“Bailing out GM” isn’t the answer. Transforming the auto industry is.
You know the adage about teaching a man to fish. It’s time to teach GM how to compete.
I believe that GM is building the best vehicles it’s built in the last 40 years right now- and that it can be competitive, but here are the things the Government could do to really solve the problems.
- National health care will cut the high costs of funding the premium policies that GM and other auto makers have had to pay for years. This will help level the playing field considerably.
- Pay cuts. Go back 50 years when GM owned the market. Look at the ratio between the lowest paid workers and the highest paid workers. Reinstall that ratio. You want to make millions at GM while losing market share- take it private. Chrysler tried- and they are in the same boat.
- Offer large tax incentives and zero percent financing on all personal vehicles that get over 35mpg. The only way to cut our dependence on foreign oil is to cut consumption.
- Put a tax penalty on all personal vehicles driven over 12,000 miles per year that get less than 25mpg.
- Require all vehicles to be inspected annually. In Ohio we allow cars on the road that aren’t road worthy. They cause more accidents, add more pollution, and don’t help stimulate the economy. You can’t drive a car in Massachusetts that has rust on it. In Ohio, you don’t have to have fenders or a windshield.
- Provide incentives for cars that have over 65% American built content. If you want to create jobs and stimulate our economy, we still need jobs that actually make things.
- Encourage scooters and motorcycles which are much more fuel efficient. It’s time to get serious about cutting fossil fuel consumption. Instead of trying to rush into electric vehicles, moving Americans onto scooters and motorcycles can make an immediate impact. Encourage auto companies to transform obsolete truck and SUV plants into making scooters. If we could start making B-17’s for WWII in less than 6 months, we ought to be able to do the same now- only faster.
GM’s financial mess is just a symptom of an addiction to oil. Let’s cure the disease, not treat the symptom.
Gas prices will rise. That’s a guarantee.
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I read somewhere that AutoZone is worth more than GM and Ford combined.
I agree whole heartedly with you David. The old habit is dying hard.
I promise you that if GM made an affordable 40 plus MPG car, it’d sell.
I think that nationalizing health care is the most important item on this list. Not only will it help big companies like GM, it’s also the best possible way to support existing small businesses and entrepreneurs who’d like to start one. And that’s before thinking about how much additional overseas investment it’ll spawn, as the lack of national health insurance makes an investment in America worth much less than an investment in other First World nations.
Does anyone know how many MPG the Smart car gets?
@Jane: 33/41 (EPA 2008)
Tax penalty, What ! You have to be kidding me, gas is a commodity if I can afford it I should be able to purchase it just like anyone else.
I do like your points on Health care, pay cut ratio and inspections. I noticed less “Junk” driving around when gas is $3.50 a gallon, if you can’t afford gas I bet you can’t afford insurance. Inspections would also help keep the “junk” off of the roads and reduce the amount of fuel consumed.