Friday, October 31, 2008

Michigan is sometimes like a guy who lives in his mom's basement

"Never did I ever dream -- potentially -- that one or more of our Big Three would be preparing to go away," Epolito said.

That's Jim Epolito, president of the Michigan's Economic Development Corporation, speaking to the News. You'd expect the head of the EDC to least entertain how the state was going to move forward should something like this occur. Then again, Michigan has always been great at sitting on the couch, flipping channels and eating Cheetos and pretending that nothing's wrong, even if the exact opposite is true.

Watching the industry flail around like the lost soul in purgatory that it has become, it becomes clearer by the year that going forward, GM, Ford and Chrysler are going to have less and less of a role to play in the state's economy. Even if by some miracle that isn't the case, wouldn't it be in Michigan's best interest to stop betting on the losing horse and finally get serious about life after automotive?

Maybe it's too horrible to consider what might happen as the industry continues to shrink. That's semi-understandable. After all, nobody wants to imagine a half-empty Oakland County on top of a half-empty Detroit, or whatever the fallout might be. (Houses in Bloomfield Hills for $1?)

Turn away in horror if you want to, but maybe it'll take something this drastic for Metro Detroit to finally accept how bad it has been at learning from its mistakes, how bad it is as innovating, charting its own course, taking responsibility for its future. This is because as rough as things get, there's still that crutch to lean on.

If the region is finally to learn how to walk on its own, something that boom and bust Southeastern Michigan has never really done all that well, someone's going to have to kick out the crutch, or have it kicked out for them.

Or, there's always spending the rest of eternity moaning about foreign cars, non-union blah blah blah and sending the politicians to Washington with their arms outstretched, all the while refusing to become educated enough to compete in the global economy. With such winning qualities, Michigan, the girls should be crawling all over you.

1 comment:

David said...

update, in case you missed: