Thursday, May 28, 2009

Why didn't Michael Eisner ever greenlight a "Pollyanna" movie?

I enjoy Esquire magazine, especially its "What I've Learned" feature. Going through the magazine pile, I caught up with ex-Disney chief Michael Eisner's take in the April 2009 edition, wherein he opined:

--- snip ---

The auto industry situation is incredibly complex, and it would be a little silly of me to try to reduce it. But you could say it was like the entertainment business. They didn't make movies that people wanted to see. They had the infrastructure, they had the technology, they had the manpower. They just didn't make vehicles that enough people wanted to buy. They ended up trying to protect their existing business and not concentrating on the future.

--- snip ---

Why, yes, that was silly. That's all easy to say from a guy in a business where new product development is a fraction of that for car companies, outsourcing animation is a bit easier than outsourcing car parts, and the health insurance legacy costs of the car industry have proven to be an ultimately debilitating quirk of post-World War II history, because our country has never realized that the U.S. and China are the only car-making countries where the government does not acknowledge that being healthy is a citizen's human right.

Talk about competitive disadvantages.

I've thought from the beginning of the auto company assistance: if the Feds had offered to take every employee and retiree the Big Detroit 3 auto companies cover with health insurance, and move them over to Medicare or a new subsidiary of it, the carmakers probably would have jumped at that, it would've been cheaper, and it would've been a good base for moving forward on long-overdue national health care.

Above: "Don't breathe too deeply. Those costumes? Cheap -- recycled asbestos. At least they're green, right?"

No comments: