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Changing classification means that new workers will earn half as much for many assembly jobs.

Sharon Terlep / The Detroit News

The days of earning $28 an hour for driving a vehicle off the assembly line or putting the finishing touches on an engine are gone for the next generation of General Motors Corp. factory workers.




http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080412/AUTO01/804120360/1148
 

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Thank you. It is about time that those with barely a high school (or not) education should not be making more than someone who invested 4-8 years of the life and own money in school. Otherwise no one has an incentive to educate themselves more to achieve more. Otherwise we could all drop out of high school (I am generalizing for effect) and hit the assembly lines. No doctors to care for us or businesspeople to create new industries and jobs needed...
 

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Thank you. It is about time that those with barely a high school (or not) education should not be making more than someone who invested 4-8 years of the life and own money in school. Otherwise no one has an incentive to educate themselves more to achieve more. Otherwise we could all drop out of high school (I am generalizing for effect) and hit the assembly lines. No doctors to care for us or businesspeople to create new industries and jobs needed...
Thats ok in theory, but you forgot something. A college degree these days is almost useless. Most college grads are getting out of school deep in debt and not making the money they thought they would be. Not to mention a college degree used to mean you were "superior" to the average worker. College grads had some common sense, they could think on there own, etc. Now most college grads are complete idiots. All they did was prove they could memorize a list of things and spit it back out on test day. Also I think having a well paid middleclass, regardless of schooling, is more valuable and less expensive in the long run.

People regardless of education need a certain income level to move this country forward - buying homes, raising kids, etc. Otherwise what you create is a wellfare state where everyone is dependent on government.

In the old America everything you said was absolutely true, but this is the new America. One thats rapidly becoming a third world country, with a middle class that is shrinking by the second. Its planned, its calcualted, and its unstoppable unless we wake up.
 

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Thats ok in theory, but you forgot something. A college degree these days is almost useless. Most college grads are getting out of school deep in debt and not making the money they thought they would be. Not to mention a college degree used to mean you were "superior" to the average worker. College grads had some common sense, they could think on there own, etc. Now most college grads are complete idiots. All they did was prove they could memorize a list of things and spit it back out on test day. Also I think having a well paid middleclass, regardless of schooling, is more valuable and less expensive in the long run.

People regardless of education need a certain income level to move this country forward - buying homes, raising kids, etc. Otherwise what you create is a wellfare state where everyone is dependent on government.

In the old America everything you said was absolutely true, but this is the new America. One thats rapidly becoming a third world country, with a middle class that is shrinking by the second. Its planned, its calcualted, and its unstoppable unless we wake up.
For the most part, I agree with you. A college degree only gets you in deep debt for the most part because of lazy professors and money-hungry college administrators. However if our educated citizens are earning less than someone who did not take the time or their money to get educated (I am not talking about the privileged class), then we are in for big trouble. Just like in the old Soviet Union, a bus driver made the same as a doctor...And we know where they ended up. There is no incentive to work harder or think more, so we could be in deep *****.

I want everyone to earn a decent living..."Decent" is a very subjective term for the most part...But I have seen way too many times people in car plants making $65,000+ a year and bitching they can't get another boat, when they have absolutely no education or work ethic...Not all, just many from my experience visiting car plants/ knowing workers. They just feel entitled to it because the union told them so. It is a main cause of the collapse of our manufacturing base here. Greedy unions, and their workers who were told they would get rich, are the main issue in this...Like eveything in life that goes too far one way unfortunately ends up going too far the other way...The percipitous decline in union membership/ support and the moving of plants to Mexico only proves that.
 

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There are ways to get a college degree without being deep in debt with loans. How you say? Live at home, have an ok job throughout college, go to community college until you have the max amount of credits transferable to the 4yr school of your choice, then transfer and have 2yrs left, took an extra half semester to do it this way. I have the same degree that my classmates graduated with, only I paid 1/2 as much and ended up with 13k in loans vs. the 40k-50k I'd have if I didn't go to community college.
So many kids have loans when they do not NEED to. I know quite a few people that took out loans just to pay for housing when their parents lived 15min away from campus. why? for the "experience". Guess where a few of them are now 3yrs after graduating? At home with mom and dad, paying on their new car loan and 50k in student loans.
 

