The ‘Invisible Hand’ Is in Your Pocket
1In economics, the invisible hand is the term economists use to describe the self-regulating nature of the marketplace. The invisible hand is a metaphor coined by the economist Adam Smith. Once in The Wealth of Nations and other writings, Smith tried to show that, in a free market, an individual pursuing his own self-interest tends to also promote the good of his community as a whole through a principle that he called “the invisible hand.” He argued that each individual maximizing revenue for himself maximizes the total revenue of society as a whole, as this is identical with the sum total of individual revenues.
Which is undeniable, as long as the modifiers individual and himself are not replaced by corporation and itself. Fortunately, The Supreme Court has not yet taken on the job of editing Wikipedia, but it may soon do that as well---the jury is still out. Various institutions have taken Smith’s truth and distorted it to their own benefit, claiming their particular brand of hand operates in the public interest. Brand of Hand, has a nice ring to it, no?
Amazingly, Adam Smith used 'invisible hand' only three times in all his thousands of pages of writing, but the metaphor survived.
In fact, it flourished and grew to expanding its definition to include maximizing revenues for corporations and the investor class, two groups most likely to enlarge their self-interest at the expense of yours and mine. There goes individual and himself, swirling down the drain of a Supreme Court decision.2 Money never made a good idea, but a good idea always makes money.
Smith’s invisible hand was not only a brilliant economic theory, but also a good idea in the sense of promoting unregulated finance. That reliable hand would always protect us from greed, a statement that Alan Greenspan has come very much to regret making. Way back, sixteen years back, when he could have actually done something to confront the forces that would bring us to our knees, Alan (then chairman of the Federal Reserve) was quoted thus;3
In 1996, he (Greenspan) questioned the ''irrational exuberance'' of the American investor. Last Tuesday, Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, brought that era to a definitive end with his diagnosis that ''an infectious greed seemed to grip much of our business community.'' Acknowledging he was wrong in his long-held belief that the government should not regulate the accounting industry, Mr. Greenspan also said: ''It is not that humans have become any more greedy than in generations past. It is that the avenues to express greed had grown so enormously.''
Seemed to grip. Alan, even then, thought it only seemed to grip.
The man who enjoyed a near god-like hold over successive presidents (Reagan to George W. Bush), spoke in the past tense about irrational exuberance and infectious greed. Wrong in his long held belief, he imposed it unchanged for another eleven years, handing off a fatally wounded economy to Ben Bernanke. Without so much as a soft apology, Greenspan wrote a self-serving memoir, The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World. Alan, ever the swashbuckler, grabbed the last seat in the lifeboat, ahead of the women and children, leaving America to sink to the bottom. Hands (visible or invisible) were left to grab anything that floated from what was left.
Just four years ago (March, 2008) I wrote a piece I called Conversations with the Clueless, a discouraging look at where the Fed is taking us.
The intervening years have been good for my prognostication and bad for the country. But the source of my discomfiture was a Washington Post headline that trumpeted “Stocks Surge as Fed Offers a Boost.”4 Those stocks that got boosted were a shining example of the invisible hand reaching deep into your pocket. To boost something is also a slang expression for steal, as in “let’s go out and boost a car.”
Incredibly, the Post opens with the line,
“the Federal Reserve took bold action Tuesday to revive the economy's ossified credit markets by offering to take over the risk of spurned mortgage securities, igniting a rally on Wall Street that sent stocks to their best performance in five years.”
I don’t damned doubt a rally was ignited, as Wall Street dodged yet another bullet and went out to celebrate. When your securities stink so badly no one will touch them, it’s a relief to have the Fed come along and clean up the mess. ‘Ossified’ indeed. The credit market is road-kill, lying there with all four legs in the air, body swelling with the rot of gigantic fraud. Post financial writers, Tse and Irwin, authors of this clap-trap, go on to mislead;
“Setting aside earlier reservations, the Fed essentially made itself the lender of last resort to investment banks squeezed for cash by offering them up to $200 billion in new credit against their holdings of highly rated mortgage securities that no one else is eager to buy. This move, coordinated with four other central banks, was the most aggressive step the Fed has taken to address the spreading credit crisis.”
