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LilMike?


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Howey
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« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2011, 07:18:10 pm »

Another blog with no link....

tsk tsk
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Howey
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« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2011, 12:09:17 pm »

Ok. I'll bite since you don't care to pimp your blog here.*

http://muchedumbre.com/madison-the-end-of-the-public-sector-union

Don't forget, Mike, I was a State employee too. You're leaving out some critical information in your post. There's a huge difference between public employees and public employees (See what I did?). Along with the teachers, firefighters, highway patrol, health department workers (that's where you were, right?), are the clerical workers, the cafeteria workers, the bathroom cleaners, and so on.

Then there's the appointed State employee. Usually a political crony of whoever is in office at the time, put there, and taken out, of his/her job by the whims of a politician. Frequently they're politicians themselves, having been disposed of by a previous gubernatorial administration. In the past, some of these appointees were actually professionals who knew the in's and out's of the department they were leading. They actually cared about the  teachers, firefighters, highway patrol, health department workers, social workers, clerical workers, cafeteria workers, bathroom cleaners, physicians and so on.

Of course, we both know that after all these years of Republican governors, that's no longer the case. So even the department heads are politicians. They don't care about those under them. Hell. As long as they get their raise, oops, sorry bonus, from the Governor they're happy. The little guys? Those raises went away years ago....

Here's another important point you left out. I didn't belong to the union when I worked for the State but I know this: As a professional, my salary was about 60% of a like-position "on the outside". In order to attract professionals like me, or schoolteachers, or social workers, or cafeteria workers, or bathroom cleaners; or physicians, the State proffered excellent benefits in the form of health care and retirement plans geared towards providing us a career as opposed to a job, despite the ridiculously small salary. Not for free, mind you, that was only for the Department Heads, we had to contribute to our retirement and health care just like everyone else.

I also knew that, although I wasn't a union member, the unions negotiated with management to secure the future of myself and my co-workers, not the political appointees (management itself) looking to make a quick buck at the expense of our schoolteachers, social workers, clerical workers, cafeteria workers or bathroom cleaners; or physicians.

What else did the union do for me? They insured that the Governor or Agency Head, the newly-elected or appointed official given a job not based on qualifications or compassion (like the teacher, social worker, cafeteria worker, bathroom cleaner, or physician) wouldn't fire me and my co-workers just because we belonged to another political party.

That's why unions, while flawed, are a good thing. Could they use some tweaking? Sure...

Unions could use some work to modernize and update their business plan.

Two years ago, GM was flawed and many, including you, said they must be destroyed.

Instead, GM reorganized, modernized, and updated their business plan. And is, today, more successful than it's been in years.

Part of that successful reorganization was the effort of the unions restructuring and capitulating to management in the form of wages, benefits, and pensions. In Wisconsin today, the unions are agreeing to pay more into their pension plans, make salary and benefit concessions, and work with management (the State) to better everyone.

But, that's not good enough!

Management (the State) has already promised the shareholders (the rich corporate interests in Wisconsin) tax breaks allowing their profits to grow even more. How are they paying for this? By killing the rights of the middle class to fair and honest wages and working conditions!.

The unions are powerful, just not as powerful as they were years ago. Big Business and Big States (with their political appointees) are even more powerful. They are grabbing more and more power with every Citizen's United (what a misnomer!) case out there. Bashing and destroying unions are the right wing, pro-rich, trickle down philosophy dream of every Republican, Libertarian, and Tea Party member out there.

If anything, I see unions growing, especially here in the South, in response to the union-busting bills being initiated by the likes of the Governor of Wisconsin and our very own Florida Gov. Jar Jar Binks.

It's high time the American people stood up to these people. Since when did it become popular to hate on teachers, police and firemen?

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Howey
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« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2011, 12:14:06 pm »

oops! I forgot.

Quote
Ok. I'll bite since you don't care to pimp your blog here.*

I'll be more than glad to pimp your blog for you. Hell, Elross won't!  Grin

I've noticed recently that your blog has become a little more well-written, sourced, and shows a smidgen of actual compromise in your heavy-handed conservative views.

