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The UAW and Domestic Automakers

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Comments

  • george35george35 Posts: 203
    I think one of the business publications estimated that N.A. UAW content would increase the price of the vehicle approximately $110.00 per percentage point of domestic basis per vehicle. IF that is true that is a tough hurdle to overcome.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    I think one of the business publications estimated that N.A. UAW content would increase the price of the vehicle approximately $110.00 per percentage point of domestic basis per vehicle. IF that is true that is a tough hurdle to overcome.

    What ???? $110.00 or 110% percent ???? Both are absolutely false. The cost of UAW labor per vehicle is $1500 average. Yeah it sounds expensive, but the Japanese vehicles aren't that far behind. I guess it depends upon the person who's buying the product. You have basically a (A) (B) or (C) type of break down.

    (A) is a Union Autoworker from one of the Big 3 that gets paid a good wage, has good benefits and retirement, and won't be on any social programs when he/she reaches retirement.

    (B) is a non-union autoworker from the Asian Transplants that gets paid less but to some it's a fair wage. he/she get's a "gamble" called a 401K for retirement, but has decent insurance during their working years, but has no insurance paid by the company during retirement and probably will be on a social program, especially if the 401K doesn't pay off.

    (C) is a autoworker in a foreign country of which might be union or non union depending on where the automobile was built. The union plants in South Korea, Japan, and some European country's like Germany have human rights, get paid a fair wage, and yes most are socialist where the gov't. picks up the tab for insurance, etc.
    The foreign 3rd world country's autoworkers (China etc.) exploit their workers with no safety rules, child labor, no benefits, and poor wages to assemble products for our consumption. Some of the products made there are cheap in more ways than one. ;)

    My suggestion is whatever you do, don't buy a product from a 3rd world country if you can help it. I'd rather see you buy a Honda or Toyota that's made in the U.S.A. over lets say a mexican made Ford Fusion. I'd also rather see you buy a Lexus LS 460 (Which is Japanese union made) over let's say a Chevy Equinox which only has 30% NA content and is of High Chinese content. :mad:

    I of course would prefer you to buy letter (A) over the others. However Letter (B) is the next best thing and might end up in the future being the best choice for us patriots that want to keep their fellow americans employed at whatever cost. :cry:

    :shades:

    Rocky
  • george35george35 Posts: 203
    Rocky,
    I think you missed what I have said. Read it again !
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I guess you'd rather manufactor cars with illegal aliens to keep costs down..."

    :confuse:

    You ARE aware it is possible to construct cars in THIS country without employing either UAW labor OR illegal aliens?
  • george35george35 Posts: 203
    More Bad News for Detroit

    By Eric Peters
    Netscape Autos Editor
    March 2, 2006


    A shut-out is about as bad as it gets in sports -- and in business. And it's just happened to America's automakers -- not one of whom made it into Consumer Reports' "Top 10" ranking of new cars for 2006.
    Four of the ten were Hondas -- including the just-redesigned Civic and the Ridgeline pick-up, Honda's first-ever truck. Toyota scored two slots for the Prius and Highlander hybrids -- a category of vehicle it pioneered. Subaru's Forester and Impreza also made the cut -- as did the Infiniti M35 luxury-sport sedan.

    This is the first time in the 10-year history of the "Top Ten" rankings that Consumer Reports has not listed at least one domestic model car or truck as a recommended pick.

    The news was accompanied by much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Motor City.

    If there's any consolation to be had for America's car companies, it is that CR's rankings are at least partially subjective -- based on the personal likes and dislikes of the editors as well as on surveys of CR readers -- who may have a bias toward import cars that puts the domestics at a disadvantage.

    And there's no question that the overall quality of American brand vehicles is much-improved today -- as evidenced by objective data such as the incidence of recalls for major problems and consumer complaints. GM and Ford are making the best vehicles they've built in some time, at least quality-wise.

    However, America's automakers are fighting an uphill battle to regain the consumer confidence they lost after many years of so-so quality and a series of high-profile "problem cars" -- from the Oldsmobile diesel in the late 1970s to Ford Explorer rollover debacle just a few years ago. The customers lost to the imports will be exceptionally hard to recover. Having been burned once, why would they risk being burned twice?

