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Sick of GM threads and GM


Ken H.

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rant

 

I’m sure everyone is sick of this subject by now, but I’m still seething. I read an article today that the two Christmas trees in the lobby of the GM building in Detroit cost GM $300,000.

 

What part of don’t get it don’t they get?

 

/rant

 

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Calling you a waaahhhbulance...

 

It's free enterprise man, let them cock it up as they will. Since the bailout has bit the big one, let it die.

 

Go roll a joint of medicinal Canadian pot and pound 4 fingers of good scotch or cheap whiskey with it and find your happy place...

 

or not... :rofl:

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Yeah, and today we learn that the controls on CEO compensation turn out to be a farce. LINKY

 

Oh, and Matt, seems auto bailout seems anything but dead.

 

I guess that's what I get for actually paying attention to what I was supposed to be doing this week at work.

 

What's your big deal with Exec compensation lads? Wealth envy? I would hope that you two in particular would be above that... In business, it's not about what you deserve, it's about what you negotiate.

 

If there was any leadership on these boards, they would break and then contest these contracts. Cite issues of stock performance, market share... It's all in the metrics. It only takes one to set a precedent. Roll the bones and take a chance, you're already drowning in red ink, what do you have to lose?

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I'm not as upset with GM, Ford, and Chrysler as I am with the UAW. When an assembly line worker makes about $71 an hour counting benefits and refuses to take a cut to save their employer makes me angry. According to the paper, a starting assembly line worker makes $23 and hour PLUS benefits. I know a lot of teachers who would be happy with that pay. Even the Japanese auto maker transplants in the US pay their workers an average of $46 an hour counting benefits. I know skilled ICU nurses not making that much.

 

Let them fail. Actually, Ford will probably survive.

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skinny_tom (aka boney)
I'm not as upset with GM, Ford, and Chrysler as I am with the UAW. When an assembly line worker makes about $71 an hour counting benefits and refuses to take a cut to save their employer makes me angry. According to the paper, a starting assembly line worker makes $23 and hour PLUS benefits. I know a lot of teachers who would be happy with that pay. Even the Japanese auto maker transplants in the US pay their workers an average of $46 an hour counting benefits. I know skilled ICU nurses not making that much.

 

Let them fail. Actually, Ford will probably survive.

 

What do you propose they should be paid? Or maybe we should automate the assembly line and fire them all.

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The benefits directly received don't cost $48/hour. Benefits plus retiree pension and medical insurance obligations add up to the extra $48/hour. The reason the US automakers have such a higher hourly cost is because they've got much higher retiree obligations for the simple reason that they've been in business longer. Would you suggest that a bunch of folks on fixed retirement incomes should take a pay cut? Or would you punish current employees for the cost of those folks that built (and/or broke, depending upon how you look at it) the companies that employ them now?

 

I have no idea if the UAW was responsible for managing the pension funds so poorly or if it was the big 3, but if you really want to point the finger at someone for the hourly labor costs, it seems to me that it has to be pointed at whoever managed the pension funds since either the contributions were too small or the investment returns were. Of course, if management hadn't done such a poor job of running the companies, maybe they'd have more employees building more cars, and those retiree costs would be getting spread amongst a much larger pool of current employees. Much of the problem has to be the marketshare lost to japan and europe, which surely wasn't accounted for when pension plans were designed.

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The benefits directly received don't cost $48/hour. Benefits plus retiree pension and medical insurance obligations add up to the extra $48/hour.

 

Actually, wages plus benefits do come out at roughly that number, and maybe a little bit more. It's the legacy burden that pushes it to the $70+ number. See here.

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UAW pension plans were a simple pyramid scheme--just like social security. As long as the number of people paying into the system kept increasing, then those drawing benefits could get theirs. Once the industry (or nation) matured and quit growing, there was not enough money to cover the expenses that continued to grow. Had the money actually been saved and invested all along, it wouldn't be a problem. Instead, it was all IOU's put aside for a later generation to worry about.

