Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: August 17, 2010

Irony and the law of unintended consequences visit the UAW

You could also entitle it "meet the new boss, same as the old boss". What I’m talking about is a recent meeting between UAW bosses and GM workers. To say it didn’t go well would be a vast understatement)(via Sweetness and Light):

Workers at a General Motors stamping plant in Indianapolis, Indiana chased United Auto Workers executives out of a union meeting Sunday, after the UAW demanded workers accept a contract that would cut their wages in half.

As soon as three UAW International representatives took the podium, they were met with boos and shouts of opposition from many of the 631 workers currently employed at the plant. The officials, attempting to speak at the only informational meeting on the proposed contract changes, were forced out within minutes of taking the floor.

The incident once again exposes the immense class divide between workers and union officials, who are working actively with the auto companies to drive down wages and eliminate benefits.

Actively working with the auto companies? They are part owners now of the auto companies – they’re "management" for heaven sake.

Interesting how it suddenly looks when you’re on the "other side", huh?  And in the face of vociferous opposition, the UAW officials abandoned the podium.

All of this was written up at the World Socialist website.  There’s also a video which gives real credence to the story. In the beginning someone from the local is speaking. He or she (I really couldn’t tell which) then introduces the UAW international drones at about 2:48. As you watch it, it will remind you of some of the townhall meetings of last summer:

The article goes on to say:

Workers at Local 23 voted 384-22 in May to reject reopening a previous contract, which had guaranteed that wages would remain intact in the event of a sale. GM first announced its intention to sell the plant in 2007, threatening to close it if it did not find a buyer.

Despite overwhelming opposition by the rank-and-file, UAW executives secretly continued negotiations with JD Norman, which they outlined in a document sent to workers last week.

Pretty bad when your union which is now management sells you out, isn’t it?  To paraphrase one worker, “they’ll still have their jobs while they sell ours out”.  Wow – wasn’t that the argument against the hated “management?”  Heh …

Irony – it’s really something to be appreciated sometimes, isn’t it?  The UAW always wanted control of the auto companies didn’t it?  Now it has it – sweet, huh?  And private sector unions wonder why their membership is dropping like a rock.



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Obama doesn’t "get" America, but neither does the media

Peter Kirsanow thinks that Barack Obama somehow doesn’t "get" America and that his flip-flopping on the mosque at Ground Zero is emblematic of that.

He launches into a litany of examples of things and situations which support this claim.  Notice who he holds complicit in all of this.

As Dorothy Rabinowitz has noted, Obama’s alienation from the citizenry is just beginning to be more broadly revealed, but has been on display since the 2008 campaign. The media either failed to report it or chastised anyone who dared notice. When some remarked about Obama’s refusal to do something as simple as wear a flag lapel pin, they were pronounced unsophisticated and jingoistic. Obama’s casual stance during the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” was declared a triviality. When Reverend Wright was caught shouting ” G–damn America!” those who wondered whether Obama’s 20 years in Wright’s pews might suggest ideological concurrence were dismissed as alarmist. When some expressed concern that Obama might agree with his wife that America is a “downright mean country” and that perhaps he, too,  for the first time in his adult life, was proud of his country, they were told to grow up.

Then Obama’s association with Bill Ayers emerged and the mainstream media closed ranks and refused, as long as they could, to even report it. And when Obama expressed unalloyed contempt for Midwesterners who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment,” a phalanx formed to assure the public of his pure intentions.

There were other instances throughout the campaign and first months in office suggesting that for Obama, multiculturalism trumps national unity and moral relativism supersedes cultural confidence. His serial apologies for America, embrace of  America-hating Hugo Chávez, and supplication to foreign thugs are consistent with a “blame America first” mentality that may be unremarkable for a political science professor but is toxic for the leader of the greatest nation in history.

By the way, you have to love the last line – proof of which we here at QandO are treated too almost daily in the comment section.

But to the point – the media was absolutely complicit in hiding, not covering or spinning the stories noted.  If Obama had an agenda – and he did – so did the media. Totally unqualified for the job, Obama still got their support because he looked good, he sounded great, he was the dream “diversity” pick and wasn’t a Republican.  And sticking with what they believed to be their arrogant right as journalists to decide what was or wasn’t news, they refused to do what was necessary to qualify the candidate.

In fact, they did nothing, really, to vet the man.  As Kirsanow notes, they actually did all they could to hide these facts and their implications and to chastise those who thought they were important (and they were important).

Someone once said that in a political campaign having the media on your side is worth 5 to 10 points on election day.  Never before, in my lifetime, have I seen that more true than in 2008.  Hopefully, that day is coming to an end with this past election used as an example of what you are likely to get when the media doesn’t do their job.  And for the media, this is a perfect example of why your profession now ranks down there with used car salesmen and Congressmen – and frankly, I’d trust a used car salesman well before I’d trust most in the journalism profession.

That said, I agree with Kirsanow’s thesis.  I don’t think Barack Obama gets America, understands its exceptionalism or is particularly proud of his country.  In fact, Obama, as indicated in his Berlin speech, claims he’s a “citizen of the world”.  While that’s fine, again, in the faculty lounge at any cow college in the land, it’s not exactly something that indicates an understanding of one’s country’s place or role in the world or the job of president.

We elect a president to represent us, not the world.  We want someone who understands the country, it’s founding principles and its exceptional role.  We want someone who is proud to be an American, because that means they have an appreciation and a love of country that should guide them in their governance.  Obama displays none of these traits.  In fact, as noted, he seems almost apologetic about the country and his job when on the world stage.

When 2013 rolls around, it will be time to unload this “mistake” elected through media hype and false promises.  And I only hope that America will have learned a valuable but incredibly expensive lesson in the time being.  Politics isn’t theater and treating it like a beauty contest gets you presidents like this one.  And – believe only half of what you see from journalists and none of what you read.  They pitched any shred of credibility they had in the dust bin in 2008, and there’s no reason to believe they’ve taken it out, dusted it off and are now wearing it again – if ever they were before.




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