Thursday, July 30, 2009

Slouching Towards Sweden

(This was written in October 2008, when the federal government starting bailing out and taking over private businesses.)

Every American child has the chance to grow up and be the next Bill Gates or Antonio Gates.- Junior

When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. -General George S. Patton speaking to the Third Army in England June 5, 1944

As I write this, the Dow is lower than a Reverend Wright sermon. GM stock closed so low, 5000 shares will buy you a spare tire.

Being employed in my industry (financial services) nowadays is like being an American Indian when Columbus arrived upon the shores. Firms are biting the dust left and right. Unicorns, or liberals with smart ideas, are more frequently sighted than an employed financial services attorney.

And to my horror, the government's solution is to subsidize every bad business decision made on Wall Street.

With each bailout, we become closer and closer to a socialist nation, and move further away from what has made us the greatest nation in world history.

You see, the economic system we have in America matches the natural condition of the human spirit.

You see human beings yearn to be free to create and achieve.

In America, economically speaking, we are free to go for the gold. The American capitalistic system rewards innovation, ingenuity and creativity with big prizes, if that is your thing.

You think its a coincidence that Franklin, Edison, Henry Ford and Bill Gates were American? Don't be silly. These men are products of a system that allowed for their talents to flourish, to the benefit of the world.

Leave those great men aside. Just look at the lives of the people on this email. Many have made their mark in sales, business, law and many other areas. You all have worked hard for what you have achieved. And why have you worked hard? Simple, you are working under the premise that the harder you work, or the more sales you get under your belt, the more money in your pocket.

But lets turn the equation around: What if you worked under a system where no matter how many sales you made, you got paid the same. Would you work hard? Why would you? Where is the incentive?

And that is where we are heading folks. With each government bailout, we are killing the American form of capitalism.

If the bailouts continue, how are we going to distinguish good business practices that should be rewarded from bad business practices that the market should (and would) naturally punish? The answer is we won't be able to distinguish.

No winners, no losers, just mama government subsidizing it all.

You know that Bob Marley lyric "When one door will close, another one will open"? In America, from Hamilton until prebailout America the motto was "When one store, will close, another one will open" but not now, as we are suddenly throwing out the economic playbook that was the envy of the world for 200 years.

If you are nervous now, how does this vision of America grab you:

Everybody makes $28,000 a year. You have 8 weeks vacation, but no money to go anywhere. The government will supply your housing. If you need a heart operation, the guy mopping the blood off of the Hospital floor will be making as much money as the surgeon operating on your heart.

You will have no incentive to get ahead, cause the fruits of your labor will go to the government.

Socialist governments kill the human spirit. It will kill us dead as well. That is why I am deeply troubled. These bailouts are a narcotic that the people can easily get hooked on.

A friend of mine described the current economic crisis in a way that I found very illuminating. He sees the American economic system as a great engine that roars across the top of the sky with the speed of light. Every once in a while, it will crash into a mountain. However, it quickly reassembles and is back to its roaring flying self.

Socialist economies, he explained crawl around in circles, or lay on their backs like turtles.

We are Americans. We fly like the Great Lindbergh. Let's not turn into a nation of upended turtles.

Say no to the bailouts.

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