I am sure others have noticed by now that the discussion about bailing out our Big 3 auto firms reliably ends up with GM being the focus of attention. I think there is something to be said about this.
It has always been my opinion that GM is the embodiment of poor management, lack of vision and a stubborn proclivity to rely on excuses in the face of adversity. The public apprehension towards bailing out the Big 3 seems to be a manifestation of the same sentiment.
What I find unfortunate is that Ford, while equally responsible for its current situation, has been more responsive to the realities of the marketplace and yet seems to be getting dragged down with GM’s bad reputation. Ford has brought in a new CEO, it has been in the process of painful but necessary steps to restructure and it has quickly begun to adapt. If any of these firms should be bailed out it should be Ford. GM should be forced to restructure under Chapter 11.
What many do not seem to understand is that allowing GM to fail could be a blessing in disguise. With the anticipated growth of the alternative energy industry (wind, solar, etc…) we will need workers to man these jobs. Where will they come from??? Look at the unemployment rate as it stands in the midst of a considerable economic downturn – 6.5%.
Let’s look past the trees for a moment and see the forest. The next decade will see baby boomers leaving the job market en masse – creating an industry that caters to them in the process. Energy will be an ever increasingly important industry that will require imagination, talent and huge amounts of capital. There is opportunity on the horizon, but we need to recognize it and prepare ourselves for it. Americans have always shown their ability to take a bad situation and thrive on it. Let’s keep that tradition alive.