Roger & Me

rogme.jpg Roger & Me (1989) is a movie about small-town Michigan, and some may even say small-town America. General Motors (the company that was once so important they used to say ‘what’s good for GM is good for the U.S.’) is closing its factories in Flint (MI) and moving production to Mexico. The closing of GM, accompanies with the inevitable closing of the local factories of its suppliers, has a big impact on the community- loss of jobs, loss of homes, decrease in quality of life etc. Michael Moore, arguably the most controversial documentary film-maker in the U.S., tries to get General Motors chairman Roger Smith to come to Flint and see the devastation his decision has caused in the town. Michael Moore fails in persuading Roger Smith to visit Flint, but succeeds in making a good movie.

Many critics argue that Roger & Me is Michael Moore’s best movie. Regardless of whether it is or it is not, Michael Moore effectively highlights the pain caused by relocating factories or outsourcing jobs. Though the movie was made in 1989, the issues Michael Moore discusses in the movie continue to be valid to this day in Michigan. Anyone who heard Governor Romney and Senator McCain battle it out in Michigan last month knows that the people of Michigan would really like to get back those jobs they lost to other countries. The economy being what it is and corporate downsizing refusing to slow down, the movie is a great teaching tool for issues related to globalization, the impact of layoffs, role of big business, automobile industry, competition, top management decision-making, business leadership, public policy, and many others.



217 responses to “Roger & Me

  1. At first, I was able to empathize with the people of Flint, Michigan even though I understood Roger Smith’s need to close down the plant. However, as the movie progressed, I felt that Michael Moore went just a bit too far in relating the downfall of Flint to the removal of the GM plant. Sure, a lot of people lost their jobs, and that is definately a big blow to the community. However, I do believe that people should be personally accountable for their circumstances, and I think that SOME of the citizens of Flint just didn’t care. What really irritated me was when the manager of Taco Bell said that the ex GM employees couldn’t handle working a fast food rush. To me, this is really sad… Additionally, he did not make it clear that all evictions were related to the GM closing (although he lead the viewer to believe that they were). One should question whether all of the people who lost their homes were displaced workers or if they were just people who thought they could live off the government forever. Also, it is no wonder that Michael Moore could not get in to see Roger Smith. Every time he went into the executive building, he was underdressed and unprofessional. If I wanted to speak with the top executive of General Motors, I would show up with my hair combed and in a business suit…but that’s just me! All in all, I am not trying to sound like a heartless jerk, but Americans need to be more proactive about their circumstances and quit blaming others for their problems. It is just a fact that executives like Smith are forced to make decisions that are in the best interest of the company and the shareholders. Unless shareholders value social responsibility, it is unlikely big business ever will. Perhaps our generation can help turn this around… but until then, Americans need to realize that it is vital for them to gain higher skills if they are going to be marketable to employers. With factory jobs being so much cheaper overseas, they cannot depend on these jobs being in the U.S. much longer.

  2. Okay, re-reading my comment, it seems kind of mean….I think that I’m just not much of a Michael Moore fan!

  3. This was a good film. I think that it is important to look at all sides of things. I never really thought that one plant closing could have an effect on a whole city. My heart goes out to those people who are put in that situation. I think that if a big company is planning on closing a plant then they need to have something in place to help their workers out. Another job , if they transfer. I also see the other side of it. GM was going to make more money and sometimes you have to make the hard choice.

  4. With every decision made there are winners and losers. Unfortunately Flint, Michigan’s auto workers were on the losing side of a decision made by General Motors. I feel Michael Moore was “correct” in exposing that the people of Flint, Michigan were probably not considered when the decision was made to close a plant, however, the downfall of Flint into crime, poverty, and unemployment cannot be blamed solely on one corporation. Poor city planning and poor economic development is more to blame than General Motors closing plants. The lack of corrective action by the people, not the city, is also part of the problem. Also, with many Michael Moore films the other side was not portrayed. There were many autoworkers that worked for the Flint GM plants–many probably moved, began new jobs, or made the best out of a bad situation.

  5. It is always going to be a terrible situation when 30,000 people get laid off because of a company trying to save money. In this movie, Moore is putting the blame on GM for all the violance, poerty, and unemployment. I have a hard time believing that not one of the employees saw this coming, either hearing it through the grape vines or whatever. The people of Flint were so happy when everything was going well, and they were making tons of money at the GM plant which ironically, in the end contributed to the plant closing. The city official’s should have done a better job of planning for if a situation like this does happen. It is sort of like putting all your eggs into one basket. It’s fine when you still have basket in your hands, but when you lose the basket, you are left with nothing.
    The movie also doe not give you a chance to see all the people that did make it out of the plant closing on their feet.

  6. Another movie by Michael Moore that is obviously biased from the start to the end. All of his movies are propaganda films for his side of the story and I believe he fails as a reporter and suceeds at slanting half truths his way. After that has been said I must say that this movie did impact me more than most of his other movies. At the start of the movie, I was dead set on believing that it is better for the economy if a company movies production to a lower wage area of the world. The lower cost of production leads to a lower cost to purchase and therefore the entire economy is better off. This movie, no matter how biased it is, made me really step back and look at the other side of the coin. It truly is sad to see all the people laid off and the city of Flint still suffering to this day. Just the other day I was reading an article that placed Flint, Michigan in the top 5 worse places to live. It really is sad and I hope the people of Flint are able to eventually overcome the problems they are facing and to turn the town around for the better.

  7. Poor Roger Smith, Michael Moore made him out to be the worst guy in the world for making a decision that was in the best interest of GM. I feel horrible for the people of Flint Michigan, it must be devastating for a community to be torn apart by a single company moving its operations. The decision Roger made is not an easy one and I believe that anyone in his shoes would have made the same decision at the time. When looking at the cost of doing business in Michigan versus another place with cheaper labor, and the impending competition with foreign auto manufacturers, GM had to move its operations to stay in business.

  8. Roger and Me is the story that many Americans hate to hear. Small town America losing to a corporation and in turn another country. When this happens it is devasting to the local areas where the jobs are lost and families lose their source of income. From the business perspective, GM is looking to outsourcing to help it remain competitive in today’s market. It is making its decision based upon a business decision and looking at what would be best to keep the company functioning. I believe that this movie still holds very true even today with all of the big companies outsourcing. We even have evidence of some of this right here in Omaha with Mutual of Omaha pulling out of the health care industry. It is a business decision that they are making, but it could definitely have an effect on the companies workers and in turn the community. Thankfully they are investing a lot in the Midtown area though despite all of this.

  9. I really was not looking forward to a Michael Moore documentary, but the video store I went to did not have the other movie. I was pleasantly surprised by the documentary, previous Moore work I have seen was annoying and ridiculous, but this one addressed a real issue. I felt bad for all those laid off, but when the whole city became a dump because of it really changed my mind. The city went downhill because people did not take responsibility and find new jobs, instead they played victim and expected GM to carry them. I think that Moore supported that, which I did not like. I can see how closing a plant of that size that the community loved would create a small depression, but this story was ridiculous.

  10. The movie “Roger and Me” showed the free enterprise system of United States. Moore illustrates the negative impact on economy when GM turned down its auto plant in the flint Michigan. The shut down decision shocked the whole city. It is very sad when company laid-off thousands of people and offers those jobs to other country, just to save the money. They showed that how company made tons of money and then moved to Mexico for cheap labor. In the movie showed that they take the jobs away from the Americans. If we look at this as business prospects the company decision might be right. It is true that every business want to save money to survive for long run. People try to save a single penny where ever they can save. On the other hand more than 30 thousand people lost the jobs with this decision which just didn’t hurt the local economy but the whole nation. Through the movie Moore tried to improve Flint’s reputation and economy. The movie illustrated that how one big business can change the whole city economy.

  11. The movie, while it has its purposes only looks at one side of the argument. Yes, it is bad that all of those people in Flint lost their jobs, but if GM would have been more proactive in cutting costs maybe they wouldn’t be losing billions of dollars a year. If Michael Moore is so heart broken over what has happened why doesn’t he spend his time helping to retrain the people in Flint instead of making all of those trips to see Roger Smith when there is no way he was ever going to get a meeting. Even thou I do think that this movie was very biased there is something we should take a way from it, and that is we need to study how devastating a closing like this can be and figure out how we can mitigate these problems. More U.S. jobs are going to be shifted over seas and it is important that we learn from past experiences and try to improve our reactions.

  12. Biases are what make Michael Moore’s documentaries so good. He actally has a point to make based upon his own personal feelings. What’s wrong with that? Ken Burns documentaries are never slammed on for being biased. He talks about how bad it was for the allies in WW2. But rarely does he mention the plight of the axis forces. Why? Because everyone knows who the bad guys are! It’s unseen bias. Roger and Me is about two sides of the same american coin. Moore spends all of his time focusing on how GM is bad and the citizens of Flint got screwed. If he gave a business case about why GM had to do it, the film wouldn’t make sense. We might as well just read about it in Businessweek. Anyway, Americans are resilient. Manufacturing cars costs more here than elsewhere so let’s learn new skills and try new things. Easier said than done, I know. Such is life.

  13. The movie is definately one-sided, but that is what can be expected from a documetary. It does still show some good points. For example, it demonstrates how much profit has a large impact on business decisions and how insensitive most businesses are about their employees general well being. I also like the final part of the movie where he says something about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. This still seems to be the case, 20 years later. I will say that I was absolutely mortified by the part where the lady smashes the bunny’s head in. It caught me completely off guard. (Not that this has anything to do with business, but it was gross). Overall, the movie was interesting. I think that it was bad that he tried to relate the increasing crime to the layoffs though. The 80’s were the start of the crack epidemic and I have to say that this probably had a larger impact than the layoffs.

  14. I think that this movie was an okay movie. I have never really been a Michael Moore fan. I think he takes things a little too far to make a point. I think he likes to exploit people to the point where it makes them look like they are committing a crime. Yes, I do feel that business men and women get greedy, and that is exactly what happened to the leaders of GM. However, I think that if you do not work for something then your company would be nothing. There are those people in today’s world that have been very successful business men and women, and I do not think that they should be punished for that. The advisor for GM said in this movie that sometimes companies have to make decision to keep the company going and be successful. I believe this is very true and sometimes the decisions people make have a positive effect and a negative effect. The challenge to today’s workers is to be able to pull yourself out if you get affected negatively by business decisions. Overall it was an okay movie; I think Michael Moore could work at not being so biased when he makes movies.

  15. Jillian Bierce

    The movie Roger and Me was a somewhat good movie if you like documentaries and Michael Moore. I am not a fan of either. I think Michael Moore is one-sided and never shows the positive things that result from it. Moore makes GM to be a horrible corporation. GM had to do what was best for it’s business. If you look at companies today, more and more of them are doing the same. Companies just want to be succesful and maximize their profit. Employees know that their is always a risk of getting laid off when they joing a company. It just seems that it is worse when thousands of people get laid off at once. People need to understand that there are other jobs out there for them.

  16. The movie Roger & Me, produced by Michael Moore, is a documentary about the closing of GM plants in Flint, Michigan. GM decided in the late 80s to shut down plant operations in Flint and move their factories to Mexico. When it was all said and done, the Flint community would suffer around 30,000 job layoffs. The effects of the GM decision severely damaged the small town Michigan community, both economically and spiritually. Michael Moore takes up the job of reporting this event and attempting to expose the ethical wrongdoing of Roger Smith’s actions. Technically, this was a good movie, yet Michael Moore tends to show just one side of the story. The devastation and harm that this event caused is undeniable, and as Moore would argue, unjustifiable. The bigger picture is one of a corporation “doing what it has to do to stay competitive in its economic climate.” The truth of the matter is that GM could have faced severe losses, maybe even bankruptcy, if it had not followed suit with the rest of major corporations participating in outsourcing and globalization at the time. How GM went about this and carried out their decisions is definitely questionable. Good movie. Bitter taste.

  17. Molly Mickeliunas

    Michael Moore’s documentaries are always very interesting. Here he starts to show a good point on how a city struggled after their main source of jobs was taken away. He seemed to cause and add more drama and stress to the situation. Yes it is difficult when a major plant closes. But, on the other hand GM had to do what was best for their company based on the economy, production costs, and sales. GM was trying to stay competitive and survive against other corporations. Moore was just showing the town and those that were hurt by GM leaving. I think Moore can be too pushy and ignorant. GM maybe hasn’t been the most ethical company and hasn’t made all the right decisions but life went on for those in Flint. It just took time. I agree with Morgan…the bunny killing was unnecessary!

  18. Roger and Me is just another Michael Moore film in my opinion, an attempt to illustrate the evil ways of big business. Before I even watch a Moore film I already know what to expect, negative bias. It is unfortunate for the Flint community that the GM plant moved operations to Mexico but these decisions are sometimes necessary to compete in a changing environment. What would happen if corporations did not make the decisions they do, ones that don’t coincide 100% with society’s views of right or wrong? Would America or the economy be where it is today? Where would GM be if they did not move their production to Mexico? Would the company have had to cut other areas of their business as a result of increases in costs from their Flint plants causing other employees to loose their jobs or as another student commented to potentially force the company to bankruptcy? Without making such moves large corporations would not be able to satisfy their customers who continuously demand more along with the inability to create new jobs from expanded operations.

  19. I thought the film was quite interesting. I do agree that it was sad for the employees of GM to lose their jobs…at least initially. GM downsized its business and in turn, layed employees off and shut down foctories. Michael Moore made it seem that the reason people were being evicted and had trouble making ends meet was soley the fault of GM. I agree that this was part of the reason initially, but I failed to see the victims budget or search for new ways to pay to the bills. I think lack of motivation and an attitude of “the company owes me something” was the culprit. Overall, I enjoyed the movie although it was a bit one-sided.

  20. I think the documentary was a good way for the audience to see what effects a large corporation has on a city when they close their doors. It showed how the city of Flint fell into a depression, leaving families to fend for themselves when there was no money coming in b/c there were no jobs they could get. The GM plant cannot operate in a net loss, so closing a plant was the only answer. However, Roger Smith took no approach for the people, eliminating unnecessary losses for the people or creating more jobs some other way. It was a no win situation, but by seeing the aftermath of a plant closing of that size was depressing. Those poor people had no way to improve their situation. And the rich seemed to be getting richer, and didn’t seem like they cared to help out the city as a whole, just themselves. Overall, the movie was interesting, but a little on the boring side.

  21. I could not watch the part where the woman beat the bunny with a huge rod, tied it to a tree by the feet and stip it away. It is sad what happens with lay offs like the employees of GM but will probably happen more and more with globalization and the recession.
    It was a Michael Moore movie. Somewhat one sided and dramatic. His movies have a theme. They may not be the best but they do educate the public and let people learn experiences of others.
    Businesses and the people who run them are judged as being greedy. They are doing thier job. They are doing what they are supposed to and others could be seen as foolish for not doing the same.
    GM gave all those people a job in the first place. I would be interested to see how the town is doing now. It is scary to see how poverty effects people and how things change. It makes me appreciate my education and opportunities in life that much more.

  22. Nicole Dwornicki

    This movie made me realize the importance of an education; you can not be dependent on a company because they are only looking out for their own best interest. This movie showed how much devastation a town can go through when it is dependent on big business, and that business leaves town. I know that there are many towns in the United States that are dependent on one business to employee a majority of its people. I think that Michael Moore does a great job of trying to make big business socially responsible. I thought it was interesting to show how those that had money were unaware how much the closing of GM plants actually did impact the town of Flint. Such as the Great Gatsby party Michael attended where the richer people were having a good time, while those that lost their jobs were being evicted from their homes. I thought the scene that really showed the effect of the GM closing was during the parade; as the camera panned on the street many of the stores were bored up. When a large company leaves a town like Flint, it doesn’t just affect those that worked there but the rest of the town because many people can no longer afford to go shopping, which causes other local businesses to fail. I understand that it is the CEO’s job to make decisions that are for the best of the business, but it is amazing how they are unwilling to face the effect that their decisions have on others.

  23. All in all I like this movie. I think that Moore brings up a good point about the devastation that the plant closing brought to Flint. I don’t like Michael Moore but I do think that he raises some good points just presents them in a slanted manner. GM is an interesting study because they have been losing a lot lately and it doesnt seem like there is an end in sight for them. Roger was faced with some tough decisions and he dealt with them in the best manner that he could. I think it would be almost impossible for Flint to ever recover after losing that many jobs. Globalization creates demand for a higher skilled workforce when low skilled workers are laid off. Although that sounds good in theory I certainly wouldnt want to be 50 and have someone tell me that I know had the opportunity for a massive career change. This situation in Flint is sad, no doubt about that, but Mr. Moore doesnt present any answers to anything, he simply states the problem, and really anyone can do that.

  24. I thought this movie was interesting to say the least even though it was extremely one sighted and Moore only brings up one side. It was sad to see how a city like flint falls apart when the plan goes out of business. Roger Smith is probably not the most like guy in the area but thats big business. It was a horrible event but people have options they could leave they could find other jobs. Sitting around waiting for something to happen it never the answer. I also thought it was interesting how the city of Flint tried to make money off tourism but it was a major flop. I think that GM has seen this problem coming for a very long time and the Union workers are partly to blame for it. I think as bad as it is if anyone was Roger Smith they would do the same thing.
    I wasn’t a big fan of this movie because Mr Moore focused on the problem and not the solution. O poor people of flint this is GM’s fault not by fault. I think that is a very poor excuse and Moore just makes himself look foolish and ignornant!

  25. This movie goes to show how every business decision can have great impact on the lives of many. GM was clearly making a decision that benefited them competitively. They were able to outsource their production and reduce costs in order to keep up with the other companies in the industry. This is why it is easy to see why GM chose to do this. On the other hand, thousands of people were working for the company and depending on them as their source of income. That’s where the decision-making becomes difficult. Many people with families were left jobless and created an awful situation in the town of Michigan. I just think that GM should have created some sort of program to find jobs or create different jobs for those that were left without jobs. There were just so many people that were affected, that leaving them without a job or any kind of support just seems wrong.

  26. This documentary was an interesting look at Flint, Michigan while GM was shutting down plants in the city. This action had negative effects on the city. It makes me think about one thing. Is the only thing a company should think about is their bottom line? Of course what happened to Flint is a common theme among many cities in the U.S. built on the manufacturing/industry worker. It will be hard for these cities to find something to revitalize.

    Top Ten most miserable cities: (Flint is #3)

  27. I didn’t really like this movie. It was kind of boring and really old, the clothes were a little distracting. But I did think it was funny when Michael Moore kept getting kicked out of all the places when he was looking for Roger Smith, especially the GM headquarters. I guess I never realized the negative effects to a city that can come from closing a major plant. This movie was very depressing to see all the bad things that happened to the city and they just kept coming. The people of the town tried to revive the city, but nothing worked. I thought the part with the lady and the rabbit was disgusting and too graphic for me. This movie really emphasized the big gap between the rich and the poor, and really made the rich seem heartless and frivolous with money. I can’t believe they really paid to stay the night and throw a party in the new jail. It took Michael a long time to finally get to talk to Roger and he didn’t even get to talk with him that long.

  28. Dan Sundermeier

    When I watched the movie Roger & Me, I was reminded of the concept of outsourcing from my Organizational Design course. The movie was based on the closing of GM’s auto factories in Flint Michigan. GM closed these plants for financial reasons.
    The concept of outsourcing was demonstrated when GM moved some factories from the US to Mexico. The town of Flint was devastated when they laid off 30,000 jobs. The town relied on these jobs for its survival. Outsourcing is a concept that relocates the production of a product or service to a different location. The relocation saves money usually through cheaper labor. I believe Michael Moore said the Mexican workers would work for 71 cents an hour. The labor in Flint at the auto factory was unionized and would be much more expensive than the Mexican equivalent. Relocating these plants was a very intelligent move for GM. It saved the company millions of dollars.
    I thought this movie had very little application to business. While it was informative to the plight of the unemployed worker, there was only one theory/concept/principle that could be pulled from the film. The concept of outsourcing was talked about very little. The film was just a big attack on Roger Smith who had the company’s best interest in mind. Michael Moore was a poor interviewer in this film because of his personal connection with the topic.

  29. Tineisha Whitehead

    I think MIchael Moore did a great job trying to get his point across about big businesses in small towns. Many people in small towns solely depend on these companies to get by and to keep the town running otherwise it would eventually become a ghost town. When a big company starts laying off people like GM did, everything changes not just for the persona being layed off but for the town as well. It would be like a big domino effect. This movie was so sad but it reminded me of the value of education. One can go so far with it an not have to worry about the amount of time it will take them to find another job after being layed off. Although its a movie, I would encourage the employees to try to get their education one they were able to find a new job to better support there families.

  30. Typical Michael Moore, always giving one side of the story. Small town business does get beaten out by big business, but to the extent which Moore trys to portray big business as the enemy is incorrect. I agree with Tineisha when she talks about education. If the people working in the plants would have gone on to get a college degree they would most likely not be working in a plant that has a probability of lay offs. Closing a major plant in a city does have major effects and it was interesting to see that. Overall, i have never been a fan of Michael Moore and this movie was no different.

  31. joshua classen

    I totally agree with Andrew Hutton. Michael Moore made Roger Smith out to be the worst guy in the world for making a decision that was in the best interest of GM as a whole. When he was making the decision it could have gone one of two ways. 1st he could keep the Flint plant and try to pull GM out of the quicksand it was in, which no-one thought to be possible. This would benefit the town of Flint but not GM as a whole. Second he could made a unilateral decision by closing the Flint plant. Doing so would keep GM afloat and protect many more jobs than just the ones in Flint. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel bad for the people of Flint Michigan. The factory was the only thing that keeping their economy alive. The decision Roger Smith made is not an easy one, and I believe that a GOOD CEO in his shoes would have made the same exact decision. GM had to move its operations to stay in business, even if that meant leaving a small town in Michigan in ruins.

  32. I agree with a couple other students that Michael Moore really made Roger Smith look terrible. Transferring jobs to Mexico from Flint was surely not something Roger wanted to but had to do to keep with foreign competitors. Roger Smith has a right to the people of Flint to not destroy lives by closing the plant but he also had a larger right to his shareholders and doing this outsourcing of jobs was something needed to be done to take care of them.

    It is sad to think about how a whole town can be destoryed that easily and how large corporations can have such a control over towns. I don’t really agree with Nicole that these people of the town should be held accountable. These people worked for the major corporation in the town, without this job it seemed like it was fast food or nothing. People do need to find ways to handle the situation better than they had perhaps but they cannot be held accountable for losing their jobs.

  33. Trevor Luchsinger

    This was a pretty good movie. It showed wat people need to do to keep a company afloat. GM needed to move from a more expensive area to someplace less expensive. In making this decision it took many jobs from the people in Flint and this really angered them. But Roger Smith was only doing this to better benefit the company.

  34. When I wathched the documentary, I was kind of bored at first, but eventually I found it entertaining when Michael Moore tried to make Roger Smith look like a bad guy! It is definetly not my favorite movie I have watched for this class but I did learn about how it is a struggle for small businesses in the town gets ran out from big industry. It is sad to think of how much power and control corporations have on towns and people in them trying to hold steady jobs and so forth.

  35. GM is the big winner in this movie by far. Michael Moore was not able to talk to Roger Smith and get a clear explanation of his move to abandon the workers and city of Flint. GM is a company and its main goal is to obtain profit. Do they owe their employee’s and surrounding community a personal responsibility? I believe that GM should of at the least created a severence package or some form of job rehabilitation program. People need to be accountable for their decisions and should have done whatever needed to be done to get themselves and their family out of hard times. People should not depend on any job or government to bail them out of any form of hardship they should take appropriate actions in a reasoable amount of time to prevent further financial downfalls. This lesson was also learned in Lousianna when the hurricane Katrina victims waited for goverment relief. Im not saying that everyone is totally helpless but some people tend to procrastinate and worsen the situation for themselves and others.

  36. This movie was sad, but it is the harsh reality of a way companies can cut costs to compete in the market. Sometimes it is hard to think that one decision that a company makes could change so many things in a community. When something like this happens in a small town it is difficult for the workers to find other jobs and ends up hurting the community as a whole. This film was ok to watch it was kind of boring. I do agree with the other students Roger Smith was definitely portrayed as the villain in this movie when really he was just try to do his job.

  37. I believe that Roger and Me had some decent points to make about what happens when big companies make huge layoffs. The fact that Roger Smith didn’t think twice about what is really behind numbers (people) and laid off 30,000 jobs. The message was clearly received in the movie. I do dislike Michael Moore’s attitude and the way he handles things and was many times just disgusted with his ways.

  38. I’m not a Michael Moore fan. I can respect his passion he has for his views but sometimes I think he interprets business decisions a evil and its intent is to harm people. I got the impression this film was trying to make Roger look like a source of evil. Sometimes in business decisions that aren’t popular need to be made, but it doesn’t mean that the person making the decision likes doing it or gets enjoyment out of it.

  39. In wathing this documentary, I thought back to my Management course, where we discussed the effects of globalization on America and the lower end countries. In one hand, we promote the building up of these countries, in the other we want to protect our own interests. I am not a Michael Moore supporter, however I do feel bad for the families that were affected by the Flint event. If I were to lose my job today, I could go find another, but since the whole town is centered around the automotive industry, there is nowhere else to go. One thing I realized is that, despite the promise of job security, one has to really focus on the “what if”.

  40. I was impressed with the fact that even after twenty years passing, a lot of the business aspects in this film are still accurate and hold true. Overall, I enjoyed this documentary. While what happened to this city and its people is sad its reality of business and the effects it can have on people. GM had to move its production to stay competitive with other global businesses in their industry.

  41. Roger and Me is definitely controversial. Michael Moore is doing a diservice to the nation by releasing such a “documentary.” It is my opinion that a documentary should refrain from extreme bias when presenting a situation. The viewers should be able to gather facts from the documentary and decide what they, the viewers, beleive is best. While it is unfortunate that the plants had to close in Flint, Michigan when they did, if GM did not close the plants on their own accord, the company might have gone belly up, and GM would have had to lay-off more employees than they did in 1988. Obvisously, GM is still here, 20 years later, and the decision was good for the company. However, I do beleive that we as a nation need to find a way to deal with displaced workers. Utilizing government and corporate resources to share the burden. Workers displayed by outsourcing MUST learn a new skill to apply to a new job in order to survive. I beleive the governement (SBA, Social Security, etc.) and corporations should help displaced workers learn new skills. Perhaps they could jointly fund, or simply premote programs that help individuals learn new and valuable skills.

