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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Why Aren't Canadian GM Plants Closing?

Sorry for not posting for so long...Here's my excuse...Mali, my Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, who wakes up at 5:30 every morning, and demands my constant attention.

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...But I digress.
The American auto industry executives never learn from their mistakes. Remember the eighties, when GM bet its future on gas-guzzling tanks like the infamous K car? When oil prices rose, consumers made the thrifty, dependable Honda Civic the number one car in America. Twenty-five years later, GM and Ford bet their future on mammoth SUVs and muscle cars, and Americans responded to rising oil prices by buying Toyotas and Hondas.

The American media, in its typical incisive fashion, reports that GM blames the closings on rising healthcare costs. The talking heads infer, from this limited information, that if only the greedy unions would cease asking for their heart pills and checkups for their children, GM might be able to turn a profit.

Without a doubt, the fact that General Motors plans to cut 25,000 jobs and close five American auto plants will have reverberations on this side of the border, but the initial bloodshed will take place in Detroit rather than St. Catherine's, Windsor, or London.

How is this possible? They make the same cars in Canada. All my life, I've been told by the free market capitalists that a American national health care system would put us at a competitive disadvantage...

If that's the case, why aren't GM's many Canadian plants closing?

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