The UAW's gorgeous golf course

Big 3 execs may have their corporate jets, but the UAW has its own lovely golf course, the championship caliber Black Lake Golf Club, designed by Rees Jones. It's all a part of the Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center the union maintains, and education, as everyone knows is a good thing, not a luxury. The Examiner and Michelle Malkin  both feature stories on the facility, which, it turns out, is losing money for the union. Lots of money: $23 million in just the last 5 years. Luxury does have its price.

UAW golf course
(from Michigan Golf via the Examiner)

Still, it does look a little bad to be asking taxpayers to bail out the union members, so they can keep their lavish health benefits and retirement/job banks perks (far better than what the average American enjoys), when the union owns a facility like this, allowing union members preferential access to tee time reservations.

Michelle links to this report demonstrating that the union itself is doing much better than GM, thank-you very much:

From a peak of 1.5 million members in the 1970s, the UAW ranks have dropped to just 465,000 regular members, according to its most recent federal filings.

In 2007 the UAW had receipts - union dues, fees and other income - of $327.6 million and it spent $330.3 million. While losing members, the UAW International, since at least 2000, has been able to hold fairly steady in the amount of money it brings in and spends, according to federal records. It has $1.2 billion in net assets.

The fact is that during the flush times of oligopoly, the UAW and its members were cut in for a very big piece of the action. Living high on the hog ramped up costs and left the American industry vulnerable to leaner and hungrier competition from Japan, Europe, Korea, and very soon, China.

Those of us unable to afford the no co-payment sort of health insurance UAW members enjoy, who do not have access to preferred reservations at fancy golf courses, and who do not have retirement benefits for life and a job that pays us whether we work or not, prefer not to subsidize the continued high life for people who killed their own golden goose.