    I think Michael Moore is justified in his opinions, but rather than merely exposing problems, he should seek to find solutions. He seems to care as little for the community as the company did. He was merely exposing the company for his own personal profit. If he was truly concerned, he would be showing how he made a difference in his home town.

  42. Roger and Me was a good movie. It is a shame how ruthless corporations can be. Most corporations only care about maximizing profits, which is okay being that companies are in business to make money first. But corporations should show some compassion for the employees that got these corporations the success they have. I mean after all, without the employees there would be no success. On top of that, GM was the most profitable business in the United States at the time according to the movie so it is not like GM didnt have the money to keep the employees. To me it was ethically wrong to close as many plants as GM did, but at the same time the employees should have been more proactive in their search for other opportunities.

  43. I enjoyed this movie, but was annoyed at the same time. I found the story interesting, the change that GM created by outsourcing, but man was Michael Moore annoying in this movie. It was sad seeing the decay of Flint, and almost embarrassing to see some of the “solutions” the city had to offer. Fast food and Auto World, are you kidding me?

  44. And do people really wear spark plugs suits at parades?

  45. Megan Weatherwax

    This movie is very controversial. It’s hard to say whose side I am on because I can see both points. Yes it was aweful to lay off so so so many people which led to the downfall of Flint; however, the movie made Mr. Smith look terrible. He made a business decision and although drastic it was something he felt he had to do to compete in the industry. I agree with some of the students that he cannot be blamed for ruining the lives of some of the residents of Flint. Life is a journey…not everything is going to swing in the right direction for everyone. And when it hits you hard that’s when you have to prove yourself that you are going to be ok. I’m still decided if I am a Moore fan….

  46. I feel that Michael Moore was a little hard on Roger Smith. The film made it sound like he was an inconsiderate jerk. Although this may be true, it didn’t show his side of things. I’m sure there were a lot of alternatives considered and this just happened to be the best. He was doing his job, which is to make decisions that are in the best interest of GM. I believe that anyone faced with the same situation would have made the same decision.

  47. I was appalled at the effect the downsizing of GM had on the city of Flint. However, I think the fact that they tried to make their small town a tourist attraction to help the economy was sort of a joke. Michael Moore did not surprise me at all with all of the crazy and drastic measures he took to attempt to speak with Roger Smith, but if Mr. Smith did not want to be portrayed in this manner, he should have at least sat down to explain his feelings and perspective. However, the overall point of the movie that corporations are inhumane when it comes to situations such as these was very prominent.

  48. This movie kind of hit close to home for me. My dad worked for a business in omaha that downsized and he lost his job after working there for 30 years. I understand what these people went through. It is hard to go through life wondering if you are going to have a roof over your head. I think we might see more of a trend of companies receiving negative backlash if they continue to do this.

  49. I think overall this movie is biased. It only shows one side of the story. Seemed like Michael Moore tried to relate everything to GM laying off employees and I am not so sure that all of the causes are due to GM. Movie showed people getting evicted from their homes, but to me it wasn’t clearly indicated whether all of those people were getting evicted from their homes due to GM firing them. I do have to agree that top executives seemed very noncooperative; they refused to meet up and answer some questions.

    Maybe it’s due to the fact that I am not a big fan of Michael Moore, but I don’t think this movie was a very good portrayal of what was going on, very very biased.

  50. Farrukh Kamolov

    In this movie GM was criticized badly. In business world companies will make an appropriate decision to better benefit the company. In this situation Roger Smith made a strategic decision to allocate plant to Mexico. Of course after shutting the plant down many people lost their jobs, but I believe that there was other opportunities for the employees to work somewhere else, not just seat and get evicted from their homes.
    In intense business markets, businesses will do whatever it takes to produce a cheaper product, and be competitive.

  51. All businesses have to take action to stay in business. Yes some towns get hurt by it but others get the benefits. I understand that he was trying to make a point but good times come and good times go.

  52. Umutai_Mamarasulova

    “Roger and me” emphasizes how outsourcing hurts ones, US workers in this case, and benefits others, GE and Mexican workers. While watching the movie I kept feeling bad for GE workers and Flint, but at the same time I could see GE’s side in this story too. It was hard to agree with Michael Moore on many things in the movie. I felt like he exaggerated in blaming GE for everything around. I can see why he feels so negative toward GE; 30,000 people were left jobless in his home town and this eventually destroyed that town. However, it looks like those people couldn’t even work in a fast food place, which is ridiculous, that must be why plant moved to Mexico, to stay productive and competitive. Although Michael Moore was pursuing only negativity of outsourcing, I learned a lot from the movie. It made me realize once again how much we, people depend on big corporations.

  53. abusinessprofessor

    A recent example of a town devastated by the closing of its main employer:

    NYT (April 7′ 08) published a story about a town called Greenville in Michigan where the multinational giant Electrolux closed a refrigerator plant recently. According to the article, the closing of the plant had a tremendous impact on the town.

    Electrolux bought the Greenville factory in 1986 from an American firm. It succeeded for many years, but two decades later, Electrolux — like a lot of other companies — decided it could cut labor costs by moving production to another country.

    As unemployment benefits expire, many of the city’s former workers are still seeking the next job. Sales at restaurants, hardware stores and car dealerships have plummeted, prompting them to dismiss workers, adding to a downward spiral.

    For decades, the refrigerator factory gave thousands of people — most with only a high school diploma — a middle-class life.

    “We had 1,000 folks who hadn’t had to shop for a job in 25 years,” said Don Pellow, who was in charge of the bargaining committee at the old union chapter and now runs a state-financed jobs center. “You come to work every day, you’re a hard worker, but that doesn’t cut it anymore.”

    Simeon Line, 54, and his wife had both worked at the plant for nearly 32 years when it closed. “I thought I’d die there,” he said.

    They each made just under $16 an hour. It was enough to buy a house and a snowmobile. They took annual vacations to Florida.

    Since Electrolux shut down, Mr. Line has applied for jobs at a lumberyard, as a dump truck operator and as a sales clerk at home improvement stores.

    “It seems like the minute your toe is in the door,” he said, “they say, ‘We’re not hiring.’ ” His wife is training for a job in a beauty salon. His unemployment benefits recently ran out. “We’re spending our savings,” he said.

    On Main Street, Huck Huckleberry, owner of a restaurant that bears his name, has shrunk his staff from to 12 from 32 since Electrolux left.

    “It’s heartbreaking,” he said during a recent lunch shift, as the AC/DC anthem “Highway to Hell” blared through his mostly empty dining room.

    “When people here were making a living, they bought houses, cars, paid for shoes,” he said. “On weekends, Mom and Dad would get groceries, then come in and have a steak and a beer, and life is good. They quit coming.”

    Several businesses on his block have shut down, including a sports bar and an office supply store. Two tattoo parlors have opened up.

    If you are interested to read more, the article is available at

  54. abusinessprofessor

    In a recent column in the NYT (April 15, 2008), David Brooks wrote about the tendency to blame America’s current economic problems. Because his views are completely opposite to Moore’s views presented in this movie, I think it is relevant to present them here. According to Brooks,

    Economists differ over how much outsourcing will change the American job market in the future, but there is little evidence that trade has been a major cause of job loss or even wage stagnation so far. As Robert Z. Lawrence of the Peterson Institute for International Economics wrote in a recent study: “The recent increase in U.S. inequality … has little to do with global forces that might especially affect unskilled workers — namely, immigration and expanded trade with developing countries.”

    He goes on to say that the negative effects of NAFTA and CAFTA style agreements are “barely measurable”.

    Those interested in reading the complete column can find it on the NYT website.

  55. abusinessprofessor

    In the primaries both democratic candidates have blamed NAFTA (signed during the Clinton years) as the reason for growing unemployment in the U.S. and promised to address it if they come to power. In an informative article NYT (April 22, 2008 ‘Re-Examining Nafta in Hopes of Curing U.S. Manufacturing’), Elisabeth Malkin discusses why it may not be as easy to do much about NAFTA and get the jobs back. She argues that there are two problems:

    First, is how tighter labor and environmental standards would be enforced in Mexico. Second, is how would lost manufacturing jobs be restored.

    [“In theory, stronger labor and environmental standards would raise the cost of doing business in Mexico and might make companies think twice about moving. But with the average hourly manufacturing wage in Mexico about 13 percent that of the United States average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mexican labor is still cheap.

    Then there is the problem of enforcement. Under Nafta’s labor and environmental side agreements, there are no effective sanctions against companies that break the law or governments that do not enforce it.

    Some advocates argue that at the very least, those agreements should be subject to the same kind of arbitration and sanctions that disputes over trade or investment barriers now face. But even those might not have much effect. Nafta trade disputes drag on for years and rulings are not always enforced.

    Another option might be fines for companies in violation, or even bans on their imports. But that could backfire. Under Nafta, industries like the auto industry have become highly integrated. Parts move back and forth across the border as subassemblies are put together and finally end up in auto plants in the United States. Halting that process, perhaps for a labor violation, would result in trouble for the American plant and its workers.

    “Nafta is not going to go away,” said Jeff Faux, a fellow at the Economic Policy Institute, who opposed the agreement when it was being negotiated in the early 1990s. “You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.”

    Mexico’s conservative government has rejected renegotiating Nafta. But if the agreement were opened up, Mexico would present its own demands, perhaps on easing legal migration or protecting corn farmers.

    “If we are going to have a serious negotiation, it’s not going to be one-sided,” said Luis de la Calle, a former Nafta negotiator for Mexico who is now a political consultant. “Let’s put labor and the environment back in Nafta, but in exchange for what?”]

    For the complete article, refer to the NYT website.

  56. Jeanette Cole

    “Roger and Me” takes an interesting viewpoint on the city of Flint, Michigan and the economic crisis that engulfed the city after its major source of employment, the GM Automotive Plant, closed down. The beginning of the film gives a small biographical-like background of Michael Moore and his family, natives of Flint, along with some history behind the prosperity that Flint once held. The movie describes how GM closed about 11 plants that housed over 30,000 workers, leaving them without jobs, resulting in devastation to Flint. All these plants left Flint so that the company could open new ones in Mexico, building foreign factories, and taking away their jobs. Moore saw the effect that this was having on his friends, as they were losing their jobs and being evicted from their homes. He felt that he had to take some kind of action.

    So Moore gets this idea that he is going to talk to Roger Smith, the CEO of GM, to find out his reasoning behind closing these plants and outsourcing the jobs to Mexico. The hunt for Roger by Moore begins and basically is what the remainder of the film focuses on. The workers of GM pretty much feel the same way as Moore, in that, they want Smith to either retire or be fired for the actions that he has taken. Moore does just about everything in his power to see Smith, phoning, faxing, going to corporate headquarters, and going to places where Smith frequents, such as his Detroit Athletic Club (where Moore is kindly escorted out) and Grosse Point Yacht Club, just trying to talk to Smith. With no luck, each time Moore is turned away and unable to talk to Smith.

    Along Moore’s journey to speak with Smith there are numerous people that Moore decides to ask about the economic state of Flint. Some tell him that there is nothing wrong with the place and that the people just need to find new jobs in some where like Texas or something. Others feel the pressure that is bearing down on them from the loss of the plants. Moore sarcastically shows some people trying to help Flint out, like Ronald Reagan coming to talk with the fired workers and buy them a pizza, or how the upper class decided to hire some former GM workers as human statues for their “Great Gatsby” party. Moore talks to the local law enforcement, who seem to have the only steady job of handing out eviction notices. Moore also talks to Miss Michigan, who seems to have no idea that Flint is even in an economic crisis, she just states that she is “of course for employment and the people of Michigan.” Another person that Moore talks to describes her new found career as a color analyst for Amway.

    Then there is the wacky notion that lint rollers are going to bring the entire city out of a depression, quite an interesting view put forth by one person. Along the way Moore asks people how they are surviving after being fired from the GM plants. They show people giving blood at local blood drives to make some extra money, but by far the weirdest and the most disturbing person that Moore meets is a woman that is raising rabbits for either pets or food. Other ways that people are making ends meet is by working at Taco Bell or becoming guards for the local prison, which is overflowing at this point. Some people just decide to get out of Flint, which is pretty apparent as it is almost impossible to rent a U-Haul truck in or around Flint. Moore runs into a man that went to his high school, named James Bond that was being evicted from his home. It is very sad to see the impact that the plant closing has had on the mental state of some of Flint’s residents, as one poor man thinking that he was the cousin of Superman, called “Captain DADA” roams the streets.

    Flint attempts to bring some sort of tourism to the area by hosting a Scrabble Convention and building Auto World, a theme park based on GM (which closes 6 months after opening). They built a Hyatt Hotel so that people could take advantage of all the Flint had to offer. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, little of these efforts help, and few people end up wanting to come and visit Flint, Michigan. They built what was called Water Street Pavilion, in hopes to bring a fun atmosphere to Flint. Seeing as Flint was rated as the “Worst Place in the Country to Live” few people found interest in visiting there for recreation purposes.

    Finally, it looks like Moore is going to get a chance to talk to Smith, by posing as a GM stockholder. He stands up to ask Smith his question, but is unable to speak as Smith quickly exits the building. Even though Moore never gets to talk to Smith he presents an interesting story of Flint, Michigan and really shows the dire impact that the plant closings have had on Flint, as they outsource to other countries. Moore ends the film by showing a mother and her children evicted from their home on Christmas Eve and quotes Charles Dickens’s Christmas Carol. This is a sad scene, as this poor family is evicted from their home with no where to go, just showing how the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer in Flint. In the end Moore never does get to ask Smith any questions but does invite Smith to come and visit Flint (he never does). From a managerial perspective, Moore does a good job provoking the ethical implications of closing down a plant. As managers, it is important to review the impact that closing down such a vast number of plants and outsourcing them to countries like Mexico is going to have on the economy of a state, or even to the entire country.

  57. Wen-Ting (Doris) Wei

    In the late of 1980s, General Motors announced layoffs of 30,000 in the city of GM’s founding-Flint, Michigan, in which around 80% of residents worked for GM. I can imagine how disordered the community could be after the layoff and Michael Moore filmed how these idled people struggled with such a bad time, and how the CEO of GM treated this situation. This film presents the anger of working class and the evil of capitalism in early years. With the emergence of consumer perception of corporate social responsibility, GM now has developed sound principles about corporate responsibilities including “…work with governments and communities in which GM does business to improve the quality of life in those communities – their educational, cultural, economic, and social well-being – and seek to provide training and opportunities for workers…”, which excerpted from GM website. Obviously, a profitable company would achieve long-term success and gain respect only when it takes on social responsibilities.

  58. After watching the movie, Roger and me, I feel sad about Flint. Although the city government tried hard to solve the unemployment problem, the result was not as good as expected. Michael Moore shot this documentary on the way that he was looking for Roger Smith, the Chairman and CEO of General Motors. This film indicates the weakness of capitalism in a sarcastic and ironic way. In the book, the world is flat, outsourcing is a solution for corporation to decrease costs. On the contrary, it is the last straw to destroy Flint. It is corporation’s right to generate more profit. However, it is also corporation’s liability to take care their employees although employees were laid off in the end. General Motors is a bad example while dealing with the problem. Instead of going away thoroughly, GM could try to invest Flint in local education, try to support the local people find jobs or sponsor some projects to revive the local community. If we take a look at current circumstances, GM might have a possibility to file bankruptcy and its stock price is close to $5 dollar per share. Perhaps outsourcing is not the best resolution to GM.

  59. Shailendu Shroff

    The movie is based on the backdrop of GM’s car manufacturing plants based in Flint, Michigan. The then CEO Roger Smith decides to close these plants and the movie deals with the effects that such a decision has on the lives of its workers and the city of Flint. Michael Moore is seen here as someone trying to bring to light the plight of GM workers and the hardships they go through when Flint is economically plagued.

    GM was a profit making corporation and considered as the wealthiest company then. So the news of the plant closure came as a surprise and shock to everyone. However, GM’s plan was to open up plants in Mexico where it could pay workers only $ 0.70 per hour and produce the same quantity and quality of cars as the Flint plants. They wanted to outsource their production so that they could save on costs of labor, infrastructure and other resources thereby reducing their overall operating costs and increasing their profits. Many a times Roger Smith has been known to be giving himself enormously large salary raises & this is understood well.

    However, Flint and its people were devastated by such an action. It rendered more than 20000 workers unemployed, many plagued by emotional distress. Financial burden on them forced them to accept jobs in Taco Bell and other places; sell off their homes since they couldn’t pay their mortgage loans; and many to leave the city to look for opportunities elsewhere.

    Michael Moore always tried to confront Roger Smith to learn about his decision about the Flint plants and also raise concerns about the layoff of workers and economical downside caused in Flint. However, he was not successful. Moore covers the other events which try to bring joy and some hope to Flint; however the ever increasing number of convicts stresses the fact that Flint was having a downfall.

    Corporations today do a lot of outsourcing to India, China, Mexico, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. In the process they cut jobs in their home country and do cause panic amongst the community. UK has banned outsourcing of certain kind of work to protect the interests of its workers. Personally, outsourcing should not be legalized. Even though we are globalizing and trying to create opportunity and economy for many developing nations, there is no reason that jobs and money must flow from the home country to another merely for more profits. These profits just fill the pockets of a few people and are never used for the betterment of the entire society. A company’s profits because of its overseas operations are never distributed to its homeland workers or others in the community who has lost their jobs or a geographic region which has lost its economy. It is time that the government implements a strict regulation on the same and ensures that outsourcing is curtailed for the betterment of its people.

  60. Anthony Olenik

    Outsourcing is inevitable as economies progress toward service-based and away from manufacturing. Flint, Michigan is one of the saddest and hardest hitting examples in America. Michael Moore’s documentary Roger and Me profiles the closing of several General Motors plants in Flint. In a matter of months over 30,000 people were jobless and an entire city collapsed. Much of America has been able to deal with gradual outsourcing and receive training for new career paths in our service based economy.
    Unfortunately when a community has a massive layoff like Flint, there is little anyone can do to cope. Many people moved to new locations. Several were evicted onto the streets. Although the town tried to create a tourist based industry, the effort was in vain and the city government would have been just as well off burning the tax payer money spent on the auto museum, conference center, and mall. There are ways to turn a community around after layoffs, but it never happens overnight. Today Flint is still not the same as it once was in the 1950’s.

  61. With the backdrop of how outsourcing affects both companies and individuals, Roger and Me centers on the juxtaposition of the stockholder versus stakeholder view of business. The documentary details the preparation and aftermath of General Motors’ plan to close North American manufacturing plants, specifically in Flint, Michigan, Michael Moore’s hometown. These actions, as the movie demonstrates, lead to drastic devastation in the city of Flint, leading it to be dubbed one of the worst places to live in the United States.

    Moore presents the devastation that the outsourcing of the Flint plants has brought throughout the film, as he follows the eviction of families from their homes and speaks with various auto workers. Additionally, he centers the film on a search for Roger Smith, the CEO and in this case personification of GM. In a sense, The basic question that Michael Moore attempts to put forth and answer is why ruin the life of so many stakeholders merely for increased profit of the stockholders.

    Of course Moore never addresses how the average stockholders feel in the given situation. Instead, the film presents a basic premise; that hurting the individuals in one area, creating such “destruction” and mass poverty is wrong. Although this is hardly a general point I could disagree with, it harkens a comparison to such questions as “how much would you pay to save this endangered species” and “how much would you pay to stop pollution.” Although most think that these two causes are good, that does not mean any one person wants give/pay as much as they can in order to see that goal achieved, and the answer to these questions is consistently different when the question is being asked in a survey, rather then when a physical donation is being asked for.

    Nevertheless the problem itself seems like it would be inevitable, as companies continually seek to drive down the costs of producing a product, the cheapest sources of labor and materials are likely to be used. However, it also seems interesting to watch this movie given the current economic state of the United States and the current organization of the automotive industry. On one side there is GM and Chrysler who have spoken about a potential merger of the two companies, as well as Ford who is far from booming in the current economy. On the other are numerous car manufactures, many of which in fact have plants in the United States, such as Toyota’s Camry plant in Kentucky and Honda’s Ohio based Accord. With consistently changing tax incentives and tariffs for companies, the decision does in fact seem to be a bit grayer then many would think.

  62. “Roger & Me” is a very biased movie.; most viewers of this movie will probably leave with the impression that GM is a horrible and unethical company that caused the downfall of Flint. I believe that GM is being used as a scapegoat for the all the crime and poverty in Flint. It is undeniable that GM’s layoff of 30000 employees did have a major impact on Flint’s economy, but I would argue that it was the city’s poor planning and governing that allowed this occurrence to escalate to the level of devastation that it did. How can any city rely on one corporation to be the economic and financial backbone? Just because GM was responsible for bringing economic flow to Flint doesn’t mean it is obligated to have the responsibility to maintain Flint’s economy. GM is a corporation. It has no allegiance to Flint. Deciding to outsource was a strategic move that ultimately made the business more profitable. It is a shame that so many people lost their jobs, but everyone, including the city, should always have a back-up plan.

  63. After watching this good movie, I feel Moore did a good job of showing the devastating effects of GM leaving the small town of Flint, Michigan. I am not certain about how accurate the movie is, but the general idea that the town suffered because Roger Smith invested in factories in Mexico with cheap labor is expressed. This documentary showed us the situation what would happen when jobs are outsourced. The effects on this small town are so severe, and as this all happened about 15 years ago, it seems much more of America is experiencing their problems. This documentary touched on outsourcing and its effects, which today is still becoming a problem. Overall, it makes a strong impression about outsourcing and is an important movie to watch.

    Outsourcing can cause some problems. It may be harder to manage the outsourcing service provider as compared to managing your own employees. If your outsourcing service provide goes bankrupt or out of business, your company will have to quickly transition to a new service provider or take the process back in-house. Sometimes it is cheaper to keep a process in-house as compared to outsourcing. If your company is outsourcing business processes such as payroll, confidential information such as salary will be known to the outsourcing service provider.

  64. ‘Roger and Me’ is a well-done, heartfelt documentary from, at the time unknown filmmaker Michael Moore. It demonstrates the trouble with outsourcing of jobs from towns built around manufacturing. While for the company, outsourcing is simple a means to lower overhead costs, yet there are far reaching implications to small towns who depend on these jobs. Flint, Michigan is a great example of how the departure of GM from the area has left the area slowly dying with no aid or new jobs in sight.

    Flint’s local government has tried to adapt with the times however they have been unable to find a steady source of income to the area. With to this day little change in Flint since the layoffs, it begs the question how do we as a country deal with the inevitable trend of outsourcing, while ensuring a future for towns like Flint. Flint was lucky to have an advocate for them such as Michael Moore to bring the issue to mainstream America. While I do feel the film was well done, I wish Roger Smith at least issued a statement regarding the situation.

  65. In general it is a very good movie. Most of situations in the movie, people don’t directly say or are reluctant to say something. But they all can be told from the movie itself. The audience can easily figure out. This is a very sucessful documentry. I was watching it without pause. There are another two key persons in the movie, one is the agency from government for responsing Eviction , the other is a common woman who has been laid off. Documentry dosen’t need to be objective. In this movie, Moore has anger when he was shooting the movie and there is no necessary to aviod it. What he needs to do is to tacticly overcome his anger and professionally shooted a good work to show audience. I think he did very sucessfully.

  66. After watching this movie, I feel so frustrated. The director of the movie is Moore. He shooted the movie in 1989, when his hometown’s economy was worsen because of the laid off of GM. I think he produced this movie is not to rescue his town, but to question the giant companys and to unveil their ugley true face. Roger was the leader of the GM at that time. Moore was trying to get in touch with Roger throughout the movie, however, Roger didn’t care about him, let along seeing him. The movie dwells on the interview which Moore tried to get from Roger. Although he finally got Roger exploded in a activity without saying anything, I think that’s would be enough for him.

  67. Roger and Me is a nice movie which could be interpreted in two ways. GM obviously wanted to stay competitive, so the factories were relocated to Mexico, where workers are paid cheaply. Outsourcing definitely gives a company a competitive advantage but on the other hand it takes away jobs of the locals and gives it to others. What I was wondering is, it is legal yes to do so but is it ethical on the part of the companies to do that. One really feels sorry for the laid off employees. It kind of touches a sensitive issue of layoffs. Overall a great movie that shows us the way business operates and how outsourcing affects the lives of the people.

  68. Venkata S Mudunuru

    “Roger and Me” is a documentary which reveals the effects of the corporate strategy “downsizing” on the lives of working people. Once the site of a thriving General Motors plant, Flint went quickly to seed when GM decided to close down and move out.
    The closing of plants and 33,000 layoffs came as a death sentence for the city that had been GM’s birthplace. Suicides, murders and evictions skyrocketed. On the other hand, GM brings many celebrities to Flint paying big fees to cheer people up instead of creating some alternative livelihood for the workers.
    On the whole, the message that Moore, the director of the movie wanted to deliver seems that profits really are more important to big Corporations than the lives of their workers.
    However, while watching the movie, i was wondering about the situation that people from our Binghamton has faced when IBM decided to move out of Endicott. Perhaps some of our classmates may have some memories or experiences to share with us.

  69. Jennifer Gilligan

    When I first started watching this movie I felt bad for the people of Flint thinking that GM had done them wrong. As I continued to watch I felt that the movie went too far on what they were blaming GM for. Big companies shut down and relocate all of the time; it’s just part of the business world. When this happens it is sad but people have to adjust and make the best of things. In this case it could mean getting another job or if jobs are not abundant in that area maybe consider moving. I think it was outrageous how they blame GM for the increase in crime and murders. Just because you lose your job does not give anyone the right to become a criminal. The film showed thousands of people being evicted from their homes and made it seem like they did not deserve it. But what they don’t show you is the landlord, who also needs to pay bills, trying to get by when all of his tenants are not paying their rent. Although I did feel sorry for all of those who lost their job I do not feel that GM is solely responsible for the downturn of Flint.

  70. Michael Warren

    Michael Moore’s documentary, Roger and Me, does a great job in demonstrating the problems with outsourcing of jobs from towns built aruond manufacturing like Flint, Michigan. General Motors closed several plants here and caused approxiamately 30,000 jobs to be lost in a matter of months and the city to collapse. Many people were soon evicted from their houses and forced to the streets. Flint tried to attract people to their town by creating a tourist attraction, adding an auto museum, conference cetner, and mall. However none of these helped to attract people to the town and just waste tax payers money. Outsourcing is important to reduce overhead costs but its effect on little towns such as Flint, Michagan can be devastating. The film ends with a brief confrontation between Roger Smith (GM CEO) and Michael Moore, with Smith seeming not to care about the people in Flint. Michael Moore proclaims to us that “as we neared the end of the 20th century, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer… it was truly the dawn of a new era”.

