OUR VIEW: Michigan back in the automotive limelight

By Daily News • Last Updated 10:27 am on Thursday, January 12, 2012

The fortunes of an area and its neighborhood can turn on how you handle the big things.

The 2012 International Car Show is in Detroit, and it’s a big thing. It happened only because the city and the surrounding region pulled together to assure downtown Detroit could successfully put on a world class auto show. It’s going to happen, and that’s a big victory for all of us in Michigan. We believe that Detroit will pull it off, and it’s big time stuff considering the ordeal the city and its namesake industry have been through.

It’s a little early to tell, but the Fed’s billion dollar bailouts to two of the Big Three appear to have been a good way to resuscitate Michigan’s auto industry as well as giving new life to countless Michigan suppliers. Ford, the most successful originator of how autos are assembled, demurred from the handout and succeeds. In any case, Michigan is back in the automotive limelight in a world that loves and wants cars.
Industry bailouts by taxpayers, whatever the cause, are usually not good signs for an economy. Big government and government control of industry have not been a part of America’s economic strength. We are a capitalistic society whose economy is built on private enterprise and on the growth and strength of businesses small and large.

It would be foolish to dream that automotive industry employment would ever return with the dollars that Michigan employees have enjoyed in the golden years, but building cars, along with related tooling and die expertise and supplier chain know-how is what Michigan does best, and the resurrection of Michigan’s leading industry is good news. Michigan’s economy, both private and public, has been largely determined by the health of the “Big Three.”

Our nation’s politicians have apparently lost understanding or interest in what industrial capacity truly means to this country. In any case, there is new light in the tunnel for our state and local industry. Let’s find ways to keep it burning.

Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.

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