Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bail out the Big 3 or National Health Care

I have been hemming and hawing about the surrounding funding for the Ford Chrysler and GM for some time. We (the people) and our government are in a Catch 22. If we bail them out, we are enabling them to keep going making their substandard products. If we don’t bail them out and they go BK our recession is going to be that worse. When I am in a Catch 22 (as I was most of last week) I try to look for alternatives.

Fridays Democracy Now! Had a great piece with Greg Shotwell , an activist involved in the debate. He made me realize how the US fails to make a business friendly environment by putting the burden of funding health care on the employer. Our cars cost more to make and there is less profit for the big 3 (when they make product in the US) so it is hard for our guys to compete:


I would like to see, first and foremost, that we have national healthcare,
because this is the one solution that would help everyone. It would help the
employers. It would help the employees. It would help the consumers. And that is
the biggest factor that takes away our competitiveness. That’s the one factor
that would level the playing field, because all of our competitors have national
healthcare and stronger pension systems in their country—and by “pension,” I
mean government pension—so that when Toyota, you know, imports all these cars,
they’re not paying for healthcare, they’re not paying for the pensions on those
employees that are working overseas.
Greg Shotwell on Democracy Now
12/19/08
Click on this link or paste it to your broweser for more info: http://www.democracynow.org/2008/12/19/us_auto_giants_workers_face_uncertain

Democracy Now! Is a great radio program you can stream the piece I am talking about, download a podcast or you can read the transcripts of the interview on line. It is a deep issue that is not oing to get solved overnight. The government has been subsidizing the automakers for years. That makes them complacent like fat children who don’t have to work too hard. They don’t have to be competitive with the rest of the market because they’ll just get bailed out. At the same time if we the people had been putting those subsidy dollars into a national health care system, then everyone would be insured, the car makers would have to be lean and clean but their profit margins would be significantly higher as they would no longer be running and funding their own healthcare system.

Health update: In the last three weeks I have been diagnosed with 2 infections; Cellulitis and C-diff (an intestinal thing.) I am also on antibiotics for pneumonia. There is also some kind of inflammation in my left foot that is making walking pretty darn painful. I think it is plantar fasciitis. It has been about as fun as pushing a road bike through 20 inches of sloppy snow. My attitude is OK I just feel grumpy but I almost always do this time of year.

The kids are really fired up for Santa’s visit tonight. The CH has been baking up a storm. It has been raining like crazy and snowing in the hills above us. Next year maybe we’ll all be snowboarding.

Happy Holidays and the best possible 2009 to all of you out there.
Thanks for reading.

5 comments:

KAYAKRAY said...

Happy Holidays to you and yours Spence. Hope to see you soon!

Ray

Anonymous said...

spencee-
at the firehouse but thinking of you and hoping that those pesky health challenges will smooth out and that we can visit soon. Enjoy the holiday. much love, aideellady

Heather Brooks Freer said...

Hey Spence,
We're at Dana Point, Day Eight of our camping road trip with the kids. We got sunshine finally yesterday, and it's cold but beautiful here. We'll say hey to the SO Cal coast for you... Marry Christmas & Happy Hannukah to the whole family!
love you!
H

Anonymous said...

Hi Spencer!

Rode Algerine--Jackson--Moccassin-- Old Priest's Grade--Ward's Ferry--Tuolomne yesterday. Gates were closed on O.P.--which was good because there was a lot of lane changing on the way up because of the grade and fricking BLACK ICE! Made it back in time for 3 servings of prime rib and some Guinness. Ok, a lot of Guinness. Be sure to put this loop in your someday calendar!

love,

-M

Anonymous said...

Hi Spencer, thanks for the blog on the big 3. i like kpfa and demo now too. happy new year...i see you on your bike in 2009! hugs to sarah. kathleen