Washington and Lansing have now demonstrated their resolution not to allow the free market to cradle the unemployment fallout of the Michigan auto crisis. This Wednesday, Gov. Jennifer Granholm not only petitioned the White House for funds for the planned high-speed rail line from Detroit to Chicago, but also volunteered a large task force to complete the process. After her meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, Granholm stated that, “We have lots of capacity in Michigan and workers who know how to make things” (reference here). When asked about Biden’s concerns regarding the possible business damage a compulsory rail system would have on Detroit automakers by taking many cars off the roads, Granholm said it ought to be viewed as an opportunity for Michigan.
An opportunity to do what? To bankrupt the remaining fragments of hope for automakers in our state? Furthermore, why should free citizens of Michigan be “volunteered” to work at a new, government funded industry that could bring the final demise to their old way of life? Even if disaster looms over GM, we as American workers and entrepreneurs can still pick up the pieces without the plans of someone over 500 miles away. The last thing we need in this vital time is to be talked about as if we were pawns of the state, ready and willing to build “Pharaoh’s statues.” Our Governor is right, “We have lots of capacity…” That’s why maybe if we were allowed some time of our own, we could use the smoldering coals of GM to create a new and better American car outfit. It looks like government, once allowed to get involved in the auto industry, will give us way more than we expected. The words of George Washington ring out clearly: “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”