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Old 11-19-2008, 03:28 PM   #71
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One way to spread the cost of health care so that it hits every auto manufacturer proportionately—that is Toyota, Honda, and the rest of those manufacturers—is a single payer system. Then the Big 2.5 are paying no more than anyone else through a taxing system.

I know the health insurance industry has been telling us for years Canada has a horrible system, but if you had to deal with the health insurers with their massive bureaucracy and their lies about coverage, why should you believe them about anything? In our many trips to Canada I've never found anyone who would trade their system for ours. Sure it has some problems, what human endeavor doesn't? But compare theirs, or other industrialized countries' systems, to ours. I know the government can really screw things up—especially in the past 8 years—but it doesn't have to be so. For most of its history Medicare was an extremely efficient and cheap to administer program. That has been screwed up too, but can be changed. Certainly the health insurers have screwed up coverage plus 45,000,000 people don't have any insurance and tens of millions more have bad insurance.

The insurance mess allows foreign companies to produce vehicles cheaper by locating in the South where wages are low, unions weak, and other requirements are scanty. The South is the poorest part of the country, so why not take more advantage of the people there? They're happy to have jobs that pay a little better than other jobs there. The eventual result is that wages slip elsewhere in other parts of the country and Americans get less money and less health insurance. If this keeps up, Japan and western Europe will be the richest countries on the planet, not us. Of course, they have the same pressures from the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries whose low wages and lack of decent health coverage make for cheap production. There are solutions to that, but they aren't easy—perhaps all the industrialized countries require certain import controls tied to treating labor well.

Another part of the problem for the auto companies is the lack of credit. People who want to buy cars can't because they can't get credit. Some of them don't deserve credit, but many do. The idea of the $700 B was to provide cash to allow lending to start again, but the banks who have received the money aren't lending, they are either keeping it on the books out of fear or buying other banks. Paulson is encouraging them to buy other banks, but not to lend. Paulson's efforts have been counter to what he told Congress and slow and generally pathetic.

There are many parts to the crisis in the Big 2.5 (by .5 I mean Chrysler) and all parts need to be solved to allow them to thrive. Changing hidebound companies is not easy and even if the leaders of these companies were trying, middle management can screw it up by inaction. Putting Joe Nardelli in at Chrysler amazed me—he was driving Home Depot into the ground and gave Lowe's a big boost by doing such a good job of driving customers away from Home Depot.

There are no solutions to this that don't have ugly parts to them, but we have to swallow hard and get going.

Gene
My father-in-law is from Canada and he and his family have the opposite opinion of the people you have talked to when visiting Canada with regards to the health care system there. Plus there is all the research that also says the opposite. Besides America is a different animal than Canada, what might work there may very well be the worst thing to do here. A one payer system would drag our health care system down to third world standards, you'd be standing in line behind 403 runny noses and 347 scratched fingers, heck it's free( for those who don't pay taxes anyway and the rest of us have already paid for it) why not go for any and every little thing. I wonder how good the doctors will be when they are paid government wages, how long will it take to pay back hundreds of thousands in school loans when making government wages? Try spending some time in a VA hospital and then tell me you want government running our health care system. They have done such a bangup job in everything else they have tried to control over the years, why not let them control one more aspect of our lives and take a little more freedom away. After all they are so much smarter than us, they know what's best for us.

Government should run as little as possible and focus on running those things well.

Just my humble opinion.
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Old 11-19-2008, 03:42 PM   #72
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My experience in Canada is that it is very much like the US. I know of US doctors who have moved to Canada to practice there. People in Canada tell me if you need it, you get it. If it's not an immediate need, it may take a bit longer. Everybody gets health care.

I know the VA has a mixed reputation and that's a disgrace. Why can't the US have a good single payer system? Are we so incompetent that we are like a 3rd world country? I think it depends who is running the gov't. If we have people who hate gov't, they will mess it up. If we have people who have a positive outlook and work for the public, we can have the best system there is. We certainly don't now.

American doctors are retiring early. The gate keepers—internists and family doctors—are disappearing. Income is stagnant or dropping. Many spend hours a day arguing with insurers instead of practicing medicine. Rural areas, often underserved now, will hardly have any doctors. At this rate, there won't be many doctors left in the US and we'll be lucky to get more than a few minutes with them.

I think I led us off subject and was trying to make the point that American manufacturers of all kinds, not just the auto industry, are at a disadvantage because here they pay for health coverage and elsewhere the costs are spread over the entire society instead of on some companies.

