Saturday, December 12, 2009

Free Markets and Responsibility

In a recent AP news article it was reported that:

"DETROIT (AP) -- Workers at two more United Auto Workers locals overwhelmingly rejected changes to their contract with Ford Motor Co. on Thursday, casting further doubt on whether the deal will be approved.

Workers at a parts-making plant in Saline, Mich., west of Detroit, voted 75 percent against the deal, while research and engineering employees in Dearborn, Mich., voted roughly 90 percent against the deal, according to local union officials and tallies posted on a Web site.

An exact count of the votes so far was not available Thursday night, but at least eight UAW locals representing about 12,500 workers have voted down the deal, many overwhelmingly. Only about four locals with a total of 7,000 members have favored the pact.

Ford sought the deal to bring its labor costs in line with Detroit rivals Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co., both of which won concessions from the union as they headed into bankruptcy protection earlier this year. If it fails, the Dearborn-based automaker will have higher labor costs than competitors and therefore a tougher time consistently turning a profit.

Ford is the only Detroit-area automaker to avoid bankruptcy protection and not take aid from the U.S. government. But it has a far higher debt load than Chrysler and GM, and higher labor costs could hurt efforts to make a comeback."

This is just the tip of the iceburg folks. Now you see what happens when the government meddles in the free markets and panders to what they see as large voting blocks (not hard-working everyday people...but large voting blocks). They drag the healthy down with the weak, they reward failure and punish success, they invest in votes rather than hard work and self-sufficiency. You don't think that the Obama Administration and Congress knew EXACTLY what would happen to the one remaining self-sufficient American automobile company once they took over GM and Chrysler and handed large chunks of them over to the unions?  Now they are going to do the same to the healthcare industry and energy industries in short order. We need to wake up if we want to save free-market capitalism and that starts with EVERYBODY taking what freedoms we have left and not abusing them and giving the liberal politicians any more ammo to finish off the one thing that makes this country great. God gave us freedom and free will, but it is up to us to use them compassionately and wisely, or we lose them and everything this country once symbolized. Fighting greed and corruption with more greed and more corruption is not the answer.
My point is that NOBODY can claim the moral high ground in this situation. Until we all learn to be responsible with the freedoms and free-market principles upon which this country was founded, and for which our forefathers fought and died, we will continue to lose those freedoms to an ever growing government bureacracy. If big companies hadn't abused their freedoms by treating workers poorly, we wouldn't need the unions who use the workers hard earned dues to pour millions into the campaign coffers of those politicians who promise to give them great enough power to now hold those same companies hostage. It's a vicious circle of greed and power grabbing that MUST be broken, or things will NEVER change. Perhaps one way we could have begun to dismantle that cycle would have been to let GM fail. Start over, learn from the past, be a responsible employer, be a responsible employee, respect the freedom that has been given us.
Until people start to understand what happens when the government tinkers with the free-market, things will get much worse before they get better. The entire housing bubble and ensuing financial collaspe is a case in point. Spend some time studying the history of the HUD, OFHEO, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the House and Senate Banking Committee hearings on Fannie and Freddie from the late 80's onward if you want proof (more on this in another post).  Ask the folks who bought homes under special programs pushed by the HUD and its champions in Congress, but couldn't really afford them, what they think of Barney Frank and friends now.
Make no mistake, it was government policy and lack of concern about financial safety and soundness that lead to this financial disastser.  Politicians and their special interest groups pushed lenders to relax underwriting standards under penalty of restricting their other operations.  Then they distorted the mission of Fannie and Freddie to focus on buying up the risky paper and  leveraging that risk several fold in the mortgage backed securities market.  Unscrupulous lenders were more than happy to comply when it became evident that they could relieve themselves of the risk by immediately selling the paper to the government sponsored entities and leave the American taxpayer on the hook for any losses.  Interesting how the politicians distort the free-market system by pushing agendas that will get them re-elected, and then turn around and tell us that the system itself is broken and the government and their friends will have to fix it.

1 comment:

  1. Hey buddy....Unlike you I keep changing my screen names and thus have a problem building any kind of "Brand".

    I'd like to invite you to check out my blogs here and on wordpress and, should you be interested, join up, and I will do likewise...


    I'm posting mainly on wordpress, but still haven't really finalized which platform will be my primary one.


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