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Self Interest: There’s a Donkaphant In The Room

September 10, 2011

America is tired of the side-show. Here are some truths:

Any institution that values its own interests above the interests of the population it serves is bad.

A governmental agency devoted to generating work for its employees is bad

A business devoted more to making profits for its owners than to providing quality goods and responsibly valuable services to its consuming public is bad.

The real question is not whether big business is bad or big government is bad. Neither is intrinsically evil. The more important question is: How does a society protect against the irresponsibility of both while assuring prosperity for all?

For as long as this nation has existed, a strong but mostly rational debate on the topic has raged. There has been an ebb and flow of sentiment and shifting legislation from national and state legislatures trying to find balance.

These days, however, howling voices of condemnation in our legislative halls seem to have missed the point on both fronts yet managed to polarize the American public and effectively shut down our way of life. Balance, it seems, is no longer the objective.

Some pontificate about government announcing indignantly that what we have is not what the Founding Fathers really intended (as if they knew). Others proclaim with rigid indignation that capitalism is somehow a draconian system designed by sadists who enjoy enslaving the cowering masses of workers (and they do it with a straight face). The victim of this disingenuous argument has been the most successful economy the world has ever seen and the very people who made it work: you and me.

I have my own theories about how this all got started, but they’re my theories and the genesis of the problem isn’t the problem. Pointing fingers at the past won’t move America productively into the future, but each group of representatives is so entrenched in it’s own paranoia that discussion is impossible. Forget about finding consensus, the order of the day is to find the devil in every detail the other side proposes.

Barack Obama is an interesting character. He entered the White House like a homeowner returning to New Orleans after Katrina. There was quite a mess to clean up. He’s spent the past several years trying to make it liveable again with some success, but not enough to please either side.

This Thursday he tried again, admirably, to get the conversation back to a productive middle and away from the edges of what can be reasonably expected in such a backbiting political environment. The Left is angry. The Right is angry. They volley and thunder. But where does it get us as a nation?

The American economy is a business trying to get started again. So give it a chance. Stop sitting on the leader who was elected to get things done and just give it chance. It may be instructive, at this point, to consider that more business start-ups fail because of indecision than bad decisions.

What the Donkaphants don’t consider is that their profound self-interest is squeezing us all out of the room and we’re the ones who bought their tickets to their circus.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 10, 2011 11:17 am

    Re-publicasses. That about covers all of ’em. Good piece.

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