Jump to content

People talking about Grand Rapids


Recommended Posts

Dad, you should probably read your links before you post them. Again, there is no comparison between Enron's financial dealings and how much executives are getting paid at AIG. While paying executives large amounts for little performance is disgusting, it is not illegal.

As far as prices “skyrocketing” on foreign cars, there is more than enough excess capacity. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/business...amp;oref=slogin

By the way, who said anything about filling demand with some new concept car? Currently there is a panoply of vehicle offerings out there. Do we really need all these different car companies. What is the difference between an Escalade and a Yukon anyways?

You are trying to compare whether Dale from Greenville can get a brand new F150 versus the entire financial system of the Western world tumbling down. It really is apples to oranges. You at least need some limited knowledge of finance before you make some of these claims. Watching Wood TV at 11 every night probably wont do that for you.

Let the auto industry rot and bailout the workers who didn’t have all that much to do with their companies downfall.

OK, first of all, you know that attacks against other members here don't usually end well. It's one of my pet peeves.

Secondly, here is the link I meant to leave:

http://www.directorship.com/sullivan-to-receive--47m

American International Group will give outgoing CEO Martin J. Sullivan a severance packaged valued at $47 million. Sullivan’s resignation took effect July 1, according to a Reuters report.

My question is: If congress is holding back a mere $25 Billion in loans for the Detroit 3 because of decisions these companies have made, how can they give AIG a $180 - $190 Billion blank check, despite the multiple bad decisions AIG has made? Please enlighten us as to the differences? To me, the failure of either AIG or GM is going to cause a lot of pain. So why the double standard?

I have no love for AIG, Countrywide or any of the financial companies who helped put us in this position in the first place.

As to the capacity issues, you can't show a snapshot of car inventory on one day and assume it will stay like that for 3, 4, 5 years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Replies 1.2k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Yeah I'll say I definitely appreciate the community on here.  Not really any hair on fire trolls that are pissed off or resentful of their past.  While we have our disagreements it tends to be pretty

I made my own list. It's called the GRLaker's Top 10 Cities to Buy, Rent, and Invest. We're #s 1-10. 

While this individual lives a bit out of GR, dont think for a moment that the housing prices and fighting for homes in GR by transplants isnt heating up. We bought our home in E. Hills half a dec

Posted Images

On Science Friday today were a couple of folks talking about electric cars, and how those could be implemented very quickly.

Said that customers are very interested (people are buying golf carts) and the tecnology exists. Said that switching over a single vehicle is cost-prohibitive, but the car companies have the economies of scale to obtain the batteiers and make it happen. And that more research is needed on hydrogen fuel cars, but e-cars can happen now. (They also made comments about giving the bail-out money to consumers for them to buy e-cars.)

The Congress for the New Urbanism speaker last week pointed out that the car companies got confused: They thought that they were in the oil business, not the transportation business.

Edited by Veloise
Link to post
Share on other sites

The big difference between the domestic auto industry and foreign companies or transplants is not the fuel economy of their cars. GM makes as many if not more 30+ MPG cars than Honda or Toyota. The big difference is their labor costs.

How can any company stay competitive when their labor costs are nearly double their competition? This bailout for the automotive is also a bailout for the UAW and it's members. If any of the "Big 3" goes into chapter 11 then their labor contracts are voided, and there go all the high paying UAW jobs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

GM is going down because:

In January of 1993, Clinton and Gore stood on the White House lawn and announced $1 billion in government funds for the big three automakers, and in return, there was a commitment to improve fuel efficiency by three times. Having not been invited and fearing they would lose market share, Toyota and Honda ramped up research into increasing fuel mileage with different technologies. And so the Prius was born. Not out of love for mother nature, but out of fear of falling profits. Yet as it turns out, GM, Ford, and Chrysler never did go to market with their increased mileage vehicles. They pressed on selling Hummer after Hummer, Ram after Ram until one day, they saw their fearful competitors breeze by them in market share and profit. The Big Three, resisting the necessity to figure out how and why, went to big dad government for a cash advance to keep the scary foreigners away.

The Detroit 3 definitely built a niche though. The two best selling vehicles in America for as long as I can remember were the Ford F Series pickups and the Chevy Silverado pickup. Way more than the Toyota Camry. The Dodge Ram was up there too. And it was fairly easy to build SUV's on the same platforms, sharing much of the same part supply chain.

But you're right that they dropped the ball many times when they had a chance to go along with higher CAFE standards. That could have kept many buyers in the market for these vehicles when gas prices went up.

I also have no love for the Detroit 3. Having worked in automotive supplies for many years in a past life, I know they're a bunch of beotchs. But once in a while, you have to forget about how we got here, and just deal with moving forward.

