Nowe Bruce Is a Funny Guy ….most of the stuff he sends me is ….well …Not rated G… BUT Being he was involved in the Auto Industry, AND this, in My opinion is not so much Political, But More “ABOUT AMERICA” . It effects us all so heres what he sent:
This letter from ex-Ford spokesman Jason Vines, found at http://www.autoextremist.com, was too good not to share.
Katrina on Wheels…This Week’s “Last Word” from Jason Vines.
We may never know the financial burden of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans directly and to other Americans indirectly. Some have pegged it at between 200 and 300 billion dollars. While we cannot stop hurricanes, almost everyone now agrees that more and better “things” should have been done prior to the storm and certainly in the days and weeks after the disaster.
What would those “things” have cost? Let’s take a wild guess and say 100 billion dollars or half of what eventually was spent in a totally reactionary mode. Would we have spent it in advance? I believe the answer is yes and if that is the case, we have another disaster headed to our shores that will prove considerably more costly in a financial sense and impact far more communities than did Katrina. Like Katrina, we know this storm is coming and the question is do we do so me thing preemptive or in reaction to the disas ter.
Unless the Federal Government comes to the aid of the U.S. auto manufacturers, the waves from the failure of these large employers and the core of our manufacturing base, will take a large and destructive path across America.
The U.S. auto makers are on the verge of collapse. When our economy, and other economies around the world recover and they will, someday there will still be millions of people who want and need new vehicles every year. Is it important that U.S. auto manufacturers are a part of that market? Yes for historical, contemporary and future reasons.
General Motors and Ford, both 100 plus years old, along with Chrysler, helped establish what sets America apart as the greatest nation on earth our strong middle class. The late historian Daniel Boorstein called the car the “great equalizer” of the 20th Century for Americans. It gave all of us mobility and an ability to further prosper.
When the world was threatened by Nazi tyranny and Japanese aggression in World War II, it was the U.S. auto manufacturers that turned their car factories into the Arsenal of Democracy. Without their support, well, it really is unthinkable to imagine where we — Americans, French, Brits and, yes, Germans and Japanese — would be today as a freedom loving people.
The demise of America’s car companies, woefully short on cash as we speak, means the loss of millions of jobs directly from the assembly plant worker to the secretary to the dealership mechanic and indirectly from waitresses at local restaurants, to store owners, etc. It means not just a ripple effect through the economy, but a potential tsunami.
In 1994, while I worked for the then-American Automobile Manufacturers Association and its president Andrew Card, we embarked on a study of the true value of America’s car companies to our economy. Our study found that the U.S. auto companies ac counted for one o f every 13 jobs in this country. I have seen new studies today that state the number at one in ten. That is an enormous figure and a key reason why all other major industrial countries that have an auto industry cherish and support it. That is also the reason that emerging markets put a lot of stock into developing a vibrant auto industry. Just look at China and Korea of late.
If you want to see a region that has shut down its manufacturing base and is left with a services-based economy, look no further than the United Kingdom. It isn’t pretty.
Jobs don’t tell the whole story though. Hundreds, if not thousands, of communities across our country depend heavily on the auto plants and the auto supplier plants. The semiconductor and other parts of the computer industry enjoy these U.S. car companies and their suppliers as some of their best customers, as do steel companies, glass companies, plastics companies and chemical companies. All of these communiti es that depend o n the auto industry and its partners will be devastated. Community charities, school programs, sports programs will be hit hard when that local go-to car dealer can’t support the Little League or Girl Scouts or the breast cancer walkathon.
You say they’ve got it coming, right? They got themselves into this mess you know! How so? They supported communities with jobs and taxes. They provided employees and retirees with good wages and benefits for all their hard work. They provided excellent health care and pensions while their foreign counterparts (read the “smarter car companies”) didn’t have to worry about this as their federal governments paid for these benefits through higher taxes on all citizens. And when recent times got more difficult, all of America’s car companies restructured with their union partners to limit benefits for employees and retirees for the good of the companies.
They should have seen this co ming you say? Seen what? Gas jumping up to more than four bucks a gallon? No, they didn’t see that, but neither did Toyota and Japan Inc. as they sold larger vehicles in the U.S. market into segments once dominated by Detroit automakers and are too paying for this bad bet today.
They didn’t care about the environment? Really? Unquestionably, the most significant anti-pollution device in the history of the automobile industry (maybe all industries) is the catalytic converter. All automakers use one in every car or truck. So which Japanese or German company invented it? None, it was General Motors. And if you want to talk about clean manufacturing, America’s car companies have facilities where the air and water that leaves the factory is cleaner than when it first came in.
The Detroit automakers don’t care about fuel economy. Really? Get the facts. In the segments in which they compete, General Motors and Ford products in particular rate at or near the top in every on e of them.
Insurance giant AIG’s b ailout has now grown to 150 billion dollars and Washington and New York didn’t bat an eye. Meanwhile, America’s car companies literally have to beg for a sum far south of those numbers.
And so, we see this storm getting closer by the day. The question is: do we do something about it before it hits the shores and devastates communities across our land; or do we say let ’em go broke and hope for the best. Ask the people of New Orleans what they wish had been done before the storm struck.