Dear Detroit: Drop Dead

Bob Herbert is a black man whose hobbies include hating whitey. He works for the Jayson Blair Times, which exists solely to tell conservatives how evil they are.

Now Bob Herbert has his newest screed, a self-righteous lecture on why Washington, DC, should rescue Detroit. While there is nothing overtly racial about his most recent column, there are absolutely racial undertones that I will cover.

Short of sending General David Petraeus in to level the place like Fallujah and start over, this waste of a city is beyond hope. Not one dollar of tax money should be spent on General Motors, Ford, or Chrysler. I don’t care if the Japanese take them over. “Buy American” should not be an excuse to support mediocrity, although mediocrity might be too generous for these failed businesses.

Herbert starts out his liberal blustering by accusing conservative hardliners of “smug certainties.” Liberal columnists at the Jayson Blair Times have no business using the word smug unless they are looking in the mirror. Smug certainties are why the JBT keeps getting stories wrong.

“The ideological hard-liners have now cast their collectively jaundiced eye on Detroit’s automakers. Their response to the very real danger that General Motors might crumble into bankruptcy is: C’est la vie.”

No, that is too soft a response. A well placed F-bomb between the words “go,” and “yourself” would be a good start.

“I can agree that it’s impossible to make a positive case for the backward, self-destructive practices of the auto industry over many years.”

Yet he then goes on to justify bad behavior, which is what liberal apologists do.

“But in the current environment, allowing one or more of the Big Three to go bankrupt would be like offering up your nose to Sweeney Todd to spite your face.”

No, it would be offering up the bad companies’ heads on a silver platter.

“The U.S. auto industry is the cornerstone of American manufacturing. It supports millions of jobs, directly or indirectly, in a vast array of businesses.”

The U.S. automobile industry is the second most bloated, bureaucratic, and inefficient entity behind the federal government. Unions have destroyed the very workers they claim to care about, which is what unions do. Americans are not inferior to Japanese people when given a fair chance to compete. We do produce inferior products when we let unions and excessive regulations destroy our companies. For those who care about the environment, Toyota makes the Prius. While I detest that car, and occasionally fight the urge to savagely beat people who drive hybrids, the Japanese seem to be able to make better quality cars at lower prices. We deserve to lose and get swallowed up. I love America, but detest the fact that Americans should settle for garbage.

“It’s easy to demonize the American auto industry. It has behaved with the foresight of a crack addict for years. But even when people set their own houses on fire, we still dial 9-1-1, hoping to save lives, salvage what we can and protect the rest of the neighborhood.”

True, but we do not rebuild their house for them for free. We do not pay their medical bills or their rehab expenses. The rest of the neighborhood consists of the 49 states that are not as pathetic as Michigan.

“The government should craft a rescue plan that is both tough and very, very smart. That means dragging the industry (kicking and screaming, no doubt) into the 21st century by insisting on ironclad commitments to design and develop vehicles that make sense economically and that serve the nation’s long-term energy security requirements.”

Who enforces this? I say let these companies burn like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns. In the same way smarter companies gobbled up these firms, smarter automobile companies should take the dead charred remains of these relics and recreate them lean and mean without an ounce of government help. The incentive would be profit. Propping up a failing firm is like trying to prop up a stock market with a disastrous bailout package, which coincidentally is what our government recently did. As expected, the market crashed anyway, with General Motors leading the race to the bottom.

“Let the smartest minds design a bailout that sparks a creative revolution in the industry.”

They are in the private sector Bob. They can do it without government help. In fact, without government help, it might actually get done right.

As for the racial aspect of an issue that does not seem to mention race at all, let’s be brutally honest. The real reason Bob Herbert cares about Detroit is because Detroit is a black inner city. If the automakers would have been located in the whitest and most conservative parts of Utah or Idaho, Bob Herbert would be encouraging their demise. For those who disagree, read his past columns and pretend not to manipulate them.

To discuss Detroit without mentioning felon Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is astounding. While he is not responsible for the pathetic Detroit Lions, he was the Chief Executive who allowed crime, drugs, and union thugs to continue the destruction of a once proud city that gave us Motown. For those who do  not know, the owners of the Detroit Lions are the Ford family. They run their football team the same way they run their automobile company…dreadfully.

The entire state of Michigan is a disaster from the top down. Governor Jennifer Granholm was born in Canada and should have stayed there. If there was ever a reason not to change the Constitution to allow foreigners to be President, this failed Governor is it. Only a city held hostage to union bullies could reelect a failed executive. After all, why hire a republican when a perfectly incompetent liberal is available?