    Also, the domestics have had trouble connecting with the market -- building cars that management thinks buyers ought to want rather than building cars the market does in fact want. Recent examples of this disconnect include the unfortunate Pontiac Aztek and GTO, as well as the Lincoln Aviator and Ford Excursion SUV. All flopped badly and had to be cancelled after just a few short years of lackluster sales.

    There is no analog for such poor perception of market needs/wants among the Japanese manufacturers -- who continue to display an uncanny insight into what people want -- and are willing to pay full price for. The radical in design Honda Ridgeline is a case in point. It's neither a car nor a truck -- but a brilliant fusion of both. Honda realized many suburban buyers want the occasional utility of a pick-up bed, but not the clunky truck handling (and awful gas mileage) of a conventional pick-up. So they built the Ridgeline off a car "platform," or underlying chassis -- and gave it just enough "truck" capability (the bed, the standard all-wheel-drive system) mixed together with the ride and handling of a passenger sedan.

    Or consider the new Civic. It sets a new high water mark for what a small car should be --offering such things as GPS navigation (also available in Mazda's excellent 3 series) and -- in the sport-themed Si version -- a 197-hp engine with variable valve timing an 8,300 RPM redline and a six-speed manual transmission. This car (and import sport compacts like it) has become the "in" car for 18-25 year-olds, for the same reason that '55-'57 Chevies once ruled the street a few generations ago. Style, affordability and great price -- in one package.

    It seems straightforward enough -- but the domestics (GM especially) just don't seem to get it. The blandly styled, "badge-engineered" GTO stands in sharp contrast to the lean, exciting Civic Si.

    Ford has done much better with the new Mustang -- but it's a bit pricey for the younger crowd. The new Fusion (and Mercury Milan) are good-looking, well-built compact sedans -- but their fate depends on buyers being willing to give Ford a shot.

    Which they may not do.

    In addition to the embarrassing CR rankings (or non-rankings), there was more bad news for domestic automakers in terms of sales this year so far. Ford sales dropped by another 4 percent in February; GM was down 2.5 percent. Honda, meanwhile, posted an 8.7 percent increase over the same period -- and Toyota is poised to sell a staggering 9 billion cars worldwide this year -- possibly overtaking General Motors as the world's largest automaker.

    The "bread and butter" Camry continues to be the best-selling car in North America -- and Toyota is making steady inroads into the final redoubt of American car company strength, large trucks and SUVs.

    There's plenty of blame to go around for all this -- and depending on your personal biases, you can lay it at the feet of the unions, government meddling -- unfair trade practices on the part of the Japanese. Etc. But the bottom line reality is that American car companies have lost the allegiance of consumers -- not just Consumer Reports.

    Until -- and if -- they can get it back, the slide will continue apace.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    This guy is guzzling the import Kool-Aid so much that poor old Kool-Aid Man is gonna die of anemia!

    the Oldsmobile diesel in the late 1970s

    Geeze, this is so old that it should be in the museum of natural history. A diesel would've failed here anyway as they aren't really that popular in NA.

    to Ford Explorer rollover debacle just a few years ago.

    More a fault of the tire manufacturer and idiots who don't realize you don't drive an SUV like a sports car.

    The blandly styled, "badge-engineered" GTO stands in sharp contrast to the lean, exciting Civic Si.

    More bullcrap than in a stockyard. The Civic Si is as exciting as spending an evening with my girlfriend's elderly aunt. The GTO is like a bachelor party for the Sultan of Brunei. There's that silly "badge-engineered" buzzword. What the heck is just about every Acura?

    Or consider the new Civic. It sets a new high water mark for what a small car should be

    If this is a high-water mark, there must be a severe drought this year!

    --offering such things as GPS navigation

    Available in just about any car if you're a technophile or a moron who can read a road map and is willing to shell out big $$$ for an expensive toy.

    a 197-hp engine with variable valve timing an 8,300 RPM redline and a six-speed manual transmission.

    Gee, a teeny engine that'll rev itself to death mated to an transmission that'll make any tranny specialist cry with joy as it'll enable him to send his kids to Harvard.

    Ford has done much better with the new Mustang -- but it's a bit pricey for the younger crowd.

    Shoot, like ALL new cars aren't unless Mommy and Daddy are paying.