One can but wonder at the apparent (but ignored) disconnect between ‘highly rated mortgage securities’ and ‘no one else is eager to buy.’ The Fed has not made itself lender of last resort, it has made the American taxpayer lender of last resort, neatly sticking its institutional invisible hand deeply into our private pockets, without ever checking with us to see if it was okay. The Fed as pickpocket.
The Revolutionary War was begun over just such an issue and that argument was over tea. The Federal Reserve doesn’t have $200 billion, nor does it have the additional $100 billion it has promised each and every month until the cows come home (or don’t, in which case they’re suddenly your and my cows). The Fed stands unembarrassed, in the service of special interests,
watering your currency,
bailing out those who lost their underwear on a bet gone bad and suddenly want your underwear
destroying what little credibility the dollar has left,
making every single thing you own worth half what it was,
shooing off any foreign interest in financing our astounding national debt and
getting the Washington Post to present it to you as an aggressive step to address the crisis.
Does the Post ask any questions of Bernanke, or do Tse and Irwin just grab the press release, add their byline and go to print? Skepticism has fled our newspapers, just ahead of print-news bankruptcy.
Bernanke and Co. are doing this treasonous damage to the American economy in order to keep the Dow Jones Industrial Average up in the vicinity of 12,000. Their reasons have nothing at all to do with the integrity of markets. That went down the drain decades ago. They are doing it to protect the assets of the CEOs on top, keep the hedge-fund shenanigans in play and let President Bush flee his office with the myth intact that he is not actually President Hoover reincarnated.
The Dow Jones industrial average responded to the morning announcement by jumping 250 points within the first moments of trading and ended the day (3-11-08) up 416.66 points (3.5 percent) to 12,156, its best performance in five years. Another rabbit dragged from another hat. At $100 billion a month, rabbits are easily come by.
“But while the Dow's percentage gain was its steepest since 2003, the rebound in trading still left markets below where they'd been just a week ago. Nor did the move by the central bank address the underlying weakness of the economy triggered by widespread exposure to failing subprime mortgage loans, though the initiative did blunt the immediate threat: a run from even the safest high-grade bonds.”
Underlying weakness. There you have it, you intrepid reporters. Even a blind pig occasionally finds a peanut and Tse and Irwin have found theirs, but misnamed it. Failing sub-prime mortgage loans should more properly and accurately be called 'fraudulently packaged and misrepresented hedge-fund derivatives.' These crap bonds had already been rated AAA by crooked bond rating companies (who acknowledge being paid to rate) and now those rated safest have failed.
Now it gets complicated, but only slightly. In the rest of the world—that strange and romantic, dangerous and chaotic place outside America—the value of the dollar has dropped by half during this and the last administration. Your house, car, savings and hopes, along with your and my Social Security payments, are all worth half what they were eight years ago . . . and no one told you.
The Cliff Notes are that
galloping federal debt ($3 trillion increased to $15 trillion),
a savings rate less than zero,
a huge buildup of personal debt,
tax giveaways to the rich,
a couple of unfunded wars and oil prices goosed by those wars ($31 suddenly up to $104 a barrel) have made us a sub-prime debtor nation and rotten prospect for whom to loan money.
Unfortunately, our thirst for debt is $1.5 billion a day. Uncle Sam has become a profligate uncle, putting every single American in hock for over fifty grand and that fifty is increasing every day. Depressed? I thought you might be.
Somebody has to come up with the dough or else the world is going to make us turn in our credit card. Mostly, the world in this sense has been the Chinese, along with investors who have no safe haven to park their money. But understand this. A $100 Chinese (or any other) investment in ten-year U.S. Debt, paid into our Treasury in 2000, is now only worth $50. The dollar dropped by half its value during that time. Would you loan someone money if you knew you’d be repaid at fifty-cents on the dollar?
Imagine your $225,000 home being worth only $125,000 at the end of your 30 year mortgage, when you will have paid $640,000 for it.
Foreign investors are less and less willing to fund us at that kind of loss, especially when they can simply buy us at bargain-basement prices, as the Chinese and Dubai princes have been doing. So much for blind pigs and peanuts, at least for the moment.
