Corporate nostalgia is one thing, economic survival is another. Companies must always look to the future, anticipate where the market is headed, and position themselves accordingly. GM CEO Mary Barra is right when she says, “We are taking these actions now while the company and the economy are strong to stay in front of a fast-changing market.”
This type of market disruption is always painful for some, but it is how society as a whole advances — inch by painful inch.
Trump and other politicians are understandably unhappy whenever a factory closes and jobs are lost. Trump, with his what’s-in-it-for-me approach, rightly sees this as political trouble. He has made a big show of bragging — including in Ohio — that manufacturing jobs were coming back; you can expect his boasts to be used against him two years from now.
And yet elected officials must also encourage — and help — companies to innovate and take risks, for this is how future industries, jobs and wealth are created. Americans aren’t buying Impalas, LaCrosses and Cruzes anymore, why should GM squander precious resources making them? Doesn’t it make sense to shift those resources to building future products people will want?