Thursday, February 12, 2009

Everything in moderation

I'm in Ann Arbor, Michigan to give a speech at the University of Michigan and it's certainly a thought-provoking place to be. Kyle, the kind man who picked me up from the airport, is a former designer for GM who was laid off three years ago when his job was moved to Mexico. Before my speech last night, a man walked up to me and told me he had just been laid off as a business development executive at University Bank. No wonder so many people turned up for the food and drink at the reception beforehand! As I've been preparing my Congressional testimony, I've been thinking about my earlier post about what China needs to do, and actually, I think we should give Beijing credit for paying attention to the needs of workers - retraining, loans - in the middle of this economic downturn. Talking to workers, they're not angry, at least not the ones I'm meeting. They have very positive views of the government, and are strangely optimistic about their own prospects. I think living in such insecurity for so long - not ever knowing where their next job might be - has better prepared them for this downturn than Americans accustomed to a steady job with benefits. (Photo credit: Flickr,

1 comment:

Nathan said...

It was a pleasure meeting you earlier today at PVH. The topics you raised where intelligent, challenging, and very thought provoking. Thanks for signing my copy of your book. Nathan