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Sep 28th
Home Sections Politics How Motown Can Deliver the Big Mo for the American Economic Renaissance
How Motown Can Deliver the Big Mo for the American Economic Renaissance PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Politics
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Friday, 26 August 2011 10:43


Part One of a New Series on the "Politics of Economic Development" for Detroit and Other Financially-distressed Cities


By Bobby M. Reyes


A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage’ – Herbert Hoover’s winning 1928 Presidential campaign slogan.


I remembered President Hoover’s campaign slogan as I participated in the 22nd annual convention of the Asian-American Journalists Association held in the Renaissance Center and at the COBO Conference/Exhibition Center of Detroit, Michigan, last Aug. 10-13, 2011.  


That was my fourth visit to Detroit, which is nicknamed the “Motown.” I visited the city in 2003 for three times to attend Filipino-American events.


Yes, as I had been telling my long-time friends and new acquaintances in Detroit and its suburbs, the “Motown can deliver the Big Momentum (Mo) for the ailing economy of the United States and begin an Economic Renaissance, if not a New Golden Age, of American industry, engineering and entrepreneurship.”


I remembered also the answer of then-General Motors (GM) President Charles Erwin Wilson, who was nominated by then-President Dwight Eisenhower as Secretary of Defense. When Mr. Wilson was asked during the hearings before the U. S. Senate’s Armed Services Committee if as “Secretary of Defense he could make a decision adverse to the interests of General Motors,” he answered, "What's good for General Motors is good for America."


Perhaps, we should just amend Mr. Wilson’s answer, so that it becomes today, “What’s good for Detroit’s automakers is good for the United States.”


During this visit, I looked at Downtown Detroit’s spectacular view and beyond at the Coach Insignia restaurant on the 71st floor of the GM Global Renaissance Center. Then I told friends that for the American Economic Renaissance to happen starting in 2011 and the years to come, Mr. Hoover’s slogan (at least half of it) must be done again. Yes, a new American-built car must be bought this year by every household in the United States, whether it has a garage or not. If not this year, then in 2012 or 2013.


My optimism about the Motown’s car industry was vindicated just 12 days later by the Los Angeles Times, which published this article:

Carmakers' rebound is driving jobs in U.S.




Jerry Hirsch, the Los Angeles Times writer, who penned the article, said in his lead paragraph, “Taxpayers bailed out much of the U.S. auto industry. Now the carmakers might be what saves the nation's economy from falling back into recession.”


A 2012 New Version of the “Manhattan Project”


A merica’s Big Three automotive companies must lead Corporate America in doing a modern-day version of World War II’s “Manhattan Project.” The automakers of Motown must function again like they did during the last World War. They must fashion and fabricate new equipment with the urgency of a “Manhattan Project” so that the United States can win its new wars against domestic unemployment, underemployment, poverty, failing educational system, decaying infrastructures and other social cancers.


General Motors, Ford and Chrysler must let their engineers develop new technology for solar power, wind mills and other alternative sources of energy. Motown must invent and produce new solar wafers that can at the same time be used to tint the numerous windows of the six towers of the Renaissance Center (RenCen) and other buildings in Detroit and all the skyscrapers in the United States.


Motown can lead in turning the roofs, windows and walls of all big buildings – from hotels to churches – and even detached homes and townhouses into solar-powered generators, so that the edifices can produce more electricity than what the tenants can consume.


Detroit – under the leadership of its Big Three automakers – can offer to build and finance updated versions of its famed “People Mover” so that all downtowns in the United States can have an “instant” infrastructure project that can jumpstart local employment.


There are more innovations that Motown can do in pursuing  the "politics of economic development" (or "redevelopment") . . . # # #


(To be continued . . .)

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Last Updated on Saturday, 20 July 2013 14:23
Comments (5)
1 Saturday, 27 August 2011 05:59
Hello Bobby, I enjoyed the article, as well as the read from bibliography.

Thank you.

Mukhtar A Khan. MD, FACC.
Hassan Foundation
25779 Kelly Rd
Roseville, MI. 48066
(As sent by e-mail to the Editor)
2 Saturday, 27 August 2011 06:50
Dear Bobby,

It was nice to meet you and your associates and please call me Ernie. I'm not a doctor, but I appreciate your respect. I read the article and enjoyed it. You are right on target. Also, I looked at other articles and one caught my attention that you wrote also. It was the one about the Boy Scout Filipino Tragety in 1963.

Bobby, I am an Eagle Scout. I attended our National Scout Jamboree here in the states in 1961 or 1962. I couldn't go to the World Jamboree in 1963 because it was too expensive. My father, now deceased, was an elected official also. He served on the Detroit City Council from 1970 until 1978. I shared your article on my facebook page. I have relatives that are Filipino and live in Cali. They will be very suprised to see that I know about Mabuhay Radio!

Well, I must go, but let's stay in touch.

Warm regards,

Ernie Browne
Co-Founder, Vice President & COO
Sweet Smiles Dental Solutions, Inc.
Detroit, MI
3 Saturday, 27 August 2011 06:54

Thanks for the article, I 'liked' it on Facebook. I am glad you enjoyed your fourth visit. Hopefully you can come back for more.

I forwarded the message to Walter.

Ankur Dholakia
photo/video journalist
The Detroit News
(Media News Group)
4 Saturday, 27 August 2011 07:01
Hi Bobby,

It was wonderful meeting you. I always appreciate seeing people wearing barongs with pride. I hope our younger generation continues the trend. I cannot wait to read the article. Please let me know next time you are in town. I would love to hear more about the Asian-American Journalists Association. I work for Gannett, but I’m not a journalist. Hopefully there are other ways I can be involved. I really enjoyed the convention reception. It really was an honor to be surrounded by so many inspiring people.

Til next time!

-Stella Trunzo
Area Manager for Detroit, MI
(Sent by e-mail to the Editor)
Even Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter’s used "The Manhattan Project" in a comparative manner. Mr. Alter wrote in his column (Newsweek, Sept. 18, 2006, issue, page 35), “(Putting) the country on a Manhattan Project crash course to get off oil.”

Posted by The Editor

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