To the Editor:
Thomas Friedman of The New York Times wants President Bush to read his new book. Perhaps Friedman should try reading Peter Brown's June 27 column in Automotive News.
Friedman is right about the American people's and government's lack of proper response to globalization. But he fails to see that General Motors is very much a part of the American economy in all its complexity.
He oversimplifies GM's problems and idealizes Toyota's success, scapegoating all GM's problems on GM internally. Friedman misses the reality that GM is very much a symbol of and must function within the larger American disease that he so aptly points out.
The disease: In general, we live off our past wealth and prestige; are prone to mortgage our future; and, specifically, lack national health care, which our competitors have, and are unable to improve CAFE standards, which should be a government initiative and not one from the automakers, etc.
Closer to reality is that GM is actually responding as well as can be expected while being part of this larger American disease that plagues the country's future and that Friedman is so capable of deciphering.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
The writer is a requirement analyst for UGS, a supplier of software to the auto industry.