only buy American" rant from folks that buy things from companies based in America, but all the work is done elsewhere.

I haven't bought an "American" car in years, but my last two cars were built by workers in the United States.

So, what is more important -- is it more critical to buy from a company where the CEO sits here in the US; or is it better to buy from a company where the blue collar workers live here?

Now I must go wash myself...

wv: derition -- An object of ridicule that cannot spell.

Rootbeer said...

I assume that girl in the strip is some sort of recurring character, although I can't be sure because nobody in the Tinsleyverse seems to exist as anything other than an empty behavioral caricature.

What's the punchline here?

Jazzbumpa said...

I think Tinkley has inadvertently stumbled into the realm of irony - blind pigs and acorns, you know.

My subtextual read is that multinationals owe allegiance to nothing and nobody, and are equally traitorous, irrespective of home office location. Not the message Tinkley intends to deliver, I'm sure.

WV: dement - the glue that connects Tinkley's tortured synapses

Squid Vicious said...

I read this as Tinkley's nearly formless expression of rage that it isn't 1949 still and we no longer can be certain that our cars were built by white Amuricans, for white Amuricans, in factories owned by white Amuricans. Instead, well-dressed (read: uppity) people of ambiguous race (read: miscegenistic blacks) buy cars from built in Mexico (read: built by short, brown people) or sold by foreign automakers (read: enriching short, yellow people). This, of course, is untenable to a person like Tinkley, which is why if you had a secret camera in his studio right now, you'd see him lying dead-drunk under his drawing table surrounded by the broken glass of his the three bottles of Ripple he had for breakfast.

rewinn said...

Why not buy a Ford Focus, made in Detroit?

Or the Chevy Silverado or the Dodge Viper SRT10 Coupe or the ... ?

(Sorry ... facts are SUCH a buzzkill!)

Michael said...

Once again, Comrade Mallard demonstrates his hatred of free market capitalism.

I just bought a used car, from a guy in Berkeley. That counts as American, right?

Rootbeer: Here is the list of recurring characters. Those one paragraph descriptions are the extent of Tinsley's character development.

WV: diest. As in: Our founding fathers were Christians!

Patrick said...

The majority of cars sold by the Big Three in America are made in the United States. This is even more true of the car components.

A number of foreign auto makers assemble cars in the US, but most of the actual component manufacture occurs elsewhere.

Its also worth noting that the foreign assembly plants both pay less and employ far fewer people.

Anonymous said...

D3 - Detroit 3 Automakers - Union Wages

According to Forbes:

Labor cost per hour, wages and benefits for hourly workers.

Ford: $70.51 ($141,020 per year)

GM: $73.26 ($146,520 per year)

Chrysler: $75.86 ($151,720 per year)

Toyota, Honda, Nissan (in U.S.): $48.00 ($96,000 per year)

According to AAUP and IES, the average annual compensation for a college professor in 2006 was $92,973 (average salary nationally of $73,207 + 27% benefits).

Bottom Line: The average UAW worker with a high school degree earns 57.6% more compensation than the average university professor with a Ph.D., and 52.6% more than the average worker at Toyota, Honda or Nissan.

Many industry analysts say the Detroit Three, must be on par with Toyota and Honda to survive. This year's contract, they say, must be "transformational" in reducing pension and health care costs.

What would "transformational" mean? One way to think about "transformational" would mean that UAW workers, most with a high school diploma, would have to accept compensation equal to that of the average university professor with a PhD.

Then there's the "Job Bank"

When a D3 (Detroit 3 carmaker) lays an employee off, that employee continues to receive all benefits - medical, retirement, etc., etc., PLUS an hourly wage of $31/hour.

Here's a typical story....

Ken Pool is making good money. On weekdays, he shows up at 7 a.m. at Ford Motor Co.'s Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne, signs in, and then starts working -- on a crossword puzzle. Pool hates the monotony, but the pay is good: more than $31 an hour, plus benefits.

"We just go in and play crossword puzzles, watch videos that someone brings in or read the newspaper," he says. "Otherwise, I just sit."

Pool is one of more than 12,000 American autoworkers who, instead of installing windshields or bending sheet metal, spend their days counting the hours in a jobs bank set up by Detroit automakers as demanded by the United Auto Workers Union - UAW - as part of an extraordinary job security agreement.

Now the D3 has Joe Taxpayer picking up the tab for this. The "Big 3" wanted this money not to build better autos. They want it to pay the tab for Medical and Retirement benefits for RETIRED auto workers. Not ONE PENNY would be used to make them more competitive, or to improve the quality of their cars.

We ALL have problems paying for our Medical Insurance - but the Democrat leaders in Congress now want us to continue to pay the Medical Insurance premiums of folks who have RETIRED from Ford, GM and Chrysler.

