Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Check Your Brain At The Door

Power and the pursuit thereof must be an amazing aphrodisiac. Without any interest in cynicism and in all sincerity, why is it that many of our political leaders check their brains at the door when taking office? And, some of our business leaders as well.

Energy Independence -
I was listening to NPR this morning and found the discussion of energy independence quite interesting. Our new Energy Secretary, Ken Salazar, was dismissing past Administration policies on off-shore drilling, indicating that it needs more study; not because we don't know enough about fossil fuels, but because we don't know enough about alternative energy. When will we ever? Of course economics have altered the discussion lately with oil prices down significantly. What am I missing? Do we stay our current course and take no action while we continue to ponder what might be? Do the proponents of wind and solar truly believe that wind and solar are the sum of the solution of energy independence? Rest assured, I am not advocating that fossil fuels are the sum of all of our energy ills, nor that alternative energy sources are without value or merit. On the contrary, logic and reason tells us the solution to energy independence resides in a comprehensive solution. Wind and solar have a role to play, conjunctive with fossil fuels and derivatives thereof, and nuclear. We have proven technologies presently in the market that offer alternatives and solutions. Why is it that we struggle so in looking to the solutions that presently exist in the market? The logic and reason seems to have escaped our political leadership of the day causing us to be mired in their political pandering and pursuit of self-interest over meeting America's need. The want for continued debate without decisive action creates its own dynamic that unfortunately empowers our political leadership and prolongs their perception of self importance.

Economic Crisis -
Surely we are faced with significant issues in our economy and the solutions are not simple by any measure, but why is it that we should trust and rely upon our political leadership (Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Charlie Rangel, Charles Schumer, John Kerry, and others), most of whom are far from expert on economics, to lead the way? Appreciating that our new Treasury Secretary is a bright and capable guy, yesterday's result from his long awaited speech was very telling. The political influences of the day seem to offer entitlement as a solution. They distrust our financial institutions and seem to lack faith and confidence in the foundations of our US banking system. Throwing the baby out with the bath water is not a solution. They fail to realize the multiplier effect of money in our banking system as a means to drive our economic vitality. They continue to punish the banks at the expense of needed solutions, born of their distrust and the fact that they feel they know better. The punitive accounting policies of Washington are doing more to destroy our banking system than selected elements of greed and idiocy in some CEO offices. We gain more leverage in a solution with the banking system than without. However, the populus messages from Washington would advocate otherwise. The more we debate, the more we empower Washington, and the more we lose.

Corporate Executive Offices -
What are some of these guys thinking - they truly have checked their brains at the door. The former CEO of Merrill spending $1.2 million on an office remodel? The CEO's of the auto industry riding their private jets to Washington for financial relief? The vacuum these guys live in has gone to their heads and reason and logic have left the building. Even so, not all corporate offices are like the exceptions proffered in the media. These are the exceptions and not the rule in corporate America. The media frenzy on these stories are good fodder, but do not represent what is good in our corporate leadership. The politicians will play this tune, again and again because the populism promoted empowers them, for "they will protect us, they know better." We are the greatest economic superpower because of the depth of those who run our businesses, large and small, and the model our economy is built upon, not because of the politicians who run Washington.

Hopefully, most of America doesn't follow the lead of our politicians and selective CEOs, and check their brains at the door.

1 comment:

steven said...

Very well stated. Your ever logical thinking is refreshing after hearing of the miserable wrong-headed thinking shown by our President.
Why are we not building more nuclear power plants? The answer is simple. The Dems and the tree huggers have blocked it. Drilling offshore or in ANWAR? The Dems and the tree huggers have blocked it. Sound economic policies have been tossed aside. The Dems answer is bigger and a more invasive government. The "Im from the government and Im here to help you mentality. That never has worked and never will.