September 26, 2009
– Comments (50)
Hat tip to Chart Porn.
"Beautiful, Horrible Photos".
really looked like a war zone
Disturbing, distressing, enthralling.
Amazing story these photos can tell without words, the death of a city, a way of life, a country and her people? The party over? Wow what elegant ballrooms, hotels, etc. flourished in Detroit and look at them now! Good post, thank you.
Thanks for the pictures that put Into perspective "THE OUTSOURCING OF AMERICA".... http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/849811/outsourcing_american_jobs_and_how_it.html?cat=3 TS
Thanks for the photos disturbing to say the least.
#'s 1 through 5.
Yes. I found nothing to write better than the photos themselves.
Glad to hear you have your drums back.
Wow. Those are incredible pictures. More evidence of our decay as a society.
It is interesting to me that the library still contains lots of books. Apparently nobody wanted to steal them.
There were several pix of the Packard factory. Does anyone know any Packard slogans? I do! Here is one: "Ask the man who owns one"
detroit: 0 (or -1 if you prefer)
UAW in 30 years: 0
unions kill everything they touch. in the end, eventually, they will kill themselves. and everything, or alot of things, along with them if nobody ever stands up to them and points out that lazy horrible amazingly bad attitude workers demanding more pay while having quite possibly the least positive attitude ever (and this negative attitude is actively cultivated by unions) is not acceptable.
this is what unions achieve. this is what unions achieve. this is what unions achieve. only if everything is so good everywhere, or a monopoly exists, can the wild abuses ofunions towards business and non-union people be survived.
once japan starts making cars, or once the overall economy isn't growing rapidly, the destructive (inevitably destructive) ability of what american unions stand for will rear its head and...
this will result.
#8) On September 27, 2009 at 1:02 AM, checklist34 (99.91) wrote:unions kill everything they touch This Is quite a quantum leap to say "UNIONS" are to blame for what has happened to the automobile Industry.... No companies In the banking Industry have UNION workers,yet look what has happened to their Industry. This entire economic collapse began with the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT,and the FEDERAL RESERVE. To blame UNION workers for the demise of our automobile Industry Is absolutely nonsensical. Are you saying that If all of the workers at GM had been paid minimum wage the last 50 years, that they would still be a viable company? Big Three automaker CEOs and executives based their business model on a future of cheap oil, fighting fuel efficiency standards despite warnings against such a strategy. Detroit manufactured, as Tom Friedman pointed out, oversized gas-guzzling SUVs that reduced their competitive edge. Just to reiterate, financial firms AIG, Merrill Lynch, and Bear Stearns did not have unionized workers but still suffered economic collapses. Frozen credit markets and a spiraling recession were major contributors to Detroit’s current state.
I agree that unions have an important place in this country and are needed at points, but the unions had a huge hand in the destruction of Detroit. Read any of the histories that talk about the auto industry. The unions would take everything they could in the good times and give nothing back when the companies hit the tough times. They would basically threaten to not only strike but also destroy the assembly lines on the way out the door. Also corruption was and is a huge problem in these unions.
I think that the companies and the unions deserve a 50/50 split of the blame for what happened.
#11) On September 27, 2009 at 2:18 AM, bigcat1969 (97.25) wrote: Read any of the histories that talk about the auto industry. The unions would take everything they could in the good times and give nothing back when the companies hit the tough times ... please provide links to these stories If you can... TS
While not blameless In the automakers demise,they should not be demonized either... everyone can thank the unions for the 40 hour work week,and overtime pay. Part of the reason that AMERICA celebrates LABOR DAY every year... TS
dynamic is this:
unions get a contract worked out in boom times so the auto companies don't want to shut down factories, they want to run them and profit.
in bust times the auto companies suffer with heinous (and it is HEINOUS the excessive pay that goes to UAW workers. Ever visited a UAW factory? seen people playing cards or sleeping? I've heard dozens of stories. I've talked to dozens of people who were chastised or even threatened at UAW or other union plants for working too fast. slow down or they'll expect the rest of us to work hard kind of thing) pay and lose big money.
Auto companies react by cutting costs on everything but labor. like the early 80s when GM cars were all the same except 2-3 body panels.
Union workers, at net 3-4-5x the pay of other workers, hate their jobs, hate the companies that employ them, have the most disgusting attitudes of any humans about anything that I have ever met. Tahts my experience, I've never once met a union worker who cared about his/her job or had less than a vomitously bad attidue. They gripe nonstop about how rich the companies they work for are and how they are getting screwed. Even if they are making 2-3-4x free market wages and the companies are bleeding money left and right. Its amazing to me, and horrible, terrifying even.