 

I remember when I was a union member and we were negotiating to control the pension fund. At the time I wondered why it made a difference to me. I figured that either the company or the union was going to cheat me; it didn't really matter which one.

 

 

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Lets_Play_Two
UAW pension plans were a simple pyramid scheme--just like social security. As long as the number of people paying into the system kept increasing, then those drawing benefits could get theirs. Once the industry (or nation) matured and quit growing, there was not enough money to cover the expenses that continued to grow. Had the money actually been saved and invested all along, it wouldn't be a problem. Instead, it was all IOU's put aside for a later generation to worry about.

 

I remember when I was a union member and we were negotiating to control the pension fund. At the time I wondered why it made a difference to me. I figured that either the company or the union was going to cheat me; it didn't really matter which one.

 

 

Pension funds are funded (ie. money put in the pension trust every year.). But it is more complicated than that and actuaries make a lot of money making the computation of what has to be funded. This depends on the expected benefits to be paid, life expectancy, catch up of added benefits (this prior service cost is what really creates problems in funding pension fund. The company agrees to some expanded benefit and also agrees to apply it to all current employees. In most cases they get a number of years to fund this rather than pay it all up front.) UAW retirees are in a much more solvent position than are social security-dependent retirees.

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Hi-jack.....I'm tired of the auto bailout threads.

 

Ya remember.....“As goes GM, so goes the country (the United States),”

 

 

Greg Said,"It's the legacy burden that pushes it to the $70+ number."

 

 

If that's what is doing in GM.("As goes GM")

 

 

How do ya feel about our US Legacy burden???????

 

Social Security and the Welfare State??????("so goes the country")

 

Most of Europe is gonna have to come to grips with this problem real soon. I thought GM would outlast France, but maybe I was wrong. We can prolly last a few more years, but some day soon we gonna have to deal with it. GM is a perfect model for waiting too long and doing nothin.

 

Now would be a great time for it.......a pres with some political capitol to spend. I bet he punts.

 

 

Whip

 

 

 

 

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rant

 

I’m sure everyone is sick of this subject by now, but I’m still seething. I read an article today that the two Christmas trees in the lobby of the GM building in Detroit cost GM $300,000.

 

What part of don’t get it don’t they get?

 

/rant

Do you have a link to the article? I would expect this to make a pretty splashy news story but I can't come up with it in any search.

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It was Al Capp, in L'il Abner who said, "What's good for General Bullmoose, is good for the USA."

 

It was POGO who said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us." (stolen of course)

 

If cartoonists and Hunter S. Thompson could predict the downfall of the Big 3/4 years, decades, ago, why haven't our political pundits and leaders done something before now?

Oh that's right, I mean left ...

 

 

Fire 'em all and aoutmate.

Then they can become teachers.

After all, teaching is easier than building cars, takes less training, and it pays better too.

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Francois_Dumas
I thought GM would outlast France, but maybe I was wrong. We can prolly last a few more years, but some day soon we gonna have to deal with it.

 

Whip

 

LOL ! Personally I think France will outlast the rest of Europe. They are pretty smart and pretty 'self-focused' (if that's a word). Looking at the sh.t hitting the proverbial fans everywhere, maybe they were right after all .....

 

While we are all being so politically correct to each other and so tolerant to the rest of the world.... among other things with OUR retirement funds.... well.... you know...... ;)

 

In spite of their share of the problems, maybe we're all driving Renaults in 5 years from now...... :dopeslap:

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I'm not as upset with GM, Ford, and Chrysler as I am with the UAW.

The UAW certainly bares some of the blame IMHO. Reports were that the bailout talks collapsed last week in part because the UAW refused to make any wage concessions. How dumb can they be? Faced with a massive global downturn, and a clear potential of no jobs and $0 per hour they’d rather risk that than take a 10% cut and have jobs, albeit at a reduced pay? Are they crazy?

