Lee Iacocca and Free Enterprise
The characterization of Lee Iacocca as a “villain and sneak thief” by Graham would not find agreement at the U.S. Treasury where millions in taxes are now rolling in from Chrysler employees and their U.S.-based suppliers.
The faith and expertise of Iacocca in free enterprise not only saved Chrysler and thousands of U.S. jobs, but also strengthened the U.S. economy while the bail-out loan was repaid early, in full, and with interest. The unquestioned success of both the Chrysler and Lockheed bail-outs must have come as a shock and disappointment to Graham. Perhaps the government should have backed more of those shaky or worthless loans in South America or Africa.
Iacocca, the pragmatist, is determined to succeed within the rules, and following the President’s announcement, March 9, to drop quotas on imports has in turn announced, April 15, in Tokyo the joint venture of Chrysler and Mitsubishi to build a $500-million factory in the United States, matching GM at Fremont, and to employ 2,500 workers.
All Americans will soon be proud to see the impossible dream of a restored Statue of Liberty, thanks to champion salesman and patriot, Lee Iacocca. I predict that he will continue to challenge consumers worldwide: “If you can find a better car, buy it.”
The mistake of my life was selling my classic ’64 red Mustang, which was designed and engineered by our beloved “villain,” Lee Iacocca.