Home Main Forums General Discussion While Trump Fiddles, Ford Sacrifices 20,000 Employees to Wall Street Investors

  • Ohio Barbarian (2256 posts)
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    While Trump Fiddles, Ford Sacrifices 20,000 Employees to Wall Street Investors

    I’ll say this for Donny Boy, he really knows how to throw a good reality show. If you were running a live reality show where the goal was to be as outrageous a President as possible in order to keep viewers transfixed on the over-the-top ego-tripping plot, you’d be loving this Trump guy because he attracts and keeps viewers. Come to think of it, everything Trump has done makes sense if all he is is the star of a reality TV show. I think it’s possible that that’s how he sees it, in which case his months in the White House are numbered. But…(freely stealing from Trevor Noah)…

    Ain’t nobody got TIME for that!

    Meanwhile, back in the corporate boardrooms, Ford has decided to lay off 20,000 probably salaried employees out of a total work force of 201,000 world wide. Ford made a profit of $1.6 billion in the first quarter of 2017, but that’s just not enough to satisfy our financial aristocratic investor class. Pretty important news, I should think, but the antics of Survivor: Child-in-Chief in the White House are sucking up even much of the alternative media’s and ALL of the M$M news organizations’ attention.

    Did I see this on TYT or Rawstory or Late Breaking News on JPR, much less on CBS, CNN, MSNBC, or Fox? No. It’s a lead story in today’s World Socialist Web Site.  

    I’ll post just a few paragraphs of this well-written article, starting with the first two paragraphs and ending with what a Ford employee told a WSWS reporter in the last two:

    Just days after shareholders and investors criticized the top executives of Ford Motor Company for the “pathetic performance” of its stock price, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ford is planning to cut 10 percent of its global workforce. The jobs massacre, primarily targeting salaried workers, could affect up to 20,000 of the company’s 201,000 workers worldwide.

    The number two US automaker has reported steady profits for seven straight years, including record earnings and operating margins in the last two years, and $1.6 billion in profits in the first quarter of 2017. Nevertheless, Wall Street has punished the Dearborn, Michigan-based corporation by driving down its share value by 40 percent since mid-2014.

    <lots of detail about Wall Street machinations and shameless greed and lies>

    “We’ve just had a bunch of new people hire in,” James, a worker with five years at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant, told the World Socialist Web Site. “I can’t imagine how that would affect you, if you had just started getting your financials in order, and now you’re about to lose your job.

    “At the end of the day, investors’ dividends have been breaking records. They’ve got plenty of money. The company and us, we have different needs altogether, but they’re more concerned about the investors’ profits. That’s the problem with capitalism, this whole society and the powers that be.”

    The whole article is definitely worth your time. That said, I think it’s important for everyone here not to focus exclusively on Dynasty: The White House reality TV show starring Donald J. Trump. We need to raise as much hell as we can about lots of other corporatist abuse that’s happening all over the place, and questioning the value of a governmental system that allows such abuse to continue, and even rewards it!

    Oh, that system has value, all right! It has lots of value for our insatiable and parasitic investor class. But not for those Ford employees and their families. Certainly not for me, and definitely not for most of you who are reading this. I’m not trying to start a CT here(as many of you know, I’m quite skeptical of CTs), I don’t think this was planned by some evil, secret cabal in advance. Damned near everybody, including most of our financial aristocratic bloodsuckers, thought we’d be talking about President Clinton right now.

    But why not ruin the lives of at least several hundred thousand ordinary people when the entire nation’s attention is focused on either the Donald Show or the NBA Finals? When you count the families and the local businesses who will lose out when they lose customers, and when you count the citizens of localities who will lose a lot of tax revenue, you could be looking at a million people here. And Ford knows that.

    Ford’s stockholders and CEO will rake in tens of millions of dollars, at least, by sacrificing the livelihoods of employees when they’re already fucking filthy rich.  And the Democrats won’t emit a squeak of protest, either, because they or their donors’ are investors, too, or because they’re totally focused on the Inept Orange Idiot.

    Sorry I went on a bit of a rant there, but this shit really pisses me off. Mrs. Barbarian says the whole Trump thing is a fucking distraction and refuses to watch any of the unfolding story with its inevitable conclusion. So Wall Street, etc can do things like Ford is doing and not even get much bad press. They see an opportunity to do that, and they’re seizing and squeezing it.

