Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ed Montgomery's Mission to Help the Auto Industry's Casualties

Dana Hedgpeth of The Washington Post has a nice profile of Ed Montgomery, who is Obama's "point man to help auto workers and communities that depend" on the car industry.

"Montgomery, whose wife is the granddaughter of a General Motors worker from Portland, Mich., lives in Howard County and drives a 2000 Lincoln. He used to drive his 1990 Harley-Davidson motorcycle to College Park. He's broad-shouldered and wears black-framed glasses that make him look like the college professor he was.

"Montgomery has written extensively on labor unions, unemployment and other economic trends. He is careful to point out that textbooks often give examples of how things should work on average, but that the solutions may not work for every city. Health care jobs may thrive in one town, for example, while manufacturing parts for wind turbines may be a better fit in another.

"'This is a bottom-up effort,' Montgomery recently told a group of politicians, community leaders and auto workers at a community college in Flint. 'This is not Washington talking to Flint. This is Flint talking to Washington.'"

1 comment:

  1. No disrespect intended to Mr. Montgomery, but it appears to me that his job is to show up, tell the concerned citizens of whatever downtrodden community he's visiting how he's there to help, listen to their presentations, say nice things about how noble and hardworking and deserving they all are, and move on to the next stop.

    I'm sure he'll hand out some money along the way, for retraining and other stuff...but it'll be a bandaid at best. He can't bring back three-cars-a-cottage-and-a-boat line worker pay, and he can't even re-open any closed plants.

    Washington is not likely to szve any "Big 3" auto jobs anywhere in any meaningful way. Certainly Mr. Montgomery representing the executive branch isn't going to do so, given that he has a very indirect connection th Congress where any such activity would have to take place. And, he can't help with new-industry attraction and job creation, either. That won't happen other than through local and state efforts to find expanding-business owners somewhere in the world, and convince them that of all the places they could locate, Flint is their best choice.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at