Keith Crain couldn't have hit it more squarely. His Aug. 9 column ("What happened to partnership?) is excellent.
Here's an anecdote: I used to know a guy who fabricated and supplied instrument panels and armrests to one of the Big 3.
He once showed me his r&d room and pointed out that his guys were trying to figure out a more efficient way to build and improve on the Ford spec for some piece of the panel work.
I asked him whether Ford paid him to do the r&d, and he said, "Heck no. They know me, and when I bring them an improvement that they like, they renew my contract."
That was about 30 years ago.
How times have changed! Today, they'd probably ask for blueprints so they could have his competitors bid against him on something that he designed and spec'd.