Updated post with a 11-page introduction.
Note: What was intended to be the usual one-page Introduction has slowly evolved into nine pages covering a host of topics that came to mind while writing, which included my need to do a little housekeeping. If you would like to skip the intro and go straight to the two-page essay, it begins on page eleven. This piece was written and shared with Yale’s Dr. Robert Shiller, as well as, posted on my blog, in late October. The introduction came afterwards and has taken much longer to complete.
As I mentioned previously, I added Russian Dmitry Medvedev and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to this audience after stumbling across the president’s website, in July. Inspired by the ease by of my effort, I communicated to you my plans to invite the remaining heads of state that are members of the G-20 (the world’s twenty largest economies). Since writing my last piece, “Dear Jay Ambrose”, I have begun working towards this goal.
In October, I added nine (9) more heads of states (and their ambassadors to the United States who serve at their Washington DC embassy). The names of these respective chancellors, presidents and prime ministers (P.M.) are: Australian P.M. Julia Gillard (Hon. Kim Beazley), The Ambassador Brazil to the U.S. Hon. Mauro Luiz Iecker Vieira, Canadian P.M. Stephen Harper (Hon. Michael Wilson), President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, The European Union Ambassador to the U.S. João Vale de Almeida, French Ambassador Hon. Pierre Vimont, German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Hon. Klaus Scharioth), Taoiseach (P.M.) of Ireland Brian Cowen (Hon. Michael Collins), The Ambassador of Italy to the U.S. Hon. Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, The Ambassador of Japan to the U.S. Hon. Ichiro Fujisaki, The Netherlands P.M. Jan Peter Balkenende (Hon. Renée Jones-Bos), New Zealand P.M. John Key (Rt. Hon. Mike Moore), the United Kingdom P.M. David Cameron (Her Majesty’s Hon. Nigel Sheinwald), The Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Hon. Sergey I. Kislyak, The Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Hon. Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir and the President of the Swiss Confederation Doris Leuthard (Hon. Urs Ziswiler). With the exception of Brazil, Italy, Japan, Russia and Saudi Arabia, I have a heavy faculty presence at their top universities. I will keep you posted on my progress as I continue to add the rest of the group, in the coming months.
When I write and share, with you, an essay or a fellowship application I never know what kind of a reaction I am going get, if any. On several occasions, my commentaries have come in response to reading an op-ed in my local newspaper, the Press-Register (Mobile, Ala.). September’s essay, “Dear Jay Ambrose”, is the latest example. I usually write no more than one or two pages, which is short in comparison to many of my commentaries. The length of my reply to Mr. Ambrose over taxes, the Bush tax cuts and tax policy fell short of one. Upon completion, I emailed Jay my thoughts before deciding whether or not to share this short piece with this group. By the end of that night, I had received an answer from him. That’s pretty rare. If you read my commentary, then you know that I included his critique of it.
When I start blasting a completed essay my first step is to send it out to my group of (non-academia) professionals, some 240 contacts, which includes local attorneys, business leaders, clergy, former governors, state and federal judges and lawmakers, major foundations, American notables, Washington policy institutes, extended family and friends due to its small size. It also allows me to quickly gauge their response while continuing to make final edits before I launch it to my six thousand plus professors. Sometimes a commentary, and almost every fellowship application, makes me cringe over the anticipated response that I might get, in particular, from my audience of academia. This could be due to its length, the nature of the piece (such as, an application) or maybe the group’s unfamiliarity with a topic. There’s no history to support my concerns, if anything it’s often too quite for comfort. At times, I find myself “on the fence” over whether I should or should not share the piece.
I find myself repeatedly questioning, “Is this commentary (app.) a foolish effort or does it have some merit? Recognizing this natural tension within me I think it’s a good thing and it keeps me focused on turning out my best work over doing quantity. In this case, the combination of its length, my viewpoint and/or ignorance of the subject while being called on some part, or all, of it was bothering me. However, I felt like my message was unique and that the argument was missing from the national debate over our ‘programmed’ attitudes towards taxes. Once more, courage and faith (taking a risk) won the day and I gave you an opportunity to read it. My decision was well rewarded.
