I know you’re all familiar with that name. Hoover lives in infamy in
U.S. history for having been on duty when the Great Depression happened.
You’re all courting a similar fate. Your collective behavior is setting
all of you up to be known as our generation’s Herbert Hoovers — the
leaders who were on duty when we entered our second great economic
None of this is easy and the economy will not be fixed overnight; it
will take years. But there is every chance it will get healed if our two
parties construct the Grand Bargain we need.But the more I read the papers the more I’m convinced that “we the
people” are having an economic crisis and “you the politicians” are
having an election — and there is frighteningly little overlap between
We desperately need that for two reasons: We need to do our part in
leading the world out of this crisis by stabilizing our own economy. And
we need to show that we can still act collectively. The toxic paralysis
in Washington is, in and of itself, slowing growth. It is keeping a
black cloud over the center of the country and creating a sour mood
wherein people just want to hold on to what they have. As one banker in
Dallas put it to me: “Today, you only hire someone when you absolutely
I don’t usually agree with Friedman but these comments in his article “Help Wanted – Leadership” are accurate. I wrote about the vaccuum of leadership in our government last week.
I think what a lot of people don’t understand is that the foundation of the economy and – much scarier – the SOCIETY in our country is based on is a flawed perversion of the original intent of the so called founding fathers. It is true that politics is and always has been a bloody vicious business but what is not true is that the members of Congress were “lifers” or at least 20-30 year jobs. This approach and reality has weakened the foundations of our government, economy and society because the focus of the member of Congress is keeping their job not improving and protecting the way of life in our country. It is “they are wrong” and everything a stage for positioning and posing. That is NOT what the job was supposed to be. Yes the economy is screwed up – and it needs to be fixed. I argue that the foundation needs to be fixed so it doesn’t perpetuate. