What a tragedy for the middle income age earners. I worked in a Ford Factory earning a huge salary from 1968 (age 18) to age 22 as I worked the shop floor assembly engines while going to college. We has three full shifts plus overtime probably 3000 workers. The parking lots were full Now the plant where I work is down to one shift probably 450 employees. Nearly every job I did has been automated. My point is that Henry Ford was a GREAT Man not only for his genius of engineering design and assembly - but that he realized that if the laborer did not earn enough to buy his product -- ? Now Detroit where even in the 1960's anyone who wanted to work could find a good job - in the auto plants, foundries etc it is a ghost town for employment. If we had a competent government they would encourage a rebirth of genius and manufacturing putting people back to work in real - meaningful jobs. We need more men like Henry Ford NOW
Go talk to the union. They are the self porclaimed defender of the working class. Oh wait, H.Ford had an issue with the unions in his shop. guess he knew something the rest of us didn't. ?
glad you posted this, i have stock in ford. guess i better get it out.
The issue with Detroit isn't the lack of Henry Fords but the overabundance of Coleman Youngs and Kwame Kilpatricks. The biggest hole in the budget is unfunded public pension liabilities. Its the result of decades of overly generous pensions for city workers combined with bonuses robbed from the pension fund. Add it up over a few decades and you end up 18 billion in the hole. No private sector entrepreneur can trump public sector corruption.
HOW THIS RELATES TO MODEL T's:
Now the good news. If Detroit starts to sell off assets, maybe this will become available:
Link didn' work right, cut and paste the whole thing to see the 1911 touring car
Here is an interesting article on Bloomberg about auto assembly line workers and their wages today:
So a modern ghost town uh?
That is really going to help matters.
That really encourages the people stuck there to try and improve dont it?
Like ol Merle Haggard said in a song, "We're rollin down hill like a snow ball headed for hell".
Sorry. It's too little too late. Detroit is history. The changes you are wishing for take years to implement, especially when their demise also took years to engineer through vast corruption and graft by the Detroit Government who all got rich off the misery of its' citizens. A classic case of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. All of the officials responsible for killing the goose should be thrown in a dungeon and left to rot just as they allowed their city to do. Jim Patrick
All mayors of Detroit have been registered Democrats since 1962, ending what was previously nearly a century of Republican dominance. Worked out great for Detroit HUH?
cheaper to use a "Big Boy".
Attach too many parasites and you kill the host organism.
I can name a number of causes for the decline of the automobile industry in the United States. Here are a few:
1. After WW II we had a monopoly on industry and could charge whatever the market would bear. Since there were waiting lists to buy a new car, all that could be made were sold. This led to excessive demands from the workers who got higher wages and fringe benefits leading to higher production costs than foreign competitors.
2. Emissions control. The American manufacturers drug their feet about installing these devices and they were an add on feature which caused problems with maintenance and hampered the smooth running of the cars. At the same time foreign companies were quick to design new engines with the devices built in and those cars ran much better than their American versions.
3. International "free trade" laws allowing us to import without excessively high tariffs. With the higher costs of manufacturing in America, the foreign cars were lower priced than others.
4. Higher fuel prices. Most foreign cars had lower fuel consumption.
5. Other laws and restrictions on such things as mining or burning coal, strict environmental controls etc. which were not imposed elsewhere caused our prices to climb even more.
6. With all the above and probably many other causes, even the United States companies began to build their cars and import from elsewhere.
If and when the above hinderances have been eliminated, or have become universal throughout the world, American industry will continue to decline.
