Thursday, November 20, 2008

And This Guy Wanted to Be President... ?

I really try not to swear here, because of who sometimes stops over to read, but occasionally, you have to go with what best expresses your feelings.

Mitt Romney is a kind of an asshole. And a fraud.

Here's a guy who sold himself as a "son of Michigan" during the Republican presidential primary, which helped him to a win over John McCain. And part of the reason Romney won is because he said things Michiganders wanted to hear. (I know - shocking from a politician, right?) But Romney led voters on by saying that the manufacturing jobs that had been lost in Michigan could be brought back.

10 months later, Romney writes in the New York Times that the auto industry needs to go bankrupt.

When he was running for national office, Romney was "going to fight for every single job." Now, without the burden of trying to get the average worker to like him, he thinks the auto industry pays its workforce too much:

First, their huge disadvantage in costs relative to foreign brands must be eliminated. That means new labor agreements to align pay and benefits to match those of workers at competitors like BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota. Furthermore, retiree benefits must be reduced so that the total burden per auto for domestic makers is not higher than that of foreign producers.

Never mind that working on the assembly line was one of the few jobs in this area that allowed someone to support his or her family with just a high school education. And a lot of subsequent Generation X and Y'ers had their college educations funded by those wages.

To be fair, Romney is also critical of the management that put the "Big Three" auto companies in this financial predicament, portraying them as overpaid and detached. If the government does give the auto industry a bailout, it seems clear that conditions have to come with that aid because these executives have shown they can't be trusted.

Yet if those companies are allowed to go bankrupt, how exactly will they pay for the new technological innovations that Romney calls for in his Op-Ed? Where will the money that would presumably allow the auto industry to reorganize come from when credit markets are frozen and the economy is sucked dry?

Maybe I'm talking completely out of my league here. I'm no economist. I have no background in business. But as far as I can tell - and I've been trying to learn as much as I can over the past 2-3 weeks - bankruptcy would mean death for the industry that Romney claims he wants to save. Those jobs that he supposedly wanted to save would be long gone.

So who is he kidding?