Cut Pay? Starting autoworkers now make 50% less than they used to under the new 2007 contract. The jobs bank was already being eliminated when Congress and the media started talking about it, and should be gone within a short while. Concessionary contracts have been a way of life for over 10 years. Let's not forget the Auto Industry led the way on things like being paid fairly for your work, 40-hour work weeks, fair benefits and working conditions. Those who carp about 'overpaid Autoworkers' should realize that it's those 'overpaid' Autoworkers who are largely responsible for everyone's higher pay, benefits and working conditions, let alone the creation of the American Middle Class that has driven the nation's economy for the last 100 years!
Restructuring? all 3 automakers have eliminated model lines and even whole divisions over the last 5 years, and have trimmed both White and Blue-collar jobs by more than 50%. They have been streamlining their business for more than five years, before Washington Politicians even realized there was something the car companies did other than give Environmentalist extremists a whipping boy! Of course, anyone who knows the car business knows you are always working on re-tooling and design anywhere from 3 to 7 years in the future. It is a complex and diverse business, and model changeovers cannot be achieved by merely snapping your fingers (or by the wave of the wand in passage of new legislation!). The problem is, many in Congress have never run a business, budgeted more than for their staffers or a campaign, or ever had to meet conflicting and often anti-business Government regulations and tax schedules! Listening to the ignorant questions that many Senators and Representatives threw out to the Big 3 Executives, I wonder if any have ever even opened a book on basic economics, let alone read it!
Executive pay? Rick Waggoner took a 50% pay cut when he started restructuring, Bill Ford Jr. took a 100% pay cut as chairman, and they have eliminated bonuses to not only executives, but salaried and hourly workers. As far as hourly pay, questions about 'overpaid hourly workers' seem more motivated by either flaming ignorance or else a desire to incite class warfare in order to drive down ALL Blue-collar wages!
New products? GM has the LARGEST FLEET of Hydrogen-Fuel Cell powered vehicles being field tested in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., while Chrysler has the second-largest fleet. GM crowded 10 years of Research & Development into 5 years for it's Chevrolet Volt program, and will have the FIRST mass-production fully plug-in electric vehicles for sale in the 2010 model year. The Detroit Big Three are far ahead of the Japanese in all areas of advanced R & D, despite the fawning (and largely inaccurate) media coverage of the Japanese Car makers! Of course, you won't know that listening to or reading the US media, as most are too lazy to do their basic research on the auto industry and just report 20-year-old rumors or re-write Sierra Club press releases in place of REAL journalism! The Detroit Big Three Automakers invest more in R & D every year than NASA--and even more than the Asians and Europeans. And that's without a dime of government subsidy like they receive massively in Europe and Asia!
And since our Washington DC politicians are suddenly so high on cost-efficiency and written plans, how about THEY take a huge pay cut, forego travel junkets around the world, eliminate unnecessary and wasteful spending, and write down a realistic and BALANCED budget for a change? Or do Ms. Pelosi and Co. merely subscribe to the hypocritical "do as I say, and not as I do" school of economics? It's also curious how the Big Three get examined with a PROCTOSCOPE asking for a $25 Billion dollar LOAN (NOT Bailout!), and the congress blithely GIVES AWAY (NOT loans!) $700 billion dollars to the Financial industry without even a CLUE as to where it's going, or any guidelines whatsoever! The Financials account for .4% of the US Gross Domestic Product, versus 4-5% for the Detroit-Based Auto Makers! The Financial industry also employs less than a TENTH of the people the Auto industry does! Seems like The Media and our Politicians have a serious problem with perspective, fairly judging each industry by it's REAL impact on the economy, and quite plainly, the basic facts of the situation!