[lbo-talk] Junkyard dog hits Motown

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Wed May 16 12:38:39 PDT 2007

On May 15, 2007, at 7:54 PM, Jim Straub wrote:

> I think it is true that a fight directed at the larger financial
> instiutions
> involved might help (I recall reading that in the 76 NYC crisis the
> powers
> that be were most disturbed and agitated at some early raucous
> demos that
> happened on wall street and outside the banks themselves--- a
> tactic that
> was dropped by the union leadership)

A march on Wall Street made more political sense in that situation because the banks had been rolling over NYC debt as if nothing was wrong - even though they knew the city was borrowing to pay routing operating expenses and getting deeper in the hole - until they finally decided to pull the plug. An organized default would have been the righteous thing to do. In the case of the US auto industry, though, the problem isn't really Wall Street - it's that management has run the industry into the ground.

Motor vehicle mfg has the second-highest multiplier of any of the 130 or so industries the BEA publishes estimates for (behind "animal production"): 2.89, meaning that every $1 spent in the car biz results in another $1.89 in spending in other industries. Cf. postindustrial pursuits like lawyering (1.45), real estate (1.51), computer systems design (1.57), advertising (1.63), and hospitals (1.81).


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