Sunday, November 23, 2008

Guarantee GM repays -- mandate Honda and BMW pay their southern workers Detroit wages

If Honda and BMW truly make better cars and trucks then they can indisputably compete paying the same labor costs as out Big 3. Upshot: legislate sector-wide labor agreements that require folks doing the same job to get paid the same even for different firms -- save the Big 3 on the cheap; legislate a level playing field. Go with the "lite" French and French Canadian version that only requires nonunion firms to work under contract conditions negotiated with union firms. Save the Big 3 by doing what we should have done in the first place -- what most modern economies have done long ago in some form: mandate sector wide labor agreements

Japan of course goes to the most brazen extremes to bar even mild competition from within her borders. Japan makes a deal to allow American cell phone service in -- Japan splits in two and American service is confined to hill country with no population while Japanese service takes the urban. Japan agrees to buy more American beef -- Japan buys American ranches to sell beef to itself. As a cab driver my Japanese riders from the airports without exception went to Japanese chain hotels. Japan even carries on the charade of being unable to expand Tokyo airport for decades now because of the crazy carrying on opposition of a few local farmers -- conveniently limiting foreign travel of domestic Yen.

Can't imagine Japan or German or Italy allowing American auto manufacturing to undercut and put their whole industry out of business the way Wal-Mart undercuts the opposition: by paying employees much less (Wal-Mart closed 88 big boxes in the German land of same pay and benefits for same job descriptions -- as are the majority of first world lands). Why is the American intelligentsia the only people in the world who blithely acquiesce in the loss of their flagship industries -- to sever wage undercutting yet -- is this their version of American exceptionalism (I know they wouldn't like to think that).

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