So the companies, to survive, try to cut costs in any way possible. Use a cheaper hinge, use common body panels. Cut costs, slash design budgets. Oh, but the japanese car makers can hire workers who care about their jobs for 15-20 bucks an hour...
My uncle used to run a body shop and once pulled a note out of a door on a damaged cadillac that said "fvk you you rich SOB". Apparently it hadn't occured to the disgruntled, because someone came to wake him up from his nap which he was taking in the middle of his shift, uaw worker that the guy buying the cadillac plays a key role in him/her having a job.
Unions choke the companies they work for to death and, thus, in the end, they will, eventually, even if it takes a really long time, choke themselves to death.
The UAW will one day cease to be. I will never buy another GM or Chrysler product, there is no way I can support US law being broken by the Obama admin to screw bondholders and hand freebies to the union.
And I have bought 2 corvettes, 2 cadillacs, 2 trucks, and 1 car from GM in my life and i'm only 35. I love the current generation of cars, but I simply cannot possibly justify handing my ahrd earned money over to a union.
I'm being really negative here, but unions are terrifying and severely damaging/dangerous to the country, communities, and business they are involved in in the long run. Whatever good they once did, ONCE DID, they have long since become a negative. long since.
They operate on the theory that whatever they can "get" is a "win". Thats only valid if you assume the companies are limitlessly viable and profitable, it starts to fall apart if you consider that the cmpanies are weak, broken, and failing. Which is basically inevitable in the fullness of time with a monstrous wage/care ratio burden imposed by the unions. Higher wages, far less care.
Ever dealth with unions? at a trade show? where one guy is walking by and you are trying to balance something and you say "hey can you hand me that screwdriver" and the guy replies "i'm electric union I don't do tools like that". Really? you can't hand the screwdriver?
Or gone to a bar to have drinks with them? And realized you can't talk about anything except how evil their companies are, how rich their companies are, how put upon they are, and then later they joke about how little they work? Slight disconnect there anybody?
In another time and another state, some of those building could be restored to greatness. Without a viable economy they are slowing becoming the ruins of a lost civilization.
checklist34, I think you are saying what many of us feel, but don't say. The bailout money was only used to preserve a voting block. I will never buy another GM or Chrysler car.
Especially aggregious was the treatment of the bondholders. Buyers of stocks take their risks, that is a given, but the people with bonds should be the first ones at the table during a bankruptcy. The funds that held these bonds and agreed to this ridiculously low settlement should be sued for failing their fiduciary duty.
If you spoke like that about me, I wouldn't help you either.
No. It was not egregious. There treatment was generous for the decades that their interest was paid in full while what was owed to unions was reduced, deferred, or not "fully funded". Senior bondholders were paid in full. To get paid subordinant bondholders had only the hope of selling factories and property in Detroit. See the pictures again to estimate what those bonds were worth without Gov't bailing them out. The debt owed the bondholders was valued higher than the debt owed the Unions, even though at the time the valuation/bailout was done, it was all worth the same. Zero. It was and is more investor bailout than Union bailout. If the funds had not accepted the settlement, they would have gotten nothing.
#8 - Amen! Unions that were once established to protect workers in dangerous or potentially abusive occupations have been allowed to grow into a something horrible. They are a group of self destructive trolls that have killed the goose that laid their golden egg. The most expensive part of your GM vehicle is the money you pay for their union benefits package, the one part you can't drive home.
#18) On September 27, 2009 at 10:14 AM, devoish (99.64) wrote:#18) http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2008125222/toyota-republicans-should-cut-their-own-pay Great link.... BUY AMERICAN !!!!
The destruction was caused by financial engineering that brought todays money to yesterdays sales, and disproportionately benefitted the financial engineers, not the employees on the shop floor who have been making concessions for the last decade, while the financial industry received bonuses for money they never collected or earned.
#19) On September 27, 2009 at 10:50 AM, catoismymotor (74.62) wrote: They are a group of self destructive trolls that have killed the goose that laid their golden egg... surely you must be talking about our FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS. They are (as we speak) continuing to thumb their nose at there OWN CUSTOMERS.... while Investing the money WE GAVE THEM In the stock market.... OUR GOVERNMENT,THE FED,and all of the financial Institutions are the ones you should direct your misplaced anger at,Not the unions that were at the heart of the INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Gompers
#14 Ever dealth with unions? at a trade show? where one guy is walking by and you are trying to balance something and you say "hey can you hand me that screwdriver" and the guy replies "i'm electric union I don't do tools like that". Really? you can't hand the screwdriver?