    The "bread and butter" Camry continues to be the best-selling car in North America -- and Toyota is making steady inroads into the final redoubt of American car company strength, large trucks and SUVs.

    I'd call the Camry just plain old white bread sans the butter. Unsalted rice cakes have more soul and flavor. I don't see Toyota making any serious effort to make a decent large truck. No contractors or other tradespeople use Toyotas as serious work trucks.

    There's plenty of blame to go around for all this -- and depending on your personal biases, you can lay it at the feet of the unions,

    Maybe?

    government meddling

    Yes.

    -- unfair trade practices on the part of the Japanese.

    MOST DEFINATELY!

    Etc. But the bottom line reality is that American car companies have lost the allegiance of consumers

    I'm loyal to the very end. Semper Fi! I can't speak for those others.

    -- not just Consumer Reports.

    You mean "Communist Reports."
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,697
    Amen!

    I did agree with him on
    "If there's any consolation to be had for America's car companies, it is that CR's rankings are at least partially subjective -- based on the personal likes and dislikes of the editors as well as on surveys of CR readers -- who may have a bias toward import cars that puts the domestics at a disadvantage."

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "A diesel would've failed here anyway as they aren't really that popular in NA."

    You missed the point. The Olds diesel didn't fail because diesel wasn't popular. It failed even in comparison to other diesels.

    "More a fault of the tire manufacturer and idiots who don't realize you don't drive an SUV like a sports car."

    Agreed....although it was interesting that the Explorer rollover rate was high even in comparison to other SUV's.

    "The Civic Si is as exciting as spending an evening with my girlfriend's elderly aunt. The GTO is like a bachelor party for the Sultan of Brunei. There's that silly "badge-engineered" buzzword. What the heck is just about every Acura?"

    The Civic Si is exciting to the demographic it is aimed at, which probably doesn't include you. The GTO may be terrific fun to drive (and with 400hp I'm sure it is), but the reviewer stated "blandly-styled". Which it is. Which is one reason it didn't catch on. "Badge-engineered" because it is nothing more than a Australian built Holden with "GTO" badges.

    Acura? The ONLY badge-engineered Acura would be the TSX since it is essentially a European Accord. What are the equivalent Honda models to the RSX, TL, MDX or RL?

    "If this is a high-water mark, there must be a severe drought this year!"

    Compared to other cars in it's segment, the Civic is close to the top. Personally, I still prefer the Mazda3. Either way, the new Civic is head and shoulders above GM's Cobalt, unless of course one is a diehard GM appologist.

    "Gee, a teeny engine that'll rev itself to death mated to an transmission that'll make any tranny specialist cry with joy as it'll enable him to send his kids to Harvard."

    You really don't know much about the reliability of Honda high rpm motors OR Honda manual transmissions, do you?

    "Shoot, like ALL new cars aren't unless Mommy and Daddy are paying."

    Eventually, young folks buy their OWN cars with their OWN money. And usually, they start out with less expensive cars.

    "I don't see Toyota making any serious effort to make a decent large truck. No contractors or other tradespeople use Toyotas as serious work trucks."

    Are you blind? Are you saying the current Tundra (let alone the upcoming 1/2 ton Tundra with power expected far in excess of 300hp and standard tow rating in excess of 10k pounds) isn't even a DECENT large truck?

    I'm tempted to fill a photo album and post it in the CarSpace section of Tundras being used by contractors....
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,697
    The GTO may be terrific fun to drive (and with 400hp I'm sure it is), but the reviewer stated "blandly-styled".

    The GTO is exciting to the demographic it is aimed at, which probably doesn't include you.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    This guy is guzzling the import Kool-Aid so much that poor old Kool-Aid Man is gonna die of anemia!

    OOOh YEAH (busting through wall)

    More bullcrap than in a stockyard. The Civic Si is as exciting as spending an evening with my girlfriend's elderly aunt. The GTO is like a bachelor party for the Sultan of Brunei. There's that silly "badge-engineered" buzzword. What the heck is just about every Acura?

    Ever driven an Si Mr. Brimley? My guess is NO since your stable consists of cars no more sporting than a schoolbus at an F1 event. As for the GTO, while a fine example of GM "getting it" for performance, the car is heavy, the gearbox is notchy and the not-so-agile handling puts the car on a totally different level than the Si. It does go like a bat of hell though... In a straight line.

    Gee, a teeny engine that'll rev itself to death mated to an transmission that'll make any tranny specialist cry with joy as it'll enable him to send his kids to Harvard.

    Once again, having not owned a Honda product, I can accept your complete lack of experience that brought you to this conclusion. Honda engines can take the abuse, that is what they were designed for. And the gearboxes are some of the best in the industry. Do you even KNOW how to drive a stick? Seriously

    Sorry you don't like the results of Consumer Reports. My guess is, and I really believe this: Had the top ten vehicles been GM'ers your opinion of CR would not be negative? :confuse:

    I guess if they polled ONLY owners who were over 60, Buick and Caddy may have stood a better chance? :confuse:
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,697
    >they polled ONLY owners who were over 60

    I am not sure if you're trying to disparage a whole group of people here on Edmunds or not, but I see lots of driver's of Buicks and Cadillacs who are under 60. Same for Camry and Accord and Hyundai around here.

    Our friends, an engineer for a national company and far under 60, would be greatly offended by your classing him as feeble or something and unable to determine a good car. BTW, his wife also drives an Odyssey and their LeSabre is a 2002.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    Eventually, young folks buy their OWN cars with their OWN money. And usually, they start out with less expensive cars.

    I've always bought my own cars with my own money, even as a youngster. I bought my first new car, a black 1987 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, with my own money. I was very lucky to have a well-paying job upon graduating from school. Today's kids aren't as fortunate. I'm afraid most of today's kids will be in their 30s before any new car becomes truly affordable.

    You really don't know much about the reliability of Honda high rpm motors OR Honda manual transmissions, do you?

    I don't want a high-revving motor that sound like a hyperactive bumblebee and has to be tach'ed up to absurd RPMs before it moves forward. I want a low-revving engine with gobs and gobs of torque. I can't say anything about Honda's manual transmissions, but their automatics sure aren't all that.

    Compared to other cars in it's segment, the Civic is close to the top. Personally, I still prefer the Mazda3. Either way, the new Civic is head and shoulders above GM's Cobalt, unless of course one is a diehard GM appologist.

    The only Civic that interests me is the hybrid. I'd take it over the ultra-dorky Prius any day. I must admit I dig the Civic's Jetsons instrument panel even though they should exchange the position of the tach and speedo. As far as exterior styling, the Civic looks like a rejected 1992 Saturn idea. The Cobalt is much prettier - especially the coupe. Of course it's all academic on my behalf because I never shop for cars in this segment.

    Are you blind? Are you saying the current Tundra (let alone the upcoming 1/2 ton Tundra with power expected far in excess of 300hp and standard tow rating in excess of 10k pounds) isn't even a DECENT large truck?

    It always seems they get their trucks to about 7/8 of what a Ford F-150 is. I don't know what it's like where you are, but there are absolutely no imports used as serious work truck here. Most import trucks I see are for recreational use.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Attempt at sarcasm?

    For the record, I believe the demographic for the GTO would be males in their 30's and 40's with household incomes starting at $75k. Would this be a fair assessment? I also believe the demographic would include those with occassional needs for rear-seat passenger but individuals who place a premium of power, comfort, handling, and style.

    For the record, I believe I DO fit that demographic. For me however, the GTO has several strikes against it which are pointless to go into here. I vastly prefer the Mustang GT (I'll admit my bias right up front; I've had Mustang's in my past and currently own a '66 fastback so I like the classic styling).

    But to insinuate that the GTO is NOT aimed at my demographic would be an error. Are you saying that the Civic Si IS aimed at lemko's demographic?
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    Our friends, an engineer for a national company and far under 60, would be greatly offended by your classing him as feeble or something and unable to determine a good car.

    That's one heck of a conclusion you got there... Amusing accusation, but no. ;)
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    Heck, I'm way under 60 and have consistently driven Cadillacs and Buicks. I'm in extremely great physical condition and still looked young enough to get carded at bars and night clubs when I was 35. Some of my younger cousins were surprised I was already 40 as I don't yet look like it.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    Good for you. But you aren't the norm... ;) Back to CR. Really guys, had GM products swept the top ten list, would you REALLY be as critical of Consumer Reports?
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "It always seems they get their trucks to about 7/8 of what a Ford F-150 is. I don't know what it's like where you are, but there are absolutely no imports used as serious work truck here."

