Many cities in the State of Michigan are facing 15% unemployment for the month of February.
But apparently that's our fault.
So many people who "feel our pain" tell us it's because we're simply too devoted to the Auto industry. We really should have seen it coming. A collapse of the auto industry is going to be good for us, we hear. You know, like globalization has been good for us, like NAFTA has been good for us, like Anti-Union sentiment has been good for us.
We of the Great State of Michigan would like to thank everybody for telling us what's best for us and then we'd like to return the favor by asking you to kindly take your advice and shove it up your ass.
The problem we have here in Michigan, you see, is we're idiots.
We were stupid enough to have this situation where shipping was just so damn easy and we had so much iron everywhere within easy shipping distance that we focused on manufacturing. You know, much like Iowa and Nebraska focus on growing corn and soy.
My great grandfather worked in a factory making airplanes. He got hit on the head while on the job and managed to die outside the factory somehow. Wow...golly. He died outside the factory, so the factory took no responsibility. So his 16 year old daughter had to pick up his body and drive his corpse back 150 miles back home to Muskegon, all alone, without a dime from the company. The government didn't help. The businesses didn't help. Nobody helped.
No wonder Michiganders unionized the shit out of those companies. NOBODY helped us. NOBODY cared, just like now, so we bound together and told the companies EXACTLY how they were going to treat us. We formed unions. We practically INVENTED unions.
Oh but now everybody's telling us we rely TOO much on these companies. These companies that rode us roughshod for so long while our own government ignored us, so we tamed the companies to work WITH us to provide for our families and communities and our retirements and futures and healthcare.
NOW we're criticized for leaning TOO hard on these companies we've bent to our will for the past 80 years.
HOW stupid we were to make a way for ourselves while the rest of the nation didn't give a crap about where or under what conditions they got their cars or refridgerators or office furniture as long as it was cheap and available.
How stupid we are in Michigan.
Don't we know we need to diversify?
Yeah! That's it! We'll diversify! Like how Nebraska and Iowa should diversify from agriculture. And how California should diversify from imports. And how Alaska should diversify from fishing and oil.
Oh you feel our pain. You wish Michigan wouldn't have to feel the pain of the death of GM but we all brought it on ourselves. We shouldn't have let this century old company that just last decade rivaled the economy of France to be a part of our lives.
We're so. Fucking. Stupid.
Now let's just cast it aside! Yeah! Let's do that. We'll replace a quarter trillion dollar industry with.......with what? With farming? With software? With windmills? With movies?
Let's let this main industry die and tens of millions of American citizens languish in economic turmoil because some company offended our sensibilities. We'll sacrifice the whole manufacturing chain for a vendetta because we don't like that their cars are more expensive than Japanese cars and Korean cars and they focused on BIG cars that had larger profit margins...we'll punish Michigan for that because they were complicit.
I know, how about we replace the auto industry with kicking your ass for being such a smug, ignorant ass and being just another person telling Michigan what's best for us?
UPDATE: For those of you who missed it, this diary is directed at another diary that reached the rec list yesterday, with statements like this:
Folks working for the big three saw folks not buying these cars, not with the price tag or bad mileage attached.
suggesting workers were personally complicit in the high unemployment, walking stupidly into it.
Well, when you come to the government for help to not prop you up, but pick you up before you hit the garbage heap, you must conform.
I feel the pain for those who are losing jobs...
Conform? Thanks for the input. Should the State of New York conform for bailout money given to Wall St.? Should Iowa conform because of farm subsidies?
Where is the UAW? I can tell you where they are at. Numb and quiet.
Leave the citizens and workers out of the GM criticisms.
A lot of comments below rightfully suggest that it's wrong to shut down intelligent discussions about the problems with or viability of the domestic auto industry. I don't want to shut down healthy debate. Please, discuss the AUTO industry. But when the citizens of Michigan are brought into the conversation as complicit contributors in our own hardship it's hurtful, it's uninformed, and it shows an incredible lack of awareness of the magnitude of the problems faced by Michigan. Don't presume to tell us in Michigan or any other state what we've collectively done wrong.