Rich Galen

By the time you read this on Monday morning, General Motors will have declared bankruptcy. Within the next few weeks, according to published reports, it will have spun off or closed its Hummer, Saturn, Saab, and Pontiac divisions leaving GM with only its Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, and Buick lines.

General Motors has been in business since 1908. It became a "blue-chip" stock on March 16, 1915 when it joined the list of the, then, 12 companies which made up the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

On April 28, 2000 a share of GM would have cost you $93.63. Last night you could have bought about 125 shares for that same money as GM was trading at 75 cents. I suspect that had more to do with people wanting GM stock certificates as an historical oddity rather than as an investment.

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As he did when Chrysler went differential up, President Obama is scheduled to make an official announcement about the GM bankruptcy from the White House at about noon. He may or may not get into all of the details, but Obama will own over 72.5 percent of whatever the "new" GM looks like with a trust fund of the United Auto Workers owning the second biggest chunk at 17.5 percent.

For those of you who, like me, are deficient when it comes to carrying-the-ones I did the arithmetic: The Obama Administration and the UAW will own 90 percent of General Motors.

Here's a good idea. Let's give the Feds and the UAW five or six years at the helm of GM and Chrysler to see how they do. If they do well, then the Federal government and Obama's other favorite union, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), can take over the nation's health care business.

If Obama and the UAW screw it up, then perhaps we should look for another direction for America's health care industry.

As regular readers of MULLINGS know, I drive a 1999 Land Rover Discovery. I bought it just after Land Rover went from being a British car to a German vehicle when BMW bought it. Then Ford bought it from BMW so I was an American car. Now it is owned by Tata Motors, so I am the proud owner of an Indian vehicle.

I am never more than one more expensive repair bill away from needing a new car. When that time comes, I don't think I will buy a GM or Chrysler product. It's that whole thing about rewarding bad behavior.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.