I commend you. Good work!
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lil mike
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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2011, 10:41:41 pm »

oops! I forgot.

I'll be more than glad to pimp your blog for you. Hell, Elross won't!  Grin

I've noticed recently that your blog has become a little more well-written, sourced, and shows a smidgen of actual compromise in your heavy-handed conservative views.

I commend you. Good work!

Well, thanks.  If it's more well written, I would just have to put it down to practice.  The more your write, the better you write.  However I don't think I compromise my views, they are merely more varied than you probably have given me credit for.  Particularly when it comes up to issues that have just not really come up before, like public sector unions.  I think it would be difficult to say I had much compromise there.  I made it clear that I really didn't believe in the concept of public sector unions at all.  However, that's also an opinion of several prominent people on the left, as I made the point to quote in my blog.  On the partisan political angle, of it though, the Democrats have to be in whole hog with the concept.  So they blur the distinctions between private sector unions and public sector unions.  At least on MSNBC. 

But I didn't see this issue coming, and although I clearly see the long term consequences of public sector unions getting their way (Greece) in the short run, I would not have put it on the front burner like Walker did.  Big gamble. 

I recognize the distinction between State employees who are career service and those who are appointed.  Obviously appointees deserve no protections, but every state has career service employee protection enshrined in State law.  So they all have more protections than most non union state employees.

I wouldn't exactly use GM as an example.  Arguing that their bailout deal allowed their union contracts to be restructured isn't exactly a stirring defense of auto worker unionism.  You seem to be conceding that unions were part (although not all) of the problem with GM.  I do still think GM should have been allowed to go into bankruptcy.  We would have a leaner, more efficient (although admittedly smaller) company if that had been allowed to happen.  Bailing out Chrysler in the 80's really didn't cure it's ills.  It just allowed it to limp along for years until they got another bailout.

As far as private sector unionism, I don't see that growing at all.  Public unions are a different matter since that is up to politics, not the cries of the oppressed state employees.
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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2011, 11:16:37 pm »


I'm curious why such an attachment to bouncing fox and msnbcnn corporate news talking points. Since it's where most get their news it's certainly a fine place to reference and they do get some things right such as Katie Couric and vaccines. The wealth of more informed and objective news is thankfully growing and of course I would never say that such and site is the one you can always trust. Something Paul Jay at the real news say's is that there are plenty of good reporters and producers at all the outlets but if they are corporate funded the objectivity can be compromised. I'm not trying to imply that you may already not be doing a healthy harvesting of data. For those that may not have started yet it's refreshing to disconnect from what a few old men in suits want you to be focused on that day and think for yourself, research, cross reference.
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Howey
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« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2011, 09:09:55 am »

I do still think GM should have been allowed to go into bankruptcy.  We would have a leaner, more efficient (although admittedly smaller) company if that had been allowed to happen.

Umm...you do know that's exactly what happened, don't you?
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lil mike
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« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2011, 04:54:36 pm »

Umm...you do know that's exactly what happened, don't you?

No it didn't.   The administration put together an "extra-legal" deal to restructure GM without resorting to bankruptcy.  Extra legal because although bankruptcy law is... law, the restructuring deal short circuited bankruptcy court, which the administration wanted to avoid since a bankruptcy judge could have thrown out all of the union contracts.  They did a lot of hinky stuff with that deal.  The law can be so bothersome sometimes!
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« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2011, 05:00:06 pm »

No it didn't.   The administration put together an "extra-legal" deal to restructure GM without resorting to bankruptcy.  Extra legal because although bankruptcy law is... law, the restructuring deal short circuited bankruptcy court, which the administration wanted to avoid since a bankruptcy judge could have thrown out all of the union contracts.  They did a lot of hinky stuff with that deal.  The law can be so bothersome sometimes!

OH NO! Not more conspiracy theories!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/01/gm-bankruptcy-begins-ny-d_n_209605.html

Quote
NEW YORK — General Motors entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday with a near-complete plan to quickly emerge and potentially become profitable again, having already nailed down deals with its union and bondholders and arranged to sell off brands and most of its Opel operations in Europe.

GM's bankruptcy filing is the fourth-largest in U.S. history and the largest for an industrial company. The company said it has $172.81 billion in debt and $82.29 billion in assets.

