Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spine Blogger Sunday Editorial

The week ending March 28th will become known as "TW3," or That Was The Week That Was. No fellow readers, it's not the old 1962 British satirical television comedy hosted by David Frost. It's a political comedy called America. How can anyone in their right mind not revel in lampooning the American government, considering, there has been a systemic failure not only by the Democrats, but also the Republicans? Somewhere along the way, OUR SO CALLED LEADERS HAVE FAILED US. In many respects the United States is beginning to disintegrate like the Roman Empire. The transformation is complex, yet, it will not take over three hundred years. This could be the end of capitalism and free markets as we have come to know them. The parallels are precedented. Over expansion, budget deficits, the need to raise taxes unless you want your children to bear the onus of subsidizing a war and having to speak Chinese, the fleecing of America by Wall Street, and the cost of healthcare reform. We are on the brink of self-immolation. Hypocrisy, deception, greed, childish name calling, bigotry, finger pointing, death threats, homophobia, xenophobia and a fundamental breakdown of a major religion. Could I find anymore nouns to define where this once great republic lies? Have we become a nation that lacks civility?

In 2009, the History Channel broadcast a documentary entitled, "JFK, 3 Shots that Changed America." In the past three years, a real life documentary has been unfolding. It will be called, "The 3 Shots that killed America." The 3 shots that TSB is referring to are, America declaring war in the Middle East (the Bush Administration), the death spiral and fraudulent behavior of Wall Street (the Bush and Clinton Administration), and Healthcare Reform (the Obama Administration). In order to perform an autopsy, one has to inspect and dissect the victim to determine the cause, and unless people are willing to do this, the future is bleak, for everyone. Today we scream fiscal irresponsibility, yet the government failed us a long time ago, and we have no one else to blame except ourselves. We continue to vote septuagenarian's and octogenarian's into office at a time when these individuals lack the mental faculties and stamina to make prudent decisions. Politicians continue to anesthetize the American public for votes while catering to special interest dollars. The time has come to legislate and enact term limits if this behavior does not change.

The U.S. is a melting pot of diverse ethnic and cultural groups that have succeeded by working hard. No one is a pedigree American. Regardless of class, everyone wants to build a better life for themselves. Opportunity remedies failure. Unfortunately, America has lost the passion to endure, everyone wants instance gratification and entitlements, regardless whether you are rich or poor. Today, the pundits criticize this country's disease for debt, yet, when previous administrations (the liberals and conservatives) were making irresponsible decisions our attitude was "let the good times roll," never thinking about the consequences.

America was built on a middle class foundation, yet, today we have become a two-class system. We have people with diminishing wealth, and then we have the super rich. No need to worry about a foreign entity bringing the United States down to its knees, we are doing an exceptional job at it ourselves. Healthcare will be running a $4 trillion dollar deficit by 2012 and whether we like it or not everyone is an accomplice, unfortunately what we have learned about ourselves is that we do not accept accountability. So in the end, one has to wonder whether our behavior, expectations, and lack of respect in our industry is nothing more than a microcosm of the bigger picture. You know what the Yogi Berra always said; "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."


  1. Two words sum up all the issues on what has gone wrong with America, "Personal Responsibility".

    In a results driven economy individuals have taken a back seat far too long to establish responsible and ethical approaches to capitalism. If we all look back 50 to 60 years ago if a particular individual wanted to enterprise his vision. This individual would write up a viable responsible plan and present in front of a board to grant him/her necessary funds to kick off his vision and pursue it.

    Look back at about 8-10 years, where the boom of the mobile generation has taken place. Where individuals changed the meaning of capitalism. Where individuals use capitalism to capitalize off the rules of the system and ruin the infrastructure of the old business model. I often ask the question just because you can, does this mean you should.

    Individuals also throw around the terms progressive, evolution, and transform. As part of this new generation I do not buy into this mindset because it is often abused. I feel because of this current generation things will get much worse, loyalty and honor does not exist cause at the end of the day is the end result to this new generation of professional.

    As I commented before "Personal Responsibility" is the reason why the American way has met its final resting place.

  2. Interesting points all, Mr. or Mrs. Spineblogger. I am part of the so called "Wall Street" community that has been nothing but villified over recent months, as the economy starts to show some signs of stabilizing. End of the day, I agree with the mockery that much of our legislative branch has become; men and women more interested in protecting their jobs than debating/acting in best interests of the overall society (not the top 1% of the country as the Right is most concerned with...'dont f-ing tax me!') BUT...I'd like all of those who continue to chastise Wall Street to take a long look at personal savings/401K performance during the early to mid 2000s (not including those who clearly overlevered themselves, and should have been telling themselves 'well...this probably is too good to be true' while filing their no documentation necessary, interest only mortgage), while Wall Street was having its boom years. Easy to throw blame that way, but all of us benefited from the financial engineering that took place...oh, and by the way, this really came about because of extremely low costs of borrowing via Mr. Greenspan, during the early Bush years. Enough ramblimg.

  3. Loyalty to the hardworking people of an organization was an old concept that has been replaced with only being responsible to shareholders. Too many chiefs, not enough of indians. There is a big difference between theoretical knowledge and reality. Shareholders should be taken care of, but at what ROI? Let's be honest, the irrational exuberance that existed was a by product of the Street investing into derivatives and other financial instruments that were nothing more than the same product packaged and re-packaged to create an illusory product sold to investors while your peers bet against them. If everyone believed in unfettered markets, then we should have let them fail and paid the consequences. Too Big too Fail? Maybe, the cry should be Too Big Too Exist!

  4. I agree with the comments by anonymous 3:10 regarding personal responsibility, where folks run up big debt on mortgages and credit cards then find themselves unable to pay and complain that they were misled.

    What about Social Responsibility within a corporation. TSB eluded to the fact that there is more loyalty to Wall Street than to the employee and to business partners. Bonuses being paid to executives for "saving money" by laying off employees or freezing wages and squeezing sales staff and suppliers. All the while, raking in big bonuses and stock packages. And the employees that demand more and more, yet want to work less and less.

    I won't even get into moving manufacturing to low cost countries to be shipped back to the states for sale. As a nation, we are giving away our base of manufacturing capability and technology that will escalate into an even bigger crisis in the years to come.

    How do these geniuses get into these jobs in the first place? My answer to that is they are greedy as those that control the money supply and will do whatever they have to do to get theirs.

  5. Countries and its denizens usually need to learn to live within their means, especially after years of excess. Exports must be increased and imports cut and the objective would be to do this without exacerbating an already existent recession. All we keep hearing is tax cuts, tax cuts, and more tax cuts. I don't like paying taxes but someone is going to have to, unless, we want to be slaves to the Yuan. Here's the irony, when there was a boom, everyone drank the kool-aid that this would go on ad infinitum. Now that this has effected everyone, all we hear from corporate America is that they cannot afford to pay more in taxes. The solution, cut back on bonuses, and tell your shareholders that they will have to tighten their belts. Are you in it for the short-term or the long-term? Companies have been exporting jobs to Ireland and India for years. This is not a new phenomena. The reason the geniuses get these jobs is because this is a fraternity of pedigree individuals that look at you as a commodity/liability rather than an asset. Just remember the old saying, "what goes around, comes around." Pay back is a bitch.