    Do you think we should keep an eye out for more things like this, which are likely to be coming down the pike in the next few months? If nothing else, this stuff needs to be remembered come the elections.

    OzoneTom, Enthusiast, A little weird and 23 othersgrouchomarxist, h-32, Fasttense, ctsnowman, Koko, Johnny Rash, Fuddnik, Baba OhReally, tripleQ, Marym625, 99Forever, beemerphill, DesertRat2015, hopemountain, PTTP, Doremus Jessup, wilsonbooks, aspirant, FanBoy, bbgrunt, N2Doc, 7wo7rees, mmonk like this
    "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  

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  • 6 days ago #29
    • N2Doc (3073 posts)
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      1. Gonna get worse when the car financing bubble pops…n/t

      "But nothing ever changes unless there's some pain" - Tears For Fears "Goodnight Song"
      • Ohio Barbarian (2256 posts)
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        2. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.

        You’re  right of course. Who can afford a new car these days? Used cars are often prohibitively expensive to most of us. For the record, I just filed a Chapter 13 to cram down payments on a used car loan I got suckered into during a time of financial desperation. One more pinprick in the bubble, I suppose. Good!

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
        • OzoneTom (711 posts)
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          39. Yeah — about who can afford a new car

          Mine’s 23yo — fortunately able to do routine maintenance myself! :-)

          But I also wanted to mention this related subject I saw recently:
          https://www.thestreet.com/story/14136920/1/ford-may-be-about-to-send-powerful-shockwaves-through-the-global-auto-industry.html

          The subtext upshot, apparently, is that a bulge in the number of leases that are due to ripen will mean that a big influx of decent used vehicles will be hitting the market and competing with the new models.

          Pleased to have matching hands and feet.
          • Ohio Barbarian (2256 posts)
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            40. Yes, I've seen other stories on that. I'm sure the auto companies see it coming,

            too. Though they should have expected it. Even Henry Ford knew it was good, conservative capitalist business practice to pay one’s employees enough to be able to purchase one’s new products. This radical bunch running things now doesn’t see it until it blows up in their faces, and then they demand that we should pay for their stupidity.

            "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
      • FanBoy (7740 posts)
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        4. Yep. I've been seeing a few forewarnings of just that. This may be one

        of them as well.  We’re due for a new downturn, right?  Employment is tightening (cough cough) and labor shows signs of putting up some kind of pitiful resistance…so whack a mole begins.  That’s 10% of Ford’s global workforce.  I wonder what % of its salaried workforce it is.

        They’ve raised interest rates a couple of times, always the signal that the screws are tightening.

        And I’m telling you, the temp agencies have never gone away during this recession, they just keep cloning.

        • Ohio Barbarian (2256 posts)
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          8. Good question. I don't know what percentage of Ford's salaried workforce

          20,000 is, but it’s got to be a significant percentage. A third? Half? I don’t know, but these are the better-paying jobs. Supervisors and such. Engineers, maybe. Who needs engineers when you can make money by moving money around? I bet they don’t even have the veneer of union protection.

          "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
      • Average Gazoo (441 posts)
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        24. A Stanford study is making the rounds which predicts "a death spiral" for fossil

        fuel based cars as electric and self-driving electric cars drop in price.  More car sharing / cars on demand, less ownership and NO resale market for petroleum based cars:

        >>We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history<<

        http://business.financialpost.com/news/transportation/fossil-fuel-vehicles-will-vanish-in-8-years-in-twin-death-spiral-for-big-oil-and-big-autos-says-study-that-shocking-the-industry

    • duckpin (1403 posts)
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      3. As far as worker issues are concerned, the WSWS is the go-to site. Alone

      is seems, they have international reporting relevant to wage earners.

      The Socialist Equality Party is looking better to me all the time. This is especially true because neither Sanders nor Gabard have a “peace now” foreign policy and they both are closer to the neoliberal apparatus then they are to what the world’s people need to stop the mass suffering. I don’t want to be a Trot but who else is expressing what are in fact majoritarian positions?