I've worked trade shows in Ohio where local high school athletic teams are brought in to help. When the dealers pull up to unload, willing students and parents are waiting with carts to move gear and products. By the time the dealer parks and walks to their booth, everything is there. Dealers often say something like, "Wow! I showed in Chicago last week and had to wait three hours and it cost me $200 just to move my stuff from the truck. This is great." And guess what the dealer does after their booth is ready three hours sooner than at the union convention center - they spend money around town.
Unions missed a great opportunity for growth over the past twenty years. It doesn't matter if you are a small business owner, a corporate employee, or a union member, your personal prosperity is rooted in efficiently providing a service or products to customers. Unions should recruit members like Stanford recruits business students or the Navy recruits Seals. If a customer knows the best workers are in the union and that gives them the best chance of getting a quality job done on time, higher wages become a non-issue due to value. Without increased value to the customer, that customer can improve their business by taking their business elsewhere.
This post caught my eye as I can speak with authority and first hand experience. I live in the outer suburbs of Detroit for 25 years. I have volunteered, and for a while sat in a leadership position, for the largest soup kitchen in Detroit. I believe in the free market - I have to keep quiet my personal feelings when I am around town that I believe the bailouts were purely political posturing and a huge mistake. That said...
The attacks here on unions as the source of Detroit's problems are grossly overstated. (I am not here to defend the UAW. Just putting things into a broader perspective.) The suburbs of Detroit have thrived and I'd speculate that 95% of UAW members in the metropolitan area live outside the city limits of Detroit/Highland Park/Hamtramck. Detroit's problem is a self-inflicted malaise - rooted in a lack of family structure and leadership.
Background... In 1967, the riots that took place in Detroit caused a mass exodous of the more educated, motivated population. Both blacks and whites fled for the suburbs and what was left was largely minority, under-educated, and ably to be politically manipulated. (I am not here to argue social or race issues here either. Just stating what is obvious.) That exodous continues today. The youth who come through the Detroit schools and get an education are about 80% likely to live somewhere other than Detroit. There are some that I admire who choose to return with their motive being to create a renaissance, but they are the admirable few.
The politicians and "religious leaders" (I put that in quotes because the religious leadership in Detroit is strongly influencial in the politics - enuf said) have been corrupt and not held accountable by the city electorate. I am optimistic that Dave Bing (a former Detroit Piston and VERY successful, highly respected business leader) was elected mayor. He has started some very positive moves to root out the corruption and to make the city fiscally responsible. (Sorry, Alstry.) ;) The new school board superintendent is doing the same. (He found 200+ people on the payroll who didn't exist. How did he do this? It was brilliant. He had one pay period where every person on the payroll had to pick up their paycheck and prove identity.)
Detroit's problems are because of an entire class of people who expect that the government will solve their problems. (Hmmmmm... contrast the clean up of New Orleans vs. the Mississippi gulf coast community which was more devestated than the city of New Orleans. Detroit? Same thing.) There's so much more to explain what it will take to undue the past 40 years of what's happened in Detroit, but to place responsibility on the unions is misguided and doesn't really address what's really happened.
Now, if we want to discuss the UAW's role in the demise of the Big 3, that's a completely different story and much of what's been written above holds water. Great discussion tho. And those photo's are awful. I've walked the grounds of some of those places and they did capture the horror of the devestation.
Unfortunately I think Detroit is so far gone now that it's a lost cause
We'd be bettre ooff concentrating our efforts on Cleveland and other cities that still have hope.
Okay, just another opinion.
Detroit's problem was a combination of many things, not just the unions.
Take government meddling in CAFE standards, safety standards, protectionism, etc. Add in some protectionism, corporate greed, mismanagement and unreasonable union demands and voila!, you have today's Detroit. (Wait, I think ACORN is in there somewhere gggg )
The answer to this is to get the government out of the free markets and let capitalism happen. Let the companies fail. Something more efficient will take their place. Better managers will move in. Maybe even the unions will realize it's in their best interests to be reasonable.
I empathize with your comment, Tasty. I guess I am insanely optimistic for lost causes. I could never give up on half a million people, regardless of their attitude, condition, or reason for being there. Sure, maybe Detroit will never rise to its glory years again and perhaps it will take a generation or two. But, for me, contained in those horrific photo's is a grain of hope in what was and might be. What wasn't shown was the beauty of the Detroit River, the sailboats from Grosse Pointe, the renovated area around the ballparks and Fox Theatre.