I like that, how true
Norman. Don't forget the unions. Many years ago, back in the 20's and 30's the helpless, powerless worker was taken advantage of and needed a voice, thus, the rise of the unions, which gave the worker power, influence and a voice. The union protected the rights of the worker and protected them from being taken advantage of. For years, the union was a good thing until it became corrupted by organized crime and got greedy, demanding more and more of the manufacturer until it priced itself out of the market in the form of massive wages and benefits and extravagant, lifetime security retirement pension plans for retired workers that they, the manufacturers, just could not keep up with, leaving the manufacturers with little choice but to stay here and go out of business or move its' operations to more business friendly countries that did not have corrupt, greedy unions that bled them dry and prevented them from making a profit in order to make improvements and continue in business, providing jobs to its' thousands of workers and taxes to Detroit. Without this massive tax base, combined with everyone's grimy hand in the till, you can see why Detroit entered its' inevitable death spiral. Jim Patrick
I think most of Detroit's problems have to do with public unions like SEIU rather than private ones like the UAW. The UAW is not without its faults and its role in the decline of the auto industry can certainly be discussed, but the problem here is more a public/government issue. No industry lasts forever. Whatever cities relied on in the past, textile, steel, beef, whatever, eventually change, move on, dry up or otherwise stop being the main employer. The fact is that other cities (Pittsburg, for example) have managed to adapt and survive even when their main industries wane. Detroit wasn't able to survive the decline of the auto industry because they elected to do nothing but grab public money with both hands and give no thought whatsoever to the cities future.
I think the union problem was covered in point #1 but but I did not blame it directly on the union. A good sumation of all my points would be the "system got out of balance" and will not recover until it is back in balance.
"...Detroit is history."
Your other points are well taken. However, do not be so quick to condemn Detroit. You're not from Detroit, I am. Detroit's troubles are deep and multiple but they can be overcome. Whether or not they will remains to be seen. The pathway out will be gut wrenching. However, from one who was born here, lives near here, goes to church here, patronizes Detroit businesses and who weeps for this city, your condemnation is NOT appreciated.
This topic has the potential of going downhill very quickly, but it took only a few posts to identify the systemic problems with Detroit and the US auto industry.
The title “Detroit will be allowed to go bankrupt” is a statement not a question.
Bankruptcy is a wake-up call not death!
Norman made a powerful statement when he said that “the system got out of balance and will not recover until it is back in balance”
My question is -
Are we willing to put things in balance or do we continue to let this spread throughout the country?
Those who gain from the 'out of balance' are not likely to willingly give up what they have.
Mack are the good times really over
Regardless of why, having a city in these dire straits is a very sad situation.
Bankruptcy is a process to protect what assets are left and to keep the creditors at bay or ultimately leave the creditors without a legal means of collecting what is owed to them. In the end, Detroit will be Detroit and its creditors will be given pennies on the dollar-if they are lucky. Hopefully Detroit can rebuild when given a clean slate. But that remains to be seen and may not be seen in our lifetimes. When the meat packing industry left Chicago, the city went on to prosper. When the steel industry left Pittsburgh, the city struggled and is now rebuilding itself. LA is certainly no longer supported by the movie industry but has managed to sustain itself. New York City has had a variety of businesses come and go-not to mention the worst terrorist attack in the history of the United States and still remains the most amazing city in the world. Seattle discovered a way become a the pulse of the northwest. Cincinnati found a way to redevelop itself. To blame Detroit's downfall on the auto industry would be incorrect-businesses of all types come and go and that is a fact of life. Detroit has all of the ingredients to be successful city-a gorgeous waterfront, monumental architecture, a once-live cultural scene where it has a rich history of music, art and education, and it is only a stone's throw away from another country. If the powers that be can't make all of these ingredients work into a successful metropolis, then the power's that be aren't doing their job and should be replaced-not just those on the top, but those on the bottom and middle as well.
The only reason you know about city worker benefits is because politicians got their hands on the funds one way or another. Period. Guilani tried this in N.Y. and was stopped cold. I know because I was there. N.J. didn't fare as well when then Governor Christie Whitman tried it and got the funds and for YEARS they wouldn't pay it back. It's only trickleing in lately. And that's the worker's fault? The guy who puts in 30 years contributing to a fund so some rat bag can take it and hand out a few free bees to non working bums and line their own pockets? BUNK! So lay off the Civil Servants because if their pension fund is solvent you're not hearing about it and there's no need for you to know anyway.
G.R I clicked in on the Youtube link and it started with an AIG commercial.
Irony indeed as it was bailed out in 2008 ($85B)and they awarded themselves $165M+ in bonuses. Back to Model T's?
