Another Letter to President Obama | Subject: Horses, The Big Three, and Robots
Dear President Obama,
IÂ’m writing you with another pressing policy concernÂ—I know GM and Chrysler have been going through a pretty rough stretch lately, and I think I know why.
First, I think the big car companies are going about naming their products all wrong. Generally speaking, I think too many of cars made by the Big Three are named after horses. For instance, consider the Dodge Colt. I mean, really, who names a car after a horse? When I think of what I want in a car, I donÂ’t think of the common features available on many ungulates. (OK, IÂ’ll admit it, the GMC Alpaca does have a nice ring to after it.)
After all, horses donÂ’t have AC, they donÂ’t have one of those cigarette-lighter adapter things, they donÂ’t even have anti-lock-brakes! And I think I speak for the American public when I say that I generally would like my car to have more horsepower than 1, which is the standard amount available on your average horse. I know what youÂ’re going to sayÂ—Â“but Brett, all Dodge Colts have a lot more horsepower than a horse!Â” I know they do, but the name already has me thinking of Mr. Ed and carrots, not speed and chic design. (For instance, if GM were to name a car Â“the StupidSlowmobile,Â” it wouldnÂ’t matter how fast or cool the car actually was, the name would stick.) I mean, if weÂ’re going to name a car after a horse, then letÂ’s go all out. LetÂ’s amp up the giveaways and offer to give away a cowboy hat and a free yearÂ’s worth of oats with every purchase. Maybe a pitchfork, too. And if we could pull a few strings, perhaps we could get a test model of the new car in the running for the Kentucky Derby. This could drum up PR and who knows, it might even win. (But watch out, IÂ’ve heard that the horse Vallenzeri is pretty fast.)
Secondly, I know that robots are an essential part of the automotive assembly line these days, but they also might the cause of some of our problems. Let me explain: I began thinking about this after calling up GM and Chrysler and asking them how much their robots were paid. Their answer astounded me; the robots arenÂ’t paid at all! From an executiveÂ’s point of view, I understand this; the robots probably donÂ’t know any better, so why pay them? But what if someone else (representatives from Honda or Mitsubishi, say) snuck into one of our factories and made our robots a better offer? What if corporate spies bribed our robots with fancy Japanese electronics like the Wii and flat panel TVs? To wit, Mr. President, have you ever considered the possibility that there are robotic traitors in our midst?
Assume this is true for a momentÂ—this would explain the American reputation for shoddy workmanship, and in turn, our flat-lining sales. Clearly we must offer our robots a living (sentient?) wage in order to prevent this problem.
I hope you take time to consider these points; I think if we were to make changes in these areas our automakers would be in better shape.
This is my 3rd letter to President Obama. I'm writing one a day. See the rest at www.knockoutlit.org/brett.html