    Off-topic but...

    Comparison of dimesions between '07 Toyota Tundra (access cab and standard bed length and '06 Ford F150 access cab and standard bed length (Tundra listed first, F150 second):

    Overall length: 228.7" 229.8"
    Overall width: 79.9" 78.9"
    Overall height: 76.4" 73.3"
    Wheelbase: 145.7" 144.5"
    Cargo Bed:
    Lenght: 78.7" 78.8"
    Width (max) 65.0" 59.3"
    Width at wheelwells: 50" 50"
    Depth: 22.3" 22.3"

    If you want, I can dig up the interior dimensions, but seeing that the Tundra is wider, taller, and rides on a longer wheelbase, I'm going to make an assumption that interior room is comparable. They haven't released hp figures for their new 5.7l V8, but since their 4.7l makes 271hp, I think it's safe to assume the 5.7l will be well over 300hp. And Toyota has already announced a standard tow rating in excess of 10k pounds. Standard on the F150 is 6400.

    You may see this differently, but it certainly LOOKS like a serious effort to build a 'decent' full size truck.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    I thought so.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...at CR, I'd think I was in Bizzaro World!
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,729
    If GM would have swept the top spots with class leading cars I would be perfectly happy.

    If GM swept the top spots with there current offerings, I'd cancel my subsription.

    BTW, I subscribe to CU's online version and I we have two domestics in the driveway.
  • ubbermotorubbermotor Posts: 307
    A GTO driver tries a Civic Si,

    "It really is a fun little car."

    An Si driver tries a GTO,

    "I don't know officer, I just dipped into the throttle and next thing I knew I was bouncing off the wall."

    Different demographic.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,729
    I don't doubt Toyota's new Tundra will be a good capable truck. But base tow ratings are just marketing jiberish. The F150 comes in various wheel base, beds, transmissions, etc. It can configured about anyway you want. Plus if you really want to tow you need a 3/4 ton.

    That said, the Toyota may not ever be popular with the contractor crowd, but the weekend warrior will most likely love them.

    We'll see, I'm not blown away by the styling, and we'll have to see what the next version of GMs 1/2 tons will offer, hopefully something better than a 5.3 with a 4 speed auto, yuck.
  • george35george35 Posts: 203
    Guys/Gals,

    Just to give you another viewpoint, click on to the link below and look at the Geneva Auto Show (which makes the one in Detroit pale by comparison) and see the world offerings. No, I don't own a Japanese Car and probably never will. I have an Envoy SLT and other than the abysmal mileage like it very much. Ask my opinion in 4 years. Look at the banner listing "photo gallery" at the top of the screen on the link below. 22 pages of multi-brand photos.Some interesting models, some wild ,some very thought prevoking.

    Enjoy !

    http://www.salon-auto.ch/en/
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "But base tow ratings are just marketing jiberish."

    To a certain extent, yes. I think that what Toyota is doing is saying that if you want to tow with a 1/2 ton truck (and word is they are hard at work on a 3/4 or 1 ton HD model) then you don't HAVE to go through a bunch of gyrations to get a decent tow rating.

    "That said, the Toyota may not ever be popular with the contractor crowd, but the weekend warrior will most likely love them."

    Quite possible. A couple of points however:

    First, the weekend warrior market is huge.

    Second, large truck buyers are typically exceptionally brand loyal, DESPITE whatever the 'other guys' are building. For that reason (and not because Toyota isn't building a decent alternative), it may never be popular.

    Third, the only thing which MAY have been keeping the contractor crowd away may have been the capacity of the truck (size) and towing ability. I would think that folks who HAVE to have their trucks available come rain or shine may be less forgiving of stuff which takes their vehicle out of service. If (and this is a big if) it can be shown that the Toyota can meet their work demands as far as hauling/towing AND be more reliable than their current truck, why would they stick with their old truck?

    Personally, I think that Toyota needs to offer a basic stripped version for contractors (cloth seats, vinyl floor mats) to be taken seriously as a price conscience 'work' truck.

