1. My Japanese fabric is in customs in San Fransisco. I hope it’s not stuck.
2.I’ve been fresh out of political outrage (burned out, rather) and haven’t been paying much attention to the economy or the bailouts or the First Puppy. But I read a post that changed my mind about whether we should give automakers any part of that huge aid package: I thought those greedy fat cats could wither and die but this made me realize that there are people behind the fat cats, and abandoned machine shops, and that it all ties in with my own ethos of “create something.” So here: Don’t let them die. (It’s long, but good. There are pictures, too!)
3. Mr. Isbell announced this morning, “If Toby did work for free, it would be Tobono.”
No worries! I agree.
The last bit of the post sums it up for me:
“If we’re going to spend $700 billion to bail out those greedy firms who successfully used chicanery for years to manufacture an economy built of lies, shouldn’t we also spend $25 billion to save one of the few remaining industries that actually design, engineer, and manufacture something real and necessary in this country?”
(Also, “chicanery” is a good word. It should get used more.)
First, Tobono made me smile. That’s a good one. 🙂
More seriously, the car industry bail-out… that’s a tough one.
On the one hand, my family has a long history of extreme loyalty to the American car industry. My grandfather owned a Ford dealership for years. My uncle was a service-station owner and manager back in the days when you really did get service at the station, instead of just gas and soda refills. And my dad is an old-skool hot-rodder and professional mechanic. I grew up revering the name of Ford, and I watched my dad struggle through a major paradigm shift when Japanese and German cars began to surpass American ones in terms of quality and sales. American cars are in my blood, you might say.
In addition, I also have a very hard time letting go of traditional things, things I grew up with. In that sense, I am quite conservative, and I don’t want one of our major home-grown industries to vanish. Not to mention that it would be just one more category of things that we no longer build for ourselves. It concerns me deeply that we Americans no longer produce most of what we consume.
That said, there’s no question that the Big Three are dinosaurs headed by overpaid executives and stockholders. They’re in this mess because their business practices put them there. and they’ve spent years selling us crap and wondering why we don’t like it. (Part of my dad’s paradigm shift — and my own, as a result of his — was acknowledging that Fords were no longer built with an eye toward innovation or quality control.)
However… the big factor is the number of people who work for the auto makers and the related industries. If you let them die, a whole bunch of other businesses die, too, and hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs. The damage to our economy would be astronomical; if we’re not in Depression 2.0 now, we surely would be after the auto industry folds. And that’s pretty damn scary…
Sorry to go on so long, but I’m a bit emotional about this issue.