Okay, suppose we do exactly what every conservative wants and we union-bust the Big Three, match their wages and benefits exactly to foreign producers set up in the states, dismantle the currently existing pension system and even (most likely) cut labor overall.

At what point did any of those workers force anyone to produce Pontiacs? You can make all the arguments you want about labor costs (and at this point, it seems to be the only argument, as if GM, Chrysler and Ford are producing cars that would outsell all comers if not for the extra eleventy thousand dollars each worker's wages add to the cost of the car), but the real problem with US car manufacturers exists far above any line worker's head: they've made an industry out of producing too many types of cars with horrible reputations and no real identity.

A year ago, my car went in for repairs, and my insurance landed me a kickass new Saturn Ion from Enterprise. It lasted 24 hours, until it broke down and they switched me out for a Chevy Aveo Cobalt...which was the exact same car with a different steering wheel. The idea that there are different dealers, different marketing campaigns, different promotions and different pricing structures for the same product, neither of which was selling well enough to keep the company in the black, is simply mind-boggling. Taking the same pile of shit and putting it into two different shit boxes, one marketed towards the middle-income single person on the go and the other towards the unmarried frequent traveler who's solidly middle class does not become a better plan because you start paying the people who split the shit less to do so.