    All of which has NOTHING to do with the UAW or the Domestic Automakers (except of course that Toyota will be assembling the new truck at their brand spankin'-new plant in San Antonio with non-UAW labor).
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    You ARE aware it is possible to construct cars in THIS country without employing either UAW labor OR illegal aliens?

    Ok rorr lets see where you stand point blank !

    rorr, would you rather have your product made by an American who is well taken care of in all aspects of life.
    (Good middle income) Wages, good insurance, good retirement benefits, which the UAW or IUE are the only ones that are getting this for their workers. (OR) do you want the people building the product for your consumption, to have less because that's what the average company is only giving the average people in this country ?

    I think it's as simple as that ????

    The question to you and others is do agree with what corporate america, government, etc. are doing to the overall populus of this great country ? I personally don't. You know how much it costs to live today and have a family I'm sure. My Gawd owning a home in a safe neigborhood is starting to become a luxury for most folks.
    A decent home around here will set you back well over $100,000 and that is one that is 1300-1400 sq. ft.
    The simple fact is we(middle class folks) are getting squeezed to death. My gas bill was $409 to heat my darn home that is only 2200 sq. ft. :cry:

    Rocky

    P.S. perhaps we just look at life differently. ;)
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    lemko,

    I agree pal.

    BTW- the Acura TL guys is a rebadged Honda Accord. Same platform, basically same interior, but the TL is much more rich with Technology, and a tighter suspension. I agree it's sexier too. :P

    Rocky
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Point blank reply:

    I want people to be paid commensurate with the value of their labor. Period. Paying them MORE than the value of their labor is a mistake.

    The secret comes from determining just what the value of that labor is.

    If a company has 1000 qualified applicants for 100 jobs and that job pays $20/hr, why should they pay $30/hr? Particularly when their competition pays $20 and IF they pay $30, they stand at a large competitive disadvantage and are liable to lose a share of their market. Meaning less demand for their product and fewer jobs required.

    Do you think that McDonald's should pay UAW-type wages and offer UAW-type health insurance, pension plans, etc. to starting burger flippers? Would you be willing to pay $7.50 for a QtrPounder w/cheese? Would you demand that we support McDonalds because they 'care' for their employees or would you go to Burger King and get a comparable (or better) burger for half that?

    "My gas bill was $409 to heat my darn home that is only 2200 sq. ft."

    Remind me to stay away from Dalhart in the winter. Our gas bill was around 1/5 of that for a 3000sf house.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    Only $409? Shoot, if you had the Philadelphia Gas Works to deal with, you'd get a bill that would easily be double. I barely run my furnace and my gas bill is like $200 a month! Good thing I have a second job! I once got a bill for $1,600 and I lived in a small 1-bedroom apartment! I tried in vain to call PGW and waited for 2 and 1/2 hours before I got somebody to talk to. They admitted there was an error with their accounting system and told me they'd correct it. A day later PGW calls and I'm thinking they're going to apologize and give me the correct figure. No, it was some rude jerk from their collections department asking "when are you going to pay this bill?" I was furious and went straight to the Pennsylvania Utility Commission and complained most profusely. Within a half hour PGW calls back, apologizes, and says in reality I have a $400 credit. Good God! I'm probably one of the few people who pays his gas bill in full and on time. I guess it was easier to try to con me out of a several hundred dollars than to chase down one of their numerous deadbeats who hasn't paid his bill in a decade!

    As for $100K for a house? At one time you could get a really nice house in Philly for that. Today, you're lucky if you can get a rowhouse in a marginal, soon-to-be-ghetto neighborhood for that. I'm glad I bought my place when I did. I'm sure I couldn't afford what it would go for today. A small single home half a block from me just sold for $309K and another is up for sale and they're asking $390K! Shoot, I saw a huge beautiful suburban home going for less than that when I bought my place.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    -and Toyota is poised to sell a staggering 9 billion cars worldwide this year-

    Two cars per year for every person on the planet who would want them is pretty staggering. :surprise:
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    No, I saw that too. I figured it was a (fairly obvious) typo.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    A little closer...

    A GTO driver tries a Civic Si,

    "I'm sorry, officer. I dropped into 4th around 45mph, looked down to change the radio station, and next thing I know I'm bouncing off the rev limiter at 105 mph in a school zone."