  71. Matthew Passero

    This movie did a good job of demonstrating the devastating effects of what can happen to a city partially because of a major plant closing in the area and as a result 30,000 people then lose their jobs. However; this movie did fail to really show how this was a direct result of many different economic factors and not simply just because of a single plant. These things happen quite often when a company needs to cut some corners and has to improve their bottom line in order to stay afloat and everyone knows that these are not easy or comfortable decisions to make, but are ultimately necessary. Obviously as a result people are then forced to move, find new jobs, and basically go through a lot of hardship. I really believe that Moore certainly crossed the line when he pretty much blamed GM for the increased crime rate, murders, suicides, and evictions. Factory closings are a part of the business cycle, just like losing jobs are sometimes a grim part of life we too have to deal with whether we like it or not.

  72. In his 1989 documentary Roger & Me, controversial filmmaker Michael Moore looked at the negative economic impact that the closing of several of General Motors Corporation’s (GM’s) auto plants had on the city of Flint, Michigan during the late 1980s. The closing of these plants resulted in 30,000 layouts and high crime rates within the city. Behind its chief executive officer (CEO) Roger Smith, GM chose to close these plants and shift its operations to Mexico where the cost of labor was much cheaper. The company was outsourcing its labor in order to improve its profitability, despite being one of the largest companies in the world at the time. Moore is very critical of GM throughout the documentary, in particular its CEO, and felt that the people of Flint, Michigan deserved better.

    While I did sympathize with the auto workers and other residents of Flint, Michigan, I did not feel that Moore looked at all angles. He showed GM in a negative light throughout the documentary, but in reality the company was just making strategic decisions and those decisions were never outside of the law. I feel that if there was fault, it lied with regulators for not giving companies enough tax incentives to conduct its operations within the United States. If it had been more profitable for GM to operate in Flint, Michigan it would have stayed, but it frankly saw an opportunity to improve its competitive position and took it. If regulators built enough incentives into the system then economic collapses like the one seen in the documentary could be avoided.


    This movie is kind of a documentary film to record that how GM close its plant in Flint, Michigan. It truly filmed the effects of closing GM plant such as laying off employees, losing houses and being unprosperous of city. Many problems are to follow hard at heel. The director, Micheal Moore, just wants to find out the root of these problems which is the decisions made by Roger Smith, GM’s CEO. In fact, we know due to the cost advantage, GM decided to move their plants to Mexico. However, if they can settle their employees down to have another career opportunity, it would not have too much complaints. For example, they can transfer their employees to another product line or give them a reasonable pension. Therefore, as long as GM can offer a fair supporting policy, there might not be too much grumble even this movie would not appear.

  74. Roger and Me is a documentary by Michael Moore, and it holds to the same theme that many of his films use, perpetuating a gloom and doom look on issues from the war in Iraq to shootings in schools, to the issue of the collapse of a town, Flint Michigan, from the outsourcing of jobs by GM. Moore places his sights on Roger Smith, the CEO of GM,tracking him down and painting him in a rather gloomy light. The fact of the matter is that when a town is supported on one major industry, it is like having a basketball team build around one player. When that player moves on to the NBA the team is going to suffer. So is it the fault of the player who is trying to do the best for himself, or is it the fault of the team for not diversifying itself enough to support itself after the player leaves? This is what happened in Flint, after the 30,000 jobs left for Mexico because of the benefit it gave to GM in a strategic sense, the rest of the town suffered. Some businesses closing as short as six months after opening. What must be looked at is that Moore is a skilled yellow journalist, and the fact that he is from this town, and that there is history in automotives in Flint, only raise more suspicions that there are some facts that were omitted from the film, and the footage provides a skewed look on the situation. Anytime an industry of this magnitude closes you will see the hardship presented here, yet if GM was not taking responsible measures to assure that it will be able to do business in the future then it will not be able to pay its employees anyhow. The film is good in a sense that it raises awareness, but it only presents one side so must be carefully examined.

  75. Tzu-Chuan Chiu (Anson)

    This documentary style comedy highlights a series of social phenomenon caused by unemployment. After GM closed it Flint factory, a lot of skilled workers were forced to find their new jobs. From my point of view, the close of Flint factory might be a strategic objective of GM, by doing so GM might be able to lean it over enormous enterprise to be more efficient. However, the fact of the top chief officer of GM raised himself 2 million dollars seems opposite the goal of leaning GM. Today, we see many big firms in the Wall Street faced huge loss. A lot of the employees became victims. But those CEOs, they still got paid for their inability. I am wondering where the social fair is.

  76. Jeff Wolniewicz

    Outsourcing has come to be one of the most controversial topics in the United States. It has become so important to the American people that it has even been talked about in the economic policies of Obama and McCain. Roger and Me is a documentary by Michael Moore that focuses on the effects of outsourcing in the town of Flint, Michigan. GM had a major plant in Flint that was the lifeblood of the town. GM made a strategic decision to improve costs and closed the Flint factory, 30,000 layoffs, and moved the factory to Mexico where labor was cheaper. Moore paints GM and its CEO, Roger Smith, as evil capitalists that destroyed the city of Flint. Moore blames GM for the rise of crime, poverty, and eventual demise of Flint. While some of these accusations may be partly accurate, GM is not entirely responsible. GM simply made a wise business decision because of the expensive operating environment in the United States. The choices of the citizens of Flint after they lost their jobs were their own, GM did not make them turn to drugs and crime. While Roger and Me is a good look at the impact of outsourcing, it has a biased view from the slick tongued Moore who was himself from the town of Flint. Although GM did not leave Flint in a bad position, the future actions of the residents showed a lack of personal responsibility.

  77. Edward Centofante

    Michael Moore’s Roger and Me is a one-sided propaganda piece produced for two reasons: to further Mr. Moore’s extremist crusade against capitalism and fill his pockets with money. Ironic, I know. Still, there’s no point complaining here as the only people visiting this page will be either rabid socialists or students assigned to review the movie by northeastern professors. So let’s see what we can pull out of this train wreck.

    The movie starts out with Mr. Moore trespassing by lying about his identity (it’s ok, the property was owned by an evil company) and interviewing laid-off factory workers who thought Roger Smith was incompetent (despite Mr. Moore earlier acknowledging his company was making billions in profit). He then tries to trespass again, gets caught, and almost gets an interview except he doesn’t understand the concept of business cards. We then get an interview with a guy in a mental health institute instead.

    Then we get to see newspaper clippings showing “4,500 jobs cut” while showing pictures of an abandoned town and a voice-over of rat populations. At this point I was sick of listening to this useless hippy and was curious about the facts so I went to get some statistics. The newspapers showed the date as November, 1986. Unemployment in the US in that month was 6.9% and proceeded to drop consecutively every single month until it hit 5.4% 2 years later where it hovered around for another 2 years. So there were plenty of jobs in the US, no doubt about it.

    So what went wrong in Flint, Michigan? Was it GM’s fault for closing its factories so it could get a cost advantage in an increasingly competitive automotive market, so it could continue providing its products to consumers at a reasonable price? Maybe, that’s what Mr. Moore would have you believe. Or maybe it was the fact that Michigan’s local government failed its constituents by relying completely on a single sector. Despite Michigan having double digit unemployment at several times in its history (while GM was there), the local government did absolutely nothing to hedge the state’s economy on other sectors. Even after the plants began closing, Michigan’s local government did nothing to draw in new sectors (like tourism or technology) until the early 1990’s. I guess it’s easier to point fingers at an “evil corporation” for 5 years than it is to do your job.

  78. Serdar Sonmez

    This documentary makes you think twice. Once for the people who are jobless, getting evicted from their houses because they can not afford to pay their rents, can’t make big moves to live in a different cities because they have a big family and no money…etc. And once for the CEO, whose job is to provide satisfaction to the shareholders, to make sure the company survives and profits, to look for th best opportunities for the company’s strategy…etc.

    Since we are all MBA students, we have to relate to corporate side more than the other. Eventhough it is heartbreaking to see all these ex-employees to suffer, we will have responsibilities to succeed the company we work for.

    The most annoying part on the movie was to see the lady pet the bunny then beat him to dead before cutting him. And also seeing Michael Moore trying to talk to CEO of one of the biggest companies, with a baseball hat on his head and a toothpick in his mouth, was annoying.

  79. Jiaxi(Zeta)Chen

    “Roger and Me” is a hilarious movie which describes how GM closed about 11 plants where 30,000 people work there, leaving them without jobs, resulting in devastation to Flint. All these plants left Flint because the company wants to open new ones in Mexico, building foreign factories, and taking away their jobs. Michael Moore effectively highlights the pain caused by relocating factories or outsourcing jobs. He tries to get General Motors chairman Roger Smith to come to Flint and see the devastation his decision has caused in the town by shooting this movie.
    In 1989, at the beginning of globalization, a lot of people especially laid-off workers from big companies which closed the local plants and outsource their labors from other developing countries can’t understand and get mad of the “unethical actions” taken by these big companies. They can’t be accustomed to the tendency of globalization and complains about the “evil” companies. By watching the pain of a lot of his families, friends and communities, film-maker Moore is one of the angry people. Moore asks people how they are surviving after being fired from the GM plants to give us the detailed about how bad of the whole situation in Flint after GM moved out. I think Moore does a good job provoking the ethical implications of closing down a plant. It is undeniable that GM’s layoff of 30000 employees did have a major impact on Flint’s economy, but I would argue that it was the city’s poor planning and governing that allowed this occurrence to escalate to the level of devastation that it did. Nevertheless, by the point of view at today, it is a very typical way for big companies to take advantage of the cheap labors by outsourcing from developing countries. The globalization is an unavoidable tendency. And it‘s so ridiculous and unbelievable that Flint relies on only one corporation to be the economic and financial backbone? Just because GM was responsible for bringing economic flow to Flint doesn’t mean it is obligated to have the responsibility to maintain Flint’s economy. For a company, no matter what kind of business operation model it takes, the key importance is to get more profits. Deciding to outsource was a strategic move that ultimately made GM more profitable. The biggest cause of devastation in Flint is local government’s poor operation and management of local economy development. They should find out some other ways to bring new opportunity for their communities. At the same time, every group should work together to work on introducing Flint to other companies outside, get them interested to open new business in Flint. When one door is closed, the other door will open. My advice for unemployed people in Flint and Moore is stop complaining about GM and work with government to find new opportunity.
    On the other hand, for big company like GM, when they are successful to outsource from developing countries and get more profits, they should think about rewarding and contributing to their home countries and the developing countries that they outsource. Not just keep the money in their own pockets , don’t forget that it’s also their responsibility to improve the betterment of society , which in turn will bring more business opportunity to their business.

  80. Zachary Unger

    SOOO — Nobody likes layoffs! This film very clearly shows what can happen to a city as a result of layoffs and the result of being far too reliant on a single industry. In the film we observe the total destruction of Flint, Michigan, and the sights of people being evicted day in and day out including on Christmas day. These images truly tug at the heartstrings. Michael Moore plays his role perfectly as a moron with a camera, in his multiple year journey to meet General Motors Chairman Roger Smith. My first thought with this film is that if Michael Moore really wanted to meet with Roger Smith, and had any sense at all, he might consider taking a slightly more diplomatic approach. Perhaps it makes good footage to be seen storming up to the 14th floor without an appointment, or raiding the good Chairman’s country club, but realistically the only hope he has to meet anyone important would be to ask, and come to GM dressed appropriately, with appropriate credentials, and with professional demeanor. You have to wonder what kind of moron expects an interview or any kind of answer at all, when they approach a chairman at a Corporate event and ask how they feel about former employees being evicted on Christmas day. Does this man expect the Chairman of a multi-billion dollar corporation to fall to his knees, mid-event, screaming for forgiveness from the good citizens of Flint…I somehow don’t see this.

    I don’t see any point to beating the dead horse that is the idea of outsourcing, so much as touching on the fact that Edward pointed to just above. How outrageous is it to think that you can spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build a monster hotel, and an indoor amusements park, which happens to not be amusing, in a dying city!?! Perhaps just bringing in the creators of South Street Seaport does not equal success, maybe you also need a reasonable standard of living and the slightest amount of disposable income! There is a reason South Street Seaport and the Waldorf-Astoria are in New York City, and not in Flint Michigan…you can not create tourism by putting up a hotel, and an amusement park, surrounded by a dead city. Strategy people, Strategy.

  81. In the film Roger and Me, Michael Moore uses a documentary style of filming to show the world the situation that is devastating Flint, Michigan – GM’s CEO Roger Smith has made the decision to downsize the town’s plant and ultimately outsource the work over the border to Mexico. Outsourcing is a largely debated issue in the present day. The ramifications of outsourcing are tremendous not only for the company involved in the decision to move their plants, but most often they negatively impact the area which they left. Flint represents almost all of the hardships that can result from outsourcing, and granted it is an extreme case of economic downturn, the possibility for another town or region to suffer such similar effects from outsourcing is a very real one. When GM decided to move plants to Mexico, the first impact it has is creating a larger gap between the rich and the poor. The owners of GM exploit the people and natural resources of poorer countries and in turn create much larger revenues without having to pay equal wages to American workers. Additionally, in a town like Flint, where the financial hub and stimulus comes directly from the GM plant, thousands upon thousands of people go out of work with the move and the city goes into a downward spiral because of no flow of cash. Finances run out, crime rates rise, buildings become rundown and abandoned, and factory workers can’t find jobs to support their families. While some people may think that it is not Roger Smith’s responsibility to provide jobs for all of the people that once worked in his plants, and certainly there may be nothing legally wrong with it, I find it to be a touchy ethical situation. It brings up the questions of how much money is too much, is it fair for one individual to be so well off while others suffer, and should a CEO have the power to layoff so many workers without compensating them with other potential outlets for income?

  82. Roger & Me discusses a major topic – outsourcing. Roger & Me though focuses on one side of the equation, and in reality, one must look at both sides. Cities across the US are going through the same process, but this is a requirement in business – unions have done a HUGE amount of good throughout the country but on the opposite hand they have required companies to move production overseas due to the high cost of production in the US. This is the only way a company can be competitive, and it is unfortunate to say that this is the case, but high cost of production in comparison to other non-union automakers in the US and manufactures in other countries does not allow companies to be profitable by their traditional production sites.

  83. It seems that outsourcing is a trend for companies who pursuit cost advantages. Using this tactic, companies can benefit in deceasing their operation cost and risk. First, top managements always take great effort to shrink their labor (or workers) cost by seeking lower wage of employees in undeveloped countries, where exit surprising low cost of workers. So, companies may choose to subcontract their manufacturing process to another. In additional point of view, workers in those nations may not have knowledge of their privileges and rights. As a result, companies would not worry their employees to organize unions against them. Second, companies who want to expand their territory may need huge amount of capital. However, it exist potential risk, if firms could not generate profits to cover their expanding expenses. In order to avoiding risk, companies could outsource their production to other firms. Third, small-scale of companies who especially may not have R&D (research and development) or IT (information technology) department could subcontract to other firms who possess these particular technology. Therefore, companies should carefully evaluate their situations and decide whether outsource or not.

  84. Chang, Ting-Chia

    This movie “Roger & Me” talk about the topic – outsourcing, I think whole USA now are going through the same process. It seems that outsourcing is a trend for companies who pursuit cost advantages. On the negative side, this effect means a lot of people could be laid off. I believe it is only a short impact to transfer the function of business. USA would get higher position in the future.

  85. Roger and Me is a documentary film about GM laying off people and closing down US plants, when the company tries to outsource its automobile production to Mexico and other developing countries for cheaper labors. The independent filmmaker Michael Moore in this case tries to interview with GM’s Chairman Roger Smith and reveal to the public about the negative social and economic impacts as a result of this action. Despite Moore’s several attempts to approach Mr. Smith, he is not successful in convincing the guy to come to Flint, Michigan, to see the downturn resulted from his plan of shutting down GM’s plants and outsourcing the jobs. From a managerial perspective at a corporation, the goal is always to make profits and reduce cost to the benefit of shareholders. Managers like Roger Smith could care less about the future of his assembly workers, but he has to consider the optimal solution in the long run strategically to produce cars more efficiently and cost effective. On the other hand, workers that are laid off start to suffer through their lives without any stable income, and many of them commit crimes and end up in jails. Others could not afford their rents or bills anymore and thus are forced to move out and fight against their livings. Outsourcing of jobs does create a dilemma and burden on working class people in the society. The film gives a sharp observation of this unavoidable phenomenon in the new century and makes us question about the issue. As downsizing of companies and outsourcing of jobs happen more often, we have to eventually find a balance so that jobs at home can still be available and the economy can still be growing continuously.

  86. Roger and Me shows the human side of moving businesses abroad. It is not clicking a few buttons in the Business Strategy Game to sell your North American plant and buy one in Latin America. Especially since this documentary was filmed in the 1980s, we see people with nowhere else to go and no clue how to respond. Our generation expects to move around to multiple cities and hold multiple positions. The 1980s US was still in the mentality that had encapsulated the country for decades – that the most powerful corporations in the world will take care of their workers from cradle to grave. There was a brief comment about this in the closing by Moore. The GM spokesman said, no, it is not the company’s job to provide that kind of security. In some senses, Moore comes off as not understanding of business in the film, that comment being one of the times.

    As a child of the Rust Belt, it was painful and familiar to watch Flint flounder after GM left. The idea of tourism was ridiculous. Using public funds to build an upper class hotel and automobile theme park shows how little the post-GM response was thought through. These types of quick fix schemes do more damage to struggling municipalities in the long run than they help.

  87. Keatan Fisher

    Michael Moore’s documentary, “Roger and Me” shows the negative impacts that General Motors outsourcing had on Flint, Michigan. Moore tells how several factories in Flint were closed down and more were opened in Mexico where GM could pay wages of $.70 an hour. The closing of factories resulted in laying off about 30,000 workers. Throughout the movie, Moore depicts Flint’s economic turmoil using vivid examples such as the lady selling rabbits as pets or for meat and a man giving blood plasma everyday he can to earn income. A newscaster during the documentary tells that Flint has the highest violent clime rate in the United States and one of the highest on the continent. While the loss of jobs that cause great hardships and a struggling economy typically will be indicative of an increase in the crime rate of an area, it seemed as if Moore was trying to put all the blame for the crimes taking place on General Motors and that is a bit extreme. I don’t think any business downsizes or outsources with the intent to hurt anybody, although that is often a result. I feel that a business acts in self-interest like most people in the world and puts itself first; survival of the fittest. General Motors made strategic moves and did what it had to to try to stay competitive in it’s industry. It is awful what happens to people who lose their jobs, or for anybody who cannot find one in the community he or she lives. Unfortunately, it happens, and there doesn’t seem to be a universal solution to boosting a hurting economy or helping every single individual land a job.

  88. I felt that Michael Moore had more success in his actions in his later movies as his acclaim was greater accepted by others. I do not know if this was his first documentary as he spends a few minutes painting a picture of his childhood which I do not remember from his later works, but I feel that his lack of presence in the political world played a factor in determining the reactions he received from those questioned in the movie. It is hard to take a side on the issue at hand in a movie like this because the viewer is led in the direction that Michael Moore intends for the viewer to go, and while I don’t accuse Michael Moore of misleading the audience, I can’t help but wonder if we are receiving the full story. We are told that 30,000 or so workers were losing their jobs and were placed under the impression that it was for financial reasons due to cheaper labor in other parts of the world, but perhaps there were other motivating factors for the layoffs. I have never really been a fan of these types of movies and prefer to receive my information from several news sources so as to attain a better picture of the situation at hand, and this movie certainly feels one sided. I admire the lengths that Michael Moore went to achieve his missions and his persistence after being denied so many times, and can’t wait to find out which industry Michael Moore will tackle next.

  89. I felt that Michael Moore had more success in his actions in his later movies as his acclaim was greater accepted by others. I do not know if this was his first documentary as he spends a few minutes painting a picture of his childhood which I do not remember from his later works, but I feel that his lack of presence in the political world played a factor in determining the reactions he received from those questioned in the movie. It is hard to take a side on the issue at hand in a movie like this because the viewer is led in the direction that Michael Moore intends for the viewer to go, and while I don’t accuse Michael Moore of misleading the audience, I can’t help but wonder if we are receiving the full story. We are told that 30,000 or so workers were losing their jobs and were placed under the impression that it was for financial reasons due to cheaper labor in other parts of the world, but perhaps there were other motivating factors for the layoffs. I have never really been a fan of these types of movies and prefer to receive my information from several news sources so as to attain a better picture of the situation at hand, and this movie certainly feels one sided. I admire the lengths that Michael Moore went to achieve his missions and his persistence after being denied so many times, and can’t wait to find out which industry Michael Moore will tackle next.

  90. Roger and Me is a documentary film by Michael Moore that focuses on Flint, Michigan. The movie addresses outsourcing of GM manufacturing to various locations around the world. The unionized workers were able to do little to stop GM’s sudden outsourcing. Flint was not able to support the GM workers with other jobs so the city became a haven for crime, poverty, and daily evictions. Many people sought jobs in other areas and the remaining population sought to scrape by. An example of this was shown in the movie when a woman either sold rabbits as pets or as meat. This movie serves as a warning to a possible outcome of globalization. Workers should be diligent to obtain and maintain skills that are in high demand that cannot be easily outsourced. They would also be served to sense shifts in corporate strategy so they will know how to react if outsourcing is a reality.

  91. Roger and me, the name of the movie made me think that there will be a lot of interaction between Michael Moore and Roger Smith but it turned out that they almost never speak to each other. In a different way, Michael Moore brought out the problem in Flint and also the problem of the world. Companies offshore outsourcing to seek lower cost resoults in high unemployment rate and people living in miserable life. Rich people are richer and poor people are poorer; this is a global trend. This is not jus happening in America. It happens everywhere. The mission of a company is not just mking money, it should also improve the quality of people’s life at the same time.

  92. So this movie is all about the evils of outsourcing. Now, the question arises. Is outsourcing bad? Well, I’m going to say yes and no. From a completely amoral and unemotional standpoint its really not because it makes complete business sense to reduce costs and have greater profits for your shareholders. However, in the case of GM, I do believe Roger Smith made a horrible decision.

    First, he must realize that GM is the primary economic driver for Flint Michigan, so obviously he lays off tens of thousands of workers the whole city is going to go down. Congratulations Roger Smith you just destroyed a once prosperous town and not a shot was fired. Well, except for maybe the guys robbing the corner liquor store because they have no jobs and drinking away their sorrows probably sounds like a great idea.

    Also, there is something to be said about a product that is “Made in America.” The closing of the plants obviously made headline news so now car consumers know that GM vehicles are being made in Mexico. How much can they trust that? Those American auto-workers have been building GM cars for several years and have plenty of experience and expertise. Now, your going to trust that somewhat complex production process to newbies. I don’t know how smart that is. I know Hyundai and Toyota have plants here, outside of the home country, but I think there’s something to be said about manufacturing cars in America as opposed to the third world.

    I was actually an economics major during my undergraduate tenure here at Binghamton. S, logically and economically, outsourcing is good, optimal and efficient. There is actually no reason to not outsource if your costs are reduced and with the world becoming flatter we will see more and more of it everyday. I guess the question is, where do you draw the line? Well, right now, it seems convenient to think that one of our presidential candidates will probably do something to preserve and create American jobs. So, at least for now, we’ll put the outsourcing debate on hold.

  93. Roger and Me, a documentary filmed by Michael Moore tries to encapsulate the after effects of a layoff. But for me Moore comes across as a `typical’ niche filmmaker who wants to portray the reality so badly that his persistent efforts of chasing Roger Smith, the juxtaposition of good versus bad, reality versus authority and rich versus poor, almost dilutes the essence of his purpose for a critical thinker. A so obvious one sided film which lacks any analysis and reasoning of why GM went into outsourcing creates a mass appeal for the film for sure. But I guess one could argue that he is not well equipped to understand the importance of outsourcing in the corporate world.

    Laying off 30,000 workers in a short span is definitely a crises and which has its after effects on the society and the community in general. But one cannot completely blame General Motors decision makers here. When you are running a company the prime focus is to satisfy the needs and wants of the `consumer’ and not the needs and wants of a `community’. That said I support the outsourcing for GM in this case, but maybe there was a better way to handle the retrenchment by compensating enough till such time the workers got a foothold to their problem. Now in reality it may be true that GM had good support system or there may be other reasons behind all of this.

    But sticking to this film and outsourcing as a theme, I definitely feel that if outsourcing can have a positive rub off on your product in terms of cost and units sold. Then the company is following the right strategy. As far as the community goes, GM could have dealt with the layoff in a responsible way as after all it has a rub off on its reputation too.

  94. Molly McManus

    The film Roger and Me lets you see the unpleasant side of the outsourcing trend that has been sweeping the nation in a means to lower overall costs for companies. The movie depicts the battle between corporate social responsibility to its employees as well as the overall community in this case, versus increasing shareholder value and overall net profits for a company. At the time of the movie, GM was one of the most successful companies, and basically the only thing keeping Flint, Michigan going. Having a large manufacturing plant which employs 30,000 workers located in an area like Flint is a prime area for a lower cost in respect to warehousing and land costs for a company. However, having a city basically completely count on the success of one company for it’s overall wellness is quite a risk.
    From a shareholders point of view, Roger Smith made a good decision from a cost point of view. By outsourcing it’s manufacturing plant, it can build economies of scale overseas where materials and labor costs are much cheaper. This lowers the overall unit cost and increases the profit margin on each item—which results in more earnings for corporate executives and shareholders. However, from a GM employee’s or resident of Flint, Michigan point of view, the outsourcing of the plant is a very hard and serious problem. As the film showed, many of the people of Flint solely depended on their paychecks from GM and sadly many of them had to even be evicted from their homes. Roger Smith’s decision basically hit the lower class very hard and left almost 30,000 people unemployed while it helped and profited the upper class involved with GM. The movie basically shows how social consciousness plays a part in various business decisions such as outsourcing and various other ethical issues.

