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Dave Barry’s Year in Review: Detroit Automakers’ Edition

December 27th, 2008 . by economistmom

Dave Barry’s Year in Review is out in the Sunday Washington Post magazine.  It’s all brilliant, but some of my favorite parts deal with Detroit’s “Big Three” (for which Dave Barry has a perhaps-more-appropriate name)…

In March:

In environmental news, Earth Hour is observed on March 29, when cities around the world display their commitment to conserving energy by turning out their lights for one hour. When the lights come back on, Detroit is missing.

In April:

In economic news, the price of gasoline tops $4 a gallon, meaning the cost of filling up an average car is now $50, or, for Hummer owners, $17,500. Congress, responding to the financial pain of the American people, goes into partisan gridlock faster than ever before, with Republicans demanding that the oil companies immediately start drilling everywhere, including cemeteries, and Democrats calling for a massive effort to develop alternative energy sources such as wind, the sun, tides, comets, Al Gore and dragon breath, using technology expected to be perfected sometime this millennium. It soon becomes clear that Congress will not actually do anything, so Americans start buying less gasoline.

The economic news is also gloomy for the U.S. automotive industry, where General Motors, in a legally questionable move aimed at boosting its sagging car sales, comes out with a new model called the “Chevrolet Toyota.”

In June:

In economic news, Chrysler announces a plan to lay off workers who have not been born yet.

And finally in December, my favorite of Dave Barry’s commentary on the automakers, because he relates it to the federal budget (as I like to do here on EconomistMom): 

The CEOs of the Increasingly Small Three automakers return to Washington to resume pleading for a bailout, this time telling Congress that if they can reach an agreement that day, they will throw in the undercoating, the satellite-radio package and a set of floor mats. “We’re actually losing money on this deal!” they assure Congress. Finally, they reach a multibillion-dollar deal under which the car companies will continue to provide jobs, medical care and pension benefits, but will cease producing actual cars. The restructured operation will be overseen by the federal government, using its legendary skill at keeping things on budget.

One Response to “Dave Barry’s Year in Review: Detroit Automakers’ Edition”

  1. comment number 1 by: sherry

    The high cost of gas this past year put a hurting on all of us, our economy and our society. We need to move forward as a society and utilize every available source of energy to lessen our use of foreign oil.It would cost the equivalent of 60 cents a gallon to charge and drive an electric car. The electricity to charge the car could come from solar or wind generated electricity. If all gasoline cars, trucks, and suv’s instead had plug-in electric drive trains, the amount of electricity needed to replace gasoline is about equal to the estimated wind energy potential of the state of North Dakota. Why don’t we use some of the billions in bail out money to bail us out of our dependence on foreign oil? This past year the high cost of fuel so seriously damaged our economy and society that the ripple effects will be felt for years to come. Why not invest in setting up some alternative energy projects on a national basis, create clean cheap electricity, create millions of badly needed new green collar jobs, and get out from under our dependence on foreign oil. What a win -win situation that would be. There is a great new book out called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence NOW by Jeff Wilson. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in alternative energy.