GM should make ‘smart investments’

For the first time in my life I feel qualified to share what might be considered an unpopular opinion outlining the incompetence and ineffectiveness of GM upper management. As a former salaried employee, I possess a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering as well as a master’s degree in manufacturing from the same institute as Marry Barra, GM CEO.

The primary function of upper management is to provide capital where it’s needed and be responsible stewards for shareholders and stakeholders. Yet, investments at Defiance are poorly made and last only one economic cycle.

The lost foam process was a $128 million misallocation of capital, a process proven to be unsuccessful by GM itself, before the investment was even made in Defiance. Meanwhile, companies like Honda have been using the same process (die cast) here in Ohio since 1985. Notably, it produces much less sand and higher quality products. People in management have generally known the best processes and do not implement them, yet act surprised by their failures.

The Defiance plant has massive liabilities to the community in its landfill. GM has been dumping foundry sand behind the factory for 70 years. It surely contains deposits that only a PHD scientist could identify and is next to an important watershed for Lake Erie. Society should want clean rivers and lakes, so this landfill needs maintained for a geological timescale.

GM is also sure to have massive pension liabilities at Defiance as well. For many years working conditions at this plant have been extremely poor. The concept of “foundry time” was implemented because it was commonly known that people working at this location would live a shorter life.

Writers like W. Edwards Deming, have in great detail, outlined the shortcomings of the American automotive giants since the early 1980s. The solution has always been a realistic outlook followed by proper investments in manufacturing advances. Instead, shareholders were rewarded with dividends and stock buy backs while company executives were rewarded with high compensation.

Today the UAW is on strike, and rightfully so. Management at General Motors has proven ineffective time and again. Who should be punished for these mistakes? The hourly worker of course! Hopefully GM doesn’t expect any more help from the taxpayer. Perhaps it’s time they made some smart investments.

Matthew Stoner

Defiance

Adding a voice to the critics of Trump

Kudos to The Crescent-News for recently publishing several letters highly critical of Trump. Lord knows the broadcast and print media have been giving this rogue a free ride for the past three years. Allow me to contribute my own small voice to the project.

In 2017 Trump rammed through Congress a tax ‘reform’ bill that eliminated the penalty for choosing not to buy health insurance under Obamacare, thus causing roughly two million young, healthy people to eschew the product. The nerve of these uppity individuals acting as if they know better than our federal government what’s in their own best interest!

If Joe Biden gets elected you can bet he’ll rectify this. Indeed, his administration ought to identify a wide range of goods and services that are in our best interest to buy, and to see that we do so under penalty of taxation. Perhaps businesses believing their products fall under this category can put son Hunter on their boards ($50,000 per month each) so that he can communicate to dad their worthy petitions.

While Beto is right to demand the confiscation of all assault rifles, he needs to be more ambitious. All firearms are tools of the devil and should be taken away for our own good. Once the government has them all it can more fully protect us from bad men who would invade our homes, and perhaps as well, bad opinions and ideas that might invade our heads.

Unfortunately, Trump, by appointing to date 150 conservative federal judges (including two on the Supreme Court) has made it likely that such enlightened legislation will be ruled unconstitutional. That’s a shame.

And even more of a shame is the probability that these same reactionaries will uphold the constitutionality of laws passed by hopelessly benighted state legislatures (e.g., Ohio) limiting a woman’s sacred right to end an unwanted pregnancy at any time up to, and perhaps, beyond the moment of birth.

I say ‘beyond’ because Mayor Pete from South Bend, given years of intense biblical study, informs us that human life only begins when air is first taken into one’s lungs. Thus, during those moments between when the whatever-it-is is born, and when it takes its first breath, the woman who bore it should be free, for whatever reason no matter how capricious, to terminate its existence; humanely of course, if possible.

Robert Kohl

rural Defiance

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