At the height of its success, GM was proof of capitalism’s ability to deliver the American dream to the average Joe. Young men could walk onto the assembly line fresh from high school and live a life that was the envy of most of the world.
They earned enough to support a wife and family; the company provided them with top-notch medical care; they could retire with full benefits after just 30 years of work. In the mid-1950s Detroit had the highest median income and the highest rate of home-ownership of any American city.
Kids with a high-school education earning enough to support a family, buy a house, and retire their 40s? In retrospect, does that sound sustainable?