  95. “Roger and Me” is a classic Michael Moore film, done in the similar fashion of his more current movies. In this film, Moore goes back to his roots in order to expose a tremendous crisis caused by massive layoffs at a General Motors plant in Flint, Michigan. Layoffs may not seem like such a strange thing, especially in today’s economy, but at the time General Motors had been receiving record profits. The reason for the layoffs was a change in the value chain; GM decided to take jobs it was paying American’s to do and move them to Mexico where they could be done for much less money.
    The situation is so hopeless for Flint, Michigan that the town begins to put plans into place in order to boost tourism. These plans fail in the end, leaving Flint in a worse state then when the recovery plans had started. Even a plethora of celebrity endorsement, brought in just to boost morale could not bring this town out of the hole.
    Overall this film gives a very strong depiction of how outsourcing is affecting America. Due to a move that General Motors made in its best interests (and its shareholders best interests), many people lost their jobs and an entire town began to lose hope. As a filmmaker, Michael Moore is excellent at conveying his strong opinions. It is difficult to sit down, watch a movie of his, and not agree with his opinions when you finish. He is truly great at convincing his audience and I hope to see more great films like this coming from him in the future.

  96. Lauren Spielberg

    Roger and Me, which is a documentary, shows what happens to towns in America when factories and jobs get outsourced to cheaper labor areas. GM had a plant located in Flint, Michigan and decided to outsource it to Mexico for cheaper labor. Although outsourcing is usually associated with cost savings for firms, there is an economic impact on the areas where the factories were once located. Usually the towns where the factories are located are made up of people who work for the factories. Once the factories are gone there are no longer any jobs for these people. Large firms that decide to outsource should have a moral responsibility to its employees to help them find new jobs and stimulate the local economy so that something like Flint, Michigan doesn’t always happen. Although companies decide to outsource to areas with cheaper labor, if the majority of jobs get outsourced to places outside of the United States, the majority of people will have no jobs and no money. They won’t be able to buy the products that are being outsourced. Outsourcing is a controversial issue and should be analyzed to a great extent before a firm decides to partake in it.

  97. Rachael Schwartz

    Roger and Me made me think about the preemptive action necessary to keep a business viable in the current economy. Just like our discussions about the type writer industry, horse and buggy industry, and soon possibly the newspaper industry; companies must take preemptive action to deal with changing conditions in the business world. Though GM closed the plant at a time when they were still making profits by manufacturing in the United States, I still think it was an intelligent move for them to make. While the effect of the loss of jobs is devastating to communities, as a business person I can’t help but think that in this case the long-term viability of a company outweighs the detrimental effect on my conscious.
    On the other hand it is important to consider what the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States is doing to our economy and our country. Manufacturing jobs were the backbone of the middle (blue collar) class in the US. With the loss of all these jobs it seems like the middle class in the US will soon become extinct. People with decent paying and stable jobs are now forced to work at the local Wal-Mart and other places that do not offer the same benefits and opportunities as manufacturing plants. it is a vicious cycle of lost jobs that does not look like it will be slowing down any time soon. Manufacturing helped close the gap between the rich and the poor allowing blue collar workers to have a stable life. That is no longer the case… As the gap between the rich and the poor gets wider, I wonder if there will ever be anything strong enough to close it.

  98. Kuo-Shen Huang

    From this documentary, I would deeply think that the purpose of all of business strategy is to make “unlimited” profits by making use of various kinds of ways. Even though that GM, once thought as the biggest car manufacture, is originated from Flint Michigan, it still switch its plant to the Mexican where there are a lot of cheaper workers than USA. I think GM is absolutely not the only company which outsource from Flint to foreign countries. There are more and more business which did the same strategy as the GM. Take IBM as an example, IBM also moved out from Binghamton to China. That is to say, no matter where we are, we need to continuously improve ourselves ability to be accustomed to this worldwide trend

  99. Chin-Hsiang Lin

    “Outsourcing” which is the vivid topic is given by the “Roger and Me”. The same discussion, like “the world is flat”, is also aimed at the “outsourcing”. Compared with the world is flat, “Roger and Me” is a little boring to me. However, there might be similar views but is something different is evil wisdom. For example, in order to save itself, the company made strategic decisions and these decisions never outside of the law. Although it took a big risk to make these decisions, the company was successfully survived as the result of the strategy. The move also reflects the presidential campaign for now in America. The fiery issue, saving the economy, is given to speeches or debates by the two candidates, Obama and McCain. In my opinion, who can bring the good ideas up to their economic policies and no doubt who will win the campaign.

  100. Chris Bellinzoni

    There were certainly several revealing aspects of ‘Roger and Me.’ What stuck me the most, and this may sound slightly callus after considering all the heartbreak that Flint went through, is the difficult balance that corporations must strike between fiscal responsibility and community responsibilities. Obviously GM’s outsourcing had a horrendous impact on Flint, which had no other significant source of employment, but from a macroeconomic standpoint what else could GM have done? In order to be represent the best interest of shareholders GM had to do whatever would keep the company financially solvent. The movie made me think that from a PR standpoint it’s in a company’s best interest to be more responsible to a community in this scenario, but unfortunately not essential. The need for outsourcing for U.S. companies is not going away, and truthfully the negative impact of the Flint economy depression on GM was minimal, which is not going to motivate companies to be kinder in outsourcing situations. To me, the best lesson from this documentary is that a person should never create emotional ties to its employer, because clearly the employer isn’t about to let emotions cloud its decisions.

  101. I would just like to make one point about outsourcing contrary to this movie. In most cases outsourcing is good for the domestic worker as well as the foreign worker. Many times the lower level work is outsources while the higher level activity stays in the original country. Many companies have been able to hire more domestic staff because of the growth in business (due to outsourcing). This is a point that I got from the Thomas Friedman book I am reading for class. Outsourcing is many times viewed as a terrible thing when it is mostly the opposite.

  102. This movie is basically talking about how corporations need to continuously change their strategy in order to maximize their profits .GM like many other major corporations decided to move its manufacturing plant out of Michigan in order to make more profits. However, in order to do so it didn’t bother about the local people there and ignored the fact that GM was a major employer in that area and this decision would significantly affect the lives of the people in Flint, Michigan. According to me there is nothing wrong with outsourcing to make more money but it should be done in a more planned way keeping in view the employees of the company. I could relate this movie to “the world is flat” as both of them talk about various aspects of outsourcing.

  103. George DeVardo

    I do not agree at all with the documentary, in most part because Michael Moore developed it and I believe his views are completely biased and he uses bad situations going on in our country to serve his own agenda. But I also disagree with the blaming of GM for the hardtimes of this town, because it is unfortunate but in many cases (like Corey says above) outsourcing may move production level jobs to cheaper labor but then usually the higher management jobs stay in country so its not necessarily a bad thing.

    Another reason I don’t think GM is to blame is because, they are acting in the interst of their shareholders and keeping this plant open would probably cause more loses and maybe even force somewhere else to close so its not that GM is doing somthing bad TO this town, it is just ot a profitable factory.

    It is dangerous when any town becomes so dependent on one factory or plant in the area because there is always a chance it can be closed. I think to some degree people are using GM as scapegoat just because the town allowed themselves to get into a precarious position.

  104. This movie is based on CEO of GM motors, Roger Smith, who decide to close it manufacturing plant in Flint, Michigan and open its plant in Mexico to produce cars in same quantity and of same quality thereby minimizing its operating costs and maximizing the profits. But this decision has the adverse effect on the lives of workers who was working in Flint, Michigan. Around 30,000 people lost their jobs and they were forced to work with Taco Bell and other places, many people left the city to look for the other opportunities and many people had to sell off their house because they couldn’t pay the mortgage.

    Michael Moore tried to reach Roger in order to ask the reason for these layoffs of employees and shifting the plant to Mexico. He tried to get hold of Roger at every possible place he knew where Roger goes frequently but he couldn’t get hold of him. But in the end Moore finally get the chance to talk to Roger as a GM stockholder. But unfortunately he again couldn’t speak with Roger as Roger leaves the building when he was about to ask him a question.

    I really liked the way Moore was trying to talk to Roger to explain him the ill effects of moving the plant to Mexico. In my opinion, a business cannot run profitably if it will not consider the welfare of its employees. Business has some societal obligation which it should fulfill.

  105. The movie introduced the situation when GM motors closed the plant at the Flint, Michigan and offshore its plant to Mexico. It documented the prosperity and the recession of Flint. It mainly records the evacuation of the families that can not afford to pay the rent, the increase of crime rate and the tough life after the close of the plant. Frankly speaking, the movie makes me uncomfortable after watching so many sad pictures. I can say that Michael Moore wants audiences to feel the bad situation as the people feel there. However the movie reflects the true business cold blooded rule – Why not hire cheap labors and lower facilities cost if a company can? The only thing I do not truly understand in the movie is whether the Chairman of GM did provide good or bad laid off conditions under the situation.

  106. Michael Buxbaum

    Michael Moore’s documentary “Roger & Me” deals with the issue of outsourcing. From a business standpoint, Roger Smith needed to move out of Flint, Michigan due to the high costs of production. In Flint, there was no way GM could realize its full potential in terms of profit and shareholder wealth. Also, while GM was definitely responsible for the downfall of Flint, they are not the sole reason, as Moore makes it seem. The viewer must understand that Michael Moore’s films are always biased in forcing the audience to believe his view on the situation and he does not really allow for disagreement. Well, like I stated previously, while I am not completely condoning Smith’s decision, I must agree that it was a necessary decision at the time. On another note, this film made me think of Binghamton, NY at times because the demise of IBM here was definitely a huge factor in why the city is what it is today.

  107. Roger and me is a documentary about Flint, Michigan. This documentary highlights how flint went from a booming town with a strong middle class to a lower class area where very few are able to survive and prosper. One of the continuous themes throughout this movie is with the eviction officer who is always busy and has to force many Flint residents to move from their home. The goal of Michael Moore is to get Roger to come to Flint and see the devastation that has been caused by eliminating the GM production plants from this area. He is unable to achieve this goal and is avoided constantly throughout the movie.
    The underlying message from this movie is the impact that outsourcing can have on a community. While GM was no doubt making these decisions to try and help their company remain profitable, they disregarded the lives affected by this switch. An interesting note about this movie is at the time, GM was still a very profitable organization and therefore these maneuvers were seen as heartless. However, with updated information and GM struggling to make profits and compete with foreign auto-manufacturers, the inevitability of these decisions become obvious. The bias in this movie and the time in which it was created send a message that this was injustice when now it is none that these maneuvers are something GM would have had to do eventually to remain viable. Also, this movie shows how the American worker is going to have to obtain a different skill set as companies will generally look for the cheapest manufacturing options and America will most likely not be their choice.

  108. The film revolves around the closing of General Motors factories in Flint, Michigan. The closings causes families to lose their homes, their jobs, and most of all their well-being. Michael Moore is determined to get General Motors Chairman Roger Smith to come down to Flint and see the devastation his company has caused. He basically shows the the indifference of corporate America to the lives of its workers. A city gets ruined by simple corporate greed. Moore contrasts Flint in its glory days of the 1950s with what it has become, a city ranked “the worst place to live in America” by Money magazine.
    I personally feel that Moore’s view is very biased. Gm did make a mistake too by not taking care of its employees but what if the company had more losses just by keeping that plant in Flint and at the end losing other plants and maybe even running out of business. I just feel the movie is just one sided with Moore’s opinion magnified.

  109. One of the major trend in business world has been outsourcing overseas. This is mostly practiced by multinational companies as a way of reducing costs and maximizing revenue. Major beneficiaries of outsourcing are less developed countries like India, China, and Mexico.

    Outsourcing has also become political shorthand for presidential candidates to describe what is perceived as unfair international trade and its costs for U.S. workers. The issue has become highly emotional because of outsourcing’s two dramatically different effects: it leads to layoffs and dislocations for thousands of U.S. workers, even as most economists say it will ultimately strengthen the U.S. economy.

    Outsourcing is a trend, and it is impossible to hold this tide. What the government should do is to help people who lose their jobs find a way to live, not trying to stop the movement.

  110. Ariana Axelrod

    Roger and Me is a documentary that touches upon the concept of outsourcing and successfully shows the vast impact it can have on a single town. In the movie, the economy of the town of Flint, Michigan was greatly influenced by the outsourcing of GM production plants. GM’s plants caused the town to thrive. However, upon closing these plants, the economy of the town plummeted, crime rate increased, and many families had to leave. Although GM did what was best for it’s company’s prosperity, thousands of workers lost their jobs and the town suffered. Roger Smith, the CEO of General Motors, was urged by Michael Moore to visit the town to witness the downfall that came from his decision. However, from a business standpoint this decision made the most sense to Smith and Moore’s mission was unsuccessful.

    This film is extremely biased and tries to skew the opinions of viewers to Moore’s own. Although GM did have a great impact on the decline of Flint, the ultimate outcome, which is the further success of GM in it’s new location, was much more beneficial to the economy and created jobs elsewhere, than if the company had not moved. Moore’s intentions are to be entirely persuasive so that anyone watching his documentary sees things from his perspective. I did not enjoy this documentary, although the illustration of the concept of outsourcing is achieved.

  111. The movie talks about the story of a typical American working town Flint that lives through the closure of a plant, in this case GM, which used to be its major work supplier. Most of the people used to work at the plant, spending evenings together and keeping the same pattern of life without even thinking that things can be different. However in light of the modern globalization era the plant closes down regardless excellent business results. Later the movie sows the gradual deterioration of local people’s life.
    The main character Michael Moore holding on his dream to be journalist interviews people in Flint discovering the truth why the plant closed down and how that eveny changed live of the whole town. He tries to get in contact with the plant’s CEO Roger Smith to interview him and to show what his decisions have done to thousands of people. The movie shows typical failure of municipal efforts to revive former working communities’ life. Being a temporary resident of Binghamton community, I can state that we don’t have to go a long way to such examples. Endicott Shoes closedown and IBM outsourcing are very obvious real-life examples of the events described in the movie “Roger and me”.
    Returning to the movie plot viewers can see that unfortunately, there are solid obstacles on his Michael’s way and he cannot get hold of the CEO. Unable to explain him that thousands of peoples’ lives have been completely destroyed by this businessman’s decision, Michael finally concludes that rich continue getting richer and their greed is supported by corporate world, and simple people can do nothing but get poorer.

  112. Shih-Ching Wang

    The purpose of each company funded is to gain the profit as much as possible. It is imaginable that companies close plants in order to reduce costs, especially in the globalization. Companies start to seek foreign manufacturers and outsource to decrease the overall costs and raise their competitive position. More and more outsourcing occurs in the present, so we probably meet the problem showed in this movie, plants unexpected shut down. In the movie, we see the disadvantages of outsourcing that affect not only families but whole society. But in fact, outsourcing provides many working opportunities for the developing and third countries.
    Actually, outsourcing is the necessary trend of most companies in the future. As a manager, when trying to make more profit for companies, we still have to consider the fired employees. For example, give information about closing plants early, and those employees will have enough time to find another job. Also, the government should take some actions to attract companies to stay, or set some regulation to protect labors against management. After all, outsourcing can’t be stopped in the developed countries and globalization companies.

  113. I personally find discussions (debates) about the ethical and moral nature of outsourcing and offshoring to be very interesting. I have some strong feelings concerning the topic, and I am often prone to making these views known to others. Concerning the film “Roger and Me” by Michael Moore, I must start off by stating that I have very neutral / mixed feelings about the work’s author. I enjoy and agree with the perspective presented in some Michael Moore films, but others I am less fond of in general. I must say that I generally disagree with this particular Moore film. I tend very much to agree with the perspective espoused by many of the General Motors (GM) executives who are featured in the movie. A corporation has the responsibility to provide a safe and healthy working environment for its employees, fair compensation, and a financial return to the firm’s shareholders. A corporation does not have the inherent responsibility to employ specific groups of people depending upon their geographic location or work history. Is there a specific reason that workers in the United States are more worthy of jobs than individuals residing in other countries? Ought American companies be forced to employ only Americans based upon the fact that they are headquartered in the United States? The fact that the average American manufacturing laborer is now without work is a phenomenon that should be blamed on United States economic policy. American workers, due to inflation and over-expectation, are simply too expensive to employ from the perspective of many manufacturing firms. There is no legitimate, logical business reason for companies to be forced to spend more capital on employing American workers when a viable, more inexpensive labor market exists elsewhere. Perhaps a thorough reading of Friedman’s “The World is Flat” would explain modern economics to those who oppose international outsourcing.

  114. Daniel Pokidaylo

    As we discussed in class today, I think it is more beneficial to respond to some people’s perspectives on the film “Roger and Me” rather than just restate the plot. Hence, I have used some quotes from Matt Layton’s blog to respond to. There were 2 quotes made by him that got my attention, 1 of which I agree with, and the other I respectfully disagree with. First, he stated, “A corporation has the responsibility to provide a safe and healthy working environment for its employees, fair compensation, and a financial return to the firm’s shareholders.”I know the film portrayed GM to be pretty ruthless because Flint, Michigan became the poorest town in the country, but GM does have to think of its shareholders, and how to optimize shareholder value (which is the main point of a corporation). On the other hand, Matt also stated that “A corporation does not have the inherent responsibility to employ specific groups of people depending upon their geographic location or work history.” I disagree with this statement because although corporations should maximinze shareholder value, they should also have a corporate social responsibility in the town they are located. Corporations should help the town they are located in as much as possible, and be socially responsible for that town, and its employees living in that town.

    Now, it seems to be a fine line where to stand on those perspectives because Corporations need to maximize shareholder value, but should also have a social responsibility for their community, so I personally would have not outsourced completely like GM did, but try to make it more of a smooth transition as to not destroy the town. It’s a difficult decision to make, and the financial world is pretty ruthless when it comes to making money, so I can understand GM’s perspective, but they need to have a better role in American society if they expect people to buy their (not so great) cars.

  115. While there are theories of corporate social responsibility and stakeholders deeply rooted in Moore’s exposé, I’m going to ignore them for the sake of concentrating on outsourcing itself. Businesses are about bottom lines, and GE’s decision to outsource directly affected its profits. While it is true that companies with better images usually outperform and outlast those with less positive images, there is no use in operating with a good image and bad profits.
    My apologies to manufacturing workers, but well-trained monkeys could do those jobs. High-paid manufacturing workers have failed to set their skills and aptitudes apart from automated machinery and uneducated, cheap labor in foreign countries. Why should a company pay $20/hr to a worker who is no more or less qualified than someone who can work for (and reasonably survive on) a wage much lower than $20/hr?
    It’s a wake-up call for lazy, uneducated Americans. Friedman’s “The World is Flat” cautions Americans to take measures to secure their jobs in terms of making their skills difficult to transfer or teach. Screwing on some nuts and bolts does not require a lot of intelligence or skill.
    One blogger writes, “People with decent paying and stable jobs are now forced to work at the local Wal-Mart and other places that do not offer the same benefits and opportunities as manufacturing plants.” The gap between the rich and the poor is actually the gap between the educated and the uneducated. These blue collar workers’ education and skill sets do not merit jobs of a higher caliber than those available in Wal-Mart. Thomas Friedman’s warning echoes loudly.
    For those bloggers who are misinformed into thinking that these manufacturing workers constitute the middle class: you’re wrong. The middle class shifts with trends in society. So while the middle-class may have been composed of the blue collar workers in 1960, it certainly isn’t anymore. The current middle-class is composed largely of white collar workers who have taken some steps to advance themselves since the 1960s, namely in earning themselves an education that extends beyond the vocational. Those still occupying blue collar positions have failed to advance and, as such, have to watch bottom-line-savvy businesses hand their menial jobs over to similarly qualified, cheaper labor more readily available in foreign countries. (A 2002 USA Today article reports that from 1960 to 2002, the percentage of working Americans employed by manufacturing firms dropped from 34% to 13%. I am sure that number has dropped even further in the last 6 years. However, service jobs, during the same time period, have increased from 59% to 82%; I also imagine that number is higher in 2008. As the U.S. economy is turning more to service, it requires a work force with greater skills and education. Consider the schooling required by doctors, lawyers, financial advisors, etc.)
    As emotionally stirring as it was to watch a starving woman killing rabbits for food or a family with small children being evicted, they have only themselves to blame. There is a degree to which one could argue that pervasive social injustices have led to the inability of this lower class to obtain higher education and thus secure a means of employment. However, there are means in place that Americans have access to, more so than citizens of any other country, by which Americans can alleviate their plight. And those who fail to take advantage of these mechanisms will be left behind and face extinction in an almost beautiful representation of social Darwinism.

  116. Philip St. Clair

    It is very important to start by saying that globalization is something that since 1989 has impacted the United States and the world tremendously. Roger and Me is a film that his the idea of outsourcing at its infancy. Still, it is portrayed by the director, Michael Moore, to be a barbaric act by titans of the business world with no care for the mere individuals that they harm….Get Real!!!

    The main purpose of a business is to maximize profit. Many times this is done by treatly employees fair and rewarding them beyoud neccessary. However, in certain situations the cost factor is so substanial in another country that it can not be ignored. In the end, the 30000 jobs that were lost can translate into a cost savings on GM cars for millions of people.

    It is also important when dealing with outsourcing to keep in mind that some jobs are more important to the success of the company than others. Most current outsoucing is done at the manufacturer or support level and very few jobs are outsourced at “white” collar level. America has such a global impact on buying power that these jobs will always be here in the United States. In the end, it motivates me to be educated and work hard to place myslef in a position where I will not be dispensable.

    The film is one-sided, which does not make it a bad film. It is just important to see that GM’s first priority is not to its employees. If it were than it would be a charity and not a business.

  117. My blog has three areas of focus:

    First off, the UAW is probably the worst thing for the auto industry. The only people the UAW helps are UAW executives. They take unions dues from employees and blindly accept whatever management tells them. All the meanwhile spewing crap to employees about how they are helping them and that they are on their side. What do union executives do to help employees that warrant their lavish salaries? End unions and you have solved a third of the problem.

    Next, we have the employees who worked in the Flint auto manufacturing plant. These mindless drones could not even hack it at a Taco Bell never mind a job that makes you think. Seriously, I am glad we are giving these mindless manufacturing jobs to other countries because we are paying our mindless people way too much. You could replace all of Flint Michigan with monkeys and still maintain the cities IQ level. In fact, people would probably visit Flint if it were filled with actual monkeys so you solve the tourism problem.

    Throughout the movie, you see people complaining about losing their job blah blah blah. Listen life is never going to always be easy and if you are not willing to accept changing your life and enduring hardships, you deserve what you get. We have 5 billion people on this planet and any one of them can screw lug nuts onto a car and at a fraction of the price. We have people who rather live on Welfare than actually find a job and become a productive member of society.

    Lastly, I want to talk about the GM ‘fat cats’ who probably don’t even know what a profitable company looks like anymore. In the 80s, these people thought coming up with great ideas and innovation to battle Japanese auto manufactures was an awful idea, and instead they decided to cut jobs and produce horrible quality cars. In addition, they spent millions lobbying congress to block these imported cars from entering the country. To battle this problem those same Japanese companies opened union free manufacturing plants in right to work states (Michigan shoots themselves in the foot with forcing companies to have a union). Therefore, what ultimately happened was the transfer of wealth to the southern states who allowed companies to build union free manufacturing plants. Until GM, Ford, and Chrysler (soon to be GM) realize they need to be proactive and not reactive they will always suffer because the only thing they seem to be good at is firing employees.

  118. Niamh Delaney

    Roger and Me is a documentary style film directed by Michael Moore. The premise of the film is General Motor’s decision to pull out of Flint, Michigan and to outsource. It is clear where Moore stands on the issue of outsourcing- he sees it as a selfish and evil act on the part of corporate America. While there are a great deal of pros and cons to the outsourcing debate, the movie made me think about the role of corporate responsibility to the community.
    If a business develops itself in a given community and the company’s existence has been mutually beneficial for both parties is it right for the company to get up and leave? Especially in the case of GM, according to the documentary, they were experiencing record profits at the time they chose to leave Flint. Their decision would have been more understandable had the company been in financial trouble and needed to cut corners. GM’s decision to outsource was devastating to Flint, because the city’s economy was largely derived from the presence of GM. Would it have been better for GM to have gradually phased out their involvement in Flint, rather than just leaving in such a hurry?
    Living in the Binghamton area, it is easy to see the major economic dependence that arises when a large company/ business, establishes itself within a community. The Binghamton area is highly dependant on the jobs and revenues that come from IBM, Lockheed Martin and Binghamton University. Losing any one of these crucial industries could cause devastating job loss and have huge effects on the local economy.

  119. The world is flat and outsourcing could especially benefit the manufacturing companies since the labor cost are varied in different places. GM sensed the trend and took action before threat comes. Given maximize the profit is the main purpose of business; it is understandable that companies seek for best price third parties to outsource part of the value chain function. But I do not think it is simple like that.

    The movie remind me of Vizio TV, which aggressively cut the price and maintain its position in Flat TV market. It has only 80 US employees while outsourcing the manufacturing all over the world. It also changed the outsourcing location according to the change of economic which caused large amount of laid-off to several communities in difference countries. The supply chain decision is simply a business decision which aligns overall strategy of the company. However, as the corporation grows, it is reasonable for them to consider the social responsibility to the community to the society as well, even we understand that business is not charity.

    When the competition goes fierily, the company should seek for the low price and high quality. Meanwhile, they should at least consider the community which contributed to their past success and current position. That does not mean they cannot leave the community, but they can provide the community with other opportunities, training and other benefits as a return rather than say goodbye to the community and passed them as they never met before. We say corporations are also citizens, besides taxes contribute, they could do more, just as a normal person would typically be helpful and considerate while promote the self-development. It really depends on the high management of the corporation; depend on his/ their recognition, background, and way of doing things. Whether or not consider more about the community, whether or not be able to create the desirable situation, could reflect both the capability and potential of a corporation.

  120. As many have noted, Roger and Me is a Michael Moore documentary featuring the town of Flint, Michigan and automotive giant, General Motors. Moore goes to great lengths to make Gm out to be an ‘evil’ corporation and to depict the pain and destruction left behind as GM decides to close down plants and outsource operations to Mexico.

    In order to evaluate this film, I think one must first determine what the purpose of a corporation is. Is it’s purpose purely to make profits and reward the shareholders, or does it have a wider responsibility to bigger stake-holders, such as communities, towns and society as a whole.

    Personally, I believe that companies have some social responsibility. They need to be responsible in protecting the environment, or at the very least not polluting and destroying it. It may even be a good idea for companies to devote resources to improve the communities they are located in.

