Flint Michigan Controversy: GM lays of thousands of workers (issue that Michael Moore addresses in "Roger and Me")

Essay by WilldrinkHigh School, 12th gradeA-, April 2004

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The GM motors company, founded in Flint Michigan, provided Flint with an abundance of jobs and a seemingly secure economic environment. However, this all changed in the early 1980's when GM's chairman, Roger Smith, decided to lay off thousands of Flint employees. As a result of Smith's decision, GM has since seen lucrative profits in excess of eighteen billion dollars, and GM share holders have indulged in rising stock values. Although GM's top dogs have enjoyed substantial economic benefits from this decision, the town of Flint has been devastated. Flint's dependency on GM backfired and many of the laid off GM employees have found it nearly impossible to recover. As a result, a once comfortable town quickly turned into one of the least desirable places in the United States to live in. While GM executives eschewed any blame for Flint's plight, saying that this is just the nature of major industries, the citizens of Flint demanded answers and compensation.

In the beginning, there were many advantages of having GM as the dominate employer in Flint. The quantity of GM jobs provided for an economic boom town in the 1960's and 1970's, with money from General Motors trickling down from the workers to every part of the economy, and a growing population creating more homes, roads, and businesses. It was all too good to be true. But when Roger Smith, president of GM, decided to relocate numerous jobs from the Buick City, it was time for Flint to pay the piper. Smith's plan was a great one for his own gain. It added millions to his already absurd supply of money, and for those top executives around him, the benefits were equally appealing. However, Smith failed to consider the thousands of people who were destroyed by his relentless stride to...