Posts Tagged ‘Detroit auto bailout’

It didn’t take long for Detroit and the liberal media to find a scapegoat for the failure of the “Big Three” automakers. As the December 13th edition of the Detroit Free Press newspaper stated in an article entitled “Republicans Manufacture a Deal Breaker”:

“It just grinds you, doesn’t it?

I mean that a handful of senators from former Confederate states could so summarily sign a death warrant for the Michigan economy. A bunch of self-serving Republicans who will now go around blaming the United Auto Workers for killing the auto industry rescue plan.

Convenient excuse for something they never had any intention of passing. It’s just a coincidence, of course, that they all come from states with non-union auto plants owned by the foreign competitors of GM, Ford and Chrysler.

A former colleague who grew up in the Deep South once told me, “Where I come from, there’s not much difference between union and Union Army.”

Certainly this defeat was payback for the UAW’s traditional support of Democratic candidates. But maybe it ran even deeper, back to 1861 when President Abraham Lincoln exclaimed “Thank God for Michigan!” as 798 men from this state arrived in Washington to defend it against advancing southern troops early in the Civil War.

Thursday’s Senate session gave this southern cabal a chance at long last to say, “To hell with Michigan!”

In an article published in the December 17th, 2008 issue of Detroit‘s Metro Times entitled “No What?” the blame for the “Big Three’s” failure is placed squarely on The South when the paper states:

“President George W. Bush is almost certain to release a few billions to keep the wheels turning. Somewhere in whatever passes for his cerebral cortex, there has to be some realization of how badly he’s screwed up just about everything he’s done. We have a failed war, failed diplomacy, and a deficit out of control. Dubya’s approval ratings are virtually the lowest in history.

The Shrub, in other words, badly needs a high note to shuffle off on. He got that chance when a bunch of Confederate senators unexpectedly derailed aid to the auto industry. Creatures like Richard Shelby of Alabama, “Call Girl Dave” Vitter of Louisiana and Bobby Corker of Tennessee — Republicans all — demanded that in return for loans to their employers, the United Auto Workers immediately agree to non-union wage rates prevailing in the South.

When the union declined, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his troops refused to allow the full Senate to vote on the package, raising the real possibility of causing the car companies to collapse, and creating millions of jobless”

The Washington Times published an article in its December 13, 2008 issue entitled “UAW sees Northern plants under siege”, in which UAW local 602 President Brian Fredline is quoted as saying:

“This is almost like Confederate senators fighting against the Union Army of the North. The parallels are frightening, and it’s almost this mentality that the South will rise again. They hold hostage the economic recovery of anyone who lives north of the Mason-Dixon line

The December 12, 2008 edition of Blackvoices.Com was much more dramatic, in its article entitled “Senate to Detroit: Bailout THESE!” when it proclaimed:

“The South rose again, and Alabama Senator Richard “Dick” Shelby waved his confederate flag and led his white hooded mafia to a rousing defeat of the American auto industry — all based on his hatred of unions and his attempt to score points with the foreign automakers who have plants in his state.”

Waiving Confederate flags, a hooded mafia? How could that be? I thought with the election of Barack Obama that everything had changed and America had finally redeemed itself. But I digress…

While I confess I’m no economist, I do consider myself to be somewhat of an historian. For instance while reading a Thomas DiLorenzo article published on the Lew Rockwell.Com website on April 16, 2003, DiLorenzo in his article entitled “The Buy American Myth”, states {in regards to the cause of the Civil War}:

“Southerners clearly understood that they were being made into tax slaves by the North, and by Lincoln

Perhaps Southern senators are reasserting themselves and finally understand that they represent their constituents, not the Northern press or the purveyors of corporate welfare who have run the “Big Three” automakers into the ground.

Defenders of the “Big Three” have accused Southern senators of placing “American” jobs in jeopardy and protecting “foreign” interests”. It’s an argument that just hold water. 

For instance; in a June 22, 2005 posting on the “Left Coaster” blog {posted at:} the editor writes:

“The New York Times runs a story today on the growth of foreign automaker production facilities and jobs in the United States. Foreign automakers now account for well over 40% of the auto making jobs in the country, with most of their factories and jobs located in the southern states for one big obvious reason: these are non-union states.

Now, an obvious knee-jerk reaction from someone like me would be to oppose what these automakers are doing because these are nonunion jobs in red states. However, when you look at the pay and benefit package offered for example by Toyota, you will see that notwithstanding the physical expectations that Toyota and other automakers demand out of their workers, the end result is still that well-paying jobs are being created in this country, jobs with companies that have a different corporate culture that American firms and some appreciation for long-term employment commitments.”

An article posted June 1, 2007 on the website, entitled, “Report: Toyota named most productive manufacturer in North American” cites a 2007 Habour Report which contains the following information:

“According to the latest Harbour Report, Toyota leads the way in overall automaker productivity, needing only 29.93 hours to make a car. Nissan came next at 29.97 hours, with Honda third at 31.63 hours. Those numbers cover stamping, engine and transmission production, and car assembly.”

For the Union labor leaders, the Liberal press and the CEO’s crying for corporate welfare, I would like to offer a December 12, 2008 article posted on that asks, “What makes a car American?”.  The results might surprise you:

“With the top U.S. automakers in economic survival mode, “Buy American” is a frequent cry among those trying to save jobs at home. But buying a car to benefit the U.S. economy has become an ambiguous, complicated challenge.

“How you define an American car is one of the great conundrums of this world,” said Dutch Mandel, the editor and associate publisher of AutoWeek.

Fewer than half of the parts on some Big Three vehicles are made in the U.S.

Looking at a Ford Fusion? It is assembled in Mexico. The Chrysler 300C is assembled in Canada, but its transmission is from Indiana; the brand’s V-8 engine is made in Mexico. Engines in the Chevrolet Equinox sport utility vehicle are from China.

On the other hand, Toyota’s Camry is comprised 80 percent of parts made in the United States, and 56 percent of Toyota’s vehicles sold in the U.S. also are made here, according to Toyota spokeswoman Sona Iliffe-Moon.

The Toyota Sienna and Tundra also have 80 percent of their parts manufactured in the U.S.

The liberal media should stop blaming Southern senators for Detroit‘s problems. For once these elected officials are doing their jobs by voting against a bail out that rewards corporations for being inefficient and manufacturing vehicles that few people want. Why should the South once again become tax slaves to keep Lincoln‘s failed Mercantilist ideals alive?

On the other hand, one good thing to come out of this is that perhaps the liberal media and many black publications are finally admitting {inadvertently} that Mr. Lincoln’s war really was about the economy and not slavery.

-Clint E. Lacy is a Southern author and activist that resides in the Ozark foothills of Southeast Missouri.  He is a Historian for the John T. Coffee Camp #1934, Missouri Sons of Confederate Veterans and serves as an Alderman for the City of Marble Hill, Missouri.