There are some beautiful people in the city. Yes, I even see them in the soup lines where I've served. Never count out the spirit of Detroit (except in the case of the Lions while the Ford's are still the owners!) :o This city set a standard for how SuperBowl's are run. (SuperBowl XL) Are there better places to invest? Yes. Write off Detroit? Just try. :)
As sad as those pics are, they are beautiful. Good find.
Here are the 48 buildings that are vacant In downtown Detroit........... http://detnews.com/article/20090817/METRO01/908170334/48-vacant-buildings-blight-downtown-Detroit
And links to more pictures........ http://www.angelfire.com/de2/detroitpix/
checklist: I'm with you on the unions, although they are not the sole cause of Detroit's problems.
unions equal blackmail, threats, and violence.
Capitalism and free enterprise are the answer. We have been a socialist state for 75 years. It is time to give up on the experiment and return to a system with a proven track record that works. Give up the failed policies of the past and return to the fairness and equal opportunity of free enterprise.
topsecret, thanks for the additional pix, especially the set in #32.
Option, thanks. This was supposed to be an opportunity to appreciate the artists work.
To all of those who need to blame the presence of Gov't or unions for Ameica's struggles, Where is your model success story, this great economic powerhouse that has neither Gov't nor unions, and if you don't have one STFU.
You can sell your BS, but I don't have to buy it.
For me this post is about the stark beauty of the artist's photography.
For you it can be an opportunity to continue your anti-Gov't, anti-union marketing campaign, but I'll call you on it and be happy to expose it. I know my and my childrens opportunities are much better with elected Gov't than with Monarchys, whether they are called kingdoms or corporations.
I know my Country built true wealth and security when unions were strong and had Gov't support, and I know my country collapsed into an unsustainable binge of borrowing and debt after Gov't threw its support behind business and banks.
And I enjoy reminding you all.
Michael Moore for President? :-)
Not only do they rob the businesses, but they rob their workers as well with under-funded pension plans, while the pension plans for the union leaders are fully funded.
You'll be hard pressed to find a Union in a big city that doesn't have a tie to organized crime as well.
But to each his own.
If you like to support criminals that's fine by me.
Well, this is a new direction. There are many more underfunded pensions run by employers than unions. After 10 years of zero gains in equities, I imagine almost all pensions, union or private, are underfunded. I am glad the union problem is special to you. In NY we have put mob bosses in jail. No investment bankers yet.
#35) On September 27, 2009 at 9:07 PM, ChrisGraley (99.20) wrote: You'll be hard pressed to find a Union in a big city that doesn't have a tie to organized crime as well. Chris I like what you bring to the table here at the fool. but please stick to what your good at,and what you know. You are talking about a bygone era..... The UNIONS nowadays have a problem just ORGANIZING THEIR WORKERS.... LOL......... As a 26 YEAR UNION MEMBER that has helped build some of this countries fine buldings here In the northwest, I am here to tell you that there IS NO ORGANIZED CRIME In the Plumbers & Pipefitters UNION that I have been with since I GRADUATED from college back In 1982.... I have worked for INTEL,MOTORLOA,PERINI,LINEAR TECHNOLOGY,STANFORD UNIVERSITY,VALLEY CHILDRENS HOSPITAL (Fresno,Ca) PELICAN BAY STATE PRISON, (not as an Inmate... LOL... ) CORCORAN STATE PRISON, AVENAL STATE PRISON, MICROCHIP TECHNOLOGY, FORMFACTOR, APPLIED MATERIALS,etc... I could go on, but one thing I can tell you Is I AM NOT OVERPAID, AND I AM NOT LAZY. I am a PROFESSIONAL that Is well trained. People join unions for a variety of reasons,and the reason I joined one over 25 years ago,was so I could have a better life for myself. My union has provided me with the TRAINING and the OPPORTUNITY to accomplish just that. Now that I am getting ready to retire (at 57) I will get to do what I like to do best... Daytrade the market. I hope to hear a lot more from you regarding Investing on the fool........
#36) On September 27, 2009 at 10:03 PM, devoish (99.64) wrote:. In NY we have put mob bosses in jail. No investment bankers yet... LOL !!!!!!! Thank You......... TS
#18 - My opinion stands firm.
#19 - Anger? I have no anger towards the UAW. There is no need for such a fruitless emotion when you can vote your concience with your wallet and feet. In a free market economy you have a choice. I choose to buy autos made in the states, by foreign owned companies, not built by union workers. Every dollar I spend that does not go to any of the big three and the UAW is not going to feed the corrupt monster.
