No head of GM ever said the famous line, "what's good for GM is good for the country." It's a popular misquotation, perhaps more true than what was really said.
The line came from Charles Erwin Wilson, who had been appointed to Secretary of Defense by Eisenhower in 1953. In his Senate appointment hearings he was asked if he could ever make a decision that would go against the best interests of GM, which was very much a part of our booming military-industrial complex.
Wilson said that he could, but that "for years I thought that what was good for the country was good for GM and vice-versa." The press had been excluded from the private hearing and misquoted the now-famous line.
There's still some fallout over Joel Ewanick's firing as Dan Akerson has made any "leakage" an act of corporate treason. Our own RamblinRover and Brian 1321 argued if this was treason after all.
What they finally concluded was that, though speaking out against GM and leaking information would be treason, only a country run like a dictatorship would keep such a policy, especially when such leaks are done in keeping the company honest, aiming to help the company in the long run.
Indeed. The "greater picture" in which GM is accountable to the taxpayer is perhaps in the Corporations As Dictatorships Unto Themselves model akin to a foreign-aid-providing ally or a larger political body like the UN. As a political entity, we can plead for clemency in individual cases, grant asylum in a sense, and make political decisions on the leaks of these "traitors", because they are in fact serving a useful role to us if not the company directly. This doesn't mean they remain welcome; nobody likes a Quisling regardless of motive OR effect.
And ultimately, a culture of leaks irrespective of the merit of given leaks on their own is deleterious in the extreme, but may be an indication of greater issues and a symptom rather than a cause of trouble. The nations with the highest rates of "traitors" are not merely the ones who set the bar low, but the ones with loyalty problems.
I'm starting to think it's a really good thing GM can't put people to death.
This is where things got strange.
If GM made a positive environment, their employees wouldn't be inclined to "stick it to the man." Until then, let's wait until someone leaks the first GM execution video on youtube.
I'd like to think if they started taking tourists on GM property as hostages the government would intervene, but some days I'm just not sure.
Akerson: "Hello, yes, we have hostages."
Govt: "Who do you have?"
Akerson: "We have 50 members of the UAW and we demand *click* ...hello?"
If the "workers" were really interested in "seizing the means of production" as opposed to just soaking said means for cash with little responsibility, and if it went as far as governmental "Treason" has a habit of doing, we'd have some interesting fodder for the nightly news.
"Today, rebel forces moved into Brownstown and Bay City, but suffered losses and were forced to withdraw from Muncie and Delta Township. Earlier today, Chairman Akerson spoke from his palace, the "Renaissance Center", and called on the international auto community to denounce these "terrorists" and support his regime in its "internal police actions". On this news, international Dextron prices rose to $300 a barrel. Delco spokesmen refused comment. "
FOX NEWS REPORTS THAT OBAMA HAS JUST SENT 300 SUITCASES FULL OF CASH TO GENERAL MOTORS CHAIRMAN DAN AKERSON. THE CASH IS BELIEVED TO BE A BRIBE FROM SOMALI PIRATES TO KEEP LIFE ALERTS AND GOLD PRICES STABLE. WE BELIEVE SWINEBIRD FLU TO BE RAGING IN THE GM COMPOUND, CAUSED BY GAY MUSLIMS WITH BLACK BABIES. WE ARE YELLING SO YOU KNOW WE ARE SUPER SERIAL.
All praise to the great and mighty Presidente Akerson.
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