Bob Herbert talks about cutting off noses to spite faces. That is what the JBT does. They would rather lose money and destroy their own paper rather than offer a fair quality product that would appeal to the reasonable masses. That is what Detroit does. They would rather allow failed liberals to destroy a once proud city rather than even attempt conservative solutions. After all, Detroit might become New York City, which was revitalized when a conservative Rudy Giuliani turned around a mess his liberal predecessor had left him.

Detroit is a place of high taxes, high regulations, and negative results.

Other cities in America, particularly in cities located in red states, are succeeding. Low taxes and business friendly climates work.

At this point Detroit should be shut down. I do not mean the automakers. I mean the entire city. If the city was a corporation, the shareholders would have fired the entire board.

If the shareholders of Detroit choose to keep the same board of misdirectors, then they deserve to have the value of their investment crash.

When an illness breaks out, the infected people get quarantined so that the entire world does not get infected. Let Detroit burn, and let the rest of the nation go about our business. When the value of Detroit finally reaches absolute zero, an enterprising American can build it again at a profit. Or, the city can just shut down permanently. Outside of the Red Wings, the country will be unaffected from a quality standpoint.

I have student loans. Until I get my bailout, Detroit needs to go down in flames.

The automakers need to drop dead. They deserve nothing.

The city of Detroit deserves even less for expecting the rest of America to clean up their failures.


15 Responses to “Dear Detroit: Drop Dead”

  1. I don’t know exactly how you tie the city of Detriot to this. Kind of a stretch there. Heck, most of the auto industry lies well outside of Detriot. Just because the corporate HQ’s happen to be there, that has little bearing on the city itself. I can see you have some kind of personal problem with the city of Detriot, though I’m not sure what it is. I’ve been there many times myself. Have you?

    The auto-industry is failing because of the corrupt relationship they’ve maintained with the government. In Europe, for example, they have had stiff regulations, government sponsorship, and high fuel taxes for generations. By doing so, they forced their auto industry to produce quality, efficient products. The unholy alliance of big oil, big auto, and crooked federal government created the situation we have now, and good ol’ Michael Moore predicted exactly this many years ago. He hit it right on the nose.

    You can blame the unions some, if you like, but if we had national healthcare, like every other developed nation on the planet, the unions wouldn’t be nearly the cost issue they are. You can blame corporate stupidity and lack of imaginative innovation, but when you have a government that makes the playing field easy for the status quo, the lazy people at the top will take the status quo every time.

    If we had $5 gas twenty years ago, we’d now have the best highways and roads in the world, the largest fleet of fuel efficient cars in the world, no dependence on Middle Eastern oil, and smart public planning designed around efficient development. But no. We chose to keep gas cheap, let the transporation infrastructure rot, and let the auto industry produce cr@p to the point where when the you-know-what hit the gas-price-fan, the auto industry collapsed. On top pf that, the sleazy marketeers who’ve slithered their way into government ignored inter-sector trust that should never have been allowed, as GMAC and others became so entangled in financial markets that when the credit markets crashed, so did they. GM makes more money from GMAC then they do from cars. Stupid and ridiculous – and it should have been illegal.

    You cons and people like you did this. If you ask me, we should pass a law that makes all free market fundamentalists personally pay for the bail-out.


  2. Micky 2 says:

    I’ve been to Detroit.
    Dark, dirty, and depressing.

    Yea right, Michael Moore.
    Mike doesnt mention the absorbent taxes the europeans pay to the point that most europeans are riding bikes and mopeds cuz they cant afford the cars or the gas.
    Those high fuel taxes lead to the cost of electricity in France being so high thousands of elderly French died during the heat waves due to forgoing the cost of A/C.
    Gimme a break with the Michael Moore crap and some respect for everyone if you’re going to bolster a source.

    Japanese plants in america offer the same insurance at 200.00 per car in contrast to the 1600.00 each american car gets tacked on to the sticker.
    So, you arguement that othere devolved nations have a better deal is bogus, even at the leel of quality we are second to none.
    Canadians, French, Brits all come here when its a job that needs to be done right.
    On a scale of relevance we had what would of been 10.00 a gal. gas in the 70s.
    How’d that work out for you ?

    “You cons and people like you did this. If you ask me, we should pass a law that makes all free market fundamentalists personally pay for the bail-out.”

    Are you missing something ?
    Free market fundamentalists dont do bail outs.
    We cons dont want to bail them out.
    We want them to fold as they should.
    Its the moronic left that wants to bail them out.
    So go get pi$$y with them.
    Unfortunatly if they do it looks like tax payers left and right will pay for it.

