My father says labor unions have run costs up and made the US goods too expensive and that’s why we’re failing economically. He loves to quote the extra cost per car that GM and Ford have to pay “because of the Unions”.
But don’t Japanese cars generally sell for a higher price than GM or Ford cars? How exactly does that imply that high costs in the US are “the problem”?
The supposed national cost burden due to labor unions’ “extra benefits” is trivial compared to the national overhead cost burden due to the subsidies given to the financial sector.
Let’s see, Bush and Obama have spent over $4 Trillion on the financial sector SO FAR (not counting lost tax revenues due to allowing financial firms to operate tax-free in off-shore corporate tax havens) . . . vs. . . . the 17 M US union workers in 2008 who earn on average $40k/yr in personal income (U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Where should I be more concerned? Let’s do simple calculations:
17 M union workers X $40,000/yr salary = $680 B
Estimated union fringe benefits (health, pension, etc.) = 30%
Estimated non-union fringe benefits (health, pension, etc.) = 20%
“Extra” union benefits over non-union benefits = 10%
$680 B X 10% = $68 B annual cost of “extra” Union benefits
Hmmmmm, $68 B is about 2% of the bailouts given SO FAR to the financial sector–NOT including the subsidy cost of allowing the largest financial firms to operate in off-shore tax havens as tax-free entities.
Hmmmmm, $68 B is about HALF the bailout given to just AIG (so far)–almost all of the $168 B given to AIG was immediately paid out to Goldman Sachs and other financial firms (less a few $$ billion in well earned “bonuses” for hard working, non-union, AIG folks).
Lol! Wanna talk about the cost per automobile due to subsidizing the financial sector?
Hmmmmmm, excess costs due to financial sector subsidies vs. excess costs due to union benefits–$4000 B vs. $68 B. Where should I be more concerned?
OF COURSE! It’s those damned greedy unions and their excess benefits! It’s their fault. (Thank you Fox News.)