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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 21, 2007 / 4 Sivan, 5767

The commodity not found in stock price

By Mitch Albom


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Trust? Why should they trust? Why should Chrysler workers believe anything they hear from the new would-be owners, Cerberus Capital Management, a firm named for a mythical, three-headed hound of hell? Do you trust a new king who was born in another country? Do you trust a new landlord who has a history of evicting people? Who trusts anything when it comes to big business today? If you know someone, tell me.


I don't. Not anymore.


What I know are workers whose firms have been bought and sold so many times, they have to look at their paychecks to see who owns them. What I know are workers who get herded into conference rooms to meet their new bosses and are told of "exciting" new directions and "exciting" possibilities — then bang, they get laid off.


How "exciting" is that?


What I know are Americans who, when asked about the companies they work for, roll their eyes, shake their heads and say, "It's ridiculous." Or "It's awful." Or, the most com- mon phrase, "It's unbelievable."


But history has shown what's believable. And it is generally not the promises of one big company taking over another one.


If it were, Daimler and Chrysler would still be happily married, and this column would not be being written.


Nine years ago, we were told how Daimler-Benz and Chrysler would be better together than they ever could be apart. You look back on it today and you almost start laughing.


Now Cerberus comes along, full of promises and assurances that it will not slash Chrysler workers, will not break the company apart or sell it off in pieces.


"We believe in Chrysler," John Snow, the Cerberus chairman, told the media last week.


Of course, this comes from a man who only joined Cerberus seven months ago, so the "we" makes people nervous. And he used to be the Treasury secretary for — and a cheerleader for the policies of — the Bush administration, which makes people nervous.


And he now works for a firm whose business model is to take very rich peoples' money and make them more money from it. Cerberus is not an auto company. It is a wealth company. It creates wealth by buying things — and by selling things. And by doing so quickly, so investors see growth.


Feeling trustworthy yet?


This is not a personal knock at Cerberus. This is simply the sad truth of American business. There is barely a dotted line anymore between the workers' purpose and the owner's purpose. The workers think they are there to make better cars, or more stylish clothes, or higher quality carpets. The owners want to keep the stock price high.


Smaller companies are bought by bigger companies, which are then bought by bigger companies. We used to call this "greed." Now it's called "global competition." They have to be this big, we are told, to compete with those big and nasty European or Asian companies.


So when employees are fired, plants shut down, families uprooted or health care slashed, workers are told to stop their whining. Don't they realize how hard it is to compete? There is such a disconnect between the top and the bottom, you wonder if either party, given a compass, a map and an hour time limit, could even find each other?


In my time at this newspaper, it has been owned by two different corporations, and merged, business-wise, with the competition. During that same time, the radio station I work for was merged with another huge company and is now being sold to another.


I hardly know anyone, besides mom-and-pop store owners, who hasn't experienced the new policy letter, the new benefit plan memo, the whole "new owner" experience.


And those people will tell you, trust is the last thing you feel. Because not long before, some other owner was doing the same.


Cerberus may be good for Chrysler. It may make money for Chrysler. It may beat the lousy alternatives.


But for now, it is simply another huge, rich company, buying a company that used to be huge and rich and telling workers, "Trust us."


Fat chance.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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