I tend to read the stupidity of folks like Gerson because, it's important to know who stupid and inane they are, makes for nice entertainment and laughter. Well, entertainment until I read today's slop:
The coming bailout will be a major challenge for Obama. If he caves in to the auto unions that helped elect him and merely shores up a failing industry, he will start his presidency on a note of weakness. If he insists on a serious restructuring that creates sustainable companies -- including large pay and benefit cuts, and massive downsizing -- he could gain a reputation for toughness similar to Ronald Reagan's after his early firing of striking air traffic controllers in 1981.
Okay, so I highlighted what I think you should see. This is the right wing talking point of folks like Brokaw and Mitchell and here Gerson does it, too. He's blaming the union.
Unions are not monolithic creatures.
Unions do not provide the work.
Unions are not out to kill industry.
Unions ARE made up of their membership: WORKERS.
Unions ARE responsive to their membership.
The UAW IS NOT THE VILLAIN.
In the case of the auto industry, these workers have given up things that someone at Wal-Mart has never had the option to ever have and things that Gerson can't begin to think about going without; from pension cut backs to two tiered hiring to health care. They've given up a lot including cutting hours, retraining to leave the big 3 or other routes to make it easier for the big 3 to survive and not only survive, but to prosper.
Consumerism wasn't fueled by GM and certainly not by the UAW. There is a major issue right now in the financial markets and it's meant a lot of people are out of work, fuel prices caused a lot of people to cut back, me included. GM has been doing cutting edge research that they have funded in terms of fuel cells (unfortunately would mean a retooling and supply of the energy industry and we aren't there yet even if GM were able to produce the fuel cell cars now enmasse) and I'm looking forward to the Chevy Volt in 2010 even with a possible $40k price tag.
Blaming workers and their union representation for the problems caused by Wall Street is not only ridiculous, it's dangerous.