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Hawai’i’s Shared Futures By Vision Foresight Strategy

Fixing the auto mess

A November article by NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman spoke to the trouble with our big 3 American automakers.  The article got me thinking about other ways we might address the problem.  Rather than bailing out the auto makers, what if we followed some of Friedman’s advice and then implemented a more radical solution to the long-term issues of the American economy, transportation systems, and smarter practices?

The Federal Industrial Redeployment Program:

We can prepare for the eventual failure of the major US automakers by laying the groundwork for the rapid creation of an entire ecosystem of new, 21st century transportation companies, an entirely new industry, to be staffed by the line staff (not leadership or ownership) of the former Big 3.

The goals of the program would be three-fold:

  1. quick re-employment of thousands of skilled workers
  2. reintroduction of the conditions of competition and innovation
  3. creation of transportation companies focused on next-generation vehicle technologies and standards

Instead of a bailout, we could use the money to create what essentially would be a business (industry) incubator.  It would be a 2 – 3 year program, with the government (or some agent thereof) playing incubator to the complete range of companies, from design to aftermarket suppliers.  All of them would be required to incorporate new technologies and new sustainable standards.  The program would facilitate connecting entrepreneurs, workers, and investors.

Fanciful?  Perhaps, but increasingly we need completely new perspectives and more radical ideas that can mobilize a wide range of actors to engage in the problems and to generate a multitude of experiments and possible answers.  As so many are starting to recognize today, simply shoring up the past is no longer sufficient to ensure our future.

Contact us: Vision Foresight Strategy

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Filed under: Business, Economics, Sustainability, Transportation

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