About 20 years ago, my country decided that it wasn’t very good at making cars any more and left the car making to other countries. It decided this after Â£11 billion in government subsidies and decades of restructuring.
David Broooks thinks the same thing might happen in this country.
Some companies are in the steel business, some are in the cookie business, but General Motors is in the restructuring business. For 30 years, G.M. has been restructuring itself toward long-term viability.
For all these years, G.M.â€™s market share has endured a long, steady slide. But this has not stopped the waves of restructuring.
Brooks suspects that, by taking responsibility for GM, Obama has set himself up for a showdown with middle-America.
It would have been better to keep a distance from G.M. and prepare the region for a structured bankruptcy process. Instead, Obama leapt in. His intentions were good, but getting out with honor will require a ruthless tenacity that is beyond any living politician.
I read somewhere else that Obama will throw Chrsyler against the wall as a lesson to GM. I hope so. I don’t think there is a happy ending in this one.