I am sorry for continuing a rant here. The heads of the auto companies are driving nine hours to Washington for their bailout pleas; I am sure many would rather see them crawl. I am not a cheerleader for General Motors and the Detroit auto industry, and think cars are a menace. However one cannot, as so many of the commenters in my earlier post did, just say that GM was stupid and Toyota was smart, and that the American car industry should roll over and die and make room for those innovative Japanese and German car makers. Look at the numbers. What is the worst performing car (in sales) in America in November? The Prius. What is Ford's best performing vehicle? The F-150 truck.
Ford is in the process of hiring back workers to make the F-150 because demand is so strong. My point is this: The only way to wean America off big cars and trucks and into cars like the Europeans and Japanese drive is to price gas the way the Europeans price gas- with a big fat tax to make it four or six bucks a gallon. Then we will see viable alternatives, investment in cycling and transit infrastructure, and very efficient little cars.
Jay Leno got this one right:
Well, it looks like the government is going to bail out Citigroup, yet they don’t want to bail out the auto companies. See, I don’t think this is fair. I mean, blue collar guys who make our cars, they don’t get the bailout. But the white collar guys on Wall Street, they get the bailout. You know what I think we should do? I think they should work together. I think the guys in Detroit should keep making the cars, and the guys on Wall Street should be making the license plates.
UPDATE: Hybrid Car Review thinks I am full of it and makes some good points.
Graphs from New York Times
More on Detroit and the Bailout
Tom Friedman Can't Make Up His Mind
The US Should Be Denmark: Tom Friedman on Greening the Economy