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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press More Class Hatred at the Washington Post

More Class Hatred at the Washington Post

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Saturday, 18 September 2010 07:49

Most of the elite have contempt for the portion of the American population that does not have at least 6-figure incomes, however the Washington Post stands out in its willingness to express this contempt so openly. Back in the fall of 2008, when the government was crafting bailouts worth tens of millions of dollars to the likes of Robert Rubin, Lloyd Blankfein, and other well-connected Wall Street types, the Post was frothing at the idea that the government might help protect the jobs of autoworkers earning $27 an hour.

This contempt was fully visible again today when the Post ran an editorial complaining that UAW members who were employees of Delphi, GM's former auto parts division, would get their full pensions. By contrast, the editorial complained that Delphi's management personnel had their pension plan taken over by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) and as a result would get just "pennies on the dollar."

We all know how infuriating it must be to the Post that ordinary working people might get pensions that can sustain a middle class living standard, but they are entitled to their class hatred. However the "pennies on the dollar" claim is more than a bit of a stretch. The PBGC guarantees a benefit of up to $4,500 a month for a worker retiring at age 65. That may be "pennies on the dollar" in Washington Post land, but it's more than most of the rest of us can expect to live on in retirement.

It's true that workers who retire at younger ages will likely take substantial hits on their pension, but this is more likely to be an issue for UAW members who do manual labor on the factory floor than the management personnel who hold desk jobs. The latter are certainly better positioned to work into their 60s than the former.

Comments (8)Add Comment
...
written by izzatzo, September 18, 2010 9:49
http://www.counterpunch.org/cooke09152010.html

Lobbyists as ex-Congress members don't work for unions. With starting salaries of $300k in a $3B plus industry of 13,000, they can't afford it.
...
written by AndrewDover, September 18, 2010 2:44
All managers are salaried. But not all salaried employees are managers.

Do you join the UAW in support of the Delphi salaried employees claim for more than the PBGC amounts or not?

If not, why did the UAW pensions get better treatment?
The failure of the capitalist command economy has not only destroyed our democracy, but also destroyed our environment.
written by Scott ffolliott, September 18, 2010 5:17
Through the fancy names that have been given the unbridled capitalist to gain our acceptance of him over the last sixty or more years in the age of the “cold war” or permanent war society, we have succumbed to a different style command economy and thus to the same kind of decline that befell the Soviet economy
The failure of the capitalist command economy has not only destroyed our democracy, but also destroyed our environment.
Many Delphi non-union people were not managers
written by FuturePundit, September 19, 2010 7:00
Your dichotomy appears to be thus:

- Evil managers representing the capitalists.
- Good union workers representing the proletariat.

News flash: A lot of those UAW people were making more money than assorted salaried people doing clerical and technical jobs. Outside of the UAW factories there were various kinds of engineers, software developers, purchasing agents, accountants, customer service reps, and many other types of workers.

The UAW played a big role in running Delphi into the ground. Then they got unique treatment due to political influence.

If you do not know people who worked around the UAW people then you are ignorant as to what really happened. Ask some engineers who had to deal with the UAW when fixing factories. They'll rage. It is not like that in Japan. Again, ask engineers who work there. The Japanese factory workers worked with management to make processes better rather than fighting the improvements. That's because of single company unions.
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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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