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Thursday, February 23, 2006 

An Elegy for GM (When GM goes down, it is taking us with it)

Via The Nation
...When the news of GM's bankruptcy filing does come, it will jar Americans and foreigners of a certain age, as even the end of such landmark corporations as AT&T did not. They may not be able to believe it. General Motors was the apotheosis of American industrial might, the greatest manufacturing organization in the history of the world...

While business propagandists try to convince us of the superiority of being a service economy, we resist the idea and turn back to the time when we made things. GM, wizened as it may be, reminds even younger people of a nation that had a vigor, a power and a productive independence. Now we see ungainly, top-heavy container ships lumbering into our ports, bearing merchandise we used to make for ourselves...

When GM goes down, it will take us all down with it. It will devastate its own workers and the workers in the companies that supply it. It may bring trade unionism to death's door. The nation will become yet more dependent on foreign imports, because when GM finally emerges from bankruptcy, it will be as a smaller, slighter company.

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It was speculated on NPR's "Marketplace" a few months back that when GM goes down it could be the rallying point for a national health care system. The commentator said that the troubles in the airline industry are foreshadowing this and that GM will be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Thanks for the comment. I'd like to see a national health care system (without GM going bankrupt!), I read that $1500 per car is spent by automakers on health care costs and they prefer to move to countries (like Canada) that have a national system. It guess it also gives Japan a pricing advantage as well.

Thanks for visiting.

GM's death will allow our nation to break its commitment to an automobile culture, freeing us from the stranglehold of foreign oil and restoring the environment.

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