Yea, Charlie, old Gov GR Easley tried that crap in North carolina while he was on the roost.Borrowed a bunch from our retirement system claiming he would pay it back.It took several years and alot of effort to get him to put it back.He honestly was stupid enough to think he could steal from his employees and we would sit back and say nothing.We paid it in,and we expect it back when it comes time.
Here is the thing that people don't think about when they complain about state or city workers retirement.
As a state employee a portion of my pay was took out every 2 weeks and put into a pension fund.The state put some along with it as a benefit of employment.
Ok, it is not our fault as employees that the state poorly invested it,or if politicians steal it and don't put it back.Alot of it is OUR money to begin with,not the states as we paid it in.
In the case of Detroit, there was unions involved.I don't know the role of them as we here in NC are not allowed to unionize.Which I wouldn't joined no how.
Probably would a lost my job over some pennianni mess if I didn't but anyhow.
Look at the Boeing union, they were told they would have good, well paying jobs for twenty years or more to build the new 777-X but the union said no to some concessions the company wanted so Boeing is looking for a new state to build the new plane in and these workers have no guarantee.So they got screwed by their own greed and the union.
Living in Michigan and having a father in law born and raised in Detroit [and since past away ] I have heard the blame put on many different things. Dad and I always looked at it like this. Picture all these model T's being built along with all the cars to follow, Ford or not, and think of all the components that went into it..The bolts, cotter pins, tools and dies, deliveries, secretaries, etc., etc., Everyone had some kind of a job. Today there is so little entry level work for a young kid or a high school or college grad...Detroit will have to find a new future for it's folks who need, and are willing to get themselves a job, like Grandpa did so many years ago. Jim Derocher, AuGres, Michigan
What are the concessions that were rejected? I think that is an important point.
How well did the company perform and did the management forgo any concessions?
The union didn't like what Boeing proposed re: their pension, like 20 years of work that was a promise too. Should such a promise be made?
On the other side of the coin Boeing did offer $10,000 to each worker to sign....I just have to ask what was the deal like that compelled them to say no? In the face of $10K.
The Henry Fords are out there wanting and trying to create meaningful jobs but there are also many throwing up road blocks. One being the government, two being enviromental groups and three, special interest groups like unions and most of all, millions of american people. People who have been taught to HATE the seccessful and thus rich.
So it is no wonder that a great city built on a great automotive history, an american seccess story will end up in court. Our government demands on cars for better gas mileage and safety is causing cars to be cheaper built and more expensive to a point where fewer people can afford them. The enviromental are demanding the same (would you own a smart car?). The unions are demanding more and more adding to the ever increasing cost for a car for the consumer (all while getting concessions from the government..obama care opt out). And who knows what is going on in the brains of those brain washed people who hate the rich.
It is true we business minded people like Ford to tell the government to step off and the unions and ...
Rick, I don't know what the consessions were but my personal experience (actually the experience of 2 relatives) tells me that the aircraft industry is one of the biggest pigs in private business. They don't give a d**n about anybody working "on the floor". they'll lay off or pull up stakes at the drop of a hat. Someone mentioned HF and the unions. From what I've learned about him over the years if he could have done the same thing he would have.
a little off topic but related to the flow. A couple months ago I started a temp job at the Kansas department of revenue. I work tax returns. At first I was flabber gassed at the numbers I see people making income wise. Nine figures. At first I felt a great resentment toward them. A few weeks into the job and after going over their returns, I'm happy for them. I'm happy that there are people out there in definence of the way people (kids) are being taught to look at seccess.
Something else I noticed about many of these eight and nine figure incomes, the majority of them were deeply involved in worthy causes in making life better for both people and business a like.
So the Henry Ford's are out there if only they were not put down/ held down.
I don't want to sound insensitive to the working man or women, but labor costs are subject to the laws of supply and demand. If you charge to much, the buyer will look somewhere else for the same product or service. I think that the unions either thought they were immune to this fact or just plain ignored it.
