Welcome to Chromacity…
Growing up a Flintstone in the 70’s was prosperous, living in a General Motors (GM) proud town. The neighborhood I grew up in was modest middle class houses. Everyone of my childhood friends were spoiled by all the new technology under the Christmas tree. Modernization of everything was evolving in front of my generation and we didn’t realize it. Everyone had at least 1 to 2 new car’s in the driveway, mostly GM cars, a few Fords and Chryslers. You were sorta frowned on for driving a non GM car, but were an outcast if someone drove up in a foreign car.
Everything seemed to revolve around Buick, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Fisher Body, Flint Metal Fab, GM V8 Engine, AC Spark Plug, (later renamed AC Delco, then Delphi) and Cadillac. Small business thrived, Schools and Parks all over the area were well maintained and full of great activities. Sit-down strike of 1936-1937 brought the UAW and Flint had lots Union pride.
In late 80’s and 90’s corporate, unions and local politicians seemed to get Greedy with the GM wealth. Politicians and unions were blaming the Corporate people and the corporate people blaming the unions. On the Federal Level was North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) letting Large American corporations take the manufacturing jobs out of the country to build their products cheaper and boost their profits higher.
Popular family cars and trucks in the 50’s and 60’s were under $5,000 in the 80’s under $10,000, in the 90’s were reaching $20,000, by year 2000 stepping up on $50,000 and today these same make and models are stretching up to $100,000. Used car market has tripled in price because many people just can’t afford to buy brand new, and the old cars and trucks just constantly get recycled to new owners spending thousands of dollars to keep them on the road, but far less if they were buying new.
The once proud town almost went bust in the last 25+ years. The Jobs just weren’t there, graduation classes in the late 80’s and 90’s just didn’t get to go to work for GM, unless you had a degree in college. Them college graduates got the same jobs the High School graduates got and the pay was reduced.
Still the disparity of the last 25+ years still continues, the Pacifier was taken away from Flint, few GM planets remain, while some new construction has started, the automation of many tasks means less actual workers building the cars and trucks, and of them the jobs pay lot less than the higher seniority union workers.
My goal with this isn’t to play the victim card, and bash the company, the unions or workers politicians in this. Everyone is at fault, my goal is to promote new Ideas for Flint, Genesee County, State Of Michigan, America, and beyond.