Going back to the CNBC show that highlighted Grand Rapids, I HATE those shows with talking heads barking at each other. What a waste of air time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

GM is going down because:

2. The unions wanted janitors to make $100,000 a year and not emptying more than 5 trash cans an hour.

Got any facts to back that up, or just repeating unfounded rhetoric? If it was not for the improvement to working conditions and wages of the blue collar workers, there would be no middle class. Has there been abuse on the part of the UAW? Absolutely, but I would venture to say that the abuses from executives has hurt companies more than the abuses of the line workers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

my buddy used to work for GM. they caught a couple of guys from the line getting high at lunch and their punishment was two weeks off with pay. Not much of an incentive to show up sober. I can tell you that the factories are filled with guys who work only a couple of hours a day while collecting huge paychecks. The jobs bank has to go as well. I met a guy who was on it for 3 years. when he finally was called up to do some real work his first order of business was to try and get on disability.

I think the most telling portrait of what the UAW did to thier work members work ethic was in "Roger and Me" when Michael Moore told the story of laid off workers that couldn't hold jobs in the fast food industry because working 8 hours in a row was more than they could handle.

It has been said that the UAW created the middle class by improving the lives of blue collar workers but an overlooked consequence of this was severely handicapping the advancement of the middle class today. Education became devalued because it was not needed to be successful in our manufacturing based economy. These attitudes persist today which is why the michigan economy has been slowly dying ever since we entered the 'information age' It's hard to work with information when you can barely read.

Edited by jasonsquiresdo
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what this article in today's New York Times about 4 young Grand Rapids natives living together in Manhattan infers about Grand Rapids...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/realesta...3habi.html?8dpc

I took it as a positive and a point of pride...but would be nice to imagine them coming back to GR someday and doing great things here....

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what this article in today's New York Times about 4 young Grand Rapids natives living together in Manhattan infers about Grand Rapids...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/realesta...3habi.html?8dpc

I took it as a positive and a point of pride...but would be nice to imagine them coming back to GR someday and doing great things here....

That was my first thought when reading that article too... "gee cool... they moved away."

;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

The piece in the New York Times that I read on Sunday was a lot gloomier. Don't have a ready link, but it was datelined Fennville and detailed the struggles of a lady there and others to make it in the current economy. The point of the story was that this was happening in Western Michigan, far from Detroit.

I was shocked about two statistics in that story. First, that nearly one in five Michigan residents is on some form of government assistance. Second, that Michigan is 35th in the US in the per capita number of college graduates.

Link to post
Share on other sites

new economy report

I just read a study report that had michigan listed as the 17th best state to take advantage of the 'new economy' based on tech and knowledge. they had the rankings going back to 1999 and every year michigan was several spots better in fact moving up from 34th. we must be doing something right.

Edited by jasonsquiresdo
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well here is the detailed report.

IT Professionals - 1.30% (22) Avg 1.37%

Managerial,Professional, Technical Jobs - 22.2% (13) Avg 21.5%

Workforce Education - 30.7 (28) Avg 31.5

Immigration of Knowledgeable Workers - 12.9 (8) Avg 11.4

Migration of Knowledgeable Workers - 13.0 (26) Avg 13.1

Manufacturing Value Added - 97.7% (26) Avg 99.2%

High Wage Traded Services - 12.2% (31) Avg 14.7%

Export of Manufacturing and Services - $21,973 (29) Avg $31,606

Foreign Direct Investment - 3.5% (11) Avg 3.0%

Rapid Growth aka "Gazelle" Jobs - 6.3% (31) Avg 8.0%

Job Churning - 38.9% (10) Avg 33.4%

Fastest Growing Firms - .005% (32) Avg .013%

IPOs - 4.19 (32) Avg 5.0

They have some groupings in this. First is Knowledgeable Jobs. Here we are at 10.01 and the national avg is 10.00. So We are really close to the avg and can be increased to keep pace.

