You will not read a more visceral and affecting account of what the demise of the Big Three means to individuals, families, neighborhoods and regions than this one from Michigan (cross-posted from Michigan Liberal):
Yesterday my family joined the ever-growing group of Michigan families who now face an uncertain economic future due to lay-offs in the auto industry.
My dad’s employer, once part of The Big Three, offered their employees age 50 and over a puny buyout package, with the hopes that 300-400 people take them up on it. Whispers around the office led most to believe that if the buyouts weren’t taken, they’d still most likely be without a job, and the measly benefits. So as of August 1st, my dad will stay in Michigan, unemployed, with a mortgage, bills, and a very uncertain future. His job, like so many others, is heading to Mexico.
The news broke my heart and my spirit, just as it has for thousands others.
Here’s what worries me most – like many other laid off auto workers, my dad’s in his late fifties, with a bad back, arthritis starting to set in, and a minimal college education in auto repair, no thanks to the GI Bill. He can send me email, watch the funny YouTube videos I send him, but that’s about as far as his computer skills go. With a crummy economy, how does my dad compete with all the hungry, tech-savvy college graduates that don’t have families to support?
This is not the American Dream, this is the Auto Industry Nightmare.
Now what? Barack Obama? John McCain? Gov. Granholm? Anybody?