World peace, the economy, and our environment can all be solved by one bold initiative. Be the first nation to produce gas-free cars that are both fun and economical to drive. Detroit is the lightning rod that can fix all of the ills the United States has been suffering through for the past few decades. The last triumph we had was in August 1969 when we landed on the moon.
We don't need a ten-pronged plan that accomplishes nothing. We need to focus and make a commitment to one initiative that will bring several others along with it. Don't "save" Detroit.
Keeping Detroit on life support is depressing and almost un-American. We need a bold proclamation like JKF made in the early 60s that we would have a man on the moon within the decade. This country needs talented resources outside the auto industry to find a way to fix it, similar to the team Washington assembled in Los Alamos to develop the Manhattan Project. This "American Dream Team" needs to be able to say with certain that there will be no gas consumption in America by 2016, the end of President Obama's second term.
Plant a stake in the ground and go after it with all the resources we can muster.
Three reasons why this is the right way to go:
1. Peace: Oil fuels the Middle East regimes; without it they will starve and so will the terrorism that they fund. Take a page from the cold war and destroy your enemies from the inside out, not head-on.
2. Economy: Small steps won't work. Where we are headed now is to
end up with a bunch of prius knock-offs that masquerade as "progress." We need to leap-frog this entire generation of "light green" auto technology and just go for the jugular, completely gas-free cars and an infrastructure that supports these technologies.
3. Environment: America would become the defacto world leader in green technology, and as that technology circled the globe the Detroit brand, as well as the American brand would experience a complete resurgence.
We should be giving the auto workers stock in the companies to compensate for the concessions they will have to make in the next few years to "keep the lights on.." that is more American than things like "bail-outs" and "saving" the auto industry.
The American auto industry should not be compared to the foreign car brands operating in the United States. Pay American auto workers a bit less but with skin in the game so that they benefit more than comparable workers with success, but get a worse deal if Detroit fails.
Sound familiar? That's because it's a concept you might recognize, it's called "American". By the way, this initiative would cost a lot more than the 30 billion being talked about, but no one would be complaining. It's not what it costs that boils our blood, but what we will or won't accomplish and how it makes us feel. Going to the moon wasn't cheap either, but did anyone complain about that?
Forget phrases like "bail out" and "saving the auto industry." This is offensive, not defensive. Most importantly, we need bold American vision.
The Manhattan Project.
A man on the moon.
A gas-free auto industry.
This "chrome bullet" hits three targets simultaneously, the middle east, the economy, and global warming.
Not just "change" President Obama, transformation.