We Have Met The Enemy And He Is Us.......
When Walt Kelly (cartoonist and originator of Pogo) penned those words, he probably didn't intend to see his blackly humorous homily used in the context of the automotive segment. But, given the results of the last six months, the practical illustration of "eating our young" couldn't be any more accurate.
We're in real trouble folks, and our "leaders" appear to be angst-ridden. On one hand, we have senior executives of allegedly responsible public companies, behaving like freshmen on a "lost weekend" (Hey, let's call the AIG guys, and get some chicks!), while on the other, we have those who are supposed to be "representing" us, acting as if they've permanently forgotten their ADD medication. Geez, what a way to run a railroad.
Granted there are challenges - but there are always challenges in life. Unfortunately, at the risk of sounding like Phil Gramm, we have become a "...bunch of whiners." Waaaay back in May 1961, (with a cue to my nieces and nephews, who haven't had an opportunity to learn history, beyond listening to today's tenure-tired, revisionist teachers in school), President John Kennedy committed America to putting a man on the moon by 1971, and the resulting effort did just that - in only eight years, rather then ten. This was before Blackberries, IM, text-messaging, camera-phones, 3d digital modeling, affordable terabyte storage systems, and 4 Ghz CPUs; and those Americans were happy to have 64k worth of RAM, and reel-tape storage drives. Nonetheless, they applied equal parts of vision, grit, and simple ball-busting work, because the need was critical, and the fact at the time was that Americans enjoyed a technical challenge for the pure hell of it, so we got the job done - together.
Today, however, if one can actually get enough Americans together to form a quorum committed to solving the automotive conundrum, (based on what vehicles haven't been offered the American people over the last twenty years), rather than allowing our "leaders" to, instead, create enormous methane-based industries, established on the synthesis of refined Bovine Scatology (that is BS for the faint of heart), we might be able to solve our various problems in our lifetime. But, based on the the near-past, we can't even find the switch, let alone flip it to turn the lights on.
Candidate Obama made significant, and emotional traction, during the election based on the idealism of change, but change alone creates nothing without will, vision, planning, and action. For those of us, who have an interest in seeing a healthy automotive industry again, the clock is ticking loudly. As Americans, we need to be pounding out regular "Come to Jesus" messages to all of the "business-as-usual" men/women in The White House, Congress, the Senate, and in Detroit, when coming elections, and the Federal Auto Restructuring Bill finally come to fruition. Because, change is coming one way or the other and, if Americans don't pay attention, the "new world order" will be nothing more than the re-creation of the "old world order" - only we'll be on foot.