$33 Million Lakside Resort Owned By UAW Exposes Jim Webb’s Hypocrisy

You know, one of the things that really angers me is arrogant hypocrisy. What I mean by that is a “Do as I say, not as I do” attitude. As the proud father of a newborn baby boy, I can honestly say that I will teach my son to never engage in such behavior. I only wish that the full-grown politicians who ride roughshod over us would live by the same rules we teach our children to live by.

To wit, there is an interesting story from Fox News that came out on December 26th concerning a resort owned by the United Auto Workers and financed by the Big Three Automakers through union negotiated contracts.

You all may recall that I wrote letters to my Congressional Representatives concerning the proposed bailout of Detroit. I noted that legacy costs such as the Jobs Bank program were forcing higher costs on the Big Three and that was why they were facing backruptcy. I further noted that many small businesses here in Virginia were in danger of failing but that no one was talking about bailing them out.

Well, I did get a response back from Jim Webb. In his response, he noted that the Big Three executives recieved much higher salaries when compared to the executives of foreign automakers and proposed forcing the U.S. executives to take a parity of salary. It should also be noted that Senator Webb never made one single mention of the plight of small businesses here in Virginia nor did he express any concern their situation.

This brings me to the point of the above mentioned arrogant hypocrisy. If we are to take such a negative view of the American Automakers executives’ salaries, then we must also look at the perks that the officers of the UAW are enjoying. One of those perks is a UAW owned golf course that has bled off $23 million over the past five years.

From Fox News:

Even as the industry struggles with massive losses, the UAW brass continue to own and operate a $33 million lakeside retreat in Michigan, complete with a $6.4 million designer golf course. And it’s costing them millions each year.

The UAW, known more for its strikes than its slices, hosts seminars and junkets at the Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center in Onaway, Mich., which is nestled on “1,000 heavily forested acres” on Michigan’s Black Lake, according to its Web site.

But the Black Lake club and retreat, which are among the union’s biggest fixed assets, have lost $23 million in the past five years alone, a heavy albatross around the union’s neck as it tries to manage a multibillion-dollar pension plan crisis.

So, if we are to take Jim Webb seriously about his proposal of forcing executives to accept parity of salary, should we not also impose the same standard on the UAW officers who live the high life while the rest of America (most of whom can’t afford to spend time at high class resorts like the UAW does) floats them?

Or how about applying that same standard to Congress and other government officials? Should we not also impose “parity of salary” on them as well? According to the Census Bureau, the median household income in the United States in 2007 was $50,233.00. Thus, government officials, if they truly believe themselves to be the servants of the people and to be in touch with the peoples’ needs, should only accept salaries of $50,233.00 per year. If they are not willing to accept such parity for themselves, then they certainly should not be suggesting that it be imposed upon others.

But I am certain that Jim Webb lacks the integrity necessary to make such a bold stand. He has no problem imposing his standards on others, but will resist to the end any attempt at imposing those same standards on himself.

If any of the bailout money that President Bush released to finance the Big Three ends up floating that resort, it will serve as proof that the Democrats were more interested in repaying the UAW for political support than they were in bailing out the Big Three.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

Autoworkers Union Keeps $6 Million Golf Course For Members At $33 Million Lakeside Retreat
December 26, 2008