As painful as it sometimes seems, the marketplace still is the great equalizer for providing quality goods and services at competitive prices.
I frequently drive past a new-car dealership that sold Pontiacs for decades. The shiny Grand Prixs, Grand Ams, and Bonnevilles wrapped around the building for blocks. Customers scurried around the desks in the sales area, listening to product pitches. I had an old Pontiac Phoenix repaired there after getting rear-ended in northern Michigan.
But here it is 2010. General Motors has slipped through the eye of the needle in bankruptcy. As part of that process, it jettisoned Pontiac to the scrap-heap of automotive brands such as Hudson and Studebaker.
So it was with some sadness, yet thorough understanding, that I noticed the other day that Toyota logos now dominate the building. Sharp Camrys, Prius and Corollas filled the lots and the showroom. People were still there shopping for automotive transportation.
The marketplace continues to provide what people need at a price they are willing to pay. It's a function of good management, sharp economics, public policy, innovative manufacturing and product quality. Sometimes you get it wrong and pay dearly. Others will get it right and succeed.