If Romney's Going to Ship Auto Jobs to China, Some of Those Jobs Will Be Texas'

Categories: Schutze

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Do you have to be from Michigan to get what Mitt Romney's really all about? He repeats that stand-up-to-China line over and over again on the campaign trail to make himself look tough, but meanwhile Bain Capital, his own company, makes hundreds of millions in profits buying up American car-parts companies, shutting down their American plants and shipping all the work to China.

How tough is this for us here in Dallas/Fort Worth to figure out? Is it because we don't care about car parts here? Think again.

According to a recent report from the office of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, we here in Dallas/Fort Worth are living in the Little Detroit of Texas. Between GM, International and Peterbilt, we've got more car/truck manufacturing going on here than any other place in Texas. And Texas, by the way, is the sixth largest automotive manufacturing state in the nation.

What makes us think our own jobs won't all go straight to China when the Washington GOP machine gets its mitts on the nation's political machinery? You can blab all you want about the new globally interdependent economy and the need to be competitive: that's theory. People's jobs are food on the table, roof over the head, baby needs new shoes. That's different.

And by the way, that's why the Chinese pour billions into subsidies to their own auto industry in the form of free research, free land and other subsidies in violation of all our trade agreements, as a story in today's New York Times reports. China helps its own industries, while companies like Bain put the knife in the backs of ours.

You know how Romney has that habit of saying one thing on the campaign trail and another when he's in a room full of rich people? Out on the hustings he says he will beat up on that big bad China, but the Times dug up a quote from back when he was still running Bain.

Romney told a room full of bankers why China was so great. He said he had recently visited a factory in China where 5,000 workers were, quote, "working, working, working, as hard as they could, at rates of roughly 50 cents an hour."

Well, let's see here: in order to be competitive and globally interdependent here in Dallas, how many auto workers would have to take a cut in pay down to fifty cents an hour? We could get halfway there if everybody at GM Arlington, hourly and salaried, took a cut to half a buck. That's 2,500 people, according to the governor's report. Then we'd still need everybody at Peterbilt for the other 2,500.

But would that even do it? Even if we agreed to accept fifty cents an hour - a wage of twenty dollars a week - would that be enough to keep the Romney Bain Trust from shipping all our jobs to China? I have my doubts.

I keep looking at the phrase in what the real Romney had to say when he was talking to his banker brothers. "Working working working at rates of roughly 50 cents an hour." Wow, isn't that a pretty picture?

Do you get the same image I do when I read that? Working working working. I see people bent over their tasks scared shitless about getting fired, choking back hunger, worrying all day long about babies at home, no coal and and rain through the roof. I guess that's what some people call morale.

Look, we all know the world is much more globally interdependent than it used to be. We get that we have to be more competitive than we were in the fat years after World War II. That's kind of ancient history by now.

But in seeking solutions, what's your starting line? If you start out painting half the nation as slouches and painting yourself as the exact opposite of what you really are, what should we expect from you next?

This isn't about Detroit. It's about us. There's such a thing as our own self-interest here, and when we look at Romney - the real Romney - it's not even in the picture. In fact the real picture is downright scary.


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52 comments
misterbutton
misterbutton

@Dallas_Observer liberal fn media. Should stay out of politics. No1 reads ur mag for this crap #unfollow

amuse2
amuse2

Texas = China for unions... We are basically free labor versus Michigan.

James080
James080

You wrote:

 

Romney told a room full of bankers why China was so great. He said he had recently visited a factory in China where 5,000 workers were, quote, "working, working, working, as hard as they could, at rates of roughly 50 cents an hour."

 

Your source, the NY Time article you cited, read:

 

Bain’s interest in China dates to when Mr. Romney ran the firm. During a panel discussion at the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston in February 1998, he told of touring an appliance factory in China where 5,000 employees “were working, working, working, as hard as they could, at rates of roughly 50 cents an hour.”

