I don’t hear Wall Street clamoring for Social Security funds to be invested in the stock market anymore. Likewise, we don’t hear “drill, drill, drill”. Drilling is not profitable when a barrel of oil is $50.
High End Beggers
This week the CEO’s of the auto manufacturers arrived, by way of personal jets, in Washington to persuade the Congress to provide them taxpayer funds. The CEO’s call it a “bridge loan”, but it is close to charity. These CEO’s have multi-million dollar incomes plus bonus’s and perks of all kinds. Nowadays, many corporate boards have been emasculated, and remain little more than decorations, like office paintings and furniture. That’s how modern CEO’s can live so high on the hog. So perverse; their companies insolvent and near bankruptcy and CEO’s treated like royalty.
Money will not fix General Motors. After decades of poor leadership and mismanagement the company should have a new beginning. The Federal statues has provisions for General Motors to have a cleansing and a new start, and hopefully new leadership. GM management and the UAW are now lobbying for taxpayers to give them money to keep failing. GM and UAW have enjoyed a partnership monopoly for years that did not have to produce or maintain market share. In the 70’s GM’s big problems begin. GM had 56% of the domestic car market, which was an effective monopoly. The Justice Dept. considered braking off Chevrolet to make a more competitive industry. GM management and the UWA enjoyed their monopoly and had the power to resist the effort. The Government yielded, but it was a short-lived victory for GM and UWA. The Japanese soon arrived in force and were building better and more appealing cars. The rest is history and now present. The Government missed a golden opportunity to break up the auto monopoly and replace it with American competition. Politicians in an earlier era would not have missed such an opportunity.
The Money Failed
The money failed is a Biblical expression, used in the midst of a world famine, in Joseph’s time. We have our own money failure. There is too much debt for the available money. Everybody has their hand stuck out. The banks, auto industry, insurance companies etc. The TARP (troubled asset relief program) is not broad enough, nor deep enough, nor quick enough!
History was forced upon the electorate, but not the way many may think. The Wall St rule was unsustainable. The agent of the most extreme change and reliable change emerged.
Divisions are more clear now. Urban vs. rural. Educated vs. less educated. Well-off vs. less well-off. Same pattern in state after state. Race, especially Hispanics figures in, but unclear yet.
We don’t know the fate of American conservatism as it was not aired. In many ways McCain had a remarkably successful campaign, but could not articulate a political philosophy.
The relevance and viability of both traditional parties is still an open question. Political candor has been sacrificed for “partisan-first” and “team-player” dogma that has paralyzed political action.
There is little room for temperamental conservatives anymore. It is a fast track in a fast world. So many citizens are “tuned-out”. The “life of Riley” has captured them with sports, other pleasures, and easy money. As an example: Tennessee gave all of it’s House members another ticket for two years. All were re-elected with big majorities. They were not held accountable for economic problems or any other calamities. In fact, Sen Alexander, who voted for the very unpopular 700 billion Wall St. bail-out and accompanying 150 billion of pork was re-elected in some counties by 80%. That is temperamental conservatism, “tuned-out” or worse!
No one should be naive enough to count on the promises and rhetoric of the campaign. Just embarrassing! An intellectual insult. And, both campaigns were guilty. Of course, all the “give-away” rhetoric is the immoral equivelent of buying votes. But, we are a debtor nation, and do not possess the resources for a run on the treasury.
The bills are starting to come in on the “riverboat gamble” of 1981-82. The riverboat gamble analogy was comments from members of Congress when Reagan decided to cut taxes without commensurate expense cuts. At the same time we embarked on a big defense build up. Incidentally, the defense build up contributed considerably to the demise of the Soviet Union. However, the accounting was not right and the national debt exploded and remains. Reaganomics is now in the court of public opinion!
How will this generation of Americans confront the coming unavoidable lifestyle changes and personal sacrifices? Scarcity is the future! Do we have the moral construction of our parents and grandparents of the 30’s?