Gottschalks filed for bankruptcy last month and is closing 52 big box retail stores. Mervyn’s went bust a few months ago. The big banks would all be out of business but for the mega-bucks Federal bail outs. And G.M., Ford, and Chrysler are all teetering on the brink of extinction.
I remember as a kid thinking that nobody could come in to the U.S. and compete with the Big 3. They were just too big and too dominant. Well, “the bigger they are the harder they fall.” That was the mantra of my high school football coach, Mr. Mitchell, when he wanted to pump us up to not be afraid of the bigger teams we played against. Now my wife drives a Honda, both of my girls drive Volkswagens, and I own a Yamaha motorcycle.
I know a guy named Vyacheslav who used to live in the U.S.S.R. before the iron curtain came down. He was thrown in prison because he was a Christian. I lived through some of the cold war between the two great world “superpowers.” I never thought I’d live to see the iron curtain come down. Then old Ronnie R. says “Mr. Gorbachav, tear down this wall.” And boom! It’s down.
When you’re young it’s easy to believe you’re gonna be the Big Kahuna. You’re gonna live forever. You’re not gonna make the mistakes the others have made. Well, guess what? The cold war superpowers have lost their super. The Big 3 are big losers. You’re not as invincible as you think. And we’re all going down.