Thursday, November 20, 2008

What's wrong with GM is what's wrong with the American LABOR MARKET

Try to move American auto factories in on other First World countries -- w/o legacy costs, paying less than their factories pay assembly line workers. In Germany, France, Italy, etc. you will not be able to pay less than others pay doing the same job BY LAW -- and no legacy costs because health and retirement are all government. Ditto for Korea.

Wal-Mart just closed 88 big boxes in Germany after its business plan did not work paying their employees the same as competitors.

For all practical purposes, you cannot build significant competitive anything inside Japan no matter how much you pay -- least of all undercutting domestic wages and benefits. But Japan jumps into our domestic market to destroy our industries.

Do foreign managements and engineers sometimes do a better job. Maybe that's because our best were manufacturing SR-71s (Kelly's Skunk Works) or now useless space stations while the nations we protected during the Cold War were able to concentrate on domestic appliances.

In any case we are on the verge of an era in which cars are virtually as easy to design and build as your kid's toy racing: easy to build -- but as reliable as jet engines to run -- electric motor and battery, no tricky transmission (goodbye 6 speed electric), plus a little one speed (rpm) generator engine...
...that should yield 100 mpg.

Lithium ion batteries should in a few years be capable of holding, first, 4 times today's (40 mile) charge and, eventually, 10 times -- unbeknownst to a certain Republican presidential candidate who wanted to post a reward of $300 million for a more powerful battery.

Allowing Japanese manufacturers to at long last succeed in gutting their domestic American competition would be snatching defeat from the jaws of long sought engineering victory.

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