 

Regardless of what short-term (VERY short-term) life line gets thrown their way this week by the Bush admin. it accomplishes nothing to solve all the systemic problems with the big-three. Someone somewhere needs to wake up to reality really soon.

 

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Spot on, Whip.

 

The business models are identical, GM and US, that is:

 

Outmoded ideas.

Entrenched management.

Expenditures far exceed income.

 

If one would not buy GM stock today, why would it make sense to buy US Treasury securities?

 

 

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Spot on, Whip.

 

The business models are identical, GM and US, that is:

 

Outmoded ideas.

Entrenched management.

Expenditures far exceed income.

 

If one would not buy GM stock today, why would it make sense to buy US Treasury securities?

 

 

Ya left out......No Leadership.

 

Everyone telling people what they want to hear instead of what is really happening.

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas-wise, note the two majestic trees that rise, at a guess, 40 feet skyward. "Paid $300,000 for the two trees," says a maintenance worker, adding, "It's all re-rod inside of there." Three hundred thou seems a lot. "That was when everything was going good," Mr. Maintenance says.

Ah, OK, they paid that much (if 'Mr. Maintenance' is correct on the amount) at some unspecified time in the past. I had the impression that you meant that they had done this recently.

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Ya left out......No Leadership.

 

Everyone telling people what they want to hear instead of what is really happening.

 

Do I hear an AMEN to that statement? Well said Whip.

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Dennis Andress

Go roll a joint of medicinal Canadian pot and pound 4 fingers of good scotch or cheap whiskey with it and find your happy place...

 

or not... :rofl:

 

 

Thanks. I needed that

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I think there has been a dearth of leadership at most all levels of American society for a couple decades, if not longer.

 

We have become so complacent and reticent to handle confrontations, So unable to make decisions and take responsibility for our actions until things become crises. Those crises give the elected elites excuse to overreact instead of manage.

 

I place much of the blame at the foot of political correctness. In large part because the pussyfooting that required made honest conversation both difficult AND dangerous. That there is now great risk in honest discourse has made handling problems as they occur not worthy of the effort until the defecant hits the rotary oscillator.

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I'm only about half-smart, and I find it difficult to decipher exactly what it is that brought us to this point. But I think it we all were to look in the mirror, we'd probably have a pretty good start on the answer to that question.

 

First of all, it's a given that the cycle of growth and recession are inevitable. The timing of recessionary periods can be altered and perhaps their severity can be blunted, but economic downturns will occur on a regular and somewhat predictable basis. It occurs to me that we would have been headed for a downturn regardless of what the Prez, Congress, or the Fed did to avert it, just because the demand for goods had ramped up considerably over the past few years.

 

That I can understand. What seems to have happened though, is that a large number of other factors came into play at about the same time as the downturn. The only common factor I see across the board is greed: Executives wanted more and more money. Workers wanted more and more money. Stockholders demanded instant gratification, rather than investment in companies' long-term health. Home buyers wanted huge homes, where they could park multiple luxury cars. Hell, some people even splurged on luxuries like imported motorcycles with fancy-pants stuff like adjustable suspension systems.

 

And, of course, the politicians. The very same pols who are now chastising executives, union officials, mortgage defaulters, and former Fed chairmen, were also consumed by greed, sometimes for money and perks, but often just by greed for power. They fed that greed with concessions and laws that satisfied others' greed, so that they could amass votes.

 

My gut feeling is that we may be able to buy (borrow?) our way out of this mess in the short term, but that we're going to have to recalibrate our collective values in order to achieve a long-term solution.

 

Are we capable of doing that?

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I'm only about half-smart, and I find it difficult to decipher exactly what it is that brought us to this point. But I think it we all were to look in the mirror, we'd probably have a pretty good start on the answer to that question.