Gene
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Old 11-19-2008, 03:55 PM   #73
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... who's going to supply the foreign companies? The answer—other foreign companies. One of the guys in the service dept at my local Toyota dealer said the problems with Toyotas these days—yes, there are more problems than years ago when all the Toyotas were made in Japan—is the parts supplied by American suppliers. I'm sure Toyota and others would love to dump American suppliers. They have used them to quiet American complaints that everything is shipped from out of the country. This whole thing is sad—American suppliers can't meet the standards of Japan.

I also note that the senators most against helping the Big 2.5 are from southern states with foreign manufacturers. Interesting.

Gene
I don't doubt that your dealer said it, but I do have some doubts about the statement's accuracy. I've seen it used as a scapegoat in the past by people who should know better.

The manufacturing will continue to be spread among nations as a hedge against currency fluctuations. It will be spread regionally due to cost of living, labor, and shipping differences.

As far as an earlier poster saying he'd never buy an American car, the next generation Saturn Aura just won European Car of the Year, narrowly edging out the Ford Fiesta that will be here next year. The contenders included the new Audi A4, VW Golf (Rabbit for us), and others for 59 contenders total.

The well received Opel/Vauxhall Astra is available here now as a Saturn (where it isn't as well received in large part due to the strength of the Euro this last summer). And here's a shocker, Top Gear's Clarkson actually admitted to liking the CTS-V: Times on line link here.
where we find this:
"So make no mistake: financially, the Cadillac smashes the M5, completely and utterly. And here’s the next part. Round the Nürburgring, it smashes it again. With an ordinary part-time racing driver at the wheel, an automatic version of the hottest ever Caddy went round in 7min 59sec — a record for any four-door saloon.
Part of the reason is its 6.2 litre supercharged V8, which develops a dizzying 556bhp. That’s 49 more than you get from an M5. The Cadillac is mind-bogglingly fast. The manual version I drove will hit 191mph. And it accelerates with a verve that truly leaves you breathless. It also makes an utterly irresistible growl. Like an AMG Mercedes but more refined. More muted.
And now you are expecting the “but”. But there isn’t one. Maybe the steering is a bit too light, but other than this it handles beautifully when you have the Ferrari-style magnetic dampers in “sport”, and rides soothingly when you switch the knob to “comfort”. This is unusual for an American car, which usually can do neither thing properly."
There is little to be gained by repeating generalities about this industry. It's in the middle of a gear change, and in a free market system we have a heavy clutch, a revvy engine, and no synchros.
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:37 PM   #74
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I worked for Land Rover North America for a number of years and I can tell you that there's waste in the foreign companies as well. I traveled four days a week every week and better than 90% of that was flying. , 34 times to Chicago in one year alone. It was nothing to fly to the U.K for a day to appove something that could have been done via digital photos's and email. Half the office was in the air, a rental car or hotel at any one time. You really rack up the frequent flyer miles fast. No corporate jets though.
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Old 11-19-2008, 07:20 PM   #75
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My experience in Canada is that it is very much like the US. I know of US doctors who have moved to Canada to practice there. People in Canada tell me if you need it, you get it. If it's not an immediate need, it may take a bit longer. Everybody gets health care.

I know the VA has a mixed reputation and that's a disgrace. Why can't the US have a good single payer system? Are we so incompetent that we are like a 3rd world country? I think it depends who is running the gov't. If we have people who hate gov't, they will mess it up. If we have people who have a positive outlook and work for the public, we can have the best system there is. We certainly don't now.

American doctors are retiring early. The gate keepers—internists and family doctors—are disappearing. Income is stagnant or dropping. Many spend hours a day arguing with insurers instead of practicing medicine. Rural areas, often underserved now, will hardly have any doctors. At this rate, there won't be many doctors left in the US and we'll be lucky to get more than a few minutes with them.

I think I led us off subject and was trying to make the point that American manufacturers of all kinds, not just the auto industry, are at a disadvantage because here they pay for health coverage and elsewhere the costs are spread over the entire society instead of on some companies.

Gene

They do have a pretty good system, Till a few years ago when they ran out of money to pay the doctors!!!!!!!

The US gov has stepped in and now my insurance rates are going up 15% and it gets pasted on to the Employees... Stay out of it GOVERNMENT>.

