The Spark

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

Extorting sacrifices from auto workers

Dec 1, 2008

Auto executives are threatening if they don’t get government money, their companies could collapse, endangering the whole economy, costing millions of jobs.

It’s true, much of the economy rests on auto – perhaps one in ten jobs in the whole country depend directly or indirectly on auto.

But handing over billions of dollars to auto executives won’t save jobs in the auto industry, nor in the economy as a whole.

Congress, with the Democrats in the lead, promises to help the auto companies – but ONLY if the companies “restructure.”

“Restructuring” auto won’t save jobs either. It will cost them. For decades auto has done nothing but restructure – and all that did was cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and reduce the standard of living of auto workers, and with them, that of the whole working class.

With every “restructuring,” the auto companies took out more profit, using it to enrich executives and to hand out dividends on top of dividends to wealthy investors, who gambled that money away in the Wall Street casinos. The auto companies themselves diverted profits made in production into their own financial subsidiaries – which used them to bundle up mortgages and sell them as securities.

Almost every big production industry was run like that – until this whole financial house of cards collapsed.

And yet, these brazen con artists dare to come back demanding that auto workers give up still more concessions in order to “save the auto industry.”

No – workers have no reason to give up anything. Down that road lies disaster.