There are those in this society that create wealth, that turn nothing into something, that turn $1million into $100million. The fact that this is possible and that it happens it all lies at the heart of capitalism and explains why the system works so well.
G.M. said it lost $30.9 billion, or $53.32 a share, in 2008 and spent $19.2 billion of its cash reserves. The company lost $9.6 billion in the fourth quarter, when its global sales fell 26 percent.
In 2007, the company lost $43.3, a record, mostly due to a noncash accounting charge; it adjusted the figure higher by $4.6 billion Thursday.
G.M. has borrowed $13.4 billion from the government since December.
The system has a way to deal with firms like this: Death. Except now we the taxpayers are on board as investors. We the suckers.
The real danger our times is not the loss of jobs from dying industries, it's our willingness to flush our collective wealth down the toilet. It is, in short, crony capitalism.