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Obama's auto czar wishes he could have pushed more into poverty

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It's assholes like that need to be kept far away from the political system. Unfortunately the Obama administration has a history of staying with the same old crowd who promote the same old stories and protect the same old people. Steven Rattner surely would have loved to cut more salaries to the bone to please his Wall Street buddies but that doesn't do much for an economy that is supposed to be reliant on consumer spending. If workers are all stuck at or near the minimum wage, who is going to buy the GM cars or other products? We're not going to progress as a society if we keep moving in the direction of a Banana Republic where there is no middle class. Eliminating jerks like Rattner from any decision making or involvement would be a really good start. Instead of talking about change, we need political leadership that actually implements change.

Former auto czar and wealthy Wall Street financier Steven Rattner told a luncheon in Detroit on Thursday that while the $50 billion GM bailout was successful, "we should have asked the UAW to do a bit more. We did not ask any UAW member to take a cut in their pay." He also said that "friends on Wall Street" were concerned by GM's earnings and communications with the market, pushing the stock down to a level that would lose the goverment $14 billion if it sold its shares today. Meanwhile, at General Motors' Orion Township, Mich., plant about 45 minutes away from where Rattner spoke, there are three tiers of hourly workers. Roughly 900 workers at the top tier, the most senior UAW workers, make $29 an hour, a rate unchanged since 2008. Another 500 or so UAW workers are paid about $16 an hour — a rate, adjusted for inflation, equal to the famed $5 a day Henry Ford started paying his workers in 1914. And at the bottom scale are 200-odd workers technically employed by an outside supplier but who work in the plant moving parts to the assembly line, jobs once done by GM workers paid $29 an hour. The contractors' pay: $9 an hour with no health care, a rate which over a year's work would leave them below the poverty level for a family of four.
USA #1.

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