Competition vs. Unemployment
There are times when writing this column is easy and times when the topic itself becomes a struggle akin to the angel on the right shoulder and the devil on the left. For some of you, the shoulders could be reversed, depending upon your political leanings, but we all struggle sometimes when it comes to morality in business. The high road is always the ethical one. The majority of us needn't look to our shoulders for the decisions.
We currently have a vortex of conflict establishing itself in the mobile auto sound business. Two automotive retail and installation giants, one a big national player and the other a big regional player, are testing an alliance. As a free trade, open-markets wonk, I find no fault in this competitive challenge that will present itself to the independent specialists working in this space. But I have reservations about the timing. Hence the conflict. Allow me to explain:
When the stimulus package was passed and signed into law, the unemployment rate in California was 9.6 percent, and 8.4 percent for the country as a whole. Now, the unemployment rate in California is 12.3 percent, with 15 counties in the state recording greater than 15 percent unemployment. Unemployment for the country overall is 9.5 percent. Michigan, where the auto industry of old lives, is now not only experiencing high unemployment, but is the only state in the country to post negative growth, as revealed in the latest census data.