 

First of all, it's a given that the cycle of growth and recession are inevitable. The timing of recessionary periods can be altered and perhaps their severity can be blunted, but economic downturns will occur on a regular and somewhat predictable basis. It occurs to me that we would have been headed for a downturn regardless of what the Prez, Congress, or the Fed did to avert it, just because the demand for goods had ramped up considerably over the past few years.

 

That I can understand. What seems to have happened though, is that a large number of other factors came into play at about the same time as the downturn. The only common factor I see across the board is greed: Executives wanted more and more money. Workers wanted more and more money. Stockholders demanded instant gratification, rather than investment in companies' long-term health. Home buyers wanted huge homes, where they could park multiple luxury cars. Hell, some people even splurged on luxuries like imported motorcycles with fancy-pants stuff like adjustable suspension systems.

 

And, of course, the politicians. The very same pols who are now chastising executives, union officials, mortgage defaulters, and former Fed chairmen, were also consumed by greed, sometimes for money and perks, but often just by greed for power. They fed that greed with concessions and laws that satisfied others' greed, so that they could amass votes.

 

My gut feeling is that we may be able to buy (borrow?) our way out of this mess in the short term, but that we're going to have to recalibrate our collective values in order to achieve a long-term solution.

 

Are we capable of doing that?

 

_________________________________________________

 

Hey Mike

 

I'm not sure Greed is the right word. Some people are competitive in everything they do. We need these people to be the way they are. They often bring us all along with em. Money is how they keep score. I have no problem with that.

 

 

 

"Are we capable of doing that?"

 

 

If what you suggest is down scaling and living within our means.

 

On an individual basis I believe we are......and I am.

 

As a country and an economy, we need the big risk takers and the their motivation........"bidness is bidness"........"dog eat dog"........"sometimes your the windshield......sometimes your the bug."

 

In order for this all to work........the big risk takers need to have big goals and rewards if they are to risk. If $$$$$$ in their motivation then I say more power to em. We take away the rewards, and we lose the risk takers we will end up like some of the old European countries where the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor.

 

It's not in our countries soul to give up on.....Moving On Up

 

 

Lets wait till summer......I bet you'll have a different opinion of the economy by then.

 

Whip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hey Mike

 

I'm not sure Greed is the right word. Some people are competitive in everything they do. We need these people to be the way they are. They often bring us all along with em. Money is how they keep score. I have no problem with that.

 

* * *

 

Lets wait till summer......I bet you'll have a different opinion of the economy by then.

 

Whip

 

Whipster . . . I still like the word greed, which, in my feeble mind, suggests ambition at the expense of decency or morality. I think that ambition, when checked by reasonable bounds of morality, is indeed the driving force of our economy. Though I'm not among them, I actually rub elbows from time to time with folks I'd consider extremely wealthy, and I have a lot of admiration for their ambition and willingness to take risks. I agree that they can pull the rest of us poor schmucks along on their coattails. However, I also think they can pull us under . . . and I believe that much of what our economy is going through right now is the result of that.

 

I hope that things are better for all by next summer, but I suspect it's going to take longer than that. My guess is two to five years, but I really hope that I'm wrong and that it comes much sooner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think that it's understandable that the membership of the United Auto Workers is less than willing to take a pay-cut. In 2006 Ford CEO Alan Mullally made 21.67 million in total compensation. In 2005, Toyota CEO Katsuaki Watanabe made $900,000. And Toyota has performed much better in the last few years. Perhaps it's time to bring the workers and the executives in line with what the Japanese and Korean workers and execs make.

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I think that it's understandable that the membership of the United Auto Workers is less than willing to take a pay-cut. In 2006 Ford CEO Alan Mullally made 21.67 million in total compensation. In 2005, Toyota CEO Katsuaki Watanabe made $900,000. And Toyota has performed much better in the last few years. Perhaps it's time to bring the workers and the executives in line with what the Japanese and Korean workers and execs make.

 

Why?

 

I can certainly see the need to put those big compensation packages under scrutiny, and I definitely think that they should be tied closer and closer to corporate performance, but limits?