"The General Motors board of directors authorized the filing of a Chapter 11 case with regret that this path proved necessary despite the best efforts of so many," GM Chairman Kent Kresa said in a written statement. "Today marks a new beginning for General Motors. ... The board is confident that this New GM can operate successfully in the intensely competitive U.S. market and around the world."

As it reorganizes, the fallen icon of American industry will rely on $30 billion of additional financial assistance from the Treasury Department and $9.5 billion from Canada. That's on top of about $20 billion in taxpayer money GM already has received in the form of low-interest loans.

Late Monday, U.S. Judge Robert Gerber gave interim approval for the Detroit-based automaker's use of a total of $33.3 billion in government bankruptcy financing, with $15 billion available for use over the next three weeks. He will rule on final approval of the financing on June 25.

The judge also set GM's sale hearing for June 30, putting the automaker on a path similar to that of rival Chrysler LLC, which held its sale hearing about 30 days after filing for Chapter 11. Objections in GM's case are due on June 19, with any competing bids required to be submitted by June 22.

"Our agreement with the U.S. Treasury and the governments of Canada and Ontario will create a leaner, quicker more customer and completely product-focused company, one that's more cost competitive and has a competitive balance sheet," CEO Fritz Henderson said at a news conference in New York. "This new GM will be built from the strongest parts of our business, including our best brands and products."

The Detroit automaker said warranty coverage, service and customer support will continue uninterrupted, plants will continue to make cars and trucks, and essential suppliers and GM's 235,000 employees worldwide will continue to be paid. GMAC Financial Services said in a statement that it will continues to provide automotive financing to GM and Chrysler dealers and customers, and the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. said workers' pension plans remain safe.

GM will follow a similar course taken by smaller rival Chrysler, which filed for Chapter 11 protection April 30. A judge on Sunday gave Chrysler approval to sell most of its assets to Italy's Fiat, moving the U.S. automaker closer to a quick exit from court protection, possibly this week.
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lil mike
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« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2011, 12:50:48 am »


This wasn't in the distant past, this was less than two years ago.

The White House came up with the restructuring plan before Chapter 11 was even filed, that basically short circuited federal bandruptcy law.  Remember?  The US government ended up with a 60% ownership stake in GM, Canada end up with ownership,the Treasury guaranteed some GM's debt, and the bondholders, which are given a higher priority under actual bankruptcy law, were forced to accept equity instead of repayment of the debt.

In other words, the company was largely nationalized.

Odd that your Huffington piece pretends that this was just another Chapter 11.  It wasn't technically inaccurate, but so incomplete as to be deceptive.

I'm sure in the long run, it will have the same success as the Chrysler bailout did.  It will allow the company to limp along for a few more years.
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« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2011, 09:31:09 am »

This wasn't in the distant past, this was less than two years ago.

The White House came up with the restructuring plan before Chapter 11 was even filed, that basically short circuited federal bandruptcy law.  Remember? 

Of course I remember! Bush started it!

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/19/business/19auto.html

Quote
The White House raised for the first time on Thursday the prospect of forcing General Motors and Chrysler into a managed bankruptcy as a solution to save the companies from financial collapse.

The White House announced early on Friday that President Bush would make a statement at 9 a.m. Eastern time about efforts to negotiate a bailout for the domestic auto industry.

On Thursday, his spokeswoman, Dana Perino, confirmed growing speculation within legal circles that the president and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. were considering the step.

“There’s an orderly way to do bankruptcies that provides for more of a soft landing,” Ms. Perino said. “I think that’s what we would be talking about. That would be one of the options.”

A senior administration official, however, later described that option as a last resort, to be used only if an agreement for a voluntary overhaul of the industry could not be reached.

These officials said the preferred solution would be to force a restructuring of the industry outside of bankruptcy court, extracting concessions that would make the companies more cost-competitive with foreign automakers.

In return, the Treasury would tap the financial rescue fund, called the Troubled Asset Relief Program, to make loans to the companies.

In other words, the company was largely nationalized.

