I don't think Congress is going to give corporate America another bailout! The only people that profited from the last one, were the "too big to fail" corporate CEO's and bankers who chose, instead of loaning the money out in order to stimulate the economy, to pocket the money or use it in the market to sell short. I know I couldn't get a loan for my business; however, in 2011... we were finally approved after three years of making requests. We are currently waiting to expand our company, while looking for a break in the clouds, a time when the gamble of doing business is less dangerous. The money to expand our business is in the bank and also the prospect of hiring two additional people is in the bank as well. However, the uncertainties of the current administration's policies make the risks of business expansion more dangerous, consequently we must proceed with caution.
An astute business person can no longer look to the health of their own national economy for assurances. They must look at the world economy as we are all networked together and what is happening in Greece is important to the health of our own economy and our own business. The liberal social policies of Greece have resulted in an economic meltdown for them: Portugal, Italy and Ireland are soon to follow. In fact, all of the countries in the European Union are going to eventually walk the same path.
I have to wonder about the motives of the international business community. As a business man myself, if I were going to make alliances with other businesses, I would want to make sure that they were moving along the same healthy economic path as I was. When one business becomes one with another, it should be good for both businesses but for corporate America and those who are wealthy enough to assert power over the legislative body of our congress, their alliances and business dealings or transactions should always be in the best interest of the country, or they should be illegal! Why would the wealthiest and most prosperous nation on the earth want to become one entity with a third world country for instance?
This is no secret but we do business with places around the world because they have poor people who will work for little of nothing. We exploit third world countries because the profits of doing business overseas are far greater than they are in this country where union workers doing the same jobs force their perspective companies to pay approximately 10 times more in salary and in benefits (for instance, the average salary of a Chinese worker is between $5,000 and $8,000/ year). Another question one needs to ask themselves, is why the unions would support this move of businesses overseas? This is obviously not in the best interest of the American worker. The hypocrisy is not hard to figure out. Unions are not in the business of supporting the American workers, they are there to make money "from" the workers of the world. Unions want the world to unite. Like any business, unions need to expand. A business is either expanding or it is contracting.
Business must always be in expansion mode. If a business is expanding they have found a place in the market and there is no need to raise their prices. Businesses raise prices when they cannot expand or when they feel that the market can absorb the cost of increased rates for service.
After President Obama and Congress passed the new health care bill, my insurance bill went up $700 per month. If Obama really wanted to stimulate the economy, he would cancel the Obama Health Care Plan and force the insurance companies to refund my business, all of the extra money I've paid, since the insurance companies began to prepare for Obama Care. If the insurance companies are doing their business properly, then they should have deposited all of that extra money into a reserve account, since the Obama Care law will not go into effect, completely until 2014. Therefore, all of that extra money that I've paid to date for my business insurance is around $15,000 (today). This amount of money would allow me and my business the assurances that I need to expand and allow me to hire two more people, in fact this would be such a boost for me that we could pay off our current debt, allowing my business to be credit worthy of even a bigger loan. This could help us buy more equipment and hire even more people. If you want to stimulate the economy Mr. President, then stop allowing the insurance companies to rip us off!
Small business is the backbone of this economy! We are the engine that makes the whole thing work. We hire many times more people than corporate America and "we truly are too big to fail". Small business is too big to fail, but they are not big enough to hire lobbyists. We have no power over congress. It's ironic that the real power in this country has no pull in Washington. There is no one to look out for our individual interests but yet if we fail, the whole country goes with us. We can stand to lose corporate America, it would be a difficult time but we would recover and this is the reason why:
Corporate America does not need to keep their eye on the compass like the small business person. They do not need to manage to the level that we do. We can't make errors in judgment; we don't have the flexibility to explore the market. Every decision we make is a matter of success or failure. Corporate managers have shown themselves to be the most incompetent business managers that exist. Yet they pocket millions of tax payer dollars in salaries and benefits. If you want to run corporate America properly then get someone who has survived in small business America; someone who understands that every dollar is important. Once again corporate America shows us the hypocrisy which exists. Those at the top of this pyramid are not business managers but members of an organized crime family. It is not about their skills as managers but about their connections and most importantly, where their moral and ethical boundaries are. Many small business owners don't become corporate business owners because they won't use their energy to expand their moral or ethical boundaries. Most importantly, the vacuum which remains after a business fails will always be filled by some enterprising entrepreneur. Desire for product will not decrease!
