Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Modest Proposal

There is no compelling reason for any car company to build more than a couple of thousand cars a month for the foreseeable future.

They should all switch to building mass-transit vehicles,including buses, light rail, bullet trains and airplanes with bigger seats.

For the next ten years, we should learn the one lesson Cuba has to teach us (besides some great musical riffs): fix the old cars. Keep them on the road. When everyone is driving a ten or fifteen year old car, and when our nation is crisscrossed not with highways but with much-more-efficient mass-transit of every kind, then the car companies can go back to building pleasure-mobiles.

In particular, General Motors, which we now own much of, should begin doing this right away. No more Chevys. No more Caddies. During World War Two they stopped building LaSalles and instead built the Sherman tanks and B-29 Superfortresses that cemented our position as a world power even up until today.

Now we are sucking down foreign oil like nobody's business, and the suburbs have proven a bad idea soon to be depopulated in an emerging, less-wasteful economy, and we have succeeded in creating some of the ugliest landscapes in the world with our obsession with parking lots and malls; and it is time to call an end to it.

General Motors, your orders are as follows: no more cars for a while. Buses and trains are what we need.