Do we really have control?
Entropy unleashed cannot be controlled...
What forces this change? Cannot we anticipate it coming?
Why are we then chained?
Twenty years ago, Livonia, Mich., was a prosperous Detroit suburb, with upscale neighborhoods and high-end stores in a new mall selling Hermès and Chanel, which some locals wore on special occasions to dine at the romantic Fonte D’Amore restaurant.
The local economy was thriving because of the Big Three automakers, which operated humming factories near Livonia and employed thousands of managers who commuted about 20 miles to the auto companies’ headquarters downtown.
Three hundred miles to the south, drivers back then on Interstate 75 could zip right by Georgetown, Ky., and barely notice it, with its tiny downtown, small college, quaint Victorian homes, and a spring that locals claimed was “the birthplace of bourbon.” The local hangout, Fava’s, was about the only place for a decent meal.
Now, two decades later, the two cities have seemingly switched places economically.
ivonia is stumbling, as Detroit’s automakers close factories and eliminate blue- and white-collar jobs. Just last week, Ford Motor announced that 30,000 workers had opted for deals worth up to $140,00 to leave. In all, with similar offers at General Motors, about 70,000 auto workers, or one-third of those in American plants, have decided this year to leave.
Georgetown, however, is booming because of Toyota, which has invested more than $5 billion in a sprawling manufacturing complex, leading to the construction of new schools, hotels and dozens of smaller factories run by suppliers to Toyota.
Their changing fortunes offer more than a tale of two auto cities. They provide a close-up look at the impact of a broader economic shift of the nation’s auto industry from north to south, as Detroit falters and their surging Asian competitors invest in Southern states.