Tuesday, February 12, 2008

And More News

The largest national home mortgage lenders have agreed to slow down foreclosures that are in progress for a whole...

30 days !

This is to give homeowners more time to get a workout plan put together.

Well, it's something.

The US Senate has passed a bill that preserves immunity for the big telecom companies that assisted in the surveillance / wiretapping the Bush Administration ordered, started and continues to use. The House has not passed it yet in this form, so it may change, but don't bet on it.

There are not enough angry Democrats to outweigh the Republicans who still want to pander to the President's whims on "Nash-nul Seekyurittie".

For some unknown reason, all the same Republicans who want the President to just stay out of the way in this coming election are continuing to slavishly follow his lead on this issue, regardless of his track record on locating and going after the real threat to us in the Middle East.

They appear to have blinded themselves to his shortcomings and weaknesses by their own timidity.

Or something like that.

General Motors Corporation is offering 74,000 experienced, higher paid workers, a buyout offer of up to $140,000 to quit. The 74,000 workers GM is trying to induce to retire represents its entire U.S. hourly workforce.

To try to cut huge losses that have dogged the company since 2005, the company is making offers, up to cash payments of $140,000 to the remaining 74,000 GM workers represented by the United Auto Workers union.

The goal is not to reduce headcount but to bring in new workers at a lower cost.

About 46,000 GM employees are eligible to retire today and they can take pension incentives worth between $45,000 to $62,500 to retire.

In addition there are inducements for those who are within five years of retirement to leave early and receive benefits.

Those who leave and agree to sever all ties with the company - including giving up lucrative pension and health care coverage - will receive a lump sum of $140,000 if they have 10 years of service. They will receive $70,000 if they have less than 10 years of service.

Brilliant move, GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner !!!

Spend short term cash to cut wages and benefit costs by getting rid of all your EXPERIENCED workers int he U.S.

What a sad day in America...

GM, which used to be the largest and most profitable corporation in the world, actually thinks it will be better off with inexperienced workers in all of its U.S. hourly positions.

The answer has been for years, even decades:

Cut Costs
Add Buyer Incentives to Move Boring Vehicles
Reduce the Workforce
Fight the Unions
Oh Yeah, If We Have Time, Create Better Designs Eventually

Instead of:

Build Better Cars
Create Great Design
Increase Reliability
Improve Quality
Give Customers Better Value

We are rapidly moving towards the day in which we will have lost all our manufacturing jobs to low cost producers and high quality producers because we could be neither.

We will lose those high paying jobs and will be replacing them with service jobs, many of those service jobs substnatially lower paying than the jobs they replaced.

We will one day not be known for producing anything...

But we will increasingly be known for financing everything, including our expanding debts.

This is an approximation of how Holland, Spain and England lost their economic, political and military leadership in the world.

But it may be that there is nothing to be done about it.

I am not sure yet, but I am thinking about it, reading, talking to those who have other points of view.

I will add to this blog what I learn.

I think it is important enough to keep at it.

And In Other News...
A hockey player was attacked by Count Dracula On Ice,
Amy Winehouse moved to a dry county,
Paris Hilton's brother shows he is learning the family trade,
Hollywood writers got over their block,
Roger Clemens says "Jose CanYouSeco, by the dawn's early light, that I never went to that party last night...?"
Shuttle astronauts were supposed to deliver a new lab to the space station this week, but there were only enough funds for a Labrador Retriever,
Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch were placed on probation by NASCAR authorities for engaging in a tizzie over who had the prettier uniform.
BestBuy endorsed the new DVD format, "BlueDeathRay".
In all the fuss, the Presidential Election was held early and we missed it.
Oprah is now our President.
Pakistan's Ambassador to Afghanistan is missing today, possibly kidnapped as a reprisal for the wounding and capture of Mullah Mansoor Dadullah, brother of Mullah Dadullah who was killed last May, and who is survived by...oh forget it.
Trouble in East Timor, Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan, Kazakhstan, Turdmenistan, and San Francisco, as Berkeley secedes from the Union.
And in Great Britain, a head official from the head official Church is in hot water for suggesting that at least some Islamic Sharia law will inevitably be incorporated into English law.
Now if you steal a cup of tea, they cut off your crumpet.

And so it goes...

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