The View From Your Recession

A reader writes:

I am a quality engineer at an automotive trim supplier in Michigan. Since our customers are 95% domestic, we have been hit quite hard by the automotive downturn. Due to rotating layoffs and pay cuts, I am now making less than I was in 2000. I have a house in Flint which is in foreclosure after being on the market for 4 years. I'm 35 with a 4-year degree and an MBA, but I feel powerless as I watch my career and wealth disintegrate.

I can't seem to react fast enough to these rapidly changing times. Do I ride it out, or do I uproot my family and start from scratch someplace else. It's a very difficult decision to make.

I understand your disapproval of the automotive bridge loans, and I don't disagree with the business reasoning of letting the market weed out ailing industries. Most people in Michigan support the loans for purely selfish reasons. Automotive manufacturing is the only thing some of us have ever known. Would the current economy be able to absorb the fallout if one of the Big 3 failed? I'm not convinced that it could. I fear things will get worse before they get better.