    However, the amount of responsibility companies have is ultimately limited by their ability to make profits. If a community ‘puts all its eggs in one basket’ and is going to rely on one company or industry for the vast majority of jobs, it is setting itself up for failure. Local government needs to be more diligent in attracting multiple businesses and industries. They can not reasonably expect companies to continue to operate in their town if it is no longer profitable to do so. In the event this situation occurs, government needs to work with the company and local unions in order to come to some agreement that is mutually beneficial. If this fails, the result can be catastrophic to the community, as was seen in Flint, Michigan.

    I believe that outsourcing is such a large issue today and will continue to be in the future because of the inherent way economies operate. If each country was only allowed to produce and sell in its own country, prices and wages would reflect each other and there would be balance. The foundation of the outsourcing problem can be seen as a rift occurs when companies are encouraged to globalize and sell overseas but unemployment figures and labor wages are recorded according to each individual country. Business is global but we still focus on segregated labor wages. Hence firms operating in low cost labor nations will always find an advantage by producing at a low cost and being able to sell in high price nations where firms in high labor cost nations will receive the opposite effect.

  121. Wen Jiun Tsai

    In this documentary, it reveals the cruelty of laid-off and company move-out/closure. Michael Moore, the director of this film, as being one of the member in Flint, unveil the serious influences after GM laid off some many employees in Flint, and the misery of those people afterwards. There is no doubt corporates have their social responsibilities. Their successes comes from the society and the employees who make most of their efforts to bring it the ripes. However, whenever the interest conflicts, the employers confront the dilemmas. Unfortunately, the decision of layoff is always being the top choice for the employers to cut down the cost. Secondly, due to the globalization, the choice of outsourcing is another preferable to them. Those employers put the employees’ welfare in the latter priority while they make the decisions, and thus the future of employees can be controlled by those employers. Probably we can say those employers only care their only interests by sacrificing others’ welfare or benefits. However, while the fierce competition in the outer environment, every company seeks lower cost to create its profits to sustain its business. Whoever can’t posses its own advantages on cost or increasing growth in revenue, it can be tomorrow’s loser. Thus, it is hard to judge if GM is a real devil as described in the film. Indeed, corporates has their social responsibilities, but the cares and supports to the residents from government are also needed to protect people from poverty.

    A few years ago, one book ” Who steals my cheese” can be a pretty good book to warn people how to survive in a bad condition and how people need to get alerted when they live in a good condition. Only when people can decide their future and the ways they intend to go, they won’t be the sacrifice of the employers.

  122. Scott Buckley

    Q: “What kind of coats does rabbit fur make?”

    A: “A rabbit coat”

    A simple answer from a simple person. Michael Moore was also looking for an answer as to why GM moved out of Flint, Michigan and into Mexico. I can answer that question for you, Mr. Moore. In order for GM to remain profitable and competitive in the long-run, they needed to reduce costs. As a business, GM did exactly what they are supposed to do. How many groups sold capacity in North America in the simulation? This was near the beginning of a large outsourcing movement in the U.S. The move to cheaper labor was going to happen, it was just a matter of when. Today, the plants would almost certainly be closed. This is how the global economy works. Different countries produce what they have a competitive advantage in.

    Just because I believe the move to Mexico was justified from a business standpoint, I don’t agree with how GM proceeded with it. They obviously knew it would devastate Flint. Flint is where they began and like it or not, GM does owe the people something. At the very least, a gradual move to Mexico would have helped each side. Closing some plants in the US and opening others in Mexico would have lowered the average cost of producing an automobile and GM could maintain a relatively decent image. A win, win. Also, GM was going to be saving enormous amounts on costs and could have passed a portion of those savings on to its former employees through severance, relocation expenses or help in job searches.

    Sadly, very little was done to help the people of Flint. GM was the provider and it simply abandoned its employees. Unfortunately, Michael Moore and a film crew can do very little against a large corporation. I find Michael Moore quite annoying I really hope this is not how he got his start in film making. If it is, then my feelings towards GM will be even more negative.

  123. Roger and Me is an funny film that talks about that General Motor layoffs of factory in Flint, Michigan. Every firm will likely face the same problem like GM to decide whether to close the factory or not. When the world globalizes, outsourcing becomes a big issue for a lot of companies to think about it. It will have a big impact for Flint after GM made the decision, but the company still has to protect their stockholders in the long run. In that situation, outsourcing is should be undertaken by GM in order to improve their financial position.

  124. For a generation that has grown up with the Internet and globalization, Michael Moore doesn’t make much of a case at all.

    Outsourcing is one of the societal goods that have come out of corporate greed (evil?). Do the workers of in GM’s Flint plant suffer because of this outsourcing? Why would we even ask this question? Workers in Mexico were always in bad condition, even though GM’s relocation to Mexico might improve the standards for some workers, they may still be living in worse conditions than the jobless in Flint.

    To act humanitarian while asserting that outsourcing ruins lives assumes American lives are worth living better than Mexican lives. This proposition is therefore not humanitarian, but nationalistic – applicable to any nation where the 20th century may have a pleasant reminiscence.

    As for the 21st century, this movie is irrelevant.

  125. Philip Pellegrino

    Let me start by saying that just about everything Moore does disgusts me. Now, on to his argument about outsourcing and off shoring… From his point of view, any corporation that outsources work that was once done by Americans is evil and horrible. All these companies are trying to do is survive, and if cutting costs by outsourcing is what they need to do to survive, then so be it. Our economy obviously needs companies to survive, and if companies start going under because unskilled laborers are demanding wages that are too high for the work they do, we are in trouble.
    Of course we would like to see the companies try to work it out with the American employees and try to keep the jobs and money here, but if that is not an option then it is not an option. I’m pretty sure the car companies would not have moved out of Michigan if they didn’t absolutely have to. American workers and government need to do more to make companies WANT to keep jobs here.

  126. Ruoyi (Renee) Guan

    The movie “Roger and Me” was a good movie if you like Michael Moore and documentaries. It deals the issue of globalization and outsourcing. And I believe this is the kind of story that many people unwilling to hear. Around 30,000 people lost their jobs, many of them left and many of them were forced to sell their houses. It is true that offshore outsourcing will reduce cost and generate greater profits for the company. However, it is also essential to consider the employees’ welfare. I like the final part of the movie where he says something about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. That is really true. While the shareholders got benefits from the outsourcing, all the employees were suffering badly. Employees are members of a company’s stakeholders. How could a company run well without considering its stakeholders’ benefit?

  127. The director, Mike Moore, portrays how can one decision, to relocate the plants to other nation, can hugely affect so many people’s lives through the case of the city, Flint. GM decided to move its plants to Mexico where they can pay labor wages way cheaper than U.S. And due to this decision, around 30,000 people got unemployed and forced to move out from their houses.
    Throughout the movie, it seems like Moore is trying to send a message, “GM destroyed Flint.” However, instead of getting mad at Roger Smith for making people of Flint’s lives miserable, I wondered what would Moore do if he was Smith? All other companies were relocating its plants to other nations for cheaper labor expenses, and just for the sake of OUR workers, GM should stay in U.S. when it is clear that they can make way more profits through relocation? Moreover, GM is not a non-profit organization. It is a public firm which means that GM has shareholders. And it is GM’s job to make as much profit margin as possible so that they can pay higher returns to its shareholders. How would shareholders react when they see GM is not making as much profits as any other firms? Furthermore, I’m pretty sure even those 30,000 people who lost jobs, enjoy cheaper products that are ‘made in Mexico’ and/or ‘made in China.’ We, as consumers, enjoy paying less for products regardless where it was made, how many Americans suffered for this product.
    I understand many of Americans’ lives have changed, but we also need to appreciate the benefits we get due to relocation. We all love to shop at Wal-Mart. Why? Because it’s cheap. Wal-Mart wouldn’t have existed if there were no ‘Made In China’ or ‘Made in Mexico.’

  128. Everyone knows by now that anything that Michael Moore does is a bit one sided. So when I watched “Roger and Me”, I took it with a grain of salt. Throughout the film I was sure to keep in mind that GM leaving Flint was not the only cause of Flint’s tough times. Also, Michael Moore did a poor job exploring the benefits for GM to move. There was no effort to explain what could have happened to GM if they failed to move.
    That being sad, I thought it was fascinating how a town could rely on one company for their “survival”. It was amazing how little help the government really gave to Flint. Any help seemed more like political moves than towards actually helping the people. Again though, Michael Moore really made an effort to show the rich and well-off as spoiled people who didn’t understand the people’s problems. I am sure there were plenty of wealthy people who were very sympathetic.
    After watching this film, I could not help but think of the “lost” transition period that occurred from the time this movie was filmed until today and the current day issues GM is facing. I wonder the stages that occurred from the time when GM left Flint until today.
    Obviously corporations need to make a profit. But it is crazy to say that this needs to be accomplished at all costs. People and ethics can not be ignored. I think this was the point Moore wanted to get across; That yes companies need to make a profit, but the decision makers ( and the companies themselves) need to be accountable for the decisions they make.
    My last thought from this film was whether or not there was a way to prevent GM from leaving Flint. Perhaps tax subsidies would have been cheaper for the Government and GM rather than the Gov’t funding well-fare and all these crazy programs like the AutoLand Disney-like Park.

  129. In the 1980s, under the leadership of chairman Roger Smith, General Motors closed down 11 of its plants in Flint, Michigan, the company’s birthplace. The shutdowns put 30,000 of the city’s 150,000 residents out of work and made Flint never recover. What GM did wasn’t losing money, and it just wanted to make even more money by relocating some factories to Mexico, where labor is cheap and, even better. The movie–”ROGER & ME” follows the attempts of Moore and his crew to obtain an on-camera interview with Roger Smith, and to get him to come to Flint to witness the devastation his cuts have caused.
    In today’s business world, the outsourcing solution is acceptable to large and small firms alike because strategic alliances are now more common. Outsourcing operations has become integral part of how an organization may succeed or fail. It is currently being used by corporations to increase profits by seeking lower wages and using tax loop-holes. Outsourcing can be an immense benefit to businesses that choose to properly use its functionality. On the other hand, outsourcing does not automatically succeed in every situation. For example, in this movie, many employees in the United States have lost their jobs to workers in these foreign countries.

  130. Mitchell Ostrow

    Roger and Me is a movie about the small town of Flint, Michigan where a General Motors plant closed down, leaving many people unemployed. Michael Moore shows the devastation this causes to the town as many residents can not find work elsewhere. Throughout the movie, Moore attempts to reach General Motors chairman, Roger Smith, because he wants to bring him to Flint so he can witness firsthand the damage the plant closings have caused. At the end of the film he finally does see Roger, but is unable to persuade him to come to Flint.

    Overall I feel Michael Moore took this film a little too far in portraying General Motors as the enemy. General Motors is in the business of making a profit the best way it sees fit, and that includes closing as many plants as they feel necessary. Although the plant closings had a negative affect on Flint, General Motors is not obligated in any way to maintain a plant there, or any other location for that matter.

  131. “Roger and Me”, a documentary by Michael Moore, is a novel tale of globalization. GM, a leading automaker corporation, attempts to reach its full profit-making potential by outsourcing production out of the small town of Flint, Michigan into the country of Mexico, where wages are but a minuscule fraction in comparison.

    However, Moore portrays Flint as an abused town. GM took what it desired out of the city and then abandoned it and left it desolate. It is unfortunate to see the town in shambles, with people getting evicted left and right, small businesses going bankrupt, and with violence at an all time high. Nonetheless GM can not be blamed for this. It is not their corporate responsibility to furnish the town with life and fuel it with capital. They must act in accordance with what is best for themselves, in which I am referring to their shareholders.

    I believe it is just a mirror into today’s world. Corporations are outsourcing everything nowadays from IT all the way to retail production. This is the only way corporations can stay at costs low enough to compete in today’s markets with other retailers and service providers. However unfortunate it was for the township of Flint, and as wicked it made Roger Smith in the eyes of many across the country, it was just a necessary step that GM had to take. The rich get richer while the poor get poorer.

  132. Abraham Mizrahi

    The main question that emerged from the Michael Moore’s documentary, Roger and Me, was – Do companies and corporations have a responsibility to the towns in which they operate, or should they strictly operate in the interest of the shareholders? I think what makes this question so interesting is that it is still struggled with today. The whole concept of corporate social responsibility has reemerged in the form of “Going Green.” The idea that as human beings we have a responsibility to the environment has once again risen to become one of the most important questions for managers today. In the simulation we are running in class, we must also decide whether we would spend additional money to promote a green image. In the past, as shown in the movie, GM closed down its factories in Flint, Michigan and moved them to Mexico to save money on labor. This left the entire town of Flint in shambles. Today, GM is now faced with the challenge of making green cars that leave a lighter chemical footprint on our environment. Except today, GM finds itself on the brink of bankruptcy and feels no shame in requesting American tax dollars to help get itself back on its feet. But do Americans have a responsibility to support the companies that operate within it?

  133. Wei-Yoan Cheng

    In “Roger and Me,” Michael Moore portrays GM as the enemy and reason for the downfall of his hometown of Flint, Michigan. According to Moore, GM was already making profits in the billions and still closing eleven plants in the US and opening eleven new plants in Mexico where labor was only 70 cents an hour. GM lobbyist Tom Kay defends GM’s outsourcing decision by saying that GM has to do whatever it has to do to stay competitive in today’s world and that it is no good to anyone if they go bankrupt. Moore then proceeds to show the effect this had on Flint; Crime increased dramatically, residents were being evicted by the dozens everyday, and people began to take odd jobs like color consulting and selling rabbits.

    At the time the film was made, Michael Moore was nobody. This was an individual battle between him and his neighbors and GM, and thus the film is too personal, biased, and over the top. Throughout the film, it was irritating to watch him constantly harass the employees of places that Roger Smith frequented. Roger Smith’s decision to close down the plants in Flint was a decision to benefit the company’s shareholders among other things. Although the birthplace of GM is in Flint, it is not GM’s responsibility to keep a whole town alive. GM caused 30,000 people in Flint to become unemployed, but perhaps these people were lucky. After all, Michael Moore himself says that his heroes were the guys who escaped the assembly line and got out of Flint like Bob Eubanks and Casey Kasem. He even shows a scene where the last car goes down the assembly line followed by the employees applauding even though they just lost their jobs. Many people probably wanted out and GM gave them an opportunity to do so and to try and do something better with their lives.

  134. This film, if you can boil off all the propaganda, attempts to determine what the nature of corporate social responsibility is and/or should be. Does the company owe its workers “cradle to grave” support? Should the firm be driven solely by cost and profitability concerns? Should the corporation even give any consideration to its workers outside employing them as factors of production? I’ll admit that I don’t know where the balance between these opposing viewpoints lies and this film didn’t really do anything to clear that question up for me. There were, however, a couple points that this film caused me to think on.

    I found it interesting that outside a discussion of the money that was spent by the local government in Flint (and to an extent the state of Michigan) after the GM plants started closing, nothing was said about the government’s involvement before the layoffs began. Often big business gets property tax breaks to do business in an area because the local government is aware that those businesses generate a lot of revenues for the local governments via the tax base their workers provide. Obviously, businesses are allowed to choose where they wish to do business and they use that fact to their advantage when trying to gain concessions from the local governments. However, the problem with this is at least twofold. Sometimes the municipal governments make concessions that are too large, thereby hurting the area more than the loss of the business might hurt the area. Second, having successfully courted a large business, municipalities sometimes start to assume that as long as they treat that business “right” it will always be there to provide the revenues that the municipalities have come to enjoy. I get the impression the latter of these situations is what occurred in Flint to a certain degree. Were there proactive attempts to court other businesses such that if GM failed or decided to move away the entire city wasn’t crippled? Having all your eggs in one basket is almost always a recipe for heartache. Moore was quick to want to lay the blame at the feet of GM, but seems to have ignored some of their “partners in crime.”

    I’ve been in business classes where the discussion of ethics has been brought up and the point has been made that a “good” acid test for determining whether or not a decision or action is ethical is to ask whether you would want to have friends and family read about it in the newspaper. This film caused me to consider whether that is a reasonable viewpoint. Let’s say for the sake of argument that the decision to close the plants in Flint was entirely Roger Smith’s responsibility and furthermore that it could somehow be determined objectively that this was the best business decision that could possibly be made given the prevailing circumstances. Would he have been any less vilified by this film or by the other media outlets? It seems unlikely that he would want to have his family and friends come to him and ask him why he’s such a cold-hearted, uncaring individual, which is certainly the light that this “documentary” portrays him in (no, I don’t think it’s a documentary, because it’s about as neutral as your average jug of Drain-O). This raises some questions in me as to whether the “family-reading-the-newspaper test” is that good of an acid test. It’s quite possible that it’s the best alternative, but I do think that while the press may have been relatively neutral at one point, the current relationship between business and the media is one in which the facts may or may not have anything to do with the manner in which the public is led to view businesses.

  135. Melissa Mandras

    Never being a true fan of Michael Moore documentaries because of the bias of information portrayed, Roger and Me was no different. It did however allow me to think about outsourcing in a way I never have before. I think that Roger and Me although it did show the downside to outsourcing, it also made me think about how many companies outsource, and it is a growing trend because it yields lower costs and therefore higher profits to compete with competitors. I find myself though torn as to find an answer if companies have a responsibility to the employees that lose their jobs as a result of outsourcing. It is very hard to watch the demise of many of the workers’ lives of Flint Michigan. Many not only lost their jobs, but found now themselves in a city with not many other professional opportunities. Yes, GM was profiting, but what happens with the hardworking employees? This problem has happened all across America within the past 20 years. Even here in Binghamton, the effects of IBM closing plants and laying off many are still being felt years later.
    It is difficult for me to differentiate what is more important for a company- their bottom line? or their reputation? Obviously the shut down of their plants have helped their bottom line, but it also has hurt their reputation. Shown in the documentary there is a significant gap in ideas from the people running GM than the worker on the assembly line. The corporate employees are portrayed not to understand the hardships of a blue collar worker. This then portrays GM negatively, harming their reputation. From watching the documentary the lack of corporate social responsibility really does not hurt anyone but the people directly affected, but thinking about the company now, outsourcing and the lack of corporate social responsibility may have had a negative affect. It is interesting that an American car company in hard economic times is going bankrupt and needs help from the government. Americans who once wanted to buy American made cars a some point did not care abotu that and started buying foreign made cars. Although it cannot be proven, after watching the documentary I question if GM had more responsibility and care for their employees in the US, would their reputation be better and more American or GM cars be made, and they possibly would not be in the place they are currently?

  136. In Roger and Me, like most Michael Moore’s film, he chooses to antagonize a certain group or individuals. In this case, Moore felt General Motor’s chairman Roger Smith is responsible for the downturn of his hometown of Flint. I sympathize with the people who lost their jobs and were saddened to see families being evicted especially on Christmas Eve. However, I agree with General Motor’s lobbyist even though he was later fired, that the corporation has no responsibility to honor its hometown. Its objectives is to generate profit, even if it means cutting thousands of American jobs and outsourcing it to cheap labor. Industries are constantly changing and companies sometimes have to make changes and restructure their strategy to be competitive. The movie poses many question regarding who’s best interest should a corporation look after: the shareholders, the employees, or the hometown. These questions depends what the company’s overall mission is. Does it exist solely for profits or have more responsibilities to people around it? In a capital society, everyone has their own agenda to attend to and it is for that reason that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. Even Moore had an agenda; this is a film he used as a launching pad for his career. Did the profits he made on this movie go help Flint? GM has every right to move their plant, just like IBM left Binghamton and it is unfair to blame a company. The city of Flint failed to evolve with the changing tides of the industry and instead placed too much dependence on a single corporation. People’s compassion for others are blinded by greed, and it appears the world is becoming more dog eat dog.

  137. Roger and Me is a documentary depicting the hardships that outsourcing can have on American communities where people become unemployed. The layoffs at GM sent ripples effects throughout the entire economy, causing non GM businesses to close and increased crime. What happened in Flint is certainly unfortunate and there is no easy solution. The truth is that GM had the right to outsource its operations and perhaps even an obligation to its shareholders to do so. One could even make a documentary of Mexicans praising the decision. Problems like the one portrayed in Roger and Me will continue to persist as long as there are scare resources and there will never be an easy solution. I personally had a guaranteed job at AIG until the recent economic problems arose. Business is ever evolving and people will always have to adapt to that.

  138. Roger and Me is a documentary film by Michael Moore regarding the hardships endured in Flint Michigan after the closing of GM plants. Production line jobs for GM were outsourced from Flint to Mexico causing turmoil in Flint. Once a fairly affluent city Flint became one infested with rising crime, violence, and unemployment rates. Those who lost their jobs at GM had few options to turn to in Flint. Some began working at fast food restaurants and prisons while a large number left Flint in search of better employment opportunities.

    The issue of outsourcing was at the forefront in this documentary. The cost of production was drastically cheaper in Mexico than it was in Flint when it came to GM products. Roger Smith was running his corporation in a manor to attempt to maximize value and profit. The fact that Flint plants were shut down did little to his conscience. On the other hand, the view that Michael Moore took was one in which Flint Michigan was the center of the world and he saw the issues taking place in Flint as the most important. GM did not feel that they should have a special obligation to Flint just because it was the companies hometown. I agree that GM should not allow the fact that Flint was the companies hometown to affect decisions that affect the profitability of the company.

    Outsourcing and the loss of jobs is something that will continue as it is cheaper to produce many products in foreign nations.

  139. Roger & Me is an eye opening documentary about the effect outsourcing has on local Americans. Michael Moore shows us his hometown city of Flint, Michigan where General Motors used to house its many factories. During the 1980’s, Roger Smith, the CEO of GM decided to outsource its productions to Mexico, cutting labor costs and subsequently creating an economic downturn in the city of Flint. Large companies have had to downsize their companies in order to cut costs, and most have turned to other countries where cheaper labor is available. What the company executives fail to acknowledge, however, is that their choice to outsource production creates unemployment in the states and this in turn results in the social and economic destruction of cities, as evidenced with Flint, Michigan. While the executives get million dollar bonuses, former workers are sent into poverty. From the company’s point of view, I am not against outsourcing or downsizing, as it does save money, however I do disagree with the way company executives give themselves huge bonuses and completely disregard the plight former employees are left to deal with. Roger Smith should have shown his former workers some sympathy, but he refused to take a few hours out of his day to see the poverty plaguing Flint. I feel they should have used the millions they saved by outsourcing to stimulate Flint’s economy, since it was entirely their fault that the city became one of the poorest cities in the country. Roger Smith could’ve done more to help the city of Flint, and Michael Moore does a great job of showing this in the film.

  140. One of Michael Moore’s earlier films, “Roger and Me” shows the impact outsourcing has had on American car companies in Flint, Michigan, Moore’s hometown. Moore, as usual, brings us full circle. He interviews townspeople, factory workers, evictors, politicians, lobbyists, and executives. Filmed during the late 1980s, Moore shows the relationship between the unions and car companies. Rising costs are forcing GM to close plants in Michigan and open them instead in Mexico and elsewhere around the world. Rather than pay expensive, unionized workers, GM has found a massive pool of cheap labor in foreign countries. The effects of this global trend are severe. The town slowly decays as workers are laid off and move elsewhere. The local government decides to spend millions on building tourism in Flint. The massive automobile theme park is a travesty that seemed destined to fail. The film paints a very bleak portrait. It shows the devastating effects of how mass layoffs can have such wide reaching effects on all parts of the economy. Moore is critical of the American car companies and he does a good job at showing the ugly side of capitalism. It is a strangely timely film. Though somewhat dated, it still feels remarkably fresh in today’s economic climate.

  141. Shawuki G. Hilton

    The movie Roger and Me is another Michael Moore documentary covering the GM plant closings in Flint, Michigan in the late 1980’s. Throughout the duration of the film, Moore highlights the significant impact that the plant’s closing had on the city of Flint. It just always seemed as if things got progressively worse and no one from GM wanted to own up to it. This occurrence can be seen on countless occasions throughout the movie. One of the more intriguing scenes had to be the meeting between Roger Smith and the shareholders of GM. All had questions which were contingent upon GM’s current financial situation and how it would affect them. Once Moore stepped to the microphone and it was identified that he was from Flint the entire meeting was brought to an abrupt end. Personally, I thought it was kind of funny simply because GM seemed to have no preparation to deal with a representative from Flint. Moore’s persistence throughout the film is extremely admirable. His confrontations with the big boys of GM were critical and only answered by the call of security. Once again, no one had an answer for Moore. To take things a step further, Moore documented life for the workers who had been laid off from the plant. Often you would just see evictions, people picking up basic 9-5 jobs, and pure insanity throughout a tough economic time. The movie’s hard hitting reality is no different from what America faces today. The capitalistic society that we live in can be crushing for many individuals and often overlooked by those in power. This film is great for its portrayal and comparison of a passed time and today. Moore’s documentary makes all who watch it aware of the severity of the American economy when it is at its worst.

  142. In my opinion outsourcing is completely unethical. This movie was made about five years before NAFTA was passed but the results are still the same; open borders leading to inferior products. Businesses do have a responsibility to the communities where they operate and Americans are entitled to jobs in this country. It’s disgraceful to see Barack Hussein Obama and John McShame make strong efforts to eliminate the buy American clauses in the current stimulus package. This movie showed how close some of us are to living on the streets. When watching this type of movie people fall into one of two categories: those who can relate and those who cannot. From a business perspective this movie illustrates that you cannot buy your way out of debt and you cannot create demand out of nothing. You cannot fault GM for trying to make a profit, but the way they went about it was wrong. They should have restructured their costs in other areas. The reason why GM is in their current crisis is because of their retirement packages. For example, you could have worked at GM from age 18 to 48, retire at 48, and earn a full pension and benefits for the rest of your life. These costs depleted GM’s resources over the years and are the main reason why they are facing net losses. If GM had planned better they wouldn’t have to resort to shipping out jobs to Mexico for a fraction of the cost. I was really impressed with this film and how Michael Moore went about revealing the questionable business practices by GM. It was one of his better movies before he turned against his country.

