[A-List] What's good for the goose

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Sat Jan 28 07:05:11 MST 2006

At one point GM was the largest corporation ever in the United States, in
terms of its revenues as a percent of GDP. In 1953 Charles Erwin Wilson ,
then GM president, was named by Eisenhower as Secretary of Defense . When he
was asked during the hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee if
as secretary of defense he could make a decision adverse to the interests of
General Motors, Wilson answered affirmatively but added that he could not
conceive of such a situation "because for years I thought what was good for
the country was good for General Motors and vice versa". Later this
statement was often garbled when quoted, suggesting that Wilson had said
simply, "What's good for General Motors is good for the country." At the
time, GM was the one of the largest employers in the world - only Soviet
state industries employed more people.

On December 31 , 1955 , General Motors became the first American corporation
to make over one billion dollars in a year.


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