Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shameful Time in American History

The promise delivered in November and joys of progress from a social perspective has faded amidst the reality of Congressional politics and a clash of economic theories.

Its shameful. There is no other word to describe the situation in Washington. Those of us who are children of those of the Greatest Generation and those that lived through the Great Depression should be ashamed at what we have allowed to transpire in Washington and what many there would have our nation transform into.

It would be amusing if it were not tragic the way in which these Congressman have levied attack upon the business community and capatalism in general and act as if they have not been party to it all in the first place.

Congress, of course, is the legislative arm of this democracy and unless any of these business executives actually violated the law then how about Congress shut up and get on with the doing the peoples business. Congress granted bailout money with ZERO strings and now act as if they were not responsible. Congress has been the constant enabler of this crisis for the last five years and ignored the signs and the testimony brought forth before it regarding the warning signs.

Remember when Congress was warned of Fannie and Freddie back in 2002? All the players are still there folks and now act as if they were not copable in any of the consequences to the economy and housing in general. Fact is, they still remain apologists for these institutions in the face of complete failure.

Congress wants to play games with business execs salaries and lifestyles, but I wonder are they going to return all the money that they have contributed to them over the years? Smoke and mirrors folks. Congress is making those CEO's whose companies have filed bankruptcy, the Circuit City's, the S&K's, or Linens & Things out to be good guys because they did not get government bailout money and yet the reason behind the Banking community dipping into tax payer money is a direct result in the failure of government.

Government is not involved in the retail, restaurant and many other industries directly, but it IS INVOLVED with Banking. Banks are so closely aligned with government that they trade its debt. Banks are regulated by the government more so than any other industry save maybe the insurance industry. In short they are symbiotic of the problem. The people causing the economic crisis are the ones telling us they know how to fix it.

Instead of telling the nation how or how much it is going to take to restart the economy, these officials want to call out business professionals for earning extravagent salaries. So whats changed? These CEO's come from the same schools, the same backgrounds as many of these Congressman and have worked their way up the Corporate ladder for decades and all along everyone accepted the conditions of the free market with regard to compensation. Where was the outrage in years past?

The result of having the government step in to take control of pay and compensation is to completely undermine the notion that you Graduate Schools are further neccessary. Afterall, why to we need the Wharton School of Business or other Ivy league programs if the government is going to be granted to powers to dictate compensation levels. What ever happened to performance?

Some of these Banks that opted for the bailout had some really profitable units and divisions. Are the workers of those units not to be compensated for their efforts because collectively the whole was forced to accept bailout money. Remember, did not some banks get funds they did not ask for?

It seems to me we give Congress our tax dollars every year and they never manage to spend it properly and yet continue to vote themselves pay raises. Heck some of these guys do not even pay taxes. Could you imagine if the public demanded the kind of oversight that these Congressman suddenly are demanding, and yet never put into the bailout particulars last Fall.

Are these company Executives scoundrels? Maybe. But the government once again failed to provide oversight and now want to cry foul. Sound familiar? They are using the outrage of bonus money not paid to the CEO's but to the employees at all levels of the company as a soap bax against the free market.

Hey Congress, just think about those bonus payouts as a stimulus check to those folks. maybe they will go out and spend some money in the economy. Buy a new car or buy a new home. Whats the difference; its OUR money anyway and not yours and is no different than what you have planned in the current stimulus bill.

If these CEO's broke any laws, by all means prosecute them but Congressional grandstanding is shameful.

Folks, we have a government in place today that does not subscribe to business cycles and thinks that it can create a system where there will never be recessions or even a depression. When in fact the solutions they offer to prevent these cycles is something that takes us further and further away from what we know as the American System. Our nation is imperfect as are our business cycles, but the solution that they are creating in Washington makes us look less like the America our fathers defended in World War II and more like those nations we opposed.

We are entering down a path that makes it very hard to look at anyone over 75 in the eye without a level of shame.


The Bulletproof Monk said...

I agree with your assessment.
What is wrong with the Government? They do not operate to "make" money.
This is why they lose their posteriors every year. But they've got deep pocket investors. And Congress gets to dictate how much those investors will have to give up each year to finance a heavy wish list.
Those "investors" are the American Taxpayer. And that's where it gets lopsided. Those who contribute the least to the company (and should be considered "dead weight" in any other business venture)are the very ones who get the biggest handouts.

Anonymous said...

Monk- where as in the past that may very well have been true. It seems now we have the rich insiders and especially those that have relationshiop with the business community and Wall Street, but now work for the FED or Treasury have been rewarding their brethern three fold.

People need to look at just how the FED folks are selected. No transparency at all, let alone where each administration picks its Treasury people from. They have consolidated the power of monotary policy in the hands of a select few; something our Founders warned of time and time again.