    An Si driver tries a GTO,

    "I'm sorry, officer. I went to heel-toe shift through the corner, and as soon as I touched the gas the back end broke loose and flung itself straight into that tree."
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,697
    I guess I shouldn't complain about $110 for heating and electricity for a 2000 sq ft home in the central latitudes of Ohio. You guys are making me feel better already.

    PGW sounds like a nice company to deal with! Owing 1600 turns into a credit of 400!!

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    One way or another you'll be paying. The product may be sold cheaply using low-cost labor, but the cost will more than be made up for in taxes for Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, and other subsidies. Now we can demand that the government cease all subsidies for the poor and low-wage workers, but you'd better get used to seeing things you thought only existed in third world countries like emaciated children begging and dying in the streets.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,697
    The government has no intentions of ceasing subsidies. How else would they buy votes with the money from illegal campaign contributions from big contributor's buying their vote on legislation and kickbacks--Ohio resident of state with a convicted governor, and more coming.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    lemko, ONLY :surprise: $409 dollars ?????? lemko are you nuts with the ONLY part :surprise:

    Well I'm more understanding of a $200 dollar bill when heating your mansion. ;)

    Rocky
  • george35george35 Posts: 203
    We ALL have violated the starting thread. Let's bring it back with lucid,verifiable comments.. Or at least ones that have some sort of business sense. Please !
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    Heated? Shoot, most of the time the place is heated just enough to keep the pipes from bursting. Thank God we've had a relatively mild winter. Most of the time I'm not even home as I am working to pay for all the amenities of a middle-class lifestyle. Good thing I don't have a whole bunch of unsecured debt to worry about. PGW is notorious for its practices. Just Google "PGW" and read some of the more interesting horror stories.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    Well as one real conservative told me. If your unable to contribute or benefit society anymore, you should accept death instead of expecting someone to take care of you.

    If these people get elected with this mentality, I promise lemko I will stow you so they don't send you to the guilotine. ;)

    Rocky
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,729
    Rock,

    I understand where your coming from. But everyone can't be making $25+ per hour. Like Rorr said, if McDs paid hamburger flippers $50/hr with wages/benefits their prices would quadruple or they'd have to find a way to increase productivity so that each McDs only employed 1/5 the amount of people. Our society depends on people dreaming to get ahead by aspiring to do great things (obviously not all are able to). What incentive would kids have to become engineers, doctors, scientists, etc. if they could just slack off and be guaranteed a comfortable life. Not everyone has the motivation within to be great just for the common good, some need incentives.

    I recently attended a Big Brothers Big Sisters event at a local university. We had about 100 littles (kids between 10-15) in attendance to encourage them to stay in school, tour the campus, listen to guest speakers etc. We went around the room asking what they want to do when they grow up, not one said factory worker, hamburger flipper, or broom pusher.

    Granted we need people to perform these tasks as well and be paid a fair wage.

    BTW, a $100,000 house can be had for less money per month than most apartments. Around here you can get a decent new 1300sqft house for $130k
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    True. I mortgage on $100K often if less than the rents I've seen on some apartments which far exceed my mortgage payment, property tax, and homeowner's insurance combined.

    No kid wants to grow up to be a factory worker, hamburger flipper, or broom pusher but many do. Education alone is no longer the answer. I see a lot of college-educated kids still working their old jobs at the mall. What we can do is keep kids from making mistakes that make it tougher for them then it already is - among the obvious: stay in school, don't do drugs or alcohol, practice abstinence or at least use contraception if you don't, and stay away from a life of crime.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    dieselone,

    Buddy I agree MacDonalds can't pay $25+ per hour. However they can pay better than mininum wage. I worked their in 97' and made a whopping $5.25 per hr. plus a discount on lunch. Whoopie ! :sick:

    However you talking apples and oranges. A Double Cheese Burger is a dollar. Qt. Pounder is $ 2 bucks and change.

    A avg. car is $30K give or take. So it's understandable Mc Donalds can't pay as much as GM or Honda, but they could be more of a benefit to society.

    I recently attended a Big Brothers Big Sisters event at a local university. We had about 100 littles (kids between 10-15) in attendance to encourage them to stay in school, tour the campus, listen to guest speakers etc. We went around the room asking what they want to do when they grow up, not one said factory worker, hamburger flipper, or broom pusher.

