Roger and Me is a documentary starring Michael Moore that reveals the hard hitting economic impact General Motors left on Flint, Michigan. Throughout the film it is clear that General Motors was a huge factor in Flint’s financial system and slowly by surely it becomes evident that many of the residents living in Flint were eventually someway shape or form affected by layoffs from General Motors.
These layoffs came from General Motors attempt to adopt the concept of globalization, all the while General Motors tries to make sense out of the lay offs by stating that the Japanese auto makers were intense competition and their only result at the time was to either close the factories or look to the government for subsidies. While all this is being said, the truth had been told that General Motors was experiencing some of the highest profit rates in the previous years of that company.
There are a couple of reasons why I would partially side with Roger Smith, however given the opportunity to be placed in Mr. Smiths shoes my loyalty would be completely with the workers that helped General Motors make the company what it was. Globalization. This is the key to almost any major corporation, why? Because everyone’s goal is to be profitable throughout the seven continents as well as number one, and in order to be the best u must take your company on a multi national level. This is exactly what Roger smith was trying to accomplish.
From a business point of view it is understood that no matter how well your doing, you always want to do better, however putting 80,000 people out of work without any just reason besides the dollar signs flashing in ones eyes is unacceptable. What I observed was a man who not only tried to elevate his company to a global level, but without a doubt had an insatiable craving for money. This statement is proven when General Motors made a direct investment into Mexico therefore instead of paying the loyal employees actual working rates, local Mexicans would be paid next to nothing.
General Motors left a huge mark on Flint, Michigan, and after watching Roger and Me it left a huge mark on my thoughts about the company. After crippling Flint’s economic state Roger Smith did not even take the time to face the horrible facts. Truth of the matters is he knew how it would affect the town but frankly did not care at all. With the plants closing it not only took a toll on the employees who worked their, but the whole town. With 80,000 jobs being lost in one town that is certain to affect 9 out of 10 households in Flint eventually causing the whole town to fall.
Most working class citizens cannot live off of one income if their spouse is not working and with General motors no longer being able to supply the bulk of the jobs in Flint any longer this caused people to move willingly and some unwillingly. Many businesses were forced to close down because there was no one left any longer to help the business’s stay a float financially. This unfortunately was an event that Flint till this day has not recovered and seems if the town will never recover. To this day Flint is poverty stricken, and abandoned buildings are still vacant.
Just to look back on the devastation Roger Smith brought to this town, I wonder if he ever really took a look at what he had done to an entire town and if he had at least an ounce of remorse at all. Quite honestly I don’t think he ever did, but that is a wish I would like to come true so he could understand the burden he placed in these hard workers filled with loyalty. Without a doubt in my mind Michael Moore was 100% correct with approaching Roger Smith the way he did and I completely agree with the reasons he tried to contact him.
In a sense I do feel that a company should have a loyalty to their employees and vice versa. Given a different financial issue concerning General Motors I would have possibly understood if they had to lay off a couple people or maybe close one plant, but there were no financial troubles to be foreseen at all, just pure greed. Roger Smith should have owned up to what he did instead of constantly running away from questions that he could not answer and still go home with a clean conscience. Just to think about the neglect to care for the welfare of loyal employees sickens me and gives me a negative outlook on General Motors.
Theses sort of issues effect the average worker as myself, because I myself have worked for companies where people dedicate themselves to a job as well as do everything the job asks and more only to get nothing in return but a handshake out the door. Overall I enjoyed this film because it opened my eyes up to a lot that goes on in this world, not just within General Motors. Even though I have seen this film before I never got a chance to dissect the reasons behind Roger Smith actions and didn’t really look at how it devastated a town, took the town from something, to absolutely nothing.
Given the disturbing effect that General Motors caused, I feel as though a company should not be allowed to disable a community like this, it just seems to be morally unjust. Aside from that, the disloyalty would make anyone turn to the company they work for and weigh how much they are putting into a job, and what they are getting out of it and work definitely should not be that way. Hopefully in the future there could be something set in stone to keep another company from causing destruction to our own American people.