FROM THE UNITED STATES OF TOYOTA

People who flippantly dismiss the fate of the domestic automobile industry in general are simply missing the point. I continue to be amazed by Toyota’s “enablers” -- the media intelligentsia on both coasts and certain members of Congress in Washington (who just happen to have import auto plants in their states) who dance around this issue, insisting that what's going on in Detroit will not negatively affect the entire country in some way, shape or form.

The core issues facing Detroit – global competitiveness, U.S. trade imbalances, healthcare costs and pension funding – are issues we as a nation must deal with – right now. This is not some isolated bad tiding that will only affect the Rust Belt in the forlorn "flyover" states, as the mid-section of the country is often derisively referred to. No, this situation spells trauma for the entire country. Between 1 in 12 and 1 in 14 jobs in this country are still either directly or indirectly related to the domestic automobile business. Think about that statistic for a moment and then insist that it somehow “won't affect me.”