Monday, May 25, 2009

Put GM to Good Use

Now that General Motors has successfully hidden under the protection of Chapter 11, closed thousands of its dealerships and laid off tens of thousands of it loyal employees, it is high time we make them accountable to their new owners - us! If the car companies have any future at all, it should be based on making products we urgently need - starting with public transit. Let the car era wind down gracefully. I project that the program to offer "cash for clunkers" will have a negligible effect on domestic car sales and even less impact on our national carbon emissions.

It is becoming ever clearer that the "Happy Motoring" era is over and we need to rapidly devote our remaining resources to re-localization, walkable communities, and public transit. It obviously requires a very drastic revision of our current collective self-image, of what we aspire to and who we are.

Instead of spending tens of billions of hard-to-justify dollars studying how to implement a high-speed railroad system, the most intelligent choice for us is to fix the existing passenger railroad lines and start cranking out ultra modern passenger cars that will be a joy to ride. We need to prioritize the highway maintenance agenda. Since we will not be able to afford to repave the whole existing system -- and let other nations meet our diminishing demand for cars in the USA.

No comments: