Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cars, Suits & Salaries

Now that the election is over it seems the news has returned with many things of interest, let's start with the Big 3.

I'm talking about America's long troubled car manufacturers and their need for a government bailout. Here's one place where I think EVERYONE should turn a cold shoulder to their pleas for help and here's why. First, it is a rare situation where both the company and their employees are to blame, but this is the case here. The companies have refused to innovate and change to accommodate the changing market of better fuel efficiency, smaller vehicles and hybrid technology. If you'd believe it some of the first mass produced electric cars were made by GM and systematically killed off by the company one by one. If you don't believe me rent "Who killed the electric car". Add on top of that their need to build bigger SUVs, trucks and just plain UGLY cars and there's no wonder why sales are down. As for the employees, the United Auto Workers and other automotive unions has basically made it impossible for these companies to change their employment practices to adapt to their losing market share. Auto workers pay no deductible or copay for their health plans, and even in the face of total market meltdown, union leaders refuse to budge.

The second piece of news is the fact that over a half a million people applied for unemployment LAST WEEK! And as a result, the need for the "interview suit" is on the rise. Check out the article in the NYtimes about what works in 2008 as you head to your interviews. I personally am not a fan of suits. I find them quite constricting, but I do believe it is one piece that should never be skimped on. No suits from Target! Outlets and sales are the best places to find designer brands at good prices, plus never underestimate the use of a good tailor!

Finally, one of my favorite subjects- public education- is back in the news. Washington D.C. public school's 38 year old chancellor has proposed giving huge bonuses and salary raises for teachers if they agree to giving up some of their hold on tenure. Salaries could more than double, giving teachers 6 figures! Believe it or not for all the complaints about not being paid enough and not being able to recruit good teachers because of pay, this plan is being rejected in favor of the assurance that they will not be fired. If you think that tenure isn't such a bad thing, ask students about their teachers in schools no one wants to work at- typically low-performing, extremely large (pop. over 3,000 students), structurally unsound, and in crime-ridden neighborhoods- about the quality of the education they receive on a daily basis. Many of these teachers exist because of tenure, they were discarded by other, better schools and since they cannot be fired they end up living out their days until retirement- meanwhile the graduation rate of LAUSD hovers at around 50%. Or just ask my bearded friend he knows all to well about the havoc tenure creates.

1 comment:

toeknee said...

You better have some kick ass story to tell after you come back from D.C., having been neglecting this blog for this long.