  3. Those Europeans are happier and live longer lives than us, Micky. They aren’t complaining. And in Europe there are two other factors you have to take into account: first, it’s very old – so roads are very narrow and small and therefore there’s just not enough room for bigs cars and trucks, and second, Europeans are small development planners, and so people tend to live much closer to work and shopping and entertainment than they do here. They simply don’t need to drive as much as we do. Europeans certainly can afford cars – they just don’t need as many.

    The Japanese are able to produce more efficiently period. It’s not just labor costs. For example, the pay ratio between workers and management is much smaller in Japan than here. The dividends for shareholders is much lower. So they are able to pay their workers just as high or higher than us and yet make just as much or more of a profit. On top of that, they build quality, innovative, fuel efficient cars and we don’t. Again, unions are a marginal issue here.

    The reason these manufacturers located here in the first place is not because we’re the “best,” but because we imposed tariffs on auto imports and so it was cheaper to just build them here, as we are major consumers of cars. Cars are also very heavy and delicate, and therefore expensive to ship. China, for example, is becoming a major consumer of cars, where do you think these manufacturers are going now? China. It’s not because Chinese workers are the “best.” It’s because it’s cheaper to build them there, then build them here and ship them there and pay the tariffs.

    “Free market fundamentalists dont do bail outs.”

    Yes they do. We all do. The problem is that they happen to be the people who create the need for bail-outs in the first place.


  4. Micky 2 says:

    Dead Europeans cant complain.
    Oil is oil.

    I wasnt talking about Japanese demographics, read, I was talking about local production.
    Europeans pay a luxury tax on many things deemed above there needs, I have relatives in Denmark, you’re wrong.
    Environmentalism is much the reason for Europoes high oil prices, get it right.
    To address the BS threat of global warming, France, along with the rest of the E U imposed steep energy taxes in order to reduce energy consumption. As a result energy costs to consumers in France are about 25 percent higher than to consumers in the United States. At the same time, incomes in France are considerably lower than those here in America, which, in relative terms, makes electricity there all the more expensive.

    “Yes they do. We all do. The problem is that they happen to be the people who create the need for bail-outs in the first place.”

    What a stinking load of crap.
    We did not write these union contracts that pay these lazy schlubs 76.00 an hr. to slide an ashtry into a dashboard and then collect 70.00 an hr. to do nothing after they retire, nor were we the ones catering to the unions in every freaking election for the last 50 years. And its most definitley not the right thats pushing to bail out the auto industry.
    Unions are the main issue that comes up in every conversation on this issue. Everyone, left and right has said that the unions need to trim these ridiculous contracts, FIRST !!
    Try again.

    A true conservative free market fundamentalists does not do bail outs.
    “Free” means to fail as the margins dictate it should.

  5. Micky, I don’t care if you’re a direct descendent of Hamlet. Europeans can afford all the cars they want, they just don’t need as many. Period. Their standard of living is just as high if not higher than ours as is their disposible income.

    “Environmentalism is much the reason for Europoes high oil prices”

    It’s a lot more than just “environmentalism” (as if that alone would be a bad thing!).

    “We did not write these union contracts that pay these lazy schlubs 76.00 an hr….”

    Now, see, I actually worked in the auto industry. You, obviously, are just making things up as you go along. If you want to know what auto workers make, go to You’ll note that the base salary of an “Assembler” ranges from the low-twenties to low-forties per year. That’s not 75 ph, Micky. Please stop making stuff up.

    Unions are convenient for you cons to blame because you always blame from the bottom up. Always blame the little guy, never the big guy. It’s easy to blame the little guy. It takes guts to blame the big guys. Also, it fits your world view – that the wealthy all are better people and the working men are all “shlubs” who deserve their lot in life. You cons are sycophants of the wealthy. Kinda pathetic, if you ask me.

    This calamity was the convergence of two issues – the collapse of the credit markets and the worldwide oil crunch. Period. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either lying or just doesn’t know any better.


  6. Micky 2 says:

    “Now, see, I actually worked in the auto industry. You, obviously, are just making things up as you go along.”

    Not at all, you ought to know I never make anything up.
    UAW workers still get free health care. They also have pensions; half of manufacturing workers and most employees don’t. Perhaps most astounding, the $752 annual premium that their retirees will pay for family medical coverage is just one-fourth the contribution that the average working family pays in the U.S.
    In a nut shell, the whole package comes to about 76.00 and hour.
    Its all over every news outlet, probably relates to those with seniority, I doubt “every” source would make that up.
    20 years ago as an Iron worker my base as a journeyman was 33.00 an hour, the whole package came to about 65.00 an hour.

