Let’s see just how long this auto workers’ strike lasts. It’s not really about the 46% pay raise, but the 2009 Obama deal that took away cost-of-living adjustments. It’s not really about the short run, either.
But let’s see what the auto workers get in the face of President Biden’s unrealistic demand that would force us to buy Chinese-battery-powered vehicles.
The sheep will remain loyal – just as they are to every other radical idea – because to resist is to be uncool or, worse, deplatformed from woke society.
But the “irredeemable deplorables” (who buck the system) are getting restless about an all-out plunge into the uncharted waters of EV world – a world dominated by China and its forced laborers in Xinjiang and Congolese child laborers.
Funny how bedfellows make strange politics. The UAW bosses are all in with the EV mandate, but the rank and file just cheered an Orange man in a red elephant jacket. But if you think this is merely an American phenomenon, you’d be wrong.
This – this is the battle of the century, between those seeking to control all thought and action and those who only seek to control some (controversial) thought and action – a real-world game of thrones. Power, not progress, or even prosperity, is the goal. And, of course, big money.
Every day the dangers of total reliance on electricity generation and transmission at a level twice that of today are exposed. And every day these warnings are ignored by the media and lampooned by the Karines of the world.
In Pakistan, lightning hits a warehouse full of electric vehicles and batteries causing a fire and explosions that killed a 15-year-old boy and injured 163 others. Five electric vehicles were destroyed at Sydney’s airport when a detached EV battery from a luxury vehicle burst into flames.
Taxpayer-subsidized Proterra’s bankruptcy has left the entire eight-vehicle Jackson (Wyoming) bus fleet grounded for months. Parts are not available. Naturally, Jackson’s bureaucrats plan to buy more electric buses. Greenie points!
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a five-year delay on banning new gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles (till 2035), citing “unacceptable costs” on ordinary people. All across Europe the battle is raging over the “transition.” Unless “net zero” is modified, predictions are that “the base car market will either vanish or will not be done by European manufacturers.”
Those “ordinary people” are speaking with their pocketbooks. Prices for used EVs have been slashed by nearly 25% “as drivers lose confidence.” Over half of British drivers deem EVs too expensive, and nearly half fear shortages of charging stations.
No wonder American auto workers are striking!
But that’s not the worst!
British auto insurer John Lewis Financial Services has “temporarily” paused issuing polices on battery-powered vehicles until its underwriter analyses risks and costs (and raises rates). Another insurer, Aviva, reportedly is refusing to insure Teslas, while other EV owners saw premiums go up 1,000% in just one year (up to £4,000 more).
Costs for EV repairs have risen sharply, and there is a shortage of technicians with the skills to carry out repairs – meaning EV owners may wait weeks with their toy in the shop. No wonder a J.D. Power survey reports 76% of new EV sales come from the luxury market – mainstream buyers cannot afford them.
Nonetheless, the Association of British Insurers reassured the elites and deplatformers that, “Our members fully support the roll-out of electric vehicles and efforts to transition to Net Zero.” With the caveat that, “Whether to offer insurance, and at what price, is a commercial decision for insurers based on their risk appetite.”
The “rosy scenario” (if tomorrow’s EV sales match today’s non-EV sales) predicts a loss of 117,000 automotive jobs to “the transition.” Thousands of jobs are already lost as automakers gear up to meet political demands – despite public resistance.
These numbers, however, do not factor in the 75% reduction in private vehicle ownership demanded by Klaus Schwab and his fellow gazillionaire would-be gods.
Nor do they factor in massive losses in petrochemical industry and other manufacturing jobs – at least 6,000 products use byproducts of gasoline and diesel production. Those industries, too, will be devastated by an end to fossil fuel production – and nobody in the power structure cares.
Yes, horse-related jobs disappeared as automobiles replaced saddled animals on American roads. But such comparisons are political spin. American auto workers – like former American appliance and electronics workers — watch production move to Mexico and China as our auto industry is crippled by regulations and mandates that make no economic or geopolitical sense.
Despite the acquiescence by automakers to Biden’s diktat (do any mainstream reporters still drive ICE vehicles?), there are signs of a burgeoning revolt, and not just from Trump-loving auto workers.
The House just sent to the Senate the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act, crafted by Rep. John Joyce (R, PA) to prevent governments from bans on ICE vehicle sales. Says Joyce, “The last thing my constituents want is another oppressive Biden administration mandate that puts a radical environmental agenda and far-left special interests above their individual freedoms.”
(Meanwhile, in France, 41% (and 59% from ages 18 to 24) approved the idea of limiting people to four airplane flights over their entire lifetime.)
Analyzing the British marketplace, Telegraph city editor Ben Marlow suggests that “the time has come to accept that the economics of net zero are more fantasy than reality.”
Despite London mayor Sadiq Khan’s infamous Ultra-Low Emissions Zone scheme that forced ICE vehicle drivers to pay £12.50 per day just to enter downtown London, an initial spike in EV sales petered out quickly, leading to layoffs at EV assembly plants, carlots full of unsold EVs, and a price war by frustrated dealerships.
In the U.S., Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley addressed the United Auto Workers’ demands, acknowledging that, “we want everyone to participate in our success, but if it prevents us from investing in this transition to EVs … then everyone’s job is at risk if we don’t invest.”
Really? Ford is losing $4.5 billion in its EV division this year despite President Biden’s welfare-for-the-rich scheme of massive subsidies for EV purchases, $12 billion for retrofitting auto plants for EV production, and $7.5 billion for charging stations. If Schwab has his way, Ford may soon find itself out of business or relegated to manufacturing nameplates for Chinese “Fords.”
Will Americans understand that the auto workers (who just want a big paycheck before their forced retirement) are the canary in this nation’s coal mine – that if their industry dies, the nation’s economy dies with it?
It will take great courage to stand up to teacher unions, indoctrinated children, the deplatforming media, the Justice Department, and hate speech from on high to demand an end to the climate hysteria that elitists use to scare people into accepting a massive decline in their prosperity.
But that is the battle – more than immigration, funding foreign wars, or even “structural racism” – that ought to be the dividing line in 2024. Like 2020’s vaccine mandates, EV mandates force tremendous losses of personal freedom. And our children are being taught that freedom – speaking out against government and the ruling class – is a bad thing.
But so is darkness.
Duggan Flanakin is a senior policy analyst for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and a frequent writer on public policy issues.