5“Until Tuesday, the central bank had been unable to reverse the downward slide of the U.S. economy despite a series of interest rate cuts and other steps to introduce liquidity into the system. The series of cuts to the federal funds rate had threatened to stoke inflation and, by driving down the value of the dollar, contributed to price rises in oil and other imported commodities. But these moves had done little to restore the confidence of banks, which have increasingly tightened the credit they offer to businesses and home buyers, even those with excellent credit.”
Argentinean-style inflation is inevitable when Bernanke prints $100 billion a month and pumps it into the banks. Those same banks that flummoxed us are now in need of confidence so that the poor little dears can once again get into the flummoxing business. Or else they threaten to pick up their (our) marbles and go home. $100 billion worth of marbles is a lot of marbles. Restoring the confidence of banks essentially means restoring the banking confidence game.
Confidence game: (noun) a swindle in which you cheat at gambling or persuade a person to buy worthless property.
Liquidity will not solve the problem. The banks no longer know under which shell the pea is hidden6 and are thus no longer loaning to one another. Not trusting one another, they (temporarily, we hope) will not loan to their customers, no matter the interest rate. It would be refreshing to hear Bernanke or Schumer ‘fess up in public that, within the financial community, there is no longer confidence in the confidence game.
What might ultimately restore confidence would be federal indictments, lengthy investigations into the lending conspiracy and prison terms for a couple hundred over-compensated crooks. Embarrassingly, the prison terms would be fairly and evenly distributed among CEOs of mortgage banks, investment banks, bond rating firms and hedge funds. Thanks to Bernanke, those are the very co-conspirators who celebrate having just dodged the bullet of accountability.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post apparently has let go all their investigative reporters. Not knowing what else to do this close to deadline and having not the faintest notion of the fire in the engine-room, Tse and Irwin blather on;
“So the Fed moved Tuesday to auction up to $200 billion in Treasury securities, which will be available to large financial institutions if they put up collateral including highly rated mortgage-backed securities. The aim was to make Wall Street firms more confident about buying and holding these mortgage investments and provide an outlet for them. This could free up money for banks to lend.”
Choke that down, as the main boiler explodes and the ship of state takes a decided list to starboard. Pretend you are an investor, holding junk bonds that were presented to you as AAA rated. It said so right on the investment documents (a fraud by the bond raters). Here are those bonds today, not worth a fart in a whirlwind (a compounded fraud perpetrated across state boundaries, making it a RICO7 offense). The Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, is going to take them off your hands---as collateral—and pay you billions of dollars.
You laugh hysterically and put Ben’s (our) money under the mattress. This is supposed to make you more confident about buying and holding these mortgage investments, but you’re not fool enough for that, thank you very much. As for freeing up money, that’s safely parked under your mattress until your heart rate slows down and you venture forth yet again.
“After the announcement, the market for these highly rated mortgage securities showed signs of improvement.”
I’ll just bet it did.
“Economists and analysts largely praised the move, saying it goes further in directly addressing current problems than simply cutting a short-term interest rate, which adds to inflationary fears.”
According to these financial geniuses, cutting short-term interest rates is inflationary, but printing $1 trillion a year somehow is not.
What, me worry? Hey--it’s party time.
Unfortunately, Tse and Irwin interviewed only analysts and strategists. The criminal class was unavailable for comment and so rather than dig, uncover, lay bare and expose, their opinion understandably followed the lead of economists and analysts who largely praised the move. These (lest we forget) are the same good folks who cheer-led the bubble economy, shaking their pom-poms every step of the way, trusting to that invisible hand thrust deep in your and my (and their) pocket.
British economist Adam Smith is the source of the term ‘invisible hand.’ It occurs for the first time on page 456 of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, published in 1776. America in that year had much on its mind other than whose hand might be in the cookie jar.
But we love Smith because he loved us, for our enthusiasm, earnestness, freedom and willingness to put it all on the line in our own best interest. Smith’s admiration for most things American is reciprocated down through the past couple hundred years in an unwavering willingness to quote him in defense of our capitalistic institutions. That defines a long-term love affair, for sure.