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A college education for you has nothing to do with the pay for non-college educated person at a completely different company in an unrelated job. Just because you go to college doesn't magically qualify you to make more money. The college education is supposed to provide you with skills that make you much more marketable, opening up more career opportunities in general and hopefully at higher paying levels, especially as your career progresses. This sounds good in theory but if you go to work for company A as an educated person and your company clears 30 million a year you very well could make less than a non college educated person who works for company B that clears 50 million a year. This is especially true at mid level valued jobs.

Another thing to think about with an education is that you may not necessarily make more money per year but you might not be subjected to the working environment that a non college educated person is. Sure some of these labor jobs sound great when your fresh out of high school but try doing them for 40 years and see how much fun they are.

There are many pros/cons to every job besides money. I laugh when I hear so many people whine about how good these factory workers have it and how overpaid they are. If it's so great and they are so overpaid why wouldn't you quit your job and work there. At least quit whining about it until you have applied. I would never do that job for the conditions and pay they receive, and that's with a guarantee of plenty of work for my entire life. NO THANKS!

On a side note it's about time the UAW has non core jobs that don't pay the same as their core jobs. Every other union that has vastly different categories of jobs has had that for a long time. That should also help with the uninformed union basher who thinks that everyone who’s in a union makes great money whether they are skilled or emptying a trash can.
 

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I don't view 28$ an hour as too much for someone who puts in a full days work. We used to be able to pay that much, and that was before the huge productivity gains over the last 15 years.

I personally would rather pay extra for my car and have the workers living a decent middle class life, plus be able to buy things for themselves including what I produce. I feel the same way for hard working people anywhere like Walmart workers.

The thing I could live without is union work rules, and the political agendas that many push. If they just focused on wages and safety I think unions would be a lot more popular and achieve more.
 

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I do not have time to respond to every comment on here, but I will say I thank everyone for their honest opinions. Let's keep it under control. I have learned in life that we agree more than we disagree in this world. Let's be positive and work to the same goal for the benefit of all.

I will say that myself along with several well-educated friends (one has a PhD. in medical physics) have had conversations where we have considered screwing everything in our current stressful white-collared jobs for a more simple 9-5, hourly job at a car plant. We have even joked around about becoming subway drivers because of the great pay, time off and benefits they earn even if the work is monotonous. Not everyone in this world can drive a subway train...We will be in deep **** if the people who have invested a heck of a lot their money and time in education, not too mention all those unpaid Saturdays of work (you have to love salary pay), start dropping everything and heading to get one of those high-paying manufacturing or city jobs...
 

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I don't view 28$ an hour as too much for someone who puts in a full days work. We used to be able to pay that much, and that was before the huge productivity gains over the last 15 years.

I personally would rather pay extra for my car and have the workers living a decent middle class life, plus be able to buy things for themselves including what I produce. I feel the same way for hard working people anywhere like Walmart workers.

The thing I could live without is union work rules, and the political agendas that many push. If they just focused on wages and safety I think unions would be a lot more popular and achieve more.
That was before the rest of the world started to compete...Kind of like when the U.S. manufactuers had no competition in the 1950's. Of course they controlled the market.

A "full days work" is debatable considering the amount of "sick days" some workers have courtesy of the union and Viagara-touting "health benefits" many get in their early retirement. Our current productivity gains have come through innovation, not hard-working people per se.

Unions, unfortunately, do not and will not focus on what unions should be focusing on...Workers! I do not forsee this changing anytime soon or at all...They will deny they are wrong until their grave.
 

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I wish some of you college educated people would go out in the real world and try a real job. Most could not handle the stress of driving a truck, doing construction work while being alert for accidents that could cost you your life or a physical demanding job. The college educated people in our corporate office have no idea what goes on in the trenches. Their decisions cost the company big money and don't work, while the uneducated hourly employees see that every decision they make is wrong and a waste of money. Practical experience is way more valuable than book knowledge in most jobs. There are many jobs such as medical jobs where an education is invaluable, but many where book knowledge is a waste. And no, I don't get sick days or viagara benefits, but I have seen college people come in and not able to do my job.
 

