It has been many years since I visited friends in Flint, MI. I am often reminded of them when I hear the latest statement coming from Michael Moore of that same town. Part of his eulogy for GM is as follows:
So here we are at the deathbed of General Motors. The company’s body not yet cold, and I find myself filled with — dare I say it — joy. It is not the joy of revenge against a corporation that ruined my hometown and brought misery, divorce, alcoholism, homelessness, physical and mental debilitation, and drug addiction to the people I grew up with. Nor do I, obviously, claim any joy in knowing that 21,000 more GM workers will be told that they, too, are without a job.
Hold on just one second. GM was the agent of “misery, divorce, alcoholism, homelessness, physical and mental debilitation and drug addition” for the people of Flint? While I could support the idea that GM was indeed responsible for poor business and marketplace decisions (not the least of which was setting up the jobs bank for the UAW) to place the blame for these things on GM rather than individuals who made choices is to turn the world on its head. But then, the idea that each of us is responsible for not only our own actions but for making the best of the sometimes inequitable situations in which we find ourselves is as foreign to Mr. Moore as the idea of excellent Cuban health care is to many of the rest of us.