As someone who has been on the loosing end of several bankruptcy claims, I will tell you it sucks that the government can decide that you must just eat the loss. Especially when the person has done it several times. The law should state that you only get to file once. If you can't learn from it the first time you shouldn't get any other chances.
As for Detroit, I just hope that they will learn from this and the courts require safeguards to prevent this from happening again.
Dave I agree with you. I have taken losses from gigantic companies that could buy and sell me in one breath. Buying companies, borrowing against the assets, raiding pensions funds and charging the company for managing the bankruptcy is surreal. They walk away with all the money.
I too have been left holding the bag.
With respect to working people I think we need to look at the bigger picture. Before 2008 Ford was a marvel, still is...So was GM, even with their unions. Union made bad decisions as did management.
We seem to want to blame the people on the bottom. GM was making more money off of GMAC than on cars, they did not read the tea leaves.
With respect to Boeing I dare say a Boeing Machinist may very well have no peer on the planet, they know it and Boeing knows it.
I could write more on all this than has been put into this thread already, several times over.
I will just add that from all angles, corruption is the main root of financial troubles. This is true, whether we talk about labor, management or government. Some cities may do well in the aftermath of industry loss, but government at every level will never have a lasting balanced budget until they get rid of corruption at all levels of administration and workers (mostly administration, from one that has been there).
The same can be said for unions, laborers, and wealthy investors. (This from someone that has quite a few very wealthy personal friends)
Society needs to reward hard work and sacrifice. Society also MUST decide whether or not stealing and its twin, corruption, will be tolerated or not!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Jerry, I can appreciate that you don't appreciate my assessment of Detroit and I admire your loyalty and enthusiasm for your city. The truth may not be easy to hear, especially when it hurts so bad and cuts so deep toward something so near and dear to you, but refusing to accept the truth or maligning those that profess it will not make it go away. Perhaps in saying Detroit is history was incorrect for Detroit, in whatever form it takes after this will continue to live on, just not the way it was. Perhaps I should have said the greatness of Detroit is history.
With a debt of 18 billion, and facing the biggest bankruptcy in history and the industry that made its greatness possible, all but gone, Detroit has a big problem and is not alone. There are many cities in the same financial mess. Detroit just got there first.
You are right. I don't live there, so I had no part in, for the last 50 years, voting in the corrupt thieves that destroyed your once great city (and I doubt if you had any part in voting the thieves in either), but as an outsider, I can and do have a more objective viewpoint of what I have seen and what has been reported, than one who lives there, has a stake in the outcome and has helplessly watched it go from greatness to ruin in just a few years. That must be incredibly difficult and something I would not want to experience, and while you may not believe it, or want it, you and all Detroiters have my profound sympathy for what is happening to your great city.
As I said. I admire your loyalty and enthusiasm for your city. Too bad the corrupt government officials in charge did not share your loyalty, for their loyalty was towards themselves, their friends and cronies who they made rich off the taxes you and other hardworking citizens paid. I hope I am wrong and that Detroit still has some fight in her to come back from the brink, but the pictures of the urban blight, vandalized public buildings, miles of once bustling, but now empty factory complexes, and empty blocks of once beautiful neighborhoods tell a different story, so don't shoot the messenger for saying it as he sees it even if you don't like it. I don't like it anymore than you do of what has and is happening to Detroit. It is criminal and someone needs to be held to account. Jim Patrick
Thank you for your considerate and well thought out response. Only time will tell what the "truth" will ultimately be for Detroit. The truths we know today are certainly dire. The truths for tomorrow are yet to be written. Neither of us can accurately predict them, though human nature entices us to guess.
Thank you Jerry. I think I echo the sentiment of everyone on this site when I say that, as Model T enthusiasts, Detroit holds a special place in our hearts and I wish Detroit and its' citizens the best of luck in the struggle to become great again. With the loyalty and optimism of longtime citizens like you, I believe we have not seen the last of her greatness.
