In Toledo, Promises Of Change Ring Hollow

TOLEDO -- The Ford plant in nearby Maumee, where workers stamped out automobile fenders and dash panels, will close this year. Johnson Controls, which for years made seats for the iconic Jeeps that are assembled here, recently lost that contract to a firm in India. And American Standard is closing its century-old plumbing fixtures plant, eliminating the remaining 165 manufacturing jobs that paid as much as $19 an hour.

It is a common story throughout Ohio, which has lost more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000. "Manufacturing is getting its head handed to it around here," said Thomas J. Joseph, business manager of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 50, which covers northwest Ohio.

It is also a story the two Democratic presidential candidates are promising to change. As Ohio's pivotal March 4 primary approaches, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton have each called for significant infrastructure investment, development of alternative energy and other "green-collar" jobs, while promising to toughen environmental and labor standards that accompany free trade deals.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/23/AR200802...

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"How do we ensure the broad distribution of the wealth and ensure that it is not walked offshore?" Kaptur said. - see the article for the quote.

I suppose you prefer the type of socialism in which the tax breaks go to corporations for offshoring, eh Chris?

the tax breaks you are referring to? And if it is a tax code change why doesn't Marcy change it herself. Can you answer that Chris? That is entirely within the realm of Congress. So either it does not exist or Marcy does not want to change the code, both of which don't look good. And you did not mention the "distribute the wealth" portion of it which is really socialistic.

Well chrismeyers, I could probably pick from several sources but since it's late I'll just use this one. In which:

Any change would be likely to affect companies like GE, which saved billions of dollars over the past decade by reducing its overall U.S. tax rate to 18 percent in 2005 from 32.5 percent in 1995, largely because of the rules enacted by congressional Republicans during those years.

The father of Reaganonmics has his own views on offshoring as well.

As for Marcy changes things herself, as far as I know, she is but one of 435 US Representatives. If they agree on a change in the law, it also must be passed in the Senate, in which the Republicans (which almost always vote lockstep) get a few Blue Dog Democrats (i.e. Republicans) to vote with them. Even if that were to pass, "The Leader" would veto.

As for Marcy changes things herself, as far as I know, she is but one of 435 US Representatives. If they agree on a change in the law, it also must be passed in the Senate, in which the Republicans (which almost always vote lockstep) get a few Blue Dog Democrats (i.e. Republicans) to vote with them. Even if that were to pass, "The Leader" would veto.

What kind of BS answer is that? Dont even TRY to make changes because you'll get shot down anyway?? If that's the case, then get rid of her and get someone in there that WILL at least TRY to do some good!

WTF?, it's ok with you to be an armchair Senator who just sits on the sidelines and bitches and never sponsors anything to make a difference??

Who said anything about not trying to make changes? My point was, it's naive to think Marcy can change things on her own. Btw, Marcy...armchair Senator? (or were you thinking of someone else?)

Typical Liberal two-faced hypocrisy from Socialist and Kaptur a$$-kisser, Chris.

Like other Libtarded Democraps in Toledo, I prefer the corporate welfare and tax breaks to go to companies like Jeep, which take HUGE tax breaks from Toledo, then take private land from private citizens under orders of Carty and the rest of the liberal scum-sucking socialists.

THAT is tax breaks for corporations provided by Socialist Liberal Union Hacks.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

Typical Liberal two-faced hypocrisy from Socialist and Kaptur a$$-kisser, Chris.

Like other Libtarded Democraps in Toledo, I prefer the corporate welfare and tax breaks to go to companies like Jeep, which take HUGE tax breaks from Toledo, then take private land from private citizens under orders of Carty and the rest of the liberal scum-sucking socialists.

THAT is tax breaks for corporations provided by Socialist Liberal Union Hacks.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

Typical Liberal two-faced hypocrisy from Socialist and Kaptur a$$-kisser, Chris.

Like other Libtarded Democraps in Toledo, I prefer the corporate welfare and tax breaks to go to companies like Jeep, which take HUGE tax breaks from Toledo, then take private land from private citizens under orders of Carty and the rest of the liberal scum-sucking socialists.

