Archive for the ‘labor’ Category

Mitt Romney Says: Let Detroit Go Bankrupt

November 19, 2008

IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.

Published by The New York Times
November 19, 2008

I love cars, American cars. I was born in Detroit, the son of an auto chief executive. In 1954, my dad, George Romney, was tapped to run American Motors when its president suddenly died. The company itself was on life support — banks were threatening to deal it a death blow. The stock collapsed. I watched Dad work to turn the company around — and years later at business school, they were still talking about it. From the lessons of that turnaround, and from my own experiences, I have several prescriptions for Detroit’s automakers.

First, their huge disadvantage in costs relative to foreign brands must be eliminated. That means new labor agreements to align pay and benefits to match those of workers at competitors like BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota. Furthermore, retiree benefits must be reduced so that the total burden per auto for domestic makers is not higher than that of foreign producers.

That extra burden is estimated to be more than $2,000 per car. Think what that means: Ford, for example, needs to cut $2,000 worth of features and quality out of its Taurus to compete with Toyota’s Avalon. Of course the Avalon feels like a better product — it has $2,000 more put into it. Considering this disadvantage, Detroit has done a remarkable job of designing and engineering its cars. But if this cost penalty persists, any bailout will only delay the inevitable.

Second, management as is must go. New faces should be recruited from unrelated industries — from companies widely respected for excellence in marketing, innovation, creativity and labor relations.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/
19romney.html?_r=1&hp

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Capitalism, fiscal woes; contempt for economic liberty

November 9, 2008

There has always been contempt for economic liberty. Historically, our nation was an important, not complete, exception. It took the calamity of the Great Depression to bring about today’s level of restrictions on economic liberty. Now we have another government-created calamity that has the prospect of moving us even further away from economic liberty with the news media and pundits creating the perception that the current crisis can be blamed on capitalism.

We see comments such as those in the New York Times: “The United States  has a culture that celebrates laissez-faire capitalism as the economic ideal.” Or, “For 30 years, the nation’s political system has been tilted in favor of business deregulation and against new rules.” Another says, “Since 1997, Mr. Brown [the British prime minister] has been a powerful voice behind the Labor Party’s embrace of an American-style economic philosophy that was light on regulation.”

By Walter E. Williams
The Washington Times

First, let’s establish what laissez-faire capitalism is. Broadly defined, it is an economic system based on private ownership and control over of the means of production. Under laissez-faire capitalism, government activity is restricted to the protection of the individual’s rights against fraud, theft and the initiation of physical force.

Professor George Reisman has written a very insightful article on his blog titled “The Myth that Laissez Faire Is Responsible for Our Financial Crisis.” (http://georgereisman.com/blog/2008/10/myth-that-laissez-faire-is-respo nsible.html) You can decide whether we have an unregulated laissez-faire economy. There are 15 Cabinet departments, nine of which control various aspects of the U.S. economy. They are the Departments of: Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Education, Energy, Labor, Agriculture, Commerce and Interior. In addition, there is the alphabet soup cluster of federal agencies such as: the IRS, the FRB and FDIC, the EPA, FDA, SEC, CFTC, NLRB, FTC, FCC, FERC, FEMA, FAA, CAA, INS, OHSA, CPSC, NHTSA, EEOC, BATF, DEA, NIH and NASA.

Here’s my question to you: Can one be sane and at the same time hold that ours is an unregulated laissez-faire economy? Better yet, tell me what a businessman, or for that matter you, can do that does not involve some kind of government regulation.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov
/09/capitalism-and-fiscal-woes/

Vietnam and Qatar sign labor co-operation pact

January 11, 2008

From Nhan Dan (Vietnamese Communist State News Service)
January 11, 2008

Vietnam and Qatar signed a labour co-operation agreement in Hanoi on January 11, launching a new phase in bilateral ties in labour and social affairs.

The agreement was inked by Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Qatar Minister of labour and State Social Affairs Sultan Bin Hassan Al-Dhabit Al-Dosari.

The Qatar government has licensed its businesses to recruit an additional 25,000 Vietnamese workers besides the current 10,000. The country plans to increase the number of Vietnamese guest workers to 100,000 within the next three years.

“As Vietnam is open its embassy in Qatar soon, we will assign an attaché in charge of coordinating with the local authorities in managing Vietnamese workers,” Minister Ngan said.

Before the signing ceremony, the two ministers held talks to discuss in details issues related to labour co-operation, particularly vocational training for Vietnamese workers, and the management and protection of their interests in Qatar .

Later on the day, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung gave a reception to the visiting Qatar labour minister.

He told the guest that labour co-operation is the shortest way for the two countries to boost their cooperation and expand trade and investment and attain higher economic growths.

“The labour cooperation agreement will provide a full and close legal framework for the sending of Vietnamese workers to Qatar ,” Deputy PM Hung said.

He emphasised that the two sides need to collaborate in training Vietnamese workers not only in professional skills, but also in the language, culture and customs and the law of Qatar.

Marriage Brokering Booms in Vietnam

September 6, 2007

In Vietnam, an increasing number of young women are now marrying foreigners through marriage brokers. Last year, more than 10,000 Vietnamese women married men from South Korea alone. But the marriages are often ploys for cheap labor and abuse.

Link here and listen:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14204638&ft=1&f=1004