8This remarkable book was published in 1776, at a time when the power of free trade and competition as stimulants to innovation and progress was scarcely understood. Governments granted monopolies and gave subsidies to protect their own merchants, farmers and manufacturers against 'unfair' competition. The guilds operated stern local cartels: artisans of one town were prevented from travelling to another to find work. Local and national laws forbade the use of new, labor-saving machinery. And, not surprisingly to us today, poverty was accepted as the common, natural, and inevitable lot of most people.
Adam Smith railed against this restrictive, regulated, 'mercantilist' system, and showed convincingly how the principles of free trade, competition, and choice would spur economic development, reduce poverty, and precipitate the social and moral improvement of humankind. To illustrate his concepts, he scoured the world for examples that remain just as vivid today: from the diamond mines of Golconda to the price of Chinese silver in Peru; from the fisheries of Holland to the plight of Irish prostitutes in London. And so persuasive were his arguments that they not only provided the world with a new understanding of the wealth-creating process; they laid the intellectual foundation for the great era of free trade and economic expansion that dominated the Nineteenth Century.
The Wealth of Nations changed our understanding of the economic world just as Newton's Principia changed our understanding of the physical world and Darwin's Origin of Species.
Unlike Newton, but very like Darwin, there are those today who interpret Smith for their own purposes. As but one example, the invisible hand was mentioned only three times in his entire six-volume work. Smith casually addresses the term as follows:
“By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.”
Nothing obscure there. Nor have I taken the context from his words. Smith clearly means (writing in the same paragraph) to remark upon individual gain and security. The definition of individual has been re-interpreted a good bit over the intervening years.
It took a horrific Civil War and a couple hundred years to recognize persons of color as individuals.
Women were not allowed the individual right to vote until 1920.
The individual choice of whom to marry has a similarly checkered history of racial and sexual bias.
But the Supreme Court touched the magic wand of individual rights to corporations in 1886—long before any of the above examples and, essentially gave corporations the same rights as only white, American men enjoyed at that time.9
The linkage is important, because Adam Smith’s individual invisible hand has been interpreted since then as the corporate invisible hand in your pocket. Stay with me. It’s never too late to enjoy a little history you don’t often find in textbooks.
A natural person is human and bleeds when you stick it with a pin. A legal, juridical or juristic person is something the law treats as if it was a person (and that usually finds a way to bleed you).
The whole thing was cooked up by the railroad interests to keep the railroads (and essentially themselves), from paying taxes. It wasn’t enough that Harriman and his like were given enormous hunks the country (and an absolute monopoly on transport) during their push West. They balked at paying anything and anything (then as now) included taxes.
The long and short of it is that the Supreme Court decided corporations should enjoy the rights of private persons and conveniently, in 1886, there was no personal income tax. An argument continues today over whether or not the Court’s decision was a low and inside pitch.
Those in favor argue that corporations (as representatives of real people) were intended by the founders to participate in the same rights as real people. Don’t fret that they forgot to write it down, they really meant to. Not to worry that Thomas Jefferson said of corporations;
“I hope we shall... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
Remember Jefferson? Great man, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, father to the Constitution and third President of the United States.
But putting aside Jeffersonian thought, corporate rights against self-incrimination, privacy and the right to lobby the government have really worked out well for us, no? To say nothing of corporate free speech, which encourages a fluid and consistent morphing until speech is now defined as money to provide speech.
Ergo, having access to more money than the private person, the corporate person deserves access to more free speech than the private person, particularly when it comes to influencing the private person’s legislature in the corporate person’s behalf. The behalf is larger than the bewhole, a corporate geometric theorem. Thus corporate America pumps the toxic flow of money directly from K-Street into the coffers of those who legislate for or against K-Street clients. It’s a kind of ever present auction to the highest bidder, hence congressional war-chests of campaign money that keep incumbents rich, in office and (more importantly) in the service of corporations.
Those taking a more circumspect view, point out exactly the concerns outlined above and charge that the Court damn well knew it at the time, but was in the pocket of railroads arguing for protection from the individual states through which they ran (and from whom they profited).
But the argument goes on and on, likely to get considerably more heated as those corporate behemoths that are too big to fail begin to fail. Indeed, they have begun already. The Federal Reserve has merely kept them from falling, as if they were ‘downer’ cattle, on their knees in the killer-ramp and electrically jolted to their feet.