  143. Michael Moore’s 1989 “Roger and Me” documentary, has been praised as one of the best documentaries of its time by many film critics. While, not necessarily agreeing with all the things exposed by Moore, the film definitely does a great job of informing average Americans of the many controversial issues that come about with outsourcing, as well as multinational corporations such as GM. However, when watching this documentary the viewer must keep in mind the biased view imposed in it by maintaining an open mind on such controversial issues.
    The movie focuses on the almost total economic collapse of Michael Moore’s hometown of Flint, Michigan, due to GM shutting down its auto plants, laying off about 33,000 workers, moving its auto operations to Mexico and entering into the armament industry. Narrated by Moore himself, Roger & Me recounts his unsuccessful attempts at meeting with GM’s president, Roger Smith, in order to bring him back to Flint and show him the havoc caused by the business decision of outsourcing. Although, outsourcing is viewed as unethical, and it wasn’t until mid 1990’s when NAFTA was passed, there are still various forms of “outsourcing” occurring today- such as the treaties formed by certain continents for free/open trade.
    There are several ways to criticize and applaud this documentary. On one side, it does a great job of pointing out and demonstrating the raw and real effects certain controversial business decisions can have on the employees/blue collar Americans. One can easily go from living a secure life, to eventually fearing eviction, and living on the streets. No job security; the same exact issues occurring today, due to once again ridiculous business decisions considered controversial and unethical by some. The other side of it, however, is from a business perspective; can one really blame GM for seeking higher profits? Not necessarily, sure the way it was done is not necessarily the most ethical; yet when dealing with a multinational corporation what exactly are 33,000 employees to them?
    Overall, while I did not agree with everything Michael Moore decided to point out, the documentary in itself did a great job of demonstrating the real effects unethical decisions made by corporate America has. Some of the effects shown in the documentary are the same as what is occurring today. Unemployment rates continue to go up, financial markets continue to go down, companies keep asking for more bailout money and it wasn’t until a few months back when executives kept living a lavish lifestyle (and probably still do). At the end of the day what is fair?

  144. Candice Schortemeyer

    Roger and Me, directed by Michael Moore, is a documentary on the city of Flint, Michigan, where General Motors was born. The movie depicts the collapse of the town’s economy during the 1980’s, when the chief executive of GM, Roger Smith, shut down the local plant, which employed many of the town’s people. Around 30,000 employees lost their job because of GM’s new plan to shut down several plants in the U.S in order to open up several others in Mexico, where the labor was much cheaper. The movie documents how this plant closing devastated Flint, where the UAW (the United Auto Worker) was established. Meanwhile GM’s chief executive, Roger Smith was completely unaffected and living a lavish lifestyle. While some of the town’s people are resulting to crime and ending up in jail or getting evicted, others are taking up the most odd jobs, like selling rabbits/bunnies for pets and dinner or color consulting. Throughout the whole film, Michael Moore attempts to meet up and speak with Smith to get his feelings on the situation but every single time he is unavailable or unable to comment. This ironic film shows how in such a world only the rich become richer and the poor become poorer. Several of the ironic points include the opening of Autoworld and GM’s own exhibit which consisted of a worker singing “Me and My Buddy” with a robot, who probably ultimately took over his job. Another ironic point was when Michael Moore was trying to speak to a worker the day of another plant closing but that worker, who was hired and fired by GM, would not comment. One of the last ironic points that was made was when GM’s lobbyist, Tom Kay, was fired. The one guy who was speaking up for GM, was ultimately laid off by GM. The documentary ends on Christmas Eve, when Michael Moore is at a Flint family home while they are being evicted. Meanwhile Roger Smith is still living it up and at the GM’s Christmas party, speaking of all the joys of the holiday season.

  145. Colin Campbell

    Roger and me

    This film portrayed an interesting look at two very closely related topics. The first topic seemed to be begging the question of why a business even exists in the first place. To simply make money for stockholders? To serve a community? The second topic addressed was also the strategy of what GM was doing in closing factories in the US and moving them to Mexico were labor wages were much cheaper, while using the excess money to take over other technology-oriented businesses.

    Throughout Michael Moore’s journey he came across a number of people who were still trying to eke a living out of the dying town of Flint. Various levels of educational background, feelings toward GM, and even celebrity viewpoints all merged into the saga. Upper level representatives for GM continually insisted that a company does not owe some special regard to the town of its birth throughout the life of the company. This issue has become much more relevant to me due to the fact that I live in Endicott, Ny, which was the birthplace of IBM. Throughout the 1990’s a situation similar to what happened in Flint, Michigan occurred as IBM laid-off enormous amounts of workers, and I have witnessed first-hand the effects throughout the community. However, the situation in Endicott is not nearly as desperate as that depicted in Flint, or so it seems. But ultimately, who is to blame? Should the town leaders be blamed for not diversifying the kinds of organizations likely to set-up in their city? That situation seems unlikely due to all the factors that go into location decisions for organizations. And at some point, a firm must make decisions that will be for the greater good of workers across the country, rather than protecting jobs in one town. However, if every company would operate in such a way as to run individual towns into the ground when they left, wouldn’t the country eventually run out of towns? Especially since cheaper labor is being found in other countries. This greater economic dilemma is not one that will be solved quickly.

    It seems in the long-run that the best company is one that can make peace with both arenas of global competition and local quality of life for workers, but that is always a difficult balance.

  146. Roger and Me did a great job of showing the effects of the declining auto industry in America. The documentary takes us back to the glory days of the auto industry in Flint Michigan where General Motors was the lifeline of the town. Moore then goes into great depth of the hardship the community faced due to the changing industry. Due to foreign competitors and the cheaper cost of labor outside of the USA, GM began closing plants in Flint.
    This film greatly over-emphasizes the fact that GM is an evil company and it’s CEO Roger Smith has only bad intentions, but it ties into CSR. The first and foremost goal of any company is to increase the value to its shareholders. In this, General Motors was doing what it needed to do to survive. (we see that even their efforts have not kept them on top of the industry). The film is a good example of the relationship between major corporations and the communities they operate in. Companies should try their hardest to take care of the people that make their company or made the company what it is.

  147. Miriam Zafrani

    Roger and Me was a typical Michael Moore documentary; filled with irony and sarcasm. It was interesting to see the impacts of outsourcing in a documentary because it made it more personal. We always hear about the negative effects of outsourcing in the classroom however I think this way had more of an impact. It was sad to see that GM was outsourcing their plant in Flint, Michigan even though they were making substantial profits. Usually we only link unemployment to outsourcing however Roger and Me makes it clear that outsourcing can also ruin a town’s economy, population and its ability to thrive. GM outsourcing from Flint to Mexico ruined the lives of the people in that town and their futures. Micheal Moore’s message was to show how the rich got richer and the poor got poorer in Flint, Michigan as a result of outsourcing that could’ve been avoided.

  148. Stephanie Crandall

    Roger and Me was a documentary, directed by Michael Moore, that covered the aftermath of GM closing the doors to it’s Flint, Michigan plant in the 1980’s. Michael Moore’s goal throughout the film is to get Roger Smith, GM CEO, to come to Flint and see the effects the closing has had on the community. Moore is never successful in doing this because he is not surprisingly blown off several times by security and Roger Smith himself. The economy of Flint suffered a tremendous loss as 30,000 people were laid off. While community officials did everything they could to try to revive Flint, it seemed pretty hopeless as more and more people were leaving the area. Moore showed former GM employees in their new every day life and it was sad to see the number of people being evicted out of their homes because they could no longer pay their rent. Crime also increased greatly in Flint. It is sad to see that a community that was once thriving could sink to such a low as a result of the GM closings and outsourcing. So while GM may have done what they thought was best for the company and for stockholders, they did not keep their employees and the community in mind which is also important to the image of the company.

  149. Anton Brovchenko

    “Roger & Me” is a documentary by Michael Moore about some of the decisions General Motors’ CEO, Roger Smith, made and how they affected the residents of Flint, Michigan.

    Flint, Michigan was once the location of a GM factory which was the economic epicenter of the town. Most town residents relied on work in the factory. Flint was even the birthplace of the United Auto Workers. This all changed as GM announced thounsands of layoffs at its factory in Flint, with those jobs going overseas to Mexico. Moore points out that this was going on even as GM was experiencing record profits. The rest of the film documents the lives of Flint residents affected by the layoffs and Moore’s own quest to meet with Roger Smith.

    Although “Roger & Me” paints a very bleak picture of what happened in Flint it shows the reality of how corporations like GM do business. Companies are always trying to cut costs in an attempt to boost profits and increase firm value. One of the ways of doing this is to outsource labor. By moving jobs from Michigan to Mexico, GM is able to pay cheaper wages for the same work. While some argue that this is unethical, others argue that the practice of outsourcing creates new jobs as the people that were laid-off re-educate themselves and find new trades.

    Although GM’s decision was what was best for the company and may have been unethical, it is reality that many more people will face as other corporations outsource their labor abroad.

  150. Jonathan Ravin

    “Roger & Me” by controversial documentary film-maker Michael Moore provides an insightful look into the reality of how companies decisions to outsource effect those they are leaving behind. In this instance we see specifically the people of Flint, Michigan who relied so heavily on the jobs and money brought to their small city by GM left in shambles when GM decides to close its factory there. It is a difficult conflict many corporations face in that their responsibility to the business and to shareholders is to maximize profits and sometimes the best way to do so is outsourcing. Yet this leaves the people formerly relying on the business in a downward spiral since many of the workers are untrained in other areas to find work elsewhere and so much of their livelihood was invested in the company now leaving them. Michael Moore attempts to reveal the hardship this causes as well as investigate the possible decision making process that led to the decision for GM. He repeatedly tries to speak with GM Chairman Roger Smith, but mostly fails in getting any insight into whether he suffered any ethical conflict in making the decision he did. A large part of the argument against his decision was that GM was experiencing record profits while making this move. In some way though I have to side with the chairman Smith in that it is only his job to do what is best for the company he works for, not necessarily and unfortunately what is best for the people of Flint, Michigan. He later proved that in terms of business this was the correct choice to make to move to the cheaper labor. It is sort of a sad reality with the globalization of business that decisions have to be made that lead to sometimes such unfortunate consequences.

  151. “Roger and Me” is a documentary abou Flint, Michigan and the hardships faceed after the closing of a location of GM. Michael Moore shows the hard economic times faced by the people of the city in the years following the closing. He does this by trying to show how the decisions made by the CEO of GM at the time of the plant closing, Roger Smith, is responsible for the conditions. The film shows how outsourcing affects the city and the unemployed people and their families. A city that once flourished now has a high unemployment rate and is facing hardships. Michael Moore takes an interesting take on the situation and tries to show big companies that shutting down locations to outsource may be beneficial for the company itself but can lead to domestic problems. This film can definitely be reflective of the current state of the economy. The scene involving the skinning was definitely the least appealing moment of the movie in my mind.
    The overall impact of the film is one involving the true impact that outsourcing can have on cities and has had, and now shows how GM only has itself to blame for its current state in the economy.

  152. Alexandra Roseman

    Michael Moore’s movie Roger and Me is an interesting perspective on how United States’ outsourcing affects Americans. In the film, GM decides to leave the town of Flint, Michigan to save money. When GM leaves Flint they cause the unemployment of 30,000 workers and destroy the town’s economy. I found this film to be quite sad because GM was doing very well financially when they chose to leave Flint and it seemed as though all the hard work the GM employees had put in had been towards nothing. People believe that if they work hard and their company thrives they will be rewarded. However, the hard working employees of Flint just lost their jobs as GM grew richer. Michael Moore made it seem as though the rich were heartless and didn’t care about the poor employees. This may be true, however the importance of outsourcing in creating a profitable business is overlooked. A company should not be held responsible for the economy of any town. I do not think it was unethical for GM to outsource its workers. The company simply did what it thought would be the best for itself.

  153. I feel so bad, after watch Roger & Me (1989) is a movie about small-town Michigan, because these kinds of harsh decisions have to be made by some companies’ top managers to avoid close the company in this recession and worldwide financial crisis. A lot of people work for the automobile company, especially General Motors. GM has been recorded serious losses for years. Finally, GM faces bankruptcy condition at the end of last year. Even though GM gets benefits from government bailout, they still need to make harsh decisions to people who work for the GM. I guess one of the good decisions to survive for GM is the sale of couples of their brand to other country such as china or India. This might means GM and workers can survive together hopefully by successful of GM’s down-sizing and keeping avoid loss job for workers.

  154. This movie irritated me a bit; probably because it was a Michael Moore film. His documentaries all are customized and twisted to make the topic or the subject biased. It irks me to watch this film and I got more and more uncomfortable as I watched Michael Moore attempting to poisonously shape and influence the minds of people who tend not to think deeper into things.

    Aside from the fact that I hate his films, I will attempt to voice my concern for outsourcing. Outsourcing is in a sense unethical to the people who live the in the home country. However if you think about it from the outside of the glass, outsourcing turns around to see it as an aide to underdeveloped countries. These are job opportunities for individuals whose own country can’t offer. This is helping that bottom billion of the poor raise to reduce that gap between the developed and the developing countries. I know most say that they are paid horrible wages and the labor conditions are just god-awful. But it you were to compare that to their home country’s cost of living, it is at it’s norm. It is only because a lot of time we look at the wage at our exchange rate with our cost of living standards. (It is people like Michael Moore who molds the minds of sheep minded people that starts a wave of rage on issues like this.)

    However looking back at what I mentioned before that it is an unethical practice, it has to be taken to account of which side of the window you are looking at. Outsourcing negatively affects one side, while it helps the other. Therefore there is no right or wrong, it just depends on how and where you view it.

  155. Tim Lixfield

    I usually don’t like Michael Moore documentaries, but “Roger and Me” wasn’t too bad. It depicted how GM’s decisions affected the residents in Flint Michigan very well. It was a factory working town that depended on GM, and then GM announced it would lay off thousands of people to oursource the jobs in Mexico, even though they were still making great profits. The documentary shows not only what happens when GM decides to oursource to other countries, but the effects outsourcing has to a lot of different companies. It saves money on wages, but leaves thousands unemployed and hurts our economy. It’s sad what happens but it is something that is pretty much, nowadays at least, inevitable and it’s good the Michael Moore sort of pointed out these effects to the average American who probably didn’t realize the negative effects of outsourcing.

  156. I’d never watched a Michael Moore movie before this. I have to say I was a little disappointed. I knew he was controversial, but I never thought he would be so… obsessive and obnoxious and creepy in trying to get the story he wanted. Posing as a camera / reporter crew? It was okay for some situations, like going into the plant to watch the final car go down the assembly line and interviewing the newly unemployed workers. But, I think he took it to stalker level with trying to get into the GM headquarters. I think he went a little too extreme in trying to get a story. He also seemed bias in trying to find negative things about Roger Smith, the CEO.

    Overall the situation is rather depressing, and I do feel for the situation. Flint, Michigan and the closing of GM plants which the economy had depended on almost since the area was even developed, reminds me of Binghamton and IBM, and Rochester and Kodak. I am from Kodak, and although the company has not completely pulled out and all, it is definitely not as strong as it used to be, many lifelong employees have lost their jobs, and I can appreciate the dangers of having the majority of your area employed by one large company. Unfortunately it is a common situation, especially amongst smaller areas where there’s not a lot of different employers to choose from.

  157. Waseem Alam

    Roger and Me is a documentary by Michael Moore on how plant closures in Flint, Michigan has affected every aspect of residents lives in these communities that depended so much on GM. The affects of outsourcing by GM is shown throughout the movie. Although Moore does an excellent job of showing is views, it is hard to view the film subjectively with Moore focusing only on one aspect of the issue. Even though I see how badly GM’s decisions hurt the residents and the economy, GM is not the sole entity to blame. A company has to look out for its bottom line and make these tough decisions regardless of the short term impacts on the community or workers. If these decisions are not made, it can go and hurt them down the line which might hurt a greater number of employees. Moore just emphasizes how the rich executives do not care about the poor factory workers. However in the increasingly globalised world, outsourcing is a must in such a large organization to remain competitive within the industry. Smith was hired to do whatever necessary to improve the company’s bottom line, not to look out for the local economy. Delivering on his promises to investors and shareholders is what he did and he cannot be blamed for that.

  158. Joseph Micale

    Michael Moore’s Roger and Me describes the effects caused by the closing of General Motors plants in Flint, Michigan. Before I even watched this movie I knew some of the film would be absolutely ridiculous because I’ve seen many of Michael Moore’s more recent movies like Sicko, Fahrenheit 9/11, The Big One, etc. I have always found Moore to be over the top and very good at editing film clips for his own personal gain. He seems to be no different here as he has alleged made up the “town hall meeting” that is supposed to take place. Moore really should stay away from making films that relate to Flint, Michigan because that is his hometown and therefore he has a large conflict of interest.

  159. Zach Schwartz

    The movie “Roger and Me” is a very graphic depiction of what happens to an industrial town when their main employer ceases operations at their respective location. Michael Moore was able to paint a very t it sorrowful and bleak picture of what his hometown of Flint, Michigan turned into after General Motors, which was the main employer closer their operations. The town became a ghost town and was left in shambles, since their economy was so heavily associated with the presence of General Motors. Clearly Michael Moore was sympathetic to the individuals who lost their jobs and were getting evicted and whom were relying on government assistance just to get by.
    While this movie made one realize how much of an impact corporations have on small town America, it also could have been used to give credit to those who stuck with their town and the many attempts which were made to lift it back to the city it once was. However, Moore took a very negative stance towards the city’s attempts at attracting new businesses, bordering on being very condescending towards certain groups of people and very hard on the “optimists” of Flint. For instance when the luxury hotel was built in downtown, the groups that came to the convention center were “lesser known” groups, which Moore seemed to assert weren’t worth the time and effort spent on the building. The theater which was built was meant to help lift people’s spirits, yet Moore depicted it as being a failed attempt at re-energizing the city. I felt like he should have given more credit the people who tried to see the bright side of things and a possibility of a new future in Flint, rather than making them seem delusional.
    The documentary seemed to take the stance that the only way the town could be prosperous is with General Motors. However, it is the nature of corporations to shift operations and to do what they need to do in order to be profitable. Placing all responsibility for a town’s success on one single entity is naïve and shows a very limited understanding of economic trends. A town should not have to rely solely on one source for money, that would be short-sighted and poor planning. However, it does demonstrate that there should be within a company a sense of responsibility towards its employee’s, especially in towns where it is the main employer. While one town loses jobs, another town gains jobs, and that is the economic cycle which will continue over time. There is no doubt that small towns become completely decimated when the main employer leaves, and I do feel a company should assist in relocating its employees if it decides to shift operations, not as a legal obligation, but more as a moral one. Towns like Flint, Michigan made these companies great, and there should be some sense of loyalty towards the town when the company moves.

  160. Andrew Lizotte

    I always find Michael Moore’s documentaries entertaining. Although his views are often times bias and don’t always portray the entire picture, he does raise some good points. In relation to this course, this movie hits on many of the negative aspects of outsourcing. However, it does not talk about the positives in outsourcing, leading to the viewer not getting the full picture of what the issue really is.
    When a company such as GM, outsources job, it is going to have a huge impact on the labor force in the United States. Michael Moore does an excellent job of displaying the devastation that it caused Flint, Michigan, which has turned into one of the worst cities in the country. By outsourcing these manufacturing jobs, uneducated workers don’t have many options and are often left jobless. The question then arises, is it GM’s responsibility to keep these manufacturing jobs in the United States in order to keep these uneducated workers employed, or should they do what is in the best interests of the company by outsourcing these low skill jobs to countries to lower production costs. Although, it may seem cruel and disloyal to outsource jobs without consideration to their home country, it has become somewhat a necessity in today’s global marketplace. By keeping jobs in the United States, they would be putting themselves at a cost disadvantage and likely force themselves out of business, which would be even more detrimental to our economy than outsourcing. The discussion of outsourcing is all about trade offs, and there are many arguments for both sides of this issue. While Michael Moore hit upon some of the negative effects, he failed to properly discuss the issue because of his omission of positive side effects from outsourcing.

  161. Katherine Han

    ROGER & ME is a hilarious documentary about a subject that isn’t remotely funny, the lack of concern of corporate America to the lives of its workers. Michael Moore used humor to keep the film interesting but still delivering his point. General Motors closed down 11 of its plants in the 80s. The shutdowns put 30,000 people out of work. Even though GM wasn’t losing money, it just wanted to make even more money by transferring some factories to Mexico, where labor is cheap and non-unionized. It was heartbreaking to see the ruined city and the hardship the people have to go through in contrast to GM official’s glamorous lives.

  162. Alfred Chau

    “Roger and Me” is a documentary by Michael Moore depicting the automobile plant closures in Flint, Michigan and the resulting effects that it has on the surrounding residents as they find that their jobs have been outsourced to underdeveloped countries. Moore portrays himself as a television journalist who is trying to report on the resulting breakdown of the community as these jobs are being taken away by GM by trying to bring this to the attention of Roger Smith, who was the GM chairman. Ultimately, the decision to outsource jobs into other companies is a decision that is largely influenced by the company’s bottom line. The company has a duty to deliver and show profits for its shareholders, and in order to do so it must find ways to remain competitive by reducing costs anywhere it can find. As bad as it may seem to do so at the cost of many jobs in the local economy, the other side to this story is that it creates jobs in the countries that they are being outsourced to as well.

  163. The movie “Roger and Me” by Michael Moore puts the town of Flint, Michigan in the spotlight. Moore, a native of Flint, shows us how important GM was to the people of Flint. The majority of Moore’s family worked at the GM plant, including his father, uncle, and other relatives. The main focus of the movie is to show the after effects of the closing of 11 GM factories in Flint as 30,000 people lost their jobs.

    Some of the negative effects that occurred in Flint that the movie showed were an increase in crime, evictions and repossessions, and in an increase in the number of unemployed citizens. An alarming statistic that is also brought up is the growing rat population in Flint. Due to budget constraints, the garbage collection service would go to houses few times, allowing garbage to pile up.The one business that seemed to be doing well was trucking service companies. Ryder and UHaul had an increasing amount of customers using their trucks to leave Flint in search of jobs and a better quality of life.

    The film also shows Flint’s efforts to improve their joblessness and economy. A Hyatt Regency was built for thirteen million dollars, an indoor amusement park named Auto World was built, and a mall called the Water Street Pavilion was also constructed. These three attempts at boosting jobs and tourism all crashed and burned rather quickly. The Hyatt went bankrupt, Auto World closed after six months, and the Water Street Pavilion had many of its stores go out of business. It makes sense that all of these businesses closed in such quick time because I really don’t see Flint as a good place to attract tourists. The growing crime rate, the run-down conditions of homes everywhere, and the rat population are some things that will definitely keep tourists out. Furthermore, the Hyatt was an upscale expensive hotel to stay in, the locals were definitely not going to spend money there, and the malls weren’t seeing any traffic due to the lack of income of the citizens.

    I really enjoyed watching this movie. I am a big fan of Michael Moore’s charismatic ways of trying to get answers from important people. As the movie goes on he feverishly tries to hunt down Roger Smith, GM’s CEO. Moore attempts varies times to reach the fourteen floor of the GM Headquarters in Detroit to speak to Smith, but is unsuccessful. He even poses as a stockholder during a GM convention, but again isn’t able to reach out to Mr. Smith. Finally, at a GM Christmas Party, Moore is able to meet face to face with Smith. There he asks Roger to come to Flint to see some of the families being evicted from their homes. Roger declines Moore’s offer and the movie ends.

    This movie brought out two sides of feelings out of me. There is the side that feels sorry for the employees who lost their jobs and the after effects it had on the community. On the other side of it I feel that GM had the right to do what they wanted to. If closing the plant was the right financial decision, they weren’t going to pass up on it. That is just the way the world is, at times it isn’t fair, but things like this happen all the time in the job world.

  164. Roger & Me by Michael Moore is a documentory show how the former employees suffering from the jobless situation after the plant was closed down in Flint. In the movie, we saw people are looking for other jobs, maybe in the fastfood business, or maybe the prison guard. Since GM was the biggest employer in the city, having it closed down had a huge negative impact to everyone in the city. The crime rate raised to a level where the prison was out of room (Well it’s funny when people paid to experience it before the new prison was opened) and people started to move out of town.

    It happens when things are good, people share the glory but when things turn bad, we point the finger to each other. People blamed GM for their miserable situations but I have to agree that GM, as a coroperation, has no obligation to be responsible for the laid off. Laid off has been seen all the time when companies merger and restructure. The Govenor, however, should be responsible to keep the situation under control.

    Even as a player in the strategy game, everyone is fighting for lower cost, higher profit. We would make the same situation as what GM did. You are out if you are failed to do so.

  165. In the movie “Roger and Me” we see a classic story of a company cutting costs by outsourcing. This is apparent across the globe as companies compete to stay afloat in their industry. It is highlighted in “Roger and Me” the ramifications of outsourcing regarding the area in which the closed plant is located. Sadly for the town of Flint, the loss of GM’s plant causes unemployment, leading to the town being branded as the worst place to live. Although I feel for the people affected, GM outsourced for agreeable reasons. Although Flint tried and failed to recreate itself, it has not happened to only one town, outsourcing is apparent everywhere. I feel the town went down the wrong path of tourism to try and dig itself out of its ever deepening hole. The documentary style in which this movie was filmed was humorous at times but overall not an amazing movie.

  166. Roger and Me, loosely based on one of the leading men of GM motors, displays the effects that Big Business can have when they shut down a plant. The film had more to do with the community of Flint, Michigan and the evils of GM big business. After Roger Smith, General Motors CEO, decided close the plant in Flint, Michigan workers were left with few choices: do nothing, adapt, or leave. What’s worse, the company outsourced the plant to Mexico in efforts to pay lower wages. Michael Moore, the narrator and interviewer, helped to paint a stark contrast between the rich and poor, those at the top of GM and those who were let go. Following Moore’s line of thought, we see that big business is evil and that those who were let go are the helpless victims. It is without a doubt that GM leaving Flint was a fatal blow to their economy.

    Some did get out and some got jobs, but many were left hopeless, jobless, and/or evicted. One has to ask the question, despite their feelings, what is GM really supposed to do? Moore’s projection of this company is biased at best, leaving us to totally oppose GM. I am left to think about what GM was really supposed to do in this economy where they could change their strategy or suffer in profit. It is quite possible and foreseeable that staying status quo can lend to major failures in the long run. I would never say that outsourcing is a good alternative; however, companies have to cut costs at some point in order stay alive. On a personal level, when I want to gain money, the last thing I want to do is spend more money. Quite the opposite, I will even switch from high-end products to their generic counterpart. Can I blame GM for saving money to benefit their future? I do not know to be honest, I see it both ways.

