Sunday, March 15, 2009

An Elegy for South Bend - Studebaker

Regardless of one's political views, I found this article by James Matthew Wilson both a prescient warning and a timely reminder of what the US and automakers need to consider; to look to long-term economic growth in America; to save the next "Studebaker."


"Rather, I would argue that South Bend is just like every other city in the United States, only more so. Perhaps that makes it not-so-nice, but it remains no less typical for all that.

For example, South Bend has been in a state of economic contraction for much of the last quarter century. The steel industry became extinct here about two years ago. That makes South Bend an exemplary American city. After all, now that the Bush administration has removed the tariff on steel under pressure from the E.U. (violating the policy of, among others, the Reagan Administration), very few remnants of that industry will survive in the U.S. as a whole. We are destined to become a service economy where the working class consists no longer of blue-collar laborers in manufacturing and farmers in agriculture, but of uniformed masses in the various service industries. They will tend deep-fat-fryers, make change, and experience the freedom and satisfaction that the job security of fast food franchises alone can provide. South Bend is simply ahead of its time."

Read the full article here.

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