It’s a dreary metaphor, but an even more dreary reality.
The Story of Jeff Evans and Nandra Barnes
In a sort of modern day Grapes of Wrath moment, I am introduced to Jeff Evans.10
After 30 years at a factory making truck parts, Jeffrey Evans was earning $14.55 an hour in what he called “one of the better-paying jobs in the area.” Wearing a Harley-Davidson cap, a bittersweet reminder of crushed dreams, he recently described how astonished and betrayed he felt when the plant was shut down in August after a labor dispute. Despite sporadic construction work, Mr. Evans has seen his income reduced by half.
So he was astonished yet again to find himself, at age 49, selling off his cherished Harley and most of his apartment furniture and moving in with his mother.
You damn sure can’t argue with the premise that thirty years working a job that pays less than fifteen bucks an hour and then seeing it cut by half, isn’t a journey for which you need a Harley. Listening to Congress pontificate about their concerns for workers, when they have never worked a wage-job day in their lives, just makes me terribly, terribly angry. Living in Europe, I find myself astonished that the American dollar (upon which I depend) has dropped by half in value as well.
While the financial pages debate whether or not we’re close to the bottom of financial disaster, Jeff and I are hip-deep in it. Anger is a good thing. We are not angry enough in America. Anger is useful, even necessary, if anything is to change.
Middle-aged men moving in with parents, wives taking two jobs, veteran workers taking overnight shifts at half their former pay, families moving West — these are signs of the turmoil and stresses emerging in the little towns and backwoods mobile homes of southeast Ohio, where dozens of factories and several coal mines have closed over the last decade, and small businesses are giving way to big-box retailers and fast-food outlets. It’s much the same elsewhere, just pick your target.
Tom Joad’s sharecropped land simply dried up and blew away in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. Jeff Evans’ sharecropped employment fell to the planned, methodical, Harvard-bred maximization of quarterly profits. That fool's errand wrought as much havoc on the American working environment as the dust-bowl thirties did for subsistence farmers, drying up and blowing away a dynamic American industrial model second to none.
Two sides of the same short-sighted nickel.
“Here, where the northern swells of the Appalachians lap the southern fringe of the Rust Belt, thousands of people who long had tough but sustainable lives are being wrenched into the working poor. The region presents an acute example of trends affecting many parts of Ohio, Michigan and other pockets of the Midwest. Slammed by the continued decline in the automobile and steel businesses, Ohio never recovered from the recession of 2001-2, and blue-collar families who had made it partway up the economic ladder find themselves slipping back, with chaotic effects on families and dreams.”
It would come as a further blow to an already shell-shocked Jeff Evans, that America’s ‘continued decline in the automobile and steel businesses’ was a put-up job. Mainstream media, including newspapers in Ohio and Michigan, that owe it to their readers to look deeper, simply accepted the clap-trap of continued declines as if they were seasons of the year.
The demise of Ohio truck parts production was engineered at a time when automobile and steel production was thriving in a country six and a half thousand miles away. It’s a country with high wages and benefits, a nation with no natural resources such as iron and coal and a country in the same economic dive we are feeling, but with enough cash surplus to get through. That country, of course, is Japan and it continues to kick our American ass in auto and steel production, even as Jeff Evans moves in with his mom, Chrysler declares bankruptcy and GM expects to follow.11
What Japan does not lead America in, is the destruction of its industrial base by the weapon of quarterly profit. The Japanese could be found during the fifties, cameras hanging from necks, at American industrial trade shows. I saw them swarm the Caterpillar exhibit at the Heavy Equipment Expo in Chicago’s McCormick Place. They took our engineering expertise home with them and honed it, polished the product and called it Komatsu, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Honda. Then they sold it back to us, while Detroit automakers looked the other way, played golf and derided their union members.
Nandra Barnes knows about dead-end jobs.12 For seven years, the single mother of three labored as a welder at an air-conditioning factory in Grenada, Miss., and a gritty job that, at $11.50 an hour, left her living paycheck to paycheck. Job security? Forget it. With every dip in orders, the factory would lay off more workers. "It seemed like there were always cutbacks," she recalls. Barnes was fearful of the day she would get the tap on the shoulder.
