AUTOS: Buy Now

Buy days mean paydays/ And paydays mean better days/ So buy, buy!/ Something that you need today!

To the tune of I Know That You Know, a 45-voice chorus roared out the "Buy" song 1,000 times over radio and TV in recession-racked Detroit (see NATIONAL AFFAIRS) in the past fortnight. Following through, the city's radio stations contributed 10,000 ten-second spots, exhorted Detroiters to "Buy now!" Newspapers ran banners on advertising pages: KEEP DETROIT DYNAMIC—BUY NOW. Everyone pitched in for a civic crusade to buy Detroit—and the auto industry—out of its depression.

Some auto dealers were even stumping for their competitors. In...

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