Democrats are suggesting, however, an even more ambitious reason to nationalize. Once the government owns Detroit, it can remake it. The euphemism here is “retool” Detroit to make cars for the coming green economy.
Liberals have always wanted the auto companies to produce the kind of cars they insist everyone should drive: small, light, green and cute. Now they will have the power to do it.
In World War II, government had the auto companies turning out tanks. Now they would be made to turn out hybrids. The difference is that, in the middle of a world war, tanks have a buyer. Will hybrids? One of the reasons Detroit is in such difficulty is that consumers have been resisting the smaller, less powerful, less safe cars forced on the industry by fuel-efficiency mandates. Now Detroit would be forced to make even more of them.