In One Eye

Tuesday, October 18, 2005
It's with a heavy heart that I note that
General Motors Corp. reached a tentative pact Monday with the United Auto Workers union to reduce its healthcare costs by about $3 billion annually as the automaker unveiled plans to sell control of its profitable financing arm to raise cash ...

The agreement with the UAW would also slash GM's long-term healthcare liabilities for retirees by about $15 billion, or 25%, from its current level of more than $60 billion.
I know it's simplistic to yearn for the old days when labor unions had some clout and a giveback such as this one would never have even been imagined, much less countenanced. Nevertheless, while this agreement may be what's good for General Motors, it's certainly not good for the country's workers.

Meanwhile, more servitude is evident as
[a]lmost a quarter of the state's National Guard troops - about 1,000 in all - will be deployed in the next few months, most of them heading to Afghanistan, state Guard officials say.

Connecticut's Guard is seeing the return of its last troops from Iraq and for the first time may soon have no personnel in that conflict. But next year, it will make up about 5 percent of the U.S. force in Afghanistan, which currently totals more than 17,900.
Of course, we're assured that while
"1,000 is a pretty formidable number," [according to] Maj. Gen. Thaddeus Martin, leader of the state's Guard ... "We'll be OK with regard to being able to cover our state missions."
Are we to understand, then, that the state's National Guard is overstaffed? This seems hard to believe.

At any rate, given these two stories, it certainly seems as if the oligarchs have won.