Friday, December 12, 2008

Another Side of the Coin

D3 - Detroit 3 Automakers - Union Wages


According to Forbes:

Labor cost per hour, wages and benefits for hourly workers.

Ford: $70.51 ($141,020 per year)

GM: $73.26 ($146,520 per year)

Chrysler: $75.86 ($151,720 per year)

Toyota, Honda, Nissan (in U.S.): $48.00 ($96,000 per year)

According to AAUP and IES, the average annual compensation for a college professor in 2006 was $92,973 (average salary nationally of $73,207 + 27% benefits).

Bottom Line: The average UAW worker with a high school degree earns 57.6% more compensation than the average university professor with a Ph.D., and 52.6% more than the average worker at Toyota, Honda or Nissan.

Many industry analysts say the Detroit Three, must be on par with Toyota and Honda to survive. This year's contract, they say, must be "transformational" in reducing pension and health care costs.

What would "transformational" mean? One way to think about "transformational" would mean that UAW workers, most with a high school diploma, would have to accept compensation equal to that of the average university professor with a PhD.

Then there's the "Job Bank"

When a D3 (Detroit 3 carmaker) lays an employee off, that employee continues to receive all benefits - medical, retirement, etc., etc., PLUS an hourly wage of $31/hour.

Here's a typical story....

Ken Pool is making good money. On weekdays, he shows up at 7 a.m. at Ford Motor Co.'s Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne, signs in, and then starts working -- on a crossword puzzle. Pool hates the monotony, but the pay is good: more than $31 an hour, plus benefits.

"We just go in and play crossword puzzles, watch videos that someone brings in or read the newspaper," he says. "Otherwise, I just sit."

Pool is one of more than 12,000 American autoworkers who, instead of installing windshields or bending sheet metal, spend their days counting the hours in a jobs bank set up by Detroit automakers as demanded by the United Auto Workers Union - UAW - as part of an extraordinary job security agreement.

Now the D3 wants Joe Taxpayer to pick up this tab in a $25 Billion bailout package - soon to be increased to $45 Billion if Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton have their way.

The "Big 3" want this money - not to build better autos. No. They want it to pay the tab for Medical and Retirement benefits for RETIRED auto workers. Not ONE PENNY would be used to make them more competitive, or to improve the quality of their cars.

We ALL have problems paying for our Medical Insurance - but the Democrat leaders in Congress now want us to pay the Medical Insurance premiums of folks who have RETIRED from Ford, GM and Chrysler.

Not a good deal for us.

How about Chapter 11 - and getting rid of these ridiculous union contracts?

Unique Voice

Subject: How To Depress A Quebecois Reporter

"Quebec brings nothing to the table other than threats, costs and complications that hinder the growth of our country."

Friday, December 05, 2008
Freedom Isn't Free
I received an interview request from a reporter with the Journal de Montreal Newspaper (December 3, 2008) the day before Harper’s meeting with the Governor General.

She wanted to know my reaction to the proposed Coalition between the NDP, Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois.

For those of you who don’t know much or anything about the Journal de Montreal, it is a French language daily that is the closest thing Quebec has to a ‘national newspaper’.

It is also a VERY racist Quebecois nationalist rag, to the point of being Quebec’s Separatist cheerleader.

During my QPAC days in Quebec, the Journal de Montreal liked to refer to me in their headlines as l’Anglohone Juif Galganov. In translation: Anglo Jew Galganov. Where was the Human Rights Commission then?

The Journal de Montreal can best be described as a sensationalist tabloid that mixes gossip, sports and news. It should also be noted that more than a million French Quebecers read the Journal de Montreal every day.

The reporter expected me to answer her question with a degree of outrage towards this coalition, so imagine her surprise when I told her that I was all for it?

She asked if I was kidding? How could I possibly be for a federal political union that includes the Bloc Quebecois?

She was more surprised with my answer when I told her that this coalition between Socialists and Separatists will not last beyond a month or so, and will guarantee two unexpected and unintended consequences.

The first consequence will be the end of any hopes for Leftist electoral victories for either the Liberals or the Socialist NDP for a generation or more to come, freeing Canada from the type of FREEBIE LEFTIST policies that are destroying the fabric of our country.

The next consequence really shook her when I explained that a coalition with the Quebec Separatist Bloc would hasten the departure of Quebec from Confederation, allowing Canada to finally grow without the Quebec anchor around our neck.

The interview became more of a discussion as she asked me if I thought the rest of Canada would throw Quebec out. And if they did, why would they do that now and not before?

My answer stunned her even more. And from the sound of her voice, she was more than somewhat depressed when I explained to her that Canada does not need Quebec. More to the point, Canada will be far better off without Quebec.

It is Quebec that needs Canada, since Quebec brings nothing to the table other than threats, costs and complications that hinder the growth of our country.

I also explained that the rest of Canada didn’t need our domestic and foreign policies decided upon by a beggar province. Not to mention that Canada’s official bilingualism policies are discriminating against more than 97% of the Canadian population (English speaking) living outside of Quebec.

With this proposed coalition, the Bloc will win several big concessions that will include:

MORE MONEY from the rest of Canada - But the rest of Canada is broke.

Ontario is a HAVE-NOT province. And if it isn’t yet, it certainly will be soon.