Okay for the IT Professionals its not so much IT people but relates to where they work. So having a ton of IT companies will not help that score. What we need is more IT Jobs in non IT places. So with us being under the avg we have some room to grow here. Managers, professionals, and technicians jobs, here we are above the national avg but just marginally. Thankfully this is going to go up in a year or two with the Medical Hill projects getting wrapped up. But we need to figure out some more expanses in this area after the medical hill gets wrapped up. Workforce Education, this one we got some room for improvement. Unlike the IT here we have a huge hill to climb. This one needs to get the Blue Collar Unions on board and hopefully we can increase the education of our employees. The problem I see is how can unions ask their workers in the auto industry to go to school to get an AS, AA or some other college courses. Immigration of Knowledgeable Workers is saying that we have an avg years of education of 12.9 for each immigrant coming into our state. The national avg is brought down a lot by immigrants on the southern border. As a result I think we should look more to top 5 or so and that gives us around 13 yrs. So we have some work to do. One thing that can help is having those immigrants from Latin America, which tends to be of lower education, go back into school in local ESL programs to help them assimilate better. The next one is Migration of Knowledgeable Workers which is key for bringing in high educated workers from other states. Right now all that can be done is just make sure we have jobs for them. Not much else we can do here. Its really just up to the companies to do. Next we go to Manufacturing Value Added which is one that we are going to struggle until we can get more high tech areas. We as a state do not have the car factories running for effeciency but as a union hostage in that regard. It is rather large part of our base but with a change in GR from manufactury to medical should improve our numbers. High Wage Traded Services which is just to say how we rank in paying our employees in all service jobs. This one is a catch 22 IMHO. We would like to have a higher wage for everyone but by doing so we also increase our costs. But since this also includes lawyers and other higher wage earners it can also be used to keep us near the national avg which we are.

The next aspect is Globalization. The ranking is sitting us at 16 with a score of 9.76, the national avg is 10. Some room to grow IMHO. The first part of this is the Export of Manufacturing and Services, which is the worth of the product we produce per service and industry worker. Essentially its rating how our trade is compared to the costs of the employees. Here we sit at $21,973 with the of Avg $31,606 which means we are currently $10k off the national avg. This is more than likely the fact that the Big 3 are not cutting it with efficiancy. Given that vehicles are a major export for the state we need them to change how they work. Thankfully that should be going up if the congress has their way with them. The thing that can also help us out is getting more pharmacutical companies in the state with the Medical Hill. That can also help our rankings. BTW a nice tech bomb could help in getting the office furniture business moving again. The next part is Foreign Direct Investment. Here it is how many employees are being employed by businesses owned from outside the US. I guess its a good thing for some reason :rolleyes: but personally I think just keeping the status quo is fine by me. Not sure why this is here personally. Can somebody explain this to me?

The next aspect is Economic Dynamism. Here we are again below the national avg with a score of 8.95 and national avg at 10. So its one part we can get better at. The first part is "Gazelle" Jobs which we are below the national avg by 25%. This one is going to be hard to expand but thankfully our city is working hard at expanding this one. I am just not sure what we can do outside of a handful of medical startups that effect this score. If we continue our work on the medical hill and hopefully more companies start up making medicines and other medical areas we should be able to keep up with any increases and hopefully get more with this. But be mindful like the 90's to make sure we dont throw money on companies that may close up shop in a few years. It needs to be sustianable. Job Churning frankly I think this one is kinda bad and can be good. Its a catch 22 in their ranking. The problem is that combines both firm closes and firm openings. Frankly I think it should be a negative percent for us since we had more firms close than open per their report. Its quite sad so all we should be looking for is just getting more firms to open and expand. Fastest Growing Firms is the next one. This one is actually something that Wyoming is going to get noted in that a lot of the small industrial facilities in the city are expanding. The key is that they need to expand by 200% for several years to get listed. As a result which Wyomings industry base is expanding I do not think it will make it get a lot of companies listed since manufacting is hard to get continued growth. Overall though just getting more companies to invest in themselves and expanding is what is key here. Lastly is the number of IPO's. Granted a well rounded state that has full employment should not have many IPOs if there are mostly public companies. But a state like us needs to get more IPO's happening. IPO's are great because it means a company is raising cash to expand which means its doing well. So for us being almost 1/3 of the national avg we need to be a leader to say our ecomeny in the state is increasing. But as I said time and time agian, the medical hill is going to give a lot of that to us thankfully.

The thing is that even if our medical hill does all that I say it can we still need to be mindful that if those companies ask for breaks we need to provide them to keep them in the state and continue to hire more and more. The other good thing about expansion is that if they are producing items it means they are getting shipped. If they get shipped that means they are going to be paying taxes for our roads and for the income that is being used to service that shipping and manufactoring. Its a neat little circle.

Edited by aowwt
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an article about GR in USA Today:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/hous...nd-rapids_N.htm

Despite the doom and gloom about the local housing market, they did manage to gather some positive news about the area.

Unfortunately there is no mention of why the Stokes home is for sale. I suppose that could be a story for another section of USA Today.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an article about GR in USA Today:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/hous...nd-rapids_N.htm

Despite the doom and gloom about the local housing market, they did manage to gather some positive news about the area.

Was looking for the "jump" page where they discuss lower-end (i.e. cheap) properties. GRAR shows about 70 listings for places between $10k and $20k.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately there is no mention of why the Stokes home is for sale. I suppose that could be a story for another section of USA Today.

Yeah, I noticed that too. Ah well. Some things are better left unsaid (for a USA Today article).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.