Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Bush Campaigner Lies to Michigan Workers

2. July 2004 • Ari Paul
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The Michigan Land Use Institute reports:

On April 8 Marc Racicot, President George W. Bush’s national campaign chairman, startled Michigan by announcing what sounded like an ominous fact. After dedicating the Bush-Cheney campaign’s state headquarters near Detroit, Mr. Racicot said that if Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s proposal to raise vehicle fuel mileage standards went into effect Michigan would “lose 105,000 jobs.”

Mr. Racicot’s statement, meant to diminish Mr. Kerry’s standing in a swing state crucial to the campaigns of both candidates, was picked up by the state and national media. His comment was reported in the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, ABC News, and other print, broadcast, and Internet media…

But according to an investigation by the Great Lakes Bulletin News Service, Mr. Racicot’s assertion is at best a serious misrepresentation of a Pennsylvania economist’s two-year-old study, and at worst a deliberate fabrication. It also ignores the fact that many experts believe that improving fuel mileage would actually create more jobs, not eliminate them, and that the United Auto Workers supports Mr. Kerry and does not see his proposals about fuel efficiency as a threat to its members.



  1. Ari, how dare you insult our president and his favorite Frenchie (ooops) Marc Racicot.

    We may not be a Christian nation, but we are a car nation. (Or for those driving a little red corvette, we are a red car nation.)
       —David Boyle    Jul. 2 '04 - 04:50PM    #
  2. Ari –

    UAW suipports the proposal b/c they know it doesn’t get passed Congress. Ergo…not a big threat to them, and their jobs.

    As for the economic studies. Correct me if i am wrong. But i thought that any move to increase efficency of fuel has a two way track: white collar jobs (engineers, people with Ph.D they gain jobs); blue collar jobs (people who run gas stations, people who make cars (cause US market share will fall to Japanese who are miles ahead here)) loose jobs? no.
       —David Livshiz    Jul. 3 '04 - 09:12AM    #
  3. the euros pay twice what we do for jobs…have they the same rate of attrition in the industry???

    people who say “ergo” are fin,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jul. 3 '04 - 10:40AM    #
  4. replace “jobs” with “gas”...

    mistyping is deck,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jul. 3 '04 - 10:44AM    #
  5. are you out of your mind. The difference is that their car companies are subsidized; or are natinally owned – meaning that it allows them to be less then competitive and survive. that and to begin with in Europe driving is a luxury cause there is this thing called public transporatation. i wanna see you get around metro detroit without a car for a month.

    the point is – yes, fuel efficency goals are great – but lets be honest they have costs.

    in any case – it doesn’t make it through congress; and if he treis to do this through a rulemaking at DOE it will get stuck down by the courts. lots of politics, little action.
       —David Livshiz    Jul. 3 '04 - 10:55AM    #
  6. “The difference is that their car companies are subsidized; or are natinally owned – meaning that it allows them to be less then competitive and survive.”-dl

    and their product is STILL better than ours…

    “that and to begin with in Europe driving is a luxury cause there is this thing called public transporatation.” -dl

    yes, which american should be investing in…

    thank you for playing,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jul. 3 '04 - 11:08AM    #
  7. you know – one of these days you should do some policy work.

    a) their product is not better then ours. Industry insiders refer to FIAT as standing for Fix It Again Tony (its an Italian car). Cars like Renault, Pigeot, and various others have miniscule market place. the only cars taht sell well – are Daimler Motors, BMW (luxury only), and WV (Volvo is itself nearing extinction). and these cars are on the market – and mkae MOST of thier value in the US market, not Europe (same for Japan btw).

    b) Europe is much smaller then we are; and until VERY recently much more isolated. It is nto easy to move from Austria to Itally, b/c you can’t drive easily. I am not saying the highways sprawl we have is an ideal solution – just that a eropean solution woudl not work in America. and that we need something tailored to our geography and idiosyncracy.
       —David Livshiz    Jul. 3 '04 - 11:13AM    #
  8. you need to a read a book sometime…

