There are some very efficient Toyota plants in the United States. That too is part of our domestic automobile industry and those plants employ a large number of American workers.Well said.
You might think that Toyota is different because it is a Japanese company rather than an American one. But in fact Toyota is a publicly traded company, as are most of the other major automobile makers. That means any American can, any time he or she wants, buy some Toyota shares and make Toyota more of an “American company” and less of a “Japanese company.”
I haven't seen numbers for this, but I'd wager that a higher percentage of the cost of a new Honda "stays" in America than does the cost of a new iPod.
I think my answer to the car industry question would be that we build cars because we want more cars, not because we want the people who know how to build cars to have something to do. We don't need an auto industry, we need autos.