Shared Sacrifice

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Be honest. Since the industrial revolution, did you ever think you'd see the day where unions provided a truly competitive force? Well, that day is today. Of course, that "competitive force" is the drive for more government cheese, and it is a force only being inflicted on other segments of the same union, but that's, at least, some kind of progress.

Hourly workers at Ford Motor Co. ratified sweeping cost-cutting changes in their labor contract, a development likely to increase pressure on struggling competitors General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC to secure similar concessions.
Worker approval of the union concessions at Ford came as GM and Chrysler hosted President Barack Obama's auto industry task force as part of their bids to win billions of dollars more in federal aid.

How wonderfully perverse. A sacrificial beauty contest. Who gave up the most? You? I see you've severed the last two fingers on your left hand. Excellent. Wait... is your entire arm gone? Outstanding! Your second born child? Wow, you people came ready to engage in joint sacrifice alright!
Maybe what we really need is two parallel systems. A free market system with normal competitive forces and a captive system where interest groups clamor over each other for government cheese. If we could just replace the currency in the second system with actual government cheese, or maybe something equally worthless like seashells or some other kind of primitive tokens (bottlecaps? red ochre? magic "the gathering" cards? massive, circular stone coins?)
UAW Says Ford Workers Ratified Concessions [The Wall Street Journal]


Layoffs Watch '12: UBS Has Something To Share

Management has decided to burn the investment bank down and start fresh. Basically. UBS is set to unveil a radical downsizing of its struggling investment bank next week in a move that will prompt the loss of up to 10,000 jobs across the Swiss banking group. Switzerland’s largest bank by assets will significantly shrink the trading side and complexity of its investment bank and as a consequence also cut thousands of jobs in its back office over the next few years, three people close to the situation said. The job cuts will amount to almost a sixth of the bank’s workforce of 63,500 at the end of June. They will not happen all at once and the precise number is still unclear... It comes on top of another – still ongoing – programme announced last year to cut 3,500 jobs. The new strategy, hammered out in several executive board meetings in New York this week and set to be announced next Tuesday, will lead to the closure of a sizeable part of UBS’s fixed-income trading operations and other capital-intensive areas of the investment bank. UBS To Cut Up To 10,000 Jobs [FT] Related: UBS’s Investment Banking Head May Have To Slash His Own Expenses “Like A Jewish Shopkeeper”