recently had to decide whether to put its new auto plant in the U.S. or in
Canada. It chose Canada because that country's health care policy is such
that Toyota's workers would receive full health care through their taxes,
and the auto company would not have to share in that cost, making the
price of their cars lower. More recently, Ford followed in the footsteps
of other U.S. auto makers, laying off tens of thousands of workers and
closing a number of plants because, in part, its cars were too expensive,
due to the company's health care coverage of its workers added to the cost
of its cars.
The solution to this problem
is obvious: the State of Michigan should choose to become part of Canada.
While the heart of the U.S. auto industry would become Canadian, the
workers would not lose their jobs, and the new Province of Michigan auto
industry -- Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors -- would be able to lower
the cost of its cars, making them more competitive on the world market.
Our modest proposal would have little effect on the daily social lives of
the people of Michigan, since they would remain living in their same
neighborhoods and working at their same jobs. Further, the policies and
attitudes of the Bush Administration are based on the concept that
citizens are primarily concerned with making a buck and national security,
and Canada can provide both better than the U.S. has. Also, all of the
citizens of the Province of Michigan would be treated to a cleaner
environment, secure in the knowledge that they stand less chance of
getting shot in Canada's anti-gun society and, if they are injured in an
accident, they wouldn't have to go into credit-card bankruptcy to pay for
treatment at a medical center. Finally, the large number of Muslims that
help make up the Michigan work force will find less prejudice when they
are welcomed as citizens in the new Canadian Province.
Given the history of life and politics in the U.S., we know that this
rational proposal won't become reality without a fight from corporations,
politicians, and others with personal vested interests -- gun
manufacturers and defense contractors, for example -- not willing to give
up those benefits for the sake of a better society. Hence, why not start
with a vote for succession by the citizens of Detroit? Detroit would be a
good place to start: not only is it the administrative center of the auto
industry, it's also North of Windsor, a close, sister city in Canada.
Decades from now, the citizens of the Province of Michigan will ask, "Why
didn't we think of this sooner?"
Jerry "Politex" Barrett is Editor of
Bush Watch. He
can be reached at: