We’re coming up on $ 300,000,000,000 (yeah-that’s billions) in recent government bailouts of banks, insurance companies and mortgage institutions. Joblessness from business failure and consolidation is racing up the charts. Loans are costly or unavailable. Gasoline is over the mountain high. Our government has mismanaged everything that has come to its supervision. We give $ 10,000,000,000 (yeah-that’s billions) a month to Iraq for going on TV and pretending to agree with us about this, that or the other thing. Who is profiting from all this? Do those who are profiting from it have connections to the head of government? Think oil companies and oil field service and construction companies. Are you surprised?
In any normal situation in the past, we would vote overwhelmingly to change the government and send the incompetents and malefactors packing. That’s what we did with the Hoover administration when the depression came upon us. Populist programs got people back to work. Eventually, the new party in power got to be as corrupt as the others, and they were voted out. That’s the normal historical cycle in America.
Will that happen in this election year? Or will we, for some reason we dare not speak of, decide to inflict more of this calamity upon ourselves over another four years? Why would we do that to ourselves?
In a corporation, most of the time calamities are met with changes in management. In our government that has worked the same way. That’s how it is supposed to work. Once the party in power loses touch and invites disasters, we throw them out. How much longer would the depression have lasted if we had left the Hooverites continue to call the shots in America? How much longer will this current awful situation last if we leave this bunch of over the hill, out of touch folks in power?
It is a situation in which those who suffer the most may not have brought the crisis about, but they can do something about it. That’s the same syndrome in companies and in democratically elected governments. To be sure, we have been profligate and selfish. We can’t blame everything on the government. What we thought we were doing is establishing leadership that would competently manage the situation notwithstanding our own deficiencies. What is absolutely certain and clear today is that we did not do that.
You could legitimately ask whether anyone could have managed the circumstances over the past eight years more competently. What might we have avoided that only made matters worse? What did the time in Iraq cost us? What did we gain from it? Has our presence there made anything better, or has it exacerbated the tensions between the participating cultures? Are we mismanaging Afghanistan in the same way? Most importantly, do those seeking our endorsement in a new government bring a different perspective to the issues and the temperament and courage to apply their perspectives in effective programs?
Will improvements be costly? Sure. Will they be more costly than not improving the situation? They sure as hell will.
Our national crisis deserves our merits driven attention just as any intra company or intra industry crisis would. Ego issues will make matters worse just as ego issues always do. Right now we really can’t afford ego driven national decisions. It is a fight over ego and intellect. If ego wins, we will continue the downward spiral. Foreign influences are already buying up our important assets with our own money. Exporting $ 700,000,000,000 (yeah – that’s billions) a year just for petroleum has provided the funding for others to succeed to ownership of America, asset by asset. Since our money is worth less every month, the price of acquiring America asset by asset cheapens accordingly. Who will we be working for in five years if we don’t change the identity of the group in charge? Is that important to us? Are we so incompetent now that it would be good if we were no longer in charge of our own industrial system?
This crisis of ours will only get worse for us all if we don’t drastically change what is done and how it is done. We can’t afford to bury our heads in the sand – or elsewhere for that matter – and pretend it will all work itself out. It won’t.
Deal with the realities, America – not with the sound bytes.