So when Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY) opened a sprawling $1.4 billion assembly plant in nearby Canton, Barnes jumped at the opportunity and was lucky enough to snare one of the 4,200 jobs at the plant. Today, Barnes makes bumpers for Quest minivans and the four other models Nissan produces at the factory, where she earns more than $20 an hour -- a princely sum not just for rural Mississippi but for almost any U.S. blue-collar worker these days without a union card or a college degree. Barnes, 39, even has enough money left over after paying the bills to give her three kids things that she never had -- including, she hopes, a college education.
"With this job I finally feel secure that I can take care of my family," she says. "I plan on retiring from here."
Not only has the Harvard Business School model failed us, but the very companies the HBS enabled to kick us out of our own industries are now coming back to give Nandra Barnes the job Harvard took away from Jeff Evans.
Nissan, Toyota and Honda don’t pay their senior executives to bet against the firm. You won’t see a Japanese CEO baited with stock options that reward the destruction of jobs in order to juice a quarterly dividend. The $100 million bonus for off-shoring jobs, downsizing payroll and eliminating research and development, does not exist outside the American business template.
I don’t hesitate to name the murderer of America’s industrial and business base; it is without the slightest doubt the Harvard Business School and other business schools that copy and promote the same viral infection. Of what possible benefit has it been, to
create a business elite at the cost of a ravaged middle class?
trade in America’s Main Street to fourteen billionaires from Bentonville, Arkansas?
fast-food our third-generation family restaurants out of existence?
destroy the energy and downtowns of small and mid-town America?
become a nation of consumers instead of producers?
make a lie out of the promise of a future better than our parents?
wake up dead-tired and go to bed scared, while we as a nation concentrate our wealth and lose our grandeur?
The benefit is only at the top and even there. Ted Turner and Warren Buffett are uneasy with where they find themselves. Buffet is appalled that his billion dollar annual income is taxed at 15%, while his secretary pays 35% of her earnings in taxes. Turner gave $5 billion to charity and dared his peers to do likewise, saying they owe it to the country they took it from.
We are better than the hedge-fund managers earning $100 million yearly and complaining about tax brackets. We are better than Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.
What worked back when we were nourished by long-term investment is driven into the wall by a winner-take-all race to quarterly profit. What thrived under owner-managers like the Henrys; Ford and Kaiser, is destroyed by hired-gun CEOs, thirsty for personal gain. What once was the envy of the world as an entrepreneurial model, has declined to second-world status. The planet’s leading producer nation and Marshall Plan savior of post-war Europe, finds itself in a mere sixty-five years reduced to beggary and the goodwill of those who pity our credit-card mentality.
Pockets picked, self-interest hijacked, we have no dreams left, merely variations of self indulgence at the top and despair at the bottom. An American idyll, replaced by American Idol. The invisible hand that nourishes personal self-interest and builds societies was stolen from us. We can no longer afford a business school mentality that tears us down, allowing the rich to profit from our destruction and then whine about their loss of confidence.
Reading about Jeffrey Evans forced to move in with his mother, our collective reaction is “loser.” We are all losers. We, who had it all, like Tom Joad and Jeff Evans, watch helplessly as it blows away. In the meantime, our national leadership has taken it upon themselves to restore the confidence of banks, when their duty to the nation is to restore confidence in banks.
Ironically, in the end, the super rich will lose as well. An entire nation cannot come unglued without destructive fallout everywhere.
If it didn’t make you cry, it would make you laugh.
1 Wikipedia, ‘invisible hand’
2 Wikipedia, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
3 New York Times, When Greed Was a Virtue And Regulation the Enemy, 7-21-02
4 Washington Post, March 11, 2008
5 Washington Post, 11 Mar 2008, Stocks Surge as Fed Offers A Boost
6 Shell-game (noun; A swindling sleight-of-hand game; victim guesses which of three shells a peanut is under).
7 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act; that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization.
9 1886 Supreme Court Case, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad
10 New York Times, Blue-Collar Jobs Disappear, Taking Families’ Way of Life Along, 1-16-08
11 Time Magazine, Why Toyota Can Finally Take Over the U.S. Car Market, 3-31-09
12 Businessweek, Good News About U.S. Auto Industry, 2-2-06