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Letter of the Day: Two-sided equation

  • (NICK ANDERSON / Houston Chronicle)

Two-sided equation

EDITOR: All too often, George F. Will's columns are one-sided hit pieces that should shame a Ph.D in history from Princeton. Will long ago moved beyond shame.

Will lays the entire blame for the problems of the U.S. auto industry and the city of Detroit on organized labor, the UAW in particular (“Breaking the unions' grip on cars in America,” Thursday). There are two problems with this “analysis.” First, the German auto industry is unionized. He does not address at all why that auto industry is a world leader though totally unionized. Second, it took labor and management to create the Detroit situation.

There is a parallel with the public employee pension mess in California and Sonoma County. Elected leaders made outrageous wage and benefit concessions with no concern for the consequences. Their concern was the next election. Auto company managers, eyes on quarterly profits and stock prices, had no concern about the long-term effects of giving in to union demands.

Unions, in the U.S. tradition, demand whatever they can get. It is the role of managers, public and private, to protect the long-range viability of their institutions. When they don't, we are in grave danger of corporate collapses and government bankruptcies.

ANDREW P. GROSE

Cloverdale

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