FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Saving GM From Bankruptcy

The media constantly bombards us with one set of facts, but the other set doesn’t get much play. We hear about GM struggling, about bailouts, bankruptcy, and massive layoffs. And we hear about how Toyota and Nissan will fill the vacuum created by any GM or Chrysler bankruptcy.

But what we don’t hear about is very interesting: We don’t hear that last year Japan imported a whopping 8,000 Fords. You heard right! The Japanese bought 8,000 Fords, but Toyota sold two million of its automobiles here. And thousands more for Honda and Nissan.

And we don’t hear that the average GM car in the US costs about $25,000, but in Japan the same car costs $50,000. A big mark up, lots of restrictions. No one calls that protectionism, but that is what it is, and what it has been for years.

There is a social stigma in Japan for buying and owning an American car. The only folks who buy them are social undesirables and underground figures like the yakuza, the Japanese mafia.

If there was a law that required that Japanese and Korean car manufacturers would be allowed sell the same number of cars in the US that were imported into Japan and Korea—that the playing field was equalized—well, guess what would happen: GM, Ford, and Chrysler would start filling the vacuum created by the sudden absence of Toyotas, Nissans, and Hondas from American showrooms, that’s what would happen! Foreclosures and evictions in Flint would stop. Michigan would come back to life, and Toyota City would have to take it on the chin for a change.

A simple solution indeed! Let’s call it the Import-Export Fairness Act. Thousands of American jobs saved; thousands more created. Inner cities would start coming back to life. Sure the Japanese would yell, scream, and protest that they had to start letting their showroom dealers start selling Fords and Chevys at competitive prices. Maybe a trade war would start; maybe they’d cash in their T-bills, but it is just as likely that the bigwigs of Toyota and Honda would hurriedly ask Japanese parliamentarians to open up Japanese markets immediately allowing more American cars to be sold there and thus more Japanese cars could continue to be sold here. Otherwise they’d lose market share, big time!

I’d rather see Toyota lose market share to GM instead of the reverse.

It’s a thought. A thought for every UAW worker facing a layoff, every Michigander fearing loss of his job, pension, and home.

In the days of Jimmy Hoffa and Walter Reuther, a healthy strike by autoworkers and sympathetic truckers would shut our country down until we saw some real action. If now is not the time, well, when is?

JERRY KROTH is a professor at Santa Clara University in California and a former Detroiter. He can be reached at: jerrykroth@yahoo.com

 

More articles by:

Jerry Kroth, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor Emeritus from the graduate division of psychology at Santa Clara University. He may be contacted at his website, collectivepsych.com.

Weekend Edition
June 22, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Karl Grossman
Star Wars Redux: Trump’s Space Force
Andrew Levine
Strange Bedfellows
Jeffrey St. Clair
Intolerable Opinions in an Intolerant Time
Paul Street
None of Us are Free, One of Us is Chained
Edward Curtin
Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World
Celina Stien-della Croce
The ‘Soft Coup’ and the Attack on the Brazilian People 
James Bovard
Pro-War Media Deserve Slamming, Not Sainthood
Louisa Willcox
My Friend Margot Kidder: Sharing a Love of Dogs, the Wild, and Speaking Truth to Power
David Rosen
Trump’s War on Sex
Mir Alikhan
Trump, North Korea, and the Death of IR Theory
Christopher Jones
Neoliberalism, Pipelines, and Canadian Political Economy
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Why is Tariq Ramadan Imprisoned?
Robert Fantina
MAGA, Trump Style
Linn Washington Jr.
Justice System Abuses Mothers with No Apologies
Martha Rosenberg
Questions About a Popular Antibiotic Class
Ida Audeh
A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History: Interview with Jamal Juma’
Edward Hunt
The Afghan War is Killing More People Than Ever
Geoff Dutton
Electrocuting Oral Tradition
Don Fitz
When Cuban Polyclinics Were Born
Ramzy Baroud
End the Wars to Halt the Refugee Crisis
Ralph Nader
The Unsurpassed Power trip by an Insuperable Control Freak
Lara Merling
The Pain of Puerto Ricans is a Profit Source for Creditors
James Jordan
Struggle and Defiance at Colombia’s Feast of Pestilence
Tamara Pearson
Indifference to a Hellish World
Kathy Kelly
Hungering for Nuclear Disarmament
Jessicah Pierre
Celebrating the End of Slavery, With One Big Asterisk
Rohullah Naderi
The Ever-Shrinking Space for Hazara Ethnic Group
Binoy Kampmark
Leaving the UN Human Rights Council
Nomi Prins 
How Trump’s Trade Wars Could Lead to a Great Depression
Robert Fisk
Can Former Lebanese MP Mustafa Alloush Turn Even the Coldest of Middle Eastern Sceptics into an Optimist?
Franklin Lamb
Could “Tough Love” Salvage Lebanon?
George Ochenski
Why Wild Horse Island is Still Wild
Ann Garrison
Nikki Haley: Damn the UNHRC and the Rest of You Too
Jonah Raskin
What’s Hippie Food? A Culinary Quest for the Real Deal
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Brian Wakamo
We Subsidize the Wrong Kind of Agriculture
Patrick Higgins
Children in Cages Create Glimmers of the Moral Reserve
Patrick Bobilin
What Does Optimism Look Like Now?
Don Qaswa
A Reduction of Economic Warfare and Bombing Might Help 
Robin Carver
Why We Still Need Pride Parades
Jill Richardson
Immigrant Kids are Suffering From Trauma That Will Last for Years
Thomas Mountain
USA’s “Soft” Coup in Ethiopia?
Jim Hightower
Big Oil’s Man in Foreign Policy
Louis Proyect
Civilization and Its Absence
David Yearsley
Midsummer Music Even the Nazis Couldn’t Stamp Out
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail