The long slide
There's a very nice piece in the WSJ today titled, "The Automakers are Already Bankrupt".
It mentions that a "Detroit radio talk-show host asked whether Michigan, as well as the car companies, should get assistance. The state is being hit by an economic hurricane, he said, just as New Orleans was hit by a natural hurricane."
People, the big three have been in decline for a loooong time. Check these graphs from Mark Perry:
The "big" three have been hit by bad management, short sighted unions and bizarre federal regulations since the 1970s (at the least).