Sunday, December 14, 2008

Auto Industry Trouble Breaks City Budgets

A report on confirms my theory of why Louisville is having so much trouble economically. Here's an excerpt:

"States and cities around the nation are already slashing budgets and services as the deepening economic downturn shrinks their coffers. To close their budget gaps, governments are cutting public health programs, reducing aid to public school and universities, and laying off workers.

Problems in the auto industry are only exacerbating this turmoil. Not only have nearly 800,000 people lost car-related jobs this year, accounting for 40% of the increase in unemployment, but auto sales are at a 26-year low and at least 660 dealerships have closed their doors"

Read the whole article HERE, and let's make sure the government extends the help to main street as well as Wall Street. Louisville as well as the Commonwealth would certainly be in worse shape should one of the Big 3 go under.


  1. This article is eye-opening and non-partison. Thanks for the link.

  2. If anybody needs more info they can go to
    and read in pdf "When Giants Fall".

  3. Louisville is in a lot of trouble not just because of the automotive industry but the general loss of manufacturing and other technical jobs. Instead of keeping jobs here manufacturing rubber, resins, paint, ladders, air filters, cars, machine tools, parts, etc. The city of Louisville under the so called leadership of Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson has presided over the biggest loss of jobs in the history of this city.

    Having seen multitudes of local employers shut down and move operations to Mexico, China, etc, these people are responsible for the loss of these businesses as well as not creating any new jobs and having a tax and business climate that lacks any new investment here in Kentucky. This is also a fault of the Commonwealth of Kentucky state government which has spent years pursuing the low road to economic development by giving subsidies and payouts to corporations rather than creating the school system and educational system required for new jobs and creating new futures.

    The automotive industry is one piece of this. Not only do we have the Big 3 as well as the foreign manufacturers, we have spin off plants making tires, rubber goods, parts, alternators, engines, belting, transmission parts etc. It takes more than a few UAW workers to produce an automobile. What is at stake here is the livelihoods of millions of workers, not just a few hundred thousand at Ford, GM, Chrysler.

    These companies have buried themselves by their own mistakes and poor management. They had final say whether to accept the UAW bargaining demands and what kind of system to implement. It wasn't just a few union guys trying to rough up the executives but it was the executives themselves that made this mess. They did so by destroying innovation and hampering employee productivity.

    I worked in the automotive plant facilities of this area at one time and I can tell you first hand how many times the workers were treated like mushrooms by management. It was a system that did not support improvement, innovation, and creating something lasting. The management did not want to hear new ideas because they believe that they had them all. Which to their own demise and demise of many cost a lot of people jobs and careers. I've seen once proud manufacturing plants with 500 employees now whittled down to having 200 employees by the dependence on SUVs, Big trucks and the like. No foresight, no management, and no leadership.

    The employees will follow a good plan if they have to and are under contract or management guidance to do so. Anyone who tells you otherwise, needs to find a job in the automotive industry so they can actually learn how the system works as I have in over 14 years of manufacturing and business experience in the automotive industry.

    The people that are rabidly anti union that I have encountered have never worked in this sort of facility or that line of work. For the most part, most of them would not know what a factory actually produces if they walked in. They remind me of the bright but senseless high school valedictorian whose father owned a car dealership. He proceeded not knowing anything about torque and stuck his finger where it shouldn't have been. Proceeding to get it chopped off and needing to have it sewn back on. Does that remind one of our auto industry executives and the people so smart that unions, common sense, and basic work conditions are not important.