Let Detroit Go Bankrupt

Download 22.75 Kb.
Size22.75 Kb.


Nicholas Kennedy
Professor Abigail Heiniger
English 1020
24 October 2011
“Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”
As people have been undoubtedly saying for decades, all that we know to be the root of success in the metro Detroit area is slowly diminishing. Although the Detroit area is known for its poor communities, more than other major cities, it is home to a few of the most influential companies of the United States economy: the “Big Three.” Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors make up the “Big Three” and are the top three American automotive companies that were built and grown in the Detroit area. However, in addition to many other companies in the United States, the “Big Three” experienced a horrible downfall with the financial crisis of 2008. While there were not many options besides a federal bailout to save the “Big Three” from complete failure, the article "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," written by Mitt Romney, utilizes ethos, subtle pathos, and logos to show that a bailout given to the "Big Three" will do nothing but postpone the demise of the automotive industry in Detroit if controlled bankruptcies do not occur.

Financial Distress

The financial crisis of 2008 caused many corporations, big like the “Big Three” and small like a city deli, to restructure because of looming financial struggles. However, according to The New York Times, Ford, unlike Chrysler and General Motors, was able to “set aside $25 billion for a turnaround fund” before the recession began. That being said, billions of dollars were already poured into the three companies, making it hard for taxpayers and lawmakers, like Mitt Romney, to willingly allow an additional bailout of significant amount to Chrysler and General Motors. Since the audience is taxpayers, they can relate to what Romney is saying. One of the main arguments as to why a bailout would not help the two companies is because the money will be spent on something that is not ran the right way; this being Mitt Romney’s claim.

Mitt Romney: A Credible Source?

You may be asking, how is Mitt Romney, the author of “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” a credible source in regards to debating the automotive industry bailout? What makes him the ethos of this article? The answer comes from his upbringing: he was born and raised in Detroit. Detroit is the birthplace and hometown to millions of people, however, Romney not only grew up in Detroit but he was also the son of an automotive executive.

According to Mitt Romney’s article, his father, George W. Romney, was asked to run American Motors back in 1954. Similar to the “Big Three,” the company was struggling to stay afloat when George was placed in charge. Nevertheless, he managed to turn it around to be a successful corporation.

In addition to his father’s accomplishments, Mitt Romney found success when bringing Bain & Company out of the gutter, establishing Bain Capital, and rescuing the 2002 Winter Olympics from financial struggles. Growing up under the footsteps of an automotive executive, Mitt Romney is confident and knowledgeable “From the lessons of that turnaround, and from my own experiences, I have several prescriptions for Detroit’s automakers.” Romney, himself, creates personal ethos, rather than leaving it for the readers to find out themselves, which helps the readers feel confident in what he has to say.

Subtle Emotion

From the very first statement of this article, the audience, from people living in the metro Detroit area to people all over the nation, can see Romney’s confidence with the use of pathos.

Contrasting to other ways of rhetorically expressing emotion, Romney makes use of strong, short, yet subtle words and phrases. While other writers and publishers also use strong words, Romney is confident in what he says without throwing statements at the reader.

For example, when speaking of the automotive industry bailouts in regards to dispersing money to American citizens instead, Sam Barer, author of the “Four Wheel Drift,” states that “The logical conclusion, claim these folks (opposition to bailout), is to keep the government money flowing– no matter how long it takes, otherwise the companies will implode, everyone in the industry will be out a job, and a depression is unavoidable.” Instead of saying that the automotive industry is a never-ending road of struggles and letdowns in which everything will fail and increase the amount of people on welfare if those in charge do not listen to me, Mitt Romney simply states that “it won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.”

Romney further explains his claim with the use of subtle pathos in a way that shows the audience what is being done wrong within the companies. He reasons that the path that the “Big Three” is taking is a “suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses” that needed to be altered in order to be successful. Romney listed everything that the companies are doing wrong, in one short sentence, explaining how to fix it.