      "Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian..."
      • Ohio Barbarian (2256 posts)
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        6. I empathize. The problem with the Trots is that they have only one solution:

        The organizing of all of the working class worldwide against the entire capitalist system. I just don’t see how that’s possible, which means they’d probably label me a Stalinist!  :rofl:  Hell, if the SEP had been on the ballot in Ohio I probably would have voted for them, but they weren’t on the ballot in a single state, I don’t think.

        I have my differences with them, but that bunch in Detroit sure provide an invaluable news site. I really ought to send them a few bucks, you know.

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
        • duckpin (1403 posts)
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          12. I think I read the SEP got 800+ votes in West Virginia. I have no idea if they

          were on the ballot but I doubt it.

          I agree with you that they have an almost fundamentalist mindset and they can’t handle nuance.

          Valuable news at their website though.

          "Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian..."
        • duckpin (1403 posts)
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          13. I have sent them a few dollars a time or two. It's worth it to me.

          And, I have not bothered by them emailing me for more.

          "Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian..."
    • duckpin (1403 posts)
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      5. www.snopes reports there are 643,000 bankruptcies due to medical

      bills in the USA each year. It is the biggest reason people file for bankruptcy. In western Europe, there are virtually no medical-induced bankruptcies.

      The Affordable Care Act has not appreciably reduced this terrible number, each of which represents a tragedy.

      "Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian..."
      • Ohio Barbarian (2256 posts)
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        7. That's not even off topic. Another story most of the media missed.

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
        • duckpin (1403 posts)
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          9. Thanks – I did not want to derail your fine thread but the issue of car loan

          crisis was brought up and I thought it would be appropriate to mention the ongoing medical-induced bankruptcies. Most of these incidents cost families dearly and hope of financial recovery and dignity is dim. The capitalist class could not care less about the suffering that they are continuing to cause and we can only hope that their day will come.

          "Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian..."
          • FanBoy (7740 posts)
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            15. Then there's the soon to come student loan debacle.

            And the next mortgage bubble.

            • Ohio Barbarian (2256 posts)
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              16. Right and right again. And, as you know, the parasites who have inflated and

              invested in these bubbles will expect We The People to be the ones to pay for their radical economic behavior. They never pay enough to jeopardize their own luxurious lifestyles.

              "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
              • FanBoy (7740 posts)
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                17. They don't pay for *anything* though they pretend they pay for *everything*.

                The world’s best con.

                • duckpin (1403 posts)
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                  18. The things they should pay for but do not, like the dumping of waste, are

                  referred to as “externalities” = external to their profits but hazardous to our health and well being.

                  "Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian..."
        • Skink (479 posts)
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          10. Good time to split town.

          Hang with some dictators. Meet up with Oligarchs.

          • Ohio Barbarian (2256 posts)
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            11. There you go. You got it.

            "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
      • FanBoy (7740 posts)
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        14. whoa. that's a lot of medical and money trouble, in a population of 318

        million.  Let’s say that’s about 150 households, each with a spouse/partner or child: about half a percent of households goes bankrupt over medical bills every year.  And I bet that’s a conservative estimate of the effect on households.

        • duckpin (1403 posts)
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          19. I was surprised when I came upon this and that's why I gave the source.

          I will try and find corroboration because it’s a terrible fact if true.

          "Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian..."
    • peacecorps (2754 posts)
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      20. I blame Mexico. Or China. Or some other "other". Certainly not our very own

      “Wall Street investors”. ;)

      Most of them are (very rich) Americans – which in the RW faux populist world makes than an “us” in their perpetual “us vs them” division of humanity. In our progressive world they are not a part of ‘us’.

      FDR stood for high/progressive taxes, tight regulation of corporations, effective legislation to support strong unions, a strong safety net, fiscal policy that supports full employment rather than austerity, engagement with the rest of the world in terms of trade and diplomacy and the Four Freedoms. Bernie supports the same issues plus an understanding of the danger posed by climate change. Count me as an FDR/Bernie liberal.
      • Ohio Barbarian (2256 posts)
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        26. To me, they are simply class enemies.

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
        • duckpin (1403 posts)
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          34. The term "class enemy" has been a correct descriptor for 100+ years and

          should be used, as you have. Since the Red Scare and capitalist/government clampdown on any and all remotely “Left” you don’t come across it much these days but it’s the proper term and should be used. The more often “class” can be mentioned, the more those uncomfortable being lumped with the neoliberals will be freed to see that it’s a class war and has nothing to do with identity as destiny.

