Bailout? Detroit Needs a Brain

US auto industry needs to re-learn how to innovate; Mich. lawmakers not immune, either
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2008 10:28 AM CST
Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., is "more responsible for protecting Detroit to death than any single legislator," according to Thomas Friedman.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The appalling prospect of a $25 billion bailout for Detroit automakers—“ an industry that became brain dead”—has Thomas Friedman, writing in the New York Times, outraged. He blasts “a very un-innovative business culture, visionless management, and overly generous labor contracts” for the mess, and heaps blame on Michigan’s congressional delegation, for voting “however the Detroit automakers and unions instructed them to vote.”

The Big Three got away with ignoring pesky fuel efficiency standards, environmental concerns, and global competition that might have forced them to adapt. If US taxpayers must help them, fire all their executives. “Call Steve Jobs, who doesn’t need to be bribed to do innovation,” Friedman writes, “and ask him if he’d like to run a car company.”