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045 Save the Horse and Buggy 2009-02-16

auto dealers

It’s been a few weeks since I last complained about the auto industry. But, the political pundits are still exclaiming the necessity of saving the big three auto makers, and I am once again compelled to write.

If we save the auto industry what are we saving?

Manufacturing Base - we need to be independent of other countries. We need "Made in America" products. In case of war with other countries or lack of stability of other countries then we need automobiles made in America. In our global economy I do not feel the case is still viable, hardly anything is made in just one country. Even the cottage industries in third world nations using their native resources for goods are still using packaging, shipping, and merchandising from other countries.

Jobs - everyone needs a job, in fact at times I think I should have one; but if the government is giving the auto workers money so the workers will have jobs... why not just give them unemployment benefits? The reasons the big three are in trouble: 1) Americans finally came to their senses and saw the auto plants were not making what they wanted to buy. 2) The economy or lack thereof, which by the way is partly fueled by the fact that the automakers are not making what the people want. Buyers are not buying. Money given to the big three is only pouring gas on the fire, it will only hasten the chemical reaction of changing the wood to ash. The jobs will not remain after the governments quits giving. In fact I just read GM was planning on cutting 47,000 jobs! How can that be? The job losses were with the government loans. Without the loans they would be???

Tradition - though possibly fading many Americans will only buy from the Big Three because it is buying American. With the global economy what is buying American? If you buy a Nissan that is built in America using mostly parts that are made in America, is that not buying American? Or is it better to buy from the auto giant whose major stockholders are foreign and whose parts mainly are imported from the global economy?

Is it time to save the "Made in America" automobile? Or is it time to allow capitalism’s evolution to run it’s course? The problem isn’t whether the car makers can make a car or not, a bigger question is does the consumer want the gas burning pollution machine the auto makers are trying to make?

I believe 2008 was the end of an era. The automobile has peaked and is on it’s way to extinction. New companies and technologies are bringing the future to the world in greener safer vehicles. We don’t need to save the car industry anymore than the car industry needed to save the horse and buggy. The world is changing. Get on the bus or stand on the curb and watch it pass you by.



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