Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Friday, November 21, 2008
  Worker Owned
I've seen this idea floated around a few different places - Let the UAW buy and run General Motors. At this point, what could it hurt? Put those who actually have a vested interest in making and selling cars, rather than the MBAs who have target stock prices for their own options, in charge.

It's no more ridiculous than the idea of installing Mitt Romney, so why the heck not?
It is most probable that the UAW has about the same amount of interest in owning GM as GM has in owning the UAW. That said, the two have many common bonds that they have trouble keeping at the center of their relationship. Neither could long survive without the other. Over the past twenty years or so there has been much improvement in their joint recognition of how they can both contribute to their survival. But, much more must be done. Hopefully, Obama's presidency will help them in recognizing their responsibilities to improve (and thus survive).
Due to their size and the complexity of their business systems, change (which is always difficult) comes very slowly. I believe the current situation may well work to hasten necessary changes which have been resisted in the past. The problems in the automotive industry are systemic in nature and in many ways are common to all the manufacturers, including all the off-shore companies that seem to be doing well. As they grow and expand to the size and age of GM and the US companies. their life will become more and more complex. I am sure they are studying today's events, as they have done in the past, to try to plan ways to avoid the mistakes that the US companies have made.

Grandpa, I have always remembered a conversation I had with you (nearly a decade ago!) in which you predicted GM's demise. You are a wise sage!
I'm pretty sure that nothing is crazier than putting Mitt Romney in charge.

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