Why sociology professors shouldn't be in charge of US policy

Here's a great idea; force inefficiency, ridiculous work rules, and other union-inspired impediments to competency on the network of foreign-owned auto plants already here in America.

The Los Angeles Times has printed a ridiculous op-ed by Jonathan Cutler, a sociology professor at Wesleyan University. Cutler suggests we save the Big 3 auto companies  by inflicting the same type of policies that hurt them onto the foreign-owned auto plants here.


It seemed clear from the hearings that to OK any larger bailout plan, Congress was going to insist on cutting labor costs. Already, Gettelfinger has coughed up concessions on job security protections and delayed payment to a retiree healthcare trust and is talking about modifying contracts.

And yet there is nothing inherently unsustainable about employing a high-priced, unionized workforce. The crisis of Detroit's wage bill is entirely relative. Specifically, their labor costs far exceed the low-cost, nonunion American workforce at the U.S.-based, foreign-owned plants of competitors Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Subaru.

If the UAW really is to blame at all, then, it is because of the union's utter failure to unionize any of the transplants. What has the UAW been doing all these years? Isn't it the responsibility of any good union to protect union employers from competitive labor disadvantages by organizing wall to wall, throughout the industry? How could it have left these transplants unorganized?

....

It is not too late to save the Big Three. But the solution is not to tear down the historic and heroic gains won by prior generations of UAW workers. If there is hope long term -- for the unionized Big Three companies and for the UAW -- it rests in dealing with the unfinished business of the 1980s: unionizing the unorganized transplants.

 
The end result will be even more job losses as these factories close and their production shifted to offshore plants. That will be the ticket. To save the auto industry, we have to destroy it.

This is why we don't want liberal sociology professors from ivory towers in control of US policy.


Here's a great idea; force inefficiency, ridiculous work rules, and other union-inspired impediments to competency on the network of foreign-owned auto plants already here in America.

The Los Angeles Times has printed a ridiculous op-ed by Jonathan Cutler, a sociology professor at Wesleyan University. Cutler suggests we save the Big 3 auto companies  by inflicting the same type of policies that hurt them onto the foreign-owned auto plants here.


It seemed clear from the hearings that to OK any larger bailout plan, Congress was going to insist on cutting labor costs. Already, Gettelfinger has coughed up concessions on job security protections and delayed payment to a retiree healthcare trust and is talking about modifying contracts.

And yet there is nothing inherently unsustainable about employing a high-priced, unionized workforce. The crisis of Detroit's wage bill is entirely relative. Specifically, their labor costs far exceed the low-cost, nonunion American workforce at the U.S.-based, foreign-owned plants of competitors Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Subaru.

If the UAW really is to blame at all, then, it is because of the union's utter failure to unionize any of the transplants. What has the UAW been doing all these years? Isn't it the responsibility of any good union to protect union employers from competitive labor disadvantages by organizing wall to wall, throughout the industry? How could it have left these transplants unorganized?

....

It is not too late to save the Big Three. But the solution is not to tear down the historic and heroic gains won by prior generations of UAW workers. If there is hope long term -- for the unionized Big Three companies and for the UAW -- it rests in dealing with the unfinished business of the 1980s: unionizing the unorganized transplants.

 
The end result will be even more job losses as these factories close and their production shifted to offshore plants. That will be the ticket. To save the auto industry, we have to destroy it.

This is why we don't want liberal sociology professors from ivory towers in control of US policy.