Mitt Romney’s life traces the economic path of America, from global colossus to deadbeat in hock $15 trillion. His father, George, built things, running American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962. Although AMC was a weak sister to the Big Three auto companies, under George it was a profitable firm, especially with the popular Rambler family car.
Young Mitt grew up the son of privilege in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. In that city he attended the exclusive Cranbrook Academy, the Michigan equivalent of Phillips Academy in Massachusetts, attended by both presidents Bush.
In the days of Mitt’s youth, the counties north of Detroit were the richest in the country, indeed the world, thanks to the high incomes of the auto executives and engineers. These men built the “arsenal of democracy” that crushed the Axis powers and provided the world’s highest standard of living. Now the wealthiest counties in the land surround Washington, D.C., home to the politicians, lobbyists, and bureaucrats who are the American economy’s new overlords.
In the Detroit area of the 1950’s and 60’s, any young man willing to take a highly masculine factory job could make a wage that would support a large family with the missus at home, two cars in the garage, and a cottage on a lake up north. Hundreds of thousands of men and...