Please explain:What is the difference between organized crime and investment bankers?
#40) On September 27, 2009 at 11:42 PM, AvianFlu (82.83) wrote:
Please explain:What is the difference between organized crime and investment bankers? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !@#$%$##$%
I'm pretty sure I know what I'm talking about.
As a college kid I was in the Teamsters and it took exactly two weeks and a threat to personal well being to figure out why I shouldn't ask too many questions.
I also know a few people that know a few people and realize that most state construction contracts go through the mob.
Heck in New York where devoish lives, they invented the 2 percent club which still exists today. The mob gets 2% of any construction contract and any contract over $5 million goes directly to a mob run company.
I'm not saying that all unions are this way, but chances are that if you live in a big city, your union takes orders from the mob.
As far as the pension thing goes...
I will end with this.......... "Today the mob's presence in the Teamsters, the Laborers, the Hotel and Restaurant workers and the Longshoreman's union has largely dissipated", but keep in mind why. Our government has spent the last twenty years busting these unions, using arrests, RICO, and federal monitoring and control. a bygone era Indeed.... TS
Pretty damning sounding statistics you put forth there. Union boss pensions 88% funded, union worker pensions considerably less.
I personally, would love to have some context on that, especially since your source the "workforce fairness institute" is a public relations firm.
So let's have some questions about "union worker" pensions. You say they are underfunded. Since it is the employers who fund them, it is the employers who have underfunded them. As per US law, in the event of a 50% decline (or any decline for that matter) in the fund investments, the employer has seven years to bring the funding above 90% rather than demand that the employer replace the value of billions of dollars of crashed equities this year. I believe it was this loss to pensions/retirement plans that motivated many Congressmen to vote in favor of Paulson's bailout.
Comparing union worker pension funding to union management pension funding levels is cool. To put that in context would you also give us funding levels for Executive pensions. I believe they are sometimes referred to as "golden parachutes", or considered "sacrosanct contracts" demanding the full protection of the law lest the entire Capitalist system collapse into the dungheap of failure should even one such contract be broken or unpaid in the event of corporate collapse.
I would also like to note that your Workforce fairness Institute wishes to condemn all unions because of three Union leaders convicted of fixing a Union election in 2004, who were sentenced to jail.
On Long Island we got Madoff and Cosmos. If we get one more can we condemn all investment advisors? Be careful TMF.
Do you think Miss Packer of the WFI would consider it "deplorable" if an employer fully funded and paid pension and retirement packages to Executives while not full funding the workers pensions? Or does she reserve her ire only for Union management and not the business's she represents?
#24 Thanks for your insight. To the list of nice things about Detroit add the airport. It was big, beautiful, and modern. That is the only thing in Detroit I've ever seen in person. God bless you as you continue to help others less fortunate. People are more important than things.
If you would prefer, I could give you something from the Reader's Digest devoish.
Outrageous! Brotherhood of ThievesUnion bosses are picking the pockets of working stiffs.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely no matter where it is.
Unions never had absolute power. Their "power" was balanced against Government and business and a majority of non union workforce.
Gov't and business have since aligned to break Unions moving absolute power toward the hands of business, who write the laws that Government enacts.
Marketing campaigns have served to sell the idea that tree-huggers are anti business instead of pro clean water.
Marketing campaigns have sold the idea that you can "vote" your wallet. So can Somalians and let me know how that works for them.
Never, never forget there are people who believe in slavery and would rather not pay you enough to have a doctor.
In the meantime rooting corruption out of unions is a good thing.
Employees need to stick together. Unions is how it is done.
Let's face it, how many times have you pointed to Union benefits and said "I don't get those benefits"?
My question is why you would not join a Union, and get those benefits, rather than surrender yours and try to rescind theirs.
Where does that work?
Wow. That says it all: "We have to do it my way, and if you're idealistic and don't want to follow my reactionary march to totalitarian communism, then you don't have the right to speak."
It's not my way, as much as the only way that works.
Do you have that success story? No? Can you name some small gov't Countries? Yes. Successful ones? No.
So you are selling something you cannot deliver. STFU is rude, but I have no door to close in your face. The last "small gov" advocate I asked that of offered Qatar as you recall. Nothing like claiming a Gov't that Nationalized its oil industry like Socialist Venezuela as the "small gov't" success story.
So iwhether you like it or not, STFU, until you have something real to sell us.