Consider for example the presidential candidates in Michigan yesterday. Most were saying that they cared about Michigan and Romney for instance saying he wouldn't rest until Michigan was fixed.
But seriously. Everything about Michigan just screams fundamental rearrangement. We are not going to get the 60s back:
As goes GM, so goes America (ok that one probably still holds - unfortunately).
Steel from Gary.
Ore from the iron ranges of Minnesota.
Middle class strong enough to afford all those cars, and support union wages and pensions.
Oh yeah, and oil from texas.
Unions are shaky - and quite possibly part of the problem
American car companies are loaded with debt and entitlements
Gary is toast
The iron ranges are deeply depressed
China does quite a bit of the manufacturing for us here in the US
Perhaps the largest emerging markets in automobobiles are in India and China, where airbags, nav systems, and cupholders (although certainly cool) are not the issue. Affordability is.
So what is the rebalancing that can make Michigan work again?
How do wages come down to be competitive?
How do American autombobiles, and American manufacturers compete against furren'ers?
How do American manufacturers aim for the future that includes climbing energy costs, dealing with those debt and entitlement burdens, and changing markets abroad?
Seriously, these guys are stoned if they think there's anything they can actually do to fix this. Good thing the US govt has money in the bank to help with some of those expensive retraining programs they are talking about.