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Bread and Circuses: Ruminations from Ground Zero of the Auto Bailout

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Bread and Circuses: Ruminations from Ground Zero of the Auto Bailout
Bread and Circuses: Ruminations from Ground Zero of the Auto Bailout

This week I did something that I rarely ever do: I took the bus into work.

The mass transit infrastructure for the Detroit area is relatively lean compared to that available in other large U.S. municipalities. One reason for this is because the population has spread away from the city in an organic, rather than linear pattern, designing a logical system is all but impossible. The other more obvious reason is that Detroit is, after all, the “Motor City.” The idea of personal car ownership is baked into our DNA. Per usual, my bus carried no more than fifteen other passengers.

Outside, knocked over by high winds from the day before, holiday decorations adorning the front of people’s homes were left tossed about. Given the hard knocks Michigan has endured in the last few years that shows no signs of letting up as 2008 closes, there was something particularly apropos about the sight of dozens of Santas laying face down in the snow. One could call the regional dread that has resulted from the uncertain fate of the U.S. automotive industry palpable. But, at this point, a more apt description of it would be ubiquitous.