    What the hell are you talking about ?
    We are blaming the big guys.
    Its the dems who cater to these unions.
    Who the hell blamed the little guy ?
    Didnt I say the contracts need to be trimmed ? Who does that ? Line workers ?
    Its not convenient, even the left is telling the unions to trim the contract before they get any bail out money.
    Wake up !!!

    Not at all buddy, this is not the first time the big three have been in this position, there was no collapse or oil problems the last time.

    Spare me, please, its not just the two contributors you mention.
    The fact is, if they want help right now, theres nothing they can do about the credit market, oil is cheaper right now.
    They simply need to cut their costs.
    Period, just like every other failing business, thats the first damn thing you do.

  7. Micky 2 says:

    I figured if pulled reference from a lib working for the NYTs it would be more believable for ya.

    Micheline Maynard

    Micheline Maynard is a reporter with the New York Times, based in Detroit, where she writes about the automobile industry and the airline industry. A seasoned journalist, her work has appeared in Fortune magazine, and she has been a staff writer with a number of publications including USA TODAY, Newsday, U.S. News & World Report, and the Reuters News Service. She began her career as a legislative correspondent for United Press International in Lansing, Mich., and she served as an intern in the White House Press Office during the Carter Administration.

    Micki has been awarded three of journalism’s most prestigious fellowships. In 2002, she was named a media fellow by the Japan Society of New York, which allowed her to spend three months in Japan conducting research for THE END OF DETROIT. In 1999-2000, she was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan, where she began the work on the book. And in 1989-1990, she was chosen as a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism at Columbia University.

    “Well, the UAW earns about $28 an hour just — $29 an hour in straight pay, but the cost of their benefits adds $40 to $50 more onto that. What we’re talking about here, though, is the base pay.”

    See, told ya I dont make up nothin.
    Suck it up.

  8. The benefits are not 40-50 op top, Micky! Where’d she get that from? The unions help with both the healthcare and the pensions and the union members pay heavily into that. And you can’t count all the retool time. Heck almost everyone in the industry gets that time off except the retoolers, and retooling is pretty much all retoolers do. Assemblers used to make a lot for overtime, but the unions long since conceded to outsourced work for non-job spec work. That’s where I came in. I used to have to travel around to auto plants all over the country to inspect parts for my meager “mgmt” salary, with regular pay, that the liners could have inspected themselves but for the extra pay. They used to get seriously po’d! I remember a couple of pretty serious situations that almost got right outta hand. I guess that’s why they hired young strong guys like me and my buddies to do the work. The standoffs always ended peacably, though. No one felt so strongly as to get fired. One liner told me one time, “No wonder they get you guys to do this – they’d have to pay me double time!” When I pressed him as to what was double time, he told me “Under 50,” and this was an older, experienced supervisor.

    One thing American automakers did wrong (in typical American style) was to be too top heavy. They had mgmt for everything under the sun. These guys had job descriptions that made about as much sense as a Three Stooges routine, and none of them were union. American companies always do that. Too much mgmt. That’s another reason I always worked for foriegn companies. They were never top heavy. They have just enough mgmt to get done what mgmt does. American companies breed mgmt like locusts. They start out with a few, and in no time they’re a swarm of useless idiots prowling around for something to sink their useless little teeth into accomplishing nothing more than just ruining everything they touch. That’s why I always laugh when morons say “the priavte sector always does it better because the public sector is all full of useless bureaucrats!” I always say to thiose geniuses, “Yeah righ, and the private sector is any better about that? Get real.” American mgmt breeds bureaucracy at every level, every sector, every instutition, public or private. It’s a disease. Bureaucracy is the burrowing sucking beetle on the American tree of progress.

    All that said, the auto unions haven’t exactly been realistic. The liners still make a little too much for what they do, and the work rules are such that they don’t do all that much even if they are quite capable of doing a lot more. In a way, the job specificity makes some sense, though. I mean, one stupid little mistake on the line and the whole d@mn thing comes to a halt. Literally – one little stripped screw, one little faulty switch and the whole line goes down. But to put the whole blame, or even most, on the unions is seriously misplaced. While I agree that the union contracts have been a little too much, that doesn’t excuse all the other factors. For example, take out healthcare (like every other developed nation on Earth) and bango, the union problems don’t seem like much anymore. Only Americans are stupid enough to allow the cannibalization of our industry with a purely private profiteering useless health insurance system. Throw in our stupid lust for oil, and our governments enablance of that sick stupid addiction, and then throw in a financial crash and bango – the Big Three do a Deep Six. It doesn’t take a genius to see the consequences of that stupidity.


