Our Economy and where its heading.... (in Debates)

DrAcO5676 [The Knighthood III] June 22 2009 8:11 PM EDT

Call To Action

'Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder! We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course..'

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned, 'Titanic'. I'll give you a sound bite: 'Throw all the bums out!'

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore..

The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs.. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving 'pom-poms' instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of the ' America ' my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have. The Biggest 'C' is Crisis! (Iacocca elaborates on nine C's of leadership, with crisis being the first.)

Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. A hell of a mess, so here's where we stand.

We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving.

We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country.

We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs.

Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble.

Our borders are like sieves.

The middle class is being squeezed every which way.

These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you've got to ask: 'Where have all the leaders gone?' Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo?

We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm.

Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when 'The Big Three' referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do about it?

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit around and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bonehead on NBC news or CNN news will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change?

Had Enough? Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope - I believe in America . In my lifetime, I've had the privilege of living through some of America 's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises: The 'Great Depression,' 'World War II,' the 'Korean War,' the 'Kennedy Assassination,' the 'Vietnam War,' the 1970's oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11.

If I've learned one thing, it's this: 'You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a "Call to Action" for people who, like me, believe in America'. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the crap and go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had 'enough.'

Lee Iacocca

Revs June 23 2009 12:24 AM EDT

So are we debating the US/world economy? Or just whether Iacocca made a good pitch for his book? ;)

To reply to your topic heading, I think I'm in agreement with "Creature of Jekyll Island", which is that we are inevitably heading for disaster . . . at some point. Putting off all of the current problems and creating a monster that will devour your grand-children seems the worst possible solution. Yet that's what the current administration is doing, repeating history, for the 4th time. Will this be the one that breaks us? I mean, for all the "solutions", "take-overs", bailouts, and money printed, the deficit is still growing, as is the tax burden. And there's still 1 billion people on the planet starving while the Gov't keeps trying to take more and more control. Or maybe they'll pull the economy out of recession, and it'll be the 5th that breaks us. Or the 6th. But it's inevitable that without dealing with the actual issues, at some point it's going to be too big to do anything about and it's all going to fail. Throwing money at a problem is never the correct solution. Neither is big government, nor facism, nor socialism.

However, history does have a habit of repeating itself for those that never take their lessons from it.

AdminQBnovice [Cult of the Valaraukar] June 23 2009 1:51 AM EDT

Rev... My old boss has been trying to read through that book for a while (too depressing to read in one sitting is what he says)... I'm very tempted to dig in and see if I can make it through...

Everything he's shared with me from it is truly terrifying.

Sickone June 23 2009 5:21 AM EDT

Nothing good could ever come out of lending money that doesn't exist with interest :)
As long as that issue isn't "fixed", nothing will get "fixed" in the long run.
An economic crash right now is not only unavoidable, but necessary and DESIRABLE if followed by an elimination of the unsustainable banking system.

Rubberduck[T] [Hell Blenders] June 23 2009 12:25 PM EDT

Sorry, the US empire is on the skids, period, you can fight a better rearguard action but thats about all :P

Revs June 23 2009 12:38 PM EDT

Novice . . . for sure, "Creature of Jekyll Island" is terrifying. And it's a brute of a read for people like me that are not already well versed in economics. I felt like I was in college again. I'd recommend it to anyone, if you can find it. But it's conclusion gives two options:

1) Keep doing what we're currently doing until it all crashes on another generation that we won't care about since we'll be dead and gone after our fat, wealthy, over fed and over careless lifestyles of irresponsibility and refusal to own up to our own mistakes.


2) Let go of the illusion that we've created. Deal with the actual problems now, let the house of cards fall, and create a new secure and foundational system out of the aftermath while we still can.

And while option 2 is the scariest prospect for the immediate, as no one could possibly predict the total devastation. It would at least secure a future for our grand children and our country, and the rest of the world's economy (in as much as it's been dependent on the US) as well.

On the other hand, though out history, no "empire" has lasted more than about 200 years. And typically they are destroyed by their own immorality and corrupt infrastructure. Maybe we're all around at this time in history to witness our own. Should we choose to do nothing about it.
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