Posted by: endithinks | February 25, 2009

On the President’s speech 2-24-09

President Obama blistered last night in his first speech to the joint sessions of Congress.  His speech was fiery and conciliatory, soaring and pragmatic.

I was particularly struck with how he did not hold back in regards to Wall Street, bankers and those who seek to use federal money in a way that does not benefit the nation.  It is good to see a President who is not all about telling the business leaders whatever they want to hear to make them feel the fuzzies.  I do think that the populist tone is what the country feels at this time, but I don’t want that feeling to last much longer.

Let me explain.  Populism is a noble sentiment when one regards the regular people as the backbone of our society.  The little mentioned working class or underclass in this nation are suffering through this economic crisis in silence no longer.  I am happy that people are taking more interest in their self worth and it is good to see the barriers that were artificially erected between ethnic groups slowly being dismantled as we realize that we are more alike than different.  I do think that punishing captains of industry is not the way we should proceed.

I do not want those who have made selfish decisions to be hung in effigy; I just want them fired.  Other nations around the world when bailing out industries made the firing of the CEO’s part of the package.  I think that we should follow that example especially if the CEO had lead the company to the point of desperation through illogical or horrendously stupid decisions.  Those CEO’s who inherited a bad situation and have stopped the bleeding should be rewarded.

Populism without pragmatism is too close to group think for me to be comfortable with.  I don’t want us pointing fingers and chastising anyone who creates business and creates profits and drives innovation; I want us to fire those responsible and move on.

Rich people are not the problem.  Rich CEO’s are not the problem.  The problem is too much greed, too little regulation, and a complete destruction of responsibility that has lead to over speculation and immediate profits and gains instead of long term financial security and profits that would come about with sensible decisions and long term strategy.

The president made the points last night of speaking about the short sightedness of most business decisions, most political figures and even the “average” American.  “We have too much only seen the next quarter, the next paycheck and the next election,” the president said as he pointed out the backwards thinking of get rich quick schemes.

It really does come down to the immediacy of everyday life.  We no longer save money to afford large purchases.  We want everything instantly without having to put in the effort, time, or dedication.  We are a streaming society that expects every aspect of life at point and click speeds.

We need to relearn how to delay satisfaction.  It is not only a sign of maturity; it is a trigger for long term financial success.  We will make more over time through planning, education, energy independence, and innovation than we will through strip mining mountains, drilling in refuges and speculating on real estate.  We need to just take a step back with our desires.

We don’t need to stop.  We just need to enjoy ourselves on the journey instead of blazing over highways and blurring the nation.



  1. Amen. I think a good example of how spending habits have changed even in the last dozen or so years is that K-Mart is now advertising layaway! We’ve somehow mysteriously to ourselves moved from layaway to credit charging as a symbol of status and a tool for instant gratification. It’s time to re-learn and become smart about money again.

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