Wednesday, December 3, 2008
You can’t believe everything you hear on the news, but a few weeks ago WBZ 1030-AM radio reported that CEOs from the “Big Three” automakers showed up in Washington, D.C., to make their plea for bailout bucks, and that they hadn’t gained much sympathy from lawmakers because they’d each used private jets to make the trip. After having been publically scolded for that extravagance by one Congressman, the trio made another trip to the nation’s capitol earlier this week. This time, it was reported, they each arrived after having made the 520-mile Detroit-to-D.C. trip in hybrid cars. I’m no Congressman, but I’m still not impressed. I’d have been mildly impressed if they’d carpooled, but here’s what my dream scenario would have been: I wish the three CEOs (who I’ve come to refer to collectively as “Ghidorah,” an allusion to the 1964 Japanese film about a three-headed monster by that name) had bicycled to Washington, D.C. And I wish their most recent restructuring plan, to justify a bailout with taxpayer dollars, included a complete retooling of their assembly lines to start making nothing but bicycles, while admitting that cars powered by internal-combustion engines are a blight on the planet. Then I’d like to see any leftover bailout bucks given to automobile owners in the form of coupons to redeem for two bicycles for every car they turn in. OK, maybe I’m getting a little carried away here ... but I still like the idea of the 520-mile bike ride. In the meantime, I wonder if Congress would bail out America’s Big Three bike-makers -- Trek, Cannondale and Specialized -- if they face bankruptcy someday.