GM Small Car Layoff

December 7, 2018

by John McClaughry

Ten years ago the Federal government spent nearly $50 billion to bail out General Motors, and especially the United Auto Workers pension fund. After some repayments, Uncle Sam was still out $11 billion. A large part of GM’s financial woes stemmed from overburdensome union contracts, unfunded retirement benefits, and subpar craftsmanship. Ten years later, the bailed-out company, nicknamed Government Motors, is laying off 14,000 workers in North America, including eliminating more than 8,000 white-collar jobs and closing five plants, four in the U.S. and one in Canada.

It’s ironic that one of the GM models due for termination is the electric Chevy Volt. GM got into Volt production not because customers were clamoring for small electric cars, but because the Obama administration decided that small, electric cars were the answer to the menace of climate change. That was not a market-driven decision but a political one, based in large part on the massive taxpayer-subsidized rebates of up to $7,500 per car.

In 2012 President Obama drove a Volt in a brief public appearance and said boldly that “When I’m not president anymore, I’ll buy one and drive it myself”. I can’t find any evidence that this has come about. Obama also signed the hood of a Chevy Cruze, and called it “the car of the future.” That model too went on the GM chopping block, because people wouldn’t buy what GM was pressured to sell.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Deanne December 8, 2018 at 12:18 am

Presidents can say anything and don’t have to follow through on it. Presidential privilege.

If only 50% (or more) of the population would refuse to keep funding this monster government. It makes no sense to me how we have allowed this government “of, by, and for the people” to become one of the things many of us fear (and despise) most.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.
Read more...

Latest News

Niceties Aside, It’s an Authoritarian Police State

May 20, 2019 by Rob Roper In a recent commentary featured on Vermont Digger, Steering Clear of the Shoals of Socialism, David Moats urges his fellow leftists to...

Union Dues Developments

May 17, 2019 by John McClaughry A year ago the Supreme Court ruled that public sector labor unions could not require nonmembers to pay agency fees of usually...

Roll Call! House Increases State Minimum Wage (90-53), 2019

. S.23 – AN ACT RELATING TO INCREASING THE MINIMUM WAGE .  PASSED in the State House of Representatives on May 15, 2019, by a vote of 90-53 ....

Roll Call! House Bans “Single Use” Plastic Bags, Etc. (120-24), 2019

. S.113 – AN ACT RELATING TO THE MANAGEMENT OF SINGLE USE PRODUCTS . PASSED in the State House of Representatives on May 9, 2019, by a vote...

Green Reality: Ripping Off the Poor to Subsidize the Rich

May 17, 2019 by Rob Roper VPR is doing a terrific series on state programs titled, Did It Work?, going back to see whether or not the promises...

Video