Lots of fuss lately about Toyota's troubles . ... I suppose there are two ways to look at it. 1) See, even Toyota's in trouble! Hah! ... 2) Toyota is panicking and taking corrective action while there is still time as opposed to the Detroit/UAW traditional method of one step (or two, or three) too late. ... P.S.: I'm not saying that this too-little-too-late phenomenon is built into Wagner Act unionism. ... Oh wait. That's exactly what I'm saying. The Wagner Act sets up a clunky, rule-bound bureaucacy of tooth-pulling negotiation--especially when it comes to administering pain--that wouldn't have worked even in the WWII era of massive industrial behemoths if we'd had any competition. It certainly won't work today. ...
Of course, GM once tried to set up a subsidiary with a less clunky, less rule bound bureaucracy--with flexible shifts and profit sharing but many fewer work rules, etc.. The UAW killed it, lest all those efficiency-enhancing innovations spread to other GM factories (where they might have, you know, saved GM). That wasn't what unionism was all about, argued the UAW traditionalists. They were right. Paul Ingrassia has the grim details . [ via Hit & Run via Insta ]
Fire Mickey Kaus
decade-long record of
regarding the Plot to Kill Saturn. ...
P.P.S.: The Next GM/Chrysler Bailout (#2): Pelosi seems to be on board ! [ Detroit News ]
Pelosi said Democrats want automakers to "thrive," and she hasn't ruled out additional support for automakers if they show that they are "viable."
Update: Big Money's Matthew DeBord argues that "signs are actually good" for Detroit's Big Three because "[a]ll are seeing their market share increase," He's apparently referring to this chart , which shows GM's share rising (from about 18.8 percent in July to 19.46 in August to 20.87 in September ) while Ford and Chrysler are essentially flat, Unfortunately, many more people bought cars in the cash-for-clunkers months of July and August, when GM's share was down. It doesn't do much good to have impressive market share in September if the market is puny. When you add up all the good and bad months in 2009 to date, in fact, GM's share has fallen from 22.3 in 2008 to 19.6 in 2009. Chrysler's down from 11 to 9.2 , Meanwhile, Ford rose from 14.2 to 15.2 (and in the most recent three months is up at 16.4). Honda has gained a tiny bit and Toyota's share is flat. None of that convinces me that "signs" are "good" for GM and Chrysler. (It is suprising that Toyota hasn't capitalized on their distress, which may explain this .) ... 12:21 P.M.
A big 10-pt jump in relative support of health care reform in Rasmussen's latest poll , which either says something about public opinion or something about Rasmussen. Either way, it's good for Obama, since Rasmussen has been the most pessimistic of the health care pollsters.** ... Maybe everyone is calming down as familiar, boring Senate moderates take center stage. ... P.S.: But the Rasmussen progress is hardly enough to pacify the throbbing Congressional id --health care reform still loses by a 50-46 margin. ...
**-- Update : Until this grim new FOX poll .. ... 12:20 P.M.