I would think that the word "justification" is a word that is used internally much of the time when a corporate CEO does things that are questionable. For instance, they might justify their actions and convince themselves that it is in the best interest of the country, or the ignorant masses don't have the level of understanding or, are not as intellectually superior! Regrettably, in many instances, they are right, if only about one thing. The masses don't know as much about how the economic machine works, as "they" do. I'm not talking about how to manage a business or how to make a product or how to sell or distribute product. The general population doesn't understand how the machine I refer to as the "immoral minority machine" works. However, we need to learn! When the ignorant masses learn how the machinery of economy and the machinery of politics work, we just might stop electing criminals to lead us.
Most people in leadership positions, who sell us out, don't think of it in those terms. They are, in their own minds, the intellectual elite; they are those who are entitled to keep secrets because the general public would not understand.
Propaganda is the foundation of communism, fascism and socialism. There is a good reason why those in power, those who propagate these political concepts need to propagandize their philosophies. In a nutshell; if the ignorant masses knew the truth, they would never go for it. After all, it is the ignorant masses that truly hold the power. The intellectual elite are always trying to manipulate and dominate the ignorant masses.
One of the really sad things about politicians is that, even a good politician can't get elected if they tell the truth! Both republican and democrat, both conservative and liberal, must lie to the public in order to get elected! So we, who elect these people into office, deserve what we get because we truly are the ignorant masses. That needs to change and when it does... when we finally understand how this political machine works; then we can stop the facade that our leaders feel they must portray, in order to enlighten us, which of course, never happens. We must do the work if we are to get out of this economic mess we have gotten ourselves into. We, the people, are going to have to stop being the ignorant masses and become the informed masses; we are going to have to take control.
It was mentioned recently during a political debate that Social Security was a Ponzi scheme. If one understands what a Ponzi scheme is, they would also understand that what Governor Rick Perry said was right on the money. I was so impressed: A politician who actually tells the truth!!! Did he know that this would be a reason for his political opposition, democrat as well as republican, to attack him? When we can finally elect a man or woman who can tell it like it is, to the presidency, we have certainly come along way. The Social Security System, as it functions now, after gross mismanagement and manipulation, is a Ponzi scheme and the American people need to know it!
A Ponzi scheme is an economic pyramid structure that relies on expansion in order to pay its investors.
The concept of Social Security, as it was implemented initially was sound. It is a simple concept, which forces one to invest in an expanding economy; hence, when the time comes for one to retire, the money for retirement will be there. In this way, reliance on government aid would be reduced. However, when the social security accounts were raided by Congress to fund projects which had not been funded, the only way remaining to fund the SS program was to pay the recipients with the social security funds from other SS accounts, of those not yet retired. This is what makes it a Ponzi scheme. The investment aspect of the program no longer exists because the investment funds are no longer there. It is a synthetic system which is no longer funded by the expansion of the economy but, instead, by robbing Peter to pay Paul!
We need to take care of our elder citizens but don't forget that these people have been paying into retirement all of their working lives. Social security is not a hand out, nor is it an entitlement... it is just the promise of the U.S. government to invest your money wisely and make enough profit from your investment to assist you when you retire. The Social Security System no longer represents the hard work of its recipients but the "shenanigans of its manipulators"! A Ponzi scheme represents an economic circuit which is doomed eventually... to destruction!
What Governor Perry said was the truth and thank God someone had the courage to say it! I would also like to add that the stock market is also a Ponzi scheme because it allows the fabrication of wealth and this is a fatal aspect of any economy where greed is encouraged by those who make our laws. However, in light of Governor Perry's bold approach I would offer this; we don't need to raise the retirement age to 67, granted there might be statistical evidence that is sound because we are living and working longer but from a practical perspective, we don't need to do this and it really isn't fair for those who have paid into the system under the auspices that they would be able to retire at 65. If you're going to change the rules of a mandate funded by the people, then don't change the rules on those who are in their forties or even early fifties. Change the rules for those who have not yet worked, who have not yet paid into the system. "Let us be people that do what we say!" You would not engage in a business deal which operated in this way. You would not want someone to change your contract after you had invested in the system. Be as fair to us as you would want us to be to you. We are on the same team. This is our program and we are the ones that invest the money that makes it work. It is Congress that fouled it up, it should be them that take the brunt of its failure; however, we, the voters, are the ones that allowed them to be elected!
This country generates enough money to take care of all people that need help, if it is managed properly! When we root out the criminals who have been given management responsibility and take that responsibility away from them and put in their places; those who can actually make business decisions, only then will we fix the problem. When we elect those into leadership positions who have acceptable moral and ethical boundaries, this issue would be over very quickly. It's not a money problem, it is a management problem! This will not happen until we, the people, stop being the ignorant masses!
