(Readers: Please note the blog about the 5th revolution in the US is constructed as a story. While not all chapters are linked, the story might be more meaningful by starting at the beginning.)

(Want a PDF version for Entries #1-10, #11-20, #21-30 formatted for tablets and e-books?  Entries #31-40 available soon.  Click links for download.  America’s 5th Revolution Volume I (Entries 1-10)America’s 5th Revolution Volume II (Entries 11-20)America’s 5th Revolution Volume III (Entries 21-30)

Scene: Jordan’s office.

Gelly (Jordan’s assistant):  “Jordan, POTUS is calling.”

Jordan:  “Good morning, Mr. President.”

white-house-clip-art1POTUS:  “Morning Jordan.  You alive and well today?”

Jordan:  “With a question like that I’m not sure.  But, yes, I’m fine.  Thanks.”

POTUS:  “I need a favor.  Call it a payback for setting up the meetings about rebuilding Detroit.”

Jordan:  “What’s the issue?”

POTUS:  “The special election resulted in some good changes to Congress.  The parties are starting to work together again.”

Jordan:  “Glad to hear it.”

POTUS:  “What the country needs next is to begin addressing economic policy.”

Jordan:  “I’m not a PhD economist.”

POTUS:  “We have plenty of PhD’s around.  What I need is some real-world experience.  The experience needs to be relevant for policies about rebuilding manufacturing and rebuilding the middle class.”

Jordan:  “How can I help?”

POTUS:  “The question that keeps popping into my head is why the USA was so successful at generating wealth for the society in the 1950’s, 1960’s and even the 1970’s.  And we have made no progress since.”

Jordan:  “The economists can probably analyze that for you.”

POTUS:  “I’m not looking for some academic analysis.  I want a different perspective.  And I know you have one.”

Jordan:  “What kind of analysis would be helpful?”

POTUS:  “You spent a number of years at General Motors in some very interesting jobs.  I also know you are a student at heart.”

Jordan:  “You got that right.  I love taking classes and I love to teach.”

POTUS:  “OK, then let’s combine the two.  i’ll give you an assignment and then the opportunity to teach.”

Jordan:  “Alright.  What am I getting into?”

POTUS:  “For many years GM was an economic engine.  Remarkable revenue, remarkable market share and even more remarkable profits.  It was the…capital THE…manufacturing company worldwide.”

GM,_logoJordan:  “True.  GM made lots of products, employed lots of people and paid lots of taxes — federal, state and local.”

POTUS:  “Years ago, Charles Wilson…”

Jordan:  “…also known as Engine Charlie Wilson…”

POTUS:  “See you do know this stuff.  Anyway, Charlie Wilson said ‘…what’s good for General Motors is good for the country, and vice versa.’”

Charles_Wilson_official_DoD_photoJordan:  “And I think what Engine Charlie said is still correct.”

POTUS:  “Well, Jordan, now you know why I called you.  I would greatly appreciate if you would write a series of articles about GM.  What went right and then what went wrong, terribly wrong.”

Jordan:  “Funny you bring up that idea.  I’ve thought for a long time about writing such articles but never had a reason.”

POTUS:  “Now you have that reason.  Understanding what went right and wrong at GM will help me and many other people trying to set economic policy.”

Jordan:  “If I heard you correctly, you want my perspective on GM and not some widespread study by a bunch of people.”

POTUS:  “To answer your question, ‘yes.’  I understand some people might not agree with your analysis.  But the point is to get your perspective, not some politically correct version scrubbed by a PR agency.  You don’t learn from sanitized versions of situations.”

Jordan:  “Not to worry.  You’ll get the un-sanitized version.  And like any series of events, doubtless there will be…and probably should be…other opinions.  But I’ll give you my perspective.”

POTUS:  “Good.  The articles should really help.”

Jordan:  “Anything else?”

POTUS:  “Only that you cover why GM became such an economic juggernaut and then what lead to the bankruptcy.”

Jordan:  “Which bankruptcy?”

POTUS:  “You mean there was more than one BK?”

Jordan:  “You’ll have to read the story.  I do have one request for this project.”

POTUS:  “What’s that?”

Jordan:  “May I get someone from your staff assigned to help me?  I want the person to act as a reporter and help with the writing and maybe some research.  I’ll provide all the key info but an extra person would be great.”

POTUS:  “Consider it done.  Now you better get off the phone and get to work.  Good bye Jordan.”

Jordan:  “Good bye, Mr. President.”