Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Good News, Bad News

In its biggest foreign market, BMW gets skilled workers for less:

Image via Washington Post

But the price of having a more globally competitive workforce means more in the United States could fall well short of the middle-class living standards that manufacturing workers once could expect. Wages adjusted for inflation have declined for these workers since 2003.

At General Motors and Chrysler, new hires make $14 an hour, or half the amount that existing workers take home. Likewise, at the BMW plant, which is not unionized, new workers earn a little more than half of what those hired earlier make. Some still seemed stunned by their change of circumstances. But they are almost uniformly grateful for the opportunity.
Jobs are good. We need jobs and lots more of them. So, BMW outsourcing jobs to the US is indeed good news for unemployed Americans. But good luck having a middle class without unions.

Hey, as long as the wages on manufacturing jobs are being pushed down closer and closer to the minimum wage, maybe if we elect enough Republicans, we can do away with the minimum wage as well and have tons more jobs in the low single digit dollars per hour range?
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