          "Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian..."
      • FugitiveBirdie (1360 posts)
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        32. We can't assume they are rich Americans.

    • Marym625 (18695 posts)
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      21. On The Daily Radical!

      I was out sick yesterday and missed this

      20,000 people is a lot of people. This is horrible

      948c8f248a "Once the decision was made to go into Iraq as an invader and occupier,  it’s like our nation lost its conscience. And it has not yet gotten that conscience back." Madfloridian  
      • Ohio Barbarian (2256 posts)
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        23. Thank you! Hope you are feeling better.

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
        • Marym625 (18695 posts)
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          28. Much, thank you!

          Just trying to take it easy today

          948c8f248a "Once the decision was made to go into Iraq as an invader and occupier,  it’s like our nation lost its conscience. And it has not yet gotten that conscience back." Madfloridian  
    • tripleQ (163 posts)
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      22. Recced for reference to Nero!

      A probably apocryphal tale, but a favorite metaphor.

      • Ohio Barbarian (2256 posts)
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        25. The story of Nero fiddling while Rome burned is definitely apocryphal. What

        little real evidence we have suggests he actually tried to organize fire-fighting, but Rome simply didn’t have the means. But it’s still a good story.

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
      • tripleQ (163 posts)
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        27. Yet another political leader who…

        was slandered by fake news.

        Sick (or bad)!  Unfair!

    • ctsnowman (359 posts)
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      29. Corporate MSM

      doesn’t want us paying attention to stuff like this. Just keep your eye on those pesky Rooskies.

      Army and Navy veteran and a proud liberal.
      • Ohio Barbarian (2256 posts)
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        30. Exactly.

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
    • iggy (456 posts)
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      31. Trumpty Dumpty's professional wrestling channel

      Stay tuned folks. You ain’t gonna’ believe what happens next.

      Truth has no Expiration Date. Life without Dignity is Slavery.
      • Ohio Barbarian (2256 posts)
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        33. That certainly sums up the attitude of many of his supporters.

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
    • Herman4747 (1169 posts)
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      35. Many (Likely Most) of the layoffs will not be occurring in the U.S.

      Now while a job loss anywhere is unfortunate, we generally cannot expect U.S. based media to be reporting on layoffs occurring outside the country.

      Local layoffs are generally covered by local media.  For example, Ford lays off 130 workers at Ohio plant

      Now some might believe that all kinds of layoffs are worthy of front-page coverage on the NY Times, but then one wonders if the NY Times would ever be covering anything but layoffs and hirings.  Still, even then it’s not like the mainstream U.S media never reports even on layoffs involving even as few as 1,400 workers (this from CBS Detroit):  Ford Announces 1,400 Salaried Job Cuts This Summer

      “Ford’s stockholders and CEO will rake in tens of millions of dollars, at least, by sacrificing the livelihoods of employees when they’re already fucking filthy rich” — Ohio Barbarian.  Well, depends on when they bought the stock.  With regards to stockholders who bought the stock 3 years ago, they would have lost money, the stock price being down by a third.  (To be sure, this is offset partially by dividend payouts).  As to Ford’s CEO, he has just been fired:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2017/05/21/ford-fires-ceo-mark-fields-former-steelcase-chief-jim-hackett-to-take-over/#ac7c1ba79dc0

       

       

       

      trekagainsttrump
      • Ohio Barbarian (2256 posts)
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        36. Am I supposed to cry over Ford's CEO? Look, large stockholders are my class

        enemies. If you have a few hundred grand worth of stock, you are my class enemy. Many “liberals” are. I don’t give a shit if a few thousand of them lose money. They are still happy to ruin people’s lives for their own profit. Be glad I’m not in a position or real power, for I would seriously consider shooting them. That’s how pissed off I am at this capitalist system.

        "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov  
        • Populist Prole (455 posts)
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          37. I'm with you

          The investor class is my class enemy too.

          • Ohio Barbarian (2256 posts)
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            38. Thank you! Good to see other people use that term.

            "Identity politics is the last refuge of the politically incompetent."  --Me, with a hat tip to Isaac Asimov