Whether taxes were a more popular topic with this audience then some of my other essays I don’t know, but I quickly received feedback from several friends. Their reactions served as the catalyze that gave the push needed to share it with my professors where I experienced a second wave of feedback. Over the course of a weeklong launch, three professors, in all, wrote to me. Their comments led to a series of email exchanges that I think resulted in a shared concern over the current economic climate and its impact on tax policy. One law professor and an expert, on the subject, who teaches at New York University School of Law, had this to say…
An underlying problem is that such a small proportion of the public contributes to the common enterprise. We need a VAT in the US. Its absence (plus our generally low rates of individual incomes taxes) makes us one of the lowest taxing developed countries. There are only 3 OECD countries with a lower overall tax burden.
Subject to that point, which would undercut the argument that the “rich” already pay more than their fair share, you are – of course – correct. The suggestion that raising the marginal rate by 4 percentage points at income levels above a quarter of a million dollars is going to produce dire economic consequences is laughable.”
– Name withheld per the editor.
My letter with my initial doubts produced, to my surprise, the biggest response among any of my commentaries in quite sometime. It’s a reminder, to me, why taking chances, which leads to growing emotionally and spiritually is so critical to human, organizational and society development. In general, that’s what’s missing at all levels of our society and we’ve gotten very sick, as a result. Men can’t cry and women love to gossip. In America, insanity rules!
The presenting symptoms can be seen everywhere in all forms of addiction, the crime rate and overcrowded prisons (2 million inmates), our personal and national debt, our dysfunctional state and federal governments (all three branches) and the widespread distrust and fear of one another on the street. We have an expansive and overburdened health care system serving the system’s providers and suppliers at, both, patient and taxpayer expense and bulging waistlines among the young and old, alike, which can be easily seen while it’s still being denied. Our insanity has already reached epidemic proportions, but who even stops to notice or speak up?
I don’t hear the president or the first member of Congress saying a word. Nobody gets this or anything else, for that matter. Solve this and much of our health care troubles will simply go away. Maybe you’re waiting on bird flu (H5N1), swine flu (H1N1) or some other virus to strike and finish us all off. Is it possible that you’re being told to focus on the wrong public enemy? Your resistance to disease is directly linked to the degree of sanity (emotional, mental and spirit
ual health) within your family’s environment. You probably won’t read this in any medical and psychology book, but it’s true.
Your sanity is grounded in your level of reality, the more reality (or personal truth) that you’re living in then the less external pressures and internal stresses you feel. That’s because things use to bother or upset you no longer have that power over you. The net result is that your health improves. As a matter of fact, the pressures and stressors will start to diminish as you make better decisions in your life leading to solutions while learning to live an ever simpler life. You will continue to have problems and crisis in your life until your death, but you will learn how to resolve them better and quickly without feeling lost and overwhelmed. That’s growth.
Experiencing a growth spurt can be so invigorating, but it can also leave you standing alone, as I have come to find out. Regardless, it’s a constant must, a daily exercise. Skip the gym and start working out these limp and long-neglected abdominal muscles running up and down your belly. You’ll never learn about these critical muscles that make up our intestinal fortitude and lead to our growth and success, in any anatomy class. Both, science and medicine will deny and ignore their existence because they can’t see them, but they’re there because we can all feel them quiver when we’re confronted with a problem or crisis. Either, we learn to grow (up) or we go. We, either, live life to the fullest or we simply exist bound by artificial limits as the world passes us by. Is that not what’s happening? Take your pick, which one will it be? The consequences are enormous.
