Detroit Bailout Is Key Opportunity for US Economy

Bankruptcy spells disaster; loan would speed green progress
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Nov 17, 2008 12:58 PM CST
General Motors Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner unveils the E-Flex Fuel Cell variant for the Chevrolet Volt at the Shanghai Auto Show, April 20, 2007.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Letting one—or more—of the Big Three automakers slip into bankruptcy could push the US economy into depression and would imperil millions of jobs tied to the industry, writes Jeffrey D. Sachs in the Washington Post. Instead, the government should bail out the industry, taking the lead in positioning it as a high-tech leader producing 100-mile-per-gallon vehicles.

With new hybrids poised to debut, US automakers already are retooling themselves for development of energy-friendly cars, Sachs writes. “We face an unprecedented financial calamity, energy crisis and environmental threat,” says Sachs, urging the feds’ help in securing credit to keep Detroit afloat. “A vibrant, growing US automobile industry should play an essential role in solving all three.” (Read more financial crisis stories.)