Friday, February 1, 2008

Looking for the upside -- reader forum on Michigan's economy

Well, folks, it's a little hard to see the positive today considering these tidbits.

  • Ford may not refill its ranks
    From the Free Press: "As Ford Motor Co. begins offering voluntary buyouts and early-retirement packages to its 54,000 UAW hourly workers -- and continues trimming its salaried ranks -- CEO Alan Mulally said it's not clear that the departing workers will be replaced in these tough economic times."

  • Chrysler offers buyouts to hourly workers in Detroit
    The New York Times reports that this offer "means that nearly all hourly automotive workers in Michigan now have the option to leave their job this year. Earlier this month, the Ford Motor Company began a second round of companywide buyouts and General Motors extended buyout offers to about half of its work force."

  • We're going to need massive programs to help workers retool, retrain, and go back to school. We're going to need more emergency social services, food assistance, shelter and cash assistance to keep utilities on.

    So, here are my questions to readers for this informal survey and forum. Ponder them and then send your responses via comments. Thanks for reading.

    1. Do you know someone experiencing financial hardship right now?

    2. Is this a new situation for them? Can you describe it?

    3. Are or were they employed in the auto industry or auto parts sector?

    4. If you know people considering relocating out of the state, why are they considering leaving?

    5. Do you think most Michiganders understand the economic downturn is NOT cyclical?

    6. Do you think most Michiganders understand the economic situation as a historic shift to post-industrial economy?

    7. Do you have any advice for Michiganders having a hard time economically?

    8. What do you think can help Michigan's economy?