 

Oddly, the NY Times article missed the part where Romney told the room full of bankers "why China was so great." The NY Times also failed to mention that any of Romney's brothers were there or worked at the Federal Reserve Bank.  The fact is, you adopted your own context and facts because they fit with your myopic view of Romney, conservatives and Republicans. The DMN editorial pages ran an opinion piece today that excused the president's poor debate performance, referencing "...Jonathan Haidt, a professor of ethical leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business (and an Obama supporter), [who] points out that liberals are more apt to hold inaccurate stereotypes about conservatives’ values than vice versa." You would make a fine case study in support of the professor theory. Of course I understand your motive, its much easier to vilify your opponent if you're allowed to create a false narrative and embellish the facts as you choose.

yeahIsaidthat
yeahIsaidthat

This is a 'what if' at this point, Rick Perry just cut the ribbon yesterday after getting a kiss from China and welcoming Huawei telecommunications company into Plano. Now Plano is 'world class'.

roo_ster
roo_ster

Uh, Romney doesn't run Bain anymore.

 

And not every company they bought or invested in ended up with its operations in China or was liquidated.  Some did/were.  Bette that than a gov't bailout for a poorly-managed company.

 

For the love of Pete, it is ignorant commentary like this that makes me want to yank the lever for Romney rather than chew my arm off.

anon
anon

Correct me if im wrong, but Bain has been taking over automotive parts mfgs, not automotive assembly plants. Texas has 3 assembly plants that I know of, and no mfg plants. 

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

The problem lies within the extreme ends of each party. On the left, it's "Romney hates America and will punish it's lazy citizens by closing factories and shipping jobs to China". On the right it's "Obama is a Muslim socialist bent on destroying our economy". Both are wildly inaccurate but hey, agenda trumps truth, right?

Edward
Edward

According to Romney and particularly Ryan, the workers in the auto industry are considered "takers", because they don't make enough to pay taxes that cancel out whatever they are getting as supposed freebies from the government. According to them, a family of 5 making $50K or so a year are "takers" and not "makers", because they probably don't pay income tax (due to child deductions, etc.)

 

It's a shame that Romney and Ryan have such disregard for the middle class. Yet those same middle class people will apparently continue to vote against their own best interests for some bizarre reasons. 

 

If they help Romney get elected they might not have jobs and they certainly won't have any pensions or retirement, their kids won't be able to afford to go to college since Pell grants will be cut, and they will have to try and figure out where to put grandma after she was kicked out of the nursing home due to Medicaid cuts...but by God they should be satisfied because women will have to go to Mexico for abortions (of which there will be more because birth control assistance will be cut) and Bob and Steve down the street won't be able to get married! Hallelujah!

Guest
Guest

Bullsh*t article..... Total nut case.........

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @James080 This narrative is not headed your way. Watch and learn.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @James080 Pretty weak, 080. I don't know who you think is on a panel at the federal reserve bank -- ballerinas? I don't know why you think he told the story -- as a criticism? But more important, is it your honest impression that Obama is a bad debater or doesn't know how to express himself? How about, instead of spending his time getting botoxed, coached and coiffed like Miss Mittens, he has a country to run and might have something a little more important on his mind?

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @AdultBabies I would, but I can't find my fucking cap with the little brass anchor thing.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @roo_ster Oh, no, Roo_ster, and the Obama camp was so counting on you to come around.

gmit
gmit

 @Edward Against their own best interest because the Republican window dressing of morality based on Jesus and hard work. The most brilliant marketing strategy of the 21st century 

TheJeremyAdams
TheJeremyAdams

 @Guest You obviously don't know that Mittens was the CEO of Bain Capital and that Bain Capital did and does make it's money by buying companies, firing their work force and starting the company up over seas.  You obviously don't know about Mitten's overseas bank account where he hides his money so that he doesn't have to "make" as much.  You obviously are under the impression that a capitalist has any thing on his mind other than making the $$$, you and your family be damned.

James080
James080

 @JimSX By "more important," you mean like preparing for The View or appearing on The Letterman Show? The point is you have no freaking idea of the context of Romney's comments at the Federal Reserve meeting.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @JimSX  @James080 his debate performance is hard to excuse.  He could have, should have pointed out his shifting position; pleading ignorance, as Obama had studied up on Romney's previous statements; should have had Romney flesh out his proposal and describe it.  "Of course my higher tax arguments would have been quite effective, but he would have had to do more background work on that. 

roo_ster
roo_ster

 @JimSX Heh.  BHO would never get my vote, but Romney has yet to earn it.  Beating BHO like a red-headed stepchild last week helped, though.  The question for me is, "Do I despise BHO and the Obamherroids more than I like Gary Johnson?" 

anon
anon

It is not profiable to ship assembly plant jobs for tundra trucks, Peterbuilt trucks and escalades that are greared toward and mostly sold in the US. Im sure the shipping costs and import tarrifs would wash out your labor profit. Therfore accusations are incorrect and unfounded.

Edward
Edward

 @gmit You are being sarcastic, right?

 

I haven't seen a whole lot of Jesus in the current Republican Party. And not too much about hard work, because the Republicans don't mention anything about hard workers, they just talk about glorified job creators.

 

If you are actually a hard worker, the Republican Party doesn't care that much for you. They most definitely don't think you should get a pension after working hard your whole life, and they apparently don't think you even deserve Social Security or any health care once you retire from working hard your whole life.

 

As for Jesus, he didn't say anything about gays or abortion, but he sure said a lot about taking care of the needy and less fortunate, about doing unto others, about praying in private, etc. But if you listen to the current Republican Party, the ONLY "religious" things they talk about are gays, abortion, and leaving behind on the side of the road anyone who isn't a C-level executive.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @TheJeremyAdams  @Guest Though I'd argue that what I'm arguing for is "Capitalism"  What the low tax, supply side economy has become is "financialization"  We pay a 40% tax to finance, as they consume 40% of our economy, up from 15% they were from the post war era to Reagan, when his low tax policies grew this menace.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @TheJeremyAdams  @Guest Call it what it is, they liquidate companies.  Higher capital gains make it more expensive to do this, and reward owning and maintaining that capital through depreciation, which is credited at the cap gains rate.  Low income tax rates ensure the executives profit from this liquidation, through bonuses and outsized pay. 

 

Higher top marginal rates and higher capital gains would serve as a stimulus for our economy.  Our effective corporates tax rates are lower than all industrialized nations except Mexico and Chile.  Yet, we have vast numbers of consumers who firms will bend over backwards to serve.  Why we'd emulate the policies of 3rd world nations and backwaters rather than looking at Germany and other productive, advanced nations. 

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @James080 Well, heck, 080, just Google "Romney sweatshop."

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @James080 Or here... search for "outsourcing"

James080
James080

 @JimSX MSNBC? Really? Really? Why don't I shuffle over to FOX and find something with which to retort?

James080
James080

 @JimSX You didn't even bother to read your own citation. I did. It doesn't support your narrative either. Keep looking.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @RTGolden1  @JimSX  @James080 Glenn Greenwald had a great article today describing first how Romney's foreign policy differs in no substantive way from Obama.  Further, Obama stated that he an Romney don't differ on Social Security--Obama negotiated to cut Social Security so this is more true that he'd let on.  So, their policies don't differ appreciably, but both parties declare that the other would mean the end of the world.  They hypocrisy is nauseating. 

James080
James080

 @RTGolden1  @JimSX  @scottindallas Joe Biden also opined that Obama was nice and clean...

 

And MSNBC's Chris Matthews claimed the president couldn't speak publically without a teleprompter.

James080
James080

 @JimSX  @scottindallas You're inventing your own narrative again. I am not a Republican. And I thought both candidates were effective in the television event we call the "presidential debate." I was merely criticizing you for (once again) misquoting and misrepresenting source, as usual ripped from the pages of the NY Times.  And I was pointing out that you, as most liberal are prone to do, cling to inaccurate stereotypes about conservatives.......or anyone who doesn't buy in to your leftist dogma. Watch and learn my ass. Hahahaha.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @JimSX  @scottindallas  @James080 Life imitates life.  For 8 years we had the democrats claiming Bush was both a diabolically evil mastermind and a bumbling oaf.

