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The Difference Between Rhetoric and Reality

Posted on Jun 16, 2011

President Obama went over to Toledo, Ohio, to thank the workers at a Chrysler plant for the bailed-out auto industry’s newfound profitability, but, as this video attests, the workers of that community are not feeling the love from Obama’s corporate welfare.

Here is an excerpt from the president’s speech on June 3 in Toledo:

So we decided to do more than just rescue the industry from crisis.  We decided to retool it for a new age.  We said that if everyone involved was willing to take the tough steps and make the painful sacrifices that were needed to become competitive, then we’d invest in your future and the future of communities like Toledo; that we’d have your back.

So I placed my bet on you.  I put my faith in the American worker.  And I’ll tell you what—I’m going to do that every day of the week, because what you’ve done vindicates my faith.

Today, all three American automakers are turning a profit.  That hasn’t happened since 2004.  Today, all three American automakers are gaining market share.  That hasn’t happened since 1995.  And today, I’m proud to announce the government has been completely repaid for the investments we made under my watch by Chrysler because of the outstanding work that you guys did.  (Applause.)  Because of you.  (Applause.)


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By Time Management, January 3, 2012 at 1:13 am Link to this comment

Even though the 3 automakers have started seeing profits in recent years, it does not mean the average worker in those factories are feeling the benefits. According to the video, it seems they are still unhappy even though their companies have turned a profit. This means only the people in the upper management are seeing the profit sharing and dividends. I wonder what more can be done for them.

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By Leefeller, June 20, 2011 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

I couldn’t watch the whole video for two reasons, one, my computer is just above dial up and two,... the little bit I watched, made me start wondering why I give a shit. 

Any of these so called documentaries are composted to fit an agenda. This one sounds like its against Obama, maybe even from Mit Romney or the Koch Brother tea bags,  the guys who said let the car companies go under.

Most Republicans I suppose after their famileys?  Their benefactors and the party comes first, the USA last and everything else Obama may try to institute will be no,... no matter what it is.

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By don, June 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whatever you’re paid for ‘working’, JImBob, it’s ‘way too much. Get f*@ked.

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By GBSR, June 18, 2011 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment
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Did not the union workers just recenctly voted in a Republican gov. And isn’t the Republicans respondsible for the economic mess we are in today? Now “that’s change you can believe in”.

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By Leefeller, June 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment

Not sure what the beef is here?  They took a cut in pay to keep their jobs but now the unions can ask for some compensations back?

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By prisnersdilema, June 18, 2011 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

Enjoy your free health care in Europe Laffy..I suspect that’s one of the reasons you left
your country….which of course makes you a hypocrite…you enjoy for free, what you
expect your countrymen to be put into bondage for…have another glass of wine too, I
am sure a lot of it went into constructing your castles in the air, from your balloon ride
it’s easy to look down on people, just like a plutocrat….people deserve to suffer because
the poor are guilty of being poor, John Calvin would be in agreement with you, but only
those with his distorted sanctimonious intellect would.

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By the worm, June 18, 2011 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

Where has your tax money gone? The tax money you sent to the auto

“$3.4 billion in plant construction or expansions projects ... has announced in
China, India, Thailand and Africa” Wall Street Journal June 16.

China, India, Thailand & Aftrica - That’s where the tax money you sent to Ford
is going (and also were the money for ‘invests’ supported in part by the tax
breaks you give them).

China for General Motors, that’s where the tax money you sent to GM is going
(and also were the money for ‘invests’ supported in part by the tax breaks you
give them).

The term ‘corporate welfare’ is a real and that’s what it means.

The government - your government - is spending your money not on you, your
career, your work, your skills, your education, your health care and your coming
pension, but on corporate ‘bonuses’, paper profits, investments abroad, global
expansion, jobs in other nations and the continued decline of American wages
and benefits - the disappearance of the middle class and the concentration of
wealth at the very tip top.

You voted for the government that’s doing that. You voted for policies that
cause you great harm, and you deserve the consequences. You are idiots.

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By Lafayette, June 18, 2011 at 2:15 am Link to this comment

PD: No Laffy, the car companies became finance companies, because their usual customers, couldn’t afford to buy their cars.  Why because the value of their usual customers wages was in the toilet.

