Tuesday, November 23, 2004

So how do we stand on the balance of interests between big business and the little guy? A couple of case studies.

Let's start with General Motors. A few months ago, they discovered that the suspension system of the 2004 Saturn Vue collapsed during rollover testing. They quickly promised to recall and fix all the affected cars. Which they will, if the owner knows enough to ask for the fix. If the owner's don't know, the policy is apparently that what they don't know won't hurt GM:

G.M. has continued to sell 2004 models of the Vue from its dealer lots -probably more than 10,000 in the last three months. Most of the S.U.V.'s were not fixed before they were sold. To date, G.M. has fixed only a few thousand of the quarter-million existing Vue models because it takes time to procure new suspension parts for so many vehicles. ...

The government has permitted G.M. to continue selling Vues before they are fixed because it has determined that the highly unusual failure during its new rollover test does not constitute a safety defect.

So it's not a defect, but GM is fixing it anyway. Gosh, the government wouldn't lie about something like this, would they?

From there, we move to China, where WalMart has apparently agreed to allow unions into its stores. This may come as a surprise to people who know of WalMart's strong anti-union record here at home. At long last, do the Chinese work harder at protecting their workers than we do in the U.S.?

Branches of the Chinese union are usually toothless management-controlled bodies that work mostly to prevent conflict.

Now that's the kind of union even Wal-Mart can love.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

But it's not a bug, it's a feature...

6:32 AM  

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