Friday, October 14, 2005

 

What's Delphi Anyway?

So we've got a problem. 15,000 workers are about to be out a job, and not just some minimum wage stuff. $60k a year plus benefits is a decent living for anybody. It's times like these that make me wish we had embraced free-trade sooner, if we were going to at all. If we had lost all our manufacturing jobs 30 years ago to Asia, Africa and South America, today we would be kicking some ass. Transitions in economies tend to cause blips in the system. The problem is, those blips aren't just lines on a piece of paper, they are people's lives, and they tend to last a lifetime. So what can the state do? As far as I can see, there are really only three options that involve doing anything.

First, we could pay Delphi to operate and continue to pay its workers. Sound a bit Soviet? Isn't going to happen and probably for the best.

Second, we could bust the unions and keep Delphi. The would mean letting them pay their workers minimum wage with no benefits. Hell, that's the only way they can turn a profit. I don't like this option. This is just de facto option 1, I call it the Wal-Mark option. Instead of subsidizing the company, the state just takes care of their workers, a job the company should be doing. I don't like it. Not one bit. (Plus I'm a big fan of unions, and busting unions makes me angry.)

Third, we could teach these workers how to do something else. There is a lot of money floating around out there just looking for somebody who knows how to use it. U of M just built three or four giant new buildings and is working to hire people to fill them. I can only assume that this is the case all over the state, at least that's what Granholm is saying.

I like education. I'm a civil engineering student, it's not that hard, but for some reason there is only one person over 30 in any of my classes. Why isn't the state paying for older people (ie adults) to go to college? I just don't get it.

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