Karon Thackston, in her article “Subtle Emotion-The Key To Copy That Works,” involuntarily describes Romney’s statement with her idea that “when you show people, rather than tell them, how they’ll feel or what will happen after they buy your product or service, you evoke core emotions rather than shallow feelings.” Although her article is directed towards copywriting, she shows how Romney’s use of subtle emotion when listing the problems of the “Big Three” will help is argument by implanting an idea in the audience’s head.

At a time of recession when cash flow is running low and emotions are running high, Romney does not use well-defined emotion; rather, he hides it beneath meaningful, elusive words and phrases. His article begins with great use of pathos and ethos, and from that, he derives an even stronger argument further on with the use of logos.

Logos: A Logical Transformation

The dictionary definition of an argument is as follows: “a discussion in which reasons are put forward in support of and against a proposition, proposal, or case.” This means that logical evidence must be introduced in order to create an argument for or against a topic. Mitt Romney does just that by expanding his argument with large amounts of logos in order to make his argument legitimate.

“Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself.”

To begin, Romney says that the “Big Threes” costs and expenses comparative to foreign counterparts is a huge disadvantage. He explains that when the retiree benefits, labor wages, and product costs of the American automotive companies surpass those of a foreign brand, prices of the American cars will have to increase to stay on par with foreign engineering. He justifies his case by showing that “Ford, for example, needs to cut $2,000 worth of features and quality out of its Taurus to compete with Toyota’s Avalon.” Romney uses this fact to his advantage because the audience will most likely agree with his argument once they see that amount. He does not ignore the fact, however, that “Detroit has done a remarkable job of designing and engineering its cars,” but brings forth the idea that “if this cost penalty persists, any bailout will only delay the inevitable.”

Furthermore, Romney expands his argument more when speaking of the introduction of new management “from companies widely respected for excellence in marketing, innovation, creativity and labor relations.” New management means new ideas, new knowledge, and new collaboration because “the need for collaboration will mean accepting sanity in salaries and perks.” With a topic that will most likely stir up anger in the audience, considering most people know how much executives make and see the lifestyles they live, Romney points out the need for salary cuts and a decrease in the perks that they receive.

“In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check.”

A Managed Bankruptcy

In the article "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," Mitt Romney uses ethos, pathos, and logos to show that a managed bankruptcy and a complete reorganization, together, is the best way to save the “Big Three.” Romney uses subtle pathos in order to get his point across, ethos to show that he, being a Michigan-born, successful businessman, is a reliable source of information, and logos to show that the restructuring of the companies, along with a controlled bankruptcy, will solve the “Big Threes” financial distress.

Works Cited
"Argument." Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 22 Oct. 2011. Dictionary.com.
Barer, Sam. "Bail Out the Big Three? History Suggests “Don’t Do It”!" The Four Wheel Drift. WorldPress.com, 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .
Bowmer, Rick. "Auto Industry Crisis." Times Topics - The New York Times. The New York Times, 25 May 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .
Burning Money. 2011. Photograph. Spotlightofpeace.com. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .
GM and Chrysler Logos. Photograph. The Lemon Law Blog. Justia.com, 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .
"Mitt Romney Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story." Famous Biographies & TV Shows. A&E Television Networks, 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .
Romney, Mitt. "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." The New York Times. The New York Times, 18 Nov. 2008. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .
Thackston, Karon. "Subtle Emotion - The Key To Copy That Works." Advertising – Advertising Strategies. About.com, 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .
Time Magazine-Mitt Romney. Photograph. Romney Rubio 2012. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .
Wikipedia Contributors. "American Motors." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 19 Oct. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .
Wikipedia Contributors. "American Motors." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 19 Oct. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .
Wikipedia Contributors. "Big Three (automobile Manufacturers)." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 17 Oct. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .
Wikipedia Contributors. "Ethos." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 22 Oct. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .
Wikipedia Contributors. "George W. Romney." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Oct. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .
Wikipedia Contributors. "Late-2000s Financial Crisis." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 19 Oct. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .
Wikipedia Contributors. "Logos." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 Oct. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .
Wikipedia Contributors. "Pathos." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 Oct. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2011. .

Download 22.75 Kb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright ©ininet.org 2020
send message

    Main page