The General speaks

"Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you're going to do now and do it."

--William Crapo "Billy" Durant (1861-1947), founder of General Motors


Time was when the saying "As goes General Motors, so goes the nation" held much sway. The days when that one corporation--or any one corporation for that metter-- could have such inlfuence on our country's well-being may be long gone but that doesn 't mean the disappearance of GM would not have a horrible impact on our fragile economy. What's more, it would greatly injure the national pysche- which in the end drives our economy more than anything else.


I know they are only words but I was at least cheered to just read that an official GM spokesman told ABCnews.com this morning that filing for banruptcy was "not an option" for America's biggest automakers and one of its most iconic-- and global-- corporate entities.


"Clearly, we face unprecedented challenges related to uncertainty in the financial markets globally and weakening economic fundamentals in many key markets, but bankruptcy protection is not an option," GM spokesman Mike Meyerand told ABCNews.com. "GM considering bankruptcy would not be in the interests of our employees, stockholders, suppliers or customers," he added.


Amen to that! A bankrupt GM would not only hurt all those stakeholders Meyerand mentioned, it would be a black eye on American capitalism that would take this nation years-- if ever-- from which to recover.


No doubt believing that old adage that the best defesne is a good offense, Meyersand was reacting as positively as he could in the face of the news that shares of the automaker had plunged to $4.76 Thursday-- from nearly $7 the day before-- after Standard & Poor's said it was reviewing the automaker's credit rating for a possible downgrade.


Meyerand also told ABCnews.com that GM would raise capital through the sale of facilities housing GM plants that closed earlier this year and through the possible sale of its Hummer brand.


I am NOT saying the federal government should bail out GM. What I am saying is that we should all applaud the General for having what (in lieu of more vulgar metaphors) old New Englanders call "the Moxie" to stand up and unequivocally state they are-- tough times be damned-- not going anwyhere but up.


That's an attitude we'd all do well to adopt right about now-- and for the foreseeable future... and then some.


1947

Those were the days.... when trucks had style, if not long miles!