Last week in the New York Times, G.M. Stands Automaking on Its Head the article is about how GM is "bringing jobs back to America." How the Sonic will be the first sub-compact built in the United States since, well they don't say since when, but my guess is since the Pinto.
"Great," you say...well, hold on. There is a caveat to this car and these jobs.
The radically revamped factory here operates with fewer and cheaper workers, many of whom are paid $14 an hour rather than the full U.A.W. wage of $28 an hour.
$14 an hour...why $14 an hour?The U.A.W. tried to persuade the Ford Motor Company to build the Fiesta subcompact in the United States. But Ford chose a plant in Mexico, where the combined wages and benefits of a production worker total less than $10 an hour. By contrast, a full-wage union member in the United States costs G.M. close to $60 an hour. Even an entry-level wage employee costs about $30 an hour in wages and benefits.
Free trade is why those UAW workers are making $14 an hour. Now $14 an hour equates to a $29,120 a year. To be considered in poverty a family of four has to earn less than $22,350 a year. So a job at the Orion plant is just a little outside of poverty wages. I am not sure I would consider someone earning $29,120 a year to even be middle class...that is working poor. Yes, you have a job, you do not have to be on public assistance; however, you really have no additional money to save for retirement, it is doubtful that you can even afford to take your family out to dinner on occasion on those wages.
The United States used to be a leader in the world; however, the greed of a few has started a race to the bottom. Instead of other countries looking to us in awe of our standard of living and trying to catch up to us - our corporate benefactors look at countries like Mexico and wonder how we can get down to their standard of living.
The final paragraph of the article frightens me for our future,
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