Although this is more second-hand knowledge, I have insider information about the wages that General Motors pays to its employees. Apparently, the starting wage at one of the plants in Missouri is $25 per hour. Assuming no overtime and 40 hours per week, this is damn close to $50,000 per year, an insane amount of money to hand out to any unskilled labor. Due to promotion based on seniority, not productivity, many of the senior employees (25+ years) can be paid as much as $85,000 per year for such mundane tasks as driving fork lifts. To keep things in perspective, GM jobs are extremely difficult to get, and usually require the aid of someone already working there.

I'll admit, I have family members who work at a GM plant on the assembly line, and for their families, it is very good. However, for consumers, this is absolutely horrible. Take a look at the price of comparable foreign cars, then find out how much tax the government adds onto them to keep the prices somewhere in line with the American standard. Aside from that, the quality of American cars is questionable. I've heard more than once that if a US vehicle was built on a Monday, return it; the line workers are usually too hung over from the weekend to put together a decent auto. This obviously isn't acceptable, but the practice goes on beause of an iron-clad grip by the unions (don't give me shit about this. Unions are not inherently bad, but when an unskilled laborer can make $25 per hour starting out, something is terribly, terribly broken). When will the American auto industry wake up, lower wages, raise expectations, and pass the savings onto consumers? Probably never--they would probably keep the prices the same and absorb the savings as profit--but a guy can hope, can't he?

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