THAT is tax breaks for corporations provided by Socialist Liberal Union Hacks.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

The city of Toledo gave Jeep and Chrysler tax incentives to stay in Toledo and keep jobs and the taxes the workers and company to Toledo.

 

Now, the company could have relocated elsewhere, would they have, who knows.

 

The city wanted to keep one of the largest employers here and preserve jobs. The means used were, well poor.

 

Is it unusual or evil, well, it depends on your point of view, Knoxville, Tennesse is using the concept;

 

"Tax increment financing, to some a tax break, has been used for
redeveloping blighted areas in downtown Knoxville into condos, for road
improvements around a South Knoxville Lowe's and may be used for road
improvements in Halls around a new Home Depot and Super Wal-Mart.

The use of tax increment financing, or TIFs, has become an issue for
the Knox County Commission, with more and more developers asking for
them.

As commissioners interview candidates seeking appointment to 12
offices vacated by term limits, including eight commission seats, one
of the key questions revolves around the applicants' views on giving
TIFs.

A TIF is an initiative that dedicates all added tax revenues from a
property after its reappraisal to fund surrounding infrastructure
improvements or to help retire a developer's debt. Repayment is often
allowed up to 15 years."

 

http://knoxnews.com/news/2008/feb/17/use-tax-incentives-balancing-act-knox/

 

The whole American system is based on capitalism and by what ever means necessary and or skirting the laws and wishes, the quest for more money continues.

 

The alternative to not enticing or keeping employers with large payrolls is, further decline?

 

 

"When the regulation, therefore, is in support of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favor of the masters."
----Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

"It's not like we've been asleep at the switch."

Sure, it is business that has been wide awake and recognizes to remain competitive it has to be lean and aggressive and cut costs all the while trying to maintain a profit margin for the shareholders and company in general.

What do expect the candidates to do?

What have those in office even done for the problem?
Some down south gave tax breaks for other auto manufacturers to set up shop in thier state.
The regional leaders failed to see the handwriting on the wall, all the while, the auto industry was changing and the regional leaders were content with the way things were and now look where we are.

And with this company headed our way, can we expect more happy days for the American auto industry?

"Rumors of the talks between Mahindra and Chrysler, former partners in India, were reported in the Economic Times, one of India's major financial publications.
The family-owned Mahindra trading group got into the auto business during World War II as a contract assembler of the Willys Jeep, and later licensed production of the CJ series. Mahindra still builds a CJ-derived model called Commander in both soft-top and hardtop versions.

In the meantime, Mahindra is gearing up to sell versions of its older Scorpio SUV and pickup next year in North America, through an independent distributor, Global Vehicles USA, based in Alpharetta, Georgia. The distributor has said it may assemble the pickup, which will be rebranded as the Mahindra Appalachian, in Ohio from knocked-down kits to avoid a 25 percent tariff imposed on imported trucks.

The company also has said it plans to offer a diesel-hybrid powertrain in 2010."
http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=124766

"World War II as a contract assembler of the Willys Jeep"

What goes around, comes around.

But the question is how to get there. The Toledo metropolitan area's unemployment rate has dipped below 6 percent only once in the past 20 years, and is now 6.4 percent -- 1.5 points above the national rate. Median home prices here barely top $100,000, yet the city is in the top 20 in the nation in number of foreclosures. Even a bright spot is the result of a downside. One of the fastest-growing segments in the local economy has been warehousing, where employment grew 40 percent in the past year -- but that is largely because of the conversion of vacant factories into storage space.

From Chris: The father of Reaganonmics has his own views on offshoring as well.

Thanks for the link, which led me to a lot of interesting reading.

From Marcy Kaptur: It's not like we've been asleep at the switch.

Meaning that you saw this coming as soon as Slick Willie's pen hit the paper, but you couldn't do anything about it. I remember H. Ross Perot's comment about NAFTA and a huge sucking sound as jobs left the US and went overseas. Mr. Perot was right.

