However you may personally feel about Michael Moore, of Roger and Me fame, his blog post yesterday made total sense to me. General Motors is bankrupt, now mostly owned by the US government, requiring at least another 30 billion dollars of taxpayer money. So why not take this lemon and turn it into lemonade?
The last thing we need this company to do is to provide the types of vehicles they provided in the past. The invention of "planned obsolescence" started with GM. In it's arrogance, it built cars that would fall apart after a few years, so people would have to buy new ones. It fought all attempts at environmentally safe vehicles, instead shipping thousands of jobs out of the country to Mexico and other countries at the height of record profits during the 1980's. But what is done is done. Now what?
Here is the good part.
Moore suggests converting our industrial infrastructure at GM to produce 21st-century modes of transportation. This was done during WWII in no time at all. The conversion could start right now. Putting our skilled labor force to work making the following:
- Bullet Trains - Japan has had them for 45 years. We still do not have one! Average speed is 165 mph, average late time is 30 seconds. They have the capacity to go from New York to LA in 17 hours, Chicago to Detroit in less than 2 hours, Miami to DC in under 7 hours, Denver to Dallas in 5.5 hours.
- Light Rail - Factories could be producing these immediately. Have local people working on the lines and infrastructure, training to run the system, in every large to medium city in the US.
- Clean energy-efficient Buses - For small cities an infrastructure of these vehicles.
- Electric or Hybrid Cars - A few factories to produce cars of the future as we wean ourselves from the combustion engine. If everyone is driving small energy-efficient vehicles - the need for bigger to be safer becomes less of an issue.
- Wind Mills and Solar Panels - Thousands of solar panels are needed right now.
What do you think?
BTW - Send comments to the White House this way: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/