NPR can be clueless sometimes. Truly, deeply clueless. Here are a couple of snippets from a story yesterday about Ford's restructuring:
MICHELINE MAYNARD: The employees earn about $27 an hour in straight pay. They also get cost of living allowances. Then if you fold the cost of their benefits in on top, it's about $67 a worker.
BLOCK: And they would earn about 90% of that?
MAYNARD: They would earn about 90% of that, so that would roughly be $55 to $60 an hour.
I call bullshit. Maynard has managed to answer a question so that it sounds like the laid off workers are going to get a raise from $27 an hour to $60 an hour by virtue of the plant closings. This is not correct. Maynard goes on to muddy the waters further:
MAYNARD: (continuing) ...in just straight pay, a UAW members earns upwards of about $65,000 a year. But then when you fold in the cost of benefits, it's over $100,000 per worker.
Literally seconds ago, salary was roughly 40% of the per worker cost ($27 salary/$67 total cost). Now, salary is roughly 65% of the per worker cost ($65,000/$100,000). It doesn't add up.
Then it gets offensive:
MAYNARD: There are all kinds of retraining programs for these folks. People take classes, a lot of people go and get computer training. Some folks are home, some folks are at their vacation homes, on their boats.
I bet. I know the first thing I would do when I learn I'm about to lose one of the last good-paying jobs in town is pack up the family and head to our vacation home. I've a lovely wine collection I keep up there which is perfect for unwinding on the yacht during those difficult days when my livelihood disappears.