One update on the Woodrow Wilson International Centers for Scholars (Washington, DC) fellowship application and it’s a rather disappointing one, at that. While everyone, on this list of 6,800, got a chance to read it, my intended audience – the fellowship committee of a dozen or so – didn’t. This was due to a lack of volunteers from this audience. Nobody came forward, on my behalf, to serve as one of the two much-needed references. In addition, to putting out a call for help, I followed up by soliciting seven members. All had received my work for well over two years, but not one of them even bothered to acknowledge my email. In general, I expect little from you. After all, I’m the one who invited you to join and not the other way around. I feel privileged to have you, as my guest. I want you to have a one-of-a-kind experience with minimal effort, expense or inconvenience with no hassle or pressure coming from me. If you want to stay in this audience, please do and if you ever choose to leave that will be ok, too.
In the pursuit of reality or the truth, my experience, insight and the lessons learned have often come at a tremendous cost to my family and me, as previously mentioned. As you will soon see, I continue to share, with you, more about my life. Due to its high price (an honest life), I’ve come believe that few in this society really want to make a similar purchase. I hope you see a value to this effort and are personally profiting from it. I know some are. Over the past two years, I’ve gotten the opportunity to hear from six (6) former high school classmates after they read some of my essays that I’ve been posting on Facebook.
All summoned up the courage to reach out to me, for the first time in twenty years, about the troubles facing them after reading about the troubles that I had faced and the success I was, now, enjoying as a free man and writer. In two cases, I met them in person, for close to three hours, to share my story and to discuss theirs in greater detail. I befriended one of them for a year while he went through a difficult divorce and custody battle. I emailed my thoughts to three others and I am waiting to setup a lunch date with #6. This is a reminder that I never know who my story, and my essays, are touching, either, in this audience, on my blog or on Facebook, but it always does my spirit good when someone writes to me. That’s been the case for twenty-one years, even if talking to someone else appears to have only helped me. If it keeps me sane and sober for that one day then much has been accomplished. This brings me to my next item.
There are two personal matters that our western culture tells us repeatedly not to air in public, or at least it use to, and they have to do with one’s finances and one’s sex life. What? Did you think that some subjects were surely off limits around here? Gotcha! You don’t know me all that well, do you? Now, I bet you’re getting, either, very excited or quite nervous over what I’m going to say next. For your sake and mine, I will spare you of the latter. That leaves us with the former, which ties back to the earlier topic of needing references so I can obtain funding to continue developing this project further.
Finances are a sensitive issue and bringing up my situation may seem offensive to some of you, but that’s not my intent. I have lived with this burden for almost four years and to varying degrees. At times, I have had enough money to cover all my basic expenses with a little room to play. That’s not the case, now. Here’s my new reality. Those excess funds are gone and I live solely on my monthly Social Security Disability check, which comes to almost $1,200 or to roughly $14,400/year, plus Medicare and Medicare Part D (the Bush drug prescription plan). I’ve recently learned that my earnings for 2010 are only three thousand dollars above the poverty line. For the second time, in two years, Social Security recipients (seniors and the disabled) won’t receive a cost of living adjustment (COLA), yet I am being told that food and fuel prices are going up if they haven’t already. As you will see, it looks like I already live on or below that line. Due to my limited income my medications are heavily subsidized with little out of pocket expense to me. (Thanks, W.!) My mental health services are provided, at a minimal charge, by the county’s mental health agency.
Every six months, I see a nurse practitioner (CRNP) and in-between those visits I see a nurse. Since losing my health insurance in 2006, I haven’t seen a psychiatrist. While I really like the nurse practitioner who’s been very supportive of my writing, which is a first among any of the mental health professionals that I’ve ever met, his technical training as related to psychiatry is no substitute for a medical doctor, but that’s the system for you with its limited resources. He writes my prescriptions under the care of a psychiatrist whose name I don’t even know because I have never laid eyes on him. I guess this is what rationed health care looks like. Without proper insurance and a diagnosis that carries a social stigma, one’s life has little value to, both, this society and to our health care system. If I sound like a man with a mental illness, well I am.
