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Letter - America needs its auto industry

To the editor:

It amazes me that we can be sitting here having a discussion on whether or not to bail out the U.S. auto industry. There are actually people in this country who are prepared to see them fail, and some who say it may even be good for our country. Just where do these people come from? How can we possibly be prepared to call ourselves the most powerful nation on earth, when we may soon not even be able to build the cars that we drive. Is there no pride left in "American Made?" Oh, forgive me. Those same experts who say that we should let these companies fail also point out that Japanese and German, and soon South Korean, cars are Made In America. So what? The profits from these companies head OUTSIDE this country. Is it such a crime for profits made off American consumers be kept in America to be spent by Americans, union or otherwise.

A little history lesson is in order here. America was once a colony of England. This means that we exported raw materials, and imported nearly all of our finished goods. Our fight for independence was partly attributed to the fact that we wished to be masters of our own destiny. What resulted? Over 200 years of American innovations that have transformed the entire world. OUR industry did that! The wars of the 20th century: World War I, World War II, and the Cold War. It was OUR industry that won them! And the auto industry had a key part in all of this. When World War II broke upon us, our nation didn't have to build factories to produce the planes and tanks we needed to win the war, our auto industry was transformed almost overnight to this capacity. When the next war comes, and if our industry is defunct, do you think the Germans and Japanese will just let us use their factories for our national emergencies? I doubt it, especially should they once again become our enemies. We NEED our auto industry. It is a symbol of our pride. We have lost everything from Budweiser to Church's Chicken to other nations, let's not add Ford and GM to that list.

Bill Mauldin

Jackson