Friday, May 15, 2009

American Conglomerations Remind Me of Fascism

A shocking yet awesome realization struck me today as I was reviewing my calendar and my to-do list: I have more to do now and am busier this week and next week than I was during any particular week that I was employed. And little to none of what is keeping me so busy actually has to do with finding a job; that's all secondary and to be done during my free time.

It makes me feel like a part of society again, though I know I'm not technically a 'productive' member at the moment. That definition does anger me though...and I know I'm not the only fit who fits beneath that label, but the debasement is still sobering.

And news came out today about the horrific closures of 800 Chrysler dealerships across the nation, as well as 1,100 GM dealerships. Granted not all of these will go under as many will revamp and turn into used car dealerships and/or will strike deals with other, foreign automakers in order to stay afloat. But the repercussions of these announcements will send shock waves through our economy, which is just beginning to bottom out. I think it will push us back by a few weeks, perhaps even a few months, and will cause a disastrous downward spiral ripple effect in job losses.

I already know of at least two people, who have nothing to do with GM or Chrysler, who have lost their jobs in the past week as a direct result of the announcements. They have jobs that are so far removed from the auto industry that it seems implausible that they could be so affected, but I digress and return to my point.

Each dealership, on average, employs about 50 people. Given the total of nearly 2000 dealerships to close across the country, that's about 100,000 jobs that can potentially be lost because of these dealerships shutdowns...and these figures do not even include the parts suppliers, gas stations and car washes, and people, who like the two people I know, depend on those employed by these dealerships for their own livelihoods. I think that the closures will result in an entire month's worth of job losses (in other words 500,000-650,000 total jobs) because of these dealership shutdowns. If these occur all in the same month, we're going to see a disastrous unemployment figure come out during that week and in the month following. It's a jump of about 1% of the nation, and this also does not include the workers in factories and assembly plants who will now lose their jobs because of decreased demand and MUCH higher inventory levels for those dealerships that remain open.

There's also going to be a huge amount of open real estate all over the country now. Whole towns are going to be affected by the closures, as many towns rely on these dealerships to employ the majority of the residents. Others will see taxes decrease and therefore funding for town works and livelihood/personnel like road repairs, police, firefighters, and, of course, teachers.

This economy is going backwards by at least one full month because of this announcement.

But we cannot be mad at the president or the government about these decisions. The companies themselves should have foreseen their own mortalities, shortfalls, and mountain losses years ago, possibly even decades ago, and realized America would eventually be satiated by the amount of cars in the country and wouldn't require millions of extra gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs be produced each year.

Toyota, Honda, and Kia have all known this, and acknowledged these facts, and have made huge strides in reversing their own futures and will come out much more successful in the end. I believe a huge shakedown in upper management is necessary at all the big-3 automakers--immediately.

They have been ignorant, pompous and too costly to remain in their positions. Strip them of their salaries and bonuses, their titles and lofty positions, and their livelihoods as they have stripped so many others. Do not allow them to cling lifeless to the side of their sinking ships while the American taxpayer tugboats drag them to shore to be repaired and sent back out into the world again weeks later.

It's deplorable to allow these sorts of egotistical and pretentious practices to keep occurring. The average worker needs a job, and should have little risk in their positions. Higher-paid executives, owners, senior players, etc. should have the most risk in their positions. They should be the first to go, not the lowly workers. Why is this the standard practice? Do we live in America or fascist Germany--where the highest control all and do as they please without consequence or worry?

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