Detroit on bended knee

In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else.

--Lee Iacocca,

It should shock no one that Detroit's Big Three automakers along with the UAW are beseeching Washington for some kind of emergeny financial aid. After all, the titans of the auto industry need only point to the unprecedented rescue package put together by Treasury Secretary Paulson and Congress to stave off the collapse of Wall Street as a justifiable precedent for their request.

According to a report in The New York Times , Rick Wagoner, chairman of General Motors; Alan R. Mulally, chief executive of Ford; Robert L. Nardelli, chairman of Chrysler; and Ron Gettelfinger, president of the UAW, will meet today with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as well as "legislators from states with heavy automotive employment."

The sit-down comes on the heels of the Dept. of Energy's annoucement late yesterday that automakers would be able to apply as soon as next week for $25 billion in low-interest loans to develop more fuel-efficient vehicles. But, pointed out the Times report, "that loan program seemed unlikely to meet their needs, and some of the money could go to Asian carmakers with plants in this country."


Something to be proud of made in the USA: 1963 Oldsmobile 98

I have no idea what Madame Speaker will or won't promise Detroit let alone what Congress can ultimately deliver given the firestorm of constituent protest many House members had to run through in order to vote "yes" on the Wall Street bailout.

On the other hand, I can't see how politically astute it would be for any officeholder to let Detroit sink and take with it not only countless jobs, but also over a hundred years of American prowess as one of the foremost-- if not the greatest-- producer of the horseless carriage.