Politics & Media
Nov 21, 2008, 08:31AM

Michigan's Future

A short essay that neatly sums up the various forces inside and outside the failing auto industry's plea for help.

Not a lot of hope, here:

The CEOs endured the insults of dim bulbs from Texas, congressmen who seemed blissfully unaware that taking General Motors down would cost their districts jobs, too, even if there isn’t a single auto plant in them. The auto barons know that, of course.

They did their logical, clerical and bureaucratic best to make their cases. Yet they didn’t seem to understand what they needed to do. They needed, deeply and desperately needed, to be Lee Iacocca, or something very like him. They needed a gruff, tire-squealing, one hundred percent American folk hero.

They needed to say “look, damn it, we’re all in this together. Detroit put this country on wheels and made all our lives possible. We built the trucks and tanks and Jeeps that won World War II.”

“We’ve made some stupid mistakes that we could kick ourselves for. But we’re Americans, and we’ve learned from them.”


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