The last question in your post Josh asks, why are Dem’s pushing for layoffs in the middle of a recession? My answer: it isn’t just any jobs that will be cut, it’s the jobs worked by members of the UAW, the most powerful union body in the country today. The death or wounding of the Michigan UAW would be an incredible catch for the minority party. The Democratic rhetoric stems from filibuster worries in the Senate, and this is the way they will convince 4-5 Republican senators of voting for a bailout. There are few strong union Democrats in the Senate, the party is willing to allow the union to take the hit. Note that the Democrats have made no concerted effort to protect the workers. Even more, the UAW itself has been complicit with the job-cut, wage-reduction, benefit-reduction rhetoric. It’s a sad state of affairs when the representative body of the workers is fighting to make their condition of employment worse.
Not surprisingly, the other side of the aisle sees any auto bailout as a gift from the Democratic Congress to the unions. Apparently these commentators don’t realize that unions without employees aren’t unions.
Even more ridiculous (and sinister) to me was something I heard on TV this week: that lawmakers are resistant to a bailout for the automakers because it would be “throwing good money after the bad.” This is a startling quote for two reasons, 1) that the commentator would call this “good money” and 2) that we could make any statement about the “bad” now, after the billions of dollars given to banks so that they could hide it away in their treasury chest at the Fed. The “good money” is that being printed off the press or debt sold to foreign banks. The “bad money” is manufacturing infrastructure, and hundreds of thousands of jobs. As opposed to the financial industry, the so called “circulatory sytem” of the economy, who was given money to circulate, but instead plunked it at the Fed, where it earns them a safe 1.5% return on their principal. We can pump money to the banks so that they can sit on it and bilk us for interest, but we can’t send money to Detroit to keep one of the most depressed areas of the county afloat.
God bless the USA.