    Wow that's different. We had quite a few that wanted to be a engineer, or factory worker at General Motors when I was in school. :confuse:

    Rocky
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "One way or another you'll be paying. The product may be sold cheaply using low-cost labor, but the cost will more than be made up for in taxes for Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, and other subsidies."

    Are you saying there is no middle ground between current UAW benefits and raising federal taxes for Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, etc.?

    I find that hard to believe. The vast majority of Americans, middle-class Americans, get by without either UAW level benefits packages OR food stamps. Myself, for one.

    It is very irritating to hear about the benefits that UAW members piss and moan about giving up when average Americans have never HAD those benefits.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    The REALITY is lemko that yes many will have to become factory workers. Our country can't support millions of doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc, "sevice jobs" without dropping wages down to illegal alien levels. Hell, I guess it won't matter because you'll be off at lunch and when you return Mohammed, will be sitting at your desk. :surprise:

    Rocky
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,729
    Our country can't support millions of doctors, lawyers, engineers

    While you have a point. Our economy and quailty of life is related to the capabilities or our engineers and scientists etc. If we have more scientists and engineers, they can add opportunities with new inventions and industries we don't even know about yet.

    The fact that Korea and China are educating huge numbers of people in engineering and other sciences along with the fact the US has a big high school drop out problem worries me even more than the manufacturing jobs we're losing.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    I find that hard to believe. The vast majority of Americans, middle-class Americans, get by without either UAW level benefits packages OR food stamps. Myself, for one.

    The benefits of the UAW are the "gold standard" and gives Toyota, and Honda a "bar" to keep unions out of their plants. rorr, in all seriousness I wished you someday can get very good benefits if your saying you don't have good ones now. :sick: I wish that all good folks get to a retirement someday and don't have to drop dead greeting an illegal alien at the local Sams. :mad:

    It is very irritating to hear about the benefits that UAW members piss and moan about giving up when average Americans have never HAD those benefits.

    If you were in the same situation you'd complain too. It's not right that our country's citizens have lowered expectations from their employers. It all goes back to globalization and how it's lowered wages and benefits in this great country. The UAW members are fighting against all of this. Is it right for Wagoner to of made tens of millions over his working career while running the biggest company into the ground ??? NO !!!!!! I as a union member am mad, that some of my good friends in this country sometimes got to choose taking a prescription or eating a can of dog food. :cry: It makes me sick ! :mad:

    Rocky
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    Heck, there may be kids out there with great ideas, but have neither the funds nor the knowledge with which to make these ideas a reality. Entrepreneurs not only create opportunities for themselves but also give them to others. For too long we've been educating kids to merely become cogs in the great machinery of capitalism. How about educating them how to build, run, or expand that economic machine? We should also instill in them an ethic that those who will work in your future business should be adequately compensated and though it may be legal to exploit your workers, it isn't moral.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    You've asked me a point blank question (fairly enough), so I'll ask you one:

    Do you think Person 'A' should be paid (whether in salary, benefits, or a combination thereof) MORE than Person 'B' even if Person 'B' is doing the same job with the same performance and has the same qualifications?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,994
    The fact that Korea and China are educating huge numbers of people in engineering and other sciences along with the fact the US has a big high school drop out problem worries me even more than the manufacturing jobs we're losing.

    -AGREE !!!!

    While you have a point. Our economy and quailty of life is related to the capabilities or our engineers and scientists etc. If we have more scientists and engineers, they can add opportunities with new inventions and industries we don't even know about yet.

    What good does that do when you got Mr. Ching Chung in China is buying your product and reverse engineering it. He builds a clone and sells it on ebay. He doesn't have to follow trademarks, copyrights, smallmarks, etc. and gets away with it without punishment. That Chinese engineer only has to break down how the product was made. No R&D costs like his american counterpart. You already saw the Chinese "Mercedes Benz" knock off. What's next a China Porsche. :surprise:

    Rocky
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    Shoot, if companies and their executives treated their workers decently in the first place, there would be no need for a union. Per globalization, why not try to bring others up to our standard of living rather than making us live down to that of the rest of the world? Shoot, I don't see Wagonner and others bringing their pay more inline with those from other countries. Heck, I'd do his job for 1/10th the compensation.
This discussion has been closed.