Exactly where your comprehension of economic dynamics is as well. I trust they will enjoy one another’s company.


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By prisnersdilema, June 17, 2011 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

No Laffy, the car companies became finance companies, because their usual
customers, couldn’t afford to buy their cars.  Why because the value of their usual
customers wages was in the toilet. That’s what happens when you, devalue the worth of
your employees by sending jobs overseas, importing immigrant labor on work visas, and
do yor best to break unions. They couldn’t get car loans, they were too poor. So in order
to stay in business, the car companies, had to become debt farmers. Still Asian car
companies, seem to be making a nice profit on the cars they manufacture here in the
USA. There employees have full benefits and many plants are union. So why is that
American car companies needed a bail out ? Why is it that conservatives, think it’s okay
to suck on the governments tit? Like most misers the plutocracy, sits on mountains of I’ll
gotten gold, yet lusts after the one penny in the poor mans pocket. Because the poor
mans penny is blessed with hard work, while the rich mans gold is tainted with gluttony,
and only brings sorrow.

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By Lafayette, June 17, 2011 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment


KR: The car companies went under because they became banks.  At first they lent only to car buyers, and later expanded to the general public.  As the banks went down, so did the car company banks.

I beg to differ.

If a company is producing a product that sells with a good margin it does not need to “become a bank”. (IBM was never a bank ...) But when competition eats your margins, what do you do to find profits?

An automotive company goes into commercial fleet leasing and consumer-credit.

Yes, the Credit Mechanism Seizure in the fall of 2008 was the monkey-wrench-in-the-works, but far, far more important was the lack of competitiveness amongst the Big3. They did not have the financial wherewithal to see their way through a very drastic downturn.

What is the lesson learnt from this present Great Recession? It is that one must look at the cost-components when managing competitiveness.

What is killing American competitiveness across the board is our high Health Care Privatized Insurance - which is factored into the price of each good produced or service rendered in America.


What happened to the Big3 in Detroit is a lesson for the rest of American industry and commerce. Our high labor-input industrial jobs have gone to nimble fingers in the Far East who have no Health Insurance whatsoever. Yes, that’s unfair - but apart from nuking them back to the Stone Age there’s not much we can do about it.

We must control the cost of Health Care, which has become a major component of our total cost-of-doing-business across the nation. A Public Health Care Option is not just a “nice thing to have”. It becomes an imperative need.

And to dampen burgeoning HC-costs, Americans must learn to lead better lives and not Fixate-On-Food, which induces obesity that spawns a host of illnesses (the long list of which I have already posted on this forum once before).

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By prisnersdilema, June 17, 2011 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

It’s funny how, plutocrats like third finger complain about workers supporting themselves
by their sweat and blood. They would rather people were starving and dying in the
streets than get any help at all. (Which they are.) Yet the biggest sucks of all are the
plutocrats, who got three trillion dollars to prop up the crooks on wall street, then there’s
the 30 billion for the blood thirsty insurance companies, the bailouts of the auto industry,
the off shore tax heavens, the the sweetheart deals for Haliburton in Iraq,  and on and
on and on. Their greed and avarice have no end, they will sell out this country, and
everyone in it for 10 cents. They want to return this country back to the 19th century. 
They can cling to their magic underwear all they want, but they are the ones who
destroyed free enterprise in this country, because they found out it was easier to make a
buck bribing congress, than making an honest product. So now nothing is made in this
country, all there is left is paper games.  So let’s restore free enterprise. Remove the
monopoly exemptions from the insurance companies, shut down the Fed,create real
campaign finance reform, remove the government tit from the plutocracies mouth.

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By thethirdman, June 17, 2011 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment


So when the “economy” is strong and prosperous, you fight the sheeple who
sell their soul for the “American Dream.”  You loathe them and complain that
they are steadily marching toward apocalypse.

But when there is even a minor threat to the very system they are dying to
enter, you bemoan the plight of the poor worker who has lost his hope of the
American Dream.  Which is it my friend? 

A shakeup is what you called for.  What did you think it might look like?  Sorry
it’s heartbreaking to separate yourself from the teat, but if we ever hope to
grow, we will most certainly take a few lumps.

