no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

Comments on Comments #27

October 23rd, 2008

In Reader Mail # 67, FSK cites my post about Who Owns General Motors.

David Z did a calculation that indicated that GM might be worth more to its employees than its shareholders. David Z got the calculation wrong. Adding up salary and benefits, unionized autoworkers make closer to $50-$70/hr, instead of $13/hr..

What I said was:

I’m going to go out on a limb here, and assume that FTEs at General Motors earn more than $13/hour in gross compensation.

What I should’ve said was, I’m sure the average FTE at GM earns far more than $13/hour in gross compensation, but let’s play with the $13 figure just for grins. Using the $50-70 range which may even be on the low end, GM’s employees could purchase the company with 2 or 3 months worth of savings.

Right now, GM stock is trading at around $6/share. Employees could purchase the company outright in a month, if they were so inclined.

Again, I’m really not going anywhere with this train of thought, I just thought it was interesting for some reason.


I’ve been receiving a small amount of traffic from, thanks to Laura Sternberg’s October 3 piece on medical marijuana in michigan. Laura actually used my post on medical marijuana in Michigan as one of her sources. Thanks, Laura!


modern finance in a nutshell. Interesting.


Mike Gogulski left a comment on Blue Screen:

ssuming that you’re not pressed to recycle the bunked machine right now, there are tools — I am just pressed to find them. I’ve been perhaps uncharacteristically lucky in dodging from internal to external hard drive for so many years that it’s never hit me this way.

Thanks Mike, for the offer. I was able to download and burn a Linux Boot CD, and after changing the boot order from HDD to CD-ROM, I was able to access my files through the pared down Linux OS. I have successfully transferred most of my files to a portable HDD on loan from my father. No new laptop, yet.


Tony asked a question in response to an ongoing discussion, under my post Gold is NOT a fiat currency:

I accept that there are objective criteria for choosing a medium of exchange. Those criteria (supply is fixed) make gold objectively better than other items. But the supply of oil, copper, etc is also fixed. Why gold over those?

Without reinventing the wheel on this one, gold’s limited supply is only one of the criteria which must be met in order for a commodity to be monetized. Oil is a poor choice because it is consumed. Gold is not consumed or otherwise destroyed (AFAIK) in any of its uses. Moreover, oil as a raw material is of varying quality. Like any other element in nature, a unit of gold is exactly the same as any other unit; now and forever. It is relatively easy to divide or recombine units of gold. Gold also has a high value/weight ratio compared to just about anything else in the known world.

A while back, Tony inquired about my general hostility towards fractional reserve banking. His inquiry has not been ignored, I just haven’t had time to respond adequately.



  • Gilligan says on: October 24, 2008 at 6:53 am


    I liked this statement:

    “Employees could purchase the company outright in a month, if they were so inclined.”

    Brings up an interesting point. If employees had total ownership of the company, they could fire the management for their decisions to produce products nobody wants.

    In addition, the union mentality would disappear. It would no longer be management vs. union, where one is trying to take advantage of the other. Put another way, if one employee caught another employee sleeping on the job, he/she would be pissed off about it.

    I wonder if productivity, efficiency, quality, innovation, morale, and other tangible and intangible benefits would improve astronomically. All the benefits of ownership and vested self-interest would apply.

  • Gilligan says on: October 24, 2008 at 7:06 am



    I worked for one of the big 3 in the late 80’s. I could write a massive post about all of the waste that ranges from comical to tragic, but to nutshell it:

    Management (i.e. engineering) waited for summer students to arrive to throw overdue projects over the fence at them to complete. In the meantime, they used the companies facilities to run their home businesses.

    Union workers…well you know some of the antics they get up to. Most of them were decent family guys who worked hard, but 10% of them exhibited staggering creativity to avoid working i.e. building sleeping quarters up in a dark mezzanine, creating a “Rancho Relaxo” hidden in the bowels of the paint shop that was complete with TV, a beer fridge, comfy chairs…all the comforts of home.

    The guys who were making out like bandits were the trades folk. The employee incentive program said that an employee that came up with and implemented X would be paid 10% of what it saved the company in the first year, up to a maximum of 20K. You should have seen the size of their paychecks. Deep into the 6 figures…whew. Senior management used to get outraged and would chew into the salaried engineers, “Why don’t you guys invent this stuff?” Of course, the incentive program did not apply to the engineers…’nuff said.

  • Brad G says on: October 27, 2008 at 9:24 am


    Since your post was used as a source on you can put on your resume that you are a “Published Author.” It would be funny as hell when asked by current/future employer what you wrote about.

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics