Friday, November 28, 2008

Amerirail. United Subway of America. Underground Railroad?

I will readily and easily admit that the economy is not my strong point. I learned the words "progressive tax" and "flat tax" my senior year of high school and that's about the extent of my knowledge. So when the debate over what to do with the Big 3 auto industries, I listened, but there wasn't a whole lot of chiming in that I was capable of.

Letting them fail doesn't sound like a good idea. Putting millions of people out of their jobs probably won't help the economic crisis any.

I only somewhat like the idea that we're working on now, which is they come up with their own plan for fixing the company before the government gives them anything. What it sounds like people want from this is for the auto companies to say, "Hey, ya know what guys? We've been building SUVs for too long. How about we work on those Hybrid doodads?" The problem with this is that (for reasons lost on me, but seem easy enough to work backwards on) the Hybrid deal isn't good on the money. (Right? If it was, they would have been building those a long time ago.) So if building more financially conservative vehicles wasn't on the books back when they were making money, it seems impossible to ask them to do it now when they're losing money.

At least, that is what my economically limited brain is telling me.

This morning, however, I heard a good idea from cartoonist Keith Knight. He talks about a lot of things in his latest cartoon (notice how he barely draws anything) but one of the ideas he touches upon is a national railway system. A counterargument I can think to that is Americans don't really want to give up driving, not even the littlest of bits. The counter-counterargument to that is that Americans should probably suck it up if we're losing so much money.
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