The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, April 21, 2005

News grim for Ford as well as GM-- and a modest proposal

The story above is from the BBC: Ford announces that its first quarter profits fell 40% this year, just a week after GM announced a loss of over a billion dollars.

Here's my pitch-- the auto lobbies continue to fight against CAFE standards that would increase fuel efficiency. They also continue to lose money in a big way. Consumers are getting angrier about fuel prices that show no sign of going down (Bush just expressed his concern this week, blaming Congress for failing to give him an energy bill).

How hard would it be for the president to announce his support for "an Apollo project for energy." Encourage automakers to move toward efficient hybrids, encourage young people to go into the sciences to respond to a national goal. Presto-- auto manufacturers could create jobs and capture market share in what is obviously the future of automotive technology, and we could set a goal in education. Oh, and here's the frosting-- we reduce our dependence on foreign oil at a time when demand in India and China is skyrocketing. Doesn't this sound like a plan that would please the right and the left politically?

Here's the slime-mold beetle in the ointment: the oil industry would be pissed. And that wouldn't fly with this administration or their funders. So we can pretty much forget it for a few years.