Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wisdom To Do The Right Thing
While the U.S. Senate passed the Economic Recovery/Bailout Bill last night, and the U.S. House is likely to follow either today or tomorrow and do the same, the economy of the United States is not going to roll over and fly right immediately. The problems were produced by a government that turned a blind eye to the realities of business. And, in my opinion, the realities of life in America. Show me anything where money and competition are involved without adequate regulation and oversight, and I will show you a disaster.
This whole economic disaster says more about the American culture of greed than perhaps we want to admit. As a country in the last 100 years, we had been through tough times starting with the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and The Great Depression that followed. Congress had created legislation to protect the individual investor in his dealings with banks and brokerage firms. But, after a measure of success for several years, the laws on the books were considered by some and then by a majority to be no longer needed. It was foolish to believe that regulation and oversight could be removed from the game and everyone would continue to play by the rules.
It gets down to the fact that some people believe that other people are not as good as they are, and thus do not deserve the protections that were afforded to them by the laws of the land. Those that do not have the education or are now so old that the education they once had no longer serves them, became marks for the greedy. But now, with trillions of dollars invested in public and private pension funds, IRAs and 401’s, the game that was thought to need no enforcement of the rules, has put millions of retirees and soon to be retired people at risk. What have we done to our country and to our people? Are the laws crafted by our government only for the protection of the wealthy few? How else do you explain the place we find ourselves in today? Americans have every right to be angry, hurt and have feelings that they have been deceived. The best and the brightest in government did not look out for the good of all of the people. But, now those that had the least to do with the making of this crisis, are being asked to suffer the most. Where is the justice in that?
Our economy is too big to turn around on a dime. This recovery will take years, for confidence is not something instilled over night. This November our country has an opportunity to take a new direction as it elects a new president. The choice to me is crystal clear. I know it is time for a change. It is a time to put regulation, oversight and transparency into the way America does business. No one, regardless of their education, race or station in life, deserves to be a mark. Shooting fish in a barrel is not sport. Taking the uneducated and the old to the cleaners is not business. It is criminal and it should be prevented and punished.
For me, there is only one choice - Obama-Biden. I hope a majority of Americans will come to realize that this choice is the right choice for them as well.
Today I celebrate my 66th birthday. I have been around for a few years and I have seen much. This is a great country. It is my country and it has been my country my whole life. But, even great countries must have the wisdom to do the right thing for its people.