Looking for Mr. Goodwrench


Before the government turns over billions of dollars to those very automotive executives who have taken their industry off the cliff, shouldn’t they be looking for someone else?  We will call him Mr. Goodwrench.  I am talking about that “loose cannon” on the executive floor who warned about all of this and even offered thousands of pages of memoranda with alternatives.  Shouldn’t Mr. Goodwrench finally be given the power to do what only he knew needed to be done long ago?

Now, who is Mr. Goodwrench?  Well, I don’t exactly know.  I would guess he is part engineer, part mechanic, part artist, part salesman and whole lot of demographic expert and statistician.  He is so prescient that he knew I would be trading in my 20 years of Lincolns Navigators and Chrysler Mini vans for a Honda and a Toyota even before I did.  He has been excluded by his colleagues as an alarmist, an eccentric, an oddball but now it turns out that he has been right all along.

Mr. Goodwrench may be young but not necessarily.  He may be a gray beard, a visionary like DeLorean.  He may be an old crackpot like Winston Churchill who turned out to be old but also right about Germany and Hitler.  He probably has already been fired and if not, he is walking on egg shells on the corporate floor these days.  He cannot even look anyone in the eyes lest they shoot back angrily, “yeah, you told us so, rub it in, rub it in, but you are still not getting your own car and driver and you will never set foot on the corporate jet.”  You know they must all still be in denial on that executive floor.

Someone in power has already ordered a scrub of the e-mails because Mr. Goodwrench’s pleas may be interpreted by an uninformed journalist or government inspector as an indictment of their own executive stupidity.  And at the same time, other executives are actually sending him “holiday greetings,” being friendly, so if Goodwrench ends up on Sixty Minutes and writes a book, he will be nice to them.

My point is this, why should Goodwrench be wasted as one weekend of national entertainment on a Sunday Night news show?  Why shouldn’t he run General Motors?  If we, the tax payers, are going to bail them out, why can’t we have someone at the top who is not in the cult but is objective, with common sense, who knows what will work and why?  Why can’t we benefit from all of his good ideas?  Why shouldn’t he have those billions to spend?  And then maybe we could give the Japanese and the Koreans and Germans some competition. 

Give us Goodwrench!  If anybody knows who he is, or where he lives, speak up now!  We know he is out there.  Just as someone was laboring in the bowels of the FBI before 9-11 and was warning us about the use of jets as weapons.  Why do we have to repeat this story?  Give us Goodwrench!

Well, you say.  It is one thing to see the crisis coming and even have the right ideas, the plans that can solve the problems but how can this guy survive the culture at the top?  Does he have the corporate political savvy? 

And the answer is that he doesn’t have to last very long.  Just long enough to get us on the right track.  And anyway, the corporate political animals that come out on top will all be stealing his ideas anyway.

Oh, one other thing.  I have heard you nagging at me all through this blog.  Yes, I know, Mr. Goodwrench may be a woman.

Published by Doug Wead

Doug Wead is a New York Times bestselling author whose latest book, Game of Thorns, is about the Trump-Clinton 2016 election. He served as an adviser to two American presidents and was a special assistant to the president in the George H.W. Bush White House.

8 thoughts on “Looking for Mr. Goodwrench

  1. Don’t Hold your Breath!

    This Wholesale Nationalization of one of our major industries is a sign that we are heading full speed down a Socialistic path.

    Mr. Ggoodwrench will more likely be a Mr Jack Valenti or Jack Welsh or some other semi retired titan of fund raising.
    And given govenrments phenomenal track record in helping industry deliver (think AMTRAK),

    I don’t think we should be on the lookout for a new American Toyota or Honda brand. More likely we will see a Citroen, Renault or Fiatization of the American brands.

    it may be spelled “bailout” but it sure sounds like “Take over”. At least Putin is honest about how he installs his minions.

  2. This whole thing really pisses me off. Here we have American auto makers who can’t compete internationally because, they say, they have to pay all these union wages. If Americans were making sweatshop salaries, we’d be yelling about that, too.

    But, if one finds oneself having to compete against international companies, the wise thing to do would be to go for the future. Stop making cars that are just ordinary. How can you compete with those? Why weren’t these overpaid CEO’s and other leaders thinking ahead and trying to come up with cars that didn’t use oil or so much of it or some other forward-thinking ideas???? They are like the whale oil companies who went the way of the dinosaurs because they couldn’t see beyond their own hands. Too bad the workers have to pay for their lack of foresight.

  3. Yes great article. On the subject, every business model should have a backup strategy in cases that the company starts losing money. The most common way of dealing with losses is to cut down fixed costs of production. Did the big three do that? I’m sure there are people on both sides of this argument…

  4. I have to say that if we are going to use free markets as our economic backbone.. the auto industry needs to be let go. If they crumble so be it.. market forces are at work.. let them work.

    Our tax money should not be paying for union salaries!

  5. Sound logic! The “aha” moment for me came when I realized America’s automotive business is really a financial services business disguised as a car business. Maybe a key to identifying Mr. Goodwrench is finding someone who thought the core competency of American industry should be industry. No more secrets. No more illusions. No more get-rich-quick schemes that are based on an abuse of the ability to loan money out of thin air. No more debasement of the currency that our elderly on fixed incomes depend on to compensate for the failure of incompetent leadership who would serve the country better if they wore a blue collar and pushed a broom for a while. There’s nothing dishonorable about that. I’m reminded of a quote by Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps I heard yesterday, “Perseverance, determination, commitment, and courage — those things are real. The desire for redemption drives you. And the will to succeed — it’s everything.”

  6. Excellent post. I love the last line for all the politically correct out there. It’s not enough to genuinely feel the right way about an issue you have to change the words to or they get mad.

    I forget from your tapes and speeches I’ve listened to, that you are not a fan of dogmatism and like the contrarian side of things. I like to walk the opposite direction of the crowd as well. I think you can do that as a default with this government and probably never be wrong. Of course that was a dogmatic statement about a contrarian statement- so maybe its OK just this once.

    Ron Paul is the Mr. Goodwrench of the Political world. Peter Schiff is in the Economic world. Seth Godin is in the marketing world. It’s funny all these guys are being vindicated as we speak, but were heretics for years.

    Your blog along with these current events really make me think things through. I just remembered your Dexter Yeager quote “Facts don’t count”.


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