If the domestics didn't have their heads up you know where, and actually produced some fuel efficent cars, this wouldn't even be an issue. Instead, back in the cheap gas 1990's they hitched their wagons to the gas guzzler bandwagon and now they're paying the (public relations) price. Instead of investing a couple billion in Hummer, GM SHOULD have spent that money on developing a small car that gets decent milage. Why did Toyota have a 10 year head start on hybrids, when it SHOULD have been GM, with their experience with the EV1? Ford, instead of investing in the Excursion, should have invested in its (once) best selling midsized and compact cars instead of letting them die on the vine. Why do GM and Ford have such high CAFE numbers versus the imports? (I know, trucks, but why can't either of them manage to sell a compact car at a profit like their competitors do?) Face it, GM has not shown leadership in fuel economy in any way. 1mpg "wins" are meaningless in the PR battle when your competitors sell a vehicle that gets 2x the milage of your most efficent product! Why does a Camry 4cyl get virtually the same gas milage a a Chevy Aveo?!!!!
Also, if you know something about Friedman's work, this all kind of makes sense. His book, The World Is Flat, is about how we are now in a world where globalization and competition have virtually eliminated political and geographic boundaries in terms of sales of goods and services. It doesn't matter than someone is 6,000 miles away, they can compete with you just like they were next door. That means we're in a post-industrial world, (like it or not) and since we can't build stuff for LESS than those emerging markets, our economy now needs to be based on intellectual property and innovation. In the new economy it doesn't matter what you build, it matters what you know. Google has a market cap bigger than GM, Ford and Boeing put together. And they don't manufacture anything. They are in the business of IDEAS!!!! Something GM (or Ford) doesn't have many of. People here have complained that he's being anti-American by being anti-GM and his response would be, no I'm not. No more than someone who buys an Apple iPod or HP laptop made in China is being anti-American. It DOESN'T MATTER where it is made anymore. And to Friedman, a socially resposible company creating jobs in America is preferrable to a socially irresponsible company cutting jobs in America, regardless of where their corporate headquarters are located. Both Toyota and GM are MULTINATIONAL companies and he would argue it doesn't really matter any more.