Why Detroit shouldn’t be bailed out

David Frum had a great commentary on American Public Media’s Marketplace this afternoon describing why the big three automakers shouldn’t be bailed out by the Federal government.  Here’s a snippet:

President-elect Obama has expressed support for yet another bailout package for the U.S. auto industry.

Here’s the case: Manufacturing is the backbone of the U.S. economy, and the Detroit automakers are the backbone of U.S. manufacturing.

There was a time when this argument was true — back in the 1970s, when Chrysler extracted the first auto bailout from the U.S. government. Not any more.

I couldn’t agree more with this analysis.  Anyone who’s read Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat can tell you that manufacturing is on it’s way out as the backbone of the U.S. economy.  It’s more efficient to outsource that work overseas, and Americans need to get out of the mindset that we’re entitled to the manufacturing jobs from three decades ago.

Americans need to take it upon themselves to learn new skills and move forward to find their place in the new global economy instead of relying on the unions or the government to “protect” their jobs.