For general health care Canada, England and Sweden are great... But if you need an operation, GOOD LUCK,, there are a lot of people who come over here to get stuff done...In Sweden the docs aren't in the hospitals on the weekend.. NONE>>>> Couldn't believe it...

In England the family docs still make house calls,,, So does my wife when necessary, but not often...

Nothing is perfect....

BUT GOVERNMENT BAIL OUTS FOR MOTOR COMPANIES...... I just can't agree with that....
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Old 11-19-2008, 08:00 PM   #76
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...

BUT GOVERNMENT BAIL OUTS FOR MOTOR COMPANIES...... I just can't agree with that....
In general, that seems reasonable and I tend to agree. However, in a real way, I believe our (lack of) fuel taxes and the attempted use of regulation (CAFE) - both government policies - are as much responsible for the auto industry's current state as any set of Midwestern business schools, and this muddies the picture considerably, IMO.

On the other hand, I've long thought it strange that new car dealerships outnumbered bicycle shops in our town by more than two to one.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:11 PM   #77
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We're not talking about Wal-Mart folding or McDonald's. We're talking a significant portion of our manufacturing sector here folks. Not the $8/hr jobs, no health benefits like Wal-Mart that helps precipitate and exacerbate the shrinking manufacturing sector, we're talking about real jobs that put kids through school, food on the table for over 100,000 workers in this country. Are these folk just simply going to start to work at Wal-Mart......
No personal offense intended here, but I hate it when people make blind, ignorant statements they think are factual just because everyones been saying it for years.

Quote:
92.7 percent of Wal-Mart associates reported having some form of health coverage either through Wal-Mart or another source.
Quote:
Wal-Mart insures more than 1.1 million associates and family members making us among the nation’s largest providers of private sector health insurance.


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Here are some facts off the CNN site, and for the record I was way off, it's not 100k+ jobs, that would seem to be a pebble thrown into a lake....it's actually about 1.6 to 1.7 million jobs we'd have to pay unemployment on, let alone the domino effect of bankruptcies..... Food for thought......


BTW...

Quote:
Wal-Mart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide, including more than 1.4 million in the United States.Wal-Mart is not only one of the largest private employers in the U.S., but the largest in Mexico and one of the largest in Canada as well.


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Through our relationships with 56,000 U.S. suppliers, we spent $200 billion on merchandise in 2007 and supported more than 3 million American jobs.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:19 PM   #78
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Take a look at this website
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Executive Compensation - CEO Salaries, Stock Options, Bonuses, Compensation for Executives
I might suggest that something major needs to happen when a company that lost $38B last year (GM) paid its top 5 execs , $38M or maybe worse Ford who lost $2B paid its top execs approx $50B. No matter what happens rank and file are likely to lose their jobs. But these guys, like the wall street chiefs pulling this sort of compensation , while destroying these instituions borders on criminal. I have little confidence a loan will change fundamentally the way Detroit behaves. Will they improve fuel efficiency to have more marketable cars, or lobby CAFE standards. Will they self impose executive pay? Can they move to an era of labor negotiations that is equivalent to Toyota and Honda and BMW in the USA, which by most folks standards is a pretty good working wage. It is sad we have come to this.

How about a real plan, no loans, no bailouts...

Go after the current and past executives that have raped and pillaged these public companies (I'm talking auto industry and banking here). Take back the unearned "compensation" and put it back into these failing companies. No more "golden parachutes" give them a brick and directions to the golden gate bridge.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:37 PM   #79
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Wow...What a great company.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:38 PM   #80
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No personal offense intended here, but I hate it when people make blind

Yes, the bulk of Wal-Marts health care is the government for those that can't afford the 30+% the Wally World Plan costs..... I have friends that worked there. They keep most of the associates just below the min required hours to qualify for health benefits. I would love to see the factual info you have to support your data, perhaps the Wal-Mart website?!

Do not even get me started about 2 million Wal-Mart associates...most of them make near the bare min wage....comparing Wal-Mart to the big 2.5 is like comparing apples to tomatoes...not even in the geographic ballpark. Wally World could disappear tomorrow and though it may have some pain, it's not even close to that of losing 1 of 10 jobs in the U.S.....

Ignorant? Look at Wal-Marts business practices. Read a book or watch a few documentaries. Wal-Mart is about as essential as a sack of wet mice. If they disappeared, there are many that could take Wally World's place, and do so in a far more ethical manner at that.....

No offense meant.