I agree with our kooky friend Prisner in the sense that people will have to
change fundamental conceptions of the world.  What is health? Certainly it has
little to do with Health Care.  What is wealth?  Certainly it has little to do with
amassing electronic zero’s. 

You wanted change.  Here it comes.  You’ll soon see that the dull, soft herds
you wished so badly to free have very little will to meander far from the tough.

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By kerryrose, June 17, 2011 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment


Why can’t you and others get it through your heads.  Profits should mean that workers get compensated appropriately.  Period. 

There is some reason why you and others are not hearing that.


This is how the corporate-fascist state is playing out.  With the ignorance of some brainwashed serfs who fear to ask their corporate masters for a frigging liveable wage and criticize those that do. 


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By John R., June 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

Make no mistake this is the time of preparation, the time of stocking seed, the
time of finding ways to disconnect from from the grid, altogether.

Find a way to store water, find a way to clean that water.

Medical is gone, or will be very soon. So walk, a minimum of one hour per day.
Your body wants to move - do it often.

Once enough of us have unplugged from those Corporations they will feel the

Make no mistake. This is class warfare.

They are counting on your FEAR of the future, to get you to pay.

It is that simple.

SELF SUSTAINABILITY is the key. Work toward this.

Make adjustments wherever you can.

It will not be easy. We have been spoon fed all of our lives.

It is time to say goodbye to the old way of life.

Yes it is scary, but you will find a new freedom once you have embraced it.

There are some American Indians that were not seduced by the casinos.

They may help you reach this self sustainability. Again I stress, it will not be easy, but it can be done.

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By prisnersdilema, June 17, 2011 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

Actually, no Laffy…. in Europe where you live, there is free health care, and European car companies managed to compete quite well with American ones…

The Auto Industry went down because of the incompetance of Car company management, who kept building the same cars year after year for generations. They only changed the bodies. While foreign car companies, produced better more efficient, cars that offered reliability, that Americans wanted.

When, congress tried to pass regulations to get better mileage, the auto companies got it defeated, yet foreign car companies have exceeded mileage requirements, for decades.

The auto industry found out what many other short sighted American companies have found, unemployed Americans don’t buy your cars, or your products, neither do underemployed ones..

American companies now think that they can compete overseas for new markets for their products, but that will fail as well, because we are behind technologically…

In foreign countries typically managers are required to have a masters degree in Science along with an MBA, usually the science MA is in a hard science like Engineering, Chemistry or Computer Science.

Here in Amerika, all they needs is an MBA, but usually it’s a BA, with little science or math….

All those MBA’s all they know how to do is sell debt to the PRC, but now their also selling big chunks of our country to the PRC, for foreign bases, starting in Idaho.

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By thethirdman, June 17, 2011 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

No my friend, it’s not screw the worker.  But the worker is not always right
either.  I’m sure it sucks to loose a job that pays well and you have built your
life around.  But a job is a job.  Sometimes your skills are highly in demand. 
Sometimes your skills become obsolete.  We are not talking “god given rights”
to employment here.  Those in Ohio who are used to a certain lifestyle must do
what the whole history of the world has always done when market demand
shifted: they can accept it, ignore it, or change their own relative position. 
Sometimes you have to go to the jobs.

You seem upset that these car companies are making profits.  I get that.  But
they are running a business and you don’t build up a business large enough to
employ thousands by equally dividing your profits. 

See, times change my friend.  Would you have been this upset about the
whalers who were loosing their jobs with the advent of electricity?  Chrysler cars
are really awful.  You cannot change that.  These workers put shit together that
we clearly don’t want.  What is the solution?

And I only mentioned the 35k a year to demonstrate that the kid making 10k
and paying 4k in taxes is full of shit.  “I make 35k a year and keep every penny”
as in I get all my taxes back.  So surely he does as well. 

No hate here, just want to get a better look at the big picture.

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By kerryrose, June 17, 2011 at 2:36 am Link to this comment

It is the screw-the-worker comments here that signify how corporations divide and conquer.  Sure, if you make $35,000 you will definitely hate a union worker who makes a livable wage with benefits???

If you had stood together as workers your plight would be different but you are pouring hate on workers who have fought to better their lives because you make shit.

Divide and conquer.  That’s how the corporate state makes you accept your shit salary and pour hate on people who aren’t grateful ‘to take whatever they can get’ from their profit-hoarding employees.

