“Age of the Unthinkable” — General Motors in Bankruptcy

Posted on June 2, 2009


See the USA in your Chevrolet. Dinah Shore could never have imagined what’s happened to the U.S. economy. If someone had predicted, five years ago, that General Motors and Chrysler would go bankrupt, I’d have said they were nuts.

“Chevrolet” was the first word I learned to spell. It was on the minimalist dashboard of my father’s 1950 Chevy: Chevrolet Delux. Straight shift, straight-six engine that refused to die, no radio, no AC. By the time I drove that car, in 1966, there were holes in the floor and the shift often stuck in second gear.

We have entered the Age of the Unthinkable. Read all about it in “Age of the Unthinkable: Why The New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us And What We Can Do About It,” by Joshua Cooper Ramo.

General Motors in bankruptcy. Last close on GM stock: 75 cents a share. The autoworkers are taking a punch in the stomach. It’s the GM workers vs. the GM creditors. The GM stockholders have been wiped out. Their 75-cent stock is now worthless.

Is the General Motors bankruptcy the first step in the turnaround of the U.S. economy? Or is it the last step in the hollowing out of U.S. manufacturing base? The latter, I think. Just my opinion.

What comes next year, and the year after? There’s a good chance we can’t even imagine it. — Bernie Hayden