Tocqueville on the GM Takeover
Alexis de Tocqueville once remarked on the unique character of America to achieve great things through its individualism:
[The American] makes known his plan, offers to execute it, calls individual forces to the assistance of his, and struggles hand to hand against all obstacles. Often, doubtless, he succeeds less well than if the state were in his place; but in the long term the general result of all the individual undertakings far exceeds what the government could do.
Of course, that was written before “too big to fail” entered the lexicon, and 31-year old wunderkinds were tougher to come by.