Who Killed GM?

General Motors is bankrupt. Whoops. It was probably going to happen no matter what, but lots of people hoped that bankruptcy would remain a threat that would encourage everyone to band together to save the company. Who is to blame for the death of the American auto industry?

The Gubmint

Maybe an energy policy that for years consisted entirely of "keep gas prices as low as possible" directly encouraged overproduction of the huge cars that no one wants anymore because oil will no longer be so ridiculously cheap ever again.

And maybe the young liberal technocrats in charge of things now don't care about the industrial midwest and don't understand the importance of preserving American manufacturing jobs, which is why they'll give the banks a blank check and let them fight even the most basic of new regulatory legislation while demanding crippling concessions from the automakers in exchange for a fraction of the cash.

Also now they will seize all the automakers because they are Kenyan Communists.

The Foreigners

"George Washington would roll over in his grave and call it treason for letting foreigners come in here and take away what we had built," a longtime autoworker says in The New Yorker's April story on the death of Detroit. And it's true! The Japanese waltzed in here offering better, more fuel-efficient cars during the oil crisis in the '70s, manufactured in non-union plants down in the lawless South, and next thing you know no one wants a Firebird anymore.

And these foreigners also won the affection of all these southern Republican lawmakers, who refused to help Detroit because Nissan owned their districts. It's un-American.

The Hippies

Wah wah we want an electric car the hippies all said. And so California made Detroit build an electric car. But it was expensive, and real Americans, who only buy cars based on how loud, big, and cheap they are (gas is still so cheap whee!), didn't want anything to do with the EV1.

Now G.M. is sinking billions into the Chevy Volt, an all-electric car that will cost twice as much as a Prius, and still be a Chevy, so no one will want it.

The Elitists

The only people left in America with any money are various liberal New York Times-reading coastal elitists. And guess what? They don't buy American! If they don't take trains, they buy Toyotas and Hondas. Because American cars aren't hip enough for them.

The Jews?

In addiction to controlling the New World Order, the Jews caused the first oil crisis with that whole Yom Kippur War thing.

The Arabs?

They still have allllll the oil (besides all the oil we haven't yet drilled for, in Alaska, because of hippies), and they won't just give it to us for free! What jerks!

The Unions

Ok, so, G.M. spends more than $1,000 per car manufactured on the entirely useless and stupid act of "providing health care to current and retired workers." And the stubborn unions that crippled the industry refuse to negotiate in good faith, demanding crazy things like "equitable sacrifices from bondholders" in exchange for the various concessions they've made, like accepting half their pension funds in Ford stock and introducing a two-tiered wage plan for new hires!

And yes, workers won the right to get paid even when they weren't working, so that the robots wouldn't steal their jobs, and they could retire after thirty years and hold on to very nice health plans and pensions. All in all it was a lot like France or something.

It could be argued that these out-of-control labor costs pale in seriousness to the various ridiculous missteps and idiotic business decisions management made over the last 30 years but only if you are a communist.

Once again those foreign-owned plants did it right. Their non-unionized workers contribute to the cost of their own health care, encouraging many of them to not get sick so much, and instead of fancy guaranteed pensions they all have 401(k)s, which encourages them to work even harder, because now those 401(k)s are worth zero dollars.

Gremlins

This seems like the most likely explanation.