I’m told by some of my retiree friends who also hangout at the local bookstores and the public libraries that I could leave this all behind for the good life where the bananas, mangos, and papaya grow year-around in your front yard. Where the colorful hibiscus bloom daily and volcanoes rumble off in the distance, where the ocean is always blue and it rains six months out the year. They tell me that I could live like a king on my disability paycheck alone in almost any Latin America country that I so choose. Unfortunately, my passion for writing and sharing these political and social essays with a real interest in seeing change occur in this troubled United States keeps me staying put, for now, and it pushes this idea of leaving to the backburner, as my option of last resort. There’s a fire in my belly that keeps me from saying, “Screwing it”, packing my bags, grabbing my passport and catching a jet flying south of the border, forever.
Years ago, I honeymooned for nin
e days in beautiful Costa Rica and I know one Baby Boomer who now calls this tropical paradise home. Unlike the comfortable retirements enjoyed by “The Greatest Generation”, their children born during 1946-64 (Baby Boomers) are doing their research on where to retire due to having no company-paid health insurance or pension and their retirement plans are insufficient to live out their final years, in the states, in grand style. My youth, at 39, also plays a factor in keeping me staying put, for now. However, a quickly deteriorating U.S. economy could put me on the next airplane leaving out of New Orleans or Atlanta for San Jose, Panama City or Quito, as the newest expatriate. I would prefer to return to the status of U.S. taxpayer, but I need your help. Repeated attempts to bring in additional income, this year, have been fruitless. Under the current Social Security rules, I’m allowed to earn another $900.00/month before my income becomes taxable. The current economy has made the task difficult to achieve, either, as a writer or in some other logical capacity.
I will say that I have learned much about living “on the public dole” and I have a good appreciation for the welfare system, like jails and mental institutions. I might have to write about it sometime or maybe that’s what I am doing right now. I can say that I know what “going broke” and “being broke”, now, feels like. I’ve met and see many folks who appear to be a whole lot worse off, standing in the same line, seeking public assistance while I have also gotten to meet those employed or volunteering in the social services field. My expectations of what I would encounter didn’t always meet the reality thus I got an education on how things really work and sometimes don’t. In my mostly white suburban community, I’ve had to forgo a few monthly needs. Each month, I am one of several hundred residents who visit a local food pantry, run by a church, for a box of provisions. This year, I signed up for and began receiving food stamps ($25/month) and once a year I’m able to visit three area charities for food and/or utility-payment assistance.
Due to my diagnosis of bipolar disorder, my learning disability and my disastrous work history, I have not worked full-time since 2004. I last filed a tax return that following spring. I have no savings or a retirement plan to speak of. I have no wiggle room or any margin of error. This way of life keeps me living ever so simply and in the moment. Please, don’t feel sorry for me because I am truly living my best life. How’s that you ask? Well, I’ve learned to live every moment of the day in a conscious state of living engaged in activities that produce maximum pleasure while minimizing the time it takes for solving life’s unpleasant tasks. If a chore doesn’t match my slowly-developed values then we quickly part ways. The Killjoys, Procrastination and his corrupt cousin’s Guilt and Shame, aren’t allowed to hang around here. I’ve learned to apply these same values to my family and friends ruling out my participation in all tasks that might produce personal discomfort and misery while making me wish that I was doing something else, somewhere else. You know what? It works! Everyone should live this way we would have a happier world.
