The Spark

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

Imports are a decoy, not a problem

Sep 22, 2003

The auto companies and the UAW say workers must give concessions so that U.S. companies can compete against imports like Toyota and Honda.

This story has always been a snow job. Ford, GM and Chrysler are not small, weak U.S. companies threatened by mighty world auto powers. Ford, GM and Chrysler are the mighty world auto powers! GM is the world's largest auto manufacturer. Ford is the world's largest maker of trucks and the second largest auto company. Chrysler is part of the world empire of Mercedes-Benz, now known as DaimlerChrysler.

Compared to these longstanding world powers, Toyota and Honda are just a couple of new kids on the block, decoys the Big 3 use to shift our attention away from them.

The Big 3 talk about "market share," while they hide the fact that they deliberately chose to let the new kids make the less-profitable small vehicles, while the Big Three concentrated on bigger high-profit-margin vehicles.

As for so-called "labor productivity" – what makes the Japanese factories more productive is the money those companies invest in machinery. While the Big 3 take it out in profits, the Japanese plow a lot back in!

Then there's the "legacy costs" which the Big 3 talk about, to hide the fact that they were supposed to put money aside to cover pensions and benefits from the moment you're hired. If they have to pay more money now, it's because they haven't been putting enough money in all along.

There's no reason for us to be taken in by these decoys. The world powers can give us world-class treatment.