Why Buy American?

Economist Susan Helper evaluates the Chrysler and GM viability plans:

...what's missing in both proposals is an honest, humble appraisal of why more consumers haven't wanted to buy their cars at a similar price point to their competitors--and a demonstration of how they intend to fix this situation. Or, to put it another way, why do Detroit Three's cars sell for $2,000 less than comparable Japanese models? This is the key issue--not labor costs, which including the legacy costs account for less than 10 percent of the cost of a car.