Prior to my diagnosis, I had always held a salaried position, paid my bills on time and maintained good credit. Currently, I owe two banks a combined total of $36,000 due to my divorce, illness and unemployment. What little cash that I got from the sale of our house and my wife’s tax return was quickly spent in the first year. I naively thought that I would re-enter the workforce or find a source of income as a writer, by now. That’s been almost four years, ago. Neither has happened, but I remain hopeful. Last year, one bank obtained a judgment against me for roughly half of what I owe and thankfully they haven’t tried to collect on any of it, yet. Maybe they know my poor financial condition about as well as I do. My credit score has gone to hell. I’ve given the issue of repayment little thought because it’s currently an impossible reality. My fall out of the workforce, both, in pay and in position turns out to be quite common for the mentally ill. I could’ve easily given up after this latest strike against me. I know many who understandably have and they’ve never returned to their previous income bracket or occupation. This has a tremendous impact on one’s emotional, financial, mental and spiritual welling, as well as, on their families. I would like to see my monthly bills as something that I no longer have to worry about as a writer.
Shear determination, perseverance to change my family history and my future with this gift to think and write has kept me moving forward while defying the odds. I’ve encountered much resistance along the way, but I’ve learned how to go around it. My friends can see it and one of them recently commented on it. I’m the trout swimming upstream trying to avoid the angler’s fly, the eagle and the hungry grizzly bear returning to the headwaters to spawn. I should be another statistic among the bankrupt, defeated, helpless, hopeless, homeless and very insane or maybe it’s death by suicide. This society fears us and y’all make it virtually impossible for us to get back into the workforce with all your prejudices. Am I wrong? Where’s the helping hand given my talents, I see none. Where’s “the land of opportunity” that I am always hearing about – is it just another meaningless patriotic phrase that America has become all too known for? Surprisingly, I have been able to stave off bankruptcy by being nimble, paying attention to the details while staying on top of my monthly bills and taking quick action to intervene on any unforeseen ones. I don’t know how long this will last.
I reluctantly share this personal information, not out of desperation, but in an effort to give this audience a better understanding of my daily reality in hopes of getting greater participation from you. Over the years, I have only had one person, a local business executive, who expressed an interest in investing in this endeavor, which was withdrawn as the economy slowed. Two professors have already served as references in prior fellowship applications. With 6,000 of you, I would like to grow my pool of volunteers to ease the burden on them while also knowing that, on some level, I do have your support. I am not sure my writing style lends itself to a traditional business-model with a guaranteed ROI for investors, at this point. After hearing horror stories involving now-famous artists and their first investors taking advantage of them, I would be pretty cool to this idea. Reader support in the format of something like PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) might work better for everyone.
Some form of this project will continue if that’s what the good Lord wants even if it continues to run on just my modest paycheck and I am forced to stop pursuing fellowships due to a lack of support. Dollar for dollar, taxpayers should be happy to know that they’re getting their monies worth. Show me a fellowship or grant recipient whose reach is global, who’s touching world leaders, billionaires, major foundations, universities all the way down to the common man.
Could there possibly be another visionary doing so much on so little? In truth, the gap between the top and the bottom of this audience and this global society is much smaller than anyone wants to realize. Simply put we’re all children of God and human beings, all other labels serve only to divide on behalf of the ego (or insanity) and at the expense of the human spirit. All are welcome to actively participate or to remain silent and nobody is ever excluded from reading these commentaries. My work is available to those who can afford to pay and, more importantly, for all those who can’t. That’s what freedom look like. The people in my life, now, come fro
m all walks and they aren’t from the same preppy white life that I left. This effort is to bring public consciousness to the world and it’s dedicated to all the above. I wouldn’t have it any other way. In a society that’s so spiritually-poor, I offer this free food for your soul.
I see this project as being a counterbalance to the drug known as “mass consumption” by corporate America via media’s incessant advertising and marketing of goods and services. This effort is the free distribution of honest ideas across all demographic lines regardless of age, gender, race nationally, sexual orientation, income, political and religious affiliation, I think it’s in keeping with the spirit of Jesus Christ. Your modest financial and moral support of me is supporting the spread of these wholesome ideas come with a dividend for you.
