$73 an Hour: Adding It Up
NYT, December 9, 2008


Category: Bailouts, Digital Media, Markets

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

10 Responses to “$73 an Hour?”

  1. Dow says:

    When the top makes bad business decisions, it’s the bottoms fault.

    Excerpts from Union questions auto execs’ pay packages, By Sharon Silke Carty, USA TODAY, 10/10/2007

    Ford’s new CEO, Alan Mulally, got $27.8 million in salary and bonus in his first few months on the job, including an $18.5 million signing bonus.

    Toyota’s top 37 executives earned a combined $21.6 million in salary and bonuses, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. At Honda, the top 21 earned $11.1 million, combined, in salary and bonuses, SEC filings show.

  2. Brendan says:

    Finally a newspaper this somewhat straight. This $71/$73/round-up-to-$80 per hour BS is getting really old. I can only assume they didn’t break down the “new hires” costs because then it might show something that doesn’t fit their narrative, like perhaps new hires straight wages being less than Toyota. But at least this is a start.

    When someone asks how much you make, whether hourly or salary, who includes the severance package the guy before them got, or the cost of head hunter who found you, or includes the numerical cost of the benefits they receive, etc.? No one, yet this is essentially what’s being done. In most circles, you say how much you make – excluding overtime – and say “plus benefits” if you have benefits. In other words, Ford equals $29/hour plus overtime and benefits and Toyota equals $26/hour plus overtime and benefits. So really, the American auto industry was brought down by $3/hour wage difference? Yes, there is a legacy cost problem, but no that’s not a wage problem. Why was a number including the cost of some other guys pay EVER an acceptable number to use outside of the spin machine talk shows? It’s one thing for Rush Limbaugh to spew this slant, but when network news and newspapers do, is it just makes my head spin. And newspapers wonder why they’re failing. It’s taken two months for one member of the forth branch to get this sorta’ right, and it took me about two minutes to figure this out on the internet. Why read a newspaper that can’t spend two minutes doing research when the facts are a click away.

    And also, good point Dow.

  3. Urkel says:

    Good post Dow. Sadly, yet another fact of the auto industry disaster that NO ONE in the mainstream media or political sphere ever discuss when comparing the US with the Japanese.

    The kissing up and kicking down culture continues. Media tells the public who to kick and the public performs the deed. ClusterF@$#K to the poor house indeed.

  4. me says:

    It occurs to me that fixing health care would cure a lot of problems for a lot of retirees, not just those that used to work at the Big Three. Also, those are funny numbers. The Big Three do not sit down every year and write out or put aside that much money for retiree health care.

  5. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    Somehow this got reposted, but wages are going down next year. Carmakers, shoemakers, breadmakers…


    FedEx to cut wages in face of downturn


    Pros Say: Prepare for a Decade of Falling Prices

    (None of this is “new” to anyone who has followed the blog sites…it is just new to MSM (Main Street Morons?)….

    Early weekend…wheeeeeeeeeee!

  6. Greg0658 says:

    chart needs another column – auto built in China – and shipped to America
    (include security over pirated seas and shipping oil prices)

    on another thread – posters offered up the Chinese laborer works for $1000 to $2000 A YEAR
    that probably coincides with our minimum wage at $8 and an ok scale of $16 AN HOUR

    a region of shading should include Corporate Profits the shareholders will share
    all the displaced American workers can invest in the stock market from their homes
    replace’g lost income – What a Great Country

  7. usphoenix says:

    This chart obviously is structured to draw the eye to that eye-popping $16.

    Every corporate and government exec is going to make the poor retiree the scapegoat, while they bank their billions. The stage is being set for a major generational social conflict. Not pretty. And definitely not a way out.

    Bill Clinton, Mr Corporate Buddy Republican in Democrat’s clothing, started it with the CPI, and wanted to do more to cut benefits, but AARP squash that, and I’d like to think I helped (go to USPhoenix.net and look for Population Problem?).

    I really shouldn’t get into how corporations have been pumping pension funds for all their worth – e.g., check for articles on how Lucent execs used pension fund withdrawals to juice their bonuses even as the wheels were coming off.

    The fact is pension funds, as well as Social Security, are supposed to be fully funded at retirement, and should not even be a topic for conversation. Forgetting the Feds spent it all and left a lot of IOUs lying around.

    And that leaves healthcare, God help us all. But retirees have been squeezed on that for decades – lots of broken promises. They encourage early retirement to pay someone less for the same job and then renege on promises. Perhaps the UAW has avoided that. But it should be off the table as a deciding issue.

    Post mortems don’t cure the patient. But the American promise, trust, and hope is crumbling. Trust no one. No credit. Bank it today. Because tomorrow you could be left holding your hat in your hand.

  8. Greg0658 says:

    watching CNBC today I heard the term “wage parity” discussing the north south wage scales

    so if someone is designing the China column – I forgot another shaded region ie import tarrifs

    controlling forces will push for wage parity of east west
    gotta save the bureaucracy

  9. DavidB says:

    I’ll bet if you took the average auto worker’s salary and factored in the true cost of inflation since 1950 they’d still have lost money. Whereas I doubt the CEO’s would have

    The problem is not the wages(primarily) the problem is that the auto makers used their profit over the years to lever up their businesses instead of using their cash flow to lower the cost of doing business for themselves and get debt free. Add to that the bankers inflation priced into every product we consume and the ‘average wage’ has to borrow money for what should be a utility product. So you have the bankers sucking the blood of the industry on both ends and we wonder why there is a correction in the prices. Well, someone has to pay the banker’s cut! If the workers, executives and customers aren’t willing to do with a little less then how are the bankers going to put their kids through the most expensive universities on the planet?

    Why doesn’t the price of a car equal the price of a computer? Once upon a time you could get either for about the same price and while both have experienced huge upgrades in their technology it appears that the average person can buy a computer for(relative) pocket change but they can’t buy a new car without the blessing of a banker

    One of the glaring differences is that computer manufacturers don’t have honking huge debt loads on their balance sheets which have to be paid by the customers. It is about time the borrow to run a business philosophy was thrown in the garbage can where it belongs. It already has been at places like Google, MSFT and INTC and those are only, what, cutting edge companies(I know, I know folks, hold your shoes and humor me on the cutting edge part)? Borrow to run looks like a formula for failure if you ask me.

  10. @usphoenix

    To our benevolent leaders,

    Beware broken seniors with guns. They have very little to lose. When someone has worked an entire lifetime honestly and diligently only to see it all taken away by someone else’s irresponsible behavior, that can breed an awful lot of anger when the shock wears off.

    This is not a threat, this is the typical, logical, blog member extrapolation. Some might call it karma, justice, reap what you sow. It’s the type of thing that is designed to keep us all honest when we are truly thinking about the future consequences of our actions and not just thinking about ‘what’s in it for me’

    Just remember folks, a little humility and compassion is going to go a long way going forward

    Justice is like a rat. It can get into your food in miraculous ways, as the Madoff example shows, when it is hungry enough. As a matter of fact I’m predicting someone will off Bernie

    ….and for the next round of leaders, being built as we speak, watch and learn