Monday, October 19, 2009

U.S. Industrial Decline (as viewed from Germany)

A thoughtful and poignant (if also left-slanted) essay from the Berliner Umschau, translated by Watching America: "American De-Industrialization Continues Unabated."

This part in particular made me wince: "When word gradually spread that Detroit automobiles were of inferior quality, all three American car manufacturers responded with attempts to inoculate their customers with doses of chauvinism: Buy American! Dealerships were festooned with American flags and banners. This took on a life of its own with auto dealers competing with one another to have the biggest flag. When the foreign journalist mentioned earlier last returned to the United States, he reported seeing a gargantuan American flag flying over a dealership on a 150-foot flagpole. Instead of flying gigantic flags, no one apparently ever came up with the idea of building better cars."

(Note: glancing at the car section of the Consumer Reports Buying Guide for 2008, it's clear the U.S. still trails Japan and Germany on quality and reliability.)

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