Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Have They Killed The Goose?

A fable attributed to Aesop, from the Sixth Century B.C.E. tells the story of a couple who had a goose that laid golden eggs. They decided to kill the goose to get all the eggs inside it out at once, rather than waiting for it to lay them, only to find no eggs inside the goose. Oh, if only the greedy captains of American industry had heeded the wisdom of this ancient Greek story teller.

First it was investment banks and bad mortgages. Now we find the so-called "Big Three Automakers" on the verge of collapse. Though decades of poor management, taking multiple givebacks by the United Autoworkers Union, building cars that were sub par, and shipping American jobs to foreign nations, these companies find themselves in serious trouble, and could be the the thing that tips us into a major financial depression.

The inept, greedy CEOs of General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford flew in their mulitimillion-dollar private jets to sit in front of our representatives in Congress with their hands out, asking we, the American people, to give them money we don't have, from the public coffers. We find ourselves in a quandry. If these companies collapse, who will build our tanks and other military vehicles? Toyota?

I don't believe we can afford to let these companies collapse, only because of the economic tsunami that would ensue. However, any aid should be predicated upon ousting these inept management teams, requiring the return of jobs to the United States, and a clear plan to bring these companies back to profitability and repay the American taxpayer.

It seems that the entire house of cards is falling apart rapidly. I not only fear for our long term future, but for our short term survival as well. I have never felt this pessimistic about the future of this nation and its people. Many people pointed to the sudden collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 as evidence of the flaws of the Communist economic system. I find it entirely feasible that we could see a similar collapse of the capitalist system of the U.S., and very rapidly also. This consumer-driven economy cannot forever sustain itself if people don't have jobs.

These clueless executives are more interested in getting free government money to sustain their own lavish lifestyles while changing nothing; rather than creating fundamental change in the way business is done in this country. Mr. Obama, I fear you have been dealt the biggest mess of any incoming president since Franklin Roosevelt, and perhaps since Abraham Lincoln. America is sending you to The White House to effect change. We have never needed it more.