 

And for the record, one of the FIRST to publicly express surprise at how a black man could sound so polished and sophisticated was... TA DAAAAAA: Joe Biden.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @scottindallas  @James080 For four years the old white people party has been talking about how Obama must have secret teleprompters because how else could a black guy be so smart? Now he has one bad debate, proving he's smart but human, and they're already planning Romney's coronation. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @JimSX  @AdultBabies  @scottindallas Conversely, it is also the most economically stagnated segment of our economy.  Since.  forever.  Although I don't quite see how that dichotomy can be placed at Liberals' feet.

I know you didn't bring it up Jim, but I also can't see how this line of commentary can further the discussion.  It's only going to bring the knuckle-draggers out with story after story of copy-pasted news stories that have nothing to do with the subject at hand.

 

One interesting note though, most of the manufacturing plants for new auto parts are in Mexico.  So, if Bain bought them out and shipped those jobs to China, it would increase the Republicans fourth-favorite whipping boy: illegal immigration.  After all, those newly unemployed Mexicans would have to find work somewhere.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @AdultBabies  @scottindallas You mean the most upwardly mobile segment of our society since passage of the Voting Rights Act?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @roo_ster  @JimSX not to defend Obama, but Romney just repudiated everything he's been saying.  How can his debate performance encourage anyone who's thoughtful--and you are?  What good is a revenue neutral tax cut?  What's the thinking there?   Lowering and flattening rates hurts manufacturers and capital intensive production in favor of financialism, corporate execs and professionals.  Small businesses and entrepreneurs fare better under higher top marginal tax rates, as none of these rates affect most in effective rates, though the difference in nominal tax rates and effective rates is essentially the discount for all deductible expenses.  Romney's proposals will hurt capital intensive production, and make us more and more a service economy with a very rich and small plutocracy.  Obama is only fractionally better

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @JimSX  @anon I will admit to being one of those 'market influences' who prefers great big 4x4 trucks to dinky little smart cars.  Due to somewhat shifty economic circumstances I had to compromise and drive an 18yr old Ford Ranger POS.  It's still a truck, but so small I gotta make two trips to haul ass.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @JimSX  @anon I thought he was caught by his girlfriend, banging her adopted, barely legal daughter?  Oh, wait, that was real life.  Sorry.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @RTGolden1  @anon Good idea except the market prefers big fat shit covered with bling.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @anon From the events of 2006-2008, I'd say it isn't very profitable to assemble those tundras and escalades here either.  The auto industry is a perfect, long-term example supporting scott's higher marginal tax rates.  With higher marginals it would have been more economically lucrative to reinvest profits into company infrastructure and product development.  The big 3 would have had every incentive to modernize their assembly plants for efficiency and to develop and produce more efficient lines of autos.  It also would have made it more feasible to keep parts manufacturers in business on-shore and made it more difficult for companies like Bain to dissect and cannibalize companies.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @James080  @JimSX  @anon Wright and Ayers aren't bankrolling Obama's campaign.  Romney has a skewed view of business, and doesn't appreciate what's best for manufacturing or the middle class.  Many CEO's of manufacturers also suffer this parallax.

James080
James080

 @JimSX  @anon Presidential candidates ditch their old friends all the time. Just ask Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers. Use 'em, then lose 'em.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

 @anon You make a good point on assembly plants versus stuff-making plants. For me the real issue is still Romney acting like he's Mr. Anti-China when in fact he's in bed with them. It's like the Woody Allen scene where Allen, caught en flagrante with another women in his bed, simply insists there is no one there until his befuddled wife finally believes him. 

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @anon But, you must admit that higher top marginal rates and higher capital gains would make these firms more profitable than the low tax, voodoo/trickle down economics that has liquidated the US manufacturing base, and the middle class along with it.

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