Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What's good for GM is good for the country

They seemed so indestructible

Monte Carlo, Skylark, Gran Prix

Who could have imagined

this empire of steel

would come crashing down

and we would be

digging through the ruins

on foot.

What went wrong?

a company drunk on itself

and in bed with Bandar

killed the EV-1 for the Hummer

We bought the myth

of mobility and expansion

leaving our cities to wither

and die.

As the saying goes, "What's good for GM is good for the country." Since we have now been made 60% owners, why not bring some vision and viability to the table?

Let's start spending all of those billions on something that is sensible and sustainable. Why not:
  • Expand GM’s focus to transportation and energy? It could make buses (it used to), light rail (at one time it owned, and then killed off, many trolley companies), and passenger rail cars for high speed rail (as Japan has for 45 years). We could build and install solar panels and wind mills. Provide training and create jobs in green industry. This trumps the current restructuring plan which will result in the loss of 22,000 more domestic jobs, the shuttering of at least twelve factories and the closing of 2,600 car dealers. Let's keep the jobs that would be created local.
  • Replace our fragmented inefficient health care system with single payer to make us competitive with other countries. GM spent more on health insurance than on steel. This is one reason operations were moved from Detroit to Windsor.

  • Restore pensions which retired employees have earned through years of service.

GM, a 100 year old company, once the world’s largest car manufacturer, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The last survivor of the titanic died today at age 97.


Raven said...

I like your suggestions. I think some of them are part of what's planned in the restructuring process.

I SOOOO wish we would move all the way to single payer health care. It makes no sense except to the greedy bastards who make mega profits and the politicians they own to do otherwise. We are one crazy country. Did you see the movie Sicko? Great movie. Did I ever post the health care conversation with Bill Moyers or did I just think about it? In any case check out last week's Bill Moyers' Journal for a great health care discussion.

SandyCarlson said...

A denouement of sorts, too. Sad.

Jeeves said...

Good post. Makes one ponder and think/

anthonynorth said...

The end of an era, certainly. As to the future, it would be great if some of those suggestions were followed.

the walking man said...

We have the buildings we have the workforce who willingly work at rates no where near top tier with reduced benefits in trade for job and housing security.

We have a history of letting out factories rot and fall in on themselves and once a worker is gone form the statistics of believing they no longer exist.

I think history will win out.

GM is going to come out of bankruptcy as a privately held company (even though the US and Canada and The Unions are majority holders of the paper), you will not see any of the things offered here because them who are now going to run the company are liquidators who will look to protect the legacy costs of pensions and medical so the governments will not have to assume them. They know if they continue operations that every year there will be more legacy to pay for.

I think you saw the bell toll for GM on Monday.

JP/deb said...

The party is over.

Time to pay the piper - 'cept the piper says your money's no good here (and he's freakin right!)

You made some excellent points here my dear.

Peace, JP/deb

Luther James Spells said...

Having once worked in Detroit among the manic movements of a busy factory it pains me to see the failure. But as it happens, we should reflect upon our own lives and the directions which have taken us to where we now are and where we shall one day be. Within our consciousness lies the ruination befallen us but also the good that has come from our life experience. The people we have met. The impacts we have made. The changes we have affected. The lives we have taken. Through it all our souls are uplifted and we exit the fog as new creations. Periods of our lives meld together to form what we were meant to be. I view this all as a metaphor of life. GM will recover and become what it has been destined to become from the day it opened its doors. We should rejoice in this new beginning.

disa said...