  9. Micky 2 says:

    Jersey, read the ladys resume` for petes sake and admit the truth.
    This is a fact that has been reported and uncontested by almost every pro and pundit.
    Time off pay, sick pay, vacation pay, retirement fund, medical…
    As an Ironworker and working in union hotels as a chef I am well aware of how a package breaks down into hourly pay, from one man to another Jersey you are simply not going to convince otherwise of what is common knowledge
    Fact being that while these union based companies are scrambling for their next buck due to outrageous contracts Toyota, Honda etc.. are not the ones you hear crying for a bailout, why is that ?
    I’ll give you one guess, and if you’re not honest, well, so what would be new with that ? The conversation will be over as there will be no progress if you dont admit the failures of the unions bloated contracts holding the big three hostage.

    “United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger would not flat-out reject further concessions by members on top of the two-tiered wage system and other concessions the union gave the automakers last year, but he bristled at calls for further sacrifices by his members.
    “Let’s go to AIG, Bear Stearns, active and retired workers: Did anybody go in and ask them to give back wages and benefit levels?” Gettelfinger said on WDIV-TV in Detroit. “What about the bond traders? Did anybody ask them? What about the cleaners in the building? Why would the UAW be any different?”

    I’ll tell you why Mr. Gettelfinger .
    Because we’ve been down this road with you before and you guys have made little change in your policies since the last time we bailed your butts out, as a matter of fact they are only more bloated, not to mention the 25 billion already set aside that you will no doubt grab along with the additional 25 billion should congress allow it makes it 50 billion you are asking for.

  10. Norm says:

    About six years ago, in the oldest continuing running theater in the country, I watched the wonderful mucical/comedy, “Sweeny Todd”…
    Great show!
    Other than that, you write an excellent piece here. Can’t think of much to comment about ’cause ‘nough said by others.
    I do have that mid-football season cheer for the home team that I’d like to
    share with GM, et, al…it goes like this: (something like you hear around Alabama or Auburn this time of year, “Go Tide”, “Go Tigers!”)

    Rah, Rah, Hurray! Go Broke! Go Broke! Go Choke On Your Exhaust Smoke! Go Broke!…you too Ford!

  11. […] reading this bullshit right here. I have an executive decision. I will not be sending this asshole NO more traffic. If that’s […]

  12. blacktygrrrr says:

    Well all, it was bound to happen. I received a colossally good piece of hate mail, and even though it came from Detroit, it was not even anti-Jewish propaganda.

    Anyway, please read the link that the fellow above posted. He blisters me something fierce. :)

    Before offering my reply, here is his bio:

    “Question: Do you have a “Day Job”?

    Answer: A day job? What’s that? ;) :P :lol: Seriously, I have not had a “day job” since 2005. I last worked as a merchandiser vendor for a major home improvement
    chain. I handled Lighting, I had to quit. The job was making me physically sick. Due to the medication that I take. The company shortly after that went out of business. So, I don’t think I made out that badly. I have not had a good paying steady job since 2000. Yes folks, I haven’t worked steady since Bush took office, 8 years ago. Lovely eh? You see now, why I am not fond of him? :D

    Question: Is it true that you have A.D.D. or A.D.H.D.

    Answer: Yes. I was diagnosed at age 5. I take an anti-depressant called Desipramine 50 mg’s, twice daily. It works for my condition as well. I used to take Ritalin. I switched when I was 18. Best thing that ever happened to me! :D”

    Below is my reply.

    “Mr. Byline sir, I believe you overreacted.

    I was indicting the people who drove the city of Detroit into the ground, not the innocent victims of that mismanagement.

    You should be angry at them, not me.

    If you would like I can reply in an angry manner. We can have a fake feud, which may or may not generate better traffic for you. This is the Rosie O’Donnell method of blogging.

    We have never met, so therefore your hatred of me seems a tad over the top.

    May God Bless you, and may you one day lose the rage that can be triggered by mere words on a keyboard by a complete stranger.

    eric aka the Tygrrrr Express”

  13. Micky 2 says:

    Whoa !
    Chickensh*t took it down !!!

  14. snooper says:

    Screw Detroit and anyone else that “needs” a bail out. I pay my debts so they can pay theirs.

    As soon as I get paid upwards to $76 per hour for not doing a damn thing maybe I’d be sympathetic.

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