The government is playing a game of hangman with the auto industry, which, only using the two words ‘cars’ and ‘economy’, is missing a couple of important letters.
It’s not a game really. But the word they come up with is the key. Because what’s happening is that the auto industry will not return to what it was, and I can’t say whether this is objectively good or bad – the livelihoods of millions of people are at stake and will change because of it. I can say that the industry and its products were objectively unsustainable, never geared toward lasting, if you will. The term Rustbelt was earned, obviously.
What will it all change to? Many, smaller ventures, likely, but when you expand the word list to include fortune and manufacturing, the people at stake might be able to actually avoid completing the figure on the gallows.
The situation should make us (we seem to only respond to force) begin to think about post-industrialization in a different way perhaps, and not just in terms of a service industry where we make money from money but no longer make any thing. We will continue to need many things, primarily food and but also jobs, for people. How do you create jobs for people? How do you make food? Where did all the people who made the cars come from?
On a very related point, conservatives scream socialism! so often and so loudly that they don’t even see when something really is socialism, like the president firing the CEO of a major corporation and ordering another to sell itself. Another pitfall of a discourse littered with chickenlittle-type hyperbole. The timing couldn’t be better for this short-term policy solution. When they might reasonably object to something, the moral authority has been used up in petty political slander. A self-neutralizing opposition is good for President Obama, but I trust they wisen up. There will be need to be smart, effective opposition, eventually.