I was reading this article titled As Detroit Crumbles, China Emerges as Automotive Epicenter and it has me pretty worried about the future of this country.
I grew up in the Detroit area. I remember going to the North American International Auto Show here almost every year. Seeing the new concept cars and stuff coming out was really cool. As a kid it was pretty inspiring. I also had no idea at the time that it was the worlds largest, most premiere auto show. But that isn’t the case anymore.
Foreign cars never really started taking off here in the Detroit area until around the year 2000. Until then 95% of the cars people drove around here were big three branded. I know it was different in other parts of the country. Just driving down to Ohio in the year 2000, I could see that the number of foreign cars from the likes of Toyota and Honda were vast. People in other states who don’t live new an American car factory don’t feel any connection to the American car industry. To them, a car is a car and they’ll buy whatever they like better. It doesn’t affect their job or anything else about them. They think.
I’ve noticed a lot of negative attention from people on the internet who are pissed about the bailouts being handed to the big three. They say things like “They make crap products, they just need to fail” or “I don’t want my tax dollars supporting failing companies who need to go down anyway” or “Whenever I go to rent a car I pray they don’t give me an American car, I feel like I’m driving down the street in a toy”.
I can understand where these people are coming from. Believe me I do. When you’re spending your hard earned money you want whatever it is you’re buying to last and be of a certain quality and standard. I feel the same way.
I’ll fully admit I haven’t been the biggest fan of the big three for several years. They make a lot of mistakes and the quality of their vehicles isn’t always the best. Though I also admit I’ve had some good cars. But with that said I see first hand how the failing auto industry here is affecting the local economy and peoples jobs. It’s easy to sit at your computer in California and bitch about the government bailing out companies that make shitty products. But it’s another thing to live in Michigan and know at least a handful of people or more in your circle of friends and family who are out of work or taking pay cuts and struggling. That’s when you really see it hit home and you wonder how anyone can question what the government is doing.
So while I admit I haven’t been a big fan of American cars and will agree to some extent that they are shitty. I will also stress that even if they are shitty cars, they’re our shitty cars. They also happen to be one of the last large industries that Americans are giving up on. Now everything is going to China. Are we happy about that?
At what point did we Americans decide we no longer cared about the whole “Made in the USA” sticker on our products? Did we somehow forget that sticker represents jobs, a strong economy and better living for the people in that country? Well, the “Made in China” sticker represents the same thing, but it represents it for China. Where do you live?
When you break it all down, humanity and the world is pretty simple. It’s all about trade. I have something you want and vice versa. If Americans stop producing things then what will we have to trade? If we don’t have something we can trade, then we can’t get something in return. Right now, we’re gearing up to give away the American car industry to China. So not only will china produce our electronics and pretty much every other consumer good, they will also produce our cars for us.
We already owe China a lot of money and if we don’t start producing more product that’s made here, we’re going to owe them even more. China within the next 20 years will go through an economic boom (as they already are) the way America did post world war 2. They will be the ones with good steady jobs, benefits, new cars and good living. Meanwhile we will struggle. All because we handed over our manufacturing to China. Because we decided that it was cheaper and cheaper was better when it came to producing goods.
There was a time when American products we considered the best the world over. People from everywhere sought after them. We not only were building our own and taking care of ourselves, but we were building decent quality products as well.
What we really need to do is take back our industries and increase the quality of our products before we completely forget how to feed ourselves over here. If we don’t, we’re doomed.