1959 Caddy. But does democracy hinge on this?
Washington, it seems, is not prepared to let the auto industry and Detroit go down the tubes.
The bail out is going to happen, even if the White House has to fund it itself from the $700 billion rescue fund.
While cars are nice, and everyone understands the impact of Ford, GM and Chrysler going Chapter 11, one must wonder about the impact of losing The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and The LA Times… not to mention a few others.
While Senators and Congressmen fall all over themselves to bail out the failed American car industry, not one person raises a single voice to bail out the failing American newspaper business.
Strange culture we have.
The newspaper business is the only industry enshrined in the US Consitution. The First Amendment guaranteed the right to a free press. Perhaps, had the US Contitution been written in the 1950s, it might have guaranteed every citizen the right to cheap and dependable transportation – but it does not.
A free press, as the Founding Fathers made clear, was the cornerstone of a democratic society.
As Thomas Jefferson said, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost”
Jefferson did not, as far as we know, say anything about our liberty being dependent upon a reasonably priced automobile that is manufactured in the United States.
Automobiles are still going to be made.
They are going to come from Japan and Germany.
No one will go wthout a car who wants one. In fact, you will be able to get a good car for less money from Japan, just as you do now. Who can tell? Lexus? Why not?
But let the newspapers die and you will be hard pressed to replace The New York Times with the Asahi Shinbum.
It says a great deal about our society, and none of it good by the way, that we are willing to countenance and watch as detached observers, the death of the American newspaper industry, yet we are seemingly unable to do the same with cars.
I say, the time has come for a bailout for the American newspaper industry.
A few billion dollars to cushion the blow as they make the difficult transition from print to online only.
Help keep the journalists, with their many years of experience, in place. Believe me, a great reporter is a whole lot harder to replace than a line worker in Detroit. Once you lose them, they are gone forever.
Let the publishers of The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The LA Times go down to DC for Senate Hearings. They won’t take private jets – they don’t have any. Let them explain to the Senate and to the American people just how important quality journalism is to a functioning democracy.
Let’s set up a loan fund for the papers, just like we’re going to do for Detroit.
You are on a sinking ship and you can only rescue one: A Chevy Aveo or The New York Times, which do you pick?