Ohio, a historically Republican-leaning state that’s trending toward President Obama, is heavily reliant on the automotive industry. About 12 percent of the state’s labor force is linked to car production. As Election Day nears, Yahoo News asked Ohioans who depend on the industry to share their thoughts on the bailouts and the election. Here’s one perspective.
FIRST PERSON | Growing up in Toledo during the ’50s and ’60s was special if you were into the cutting edge of the auto industry. I experienced, firsthand, the benefits of jobs created by the Ohio automotive industry.
You must understand that Toledo and many northern Ohio cities were practically suburbs of Detroit. When Detroit had a hiccup or head cold, Toledo got a sore tummy and diarrhea. The kids from my school all seemed to have parents employed, at least tangentially, by the industry and that included the doctors, dry cleaners, druggists, tool makers, and so on.
My dad sold insurance to the trucking industry that hauled the parts and the finished products.
One in eight jobs are said to be created by the auto industry and during the war years it was higher. Imagine what WW 2 would have been like if the Jeep was made in China? If we exported all of our core jobs overseas, what happens if “it” happens?
I remember seeing my first Ford Mustang and the day when Joan Urwetz drove that Corvette convertible into the White Hut wearing a white bikini top. American Graffiti could have been filmed it Toledo — minus a few feet of snow and the surrounding corn fields. The auto industry was part of our culture, part of our livelihood, and part of our life.
What a tragedy if the hard-core economist had their way and they let Detroit go bankrupt. As long as we must get to point A from point B and to divert to point C, we need figure out how to keep making cars in Ohio.