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Web Letter

First, I'm inclined to think that a big reason that the automakers' execs did not have a plan was that they watched the Wall Street hearings in Congress a few weeks before, and assumed that they would be treated in the same manner as the good folks on Wall Street, who had nary a plan.

Second, a big reason for the current, acute nature of the Big Three's problems is that people have not been able to (or are afraid to) purchase a new vehicle now because of the economic downturn that was precipitated by the good folks on Wall Street.

So ironically, the biggest manufacturing industry in America is now at risk--and may result in millions of people out of work--because of the good folks on Wall Street who were given hundreds of billions of dollars a few weeks ago with almost no controls at all.

During World War II, Detroit was called the "Arsenal of Democracy" because it quickly ramped up to make most of the tools that defended the free world against fascism. If a global conflict were to begin next week, would anyone in the US be able to do the same?

Tony Ettwein

Kalamazoo, MI

Dec 2 2008 - 10:41pm

Web Letter

I wonder how many members of Congress and the Senate take private jets around the country or go home by private jets. I watched a bunch of politicians ride around the country burning precious fuel oil at four dollars a gallon while people were burning their furniture to stay warm. I watched Warren Buffett being interviewed by Becky Quick, CNBC, on his private jet while they were on their way back from China, where Warren had just completed a multibillion-dollar deal for cheap Chinese labor. He was speaking of going to Vietnam next. That is creating wealth, according to Clinton, Reagan, and Bushes I & II. When did we suddenly get self-righteous about CEO transportation? These guys will probably pay the loan back times ten while we have bailed out criminal casino-like bankers to the tune of $300 billion and we don't have a clue where the money went. Citibank is owned by middle East interests (i.e., oil money).

JAMES PINETTE

Caribou, ME

Nov 27 2008 - 1:59pm

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