Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Further thoughts on "Buying Amreican" and "Union First"

In an earlier post I had referred to an article about one UAW workers thoughts buying habits. The quote "Unemployed, hungry? Eat your Japanese car!" Was catchy in a simplistic way.
But one thing that has always bothered me is this, all the Union workers driving foreign cars. Now I'm Union, have been for almost 20 years, and even I in the past have owned cars that were non union built. My first new car was a Ford Festiva, built by Kia in Korea and sold here in the US as a Ford. My only other foreign car was a used 1984 Honda Accord, I bought as a winter beater a few years ago. But out of more than 17 cars, those were the only ones not "American" My current vehicle a Ford Ranger was assembled by UAW workers here in the USA. But were all the components? I think not.

Over the years, I have harassed fellow union members about what they drove to work. Many of my fellow workers drove Japanese or Korean cars and trucks. All the while, they would have bumper stickers saying how "proud to be Union" they were and how patriotic they are. Well, that does seem a tad hypocritical of them. I mean most "foreign" cars, even those assembled in the US are built by non union workers. And as for being "patriotic," how can you make that fervent claim from the seat of a foreign vehicle, possibly built in a country that many American soldiers died in battle against?

As for the "American" cars, the percentage of cars labeled such, that are actually imported in whole or in part is growing everyday, and with cheap labor overseas, I don't see that trend reversing. Even my "American" Ranger has parts, whole assemblies built overseas. Whether it be a transmission or engine, or the electronics or glass, no car is entirely built in the United States today. Some "foreign" cars have higher "local" content than "American" cars.

Now, I'm no simple dolt who thinks that people will all of a sudden stop buying "foreign" cars, nor would I really suggest it. With the state of the industry today, it would work against us in the end. But to my Union brothers and sister around the country, I would say this, think about your next purchase and how it may affect a fellow Union worker. To those that claim to be very "patriotic" and "proud to be American" how does it feel to have that American Flag decal on your Hyundai??

Hey, I'm not saying don't buy what you want or can afford, that's the American way. But when the lights go out in the last American plant, and our welfare rolls are at their highest and your taxes are going through the roof, just remember it didn't happen over night.

Yes the Big Three and the UAW are partially to blame, and maybe some of them deserve a kick in the pants, but what about all of those that work in jobs that are related to the auto industry? What about the communities around those closed plants? There are no easy answers, but there is food for thought.


ex-Hollywood Liberal said...

I wrote two recent essays on how unions ruin America http://exlibhollywood.blogspot.com/2005/11/masters-handlers-slaves.html and http://exlibhollywood.blogspot.com/2005/11/prop-75-union-contract.html
. I used to arrest heroin addicted GM union employees on break in Van Nuys - years before they closed in 1992 or so. These addicts taught me that my economy is more important than theirs. The unions are killing employers. Look what they're doing to our kids (teacher unions). If some third world employee makes $3/day making what you can make at $30/hour, you need to find some other job. I don't buy stuff to keep you employed - I buy stuff that works, that i can rely on, and that benefits me and my family. Union members do that same thing - market forces make democracy work and keep our economy alive...

Anonymous said...

Unions will be the death of America. They have out lived their usefulness and need to be broken. If I ran GM I would reorg the company after filing chapter 11 and get rid of the UAW leeches.

fotu said...

Unions are not the problem. The type of unions we have is the problem.

Big Ford Fan said...

ex-hollywood liberal, you say you used to arrest heroin addicted GM union employees. Did you arrest bankers and layers too? Weren't there the ocassional Fireman or Cop that was addicted to heroin?
A few bad people don't make all union employees bad. If you work (worked?) in law enforcement, aren't you also union? I'm sorry your experiences have left you with a poor view of unions.

Unions don't ruin America, they may not be perfect, but they are not the cause (solely) of our economic troubles. Greedy management has had a big part in it also. Not to mention unfair trade agreements, and lopsided trade policies with Asia and Europe.

Anonymous poster, if you don't have the guts to sign your post, your opinion isn't worth listening to. At least EHL tries to argue a point. Idiots like you are like flies, buzzing around with no purpose.

FOTU, I will check your page and EHL's also. I will say that I don't think that the UAW is without blame, but unions are a necessary part of our economy.

I've worked union and non union, and the level of skill and knowledge, in my field is higher with union workers and the wages and benefits are better because of this.

I can't speak on teacher's unions, I don't have kids, and want to keep my discusion on topic.

As for the third world employees making the product cheaper, you're right, but if all our production jobs are exported to countries with cheap labor, who will buy these products?

You shop where you want, buy what you want, my post was mostly directed toward Union people that buy non union made foreign cars.

There's no talking to guys like you that have hard set opinions. I'm not going to try and change your mind.

NLPRacing said...

I agree with you BFF. I'm not Union, but I do sell supplies to US manuafcturers for a living. There is definetly an imbalance between US companies and their foreign competition. Good paying manufacturing jobs are also good for the economy. When you have people making good money, you have more money being spent that benefits everybody and you have a larger tax base.