A New Detroit

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A New Detroit

This morning I watched the most recent CNN podcast, which contains a segement on the plight of Detroit and the American auto industry. Turns out that if you build gargantuan, fuel guzzling SUV’s whilst your competitors build cheaper, smaller, more economical alternatives then your business model leaves you on the brink of disaster. Who knew?

Aside from Honda, Toyota, and the European arms attached to those Detroit megacorps, I mean?

The end result is that the likes of GM and Ford are calling for the US government to come to their rescue, along with the same kind people who kept George W Bush and his economic policies in power for a second term, back when the banks were giving them enough credit to afford those unnecessary SUV’s.

Talking of elections, what the heck is it with all the self congratulatory pats on the back over electing Obama? What? All of a sudden, electing the correct guy in one out of three attempts is considered a Job well done? Pardon me for thinking that “phew! We finally elected the right guy!” is a more apt reaction than “Whoop! We’re the most forward thinking nation on the planet!”

This is by no means a suggestion that the good folks who didn’t vote for Bush don’t deserve to party. Those people should be commended for not immigrating and leaving the rest of America to it during the last eight years. But I digress.

I just find it incredibly sad to see all these hard working people of Detroit on the brink of ruin due to the poor decisions of those who should be held accountable. They are the ones who will be hit the hardest, while those bonus raking executives will no-doubt land on their diamond slipper-clad feet somewhere else.

I can’t help but wonder if The Old Man from Robocop sort of had it right; “Detroit has a cancer.”

Except in this case it’s not crime that’s the cancer – it’s an auto industry which has failed to evolve. Maybe it is time to let it collapse into the same bottomless pit where all the money has ended up during the boom times?

Part of me would like to see a new breed of car manufacturer emerge from the ashes and bring, say, electric powered cars to the masses while the Japanese are so preoccupied with expensive hybrids. That really would be a New Detroit.