The Mixed Up, Wacky World Economy

I bought my car just over 4 years ago.  It is the same make as my previous car.  The old one was a green sedan, built in Germany and was the first time I have ever owned a car made by this company.  It was a great car which I drove for 13 years, and I drove it until it consumed its’ very last gulp of petrol.

The second one, my current car looks like it is a German car.  If you know anything about cars, you would easily recognise the logo of this company.  However, this car was built in Alabama.  It is not the sportiest or fastest car I have ever owned.  Actually, it is probably the most functional car that has ever graced my garage.  I bought it at a time when I was rather nomadic and was living in Cocoa Beach, Florida.  I knew I was not going to stay there long and I needed an SUV.  This is as cool as an SUV can possibly be.  But… it is an AMERICAN car built by a German manufacturer. 

The last time I owned an American car was in the late 1970’s when I had a Chevy Camaro.  It was an OK car but for whatever reasons I went the better part of 30 years without a single ounce of American sheet metal.  Part of the reason was elitism.  Owning an American car was just so fundamentally wrong.  So middle class.  The majourity of my reasoning was simple.  There was not one single American car that I wanted to own.  Their quality was inferior at best and while I did occasionally take a risk with European cars known to be less than reliable (a certain Italian trident comes to mind) at least they were European and because they were European they had to be better than American… right?

Well, now I am not so sure.  If a very well known German company can build the best car I have ever owned in Alabama, why can’t an American company build an equally good car in Tennessee or maybe even Michigan?

Now do not get me wrong.  I am not having a moment where I am condoning purchasing an American car.  Generally they are inferior in both styling and reliability but maybe someday they will be truly worthy of my discretionary dollars.

This brings me to another topic.  Unions.  Specifically the United Auto Workers.  I do not want to get all political at this point in time, but part of my resistance to buying an American car has always been my stance against the UAW.  I know the person who puts the bumper on my car or installs the electrical harness for the power seats is a hard working American who clearly deserves their job as much as the next guy.  But, what I will never understand is why they deserve to earn $90/hour minimum?  The union determines the wages which are inflated beyond recognition in an attempt to move the worker up the social economic ladder.  Yet, the only people who truly benefit from labor unions are the politicians they support and the union bosses who take a part of the workers dues and put it right into their pockets.

Amerian workers deserve a fair wage.  But, with the layers and layers of padding added to their wages which must be repaid to the union there is no true benefit to the worker and certainly no benefit to the consumer of the products he or she is building.  Hopefully, the UAW and the United States government gets the message now.  If they want to keep the jobs they have to build an exceptional product theat people want to buy at a fair price.  If they are smart enough to keep the cost of labour at a reasonable level, everyone will benefit.

Having said all that, I really like my American built SUV.

Cheers.

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~ by tegold on 10.08.2009.

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