Does the U.S. need an auto industry? The New York Times put the question to four economists, a union official and the former secretary of labour under Clinton and posted their answers to their “Room For Debate” blog. For example, Roger Simmermaker, vice president of his local machinists union and author of How Americans Can Buy American, argues that the automakers’ failure would leave American taxpayers holding the bill for the workers’ health care. George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen, on the other hand, suggests the notion of domestic automakers is an anachronism because the companies are all publicly traded. It’s a mighty fine read and well worth checking out.