Pressing issues

Thank heaven I don't have to decide whether or not to bail out Detroit. I don't have to name a Cabinet, choose a pound puppy, or even a White House staff.

I'm busy flattening leaves. The pressure is on. The time available is crunching into the job at hand. That job involves making Thanksgiving feast placemats for the whole school. That's why on this rainy afternoon I parked the Skylark and went galloping through Rustic Park collecting fallen leaves like a demented autumn elf.

Now those fall leaves are layered between phone book pages, stacked, and weighed down beneath Shakespeare's Complete and Art of the 20th Century. I often rant about our needless duplication of phone directories, but today they are just what I need.

It's sad and disgusting that the U.S. auto industry is its current crisis. As a young married couple we bought our first car in 1979. It was a Toyota Corolla. I wish I still had that car! At that time we couldn't afford a Honda Civic.

Detroit wasn't making a car for our budget and needs in 1979. Detroit was pretending Toyota and Honda would disappear if management covered its eyes with its hands. This is egocentric toddler thinking--"I can't see you, so you aren't there." The sad thing is Detroit executives have been playing this preschool game for thirty years. They kept playing instead of uncovering their eyes to see gas price fluctuations and the growing demand for fuel-efficient and hybrid vehicles.

Do I want auto industry workers to suffer? Not much. Do I want affiliated industries to gasp and writhe? Only a little. Do I want management to be held accountable for its ostrich outlook? Absolutely.

Since I'm often awake at 2:48 a.m., I spend too much time pondering these pressing issues. My middle-of-the-night feeling is that the auto-making corporations should be cleaved with a big axe. Government bail-out funds should be injected only into those segments that currently create or can be quickly retooled to make highly fuel-efficient and hybrid vehicles.

Truth is, my real middle-of-the-night job is making sure leaves are flattening inside the stack of phone books. The outlook for success is realistic!

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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