That claim's been made before but I just don't see the legitimacy to it. How can a company be "nationalized" when the government doesn't run it? From Geithner:

Quote
Because of the President's commitment to this industry and the deep sacrifices of all stakeholders, GM and Chrysler have achieved a quick restructuring, and the economy avoided the devastation that would have accompanied their liquidation. Now, with day-to-day management of these companies in the hands of the private sector, the American taxpayers have a better chance of recouping their investment in these companies.

"There is still much work ahead to ensure that GM and Chrysler re-emerge as stronger, more competitive companies. President Obama has made it perfectly clear that it is the responsibility of their private boards of directors and management teams to deliver that result.

As far as your gloom and doom predictions for GM? Seems like they're not doing too bad...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41754811/ns/business-autos/

Quote
General Motors Co. posted a fourth-quarter adjusted profit slightly above expectations and its first full-year earnings since 2004.

The top U.S. automaker reported fourth-quarter net income of $510 million after paying dividends on preferred shares, or 31 cents per share, down from the pace of earnings in the first three quarters of 2010 on higher costs to launch new vehicles and a continuing drag from losses in its European operations.
After adjusting for a loss of 21 cents per share on the purchase of preferred shares that had been held by the U.S. Treasury, adjusted earnings per share were 52 cents.

It was the company's first profitable year since 2004 and GM's best performance since making $6 billion in 1999 during the pickup truck and SUV boom.
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lil mike
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« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2011, 06:58:53 pm »

Of course I remember! Bush started it!

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/19/business/19auto.html

That claim's been made before but I just don't see the legitimacy to it. How can a company be "nationalized" when the government doesn't run it? From Geithner:

As far as your gloom and doom predictions for GM? Seems like they're not doing too bad...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41754811/ns/business-autos/


Bush started it, you approve of it.  Interesting.  I guess you guys were not as really as far a part as you pretended.

The company is nationalized because most of the ownership of the company is in the hands of the government, well two of them, the US and Canada, although mostly the US.  I don't know what the current percentage is post-IPO, but before that it was 60% just for the US government.  That's a pretty large majority share of stock.  The owners determine the board, which appoints the CEO.  And fires the CEO.  Just ask Rick Wagoner!

So I'm not sure how Geithner can say that they have a hands off approach.

As far as my doom and gloom prediction, based on recent sales I would say it's right on track!   

http://tinyurl.com/6ejco72

My prediction about GM is that with a bailout, the company would limp along without making the major changes needed to innovate and grow.  That was exactly the purpose of the administration restructuring plan, to prevent the paring down of the company that would have occurred in true bankruptcy proceedings.

Look at Chrysler.  It got a bailout in the 80's, and that was called a success simply because the company paid back their loans.  But the company has just limped along going from one owner to another until, yes more bailouts.  Some success.

Sometimes a company, like Gotham City, needs a good enema.  Preventing that doesn't do the company any favors, it's purely political.

When GM regains it's old market share and kicks Honda's ass off the top ten list all the way back to Japan, then yes, you can say the restructuring and bailout was a success.  I won't be holding my breath though.


(fixt your link to make it shorter)
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Howey
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« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2011, 07:45:19 pm »

Bush started it, you approve of it.  Interesting.  I guess you guys were not as really as far a part as you pretended.


Oh..I'm not giving Bush credit. Just some of his more intelligent advisors who knew the catastrophy the downfall of GM would case to our econony.

As far as my doom and gloom prediction, based on recent sales I would say it's right on track!   

http://tinyurl.com/6ejco72


Those are stock sales, not vehicular sales or company profit. I already posted a link to them. I think you know why the stock sales took a small hit, but who in the hell tracks stocks based on a monthly total? If that's how you buy stock, have I got a deal for you!

But, hey, I'll play that game! From November (notice how the stock price hasn't really changed that much?):
 
http://news.businessweek.com/article.asp?documentKey=1376-LC2CER0UQVI901-7PLPV8BD6VNDLVM1871BE5TQBB

Quote
General Motors Co., which went bankrupt last year after almost a century on the New York Stock Exchange, advanced in its return to public trading following an initial public offering that raised more than $20 billion.