  167. Donelle Bailey

    The movie Roger and Me highlights the downside of outsourcing and how it affects those who have lost their jobs. In Flint, Michigan the inhabitants who once resided in the quiet little town after losing their jobs were faced with poverty and high crime rates. I found it interesting how the lobbyist of GM justifies this strategic move as being done in the best interest of the company rather than of the citizens of Flint. Also I found the wealthier inhabitants very ignorant to the fact that the workers who have lost their jobs and have been unemployed for so long is as a result of them being lazy and not wanting to work when it is the complete opposite. In business only the good is highlighted about outsourcing-which is that it will create jobs and cut costs but no one ever seems to mention the negative effects that it will have on those people who will be out of a job and I commend Michael Moore for shedding some light on the ugly truth.

  168. Nicholas Caputo

    “Roger and Me” is a perfect example of how outsourcing has basically changed America from the industrial leaders of the world to the major supplier of jobs in countries overseas. When a company such as GM decides to close down the majority of plants in a small town the implications that this has on a community is unimaginable. Families can’t afford to pay their rent, small businesses close down, and these once happy and beautiful towns eventually become slums.
    While large corporations try to reason that outsourcing is in the best interest of shareholders it is not in the best interest for the American economy as a whole. In this movie GM was able to build factories overseas and make their cars cheaper because wages were much lower. However, GM also let go tens of thousands of employees in America and as can be seen from this film, while it may be in the best interest for the company’s stock it wasn’t for the town of Flint. This movie shows how outsourcing is one of the main problems facing America today. Since so many companies such as GM have closed down factories and eliminated millions of jobs over the past few decades America is no longer the industrial nation that it once was. Outsourcing may make goods cheaper but it can also increase unemployment, increase foreclosures, destroy individuals hopes and dreams, and much more.

  169. Michael Moore’s “Roger and Me” exemplifies the effect that outsourcing has not only on an industry, but on a community. Moore highlights the economic and social distraught in Flint, MI that followed the closure of GM’s local factory due to outsourcing. What is, perhaps, the most significant factor that is highlighted is the impact that one large corporation can have on an entire economy. This is extremely relevant today as more and more American companies turn to outsourcing; while this is a favorable alternative for the corporation which saves money, it can have disastrous long term effects.

    What I think is most interesting is the way in which Moore portrays GM’s ignorance and the people of Flint’s perseverance and pride. I think it’s actually quite beautiful that in the midst of this event, these people have so much pride in their hometown and are working hard to make the most of a unfavorable situation. Moore’s use of dry humor helps in this aspect.

    I think it is also important to note that the situation that is presented in “Roger in Me”, a film made many years ago, is extremely pertinent to the corporate economy of Detroit today as well. Ford Motors has been suffering for the past few years and my uncle who works for Ford has told us about the huge number of people who are losing their jobs. So while a poor national economy is fueling the loss of jobs at Ford, the loss of jobs at Ford can also be seen responsible for instigating a floundering economy.

  170. The Michael Moore documentary “Roger & Me” is a walk-through of the negative effects of outsourcing, specifically the job losses in Flint, Michigan. Although the company had been extremely successful, GM closed down 11 plants during the 1980’s, and over 30,000 people lost their jobs as a result. Although Michael Moore’s documentary only focuses on the negative effects of outsourcing and is somewhat biased, it is a realistic reflection of the harmful results of outsourcing.
    Though outsourcing has such devastating effects on communities such as Flint and leaves so many workers unemployed, sometimes it is in the best interest of the company. One of the most common reasons for a company to become involved in outsourcings is cost savings, which is present in the documentary. Other positive outcomes of outsourcing include quality control, risk management, tax benefits, operational expertise, etc. Therefore, although it is hard to see how difficult it is for the residents of Flint to rebuild themselves and their hometown, in many cases outsourcing is an optimistic step that companies should embark in.

  171. It was very interesting to watch this film in light of the most recent turmoil in the American automobile industry. Personally, I was not aware that the 1980’s GM economic disparity had so much in common with the latest recession.

    The film itself was very similar to many of Moore’s film. One thing I appreciate about his documentaries is that he will often say very little and let the people or images speak for themselves; this film is proof of how loud the images can speak.

    That said, the film has failed to address the real problem for which GM has decided to take such extreme measures, deserting its capstone factory included. Throughout the film I kept asking myself: what can GM do? The company is loosing ground in the industry, its competition is beating it with lower costs of components, lower wages, smarter inventory systems, etc. Could GM avoid laying off so many employees and closing down factories? Possibly, but the film did not address the context with which the company has played its cards. And while for the entire film it seems that GM is the true villain, I strongly feel that it is more due to their management’s poor handling of the situation rather than the actual cutbacks it was forced to take.

  172. The movie is based on the effect of The GM Company’s decision of closing their factories in Flink Michigan and its effects on the community living there. Moore shows the GM as an evil mentioning that all the happenings in the community such as decrease in unemployment level, life standards and increase in crime levels are the company’s fault. But I think the high competition circumstances in the automotive industry forced the company to take those actions to survive, the way that the company deal with the results may be wrong but there was nothing to do with that. The people in the community should have realized that they should find another work to do instead of giving up. We know that all industrialized countries have to deal with that, which is that the workers’ wages in the industrialized countries are so high to compete in global business world and companies have to build their factories in the developing countries whose minimum wages are lower than the industrialized one’s to lower their cost. So the situation is bad but there is nothing to do with companies because they just try to lower their cost to compete with other companies in global business world and the way to do is to lower the costs in any way.

  173. Samantha Geasey

    Roger and Me gives a satirical look at the economic practices of big business through the eyes of Michael Moore who closely examines how GM manages to destroy small town Flint, Michigan, Moore’s hometown. In the beginning he shows us how vital the factory is to the town as a source of employment and income and how he praises the people that manage to escape factory life as heroes of his. The rest of the documentary is his journey and mostly failed attempts to get an interview with Roger Smith. This movie makes me wonder if the executives of GM would watch this and say “what were we thinking.” The bigger shock for me was how Flint tried to create more jobs and turn their town around by building and creating outrageous establishments like the high-tech jail, the Hyatt hotel, and the Pavilion. I honestly didn’t understand where they were going to go with these new places and how making these highly expensive businesses was going to help Flint. So many parts of the movie were so ridiculous that I felt like I was watching a fiction movie.
    Throughout the movie its hard to believe that Roger Smith is trying to ignore Moore this badly but when Moore tries to speak as a shareholder at the meeting and they end the meeting as hes going to speak, it was so clear and amazing what Smith would do to not speak to him. Moore never actually gets anything out of Smith since he refuses to come to Flint with him.

  174. Maria-Christina Herrera

    As seen in the movie, “Roger and Me”, outsourcing from America to other nations, has resulted in a significant decline in the American economy and the loss of thousands of jobs. Chairman of GM, Roger Smith suggests that the closing of the GM plant and factories in Flint, Michigan despite its prosperity in Flint, and shifting its production to Mexico would be beneficial for the company and would result in no job loss. But, while jobs would increase in Mexico, plenty of Americans felt the impact of the closing of factories. 30,000 jobs were eliminated in Flint alone. Tom Kaye, GM lobbyist, believes that sometimes a loss is necessary to further a company’s success.

    To succeed in GM chairman’s mind is to cut jobs and have former workers lose homes, income, and the life they once had. This small town saw an immense amount of foreclosed homes due to lack of income to cover their monthly mortgages. Flint residents also found it very hard to find jobs after the closing down of factories because GM was a great source of jobs prior to the closing.

    Outsourcing outside of America is a major concern for workers of American based companies. While companies save a significant amount of money by sending production overseas to countries that have lower wage rates and cost of production is very cheap, it results in a decline in the American economy. Many people lose their jobs and income, greatly affecting their family and home life. America, known as the country of possibility, can now be said to have lost this possibility for thousands of individuals and families.

  175. Micheal Moore’s film Roger and Me shows the economic shifts of one group or another, noting that there’s usually some group that gets hurt. And with the encouragement of more American corporations to look across the oceans for their labor markets there also has to be a larger number of communities that are put in the same position as the city Flint. The obvious conclusion that layoffs hurt a certain group of people for the short term is too simple to grasp. That layoffs hurt these same groups of people for the long term is less obvious but is still foreseeable. And that an individual in a position of power will not independently investigate the consequences of a layoff on the people most directly affected shows a person a bit too comfortable in their own wealth.
    Moore further shows that the 35,000 jobs lost would probably never be replaced since (in this case) General Motors had taken its business to Mexico to hire cheaper labor. That some people do happen to be hurt under these circumstances may have gone unnoticed.
    The outsourcing of jobs has a huge impact on small industrial communities.
    For example Binghamton, before binghamton used to be a hustle and bustle town, with companies such as IBM, Link Aviation, General Electric, Universal, and others. Soon there was an “economic shift” which showed businesses that markets were evaporating. So they looked else where for company growth. And looking else where meant jobs had to go else where to.

    “The area hit an economic slump, which left many to believe that the “Valley of Opportunity” was gone.” (

    All in all outsourcing is good for corporations but bad for workers. Corporations have argued that they have no choice, that with globalization it’s critical to tap the lower costs and unique skills of labor abroad to remain competitive. While workes (particularly US workers) lose jobs and those who lose the prospect of jobs.

  176. Matthew Maggiacomo

    Roger and Me was a documentary on outsourcing of American jobs to other countries. The film focuses on the effects of General Motor’s closing of many production lines and its effect on the communities it leaves in the dust.

    First off, I will make it clear that I do have a bias against this film. I cannot stomach Michael Moore in any fashion; that alone made watching this film intolerable. Throughout the whole film, Moore goes little into the business aspects of such actions and focuses solely on the social effects of the outsourcing; chasing Roger Smith, pinning him as responsible for everything GM does. This extreme ignorance of such crucial aspects set up the film from the very beginning to be very one sided.

    The film does a good job of showing the direct effects on the people of the town that is left in the dust by GM. The town of Flint is left in an extreme economic crisis, losing huge numbers of jobs as GM closed factories in it’s town. The film portrays GM as an evil corporation who could care less about the people in any way at all; which does hold some merit to some extent, but nowhere close to Moore’s objective.

    One thing that I thought was interesting in the film was all the guest speakers. The lobbyist for GM, who lived in Flint, took a very strong stance in supporting GM’s actions. As a business major, his points made to Moore during the interviews hold strong weight against Moore’s ‘accusations’.

    Yes, people getting laid off is sad; the effect of the closing factory is sad. Moore has a notion that GM OWES the town of Flint a type of special treatment due to it’s history with the company. GM is a publicly traded company, with a goal of making a profit. It is not a charitable organization by any means. GM took actions that many companies see as common place today; using outsourcing as a tool to lower costs.

    This movie address some issues that have came back around in the same industry (even in the same company) in the past two years. I thought it was very interesting that these union-ized assembly line workers who made upwards of 20 dollars an hour (not including benefits!) could not even cut it at a Taco Bell! These workers are clearly grossly overcompensated for such work.

    I think the film should be looked at in a different light, very different then Moore intended. The movie shows the loss of the American drive, that is still missing today. Everyone wants to have all the things they see as important, no matter the consequence (shown by people getting evicted, yet have Christmas presents, Christmas trees etc.); all people are ‘entitled’ to a good paying job. No. Today in the global market one will always be undercut by someone who can do it cheaper and in most cases better. The true driver of American industry has and always will be ingenuity and creation; something that the lobbyist even alluded to, meanwhile Michael Moore makes a joke of such an idea.

  177. Zachary Blaze Buckter

    Roger and Me is a documentary by Michael Moore that examines the negative effects that outsourcing had on a small town in Michigan when they closed a General Motors manufacturing plant. When GM closes this plant in favor of a plant in Mexico, thousands of residents lose their jobs.

    Moore shows clips of families getting evicted and other parts of his home town to show the audience how bad things became after the plant closed. People could not find any work and Flint became a very poor neighbourhood. In fact, at the time, it was ranked as the worst place to live in America (perhaps because Michael Moore resides there).

    When a company out sources jobs, many Americans lose theirs. While this is unfortunate, it is part of business. People can’t expect things to be handed to them and they must make the best of things to come. Michael Moore trying to sneak into the GM building to talk to the chair man (which, after 14 attempts, he never successfully does) is not going to change anything. The government is supposed to help and they tried. However, they made some terrible decisions which made Flint worse off. A 5 star hotel in the middle of a poor neighbourhood with one attraction, a newly built car museum? Clearly not going to draw tourists in and clearly going to waste a lot of money.

    The movie tries to show the wrong doings of GM, which to some extent it does. However, they can’t be blamed fully and the movie shows how the town of Flint did nothing to help themselves. And if we’ve learned anything its that Michael Moore making a documentary never helped anything.

  178. Allison Timpson

    This documentary was the first I had heard of this crisis of GM in Flint, Michigan. He definetly got the point across about horrific it was to be outsourcing all these jobs and leaving many people in absolute destitude, however some of the movie took it to a new extreme for me. I was extremely bothered by the woman he interviewed who sold rabbits for pets, food, and skinned them for coats. It was a little too much for me, but Michael Moore has a tendency to often push things a little farther than I prefer, but hey, I knew something was going to be like that since it was his documentary. He really tried to shove it in your face about how awful it all his. The other part that I thought was a little ridiculous was at the Great Gatsby Party, they hired people to be live statues. I thought it was a little rude, however, the town and surrounding areas weren’t doing much to make it easy to stay in Flint. They mentioned lots of jobs being in Texas or other places, but it’s not just that easy to pick up and leave when your family and whole life behind. GM did what they had to do a reason obviously, so it’s just a shame that it had to have such a huge negative impact on the previous workers.

  179. Lindsay Jean Stradley

    The movie Rodger and Me is a Micheal Moore film that focuses on a large GM plant that was stationed in Flint, Michigan. The movie follows the plant from it sudden emerge, where the town of Flint is very prosperous, to its demise, where the people of Flint are left to pick up the pieces. The main focus of this film was on the topic of outsourcing. It shows how, in order to cut costs, GM began dissolving certain plants, and outsourcing the work globally. The workers at the Flint plant were unable to stop GM from outsourcing and were consequently lost their jobs. The whole town had been built up around this plant, and its prosperity and when the plant closed, many of the workers left to find new jobs. The few people that were left in the town faced severe economic downfalls, crime, and poor housing conditions. Overall the town became the opposite of the glory it had once been when the GM plant first opened.

    The movie sought to send a warning to companies and workers about the threat of outsourcing and globalization. In this scenario the workers in the plants were left with few skills and very little job opportunities. With the threat of companies going global to combat rising prices, it should be noted that it is imperative to ensure, as workers, you have a highly valued skill set that is not easily passed on to cheaper workers. At our current point in time, companies are beginning to outsource to save costs, which makes this movie even more true to us as students who are preparing to enter the workforce very shortly.

  180. Gregory McGuire

    “Roger and me” showed the devastation outsourcing can have on a city, in this case Flint Michigan. The movie took the side of the GM workers who were losing their jobs due to Roger Smith’s decision to outsource GM’s manufacturing jobs to Mexico to cut costs. The movie casts light on the reality that for companies to stay competitive in a globalized world, they have to make the tough decision to outsource to save on labor costs. I see Michael Moore’s frustration, seeing his friends thrown out on the street and to see his home town turn into one of the worst cities in the nation, because of outsourcing. The problem however is when a company like GM is competing with other companies using cheap labor, sometimes the only option is to outsource or go out of business. Another thing it took from the movie was the bad publicity outsourcing can have on a company. The bad publicity in the case of GM came from the fact a well known film maker, Michael Moore created a movie portraying GM as an evil company most likely leading GM to lose on some car sales.

  181. “Roger and Me” really brought full circle the effect outsourcing can have on people’s lives with the advent of globalization. Without GM as a foundation, the economy of the town of Flint, Michigan, crumbled in its overdependence on GM as GM moved its operations out of Flint, Michigan and pursued more cost effective options abroad. Michael Moore interviews various locals and executives and tries to portray a corporate entity bullying the weak. This, however actually reveals a different underlying concern, particularly in this day and age – in a company’s quest for profits and market share, is there room for sympathy and empathy and is there a limit to the trade-off between the two? As we may well understand in our simulation exercise, these decisions come strictly from a numbers standpoint and as we close/open up a plant, we do not do so with corporate social responsibility in mind. This makes me question why the townspeople and Michael Moore feel GM owes them restitution and raises various questions. Had GM never entered into Flint, what would have sustained them economically? Perhaps the fact that the town put all their eggs into one basket is what really caused their downfall. As we stress in class, a changing strategy is of utmost importance because everything else is constantly changing as well. The town’s stubbornness at holding on can be felt from their attempt at building tourism in Flint, particularly with the investment in the automobile theme park. The movie also indirectly addresses the movement from blue collar skillsets to more advanced skillsets, which require more education, investment, and time. As manufacturing jobs are even now being mass outsourced to other countries with low labor costs, the country as a whole has placed more emphasis on skills that require a level of skill that would be difficult to replace. Although I respect Michael Moore’s opinion, I believe that corporations are not wholly at fault, and that the townspeople had gotten too complacent with their expectations.

  182. This movie touches upon the seriousness of outsourcing jobs. It definitel gets the point across about how tragic it was to be outsourcing all those jobs. Moore shows the GM as the evil one, mentioning about all the happenings in the community/society such as decrease in unemployment level, increase in crime levels..etc, GM being all responsible for these results. However, without GM as a foundation, the economy of the town of Flint, Michigan, crumbled in its overdependence on GM as GM moved its operations out of Flint, Michigan and pursued more cost effective options abroad. Michael Moore interviews various locals and executives and tries to portray a corporate entity bullying the weak. But I think the high competition circumstances in the automotive industry forced the company to take those actions to survive, the way that the company deal with the results may be wrong but there was nothing to do with that. The people in the community should have realized that they should find another work to do instead of giving up. As manufacturing jobs are even now being mass outsourced to other countries with low labor costs, the country as a whole has placed more emphasis on skills that require a level of skill that would be difficult to replace.GM did what they had to do a reason obviously, so it’s just a shame that it had to have such a huge negative impact on the previous workers.

  183. Drew Hanessian

    The Michael Moore movie Roger and Me is essentially one searing criticism of the automotive industry, and big business as a whole. I personally like Moore’s movies. They make his points dramatically and poignantly, and always make me think about the way our great nation operates. However, I am a skeptic as well, and anyone who wants to glean anything from this movie needs to realize and get beyond the fact that Moore is not above hyperbole and exaggeration. It’s still a movie, afterall.

    No other movie, or for that matter real-life footage has ever shown the devastating effects that the abrupt departure of a company from a one-company town can have. “Outsourcing” in this movie is nothing more than a polite euphemism.

    Intellectually, and as a business student, I know that the pursuit of corporate profits has been the engine of growth for America and for that matter all of human society in recent history. But as a human, I have trouble reconciling business acumen with the pain that that acumen has inflicted on others.

    Is outsourcing necessary? Yes, probably. There were probably a lot of happy Mexicans when Roger Smith moved the GM plant there. Overall, more jobs were created in the world than lost I feel safe in saying. But perhaps the country needs more of a social safety net if outsourcing is to be a constant practice. Maybe laid off workers should have some recourse.

  184. “Roger & Me” portrays the negative effects of outsourcing. It shows the unemployment and the loss of American jobs in Flint, Michigan, leaving people helpless without work. Over 30,000 U.S. jobs have been lost during the 1980’s. Throughout the film, Michael Moore keeps trying to bring Flint to some of the plants to show the devastation that some of the plant closings have caused. I think Michael Moore took many of his documentaries too far and over-exaggerated many of his biased points. In this film, he portrays General Motors as a monster although it is doing what it feels as the most beneficial to the firm. It is an obvious reality that outsourcing will indefinitely lead to the loss of U.S. jobs and that that is part of the business world. The reasons why firms outsource is primarily to cut costs and reduce the cost of raw materials. Other underlying factors include tax benefits and risk management. Many other auto companies are currently outsourcing in order to compete in the market. Overall, I believe that what happened to the town of Flint, Michigan is a harsh reality and it is unfortunate, but inevitable.

  185. Michael Lichtman

    “Roger and Me” is a Michael Moore documentary about the harsh realities of outsourcing, specifically seen in Flint, Michigan. The largest automobile manufacturer at the time, General Motors, laid off over 30,000 employees by closing down a production facility to open a new factory in Mexico. Outsourcing jobs to Mexico was the most logical and beneficial move GM could have made. Lowering their overall costs by paying inferior wages was a good strategy for the company. The affect it had on the city of Flint was devastating. The city’s crime rate increased, unemployment was at an all time high, and was even rated the worst place to live at one point. The city tried to revitalize the city with tourist attractions but that was a failure. Instead of creating new buildings for business, the city was forced to build a new jail to hold the ever increasing amount of criminals. The movie may have been a little bias when portraying GM as a monster and the cause of everything wrong in the city. General Motors did not evict the woman the day before Christmas. The landlord was not compassionate and had no sense of community. General Motors did what was best for the company and not for the community. Outsourcing increased their profitability at the cost of hurting the city of Flint, Michigan. Today, outsourcing is a huge problem. American workers are losing jobs everyday to employees overseas who will work for fractions less. This should be a major concern for our economy and our future. As we see in the movie, outsourcing can really devastate a thriving community.

  186. Latoya Jn. Baptiste

    This movie was very interesting in that it exposed the effect that capitalism has on the lives of the “common man”. Some of the key points of the shut down of the GM factory included unemployment, increase in homelessness and a increase in desperation for individuals to take care of their families. I know that things like this happen but it was good to create a movie like this in order to put the issue in people’s face so that they can be forced to pay attention. But the top management at GM didn’t care. Although the organization is ethically responsible for providing assistance to employees post factory closing, they did nothing

    In the film, there were so many families getting evicted from their homes because they could no longer their mortgages or rent. It was a sad state to see kid furniture and toys laying on the street due to unemployment. It got so bad that a woman had to breed and sell rabbits as pets and for meat. Some people may see it as animal cruelty while others may see this as the only way that the woman can sustain herself. Either way, you know that situations are tough when things like this happen.

    My question is why wasn’t the town or local government more instrumental in trying to come up ways to stimulate the community and provide jobs. Having people come to the town to give pep talks and encouraging speeches won’t help. Having the Miss America Contestant come through the town to tell the citizens to ” keep your head up” wont work. Showing compassion and understanding would have worked but I feel that just as much GM’s responsibility as it was the local town to enforce some of those things.

  187. “Roger & Me” is a documentary type critism of the local government in Flint. GM (the largest corporation of the world) was built here and employed thousands of people. They even built theatre at the Flint. These employees even made a sit down strike and caused UAW to get born. This was because the employees in GM didn’t feel their jobs secure. In this way they had proven their power. When GM left Flint in order to outsource from Mexico etc. people understood the value of GM. Everybody knows that the nature of the corporations is to make profit as Tom Kay tells through the end of the movie. The unemployment rate increased a lot, accordingly the crime ratios had rised. People were suffering, living in the houses leaking water or without ceilings and selling their blood for money. Even some landlords didn’t want deputy to throw people out of their houses when they couldn’t pay all of the rent. Rich people had spoken as if they were having fun with the situation, ate egzotic foods. According to the rich ladies playing golf people didn’t want to work actually. They can say that because the gap between the rich and the poor is very high so that they cannot understand the poor people well. Anyway this worked some industries also. Weapon stores started sell more as the crime rates have increased and U-Haul was having hard times to catch enough trucks for the people leaving town. For Michael Moore, who is both the director and the narrator in the movie, business world is not ethical. Roger Smith (GM Chairman) had been criticised by Michael Moore more than he should have been I think because this is business. He had to do these in order to be more successful. Business life is cruel that is how it is.

  188. Roger and me is very depresing movies that shows the effects of outsourcing jobs and production abroad. This movie is from the perspective of workers and community that are affected by the outsourcing. However, it fails to explain position of big businesses, who are facing increasing pressures from competitors, shareholders, and customers as well as increasing costs of production. Company such as GM in order to stay competitive have to cut costs. Unfortunately the bigest cost is tied in the form of wages, especialy in the U.S where unions have the power and ability to keep the wages up. Eventualy GM have to restructualize, because cost are too much. Roger B. Smith was in tough position, because he as a manager haas a goal of increasing shareholder’s value. As one of the guys in this movie said owners invest to make profit. Although the effects of such action as outsourcing are devastating for community, it could have potentialy bigger effect on the economy of entire U.S if no change occured. Is is sad that after outsourcing in late 80s GM failed to stay profitable and recent financial crises forced the company to restructuraze once again. Furthermore, I believe that Roger B. Smith could have collaborate on this movie by explaining all the factors of competitive market and the need for cost cutting rather than ignore M. Moore. Anyway, outsourcing is a part of globalization and we have to accept it as part of life. On the other hand any business hopes to have loyal employees, but if the business fails its part as a loyal empoyer, than its something to think about for the remaining GM employees. Otherwise, I think it was really good emotional movie, which raise questions about big businesses and its relationship with the employees, community.

  189. Roger and Me, although successful in representing the fall of Flint, Michigan, fails as a documentary on the complete effects of outsourcing. Since Michael Moore is from Flint, it is understandable that he would want to showcase the downfall of his thriving home town at the hands of big business, but what he fails to recognize is the state of living for the thousands of Mexicans who are now working those jobs. Moore uses his traditional juxtaposition and exaggerations to show just how devastating the job losses were on the local economy but strategically decides not to show the living conditions of the already impoverished Mexicans because it would take away from the sympathy given to his fellow Flint citizens. There is a reason these Mexican citizens are willing to work for $.70/hour. Consider what life must be like for them if they are willing to accept work at such a low wage.

    Moore also tries to cast GM in a bad light by approaching their headquarters and attempting to march right up to Roger Smith’s office and create a stir. When he fails in this attempt, the viewer is supposed to vilify GM since they won’t allow a complete stranger with absolutely no credentials to create an appointment with the leader of one of the world’s largest corporations. Roger Smith was perfectly aware of the devastating effects outsourcing would have on Flint and understandably would not volunteer to defend such a controversial decision. As stated in the documentary, GM has to do whatever it can to stay competitive. If GM did not begin to outsource, other companies still would have and in turn would have produced cheaper cars of similar quality, running GM completely out of business and then everyone losses their job, not just Flint. While it is unfortunate that this is how business works, it is the nature of the beast and this documentary only shows the victims of the necessary “evil” that is outsourcing.

    While I tend to disagree with Moore’s style of film-making he is highly effective and getting his point across and it is always interesting to see the side of the story that the news media wont show. Following a deputy around as he evicts poverty-stricken residents from their homes is a fear that most Americans hope never becomes a reality. Listening about former employees having nervous breakdowns is a tragedy no matter how you view it. But despite all of the negatives that came along with GM’s outsourcing, the competitive nature of big business does not allow for emotions and if GM were to try and preserve the jobs of their Flint employees, it would have been a costly decision that would have ultimately harmed the company so severely that it would have a difficult time rebounding.

