The conservatives would love to see the "Big Three"- go belly up. They are willing to tolerate an America without an essential engine building industry in order to bust their arch-antagonist; big labor. They prefer communist, coolie-built cars to anything with a union label.
The liberals want to throw money at the problem. To cover their butts, just in case some constituent might notice that our Detroit automakers do not have the capacity to pay back these "loans"-, they will stick their thoroughly incompetent noses into the business of designing, manufacturing and marketing automobiles in order to create a patina of responsibility.
"-.hey buddy have you seen the latest Volga"-..how about that sharp Mao ragtop"-
Not every American accepts this graphic choice. There may even be some responsible politicians with ideas that depart from party discipline. Among free and independent Americans, surely there exists a better idea.
The real issue is how to sustain production, keep the line moving, and return these companies to profitability through sales. Neither destroying unions nor subsidizing the production of silly cars will achieve that end.
Being neither a politician, nor an automaker, but simply a patriotic American that understands we must retain this vital industrial capacity, and does not like politicians throwing good money after bad, I have tried to think of ways in which we can kick-start GM, Chrysler, and Ford.
Several things are missing from our public dialogue. In my parent's day there was a sense of everyone chipping in, the collecting of scrap, and the planting of "victory"- gardens. From my own generation, I miss what has been buried by revisionists, that sense that made demonstrations and rallies so upbeat.
A "can do"- attitude, and our sense of fun, distinguishes the American "exceptionality"-.
How do we all get together, have some good old fashioned all- American fun, and at the same time bail-out the auto industry?
We need to start giving away cars and light trucks. We need a national auto lottery.
This is something we can all get behind- a patriotic happening. We can do something to save our auto industry, while at the same time keeping big government out of the picture.
Due to credit restrictions, and economic conditions, we are unable to buy enough of these products to turn Detroit around, but we certainly all have a few bucks to buy a raffle ticket.
We should start small; one hundred thousand units would be sufficient to get the program off the line. While details are always best left to apparatchiks, the program would follow these broad outlines.
America's wealthiest individuals, foundations and profitable companies would chip in the moolahs for purchasing the test batch. While this may delay the deployment of mosquito nets and condoms around the world for a few weeks, the face time afforded to the rich and famous would more than compensate them. If we restrict the program to the types of vehicles our folks really need, the unit cost should not average more than 20K. The whole thing could be done for two billion dollars. While this sum may seem enormous to the average American, to the whole of the very wealthy, it is only pin money. There are many individuals who could swing it themselves, so that when we look at the entire moneyed class we see that it represents a mere pittance.
Each individual unit would be raffled off by individual charitable and community organizations. For example, if one of America's greatest sales organizations, the Girl Scouts, were involved, they alone could move thousands of cars. Such organizations: churches, guilds, leagues, and societies, could all sell national auto-lottery tickets. If they are large enough, they could easily sell many thousands of tickets solely within their congregations and membership. How many of us work on a campus where there are many thousands of employees? How many of them would chip in a dollar or two for a good cause, and a chance for a free car?