Friday, December 5, 2008

This Is America? These Are Americans?

obsequious: marked by or exhibiting a fawning attentiveness syn see SUBSERVIENT (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition)

I caught a portion of the testimony of the Big Three CEO's before Congress yesterday. In a previous appearance, the CEO's had been criticized for travelling to Washington DC in private jets, thereby showing that they "don't get it," according to their Congressional critics. They were simultaneously asking for a financial bailout, and spending money on "luxuries," like private jets.

In the portion of testimony I witnessed, this same issue was being discussed. This time the CEO's, in their most ingratiating voices, fell all over themselves to say they had driven to Washington in cars. And not just any cars, but the politically correct type of cars, hybrid, electric, green vehicles. For this is what Congress, the central planning authority, has opined is the way to go.

And when Congress is holding the purse strings, it gets what it wants.

It is so embarrassing to see American businessmen reduced to grovelling for money from the government. How they can bring themselves to do such a thing is difficult to understand. If their business model has failed, they should admit it and take their medicine: bankruptcy. If Congressional interference has caused their problems, they should state that and demand all such interference cease immediately.

The one thing they should not do is get down on their knees and beg Congress to take taxpayer money to bail them out, when no one, evidently, is willing to lend it to them of their own free will.

And yet that is what they have chosen to do, to their everlasting shame.

Would their bankruptcies cause a great depression, as they have darkly hinted? I don't know. I doubt it. But even if it did, does that excuse theft on a grand scale? It does not. If we, as a society, have been running on a failed business model - namely, the welfare state (for both individuals and corporations) - then perhaps the chickens have finally come home to roost. Are we going to take our medicine, a possible depression?

Or are we simply going to pass the buck, and let someone else suffer the consequences for our own mistakes?

There was a time when Americans were proud enough to do the right thing, no matter how dire the risks involved. Those were the Americans of the Revolutionary Era.

Now we have the revolting spectacle of Americans begging shamelessly, and putting off the reckoning for someone else to finally resolve.

Shame on America.

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