Biden on the picket line: time to watch American Factory again

Loyal readers may recall my review of the Academy Award-winning documentary American Factory. After a Chinese glass manufacturer has been gulled into investing $500+ million in pre-Biden money, all of the Democrats in the region, including Senator Sherrod Brown, show up to exhort the workers to unionize and extract higher wages from the foreign chumps.

“Biden to become first sitting US president to appear on picket line at UAW strike” (The Guardian):

Joe Biden will become the first sitting US president to appear on a picket line on Tuesday, making an appearance in Michigan in an effort to show solidarity with striking members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which is locked in an escalating dispute with America’s three biggest carmakers.

Biden’s trip is designed to burnish his self-proclaimed credentials as the most union-friendly president in US history and possibly also to earn the explicit backing of the UAW, which has yet to endorse his bid for re-election.

Biden voiced support for the strike by Ford, General Motors and Stellantis workers, which was entering its 12th day on Tuesday, and had announced he was dispatching his labour secretary, Julie Su, and Gene Sperling, a senior White House adviser, to help the union reach a settlement with company bosses.

In other words, this is a Presidential version of what is shown in the movie with, if memory serves, members of Congress and the governor. Will I be taking my own advice and watching the movie again in honor of our muscular leader? No. I canceled my Netflix subscription after the 2nd or 3rd price increase during what we are informed is a period of near-zero inflation.


23 thoughts on “Biden on the picket line: time to watch American Factory again

  1. For these workers to get a raise, we would need to print a few billion trillion & launch all houses to space. It’s not like there’s a separate interest rate for car loans & houses.

  2. You just posted the other day about how the incompetent management at the UAW auto companies has been giving away any marginal profit due to excess demand to car dealerships for the last few years. (Factoid: car dealerships as a group are very active contributors to local and congressional political races; FWIW, politicians love them/follow the money) You can’t be the only person to have noticed this. Between the fact that there are apparently lots of unclaimed profits to be had in the marketplace, and near-runaway inflation, wouldn’t it be stupid for the auto workers not be clamoring for a bigger piece of the pie?
    If I were a baker and you had told me that recently my cakes had been selling for double their usual price without much complaint, I’d think this was a good time to ask for a big raise.

    • SuperMike: Absolutely! I don’t think that any of the folks involved are acting irrationally. As long as there is the 25 percent “chicken tax” on trucks, the Detroit 3 are substantially insulated from foreign competition and should generate huge profits that any self-respecting union organizer should try to transfer into his/her/zir/their members’ pockets. There is some point at which the automakers can move the factories to Mexico (copy what the Russians did during World War II, moving factories east!) and make trucks that aren’t subject to the chicken tax (NAFTA makes Mexican-produced vehicles exempt). So the UAW should rationally try to take every dime up to the point where the Detroit automakers would shut down all U.S. production.

      Joe Biden is obviously acting rationally, like any other professional politician. And the auto executives, in giving away huge sums to the UAW, would also be acting rationally. They may destroy their firms in the long run, but they’ll avoid the short-term pain of moving production to Mexico that would reduce near-term revenue/profits/bonus. We saw this before with GM. The executives optimized for their own compensation and ignored costs that were imposed on later CEOs. The company went bust and the taxpayers were tapped to pay workers’ health care and pensions.

      (The latter point means the UAW doesn’t have to worry about the long-term health of the Detroit 3. If the contract is so fat that it drives the companies into bankruptcy during the next recession or financial crisis, the taxpayers can be relied on to insulate the union members from any loss.)

  3. Wondering if for his visit Uncle Joe brought along on his large jet plane a couple hundred of his recently anointed new citizens (formerly Venezuelans) to make introductions with the UAW?

  4. Thank goodness Joe is all over this!
    Alex Berenson
    Sep 24





    Why are you not grateful?

    ’s fault!

  5. I too was thinking about The Factory and also that I would have watched it again had I not cancelled my subscription to Netflix because like Detroit it makes a crappy product at an inflated price. The Prez and the unions want to return to the good old days when there were strikes every year, incompetent management and unmotivated workers would agree to split the pie and the consumer was left with a dismal product until the Japanese were permitted to import cars, which thankfully saved the consumer while decimating the US auto industry. The best strategy of Biden, the unions and management is to give the workers a lucrative contract, raise auto prices commensurately and screw the consumers with import barriers that can be gussied up inside a green new deal.

  6. “Dr” Phil:
    You are always claiming “…what we are informed is a period of near-zero inflation…”

    Where is this? I read a few economic/financial articles on CNBC, NYTimes, and WaPo today and exactly zero claimed there is near-zero inflation.

    I suspect this is a standard made-up reality by right-wing media that has suckered you in e.g. “they want open borders” “they want to take your guns” “they are making up the Russia-Trump connection” “there were mostly families with strollers at Jan 6” “billionaires are suffering”

  7. I click on your link and see $2.72 per gallon at the local Walmart — including chocolate milk for the same price! My bad — $0.03 difference.

    • Your link shows milk at $3.84 in 2022, so the Inflation Reduction Act has worked! Only $2.72 today, therefore -29% inflation in one year!

      I just searched IND-LAX for next week Oct 4-11. $186 round trip on one of the full-fare airlines across the country with one week notice.

      To see prices triple you must be buying tickets between the idle-rich playgrounds: JAC-ASE.

    • Mike: The link compares Walmart to Walmart. That price has gone up 97%. The US government site takes an average across all retailers and that price is up 31 percent (see above). You’ve come up with a different number by comparing the Walmart price for one year to the average of all retailers price for a different year.

    • Mike, now I see over $4.00 for one gallon (128 fl oz) of whole milk, Wall Mart brand (True Value). Local supermarket counter prices hit over $6.00. Saying that I see that listing at my link changed, when I queried it first it had $3.78 per gallon of 2% milk which I do not see now. Can you share your link?

  8. Biden spent 12 minutes on the picket line before jetting off to Silicon Valley to raise money. Way to go Lunch Bucket Joe!

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