What a bunch of pussies.

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By kerryrose, June 17, 2011 at 2:30 am Link to this comment


Ignoring your sexist comments.

When a company makes profits the workers are supposed to compensated in terms of pay and benefits.  The reason we have the largest disparity in wealth in this country now (rivaling any 3rd world country) is because for the last 30 years corporations have made wild profits while workers wages remained stagnant.

Get it?  As the corporations made more money- the workers got less. 

That sound All American to you?

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By kerryrose, June 17, 2011 at 2:26 am Link to this comment

No Lafayette

The car companies went under because they became banks.  At first they lent only to car buyers, and later expanded to the general public.  As the banks went down, so did the car company banks.

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By Lafayette, June 17, 2011 at 1:35 am Link to this comment


KR: but only US workers are trained to grovel and take whatever they can get

Your perspective, at least of the automobile industry, is a bit off.

The Big3 almost all went under because of exaggerated levels of compensation that priced American cars, regardless of their lack of quality, much higher than foreign cars (made in America).

At one time, before the Big3 implosion, private health insurance alone was thought to add $1200 dollars to every car. (And HC-costs are doing this to all American production of goods/services!)

One must look also at Total Compensation (TC), not just wages. For that figure, see here. One notes that the “average” TC is about $37/hour and is one of the more expensive amongst manufacturing industries.

Is it too expensive? I think a significant fact is that the Big3 - before their demise and reincarnation - were making money only on their higher-priced gas-guzzler SUVs.

Both higher prices and lower quality were principle factors driving (pun intended) the diminishing percentage of American Company sales (versus Foreign Manufacturers), which dropped to the fifty percentile level - that is, half the total market. (For exact market percentage breakdown, go here.)

Of course, many of those “foreign cars” were true imports and some were manufactured in the US.


The demise and reincarnation of America’s Big3 automotive manufacturers is a real success story and puts the industry on a competitive footing. But to do so, it had to shed a great many higher-paid jobs and find a lower salary level for those jobs remaining.

C’est la vie (that’s life)! And if you have a better solution for American commerce and industry - plagued with one of the world’s highest per capita Health Care costs - then do propose it here!

We are all waiting with bated breath ...


And if you are proposing that America cut its budget to lower the National Debt as a nostrum for all our ills, please get a brain-check before returning to this forum.

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By Lafayette, June 17, 2011 at 12:36 am Link to this comment


KR; Obama was celebrating the PROFITS of the car companies.

Yes and so what? Companies should not make profits in your tidy little DreamWorld?

Let’s also not forget that, with those profits,  Chrysler has paid back, in full and with interest, the bail-out loan. And these people have jobs again (well not all of them, but a good many).

So, what is anybody complaining about? That they will have to steak Italian in the workplace? (Fiat has taken a majority share in the company ... ;^)

I mean, besides having a BadHair Day, just what IS the gripe?

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By thethirdman, June 16, 2011 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

Wait, are they really complaining that they don’t have cush jobs for life anymore?
Times change.  No one wants your shit cars anymore.

That kid is full of shit.  I make 36K a year and keep every penny.

And why is everyone in Ohio fat?

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By kerryrose, June 16, 2011 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment


Guess who is full of shit?  Obama was celebrating the PROFITS of the car companies.  Since the workers are doing worse now, but the companies are doing better—that means that the workers are being exploited.

Read it and weep jerk.

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By kerryrose, June 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment


Get real.  The employees didn’t make crap cars.  The cars are designed by the manufacturer.  They put the pieces in the designated places.

It is attitudes like ‘lucky to have a job at all’ that ushers the American middle class toward serfdom- European workers demand liveable wages and working conditions, but only US workers are trained to grovel and take whatever they can get.  It is part of the brainwashing by the corporate state that has worked here but not in Europe.

What do we have to show for the kiss-ass attitude that you advice working people to have?  Thirty years of stagnant wages and deep dept incurred by trying to maintain a decent lifestyle.

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By JimBob, June 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

The kid talking about his taxes on $10K is full of
shit.  Also, he doesn’t realize the proportion of total
taxes paid by the rich.  No, these people don’t like
the situation—but after making crap cars for
decades, they’re lucky they have any job at all!

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