GM vs. the State House
The Hiller Instinct: GM vs. the State House
What once had more money than it knew how to spend, but now is broke?
What once symbolized innovation and progress, but now stands for blind arrogance?
Maybe your answer is General Motors...but mine is the State House.
It's not hard to compare Beacon Hill with GM.
Both have storied histories; both have been leaders in their field; and both are now dying from self-inflicted wounds.
GM was the first to introduce new cars each year, which changed the auto industry. Massachusetts changed the role of state governments, by introducing new programs. America's first public schools and public library opened here.
But GM broke faith with its customers, by producing cars that were too big and used too much gas. The State House is losing the confidence of its customers--us!--by producing too much corruption.
Experts blame GM's failure on its corporate culture, which is described as too insulated, self-protective, and insensitive to change.
Doesn't that describe the State House, too?
There the culture is go along to get along: Vote with leadership and don't make waves--because that could cost your job, which is all you have.
"I think what happens is that people come here and they give up. They find out how hard it is, how complex it is, how many distractions there can be, and they just sigh and give up," Governor Deval Patrick said.
The question now is: Do you give up? Do you accept what's happened to Beacon Hill or do you fight it?
To borrow a phrase from GM, "This is not your father's State House."
I'm Andy Hiller, and that's my instinct.
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