It’s a simple quiz with only one question.
General Motors failed because . . .
- a) It “is an indictment of American management in general. It highlights the damage to our economy that results when finance becomes the tail that wags the economic dog. And it shows what happens to any company that rests on its laurels and fails to adapt to change.”
This is the conventional answer.
- b) They made too few electric cars.
This is the environmentalist’s answer.
- c) They attracted too few subsidies for an essential American industry.
This is Obama’s answer, that if anything stops moving you throw bailouts at it.
- d) They were brought down by too little attention to sex, i.e., “The car industry is giving the public what they think they want” instead of what they really want.
“They assume the car purchasing public are focused on fuel economy, safety and the car manufacturer's social commitment. . . . What the surveys don't tell car manufacturers is that most people purchase a car as a sex aid.”
This is Motella’s answer, that “we are too caught up in trying to be politically correct.”
- e) They were “brought down by a kind of philosophical and economic tapeworm that consumed the company from within.
“The economic tapeworm was the United Automobile Workers union, which transformed the company into a carcass upon which it could feed while tying GM’s hands and feet with arbitrary work rules that prevented it from competing and providing any addition to what was to be consumed by the UAW’s vultures.
“The philosophical tapeworm lay within the minds of those running the company. For decades, it led them never to take a stand on principle and forcefully resist the UAW. Always the present cost of a major strike was allowed to outweigh the prospect of the ultimate destruction of the company, which was never considered fully real because it lay in the future.”
This is George Reisman’s answer which, he says, “is symbolic of what is happening to the United States.”
So which of these is the most fundamental answer. Post your answers in the comments.