Charles Erwin Wilson of Columbiana County, Ohio was Chairman of the Board at General Motors when Eisenhower took office in 1953. Eisenhower asked him to become Secretary of Defense. During his confirmation hearings, one senator asked Mr. Wilson if there might not be a conflict between him serving the Defense Department after so many years at General Motors. Everyone thinks he said, “What’s good for General Motors is good for the country,” which makes him sound like a megalomaniacal company man. What Wilson actually said was, “For many years, what I have believed is that what is good for the country is good for General Motors and vice versa.”
More than half a century later, General Motors is filing for bankruptcy, which is a terrible thing for America.