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"Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them."
Ronald Reagan

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. "
Ronald Reagan

"No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth! "
Ronald Reagan

"There are no easy answers' but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. "
Ronald Reagan

"To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will."
Ronald Reagan

IN THIS ISSUE

So long Mopar, the General,
and the American Way?
(cont) by Mark Neeley

I remember the hesitation of the U. S. Government to get involved, but eventually passing the Chrysler Loan Guarantee Act in 1980. Chrysler, led by Lee Iacocca, paid back its loan 7 years early in 1983. The following year, it had netted a 1.7 billion dollar profit in the second quarter, undoubtedly brought on by the innovative sell of new K-cars and its creation of the mini van. I remember the feeling that the U.S. Government had no business helping Chrysler, but Chrysler needed a loan to stay afloat. If Chrysler closed it doors it would leave only a big two. I also remember politicians assuring the American citizens that the government was not in the car business or any private business for that matter and that Chrysler would pay back the tax dollars with interest, which they did. Make no mistake, 1980 was not a bail out in the sense that we know it today. I remember Iacocca in television commercials that seemed like nearly a progress report to the American people of the New Chrysler Corporation’s activities. I remember rooting for them silently as Iacocca would tell of the new model line up. I say silently because we were a GM family, well mostly, one Ford Country Squire when I was a kid, but never a Chrysler product, but that all changed in the summer of 1982 when I bought my first real car… a 1969 Dodge Charger.

For $1000.00 I purchased a 68,000 mile, one family owned 383 H.P. (for high performance), Sunfire Yellow with rarely optioned black hood stripes and a black vinyl roof, complete with Cragar SS mags, soon to be American icon. It forever changed the way I felt about Chrysler. That particular car introduced me to the pre K-car Chrysler Corporation, the one that didn’t apologize for handing you second or third place at the nation’s ¼ mile or 500 mile racetracks. It also hadn’t hurt that I had been watching Bo and Luke tear up the back roads of Hazzard County U.S.A., in the General Lee since the late 1970s.

The whole premise in those days was of my fast awareness that Chrysler had been something great just a few years before when my high school Charger had been manufactured. They had been something other than my 1980 view of the recovering manufacturer who had fallen off the wagon. It was never the main stream company that GM or Ford was, but that was what was so cool about their recovery; they were the little guy of the big three. Today’s recent news that they were possibly going into liquidation brought together many thoughts I have had in the past months and full circle.

It hit me one day when we were working on a particular GE desk fan from the teens that had an assembly man’s initial and date inside it that was from nearly 100 years ago. I thought about the quality of the product that was sitting before me and I thought about manufacturing nearly being extinct now in America. If we loose Chrysler and G.M. what is that saying about America? Am I among the generations that will drive this country into a second or third rate existence in manufacturing, engineering, and innovativeness? Am I among the generations that will abandoned the U.S. that we knew and sit silently while socialist and communist ideas replace all that we know and love.

The manufacturers that built the economic power house that is the United States taught the world how to manufacture, engineer and innovate. We are the leaders. No one should outclass us. The perspective I get daily from owning a business that rebuilds machines that were built so well that they can be rebuilt 70 to 100 years later is a living testament to what America was. It’s a reality that keeps you highly aware of our past manufacturing achievements in this country. In those days, we manufactured everything here. We won two World Wars because of our manufacturing capabilities and the dogged determination of our men and women in uniform and at home to get the job done. Visit any local cemetery in this great country and you will see the generations that sacrificed to give us what we have today in this country. What are we doing in return for those who sacrificed so much? Freedom has a steep price people. In both World War cases, our ability to out manufacturer our enemies have allowed us to pay the price that freedom demands.

If we loose our self reliance on in house manufacturing, we have effectively lost our ability to cash the freedom check when we need it. Could we fight another foe such as that which we faced in a well equipped Nazi Germany and do so without the capability to manufacture in house? Can we risk that today?

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