Wed, 15 Apr 2009 07:25:35 +0000 – By Bob McEwen and Rick TylerRenewing American Leadership Group
Is business or politics the culprit in our current plight?
Every business makes either a profit or a loss.
A profit allows it to provide jobs and livelihood for people while providing a product consumers 'freely' choose to purchase.
Each day free people voluntarily take money from their pockets to reward "entrepreneurs" who have produced goods andservices that are of greater value to them than the money.
That is why free enterprise economies create the inventions and innovations that are the envy of socialist nations.
The person responsible for leading these organizations (businesses), constantly seeking to satisfy the consumer, is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Every day their performance is put to the judges (consumers) for their approval. Success means jobs, profit, more goods and services, higher standard of living, tax payments, a better community and nation.
Thus, all energies are focused on keeping the business profitable.
Failure to satisfy the consumer means no jobs, no profit, fewer goods and services, lower standard of living, diminished tax receipts and a poorer community and nation.
America is the richest nation on earth because we have, until recent weeks, honored and encouraged business success.
But today, too many do not seem to understand this basic concept. Politicians are not business people. Rather than seeking profits necessary for jobs and national prosperity, they seek votes. Decisions are motivated not by "what will best satisfy the consumer'?" but rather what will best benefit political success.
The question each morning before the CEO is, "will this help create a profit?"
The question each morning before the politician is "will this help create a vote.?
Two weeks ago Americans, and the world, saw the CEO and the politicians meet.
Edward Liddy is the voluntary CEO for the bereft AIG. Like those in FDR's kitchen cabinet, he is a "$1 a-year-man," working for less than 2 cents a week. He is seeking to use his skills to save AIG, its employees and the hundreds of companies and the thousands of their employees impacted by it.
Congress is, of course, well aware of this. So how did Washington politicians express their gratitude to the charitable Mr. Liddy? He was hauled in front of a Congressional Committee to be publically berated.
Here is the real sticker, however. He was not berated for anything he did. He was berated by the majority members in Congress for WHAT THEY DID!
They wrote a federal law, signed by the President of the United States and recorded into the United States Code, that it would be a federal offense for Mr. Liddy to deny bonuses to AIG employees if they had negotiated those bonuses prior to February 11, 2009.
Mr. Liddy, an honest businessman, had no choice by to follow the law. This action aroused the most severe hostility of the very Congressmen who wrote the law he obeyed.
Representative Paul Hodes' (D-N.H.) fumed, "A.I.G." now stands for "arrogance, incompetence and greed." Hodes' bile typified the hypocritical speechifying that members of Congress engaged in for public consumption. They were posturing political hypocrites and it all came at the expense of the law-abiding Liddy.
Not to be left out of this arrogant charade, the president, as he headed toward his helicopter and 5 jumbo jets waiting to whisk off the uber-community organizer to Europe, coerced the General Motors Corporation to fire their 31 year veteran and CEO Rick Wagoner.
Politicians who have never met a payroll or sufficiently satisfied a consumer to turn a profit at anything are laying down the law to private businesses about whom they should follow and how much money they should make.
America attained its greatness by entrusting its economy to the ruthless, but fair, disciplines of consumers in the marketplace. Mr. Obama and his fans on Capitol Hill are rapidly changing that system.
The commanding heights of the world's most successful economy are being taken over by an utterly unqualified political class. We are watching CEOs who make business decisions to earn a profit being vilified and cashiered by politicians who haughtily make decisions to get votes.
That is a dangerous trade.
President Obama is not the first to follow this path. History is replete with predecessors.
America is populated with those who escaped their tyrannies. Where will we go now?
Former Ohio Congressman Bob McEwen is the Chairman of Renewing American Leadership. Rick Tyler is its Founding Director and spokesperson for former Speaker Newt Gingrich.