No way, that's for the markets and the boards to decide.

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"I still like the word greed, which, in my feeble mind, suggests ambition at the expense of decency or morality."

 

I'm sure we aren't that far apart.

 

Give me an idea or example of what you mean by ambition at the expense of decency and morality????

 

Then maybe we can both call it greed.

 

:thumbsup:

 

 

 

 

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I don't understand how the boards of these companies can even begin to justify the huge salaries they authorize to corporate bigwigs. It is particularly offensive to me as a small stock holder, to see these guys raking in the big bucks for running the business into the ground while my investments tumble. (I don't think I own any Big 3 stock, but there may be some hidden in my portfolio).

 

Should businesses be allowed to take risks? Certainly, just not on my dime, unless the company is above board and upfront about the risk to investors, and the general public, inherent in their activity. I'm pretty angry about the taxpayers being tapped to fund a bunch of rich, greedy "bidnessmen" who lack good judgment and common sense. I am pretty certain that if I lack the basic intelligence to profitably run my bidness, the government is not likely to come bail me out.

 

You can bet that if I decide to take draws that exceed my receipts every month my partners are going to talk to me about it. Although I know they would be amenable to helping me out if I need it, they would expect me to be putting in the hours for my clients, and sending out bills and making rational decisions about my staffing needs and expenses.

 

It is extremely frustrating to me to see these large businesses that are presumably run by "our best and brightest," being run out of business by poor management decisions. Now I understand why the only guys down at the bar every night in college were the bidness majors.(At least I didn't head over there until I was done studying at 11:00 p.m.)

 

Although I will agree that labor costs (payroll, pension, medical benefits, workers compensation, etc.) play a huge role, someone negotiated these contracts, and to hear management whine, sold them down the river. I don't buy these excuses on either end.

 

 

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I'm not as upset with GM, Ford, and Chrysler as I am with the UAW. When an assembly line worker makes about $71 an hour counting benefits and refuses to take a cut to save their employer makes me angry. According to the paper, a starting assembly line worker makes $23 and hour PLUS benefits. I know a lot of teachers who would be happy with that pay. Even the Japanese auto maker transplants in the US pay their workers an average of $46 an hour counting benefits. I know skilled ICU nurses not making that much.

 

Let them fail. Actually, Ford will probably survive.

 

That's about the same as our skilled process operators get compensated. It's inline with what most skilled workers get paid in the US. $71 is not even close. I bet a good chunk of engineers and managers at GM make far less than the line workers. What makes it worse, is the lack of accountability and flexibility you get. In the normal world, workers get romoted or moved to a better position in the factory because of good performance and demonstration of the right skill set for that job. In the union world, you get promoted because you have enough senority and simply bid that postion. the only way to restrict who gets promoted would be a comprehensive testing process that are difficult if not impossible to implement effectively. There no incentive to work hard, self improvement, or even do a good job other than personal pride or satisfaction.

 

Bad workers hide behind their unions and good workers get ignored.

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Whipster . . . I still like the word greed, which, in my feeble mind, suggests ambition at the expense of decency or morality. I think that ambition, when checked by reasonable bounds of morality, is indeed the driving force of our economy. Though I'm not among them, I actually rub elbows from time to time with folks I'd consider extremely wealthy, and I have a lot of admiration for their ambition and willingness to take risks. I agree that they can pull the rest of us poor schmucks along on their coattails. However, I also think they can pull us under . . . and I believe that much of what our economy is going through right now is the result of that.

+1

 

Greed is exactly the right word. "Competitive" implies a sense of morality and fair play. "Greed" raw lust for more at all and everyone else’s expense. The later being the norm of late.

 

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I don't understand how the boards of these companies can even begin to justify the huge salaries they authorize to corporate bigwigs. It is particularly offensive to me as a small stock holder, to see these guys raking in the big bucks for running the business into the ground while my investments tumble. (I don't think I own any Big 3 stock, but there may be some hidden in my portfolio).

