When Republican Politicians Hate Jobs

general motors

Steve Hochstadt: The truth, however, is not important to Romney. He and other Republican politicians have been doing everything in their power to destroy unions. Saving union jobs is worse than saving no jobs.

10 Lessons for Today’s Unions from Labor’s Militant History

robin-doyno-1

Ann Robertson and Bill Leumer: As a first step, organized labor should organize massive demonstrations in major cities across the country on Labor Day to raise these demands. Working people strongly oppose these cuts and desperately want job-creation programs.

Automakers’ Bailout and Bankruptcies Shortchanged Accident Victims

junker-wide

Marian Wang: The U.S. Treasury still holds a stake in Chrysler that it intends to sell, and an Obama administration official has said that the government doesn’t expect to fully recover about $1.9 billion in remaining investments.

The U.S. Economy in 2011

Jobs in the New Year

Robert Reich: The two American economies — the Big Money economy and the Average Working Family economy — will continue to diverge. Corporate profits will continue to rise, as will the stock market. But typical wages will go nowhere, joblessness will remain high, the ranks of the long-term unemployed will continue to rise, the housing recovery will remain stalled, and consumer confidence will sag.

The Great Decoupling of Corporate Profits from Jobs

Robert Reich: Higher corporate profits no longer lead to higher employment. We’re witnessing a great decoupling of company profits from jobs.

The Vanishing American Consumer and the Coming Trade War

g-20 summit

Robert Reich: We’re unlikely to see a repeat of the disastrous Smoot-Hawley tariffs that worsened and lengthened the Great Depression. But you can forget trade-opening agreements. In Toronto last week, the G-20 leaders dropped their 2009 pledge to finish the Doha round this year. In the U.S., agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Columbia are languishing.

Why Obama Should Put BP Under Temporary Receivership

plug hole

Robert Reich: It’s time for the federal government to put BP under temporary receivership, which gives the government authority to take over BP’s operations in the Gulf of Mexico until the gusher is stopped. This is the only way the public know what’s going on, be confident enough resources are being put to stopping the gusher, ensure BP’s strategy is correct, know the government has enough clout to force BP to use a different one if necessary, and be sure the President is ultimately in charge.

Capitalism’s Golden Rule

Chevrolet

Bob Letcher: doubt that any portion of the collapse of GM was included as a cost of NOT having national healthcare. But all those Golden Handcuff’s that GM’s employees understandably put on their own wrists as the only way they could see for keeping their loved ones healthy and covered just might have contributed to the recent very expensive collapse of the company, the company towns, all the nameplates and jobs.

Break Up the Banks

Stimulus

Robert Reich: As long as the big banks are allowed to remain big, their political leverage over Washington will remain big. And as long as their political leverage remains big, the taxpayer and economic tab for the next mess they create will be big. By all means, give regulators resolution authority and also impose the tightest regulations possible. But Congress and the White House shouldn’t stop there. Limits should be placed on how big big banks can become.

“You Are Now the Owner of a Brand New Car (Company)!”

Walter Reuther

We now own a major stake in the largest auto company in the world. With the General Motors Corporation filing the second-largest industrial bankruptcy in world history, the US government has stepped in to take a 60% stake in the company and the autoworkers’ healthcare fund taking ownership of 17.5%. In a reversal of Aesop’s [...]

The Future of Manufacturing, GM, and American Workers (Part III)

Buick assembly line, 1950 (Photos Philip Gendreau)

As president of General Motors when Eisenhower tapped him to become secretary of defense in 1953, “Engine Charlie” Wilson voiced at his Senate confirmation hearing what was then the conventional view. When asked whether he could make a decision in the interest of the US that was adverse to the interest of GM, he said [...]

Breaking LA’s Auto Dependency

streetcar

The Greater Los Angeles area has long been plagued by a thought that individual neighborhoods don’t add up to a whole. And the good of that whole (the Greater Los Angeles area) is the largest micro situation in the macro dependency on foreign oil there is. With the dependency on cars that Los Angeles has [...]

CEOs Golden Parachutes

Golden Parachutes

n 2008, approximately  1,484 CEOs left or were fired from their jobs. But most of them left with hefty severance packages or “Golden Parachutes” which softened the fall for so many of the executives responsible for the financial crisis. General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner stepped down under pressure from the White House.  His Golden Parachute [...]

Obama Rescuing Capitalism: That’s a Lot of Weight for One Brother

obama_congress

Back in December, when it was obvious that the economy was in bad shape and before we knew how precarious it could get, Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International and columnist for Newsweek and the Washington Post, wrote, “For Obama to be remembered as a great president, he has to do nothing less than rescue [...]

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Finally, Too Many Cars

traffic

Rushing to beat a deadline, General Motors and Chrysler last Tuesday afternoon filed required restructuring plans with federal officials. Chrysler wants $5 billion more in federal loans to stay afloat. GM needs another $9.1 billion now, with more requests likely down the road. The short-term question of whether the two auto giants warrant a bailout [...]

White House and TARP to the Rescue — of Automakers, but not of States and Locales

detroit-flying

by Robert Reich – What now for the automakers? The Troubled Assets Relief Program — TARP — was enacted to save Wall Street but it’s already been so twisted out of its original shape by Hank Paulson that a bit more twisting to save the Big Three from bankruptcy over the next few weeks won’t [...]

Bail Out the Big Three and Revitalize the Economy

1947_cadillac_series_62_convertible

by John Paul Rossi – The other week, the appeal of the Big Three’’s executives for a $25 billion taxpayer bailout for their desperately ailing firms failed. Neither the fractious lame duck Congress, nor the Bush administration were willing to help.

Why the Automakers Won’t Make Fuel-Efficient Cars, Even as the Price of Being Bailed Out

detroit

by Robert Reich – Telling automakers to make more fuel-efficient cars as a condition of being bailed out is like telling Citigroup or any other big bank to issue more affordable loans to Main Street as a condition of being bailed out. It won’t happen.

The Mini Depression and the Maximum-Strength Remedy

by Robert Reich – This is not the Great Depression of the 1930s, but nor is it turning out to be merely a bad recession of the kind we’ve experienced periodically over the last half century. Call it a Mini Depression.

If They’re Too Big To Fail, They’re Too Big Period

by Robert Reich – According to Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, the biggest Wall Street banks now getting money from the government are just “too big to fail.” Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke uses a different euphemism – he calls them “systemically critical.” The point is that if any of them goes down, it could take the [...]

Death of Buick City

Kumar 1950s Buicks

I traveled to Lapeer in Michigan recently to visit an old, dear friend. Lapeer happens to be near the motor city of Flint. I was given a tour of Flint by his wife Sue. Flint was getting ready to have a “celebration” of GM’s 100th anniversary (if you can call it a celebration). I was [...]

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