At less than $50 per barrel, and still falling like a lead balloon, Alberta is dying with the lack of demand for its petroleum products, and will not earn enough money to sustain its budgetary goals without cutting programs, raising taxes, or dipping into its Heritage Fund. All of which are akin to cancer for Albertans.

Where else will Quebec expect to get the BILLIONS of dollars their deal with the two idiots, Stephane Dion and Taliban Jack have promised?

Just imagine the outrage from the West, when Alberta has to write a check to a Separatist province that helped wipeout a government Albertans voted for near unanimously?

Just imagine the added outrage from the West when six Quebec Separatists are named to Canada’s Senate as part of the deal?

Just imagine the boiling-over outrage from the West when Quebec Separatists must first vet all of Parliaments business before it can be brought to the floor, much less implemented?


Then I reminded her that certain inalienable decisions would be made the moment Quebec and Canada part company.

By federal law, Canadian Banks and Insurance companies must be headquartered within Canada. There go the banks. By law, airlines cannot pick-up and deliver passengers from one national location to another national location unless that airline is headquartered in that nation. Goodbye Air Canada.

Then there’s the Canada Export and Development Corporation that underwrites just about all of Bombardier’s sales abroad. Goodbye Bombardier along with other federally financed corporations in Quebec.

Goodbye all the federal government jobs that disproportionately employ French Quebecers. Especially those who can speak some English.

And Goodbye official bilingualism.

At this point in our conversation, her voice was quite subdued when she asked if I think Canada will push Quebec out the door?

No was my response. I think Quebec and Canada will separate from each other much like Czechoslovakia did, when the Czechs and Slovakians both decided to go their separate ways without any fanfare, great debates, referendums or anything else.

It just happened, much the way I see it just happening between Canada and Quebec where there will be no reason for Quebec to stay within Canada once the financial tap is closed.

And there will be no reason for Canada to want Quebec within Confederation when the rest of Canada finally learns that we will be far better off without Quebec dragging us down.

Even though Harper bought himself and the Conservatives 6 weeks of political peace by suspending Parliament to the end of January, much of the damage has already been done to the long-term future between Quebec and Canada by this attempted Putsch by the Coalition of Idiots.

The rest of Canada really doesn't care much for what Quebec wants anymore, since the rest of Canada is more concerned with what it needs to stay afloat.

I explained to her that I am just one political Blogger out of thousands who are spreading a similar message by asking pertinent questions while bringing demographic FACTS to the table.

And in spite of what the out-of-touch conventional media seems to think, Quebec’s future within Canada is not looking all that good. And that looks pretty good for the rest of Canada.

We owe Duceppe, Dion and Taliban Jack our gratitude for finally pushing the envelope too far.

Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov

Clint Again...

The arguments about Clint Eastwood as director, actor and American icon continue.

With his new movie, "Gran Torino," opening today in New York and Los Angeles, the discussion has heated.

Whatever your sense of Eastwood's place in the American fabric, there is no question that he is always worth a look.

Check out today's NY Times review (glowing), some of the comments (hardly) and the video trailer, all by simply clicking your famous mouse here.

Me, I can't wait to see it.


I have to re-think yesterday's announcement that I would henceforth write only one editorial a day.

Pardon me while I tinker.

Let's modify that policy announcement to a "direction in which I'll head."

In the meantime...

* Headline: "Tainted Cocaine prompts warning from province." Hahahaha... Isn't that redundant, "tainted cocaine?" Has the province ever considered warning against cocaine as being a tainted past time in the first place?

* BCTF is refusing again to administer the Foundation Skills Test, which asks grade 4 and grade 7 kids to check their skills in basics like reading and writing and arithmetic. I love the BCTF. They are so pure.

* The four tasering mounties who managed to kill Robert Dzienanski at YVR last year will not have criminal charges laid against them.

The good news is that means they can now testify at a police enquiry about what went wrong.

The bad news is everything else.

Vancouver's new Mayor, Gregor Robertson, has proposed that Vancouver Police put away their zap guns for a while. Not a bad idea.

Rent Me

Returning Vancouver City Councillor Tim Stevenson has tabled a motion that is intended to help people who rent their apartments.

"Specifically, it calls on the province to amend the Residential Tenancy Act to "require landlords to allow tenants evicted for the purpose of renovations to reoccupy their units once renovations are completed at the same rent as they were paying prior to the renovation."

THat quoted paragraph is taken from the Sun's Don Cayo, who argues convincingly that this notion, while well intended, will result in slums and no new rentals being built.

"Think about it. A landlord who collects $600 a month for a suite could spend tens of thousands of dollars on upgrades, then continue to collect $600 a month.

Or he could keep collecting $600 a month without raising a finger (or spending a cent.) You don't need a degree in rocket science to figure out how this will end."

Cayo urges other levels of government to create opportunities for builders to want to build rental stock.

"Among them, work with Ottawa and Victoria to end some of the tax disincentives. Untangle city hall's red tape. Convince developers to provide rental housing in exchange for things like extra height or extra density for new housing projects."

As much as I like Stevenson and admire his dedication, I am afraid his motion is ill-conceived and that Cayo has a clearer eye on the prize.

Heavenly Voices - Kathleen Battle/Harlem Boys Choir