Manufacturing in Toledo is finished. Anyone with an ounce of common sense could tell you why manufacturing jobs left the area. They'll also tell you that there isn't anything to be done about the situation, either. Here are a few items I thought of:

1. Incredibly high utility rates.
2. Labor unions
3. Cost of labor
4. Environmental Protection Agency and associated regulations
5. Local government

Toledo Edison must be replaced with something else that provides very low cost electricity. Ditto with gas and garbage collection. Since there is no way to accomplish any of this, business will just have to live with the high rates.

Strong labor unions mean that the owner of a business can't control it. Resources can't be allocated as demand from clients dictates. Moreover, workers can't be fired or hired as they are needed.

Again, labor unions control the cost of labor, which is hugely overpriced. The cost of medical benefits continues to rise and labor unions demand more and better benefits every time a contract is negotiated.

Manufacturing can't dump by-products into the air and water with impunity, but must spend more money to get rid of these products safely. This cuts into profit.

The local government is supposed to make business welcome in the city. Does anyone trust Carty to get results on this? How about good results? Toledo city council is a joke and is ineffective at best.

This is only five strikes, the five that I could think of this morning. The problems can't be fixed, and even if they could be I don't believe elected officials are capable of doing the job. Toledo is done. Finished. The slide into entropy started when Toyota and Honda began making better products than Ford, GM, Chrysler and American Motors. It continued while labor unions, management and politicians gorged themselves at the hog trough. The slide increased while the hogs noisily fought over what little slops remained in the trough. Now the trough is almost empty, and the remaining hogs have turned on each other.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

That's printable! Damn near frameable!

Thanks, Billy. I suppose that if everything else was in line, pollution control and conservation could be argued successfully, but not now.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

There is a disconnect that exists, when the Supreme Court says the labor is NOT a commodity, and yet is treated as such.

There's a discount on what unions believe they are entitled to vs what a company needs to make a profit. Given the history of union negotiations and the regions that are strong in unions, it makes sense to avoid those areas. The unions of today are now in conflict of loacal job creation. Another important area where unions are failing is convincing end user consumers their products offer better quality & intrinsic value. Hence in the consumer eyes, labor is a commodity if it can not differentiate the product sold.

... is entirely the problem in the lack of consumer choice. It's not just a union's fault when we don't have cars getting over 40mpg in the showroom. Unions don't design cars, neither do they make the strategic product plans that produce such car plans down the road.

The blame for a lack of consumer options falls significantly upon the shoulders of the Capitalists who determined what products would be produced, built by union hands or not. They had the money and the authority, hence leadership itself should have come from them.

of what you're saying would be back in the 80s or so when the American auto companies began to eliminate thousands of designers and engineers-simply to save a buck. General Motors used to have five different divisions-Chevy, Buick, Oldsmobile, Cadillac,and Pontiac. All were in competion. Competition was not only good for GM, it was great for the consumer. All divisions used different motors /drivetrains. Even though they shared a basic body shell, they still all looked different. Think back to the days of the GTO, the Buick GS, and the Olds 442, for example, and you had excitement. Entire families, for decades, went to the car dealerships to see the new models coming off the transport trucks. When was the last time you saw that?? It had been done virtually since the automobile was invented, now they're so boring, nobody gives a shit. Today, not only do they all look alike, with very few exceptions, but they're all the same car. Except for Cadillac, GM uses the same Chevy V-8 (think it's a 350 cubic incher these days)or V-6 (originally invented by Buick engineers)in all its vehicles. Again-just to save a buck. And everyone blames the unions, who had absolutely no say in the matter of building bland cookie-cutter crap.

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"Oh, Bother!" Said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.

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'I used to have compassion, but they taxed it and legislated it out of existence.'

There's a discount on what unions believe they are entitled to vs what a company needs to make a profit.

Labor and management are free to negotiate on the open market. It's not a "discount", it just Adam Smith's view that by everyone acting in their own best interest, the public good will be served.

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