- a collection of notes and reflections on urban living from the perspective of a family of five in Tokyo. My epiphany was many years ago, but being hit by a motorbike and seeing my life flash before my eyes caused a sudden change that slowly made me reflect on whether American style auto-centric urban transportation of the Roosevelt era really is a capital G "Good Idea" for civilized modern cities in the 21st Century. This blog explores the good and the bad in urban planning and design, here and elsewhere. The goal is simple - not "death to all cars," just more walkable communities, quiet tree-lined streets, good public transport, traffic calming, Velib style bicycle sharing and a bit of common sense. The bolg is mostly theraputic, so I don't go wanting to throttle every dangerous driver I come across, but partly also out of a real desire to see positive change. This blog explores how it can be done, the people who do it, and how, in many small ways, this very old idea may at last have found its zeitgeist. Comments and suggestions welcome.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Riches to Rags

Once champions of American style "free-market" economies - auto companies are now going begging. Well, I say let them beg, and go begging. Hell, if private equity won't touch them with a ten foot barge pole, they probably have a damn good reason - why the hell should the rest of us?!

Let em fry.

Listen to this quote from Reuters HERE


Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, told reporters that quick loans were needed for the industry to get through the next six to 12 months.

"The bottom line is that all three automakers need some liquidity, some assistance with cash and they need it right now," Granholm said.

"The alternative is worse," Granholm said. "The alternative is the industry doesn't have access to funds and we lose a company or two. We don't want to do that."

Well DUH, if there are too many cars around, and too many car companies making things that nobody wants any more, then YEA OF COURSE you are going to lose a company or two. THAT IS THE FREE MARKET. Or don't you like the free market so much any more? Hmmm. Want us to prop up a company that makes things we don't want any more, just because it keeps people employed and the wheels of the economy turning? Now you are starting to sound like a cold-war socialist. Fat chance. Listen, either we have socialism where the people can share in the profits to society from advances in productivity, or we have capitalism where companies that don't make things people want are allowed to fail. Attempting to socialize the costs and privatize the profits is a recipe for a mighty angry citizenry.