Wall Street Vs. Detroit: The Double Standard

3 comments December 21st, 2008at 06:10pm Posted by Eli

Okay, so let’s review:

American auto company execs flying corporate planes to testify before Congress is a disgrace.  Financial company execs- oh, wait, they never had to testify before Congress to get 50 times as much money as the auto companies asked for.  But they’re positively lousy with corporate jets, and no-one seems to mind.

If you accept the premise that pension payments to retirees (of which the Big Three have a lot more in this country) are somehow part of current employees’ paychecks, then Big Three auto workers are grossly overpaid.  Therefore, any relief measure should include massive wage concessions.  Meanwhile, the only constraints on executive compensation for the financial sector bailout were loopholed out of existence.

This is even more obscene when you consider that employee compensation makes up 10% of auto industry costs, and well over 50% of the financial industry’s, where they paid out $1.6 billion in salaries, bonuses, and perks (did I say corporate jets?) to executives last year.

So, to sum up, the auto companies got exactly the kind of scorn, scrutiny and tough questions that the financial industry deserved.  Apparently it’s a lot easier to get 12 digits of relief than 11.

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Media,Politics,Republicans


  • 1. aaron4unitruth  |  December 22nd, 2008 at 12:47 am

    The bailout of Wallstreet and the auto industry is wrong for many reasons but most importantly because the federal government is far more powerful than it was ever intended. As a condition for bailing out the auto industry the fed can now be a stockholder? Sounds like socialism.


  • 2. Cujo359  |  December 22nd, 2008 at 4:13 am

    Free markets are largely an illusion. The corporations that control the American car and financial markets are answerable to no one but their stockholders, and in reality are answerable to only a few of them. If there are only going to be a handful of corporations in a market, I see no reason why government having stakes in those corporations is any worse a thing than the current system. At least we might have some say in how they’re run.

  • 3. Eli  |  December 22nd, 2008 at 7:03 am

    Yeah, I have absolutely no problem with the government assuming partial or total ownership – I’m just annoyed that the auto companies (and the UAW) have to jump through hoops for a tiny fraction of the money the financial companies got for free.

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