Magazine September 7, 2009, Issue

Creative Destruction

GMC trucks at a General Motors dealership in Los Angeles, Calif., June 1, 2009. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

My local GM dealer has shut up shop. I drive past the place every day; it is a melancholy sight. Weeds and tall grasses are coming up all around. The forecourt is empty, more weeds beginning to push up through cracks in the concrete. The big display windows have been crudely masked with some reflective sheeting. One already sports a big diagonal crack. The flagpoles out front, from which once flew great carpet-sized editions of Old Glory, have been removed, I suppose to forestall their eventually falling across the highway. The service bays at the side, into which we pulled

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