In his Oct. 19 op-ed, "The Fate of 'Made in the USA,' " Robert J. Samuelson wrote, "Since 1948, the UAW and GM, Ford and Chrysler have crafted contracts that turned the companies into mini-welfare states, providing above-average hourly wages (today's average for all manufacturing: $16.60), rich fringe benefits and strong job security."

Apparently, Mr. Samuelson considers secure, middle-class jobs with benefits a form of "welfare," and "honest work" is being redefined as poverty-wage, temporary jobs.

The new American dream: Work hard; stay poor.


Paradise, Calif.

George F. Will made good points about efforts by General Motors and Delphi to rein in labor costs ["A Right Turn Back to Making Cars," op-ed, Oct. 20]. But he didn't seem to rise above the rank and file.

While he called on labor to sacrifice, he was silent about the lack of voluntary sacrifice from GM and Delphi upper management. Only after public outcry did Delphi's chief executive, Robert "Steve" Miller, agree to slash his pay.

I would argue that CEO pay, as well, "cannot go on forever" and is therefore approaching a "Herb Stein Moment."


West Des Moines, Iowa