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.)