About Detroit, first comes envy. . . then comes Schadenfreude; a $5.00 word that translates as glee when “he gets his.”
Word is out that GM and Chrysler claim they need more. This missive is prompted by that word.
To one degree or another, at various times, everyone takes private delight in the misfortunes of others.
No? When you’ve been waiting for what seems an interminable slow grind of minutes, waiting in the grocery market checkout line, a clerk suddenly opens an adjacent register and the shopper behind you recklessly races over to grab that spot in the new line, and the clerk’s scanner doesn’t recognize one of that customer’s items, and the need for a “price-check on Register 3” leaves that oh-so-eager-beaver abruptly mired in a retail twilight zone . . . you’re going to tell me that you don’t smile inwardly?
You’re lying, and you know it.
Not the lying part, the smiling part: that’s Schadenfreude. And there’s been an awful lot of it lately, as it relates to the plight of the American autoworker.
There are so many principles working here, principles of equal weight, that I’m going to raise them in no order of preference. They’re all equal.
As background, my now-deceased father worked for a few years at GM’s Warren Tech Center as a designer. Later, he secured a similar position with Ford, only a handful of minutes from our home and for better money. He worked for Ford until he retired. He was not in the UAW, he was white collar. And until their deaths, both he and my mother enjoyed full benefits: a generous retirement package, and 100% medical that included dental, vision, and hearing.