What is your opinion of the strikes and current demands being put on automakers?

The house I grew up in was 1200 sf, 3 bedroom 2 bath with a basement but no garage. Cost my folks $18,400 in 1961. Sold for $107K in 2012, worth $180K or so now which is almost spot on its inflation adjusted price. Likely its price will drop a bit at housing cools off.

That house is 40% of the average house size now. It is also smaller than any house I’ve ever owned.

Bought my first car, an 83 Firebird V6 5 speed, with a 15% GM discount for $11,400, or $35,100 adjusted to today. Paid may $1000 down and about $300 ($940 adjusted) a month for 36 months for that car. My phone bill for a VOIP home phone and 2 cell phones is about $5 more than I paid for my landline in 1983 with unlimited long distance and data! Bought a new battery for the car for the same adjusted price I paid in '83

Once you inflation adjust things, the money we paid for stuff back in the day makes you wonder what the heck everyone is spending their money on. Unless, of course you live outside the central states and homes cost $500K for a fixer upper in a transitioning neighborhood.

And the house I grew up in that was $28K in 1967 would be around $800K today. If only my mother would sell it and move into a senior community or similar.

My first house was $104K in 1995. Makes me wonder how my kids are going to do it.

The main problem with the UAW’s demands is that they are pricing themselves out of the market. If they insist on all or most of their demands and get them, then the Detroit 3 will be forced to sell vehicles at a price significantly higher than the competition. All those fine paying jobs go away.

I experienced this with the United Steel Workers. Plants did not close immediately, and a few still exist. US Steel lasted longer than all other integrated steel makers. I left the industry in the mid-1980s and my plant closed in 2012. US Steel is a shadow of itself and is up for sale. While I was still working the electric furnace mills owned by my company all closed (late 1970s, early 1980s) when nonunion electric steel makers came on line. There was absolutely no way to compete with them.

It looks to me that the UAW is selling their future to get paid now just as the USW did many years ago. Trucks could keep the Detroit 3 going for a while but I suspect that this strike may put them out of the car business entirely.


I didn’t claim that it was a bank account. The account that paid me 17% interest for more than one year was my Dreyfus Worldwide Dollar Fund account.

They did currency trading, and apparently they did it well. Like other mutual funds, it wasn’t FDIC-insured, so there was a risk of losing capital, but I and other family members prospered very well because of our accounts in that mutual fund.

How about a profit sharing arrangement, so workers get a bonus check in good years?
Workers, higher-ups, and stock holders share risk and reward.


We also have tiers, but it works in a slightly different way with us. I’m tier 1, which is the best. Then there are tier 2 and tier 3. Everyone gets the same pay . . . but tier 2 and tier 3 get worse retirement benefits

That’s what I did several years ago . . . my previous job wasn’t paying me what I felt was commensurate with my experience, skills, etc., so I left and am satisfied with my current job

I’m fairly liberal . . . but NOT very liberal

I pay my union dues and we actually went on a 1-day strike back in August

Anyways . . . I am NOT in favor of workers putting in 32 hours, but getting paid 40 hours. It doesn’t seem appropriate and they’re also not going to win the public relations battle with that stance, imo. It might just be a bargaining chip, though. Maybe they’re saying if the manufacturer gives in to such and such, we’ll drop our demand for 40hrs pay for 32hrs worked . . . ?

Asking for a pay increase is one thing . . . but asking to get paid 40hrs for 32hrs worked is a sure way to alienate people, imo

I’m oversimplifying . . . but some of it comes down to differentiating between WANTING a new(er) car versus NEEDING a new(er) car

I think a LOT of people have convinced themselves they NEED a new(er) car when in fact their current car could be kept on the road for quite a few more years if they had properly budgeted for maintenance and repairs. And that older paid-off car is typically cheaper to register and insure, as well

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Of course you’re not, because that’s just dumb. No reasonable person would be. But, if we look at it from the viewpoint of how many people in the automotive service industry are paid… if they want to produce 40 hours worth of cars in 32 hours with no impact on final quality and not increasing production costs, I am all for that. Let them work on the flat rate model.

Of course, if they only produce 20 hours worth of cars in a 32 hour period then their pay would reflect that as well.

Well that makes more sense. I’m told money can be made timing exchange rates. I’ve still got some pesos I should get rid of but the time never seems right.

There are lots of ways to involve line workers in overall productivity. At the can plant, stock could be bought with payroll deduction and the company matched the purchase. Some of the guys on the floor had so much stock they were sent to Philly for the annual stock holders meeting. And all union, sheet metal workers.

At the hvac plant, line jobs were paid according to production. Standard production rate and if production was at 120% ya got paid 120% of the hourly wage for that week. One of our management professors would do wage consulting in the summer. Reported on how many companies actually end up punishing good performance. Lots and lots of examples of both unions and management just not getting it.

I’ve got some coinage from France and Italy (from many years ago), and I think that I would likely have problems changing it into dollars at this point, due to those countries adopting the Euro. Oh well, I guess that I should consider those relics to be souvenirs.

Heh heh. The bank used to give a dollar bill to new businesses with the note that it was the first dollar earned. When we stay over at the grandkids place, I always leave a couple piles of coins in payment. One time the younger one left a dollar bill for me saying you always leave money for us so thought I’d leave some for you. Still got it and thinking of framing it. Maybe add some pesos to it to prevent theft.

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My opinion is that the domestic auto industry is likely to fail. On the one hand, people are tapped-out financially, and unable to afford the ever-higher new vehicle prices. On the other hand, new vehicles are becoming a lot more expensive due to government-mandated features, and the planned transition to EVs will make this worse. What is needed is to roll back a lot of these “pie in the sky” green initiatives, and unnecessary “safety” features, which cost a lot to produce.

Agree 100%.


and the “pie in the sky” car-lighting designs, like including a mood light … lol … mood light? for a car?

the chance of that happening is just about 0%, imo

unnecessary “safety” features, which cost a lot to produce.
I believe there is to many people who think with all of the safety features if they get into a wreck it will be like the bouncy house at the fair and they will walk away without a scratch.

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The auto insurers think they are needed and they seem to control the auto safety issues. IIHS uses an ever changing scale to rate vehicles. When the car builders mostly meet the top ratings for safety, IIHS sets a now, higher goal.

I find that odd. The businesses I work with and for, and also have friends in similar manufacturing environments, are not having any trouble sourcing parts or raw materials anymore. With one exception- rare earth minerals or things like Xenon gas- stuff affected by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. These businesses are a fraction of the size of the big auto manufacturers so have much less leverage with suppliers. I worked for GE at one point and know what pressures a large corporation can exert to get the materials they need :grinning:

There are still tariffs to contend with but the days of searching the globe and spot buying what can be found along with overnight delivery costs have dissipated almost entirely.

You’re right, I misspoke. After you mentioned it, I recall those were CD rates I was getting back in early 1980.

True, but there are many people entering the market every day without any existing car. They are buying for the first time.

Secondly, not all repairs are economically feasible. The last vehicle I gave up on developed a gas tank leak, had some serious rust of the frame rails and then the A/C gave out. That would be dumping good money after bad to keep that on the road.

This is one good way to make a small fortune investing- start with a large one and attempt to time the markets :grinning:

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