Continued from page 1

The plight of U.S. automakers is one of their own making. They failed to listen to the market’s demands for smaller, fuel-efficient, dependable cars. They gave away the store to militant labor unions that demanded huge wage boosts, retirement plans and other benefits that the companies could not possibly afford.

Toyota, Honda and other “made in America” foreign car companies did listen to the marketplace. They rarely changed their model designs; they paid their workers well, improved fuel efficiency and pushed hybrids; and Americans flocked to buy them.

They are also victims of the recession, and sales are down for them, too. But they are better positioned to survive the current economic decline, and we will likely see them expanding their production here when the recovery takes hold. You don’t see them whining and coming to Washington, hat in hand, asking the government to bail them out.

There’s a lesson here for the Big Three that remains unlearned.

Donald Lambro, chief political correspondent of The Washington Times, is a nationally syndicated columnist.