Friday, February 20, 2009

America’s Lost Confidence

I try not to let the current state of our economy get me down or the losses in my retirement portfolio. For the most part they have not. What has got me down and angry is the failed leadership of both our corporate and political leaders. First the tax issues of President Obama’s picks. If our political leaders cheat on their taxes, what do they expect the average American to do? Our system works because millions of Americans line up every year to pay their fair share of taxes to keep the country running.

Personally I do not see why anyone would need to cheat on their taxes. Individuals like Timothy Geithner should know the system well enough to barely pay taxes. I get my effective tax rate below 15% and some years 10% because I know the system.

On The Journal with Bill Moyers he played a sound bite of a top Morgan Stanly official basically explaining to management about their “retention award” in his own words, “…please don’t call it a bonus…” What a slap in the face to the American people. Not so much the fact that they are paying out a bonus, but that they believe the people are so stupid that we would believe rebranding the word bonus to retention award would have us believe it is any different. I guess the managers were being lured away by Merrill Lynch or Lehman brothers.

On top of this entire financial crisis you have the Madoffs of the world coming out of the woodworks. Guys who work hard, not to make you money, but to rip you off. As someone who works in the industry I want these guys to do hard time in the same prison with criminals who rob us with a gun instead of a pen.

Then the icing on the cake or should I say peanut butter. One of the largest manufacture’s of peanut butter blatantly let a tainted product be consumed by millions, killing about 8 people that we know of. As far as I am concerned this is a capital punishment case.

I know there will be people who say that it is easy to point out what is wrong and we need to focus on what is right. I think we need to point out what is wrong, demand change and do what ever it takes to get it. I am optimistic about America’s future because at the end of the day it is a government by the people and we can change what is wrong.


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