Mrs Vache Folle pointed me to an article in the NY Times that breaks down autoworker compensation. The graphic above says it all ( http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2008/12/10/business/20081210_LEONHARDT_GRAPHIC.html)
The major difference between domestic autoworkers who work for the Big Three and those who work for alien automakers is in legacy liabilities for retirees. The aliens haven't been here long enough to build up a legacy. So insisting that autoworkers bear the principal burden of cost cutting makes no sense at all. Current workers aren't getting anything from the pensioners or on behalf of the pensioners. Besides, as the article points out, labor costs represent only about 10% of the cost of a vehicle. Screwing autoworkers won't make much difference. Of course, some folks just like to screw workers whenever they can.. They positively hate working people, especially unionized workers.
I don't blame autoworkers for the condition of the Big Three. I blame management. As much as I'd like to see management get its comeuppance, I don't want to see hundreds of thousands of autoworkers in the unemployment line or millions of other workers who depend on the car business. It's not a very convenient time for the auto industry to collapse.
Why does the GOP want the country to go into a deep eceonomic depression? Family values. When you're facing starvation, you're more dependent on family, and you can't afford those decadent luxuries and sinful entertainments that you used to enjoy.