    1. nice picking and choosing (italian cars…please, that wasn’t what i was refering to, bozo)...the bottom line is that the product being pushed by the big three is becoming less and less desirable relative to the selling price…furthermore, if one could afford, say, a saab, vw, a volvo (it should be noted, heir livshiz, that volvo’s quality went down AFTER it got bought by americans), why the hell would you pay more for a gm (which, by our shitty saftey standards, means MORE in insurance)...use your loaf…

    2. livshiz, you are such a pessimist when it comes to rational proposals…calm down, breath deep, and look at the facts…

    there are currently four cities in the u.s. with viable transit systems (chicago, nyc, boston, and d.c.)...other cities, like detroit, sf bay, and atlanta, spacially, could conceivably have transit systems but the ones that have are a joke, because the govt will pour millions of dollars into highways, but cry when they have to put a penny into transit…

    furthermore, there are plenty for interstate train routes that are under utalized…true, in sparsely populated areas, such as the american west, train travel is less likely…however, the only coirridor where train travel is utalized is the d.c.-boston route, but there are others that are under used…

    light rail connecting say, ann arbor to detroit, is not as radical as you make it out to be…

    european trains rock,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jul. 3 '04 - 12:16PM    #
  9. Ari – perhaps YOU should read a book. Renault is French, it was founded in teh 1920s and was privately held by a French family unitl after WWII when the French Government nationalized it as punsihment for the family having colobarated with Vichy. Likewise, Pigot is also french.

    In terms of quality – i am not sure what you are bitcing about. GM cars are gaining market share, and are at this point considered competitive with Toyotas of the world. Also, you’re right about volvo, but apparently the effect doesn’t go the other way around as Chrysler has not improved since Daimler bought them out.
    I am genuinly not sure about car quality – i don’t drive – but I’ll follow the market, and at least for GM they seem to be gaining.

    in terms of mass transit – i think you have a point and I never said it couldn’t work – just that it probalby wont. I think one of theunique things about hte US is the indipenedence of people. The reason that cars are popular (at least one reason) is the freedom they create – and you wont substitute for that iwth mass trnasit. And the “under utilized” rails prove it. People rather drive then take the train – and its not like its not there. It is. there is rail links b/n Royal Oak and AA ; and Ann Arbor and Chicago – but when is the last time YOU took a train to go to Chicago. and until someone out there finds a way to socially engineer peopel to get them to take trains – mass transit wont work that well.

    Also – ari – note that even in DC and NY – the people who live in teh burbs drive into the city; meaning all the rails doesn’t quite solve your issue.
       —david livshiz    Jul. 3 '04 - 01:04PM    #
  10. “The reason that cars are popular (at least one reason) is the freedom they create – and you wont substitute for that iwth mass trnasit.” -dl

    there is a mass of american history you need to read…my, you really ARE an idealist…

    “but when is the last time YOU took a train to go to Chicago.” -dl

    i have done it three times…the last was two years ago, and i’m taking amtrak to chicago in two weeks…

    transit is lacking not because that isn’t what people perfer (floridian logic shows that young people with money tend to move to ‘cool’ cities where they don’t have to drive)...the oil and auto industries used their muscle (often illegally) to crush things like streetcars that were popular in every major american city until the 1940s (even atlanta and detroit)...i don’t have time to give you citiations, but when i have time i will direct you to the history texts that prove the reason for our auto culture…

    perhaps the french can’t make cars, but i’ll take cheese and wine over a fourwheeler any day of the week…

    -a bougshy ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jul. 3 '04 - 02:24PM    #
  11. In any case, the main reason people take the freeway instead of Amtrak is because Amtrak is both far-slower and more-expensive than driving. If government would invest in rail rather than highway and gas subsidies the train would indeed become preferable.
       —Brandon    Jul. 29 '04 - 04:04PM    #