An Open Letter to All Americans
My name is unimportant because I am sure that I am but one of many Americans who are similarly situated. But in the interest of establishing a dialogue, I am called Joe. I am 47 years of age and I consider myself fortunate to live in the greatest country in the world. I have been gainfully employed since I was fourteen years of age, collecting golf balls on a driving range for twenty-five cents for every bag of 500 balls I collected.
In my time I have served faithfully in the military for two terms. I have worked in county and state government. And I have worked in the private sector. I have been married twice and I have three children. I put myself through a University, many times working two jobs while attending school full time. I have also owned two homes and three businesses. I have made mistakes along the way, some costly, some not so much.
So I come to you today with what I believe to be a qualified opinion on the state of our economy and to offer a unique perspective from a common American citizen who has worked hard my entire life on how to fix this problem once and for all.
We are intelligent. We have at our disposal the greatest workforce, the most in depth intelligence and probably the greatest think tank ever known to mankind. We are knowledgeable about current events. We watch, we see, we understand and we form opinions.
Why then is the economy in such disarray? Did the media create this situation? Was it really greed on the part of a few? Was it the lack of basic understanding of economics and how to apply that understanding? I think those questions will best be answered by historians who look back on these troublesome times and evaluate our response.
No, I want to stand before you as a citizen first, one American to another, with the intent of sharing my opinion and with the hope that I may shed a different light on what every American already knows. Please don’t take offense at what I’m about to share. Instead, examine what I say for what it’s worth for what I’m about to suggest is sometimes best left to the privacy of closed doors in the late night hour.
As an American, I am completely dismayed, upset and disgruntled that our leadership has led us down this path. We are now a generation of the entitled. My fellow Americans believe that we deserve more than anyone else. We are upset that each day brings about new controversy, new deceit and the revelation of new truths; the inevitable truth that our way of life is in jeopardy. We are frustrated because our leadership hasn’t appeared to know how to fix our problems.
We silently grimace while sitting at the dining table as CNN announces the latest round of layoffs, fraud and crisis. We are for the most part either unemployed or about to be unemployed. Our homes are in danger of being foreclosed, our automobiles repossessed and our bank accounts depleted or frozen. We do listen though and what we hear is unimaginable. And, it gives us pause to wonder what the future will bring. Will our way of life survive? Will we become homeless? Who will lead the way and in what way will we be led? These are the questions that need answering.
I am an educated citizen but not a scholar. My degree is in business with an apprenticeship in the school of hard knocks. My experiences as a U. S. Marine taught me the importance of the strategy of preeminence by summing up the American ideology in one simple phrase; “Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way!” With this in mind, I humbly offer the following advice.
In order to salvage our way of life, consider not what got us into this mess. Never mind those that brought us here. There will be time enough to deal with them on the backend. Instead, adopt a strategy that is compelling and actionable. Preeminence begins with the notion that I may not always be right, but I am committed and I am adaptable.
If I am required to labor in the fields so that my family will survive, then so be it. If I must work long hours, I can. Enough with the rhetoric about my personal work ethic. I clearly stated that I know what must be done to fix our economy. I have prepared a list in no particular order and as I pass this letter to you, I am sure that you will add your own observations to our list. Eventually, I hope this list will make it to our leaders. When it does, don’t dismiss it as another letter from someone who doesn’t understand the big picture. Instead take a moment and read, because we are the big picture and we do understand.
How to Fix the Economy
A step-by-step compelling and actionable plan
- Never put a fox in charge of the hen house!
When these failed institutions deemed to large to fail came to Capital Hill with their hats in their extended hands, a primary condition for getting our money should have been new management. Not throwing good money after bad.
Bring our manufacturing plants home.
As for back as we can record, the relocation of manufacturing operations to places of cheaper labor and resources has never worked. The concept of colonizing to create cheaper products and new markets doesn’t work because eventually the colony’s needs exceed the available capacity. It failed in ancient times and it failed today.
Scrap the mortgage and banking crisis and start over.
The only way to recover from this fiasco is to throw away the old and start anew. If that means that banks fail, so be it. If that means that insurance giants shut down, well, that was the risk they accepted when they tried to peddle worthless assets.
Revise the way credit is monitored and administered.
The single largest factor deterring Americans from getting back to work is their credit report. I’m not sure what jokester thought it would be a good thing to computerize a credit history and record into perpetuity one’s past sins, but the current system doesn’t work, even with the safeguards built in.
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New York, New York, United States