The whole sad affair with General Motors, the federal bailout and now the Presidentially-orchestrated dismissal of the company’s CEO, strikes a little bit closer to home with me. I grew up in southeast Michigan. My dad worked more than 30 years for the automaker. Many, many people I knew worked for GM or one of the contract suppliers. GM was a significant part of a way of life.
So after yesterday’s announcement, please forgive me if my head is still spinning this morning. I’m not quite able to put it all into words, but thought I’d give it a first crack.
Of course, the firing of CEO Rick Wagoner and the Presidential-backed car warranty are predictable outcomes of the initial bailout I have opposed from the beginning. But because of my upbringing, what otherwise would be greatly disturbing to me (and yes, a sign of “the end of America as we know it”) in the abstract therefore has a more existential impact.
Can this really be going on? I’d probably have a similar reaction if the automotive giant was allowed to go bankrupt, or even belly-up. But at least then there would be hope for a healthy free market to recover, rather than the ever more terrifyingly real prospect of Government Motors and the Pelosi GTxi SS/RT Sport Edition.
(Has anyone thought to Photoshop Obama’s face on the picture of a stereotypically slimy used car salesman in a plaid suit? That I’d like to see.)
I plan to visit Michigan sometime this summer. They say you can never really go home again. In this case, I’m pretty sure I’ll recognize it even less.