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Thats ok in theory, but you forgot something. A college degree these days is almost useless. Most college grads are getting out of school deep in debt and not making the money they thought they would be. Not to mention a college degree used to mean you were "superior" to the average worker. College grads had some common sense, they could think on there own, etc. Now most college grads are complete idiots. All they did was prove they could memorize a list of things and spit it back out on test day. Also I think having a well paid middleclass, regardless of schooling, is more valuable and less expensive in the long run.

People regardless of education need a certain income level to move this country forward - buying homes, raising kids, etc. Otherwise what you create is a wellfare state where everyone is dependent on government.

In the old America everything you said was absolutely true, but this is the new America. One thats rapidly becoming a third world country, with a middle class that is shrinking by the second. Its planned, its calcualted, and its unstoppable unless we wake up.
Well, not all college graduates are fools. College is about problem solving and being able to understand different cultures and beliefs; one must get a Masters degree to have ready job skills for their future employers. You are right about America loosing its middle class. Today's middle class is two people working to bring in 50k a year and barely afford their house, let alone raise their kids from different marriages. But GM, Ford, And Chrysler LLC can not stand up for the middle class when the transplants are filling their N.A. assembly plants with $11 an hour temps and Hyandia parts workers are pulling in $7 an hour. If you fight the system, you will be bankrupt. Thus, the Big 3 have to do this and sometime in the future, pressures will mount again on wage increases as they did after WWII and non-core jobs will be paid a bit better. We need smart people to engineer the web sites to your favorite blogs, cable TV, cell phones, and your favorite GM car; unfortunately, we don't need smart people to put them together and they shouldn't get paid like it either.

BTW, $14 an hour isn't too bad. You want to make double that, go to college; for a long time.
 

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Practical experience is way more valuable than book knowledge in most jobs.
I agree. However, if you think the only thing people are learning in college is book knowledge then you don't completely understand the purpose of higher education. How I think changed significantly during my 7 years of education after high school. Not only had I gained more knowledge, I was also a more critical thinker.
 

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I wish some of you college educated people would go out in the real world and try a real job. Most could not handle the stress of driving a truck, doing construction work while being alert for accidents that could cost you your life or a physical demanding job. The college educated people in our corporate office have no idea what goes on in the trenches. Their decisions cost the company big money and don't work, while the uneducated hourly employees see that every decision they make is wrong and a waste of money. Practical experience is way more valuable than book knowledge in most jobs. There are many jobs such as medical jobs where an education is invaluable, but many where book knowledge is a waste. And no, I don't get sick days or viagara benefits, but I have seen college people come in and not able to do my job.
Hell yeah! Most of the educated people on this or any forum will deny it's possible but some of the most creative and smart guys I've ever worked with were damn day laborers.

A person needs to keep learning, both practical and book/theory but they'll only really benefit from it by learning in the real world. Universities and Colleges are businesses the same as Walmart. They sell you a bunch of crap you don't need with the one thing you really did need.

An educated person isn't necessarily knowledgeable, a knowledgeable person isn't necessarily educated.
 

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I agree. However, if you think the only thing people are learning in college is book knowledge then you don't completely understand the purpose of higher education. How I think changed significantly during my 7 years of education after high school. Not only had I gained more knowledge, I was also a more critical thinker.
That happens whether you went to school or worked in a salt mine. As you age, as you experience new things it changes you, it changes the way you look at the world and how you think about it and problems.
 

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That happens whether you went to school or worked in a salt mine. As you age, as you experience new things it changes you, it changes the way you look at the world and how you think about it and problems.
I was taking that into consideration. Working in a salt mine one has a very limited experience. One is subjected to much more information and forced to think critically in an educational environment. That isn't meant to diminish what the salt miner learns or ignore the possibility that the salt miner learns a lot outside of work as well. When you're constantly thinking critically about subjects for years, it affects how you think even after you're out of school. Undergrad had that effect, but law school affected my thinking skills even more. Everyone needs to learn on the job, apply previously learned knowledge and skills and acquire more knowledge, but education is about more than memorization and learning only what is taught in the classroom or read in a book. Based on post #14, I think we agree!
 

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Practical experience IS important. Nobody said it wasn't. There are idiots no matter what the job or profession. Some jobs require more pracitcal experience and others require more critical analysis. Some education (business, engineering, medicine, law) is more practical than others (general arts, philosophy).

