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dannyc's avatar

Do you know people who seem to be happy that North American car companies are going bankrupt and workers are losing their jobs?

Asked by dannyc (5223points) May 20th, 2009

On some Canadian newspaper sites, many comments are filled with pure vitriol for the auto workers and their plight. Although I can see people feeling they deserve their fate and there should not be a bailout, I have sensed a certain glee that these companies are failing. What is at work here in the human condition that seems to bring it out?

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22 Answers

Darwin's avatar

I must admit that the local Volkswagen dealer seems quite pleased.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

There’s no such pervasive feeling where I’m at.

It’s not even a “deserve” thing anymore. The US automakers cannot possibly survive as is because they’re so big and bloated. They’re trapped in a situation where they only have the facilities to make these huge behemoth automobiles that were so popular until 2004.

Essentially, they can only make a product that isn’t in demand anymore and it’s not the businessmen that will suffer, it’s the 1000’s of factory workers and the companies that supply the factories.

Not a good situation nor do I feel any glee about it.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I know at least one person who had been following the US auto industry for a couple of years, and telling me the whole time that they were about to collapse. She’s pretty smug right now, yeah. I certainly don’t know a lot of (or any other) people like that, but yes, I know what you’re talking about.

brettvdb's avatar

I think that there is just so much brand loyalty with auto companies, that hardcore fans of Toyota, BMW, Mercedes, etc. don’t seem to realize the impact that the American auto industry has on American citizens. They care too much about their Impreza “owning” a focus or charger or whatever, and love rubbing it in the face of anyone they can.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I don’t know anyone who’s happy about the situation because as The_Compassionate_Heretic says, it’s not the CEO’s who will lose, it’s the factory workers, the franchise holders/dealerships and their employees. Bailout money is going towards restructuring the loans for the automakers and there will be little trickledown to anyone else.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I’m Happy GMC (the corporation) is suffering. They have caused so much nasty inhumane damage that it’s nice to know the business is suffering. It might be the kick in the butt they need to reconfigure their business practices. And if they go out of business then all the better because I’m not sure they can recover from all the damage they’ve done.

Of course, having said that, I am never happy hearing about job loss. And I am sorry individuals must lose their jobs. I send positive thoughts their way. Also, I just want to note that, I would much rather have their practices change than have people lose jobs.

_bob's avatar

@RedPowerLady You’re happy GMC is suffering, but you’re also not happy about job losses. Who do you think is doing the most suffering?

RedPowerLady's avatar

@bob_ I say I’m happy that GMC (the corporation) is suffering.

I am absolutely not happy about the job loss.

As someone just said in another thread:
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

casheroo's avatar

No, I don’t know anyone that is personally happy with it. Most are very upset for the families.
I have a lot of family in Michigan. I know how hard things are there already :(

LKidKyle1985's avatar

I am not happy, but at the same time people have been saying for years, why don’t they make more fuel efficient cars? why don’t they make cheaper cars? foreign car companies have them beat when it comes to this and all it took was record high gas prices for Americans to finally start talking with their money rather than their mouths. So in the long run, I am happy because now maybe the car companies that are left will wise up and make cars that people want.

tinyfaery's avatar

Happy? No. Deserved? Yes.

The salaries of the auto workers themselves are quite bloated compared to equivalent workers for Honda and Mitsubishi. The times, they are a changin’.

_bob's avatar

@RedPowerLady Corporations don’t suffer.

cak's avatar

I don’t know too many people that are happy. I know a lot of small business owners. They keep talking about the total impact that this will have on the local economy (surrounding the corporate offices and plants). Think about the local diners, loss of employees at the plants means loss of customers in the diners. Think of all the suppliers. Uniform companies…all those things, even office supply places. It will impact so many places, it’s just sad.

I know many people that expected this, but no one is particularly happy about it.

galileogirl's avatar

It’s never “The Corporation” that suffers. The people who made the bad decisions have long since divested themselves of any investment in the company so the stockholders will be left holding the bag. Who are the stockholders? Some of them are baby-boomers who are just getting another kick in the crotch of their 401K’s. Some are pension funds, some are university endowment funds, some are non-profit organizations and trusts, so all of these entities will lose capital and be less able to provide education, pensions, community services.

As far as overpaid auto workers, their average salary (union) is $28/hr, or about $60,000/yr. They also get decent medical benefits and a pension. Hardly a king’s ransom just solidly middle class. Now that they will lose their jobs, they can earn $7.50/hr and we can lose the 33% ($20,000) that they would have paid in various taxes. They also won’t be able to buy a lot of consumer goods so other people who work in maufacturing, retail or entertainment might find their jobs in danger.

It is small and mean-spirited to wish bad for others. Everyone is connected and the bad times for others will eventually impact you.

tinyfaery's avatar

More than I make and I have 2 college degrees (BA and MA). Not feeling bad at all.

_bob's avatar

@tinyfaery Sorry you have a sucky job.

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augustlan's avatar

[Mod says] Personal attacks are not permitted and have been removed. Flame off, folks.

galileogirl's avatar

@tinyfaery As a 20 year teacher, I haven’t reached the $60,000 mark either but that was my choice. Early on I tried blue collar work and realized that repetitive, soul-numbing work in a dirty, noisy environment was not for me. Now that these well paid factory workers are losing their jobs, the loss of their taxes is causing 100’s of well-educated local teachers to lose their jobs too.

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