Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How Can You Be So Obtuse, Detroit?

Thomas Friedman recalls being flabbergasted at our American car manufacturers' shortsightedness:

Last September, I was in a hotel room watching CNBC early one morning. They were interviewing Bob Nardelli, the C.E.O. of Chrysler, and he was explaining why the auto industry, at that time, needed $25 billion in loan guarantees. It wasn’t a bailout, he said. It was a way to enable the car companies to retool for innovation. I could not help but shout back at the TV screen: “We have to subsidize Detroit so that it will innovate? What business were you people in other than innovation?” If we give you another $25 billion, will you also do accounting?

My head thinks we should refuse government life support to Detroit and its antiquated business model. My heart worries about the workers left behind when the Motor City crumbles.

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