The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Too many retirees. Too few active workers?

Jan 21, 2002

The Big 3 claim over and over that they cannot compete with Toyota or Honda in the U.S. because the foreign car manufacturers have an unfair advantage. The U.S. auto companies claim that the newer corporations don’t have all the retirees that Ford, GM and Chrysler have, so their costs are lower.

We know that corporate America practices lying like humans practice breathing, but here they’ve really outdone themselves.

Legally, corporations which have employees entitled to retirement and health benefits are required to set aside a sum of money sufficient to cover their future retirement and health obligations. And these three companies certainly had the money to do it – look at all the wealth that their retirees produced for them, year in, year out for the 30 and more years they worked before they retired. Not to mention the fact that their taxes were lowered when they claimed these pension contributions as an expense on their balance sheets.

So if GM, Ford and Chrysler want to tell us today they have to dip into today’s profits to fund pension liabilities they should have funded yesterday, then they are thieves stealing from the workers and the IRS.

If you’re thinking about waiting to see if the government will slap these guys in jail, don’t hold your breath!