 

I think it's pretty funny that few people seem to be taking the boards of directors that agreed to this huge compensation packages to task for not making these types of things performance based.

 

That senior executives are empowered to continually make bad decisions, and still be rewarded with salaries based (like real estate, in part) on comparative salaries for others in the role is ridiculous. That people aren't willing to contest the contract if things go awry is beyond the pale.

 

On the other side of the coin, if a chief exec comes in and resurrects or exploits a new market/product/whatever and drives values and the future of the company through the roof, the by gum, they should get EVEN MORE than the minimum promised. Risk and Reward. It seems to me that someone around here remarked that exec compensation should be indexed over a period of a couple years after that person leaves a position so they aren't tempted to slash workforce to enhance the bottom line and then bail out just before it all goes to hell.

 

Should businesses be allowed to take risks? Certainly, just not on my dime, unless the company is above board and upfront about the risk to investors, and the general public, inherent in their activity. I'm pretty angry about the taxpayers being tapped to fund a bunch of rich, greedy "bidnessmen" who lack good judgment and common sense. I am pretty certain that if I lack the basic intelligence to profitably run my bidness, the government is not likely to come bail me out.

 

Not on your dime? WTF? IF you don't want risks on your dime, then don't play the market... Buying stocks, like riding motorcycles is inherently risky. Are we to presume you've never read that fine print on the prospectus?

 

You can bet that if I decide to take draws that exceed my receipts every month my partners are going to talk to me about it. Although I know they would be amenable to helping me out if I need it, they would expect me to be putting in the hours for my clients, and sending out bills and making rational decisions about my staffing needs and expenses.

 

It is extremely frustrating to me to see these large businesses that are presumably run by "our best and brightest," being run out of business by poor management decisions.

 

 

Finally something we can agree on. Your partners would be remiss to both you and their own survival if they didn't have that conversation with you.

 

I'm not sure that these companies are run by the best and brightest. I think at heart, many of these guys are either family hangers on, or else used car salesmen done well. There should be a means to set aside for a period of time, or else completely rescind some of the legislative barriers the big three face. Then they should be allowed to reorganize and reinvent their business models. And then, only then, be allowed to borrow from the government.

 

I think the analogy given earlier about the legacy debt and the social security system is pretty valid here. Bold leadership and alternative plans are needed. Rehashing old and failed strategies is as useless in Detroit as it is in DC.

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Give me an idea or example of what you mean by ambition at the expense of decency and morality????
I'm not Mike, but hey I'll start the (what could easly become quite a long) list - Bernard Madoff.
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Time to ask a question. Last year GM and Toyota sold almost the same amount of cars, About 1.9 million. Toyota made a profit in the billions and GM had a loss in the billions. CEO salaries and union wages are but a drop in the bucket for these numbers. Where did GM's money go???

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Should businesses be allowed to take risks? Certainly, just not on my dime, unless the company is above board and upfront about the risk to investors, and the general public, inherent in their activity. I'm pretty angry about the taxpayers being tapped to fund a bunch of rich, greedy "bidnessmen" who lack good judgment and common sense. I am pretty certain that if I lack the basic intelligence to profitably run my bidness, the government is not likely to come bail me out.

Not on your dime? WTF? IF you don't want risks on your dime, then don't play the market...

Re-read Bullett's post. He said - "...unless the company is above board and upfront about the risk to investors, and the general public, inherent in their activity." Big difference.

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I think that it's understandable that the membership of the United Auto Workers is less than willing to take a pay-cut.

Perhaps it's time to bring the workers and u]the executives [/u] in line with what the Japanese and Korean workers and execs make.

Don't those two statements contradict each other?

 

The UAW is refusing to go along with aligning the big-three hourly rates with the other manufactures.

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I'm only about half-smart, and I find it difficult to decipher exactly what it is that brought us to this point. But I think it we all were to look in the mirror, we'd probably have a pretty good start on the answer to that question.

