Skip to main content

Automotive Woes

Americans are obsessed with cars. I recently encountered severe rush hour traffic outside of Cleveland, and couldn’t help but observe the behavior of other drivers trying to make their way down the busy interstate. There were as many different types of people out there as you could imagine: white, black, Asian, male, female, etc. The only thing that most drivers had in common was that they were the only person sitting in the car. Even with gas prices now flirting with $3 per gallon, the American ego is too big to stop people from giving up their very own car. What won’t be changed anytime in the future is America’s fixation with cars; what can be changed is the type of cars that we drive.

For many years, liberals followed the simple axiom: buy American. Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler manufactured their cars in American cities like Detroit, Flint and Pontiac and employed unionized labor. American auto employees earned high wages and received good benefits. Choosing a new car was a no-brainer for a liberal who cared about the well being of autoworkers and economic progress of Midwestern manufacturing cities. Unfortunately, this logic is stuck in the past. Now, buy American can’t be considered as much of a truism. Companies like Honda and Toyota are opening manufacturing plants all over America. Soon, the state of Ohio could become home to more auto manufacturing jobs than any other state in the union, thanks to foreign car companies. In rust belt states struggling from the recent loss of manufacturing jobs, these companies might be the savior unemployed skilled workers are looking for.

Liberals don’t only care about American jobs, they’re seriously concerned with the environment. As global warming becomes more and more of a concern and widely accepted as a problem facing society, liberals are pushing auto companies to develop cars that use less fuel and even alternate fuels. American car companies have fallen far behind in this regard. Liberals want to see more hybrid and compact vehicles on the road. Currently, Honda and Toyota offer numerous models of compact hybrid vehicles. Ford and GM offer none. Toyota focuses on fuel efficient cars like Corolla and Echo/Yaris while GM focuses on monsters like the Hummer. Many of the financial problems facing Ford and Toyota can be attributed to their inability to produce anything other than gas guzzling SUVs and pickup trucks that once brought them great profits.

Ultimately, liberals now face a difficult decision when it comes to selecting which car to take to the road. Why buy an Ford or GM vehicle when you can get a Toyota Prius or a Honda Civic hybrid? Both the Honda and Toyota are manufactured right here in the Midwest and are more environmentally sound than a comparable Ford or GM sedan. Ford and GM need to give liberals and Americans in general a better reason to purchase their vehicles. We can’t eliminate cars from the road, but we can make the cars we drive more environmentally sound, and right now it looks like foreign car companies are the only ones concerned with making that happen.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

In Praise of Southwest's 'C' Boarding Group

A few weeks ago I saw a tweet from someone complaining that their Southwest Airlines boarding pass had been assigned A20 (meaning they would be at least one of the first twenty passengers to board the plane). Apparently this person though they should have been assigned a higher number, less their flight experience be considerably spoiled.

Despite the complaints, Southwest has resisted demands to assign seats on its flights, a decision which I personally applaud. I'll admit that I was skeptical when they rolled out the newest boarding procedure, assigning both boarding groups and a line number; but in hindsight it seems like one of the best operational decisions they've ever made. If nothing else, it effectively eliminated the infamous "cattle call" whereby fliers were getting to airports hours in advance and sitting in line on the floor as if they were waiting for the midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie.

When I was an intern at Southwest Airlines last winter, I…

So You Want to be a Southwest Airlines Intern?

My personal website must have pretty decent SEO - because in the past year, I've received about two dozen emails from aspiring Southwest Airlines interns looking to draw on my experience in search of their own dream internship. In the past two weeks alone a few new emails have already started rolling in...

(from flickr user San Diego Shooter)

If you've found your way here, you might be hoping for the silver bullet; a secret tip that will propel you above the competition. Unfortunately, I do not know any inside secrets. I can only share my experience as an internship candidate about two years ago and, rather than responding individually to future emails I anticipate to receive, I hope that potential interns will find the information posted here valuable.

Understand: Southwest Airlines is a very unique company. The corporate culture at Southwest is truly unlike that of nearly every other company. But you probably already knew that, since it now seems mandatory for every management,…

Mixing Sports and Business

In the last two days I've devoured every article in the Washington Post about the Nationals painful and epic defeat on Friday night in the NLDS. It was a tough way to see the season end, there's no doubt about that.

(from wallyg on Flickr)
These articles make it clear that there are a lot of people emotionally invested in professional sports. I think they sometimes they forget that, ultimately, Major League Baseball is big business. Each team is a major corporation and the league itself is an organization governed by a bunch of executives. The television networks that show the games are under contract with the team owners and the games aren't usually available to those without cable.

This is why it can be so hard to be a fan in this game. It's the multi-millionaire and billionaire owners that call most of the shots. They get to decide how much they're willing to spend on players. They get to decide who to hire as the CEO of the company. They get to decide how much t…