Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tranmission Transition

The Big Three automakers have come back with their best deal. They drove their own vehicles to DC to present it, leaving the corporate jets behind. They want more money than they first asked for, they're willing to give up their salaries at the top, but they're going to cut thousands of jobs.

This isn't working for me.

I got an email from Michael Moore this morning and he's got a much better idea.

Accept, he says, that the car companies will go through whatever money they get and need more. It's logic. No one's going to buy cars anytime soon.

So, instead, stop making cars. Start manufacturing mass transit and electric cars. Retool and create what we're going to buy or need once we come out of this.

How do companies going broke do it? Instead of giving them money, he proposes a government takeover. Buy them. Put capable auto people in charge with marching orders to put that massive manufacturing machine to work making something that will have value in a new economy.

It's brilliant. Keep people working, keep the revenues those plants generate in taxes coming in through some carefully crafted plan - either real tax dollars or credits to state and local governments.

I wrote to the Obama transition team this morning and passed the idea along. And I can't tell you how amazing it feels to be asked what I think by a president-elect, and know he's actually having people reading the responses and making use of them.

Haven't written to the team yet? Go to
They're waiting to hear from you.

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