by Randolph T. Holhut
American Reporter Correspondent
December 25, 2008
MY BACK PAGES: WATCHING MY CRAFT CHANGE OVER 30 YEARS
ANGEL FIRE, N.M., Dec. 21, 2008 -- It's not productive to spend too much time analyzing the expiring Bush Administration's bridge loan/bailout of two U.S. automakers, since the new Obama Administration will either have to enhance, ignore, or unravel the deal. But even on its face it is a squandering of one last opportunity for American industry.
Instead of using the current economic debacle to birth a bold new age of quality labor-management relations and a U.S. industrial sector which can vigorously compete, before the plug is pulled on the Bush life-support machine, this Administration wants to drag all of America to the lowest denominator instead of shooting for the stars.
We are beyond the "pinko-commie" name-calling days.
Wake up, America! Evolve a workforce that offers basic health and retirement security to all Americans - as part of the normal course of doing business with the world - or move aside for more Korean cars, Chinese computers, and Brazilian oranges.
Think about what the "competitive" or "further give-back" provisions of the $13-billion dollar "loan" for antiquated GM and privately-owned and previously-bailed-out Chrysler says about the Bush Administration's real "family values."
The Bush Manufacturing Doctrine goes like this:
Instead of using the current auto crisis as a basis to begin reconstructing the underlying health and pension system for all manufacturers in the United States, even the $17-billion price we'll pay for a GM-Chrysler holiday-survival gift has been wasted.
Let the Administration's behavior and judgment be a warning to those who have earned and are legally and contractually entitled to retirement benefits (yes, Virginia, there is a real entitlement!) that in this Administration's eyes they deserve less. All that Mr. Bush could think of was a time-wasting gesture.
The former Texas governor's final presidential legacy might have been to recommend the scrubbing of current Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and IRS "qualified" retirement codes, and the formation of a powerful "strike force" to help us start anew in creating genuine security for retired American workers.
Instead, his fans, the auto executives in Tokyo who earn $200,000 a year instead of the $2 or $20 million GM and Chrysler brass get, during this recession will be leaning back, biding their time, smiling, and just waiting for industrial America to completely implode as the new President takes office. Ah, so.
AR Correspondent Mark Scheinbaum is an investment strategist and former UPI reporter.