How Many Jobs Are There In The Auto Industry?

Dealership IIWe keep hearing that if one of the Big Three goes bankrupt that it will have a devastating effect on the economy, due to job losses. I have a tough time believing that the auto industry itself has that many jobs in our economy. I can see that there might be associated jobs like car dealerships, but I doubt it will affect auto repair shops as just because cars aren’t made here does not mean they aren’t being repaired here. So, what are the real numbers?

What Are The Real Numbers?

I had this discussion with a very brilliant man who is a millionaire. While I don’t know how much he actually is involved with the auto industry, he claimed that people who get a job in one of the Big Three have jobs that can start at $40/hr because they are unionized. They get health benefits, they get overtime pay too! Many can make over $100,000/year having no skills other than assembly skills because of the union contracts. So, what are the real numbers? Is it because of the bad economy or the juicy labor contracts that they could go bankrupt? Why are they working overtime when no one is buying cars? A lot of this makes no sense…

What are the real numbers? In a time when everyone is belt tightening are the labor unions willing to give a little? Doesn’t it seem odd that someone with no college education can make over $100,000 working for someone else? I thought the whole point of the American dream was to become your own boss so you could make a lot of money and live a full life? Wouldn’t that help to create jobs by creating more businesses? What’s the incentive for the U.S. economy to keep paying people large amounts of money when 1) It creates no new jobs, 2) It rewards people for not improving themselves.

The Bottom Line Is Jobs, Isn’t It?

So, are we really going to suffer a large number of job losses if one of the Big Three goes under? More than the financial industry fall-out? More than the mortgage industry collapse? More than the dot com burst? I want to see some hard numbers, not in comparison to the auto industry, but to all the other industries that want a piece of the bail-out pie. I find it hard to believe that the auto industry has that big an impact on our economy. Somebody please tell me what the real numbers are, because right now, it just looks to me like they are plain old greedy, both the management AND the workers.

Should we reward the type of behavior that is basically bankrupting our country in the first place? Why not set up some incentives for other small businesses that want to compete with the Big Three? They can hire all the people who get laid off by the Big Three and start their own factories, at a lower pay rate. Or, we may find they can go into other industries that will create more economic security for the U.S. in the future. Or one of the Big Three can turn over their holdings to the workers as a co-operative that limits wages, just like they did in Argentina. They can get tax incentives for 1) educating their workforce, and 2) Creating more jobs. I would think $100,000/year would hire at least three people at $30,000/year and that is a livable wage. Even if they decided to only pay them $50,000/year it would double the workforce. More jobs, and I don’t know anyone who will turn down a $50,000/year job in this economy.

So, yes, I know nothing about the auto industry. Someone please educate me, because right now, it sounds to me like they just want something they don’t at all deserve. If they really deserve to be “bailed out” then I think the American public, which is footing the bill, needs to see the actual numbers forecasted for future job losses in comparison to present employment (no I don’t want any pie-in-the-sky fantasies of how many jobs they think they are creating for the future!), comparisons to other industries, other business plan options, etc. You name it. I want to see the business plan, for the economic growth of the United States, if they really do have as much impact as they say they do. Please, convince me, because right now, I am entirely unconvinced.

Oh, And Maybe They Don’t Really Need It

I just love this reasoning. We’re told they may not actually need the money, but they want to earmark it for themselves (pretty much freeze that money’s liquidity in the marketplace) in case they need it! I thought the whole point of the bail-out was to give it to unfreeze the market’s credit problems NOW. If they don’t really need it until maybe a year from now, come back in a year! I think there are other industries that have more impact on the economy and who make a better case for getting taxpayer’s monies right this instant.

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