Good Morning Middle America, welcome to your King of Simple News Network.
U.S. NEWS: Ford is in the news today as the struggling auto maker gets a lift from its Brazilian operation.
The Reuters headline touts “Struggling at home, Ford sees lessons in Brazil.” The scene is set by announcing that poor people driving on poor roads, living in poor houses; work in one of the most modern auto plants in the world. Well, some of them do.
Ford determined that if having very poor people manufacture autos for very low wages and very few benefits, makes the company more money,…then it just goes to reason that having even fewer people employed would make even more money. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.
Chief executive of Ford’s Brazilian and Mercosur units had this to say, “There are several elements of the turnaround in Brazil that really worked as an inspiration for things that are being done in the States,”
These “things” that included canning some 46% of the work force and closing several plants in Brazil, worked so well that Ford came back to the U.S. and has cut 36,000 jobs since 2005 and has scheduled 10 plants to close. Oh joy.
Is Ford at fault for the massive loses that they have sustained? Are they at fault for 36,000 U.S. workers being unemployed? Not entirely. The trade policies ushered in during the 1990s simply allowed cheap foreign competition to enter the market unhampered by U.S. work rules and wages. In simple terms, Ford, GM, Chrysler, and thousands of other manufacturers, mathematically can’t compete; in the U.S.
So Ford’s idea is simple and necessary under the present conditions. Fewer plants, fewer workers, more robotics, and larger profits. But what about the workers? We have now entered the era of the “The non-reusable, non-returnable worker.”