I’m sharing with my most pressing challenge as a human and as an ardent writer. I ask that you give this latest disclosure some consideration and see your possible role in helping to resolve some of these issues. This is another aspect of who I am and it explains a little more about my story. It reveals more about where I coming from, but not necessary where I have always been. It’s my current reality, but hopefully a temporary one. Your input can make the difference in bringing it an end, sooner rather than later.
Like much of my life, my friends are knowledgeable about this aspect. This topic has been frequently discussed and kicked around many times in an attempt to solve it. They’re ongoing support of this venture has resulted in the purchase of countless lunches, dinners, tanks of gas and bags of groceries. On several occasions, cold-hard cash has been placed in my open palm to help cover an extra expense while I continue to live as a full-time “starving” artist and a Bohemian writer.
My continued focus of this enterprise has been a three-pronged approach. It’s to write essays, grow my audience while seeking funding through fellowships and developing credentials as a foundation recipient. Both, the production of some fifty essays, growing a global audience have been a real success considering that I write to you without any institutional or organization affiliation. It’s simply my thoughts turned into words shared with you. You, either, choose to accept the message, reject it, speak up or say nothing. The overwhelming reaction has been silence with many positive remarks. I think that’s a good sign.
These new friends have almost all come into my life following my breakdown and breakthrough, a 20-minute geographic relocation from my hometown and the start of this new life. While they’re employed, work a forty, have their own bills and problems to face none of them make a whole lot of money. However, they’re continued support for me has been unwavering without regret or resentment. That’s quite a feat especially when money gets involved in any friendship. If distinguished job titles and employment at prestigious institutions meant little to the Woodrow Wilson fellowship committee and others like it, then I wouldn’t even bother asking for your help. I would gladly live and die by the reference letters of those who know me best, those who I live and play with.
On the other hand, I don’t get any support, financial or moral, from my family and old friends that I once knew as classmates and playmates for well over thirty years of my life. Phone calls are a rarity and I haven’t gotten the first invite to one of their parties since my diagnosis and divorce, in 2007. I suspect they need someone to stand beneath them on their very old and rickety social ladder. They would rather have the plague be on the guest list at their annual Christmas party than me. I continue to be seen, in the eyes of some, as the crazy one and I probably always will until I get my big break and they’re finally forced to come to terms with my talents and maturation.
For now, an axe has dropped, with a loud thud, severing all those ties. I think God had something to do with it. There are absolutely no friendships or a marriage to rekindle, at this point. I continue to grieve the losses. Recently, I had the opportunity to see some of them at our twenty-year high school reunion including two who were in my wedding party. Over the course of the evening, little of any significance was spoken. That might be it until the forty-year, I don’t know. I remain open to the endless possibilities. The event reminds me of how deeply indebted I am to my new friends. I think they would tell you that what I write in these essays is a reflection of the person that they’ve gotten to know. (I hope so.) If it wasn’t for my written story, I don’t think any of them would believe me, for one minute, about my wild history with mental illness.
In closing, I would like to say that due to my lifestyle I have the luxury of listening to a lot of music throughout the day. There are many songs, from different genres, which I’ve discovered and been moved by. One song that comes to mind is “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” performed by Lorrie Morgan, an American country music singer. It speaks, as well as, any song can or does to picking oneself up after taking a hard fall. That’s something I’ve gotten to know a lot about during this past decade. I’ve survived and thrived under some very difficult circumstances. Mostly importantly, I’ve lived to tell about it. I take great comfort in Morgan’s song as I reflect on this journey and look ahead.
In the course of writing this introduction, a new motto came to mind. It speaks to the philosophy that I live by daily and write about monthly. I hope you like it.
To living life without limits. ©
See attachment: Dr. Robert Shiller (Yale University) – Financial Reform Laws Didn’t Resolve Key Problems (Huffington Post)
Note: The following link, Shiller: Dodd-Frank Does Not Solve Too Big To Fail, is on the topic of financial reform and Wall Street’s “Too big to fail” banks features the comments of Yale economist Dr. Robert Shiller. The story appeared this morning (10/27/10) on the Huffington Post. My reply to Dr. Shiller follows.