No one was really downing truckers (vital to our economy) or day laborers. We were using critical thought analysis, as some have posted here, to pull apart the issues and hopefully get to the facts and/ or a solution. School is not an end-all but it does, as some eloquently pointed out, allow you to think more critically (and why many of us do no get duped into believing all the union political bs). Just because someone is educated doesn't mean they have no practical experience. Not everyone on here is fresh out of college. And many people who went to college also busted their ass in day labor and other service positions to get through school.
 

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I was taking that into consideration. Working in a salt mine one has a very limited experience. One is subjected to much more information and forced to think critically in an educational environment. That isn't meant to diminish what the salt miner learns or ignore the possibility that the salt miner learns a lot outside of work as well. When you're constantly thinking critically about subjects for years, it affects how you think even after you're out of school. Undergrad had that effect, but law school affected my thinking skills even more. Everyone needs to learn on the job, apply previously learned knowledge and skills and acquire more knowledge, but education is about more than memorization and learning only what is taught in the classroom or read in a book. Based on post #14, I think we agree!
Going to school for years, one has a very limited experience. If you attend XYZ unversity for 7 years, your thinking is partly molded by them, whether you think so or not. They teach you a certain way and you have years of that. You start to think like them, whether you believe it or not. Maybe school taught you how to think different, or maybe it was just getting older and exposed to more things. That could happen, whether you are in school or in the job market. I'm not saying college is a waste, but many college people think it is the only way you can learn, teach or expand your knowledge, and that is totally false. Education not only occurs in the classrom. It also occurs on the job and in everyday life. There are many, many people who know more about business with just a high school education than those with college degrees. Reminds me of the Rodney Dangerfield movie, Back to School.
 

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Going to school for years, one has a very limited experience. If you attend XYZ unversity for 7 years, your thinking is partly molded by them, whether you think so or not. They teach you a certain way and you have years of that. You start to think like them, whether you believe it or not. Maybe school taught you how to think different, or maybe it was just getting older and exposed to more things. That could happen, whether you are in school or in the job market. I'm not saying college is a waste, but many college people think it is the only way you can learn, teach or expand your knowledge, and that is totally false. Education not only occurs in the classrom. It also occurs on the job and in everyday life. There are many, many people who know more about business with just a high school education than those with college degrees. Reminds me of the Rodney Dangerfield movie, Back to School.
The fact is you need both practical experience and education. Depends on the job how much of each. You cannot expect to tell us that a nuclear physicist can just show up at the nuclear plant one day as an apprentice. How many unions and line workers get together to form a company, organizing complicated financial planning, working endless hours for no pay (no overtime cheques here) you risk everything so they can create something new? There are different skills and intelligences. But if we reward the people who spend 7 years in school and who paid an incredible amount of time, energy, and had to invest a lot of money, with less than someone who went straight to a factory from high school, we will be in deep trouble. There is no incentive.

Also, you seem to think that all educated people do not work at "regular" jobs during school. This is not the case. There are a lot of people who have summer work and employment during school, on top of their educational requirements. Many also intern for peanuts before grad. They do not go home when their 8-hour shift is up. And after school, in their new professions, they are constantly taking their work home with them, both weekdays and weekends. No extra pay or union benefits magically appear for this.
 

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School is not an end-all but it does, as some eloquently pointed out, allow you to think more critically (and why many of us do no get duped into believing all the union political bs)..
I agree that alot of the union bs is just that, bs. I don't belong to a union and don't have a college education, but I do believe that the "educated" managers and executives have ruined as many if not more companies than unions have. You have to realize that unions got vacations, safe working conditions, health care(which educated doctors are making so expensive that the average working man can hardly afford) and other things that companies didn't give out of the kindness of their heart. It wasn't union employees that ruined Enron, they were the ones that got screwed. All I'm saying is you don't have to go to college to think more critically and college doesn't make you smarter than the guy who didn't. I owned my own business for over 20 years and I will tell you that insurance and health care cost way more than the wages you pay your employees. You have to worry about getting sued if you do something wrong(educated lawyers), health care breaking you(educated doctors) or not having insurance because you can't afford it. Finally packed it in and went to work for a company and let them worry about the other stuff.
 
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