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Chevrolet Volt
GM isn't going to let a little thing like a lack of money prevent the Volt from coming to market in 2010

General Motors has been in a downward spiral all year with lagging sales and losses in the billions. GM and its cross town rival, Chrysler, asked Congress for monetary assistance to stave off bankruptcy by the end of the year. In the end, the Senate failed to hand over even $14 billion USD to the two struggling Detroit giants.

Now as the White House mulls what plan it will present to help GM and Chrysler stay in business during 2009, GM is stating that it will bring the Chevrolet Volt to market no matter what. This confidence in the Volt program comes despite that fact that GM announced yesterday that it would halt the production on a new engine assembly plant which will produce the 1.4-liter gasoline engine/generator for the vehicle.

Despite the setback with the engine assembly plant, billions of dollars in losses, and a production schedule that leaves little room for error, GM is still committed to bring the Volt -- and the Chevrolet Cruze -- to market by the end of 2010 as it has always stated.

If the engine assembly plant is unable to be completed in time to get the production Chevrolet Volt and Cruze out the door in 2010, GM will be forced to rely on one of its overseas facilities to produce the engine according to the Wall Street Journal. Interestingly enough, the Chevrolet Cruze is already available in overseas markets like South Korea albeit with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine -- two years ahead of the car’s North American launch.

"Everything that involves heavy cash outlays obviously is under review," said GM spokeswoman Sharon Basel on Wednesday. "Our intent is to still go forward with a new facility bringing that engine to Flint, Michigan."

"Although we are temporarily absolutely stopping all work on everything, the Volt will be out as originally scheduled," added one GM executive.

GM is banking on the Volt to bring it some of the same positive press that has been bestowed upon the Toyota Prius. However, the Prius and its rival, the Honda Insight, have base prices below the $24,000 mark. The Volt, however, will be priced near or will surpass the $40,000 mark before a $7,500 tax credit.

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RE: Price
By foolsgambit11 on 12/18/2008 8:53:06 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I was using the definition of skilled labor. Like I said, you must have meant to say 'white collar' where you said 'skilled'.

If you refer to my original post, I'm talking 'in principle'. I know the union system is pretty screwy currently. So talking about union contributions to political parties is irrelevant. Even so, I would argue:

1. That political support for unions is similar in principle to political support for faith-based outreach programs - they do a job so government doesn't have to.

2. That employers support many politicians on both sides of the aisle, at least in equal measure to unions (though probably not as such a unified block).

Also, it's not the unions that give money to politicians, it's the unions' political action committees - those dollars are contributed separate from union dues, by the individual worker's choice. It's how you get your voice heard - you can start an anti-union PAC if you want, and donate even more money than the unions to Democrats, if you think it will work. It won't though, because Democratic support for unions stems not from their contributions, but rather from their own ideology. They both (Dems & unions) have similar objectives.

On the other hand, I can't see where Republican antipathy to unions comes from. Is it misguided vestigial Cold War association with Communism? Is it financial campaign support from corporate interests? Is it bourgeois contempt for the average worker? It certainly can't be free market principles, since the free market would allow unions to amass a labor pool just as much as it would allow an oil company to amass oil reserves. It allows individuals to pool their labor together for greater returns the same way it allows mutual fund or hedge fund investors to pool their assets together for greater returns. Labor is a valuable commodity, and those who have it should leverage it to the greatest extent they can.

Sorry, I think this post has turned into a rant. I didn't mean it to. Apologies.

RE: Price
By Ringold on 12/18/2008 9:33:39 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if labor unions is really so easily compatible with free market philosophy. When workers combine and lean on the company for which they work, they can end up acting similar to a lawless mob. Note in history how many times a firm has tried to fire the entire union, the union would seize the firm's facilities, and vicious gun battles would ensue as owners try to repulse the intruders from their properties. Labor becomes a coercive monopoly.

In free markets, people should be able to accept or reject business proposals freely with little consequence. A union, on the other hand, raises the stakes and can easily play a black mail card. If you've studied labor economics, you know in the end it comes down to the amount of labor needed of a certain skill, the amount of labor that exists, and wage ends up being some equilibrium amount. Free markets would prefer, it would seem to me, labor to negotiate freely and individually, thus allowing markets to clear rather than trying to force some other wage level. It also allows wages to more easily track individual productivity, rather than protecting laggards in the herd.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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