...someone in the mobility business in Denmark and Tel Aviv is already developing a real-world alternative to Detroit’s business model. I don’t know if this alternative to gasoline-powered cars will work, but I do know that it can be done — and Detroit isn’t doing it. And therefore it will be done, and eventually, I bet, it will be done profitably. And when it is, our bailout of Detroit will be remembered as the equivalent of pouring billions of dollars of taxpayer money into the mail-order-catalogue business on the eve of the birth of eBay. It will be remembered as pouring billions of dollars into the CD music business on the eve of the birth of the iPod and iTunes. It will be remembered as pouring billions of dollars into a book-store chain on the eve of the birth of Amazon.com and the Kindle. It will be remembered as pouring billions of dollars into improving typewriters on the eve of the birth of the PC and the Internet.Frankly the whole idea of a "car czar" leaves me a little sick. Remember how well the other czars did? The energy czar? The counterterrorism czar? The Romanovs? Beyond the appeal for some that they can grab short-term power, I can't see why anyone would want to take that path.
10 December, 2008
Friedman gets it right
Tom Friedman has his good days and his bad days. Today's column in the Times is one of the good days. A gem from around the middle of a discussion of the auto "bailout/reorganiztion":