GM gained 3.6 percent to $34.19 today, after climbing 9.1 percent in the first hour of trading. Its owners, including the Treasury, sold $15.8 billion of common shares at $33 each in the second-largest U.S. IPO on record. The automaker's $4.35 billion offering of preferred shares and an overallotment option may boost the total to $23.1 billion, more than the $22.1 billion raised by Beijing-based Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. in the biggest IPO of common stock in history.


Quote
The offering by GM came 16 months after it emerged from bankruptcy and brings Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson closer to his goal of returning the $49.5 billion the automaker received in a taxpayer bailout last year. The Treasury, which will get as much as $13.6 billion from the IPO, will have to sell its remaining GM shares at an average of about $53 each to make back its total investment, Bloomberg data show.

“You want to have some improvement, because that shows there was strong demand for the shares,” said Peter Jankovskis, who helps manage $2.2 billion as co-chief investment officer at Oakbrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois. “But the bigger that jump, it's really a sign that the offering left some money on the table. That's a very large deal in dollar terms.”

More than 458 million GM shares changed hands in the automaker's first day of trading, more than any other U.S. IPO since at least 1994, data compiled by Bloomberg show.


Quote
The IPO would lower the Treasury's stake to 37 percent, or 33 percent with the overallotment option, from 61 percent, the filings showed. The UAW trust's holdings would drop to 14 percent, or 13 percent with the option, from 20 percent.

GM's IPO “is an important step in the turnaround of the company and for our work to recover taxpayer dollars and exit this investment as soon as practicable,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in a statement. “It is now widely recognized that the taxpayers' investment not only helped save jobs during the worst economic crisis in a generation but also gave the auto industry a solid foundation on which to build.”
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lil mike
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« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2011, 08:19:10 pm »

Oh..I'm not giving Bush credit. Just some of his more intelligent advisors who knew the catastrophy the downfall of GM would case to our econony.

Those are stock sales, not vehicular sales or company profit. I already posted a link to them. I think you know why the stock sales took a small hit, but who in the hell tracks stocks based on a monthly total? If that's how you buy stock, have I got a deal for you!

But, hey, I'll play that game! From November (notice how the stock price hasn't really changed that much?):
 
http://news.businessweek.com/article.asp?documentKey=1376-LC2CER0UQVI901-7PLPV8BD6VNDLVM1871BE5TQBB




So was GM nationalized or not?

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Howey
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« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2011, 09:51:32 am »

So was GM nationalized or not?



Ok. I'll give in. According to this:

Quote
na·tion·al·ize (nsh-n-lz, nshn-)
tr.v. na·tion·al·ized, na·tion·al·iz·ing, na·tion·al·iz·es
1. To convert from private to governmental ownership and control: nationalize the steel industry.

One could say that for a short period of time GM, and Chrysler, may have been nationalized.

Much like when Reagan and Bush nationalized the savings and loans in the 80's and 90's, huh? Or, say, the steel mills, railroads, coal mines or even the Louisiana Purchase?

I don't consider "nationalization" to be a dirty word, no more than I would consider "liberal" or "teacher" a dirty word. Sometimes the government has to step in to prevent mass financial chaos, and both parties have been "guilty" of nationalizing private enterprises to achieve a common goal.
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Howey
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« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2011, 01:14:12 pm »

When GM regains it's old market share and kicks Honda's ass off the top ten list

How 'bout a GM division whupping it up on Toyota?

http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2011/03/buick-sales-soar-past-lexus.html

Quote
An air of hyperbole seems to float in the mainstream media about the success of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford. They cite things like earnings reports, repaying debt, you name it. But they don’t usually tackle the concrete sales of cars.

When you look at the numbers, one success story clearly stands above all: Buick outsold Lexus in February, for the second month in a row. Buick also outsold Mercedes-Benz (if you discount sales of the Sprinter work van), along with Audi and Acura. Only BMW outsold Buick on the strength of BMW’s new X3 SUV. The storied German brand topped Buick by 800 units.

The story, though, is Buick. With just four vehicles in showrooms — the Enclave crossover and the LaCrosse, Lucerne and Regal sedans — it has outsold the nearly unbeatable Lexus.
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