 

First of all, it's a given that the cycle of growth and recession are inevitable. The timing of recessionary periods can be altered and perhaps their severity can be blunted, but economic downturns will occur on a regular and somewhat predictable basis. It occurs to me that we would have been headed for a downturn regardless of what the Prez, Congress, or the Fed did to avert it, just because the demand for goods had ramped up considerably over the past few years.

 

I figure it this way. Some time around 1999 or 2001 we should have gone into a recession. So in reality the ecnomy had gone flat or even declined. Meanwhile consumer spending actually increased based on home equity and credit market, so we percieved an upward trend. Picture jumping off the top of a steep hill. You think yu're going upward, when in fact, the ground is getting even further away. Once you start falling, you fall fast.

 

 

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Give me an idea or example of what you mean by ambition at the expense of decency and morality????
I'm not Mike, but hey I'll start the (what could easly become quite a long) list - Bernard Madoff.

 

What B M did was illegal....and he will do time.

 

I think Mike was referring to legal...."greed."

 

 

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Joe Frickin' Friday
Give me an idea or example of what you mean by ambition at the expense of decency and morality????

 

Then maybe we can both call it greed.

 

Where does someone like Ray Kroc fit? Was he ambitious at the expense of decency/morality? Or was he just plain ambitious? By all accounts he was a cut-throat competitor; he never sought to merely establish market share or ensure a successful restaurant, rather he desired to drive the competition right out of business wherever possible. Indeed, according to the Wikipedia article, after a dispute with the original McDonald's restaurant owners, he opened a new McD's nearby with the intent of forcing them out of business. Was that greedy, or just ambitious? Unlike the big three, Kroc's business is still going strong, in a field (food service) that's notorious for an extremely high rate of business failure even in a good economy.

 

 

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Give me an idea or example of what you mean by ambition at the expense of decency and morality????

 

Then maybe we can both call it greed.

 

Where does someone like Ray Kroc fit? Was he ambitious at the expense of decency/morality? Or was he just plain ambitious? By all accounts he was a cut-throat competitor; he never sought to merely establish market share or ensure a successful restaurant, rather he desired to drive the competition right out of business wherever possible. Indeed, according to the Wikipedia article, after a dispute with the original McDonald's restaurant owners, he opened a new McD's nearby with the intent of forcing them out of business. Was that greedy, or just ambitious? Unlike the big three, Kroc's business is still going strong, in a field (food service) that's notorious for an extremely high rate of business failure even in a good economy.

 

 

History is filled with guys like Ray Kroc......in all kinds of industries and bidness endeavors.

 

Andrew Carnegie

 

Henry Ford

 

Bill Gates

 

Sam Walton

 

Steve Jobs

 

Sir Paul McCartney

 

Barry Gordy

 

Howard Hughes

 

..........all these people could be called greedy by the definition used by some of the comments on this board.

 

 

That's why I was tryin to get a definition from Mike.

 

Cause I ain't smart enough to tell the difference between what Ken may think is "Greed" and what Mike, or Matt......or even Webster has in mind.

 

 

?????????????????????????????????????????????????

 

 

 

 

 

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Give me an idea or example of what you mean by ambition at the expense of decency and morality????

 

Then maybe we can both call it greed.

 

Where does someone like Ray Kroc fit? Was he ambitious at the expense of decency/morality? Or was he just plain ambitious? By all accounts he was a cut-throat competitor; he never sought to merely establish market share or ensure a successful restaurant, rather he desired to drive the competition right out of business wherever possible. Indeed, according to the Wikipedia article, after a dispute with the original McDonald's restaurant owners, he opened a new McD's nearby with the intent of forcing them out of business. Was that greedy, or just ambitious? Unlike the big three, Kroc's business is still going strong, in a field (food service) that's notorious for an extremely high rate of business failure even in a good economy.

 

 

History is filled with guys like Ray Kroc......in all kinds of industries and bidness endeavors.