Have you ever considered running for office? Without good people in place to safeguard her from the evil, greedy predators that have, up to now, plagued her, she has no chance. Perhaps you can clean up the mess, stop the downward spiral and begin the upward spiral back to the top. It won't be easy but nothing of this magnitude ever is. Jim Patrick
Not to diminish the present political claims and counter-claims, but one other point has to be considered. Everyone can't get a benefit from going to college.There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians around.
What has happened to the trade schools. Cal Poly from just before WWII to the early '60s had Degrees had welding classes, machine shop classes, aircraft mechanics and airframe classes. They had Ag degrees and even had a degree in printing. They turned out people that were ready to go to work building or fixing things. LA Trade Tech turned out machinists and wood workers that were ready. Hancock college in Santa Maria Ca from the late '20s and after WWII built a replica of a Stinson Reliant and rebuilt a narrow gage locomotive as well as Ag people. Much of the equipment used in these schools were donated from the companies that needed to hire the students that used the equipment.
We don't have a work force that that can fix or make things. We have college grads saying "ya want fries with that."
My question is why about every 5 or 6 days this site seems to be taken over by those with a political rant?? My next question. Is it better to preach from a open car or from the top of a closed car?? Bud.PS/BS,If i offend any maby in a day or two i'll say im sorry which might be a lie or not,and waite a few days before starting another rant! Bud.
If and when Detroit emerges from bankruptcy they will elect the same sort of mayors they have had in the past and the cycle will start over again. The danger now lies in Sharia Law, they have enough muzzies to do just that. Just look at Dearbornishtan.
To our good friends on the left, you reap what you sow.
While this thread is labeled OT, really it's not. As a one of the manufacturing centers of the Model T and the Ford Motor Company, the fate of Detroit is of interest and concern to many of us.
Unless you are reading a different thread, I can find no "political ranting" in this thread.
One little thread, does not a site takeover make.
Please allow the adults to have a mature discussion without such a fuss. There are plenty of other threads for you to read without focusing on this one.
I expect Chris to be deleting this thread soon anyway because of the many complaints he is sure to get from the thought police...I hope he reads it first though before doing so.
Kenneth. I apologize. I should not have said that. It's just that I feel this site is a place where friends can come and talk intelligently as long as we can keep it civil and a little variety, to me, is a good thing, making this a much more interesting, informative, insightful and stimulating site, but I should not have said what I did and regretted it as soon as I hit the send button, for I respect you and everyone here and consider you all my good friends. Again, I apologize to you and anyone else who took offense to my impulsive post... Jim Patrick
I'm not sure why folks that are bothered don't just skip over the OT threads. Anyway, politics come up a lot because its an important issue and on a lot of people's minds. For me, politics is probably one of the top most important things to read about and discuss. Model T's are nice and a great hobby, but probably not in the top 5 most important things in my life (or in the lives of most folks here if you stop and think about it, well, not top 3 anyway) so when you get a bunch of guys together to talk cars, the conversation is going to drift around a bit to things like that guy in the White House, what the kids are up to or where you go the church. This is actually a sign, I believe, of a friendlier, more close knit forum than one that sticks to just Model T Fords and nothing else. The Ford Barn or HAMB are great and all but the conversations there just seem a bit sterile and 'just business'. Ask a question, get and answer, there's the door. The odd rant or weird comment thread make this place better. That's my opinion anyway.
Rand Paul will be in Detroit this Friday laying out his plan for Detroit recovery
I'm with you Jeff. The only reason I can think of as to why this site is so hot is that we're allowed to switch tracks and go off on a tangent a bit and yack with people we consider friends even though most of us have never met.
I agree with Mr. Patrich in that this is a good thread and discussion. It is nice to talk about current issues that is linked to our hobby with reasonable adults. I love politics and political forums but finally had to stop because every subject on these forums simply because a battle of who could out cuss the other. I am not in favor of politics taking over this forum but there is a link between the history of Ford and Detroit.
Bud, I think it is better to complain from an open car! More people will hear you!
I think this site is great because no matter what the subject someone has to add a touch of humor to the subject, happens all the time.
PS--And some great crash, and cute women pictures.
OK! Some of them women look more like men.
I agree with using an open car. I don't think the top of a closed Model T can support most of our weights.