Not a good deal for us.

How about Chapter 11 - and getting rid of these ridiculous union contracts? This bailout and all others should not have happened. You pay your own way in life. If you are handicapped and unable to support yourself, I say yes we should help you. All the rest who are on the dole you should be on your own. The D-3 need to make decisions and one is accept that the taxpayers cannot pay for your inept management skills.

Anonymous said...

Top Ten Best Selling Cars in the U.S. -- January 2008.
Do yourselves a favor folks buy the Honda. It does not matter to me what the race is of the worker who builds the cars I buy. I simply want the best product I can buy for the money I have to spend.

The U.S. automakers screwed themselves by allowing the UAW to dictate to them how their companies should be run. The Honda and Toyota workers here in the U.S. have had their chance to join the UAW. They are too intelligent for that. They do not mind working for a fair salary.

Anonymous said...

Just a bit of news to brighten your day...
You can't make up stuff better than this! Isn't politics grand?
Jesse Jackson's Newest Staff Member
Mel Reynolds:

Jesse Jackson has added former Chicago Democrat Congressman Mel Reynolds to Rainbow/PUSH Coalition's payroll. Reynolds was among the 176 criminals excused in President Clinton's last-minute forgiveness spree. Reynolds received a commutation of his six-and-a-half-year federal sentence for 15 convictions of wire fraud , bank fraud , and lies to the Federal Election Commission. He is more notorious , however , for concurrently serving five years for sleeping with an underage campaign volunteer.
This is a first in American politics: An ex-congressman who had sex with a subordinate...won clemency from a president who had sex with a subordinate...then was hired by a clergyman who had sex with a subordinate!
His new job? Ready for this?

dlauthor said...

Phew. Ducks are farting up a storm in here tonight!

rewinn said...

AnonyTinkley's figures of $70/hour and up are simply a lie.

1) Find ONE auto worker who make $70/hour. T'ain't any.

2) AnonyTinkley is to cowardly to cite where he got that number, but it's obvious: you take the outstanding liabilities of the company and divide it by the number of man-hours worked per year.

Automakers didn't fully fund their retirement plans, figuring that they could contract to make future payments but not actually set aside the money until it can time to write a check. That way, they got labor for cheap up front and put off the day of reckoning.

Now let's do the math, in rough numbers..

Say that each year over the past 50 yrs, 100,000 workers forewent $1,000 in pay for equivalent pension bennies; that's $100,000,000/yr a.k.a. a nice improvement to the companies' bottom line. Over 50 yrs, that's $5,000,000,000.

put off saving $10M/yr for a total of $50,000,000

there's 100,000 current employees working 2,000/hrs/year for a total of 200,000,000/hrs/year.

Let's say the real cost per worker is $30/hr or $3,000,000,000/yr. The other $40/hr or $4,000,000,000 is this year's share of the $50,000,000,000 in benefits due.

Now imagine the auto companies cut their work forces in half, to 50,000.

At $30/hr, that's still $1,500,000,000/yr. But the $4,000,000,000 in contractual pension benefits are still due. So the hourly cost of labor, under AnonyTinkey's analysis, shoots up to $90/hr or more.

In fact, if the auto companies laid off EVERY WORKER BUT ONE, that remaining worker would cost $4,000,000,000 a year, under AnonyTinkly's analysis.

I went into this at some length because
A) it's so obvious, I can just type this quickly, with no thinking other than to count the zeros carefully;
B) the whole time, I'm laughing at AnonTinkley's copy-and-paste job which has NOTHING to do with today's "comic" except that is has something to do with cars.


GeoX said...

Word to the unwise, anonymous dimwit--in addition to everything else, you're a really shitty plagiarist.

Rootbeer said...

"1) Find ONE auto worker who make $70/hour. T'ain't any."

That's why he said "Labor cost per hour, wages and benefits", and not just "wages".

Squid Vicious said...

Anonytinkley does (albeit inadvertantly) make one good point: If American manufacturers want to compete on a level playing field with manufacturers in the rest of the developed world, we really need an effective national health and retirement system.

Anonymous said...

Rootbeer...YES! At least one person read and understood what was stated at the top of my comment.
If the two Mallard regulars who made their comments had understood what was posted, they would have noticed the figures which were listed were stated as "Labor cost per hour, wages and benefits for hourly workers." The old bald guy obviously did not comprehend what he read. He than went a bit crazy which often happens. As for the other person, she often gets her panties in a twist. The data was not plagiarized. The comment clearly stated "According to Forbes". If they think it is a lie, and was plagiarized they should contact Forbes and tell them.

Another link from ( The Heritage Foundation ) Possibly they are also lying?
UAW workers actually cost the Big Three Automakers $70 an Hour. Labor cost per hour, wages and benefits for hourly workers.