Earlier today I was commenting on the blog of WAMC (a "liberal" radio station in Albany New York) my comment appears here: http://blogs.timesunion.com/wamc/?p=439
The text reads as follows:
I am against bailing out anything for the obvious reason that it rewards bad business practices and blocks new startups. However, I understand that letting these conglomerates collapse would be unfair to the many workers who had nothing to do with company’s direction.
I propose that given the increase in internet shopping, the government order a new fleet of mail carrying cars. The price can be inflated to ensure the survival of the car companies and paid up front so they have the money they need. Because the merger of the big three seems to be in the cards, it makes sense to have them work together to fill the order.
The government should not only order mail carrying cars, but it should specify that the cars be made entirely by computer aided manufacturing using machines and tools which are commercially available at a reasonable price. Then they must license the computer numeric control or CNC machine codes as well as their CAD blueprints under the GNU general public license.
What does this mean?
1.Any competent machinist can buy a computer controlled lathe and milling machine, and make parts for their car. This shouldn’t hurt the car companies very much because the they will no doubt have faster machines and a streamlined production method.
2.I want heaters in my fuel injectors so my car starts easily in the winter and gets better fuel economy. With freely licensed codes and prints, I can make the change, and run the changed code at a local machine shop which rents machine time. I can then publicize the codes for my “better” injectors and everyone can make and use them if they want to.
3.When the car company decides to change their design (maybe they like my injectors so much that they want to make them standard) they will not have to spend billions to retool, they will simply change the code in their machines and they will be making cars with the new variation.
Some may worry that the cars will be copied overseas. I say “so be it” the off shore factories will give well designed cars to people who couldn’t afford them before and American car companies will see a boom in replacement part sales abroad as the parts which were copied poorly begin to break.
By setting this standard, we are able to protect the jobs of the people who were not in charge of company policy and we change the stagnant business practices which lead to the car companies being vulnerable to this financial crunch. No longer will we have to prey for our favorite car modification or a better design for a part which often breaks, we can change the design for ourselves. As the GNU/Linux computer opperating system has shown, people do their best work when they are doing it for themselves because they want their computer (or their car) to run better.
I hope you read this on the air, we need to press forward with new ideas for improvement, if we allow the discussion to revolve around resurrecting the auto industry of the old days, we will certainly fail because the the old days no longer exist.