 

Andrew Carnegie

 

Henry Ford

 

Bill Gates

 

Sam Walton

 

Steve Jobs

 

Sir Paul McCartney

 

Barry Gordy

 

Howard Hughes

 

..........all these people could be called greedy by the definition used by some of the comments on this board.

 

 

That's why I was tryin to get a definition from Mike.

 

Cause I ain't smart enough to tell the difference between what Ken may think is "Greed" and what Mike, or Matt......or even Webster has in mind.

 

 

?????????????????????????????????????????????????

 

 

 

 

 

Whippy--

 

Here's an example of something, which if true, would meet my personal definition. Other recent developments in our fair state of Illinois may also be illustrative, but I can't comment further.

 

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Re-read Bullett's post. He said - "...unless the company is above board and upfront about the risk to investors, and the general public, inherent in their activity." Big difference.

 

I'm sorry, Ken and Sharon, I'm not buying that as a difference at all.

 

Are you saying that you want a company, a car company in this instance, say that "By buying our stock, you may lose your investment if we make bad decisions, don't sell a lot of cars, hire our brothers in law for outrageous amounts of money, or because we simply feel like mailing it in for a few years till we go away altogether....." or some other such type of statement?

 

Come on, that's wholly unrealistic.

 

The risk in the investing is to the investor. The only person who makes money in both good and bad markets is the stock broker. If you don't accept that your investment is at risk, then, you should leave your money in a savings account or buy savings bonds....

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So if your talkin about illegal greed.......I'm with ya 100%

 

 

Lock em up and let the Lawman take care of em.

 

 

I thought you were talking about legal, tough/ruthless bidness men that make lots and lots of money.

 

 

Whip

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Time to ask a question. Last year GM and Toyota sold almost the same amount of cars, About 1.9 million. Toyota made a profit in the billions and GM had a loss in the billions. CEO salaries and union wages are but a drop in the bucket for these numbers. Where did GM's money go???
This article helps to explain that a little bit...

 

For those interested, it's a good suggestion as to what GM needs to do to turn things around (generally speaking) basically saying they need to pull an IBM and get smaller.

 

And while we're on the topic, I'll just mention this:

 

I VERY torn on the issue. Both my father and grandfather are GM retirees. One worked for Chevrolet and on GM Parts most of their lives (as opposed to UAW members who are GM employees.) Personally, I've been very inclined to agree with those that think that there should be no bailout. As has been said, shareholders and lenders bet on the current GM management and lost that bet.

 

However, the topic gets rather personal for me (us) in that the CEO mentioned in his plea before congress that bankruptcy would cause thousands of GM retirees their pensions. Apparently, being non-union, they both stand to lose their pensions if GM declared bankruptcy. I have no way of really finding out if that's true at this point, but if true, that wouldn't exactly be good news for my family.

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However, the topic gets rather personal for me (us) in that the CEO mentioned in his plea before congress that bankruptcy would cause thousands of GM retirees their pensions. Apparently, being non-union, they both stand to lose their pensions if GM declared bankruptcy. I have no way of really finding out if that's true at this point, but if true, that wouldn't exactly be good news for my family.

 

No one who's already retired would lose (all of) their pension. It's the role of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to ensure private pensions. What current retirees could lose are many benefits above and beyond the pension, as well as pension amounts beyond the PBGC's maximums.

 

Other participants who are not yet retired would no longer have a plan to contribute to, so they would no longer accrue additional value.

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Mike, seriously, you have to stop this "greed" bullshit. Free and fair markets will deal with greed automatically. It's manipulation which has brough us to this point. If I recall correctly, President Bush said today, "We had to abandon free markets in order to save them."

 

Puuuullllleeeeeeaaaaazzzzeeee!

 

We're in this mess, not because a bunch of people are greedy, but because we have prevented the system from spanking the ones who took too much. We don't need to chastise the greedy, we need to bind and gag the do-gooders who are trying to "help" everyone.

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