If it weren't for political favoritism and power mongering in Washington, a great leader could solve all of our problems and do it in record time. Tabula Rosa... blank slate! We need to get rid of the hacks in Congress who can't quite bring themselves to agree to the logical because they are either too psychotic to see it or, are too locked into criminal activity to act. We, the people, need to make these decisions and we need to do our part; we need to be good managers!
Corporate America needs to be reformed as well as the insurance companies, banks, the American Medical Association, our legal system, the stock market (currently also a Ponzi scheme) to name a few and this can begin by letting them stand or fail on their own merit. If they are not managing their corporate entities, then they must be allowed to fail. All organizations that cover for doctors and lawyers need to be abolished and all lobbying organizations need to be abolished as well! In order for this to happen in Washington, the entire mentality of our elected officials is going to have to change but so is the mentality of those who elect our leaders. We, the voter, we the people, are the ones who allowed this to get out of hand. We are the true power of this country and we cannot defer our responsibility of true leadership to those whom we have sent to Congress to lead in our stead!
Illegal immigration is a problem in this country but it is not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is the criminals who allow it to be a problem.
In order for any economy to grow and prosper it must always be expanding. This is a law of economy. Ideally if a country is healthy economically, they "need" immigration! We, the people, have allowed our leaders to make such a mess of this economy because we allow criminals to prosper. We have allowed those who hire illegal immigrants to continue to make America a place where illegal immigration is rewarded. It's not the fault of the illegal immigrant! If I were them, I would illegally immigrate to this country just like they did. They are not to blame, we are! If we want to solve the immigration issues in this country, then bring the jobs back to America.
There are literally millions of foreign workers who are displacing jobs in this country and our leaders have allowed and even encouraged it. When we understand that the market is as much of a Ponzi scheme as the social security system, then it makes one wonder what the motivation is to continue to allow it? However, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Our system is corrupt and driven by greed!!! This of course is not in the best interest of the small businesses that make all of the real money in the economy and do all of the real hiring!
We encouraged people to migrate to the U.S. and now we need to help them. In an expanding economy, there is plenty of work for everyone and we can and should do it legally. When our leaders make the choice to discourage U.S. corporations from taking jobs out of the U.S., then they will come back, at which time there will be enough jobs available to put everyone to work, including those who are currently undocumented. Undocumented workers should not bare the entire burden of our mistakes!
Our leaders are going to have to bite the bullet and allow businesses to excel or fail on their own merit; however, the result of this is going to be painful for society. It's going to get worse before it gets better and the sooner we take our medicine the less severe our pain will be.
It's no secret now that the housing market is failing because banks were forced to sell homes to those who could not afford them in exchange for votes. We've made the mistake and we have to live with that. Now we have a synthetic economy which must be rebuilt on a sturdy foundation and not a false one.
Furthermore, we have jobs leaving the country and we need to bring them back!!! In the meantime, the foreclosure rate is going to increase and there are going to be many people without homes and without jobs. The government is going to have to get involved but if they want to stimulate the economy, the only logical way to do it is to build and build, and build some more.
This can be done by government sponsored construction; of apartment complexes, which will house the unemployed, infrastructure, improvements and energy development. When we begin the "recovery", these residential complexes can be sold back to the private sector.
When the economy collapses, we will not have time for bureaucracy, it's going to be an emergency. This will not be a time for garnering votes or posturing for the history books. We can and we will do this safely, correctly and environmentally responsibly but most of all... it will be done quickly!
When the market collapses, we have a rare opportunity to rebuild this economy the right way and we must have strong, moral and ethical leaders who are not afraid to lead properly and capable of taking the actions which are truly in the best interest of the country.
It is going to be a difficult time, when the corporations at the top of the pyramid go bankrupt; they are already bankrupt! The only reason they stay in the black on the balance sheet now is borrowed money; in other words, what they produce does not cover what they spend! However, the void which will exist will soon be filled with others who will need to continue to fulfill the needs of public consumption. Hopefully those who fill this vacuum will be better managers than those who preceded them. The machine we call economy is naturally suited and designed to dispose of waste. It is man that gets in the way of this natural process. We need to allow this machine to work, as our creator intended it to work!
The U.S. is the greatest country that has ever existed and even though we are in hard times, we will prevail! However, we will prevail because we, the people, have done the work!
AUTHOR: J.S. THOMPSON
About the Author...
J.S. Thompson is a retired senior government official with a graduate degree from the University of Texas.
Other articles by J.S. Thompson that may be of interest regarding this subject matter....
Is Government... Postponing the Inevitable?
Wall Street... the Greatest Ponzi Scheme