Do a web search with the words "wal-mart business practices" and see what you find.

Don't want to read all of it? Here is but one:

http://www.pbs.org/itvs/storewars/stores3.html
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:04 PM   #81
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Yes, the bulk of Wal-Marts health care is the government. I have friends that worked there. They keep most of the associates just below the min required hours to qualify for health benefits. I would love to see the factual info you have to support your data, perhaps the Wal-Mart website?! Incorrect statement - where are you getting your data, Union websites? or just the same old diatribe that's been repeated so often people don't relize it's false.

Do not even get me started about 2 million Wal-Mart associates...most of them make near the bare min wage....comparing Wal-Mart to the big 2.5 is like comparing apples to tomatoes...not even in the geographic ballpark.
See above response.

Wally World could disappear tomorrow and though it may have some pain, it's not even close to that of losing 1 of 10 jobs in the U.S.....Tell that to the 1.4 million employed there and the many more employed by their suppliers. Or is it because they make less than the (overpaid) union big 3 that they are somehow less human or don't count in our society? Are those employees of less worth than someone making more money?

Ignorant? Look at Wal-Marts business practices. It's called capitalism. The efficient survive, the failures fail (big 3?). When Walmart started out, it was America's smalltown sweetheart. When it grew big by it's efficiency, it became a thing to be reviled - fueled greatly by the big business some call "unions". Unions had their day in the US, and they were very needed at that time. They have become an endangered dinosaur that does nothing but leach off the very workers they were created to help. Unions simply want to tap into those 1.4 million employees paychecks. Read a book or watch a few documentaries. I've read a few... Wal-Mart is about as essential as a sack of wet mice. If they disappeared, there are many that could take Wally World's place, and do so in a far more ethical manner at that.....

No offense meant.
....
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:07 PM   #82
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....
Very little fact and a lot of vague answers to questions.....and this is the GM facts and fiction thread anyway. Maybe you should start a Wal-Mart thread. In the end, we'll simply have to agree to disagree....my facts can be found nearly anywhere. As I put in my last post, simply do a web search on Wal-Mart business practices and you'll have more than enough to read, and few are union propaganda. To each their own though. In the country of the blind the one-eyed man may be king, but in the real world, that person still needs to see reality in some form. Of course for some, reality is subjective.
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:14 PM   #83
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Yes, the bulk of Wal-Marts health care is the government for those that can't afford the 30+% the Wally World Plan costs..... I have friends that worked there.
So do I...Actually the health care is quite affordable, with a wide variety of choices - granted there haven't always been as many choices. I'm sure some of the public criticism directed towards Walmart has helped change that. Great.
I've got friends in the local PD. (Union). Their healthcare is 100% paid for by the union, their families healthcare is another story. That costs them personally around $1300 per month and thats after the city picks up about $250 of the cost. Let's realize that the healthcare issue isn't really about businesses providing coverage, but overhauling the bloated, overpriced and sometimes fraudulent system we currently have.

Quote:
Do a web search with the words "wal-mart business practices" and see what you find.

Don't want to read all of it? Here is but one:

PBS - STORE WARS: Wal-Mart Business Practices
The thing is just because you read it doesn't make it true. Do a little research and find out who is behind that story - and a good majority of the negative ones out there. I'll give you a little hint...the word you are looking for starts with a "u"
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:19 PM   #84
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So do I...Actually the health care is quite affordable, with a wide variety of choices - granted there haven't always been as many choices. I'm sure some of the public criticism directed towards Walmart has helped change that. Great.
I've got friends in the local PD. (Union). Their healthcare is 100% paid for by the union, their families healthcare is another story. That costs them personally around $1300 per month and thats after the city picks up about $250 of the cost. Let's realize that the healthcare issue isn't really about businesses providing coverage, but overhauling the bloated, overpriced and sometimes fraudulent system we currently have.



The thing is just because you read it doesn't make it true. Do a little research and find out who is behind that story - and a good majority of the negative ones out there. I'll give you a little hint...the word you are looking for starts with a "u"
I remain unconvinced of your comparison of this to the GM thread and/or that of any facts you may indicate. You ask for facts, I share at least 10 websites, then you say, those all are wrong. Again, to each their own though. In the country of the blind the one-eyed man may be king, but in the real world, that person still needs to see reality in some form. Of course for some, reality is subjective.

I've said my peace and will gladly let others extrapolate the content as presented.
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