When we are in the free market, goods and services tend to be paid what they are worth to others, that is, what you can sell something for is determined by what that thing is worth to those who would buy it, and that worth largely depends on the supply and demand law. If you have something that is a one of a kind, but everyone wants one, then the value is high. If you are selling something that is readily available, but almost no one desires one, then the value is low. This is why you can't sell your lawn clippings for very high amounts of money. Of course, all of this depends on a market that is truly a free market, and not one that is being manipulated.
That is why the Auto makers are being forced into bankruptcy. Manipulation. The union auto workers are asking for wages that are so high as to make their employers unable to compete. I want to get it out right now, I want fair wages and benefits for all workers, and I am a union worker in my own field, so it is not like I am anti-union.
Making cars has become an automated process, and with every process that becomes automated, we assume that quality will go up, and the size of the work force goes down, but the high tech jobs created in maintaining the new technology are more lucrative. That is the advantage to the employer and employee in automating the assembly line. The current UAW contract has a protection clause in it that allows GM to automate the assembly line, but here’s the catch: they still have to pay the worker whose job was automated full pay and benefits. You cannot run a business profitably with contracts like that, and now the Automakers want us, the American taxpayers, to foot the bill for this folly.
Fork lift drivers in the UAW make up to $100,000 a year. If you were to tell me that they made $40,000 plus benefits, and I might not bat an eye, but $100,000? What’s wrong with that picture? In addition, GM’s “non-productive” payroll is creeping up to an unsustainable number and at some point paying people that don’t produce will put you out of business. The free market would not pay an uneducated, unskilled worker that kind of coin. The unions in their greed are forcing their employers out of business, and now they and their employers are expecting the taxpayer to bail them out, all the while trying to scapegoat CEO salaries.