October 27, 2010
As a philosopher and writer on political and social commentary, I have an audience with over 5,000 professors teaching at thirty-two world class universities, in ten countries, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cambridge, Oxford…I have been writing about the corruption of, both, our nation’s economic and political systems, since 2007. A member of my audience, Harvard Law Professor, Elizabeth Warren took notice of my work and forwarded three of my essays to her Congressional Oversight Panel (COP), in 2009. Each time, I received a notice from her congressional committee.
Regarding this entire crisis, shamefully no one in Congress or in the Bush or Clinton Administrations have ever admitted to making mistakes and/or resigning, from their office, in disgrace over their actions or inactions leading up to and during this nation’s real estate mortgage crisis and the Wall Street banking meltdown. However, all appear to be running for re-election, this November. They’re too deep in denial about the problems created for taxpayers by their involvement.
There’s been no significant transformation in our federal government’s conduct, both, in its legislative affairs (Congress) and in enforcing federal policies and laws (The Administration). Likewise, there’s been no dramatic change in the behavior of Wall Street banks – Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs…, their lobbyists, K street or with our government regulators (the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission). So, what’s really changed with the passage of the Dodd-Frank law – nothing?
Compliance with old regulations and new ones goes only surface d
eep. At best, the banks will give you what you request and nothing more. They continue to operate the same way. They’re secretive as ever and transparent to no one. There’s a saying, “The thinking that creates a problem is not the same thinking that will solve it”. A man by the name of Albert Einstein is credited with making this statement.
Basically, Einstein argues that a higher level of conscious, personal, organizational or community growth has to occur, in order, for you to see the real solution or to see the problem in its true perspective. I think neither action has occurred with “Too big to fail” because the folks who wrote Dodd-Frank were incapable of taking the necessary steps to see beyond their own limited ego-driven interests and their fear-based mindset. They have not grown up, either, emotionally or spiritually. This is a must for permanent change. Instead, they remain insane.
It’s like King George III offering a “solution” to his unhappy American colonists when Thomas Jefferson among others have come up with newer and more honest ideas about how the colonies should be run and how each colonist should live. The King and the founding fathers were oceans apart in how they saw the American problem and the solution. The colonist’s newer and truer ideas won out.
That’s the same problem we’re facing in America on a host of issues beyond financial reform and the home foreclosure crisis that our federal government seems unable to resolve. All Congress and the president care about are holding onto their money, power and prestige at the expense of some 300 million citizens and taxpayers. The Dodd-Frank laws and other reforms are desperate attempts to show some teeth to the American people, but it’s just all bark to the banks. Without a serious congressional change, “Too big to fail” has become the law of the land. There’s no political will to force Wall Street banks to grow up. We demand it of our citizens, but not of our reckless banks and corporations.
So, if you’re an expert then why didn’t you express a similar message, a similar truth that I have just laid out? Are you just as blind to reality as Congress and President Obama? If anything, your comments have only enabled things to remain the same and you have just helped lull everyone back to sleep. The next financial storm, or market correction, will hit and swamp Wall Street, the United States and the global financial markets, once more, in the next ten years. We’ve had three crashes, in the stock market, over the past thirty years, why would it be any different or get any better? Seeing that you’re held in such high regard, as an economist and you teach at Yale University, I think these are fair questions, to ask, given the dire times.
There are a few Thomas Jefferson’s out here watching and writing, I know of at least one. It’s time for another revolution.
Copyright © 2010. All Rights Reserved. “Dear Dr. Robert Shiller – Financial Reform Laws Didn’t Resolve Key Problems (Huffington Post)” by Ted Burnett.
I am available for speaking, consulting and political advising. My other essays can be viewed at my blog – http://www.toxicnation.blogspot.com/. I can be contacted via email at – email@example.com. My biography can be viewed at http://www.tedburnettresume.blogspot.com