  190. Jeffery Walburger

    Roger and Me is a movie that I have never seen before, I do think that Michael Moore’s movie’s do tend to be entertaining but that is it, because his movie’s tend to be a little over the top and biased. I could definitely understand how some people might watch this movie and tend to be a little upset, but one must understand and even ask themselves if you were trying to save money, how would you do it in your personal life, cut unnecessary spending, which is exactly what GM did and nobody should shun them for that. GM was also receiving new competitive pressures from outside countries that were selling their products much cheaper because they could produce then with substantially cheaper labor costs. This problem was a front burner problem and needed to be dealt with ASAP. Also one telling sign of whether a company’s situation is strong or precarious is whether its prices and costs are competitive with those of rival industries. Gm needed to do a value chain analysis and benchmark to determine whether their company is performing particular functions and activities in the most cost effective manner, and unfortunately they were not and through their analysis they realized it would be cheaper to cut out the most expensive part of any companies business and that is labor. Finally as for the families that were being evicted I felt it was not an accurate portrayal because while the fact GM shut down was a contributing factor to the evictions it wasn’t the only factor. These families had brand new clothes, etc. which they could have cut back on and paid their rent but they chose not to. Also maybe the landlords should have taken it into their hearts not to evict these families. So in closing this is what happens in capitalist society, you have your winners and you losers, but it’s just whether those losers can find a way to come out of their rut, which unfortunately most couldn’t.

  191. “Roger and Me” is a documentary about the outsourcing of General Motors and the effects it has on their employees. This movie features a plant in Flint, Michigan where 30,000 were laid off.
    This was movie was surprisingly humorous at times while uncomfortable and sad at other moments. Michael Moore shows some of the harsh realities of outsourcing and the people and faces who are affected most by it. As a business student, this can be difficult to view because we are taught how to increase profits and look to big business as examples. While outsourcing saves money it also causes heartache, domestically, for many families.

  192. Roger and Me is a documentary by Michael Moore that shows the negative impact that outsourcing had on Flint, Michigan when they closed a General Motors plant in order to open up plants in Mexico where they pay wages of $0.70 there. Thousands of people lost their jobs due to the greediness of Roger Smith, and single handedly ruined lives and a city.

    Michael Moore goes on to show several clips of families being evicted from their homes. Families with children that have no place to go and nowhere to put their stuff are thrown out of their homes on a daily basis. He also shows other parts of Flint to show how bad things have become due to the closing of the plant. He shows people struggling to survive and doing anything they can to make a buck. Flint became an extremely poor neighborhood and at one point was ranked the worst place to live in America.

    Many companies outsource jobs and nowadays it’s happening more and more often in order to cut costs. When companies outsource their jobs, Americans lose theirs. It affects thousands of people and it’s just the way life is. Michael Moore tries several times to try and speak to the chairman of GM, Roger Smith, but fails every time. He wants to bring Smith to Flint to see the damage and destruction he has caused, and Smith refuses because he knows that he is guilty. The government/city of Flint attempts to revive the city by building a 5 star hotel and a car museum in the rundown city. This was supposed to attract tourists and make a lot of money. That failed miserably, both were shutdown, and they wasted a ton of money. Michael Moore does a good job at showing the wrongdoings of GM and the affect that outsourcing had on his home city of Flint, Michigan.

  193. Gaston Depusoir

    “Roger & Me” is an excellent documentary style film that takes an in depth look at the effect of General Motors closing several plants in Flint, Michigan. I think the film touches upon one main issue in several different ways. I think the main issue regarding “Roger & Me” is although we live in a capitalist economy how much freedom can we allow companies in making their decision keeping in mind the effects their decision will have on society.

    Technically, General Motors didn’t do anything illegal or wrong when it closed those plants. It was a good decision in terms of cost savings and boosted GM’s profitability. From a pure economic stand point GM’s decision was great. Socially though it hurt alot of people due to the fact Flint’s economy was largely centered around GM. This situation is not new, sometime Capitalism and social responsibility fly straight in the face of one another. As a society we really need to decide what’s more important to us.

  194. Clarissa A. Michel

    Michael Moore’s 1989 documentary, “Roger & Me,” shared light about General Motors’ decision to close down its production plants in Flint, Michigan. Moore’s emphasis of the situation was to demonstrate the harmful effects of General Motors’ decision to shut down plants in Michigan and outsourced to new ones in Mexico. General Motors’ decision, as portrayed in Moore’s documentary, seemed that of greed, in the sense that the company at the time was making profits in “billions of dollars” (Moore). Because of the production plant closings, Flint, Michigan, experienced a series of unfortunate events such as; its inhabitants admitted to metal institutions, severe decreases in property value (because various buildings were unmaintained), increases in drugs and crime, etc.
    What was interesting about Moore’s documentary, relative to General Motors decision to outsource its automobiles production, was that the “big-cats” (this was used to refer to people in the ranks of General Motors’ owner, Roger Smith, and lobbyist, Tom Kay) thought that General Motors made a conscionable decision. Though the documentary was to illustrate the effects of outsourcing in Flint, Michigan, which agreeably created numerous adversities for Flint residents, what was more disturbing was General Motors’ claims that the company was going broke, in attempts to get some money back from the government.
    Though I knew little of the events, which took place in Flint, Michigan, it is important to note that Michael Moore’s documentary is that of opinion. Though I am not discrediting Moore’s claims by any means, it is important to note that the purpose of a documentary is to sway the view of its intended audience.

    -Clarissa M.

  195. Kaitlin Johnsen

    “Roger and Me” is a documentary about an American town, Flint, Michigan, devastated by the closing of several General Motors manufacturing plants due to outsourcing. It shows families being thrown out of their homes on Christmas Eve, increase in crime rates, and Moore’s endless attempts to track down Roger Smith, CEO of GM. The film does a great job at showing the harmful effects of cheap labor and how saving money can truly destroy an entire town. Moore’s documentary was to basically bash GM for what they did and show the horrible social conditions under which an economic decision by a large company can produce. Companies do this all the time, but Moore put GM under a microscope and the public got to see real families becoming destitute, going through drastic measures to make ends meat (the entire rabbit scene), and one person even went into a mental facility. Although GM has to keep up with the modern world and do what it had to do, it’s a shame people’s lives have to amend significantly and I think Moore did a really good job at showing the inevitable consequences.

  196. Edward Barrett

    I am not a huge fan of Michael Moore, but I like to see somebody muck it up and show another side and kindof help the underdog. I think he appeals to people emotions by showing how people lost their jobs around the holidays and showing families become destroyed. Its hard to not feel a sense of anger towards GM after seeing what happened to all those people. However, I feel it is important to take his story, take from it and learn, but also keep it in perspective. I liked how he tried to get a hold of the CEO.
    I think its good to expose the effects of outsourcing and cheap labor on small town America.

  197. Katherine Higgins

    Michael Moore is an obnoxious guy, however I did like this movie in that it really did show the down side to outsourcing. Corporations today are all about cutting costs-which is good, but not to the extent that it destroys domestic jobs, in this case an entire city. And Flint is not the only place that is devasted by outsourcing. Corporations need to look out for their people, especially those that are domestic corporations, and are of the size that GM is. I think Michael Moore did a good job of highlighting a problem, and I wish more people would actually do something about it. Things like this continue to go on.

  198. Sean Galloway

    Awesome, another Michael Moore movie and another hour and a half of my life I can never have back! Please don’t take this the wrong way if you like Michael Moore films, it just so happens I don’t. I think the three major problems I have with his films are that I find them biased, over the top, and most importantly almost impossible to identify with. Since the first two have been beaten to death like a dead horse I’ll concentrate me efforts on the third.

    The films overall goal is to show its viewers the harsh reality that is globalization and the outsourcing of American jobs. I understand that no one wants to lose their job but if that’s the case, do something about it! As someone who wants to join the New York State Police I guess I have trouble identifying with the workers from Flint since I have chosen a career path I know cannot and will not, ever be outsourced.

    Since I have trouble identifying with the workers I felt film could have been wrapped up in under 20 minutes. The rest of it just felt repetitive. I felt bad for them at first but then just got annoyed. It was just one sob story after another. If you don’t want to lose your job then do something about it! Don’t just cry and say it’s not fair! Either don’t get job that can be replaced by a robot or create a value added within your job that no one else/thing can provide!

  199. Evan Gabriel

    I think films like Roger and Me are important in the idea that people should be aware of the dangers and downsides of our economic system. Outsourcing should be a concern of everyones because employment is so crucial to our economy.
    That being said I felt that this documentary was more repetative than anything, and basically turned more into a sob story. It just seemed he was feeding off of the affected lives of the employees who were laid off.
    There is also a tremendous amount of bias in the film. To make a strong case, you also have to take GM’s situation into account. Not only internal revenues that the company brings in but external pressures as well.

  200. Roger and me touches covers one of the most urgent issues facing American job market, the outsourcing of labor to third world countries where the corporation can save tons of money each year by taking advantage of dirt cheap labor cost. The aftermath of the city Flint after the plant shutting down can happen to anywhere. Binghamton might’ve been in the similar situation for years since IBM closed down its factories. It is hard to imagine living in the city where your neighbors are selling rabbit meat for living, and stores are going out of business. If you see a big picture, it is inevitable to stop the shift of labor market away from America. By building more factories in third world countries, it helps the growth of the local economy to some extent. The bottom line is that America had been enjoying its prosperity for decades sometimes at the expense of other countries, and of course it will not last forever. Roger and me is a tough movie to watch for newly graduating students like us. If we’re working in the position where we do not really have that much control or responsibility in the company, we will never feel secure because there is always the danger of being laid off without a decent reason. On the other hand, if you work at the headquarters, the top priority is not about your workers but how to stay on the top of the game to keep the company in good financial position. As the sponsor of GM said that the company will most likely shut down more plants in the future if it is necessary. Roger does not think GM has obligation to invest money on people who are not useful to the company anymore. That is the way it is in this free country, and that makes American economy still going ahead of European countries where corporate social responsibility is stricter. As for the personal level, I highly sympathize for the Flint citizens, but I guess in life it all comes down to how you treat yourself. If you see yourself as working in the assembly line for whole your life, and think that big corporation should take care of you, being laid off means the end of world.

  201. Steven Goldman

    I have seen several of Michael Moore’s films in the past and I since I have yet to find one I thoroughly enjoyed, I tried to watch Roger & Me (1989) without a biased opinion. My overall opinion of the film is that it provides a decent glimpse at the impact that companies have on the community. When dealing with outsourcing, the biggest problem presented is a loss of employment and revenue, especially for towns that revolve around the company’s factory. In this case it was General Motors in the Town of Flint where the factory provided a significant source of income and jobs. The film did a great job at capturing the personal effects of mass employment and definitely made me feel regret for the suffering families. Moore takes a strong swing at the decisions of GM in this movie and his goal is to true that outsourcing can have tremendous negative effects that sometimes cannot be seen from the top floor. GM had record profits but still decided to outsource to Mexico. While as a business decision it might provide higher long term revenue and better earnings per share, Moore wanted to show that it neglected to think about the impact on the employees and their families. Some may say that the film could have been biased because every business decision has positive and negative consequences; however it does succeed in opening one’s eyes in seeing the big picture.

  202. Roger & Me is, well, a Michael Moore movie. It touches the controversial topic of outsourcing in corporate America. As a result of outsourcing, GM lays off Flint workers to cheaper labor in Mexico. The movie follows the strong feelings of the auto workers about the growth in companies profits due to loss of jobs in America. There is a correlation to crime rate with unemployment and we can tell that due to the negative impact the loss of jobs has over the workers that such a decision can have over small economies. We can relate this to Binghamton who used to be a growing industrial town, yet as corporations pulled out the economy of Binghamton became bleak. This film is biased, because Michael Moore chooses sides and seeks only negative experiences from this layoff citing only profitability — not including things such as increase efficiency or capacity in Mexico.

  203. In the documentary titled Roger and Me, Michael Moore addresses a cause for the economic collapse in Flint, Michigan; and goes after GM. I think the connection between the closing of the plant, 30,000 people getting laid off and the increasing poverty, unemployment, and the crime rate is obvious. Closing down a plant even though recording enormous record profits in the same year, in my perception, is unethical. Even though all these unfortunate events are absolutely related with the outlaying, I do not think it is acceptable to blame only one corporation for everything.
    Moore blames GM for everything, however, I do not agree with him. I feel really sorry for all the people getting fired from GM, and I blame the city officials for being reckless, instead of blaming the corporation. Relying on only one corporation for the whole city’s economy does not make any sense. This is an incredibly risky decision. Corporations have to cut their losses in this extremely competitive environment. Flint branch turned out to be the one who gets the axe.

  204. In the movie Roger and Me, Michael Moore looks into the effects that General Motors had on his hometown Flint, Michigan. General Motors originated in Flint, making it a very prosperous place. GM provided for lots of jobs and kept Flint’s economy running. The movie primarily shows the negative effects that GM had on Flint when they shut down many of their factories in the town and outsourced to Mexico. Michael Moore spends the movie trying to contact the GM chairman, Roger Smith while also looking into the lives of many Flint citizens after the GM closings.
    Moore questions Roger Smith ethics and attempts to speak wit him to share his point of view. Moore believes that Smith and GM owe something to Flint since it was the place the company started. He argues that Smith acted wrongly in closing down so many plants and in turn running down the town of Flint. We also see an opposing view from a GM lobbyist who believes that Smith is not acting immorally and that the point of business is to make profits and that is what GM is doing.
    Moore spends a lots of time looking into what the many changes that occurred in Flint after GM closed its plants. Most of the movie is spent showing just how poor the town became. We saw Flint become a place of crime, many people get evicted from their homes, the run down areas, and more interestingly, how Flint tried to rebuild their economy. We first meet many ex-factory workers tried to use their assembly line skills in other ways. People tried a number of new jobs including, working at Taco Bell, door-to-door sales, breeding rabbits for food and becoming prison guards. We see that some of the jobs work out and some do not but that without GM there were just not enough jobs to keep Flint in good economic standing.
    In the end of the movie we see how Flint takes extreme measures in trying to bring some sort of money to the town. They decide to market Flint as a place of tourism. They spent well over 100 million dollars trying to reinvent Flint and bring new jobs. The town built a huge new Hyatt Regency hotel, the Water Street Pavilion and the largest indoor theme park of the time. This obviously did not work out and all three of these attractions shut down shortly after they were built.
    This movie demonstrates how big business directly affects an areas economy while also looking into the concept of business ethics. I think that this movie is interesting because it touches upon something that is a reality in many places. This movie actually reminded me of how Binghamton’s economy was affected so significantly by IBM. What happened in Flint with GM can and has happened in many places across America and is definitely an issue that should be addressed.

  205. Irfan Hakverdi

    Roger and Me, 1989, is a documentary by Flint native Michael Moore where sometimes he is being very abrasive in the movie, and it is about the terrible consequences that General Motors workers and the Flint community faced after the shutdown of 11 GM plants. The main point of this documentary is to question General Motors’ and Roger Smith’s action which are closing down the plants in Flint, Michigan for outsourcing and profit more. The director of the movie, Michael Moore, and unemployed GM workers are accusing Roger Smith by being socially irresponsible for the workers and Flint community. Flint was known as an industrial area since the GM was born there; however, after the shut down, the crime rate in the Flint increased rapidly, and Flint became the unemployment capital of the country. In addition, it was ranked as the worst place live by the Money magazine even though the Flint community is not agreeing with the ranking. Michael Moore used these facts in the movie in order to prove that the GM administration is socially irresponsible for the community and the workers, and he often compared the economy of the region after and before the shutdown in the documentary. On the other hand, GM administration and the lobbyist think that GM is a corporation whose first goal is to make profit like every other company. GM side mostly thinks in terms of profit making, and they think that there is nothing wrong with shutting down a plant to outsource in another country where the labor is extremely cheaper. In addition, according to GM, it is the rule of capitalism in order to keep up with globalization. Certainly what the community and around 30.000 GM workers faced was dramatic and terrible; however, Michael Moore’s point of view is very anti-capitalist where he was focusing on the social issues such as the unemployment and crime rates in Flint, and he did not evaluate the situation in terms of GM’s investments in order to profit more.

  206. Kaylin Collins

    Roger and Me is a movie depicting the concepts of outsourcing, ethics, and the huge impact one corporation can have on an entire town and it’s economy.

    The movie illustrates the concept of outsourcing and shows the negative impact it can have on our economy. General Motors decision to close plants in Flint, Michigan and outsource to Mexico in order to cut costs and increase profitability caused many GM employees to face unemployment and the negative economic impact that comes with losing your job.

    General Motors was basically the main source of income and prosperity for the town of Flint. When GM plants closed, families became impoverished and desperate. Property values significantly decreased, numerous families were evicted from their homes, and crime rates skyrocketed. Even when the Flint citizens attempted to get new jobs and the town tried to increase its prospects by making money off of tourists, all attempts seemed to be unsuccessful. This movie showed just how much of an impact one corporation can have on an entire area’s economy and its citizens’ well-being.

    Michael Moore also touches on the concept of ethics in his constant attempt to reach Roger Smith, chairman of General Motors. In Moore’s opinion, Smith’s decision to close GM plants in Flint was unethical, for it negatively and drastically affected so many citizens and their families. One can only question, though, if this is really unethical, for Smith was acting in the best interest of his business and its profits.

  207. Ryan Donaghy

    While watching this movie, I couldn’t help but compare it to Binghamton and the way in which this city was affected by IBM moving out of the area, especially the part where they show all of the abandoned houses.

    The state in which the people of Flint were left was disturbing. It made me very thankful for the things I have and the fact that I have a home to live in. The part with the rabbits was really disgusting– and the fact that people had to skin rabbits and didn’t understand why doing this in a backyard was unsanitary is unnerving.

    The actions and attitude of Roger Smith and the employees of GM corporate were upsetting. The fact that they wouldn’t even talk to Michael Moore about what was going on and the way they acted as if everything was fine (when in fact it was not) was horrible.

    I think that GM really suffers from an aversion to innovation. This summer, I worked for NY Life Insurance Co. and had to do a project with a group of interns to come up with a new e-channel for NYL to use to either enhance agent productivity or increase the number of policies. In the past, the executives at NYL were very opposed to creating a Facebook page for the company. For our presentation, we used GM and Toyota as examples of companies that were either able to, or unable to accept innovation and how they were either successful or not. GM kept making large cars even as gas prices were rising and the American population was moving towards smaller cars, GM continued to make large trucks and SUVs, while Toyota made smaller, more fuel efficient automobiles and worked on their production techniques. Toyota is one of the most successful car companies in the world, and GM is being bailed out by the American government.

  208. James J. Kelly

    Michael Moore’s prototype for his future career as a populist-driven documentarian, Roger and Me chronicles the plight faced by the city of Flint, Michigan in the wake of several General Motors plant closings. While I found Moore’s depiction of the harrowing circumstances surrounding the lives of the laid off workers to be extremely sad and sobering, it is important to place any criticisms surrounding “outsourcing” (and globalization in general) into correct context. Empirical evidence suggests that outsourcing and globalizing trends do not create a zero sum game. Rather, globalization processes, driven by cost reduction in wages, do make people better off on an aggregate level. However, this argument, which Moore never actually allows Roger Smith and the other “evil fat cats” to make, is entirely beside the point. Moore does not care whether globalization is good or bad in an abstract sense, but he is interested in knowing how it affects people on an individual, community, statewide, and even national level.

    The negative effects have a much more impactful blow on the lives of those who are directly affected, whereas the positive effects are experienced by the aggregate economy in a very ambivalent manner. If the situation is reduced to X worker being fired from GM and losing their house versus the price we all pay for X good dropping one cent, then it is clear that the individual loss in the former group is much greater than the individual gain in the latter. Returning to the issue at hand, I find myself wondering what Michael Moore would like to see be done. I agree that the scenes of vacant houses and evictions are heartbreaking, yet I still do not know what Moore sees as the solution. His film essentially states that times are bad, and that since GM is the direct cause, then they are the ones who should receive the full force of the public’s anger. I think this is pertinent to the wider outsourcing debate as it raises the question of who should bare the cost when an entire industry is outsourced. Moore feels it is the company, yet I am not certain this is feasible, either practically or economically. Maybe the government should play a bigger role, yet it is unclear how. This route may also create a political nightmare in the form of anti-government protest groups. Therefore, I think the filmed ended as reality will continue. Everyone accepts globalization is most likely good, they hate it when it effects them in a direct and negative manner, and there is no immediate solution to the problem of caring for the marginalized and disaffected groups who miss the gains that are supposed to make us “all” better off.

  209. Denzel White

    • Roger and Me by Michael Moore on touches the controversial topic of outsourcing in corporate America. Due to the outsourcing, General Motors lays off the workers in Flint. Their jobs are now taken by a cheaper Mexican labor force. All bad things seem to come about due to the loss of jobs. People’s belief in big business dwindled. In Flint, crime rose as well. It seemed that this town relied too much on the success of one company. Even though all these things happened, the film is still shot from a biased angle. Michael Moore only discussed the negative points and he chose sides.

  210. Chase Murray

    The movie Roger and me by Michael Moore discusses the issue of outsourcing, which is a very big issue in corporate America. Along with this issue comes various benefits and negative implications. The movie discusses how General Motors in Flint, Michigan, cost thousands of people their jobs by laying them off. This being one of the main downfalls of outsourcing, job displacement. Due to this, the town self disintegrates as everything was based around the GM factory. The GM company didn’t do anything illegal by laying these workers off, however, this movie shows how a company can support a whole town. However, the movie displays a bias by only showing the negative impacts of outsourcing and not how the move positively impacted GM.

  211. Frank Jackson

    The Film Roger and Me as also an interesting movie pick. Michael Moore has always done a fantastic job in bringing to the surface the human condition. There is a part of us that is selfish and merciless. In this film, General Motors behavior in Flint, Michigan, during the late 1980’s exposes how large corporations are always trying to maximize profit, even if it means laying off thousands of their employees. It was very disheartening to watch so many situations of destitute and hopeless families. Also to watch the exploitative element in affect in that ravished place. In Flint, the automotive industry was the backbone of the economy. GM decided to lay off 30,000 workers in the area, in an effort to downsize their American factories in order to open new factories in Mexico (because of cheaper wages). Moore raises some serious questions. What is the true price of profit? Who are the real internal and external stakeholders? Has corporate America lost all element of human compassion?

  212. Jennifer Morton

    “Roger and Me” touched on several aspects of business and management, although there was a clear focus on the unethical aspects of business and management. There were savvy decisions made by executives in regard to finding ways to keep costs down and advertising and promotions aimed towards a better image of General Motors. However, there was also seemingly unethical behavior at every turn. Such demonstrated behavior included outsourcing to keeps costs down, lying and dissuading the public into thinking they would still maintain their jobs, and the use of a strong arm in regards to avoiding questions or explanations for all that may resulted from such seemingly unethical practice. This film was a good example of what many corporations should not take part in; and does not what the public to see. There was also the role of state government and community management which was interestingly portrayed similar to a business. A business which tried to create a new market but whose business plan/strategy was not a right fit for the Flint community (as a result of lack of appropriate research). However, as a whole “Roger and Me” was a perfect example of what not to do when managing a business.

  213. Ashley Nunez

    “Roger and Me” is a very interesting movie, some would say that it is biased but in my opinion those people are not thinking ethically. In a business you are responsible for any effects you have on the environment, people, and the surroundings. This movie shows how much of an impact GM had on relocating their plant and getting rid of one. We see how Flint the town has to do alot of things to bring some sort of money to the town. Flint has to now be a tourism spending millions to reinvent the town. All their ideas fall short because they built a huge new Hyatt Regency hotel and the largest indoor theme park of the time.
    The movie shows how big business can have such an impact of people lives. Directly affecting them in areas like the jobs. This movie highlights many issues that are not brought to life. Its interesting because the movie is similar to what happened to IBM in Binghamton.

  214. Stacey Hertz

    Roger & Me is a documentary that is very informative on General Motors and the auto industry during the 1980’s. Michael Moore is very persistent throughout his movie and in attempting to find Roger Smith in order to ask him why he closed the plant in Flint, Michigan. I thought it was very ironic that even though Michael was so against factory life and working in the plant, due to his family, he ends up making a movie about it. This movie shows the impacts of outsourcing jobs, since the Flint factory workers would be replaced by Mexican workers. This cheaper labor negatively affects the workers in Flint and this was the main bias of the movie. The movie mostly conveys the consequences of the layoffs and plant closing, since Michael Moore interviewed people that were directly influenced by this event. While watching this movie, I found it hard to believe that Michael Moore would be able to find Roger Smith, let alone set up a meeting with him to talk to him or bring him back to Flint. However, Moore is determined to discover Smith’s reasoning for the layoffs of the 30,000 workers. I was very happy for Moore when he finally achieved his goal of meeting with Smith and spoke to him about the layoffs in Flint, although nothing came of it. Through this conversation, Smith is portrayed as an unsympathetic, unethical person in regards to the issue. He talks to his friends about the factory closing and they display a sense of strong aversion towards Roger Smith. Additionally, it amazed me to see the juxtaposition of the depleting Flint area as compared to the rich areas where Roger Smith visited. This just further proves the fact that big business executives show no remorse for their actions regarding lower level employees. Throughout the movie, this sense of hostility for Roger Smith is a thematic element, which Moore explores to a great extent. Moore demonstrates to his audience the harsh impacts a city can face after an even like a plant closing by a big company, such as GM.

  215. Leonardo Calvo

    This film provides an inside look along with the potential set backs when outsourcing is implemented. This film shows the economic results of closing factories and laying off workers. Former CEO of GM Roger Smith closed several auto plants in Flint, Michigan causing extreme economic devastation in the region. Michael Moore also explores the pyscological consequences to the workers in regards to the factory closings. In my opinion the most impactful interview is with former assembly line worker named Ben Hamper who suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of the closings. He now resides in a mental health clinic and needs constant care. This shows the potential side effects to outsourcing that are not measured by figures and statistics. It shows the effect on the human psyche. It was interesting for me to see this side. Coming from an education based on numbers and teachings about cost saving and increased performance it was interesting to see these effects in terms of the actual worker. Overall this movie opened my eyes to some different veiws regarding outsourcing, which were very interesting and impactful.

  216. I have some details I would like to share with Mr. Moore, if he is still alive.

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