I was a bit surprised to see that the poor; a growing, but ever-disgruntled unit of our population were left out of the government’s bailout plans. A Yahoo news article notes that “the ranks of the destitute are growing quietly but alarmingly.”
Alarmingly? I was sitting at a regatta with some Mayflower types, and to be honest no one mentioned the poor at all, never mind that they didn’t garner a fair share of the bailout. One mention was made of a squeegee guy who dirtied the windows of some well to do so and so’s Porsche, but I’m not sure economic depravity was affixed to this particular migrant window washer.
It’s one of the things that concerns me most. If ten persons on a scale carry all their money on, and are balanced by 46 million people on the other side and their money; capitalism is working for the ten, but failing most everyone else.
The growing disparity that brings Gulfsream jets to some, and fails to allow others a living wage that allows food, medicine and lodging, cannot be sustained. I’m far from socialist, and enjoy capitalism when it’s served with ethics, morality and decency. I like capitalists like Ted Turner, who give back a lot at the end, but would be more intrigued if companies were built to incentivize all workers to excellence by rewarding the entire team for the victory.
In my capitalism, Bill Gates is entitled to his wealth, Michael Eisner is not. Warren Buffet should have plenty, Jimmy Cayne should feel the firm contact of a jousting lance to his chest, held by an investor in Bear Sterns (While Richard Fuld should be beaten and marked with a Scarlett Letter).
It’s easy to justify an entrepreneurial billionaire, even an accidental one like Mark Cuban (in the right place at the right time, and has fun with his lottery ticket), but impossible in my capitalism to see an employee (which no matter how lofty the company’s jet flies, a CEO is) make hundreds of millions of dollars outsourcing manufacturing to China. Leadership creates quality, reverence, respect and work ethic. Without leaders, those things have been replaced by greed, stupidity, poor judgment and malaise; not a winning combination.
I understand the multinational corporate cry, “trade balance and political friendship in every country, regardless of the harm to America in the long term.” I just don’t believe that the strategy of borrowing more than the government can ever collect in taxes, incentivizing citizens to hock every penny of every asset they have above and beyond their ability to pay, failing to keep the social security “trust” funds in trust (and I use the term loosely), spending too little of the budget deficit in infrastructure as it crumbles and fails, and outsourcing all middle class jobs to other countries so executives can make their quarterly and annual bonus targets is is a Vince Lombardi ticket to the championship game.
It’s just numbers, Laffer curve notwithstanding. Debt as a percentage of GDP is of course growing. Real inflation is 10-14% (didn’t this year feel really hard everyone?). Social security obligations start to come due in about 10 years give or take, and the interest rate of 0% can’t possibly stay, once the world gets sobriety, without causing hyperinflation (think wheelbarrows full of dollars to buy bread).
Mr. Obama, you’re the smartest guy that ran for President. Change the people in office, including the secretary of defense. Change policy, raise taxes and cut spending. Turn off the war budget over two years, and withdraw the troops; invest in roads, bridges, and other things that are good for America like entrepreneurs, technology, energy and medical advances. Cut healthcare spending by stopping pharmaceutical companies from getting doctors to prescribe unneeded drugs by paying them to speak and attend conferences.
Create campaign reform, shut down the special interests and political lobbies. Brick by brick build, back democracy and bring back the constitution; it was popular way back when, when Republicans operated within the law. Stop people in Europe from wanting to see me fall down stairs, cause they’re right. I hope you take the mantle of leadership that has been in a closet the last 20 years or so and put it on. You might just create some “change.”
You promised, remember?
Be watchful, be mindful and good luck!