Thursday, November 20, 2008

This is not my first economic crisis. It probably won't be my last. On my list of dubious accomplishments are brief careers as an Autoworker and a Steelworker. I could care less about investment bankers. I don't care much about automobile company executives either. I do care about the few remaining American manufacturing workers.

I've signed the online petitions and sent emails to my elected officials, yawn. I want some of this bailout money to go to the auto industry. Failing a better plan, it seems like an idea worth trying.

However, Carl Bloice at The Black Commentator might just have a better plan: "Nationalize the industry." I like it.

Here's part of what he suggests:

"The potential devastation of bankruptcies in any part of the auto industry is being understated. There are a couple of million retired autoworkers whose pensions and health care coverage are at stake. Many of them have yet to reach the age for receiving Social Security and yet would be severely disadvantaged in today’s labor market. Then there are the millions employed in auxiliary services dependent on auto making.

We could simply takeover the industry with the understanding that thousands of engineers and technicians would be mobilized to design and make functional and efficient “green” cars. And, tens of thousands of auto workers could be put to work building them. Of course, this would not employ all of those about to be laid off. They could be retrained to work in other new green industries, building wind turbines, solar panels, mass transit lines and recycling factories. It would provide jobs for hundreds of thousands and provide new hope for young people entering the workforce in Michigan, Kentucky and elsewhere."

Makes some kind of sense to me.
Destruction Of A Good Town - Par Five


Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Damn but don't you Americans go all into a socialist tizzy when the thin brew of capitalism you all drink down there has lost its fizz. Up here the forest industry, which has been having a Hell of a time paddling up Shit Creek lately, is wondering why the auto industry deserves to be propped up when everybody else is dropping like flies in October.

Jon said...

Hasn't Canada been propping up the fishing industry for about a hundred years? And, for that matter, haven't they been propping up the whole of Newfoundland for a few decades? You and your socialistic healthcare. Government bureaucrats make you go for colonoscopies at gun point and you like it that way. Damn that sounds good. Maybe not the colonoscopies, but, you know...

I don't know what to tell you Beer. Here in California, the forestry industry collapsed because there weren't any more trees to cut down. They were cut down, as best as I can understand it, to pay for the last economic collapse, back in the '80's.

I feel like some antiquated Kentucky poet, complete with leather patches on the elbows of my tweed coat, but I think that it is worthwhile to have a body of people who have actually made something. Somehow, a society where 90% of us cook for and clean up after the other 10% doesn't make that much sense. Especially if the 10% seem to earn their living massaging keyboards and reassuring one another that "It's all very complex." Even worse now that the 10% is finding that it's services are no longer needed.

And by the way, "Thin brew of capitalism"? Down here our capitalism is thick enough to stand a spoon in and strong enough to melt the spoon. If you were on the American branch of Shit Creek you would have had your paddles privatized.

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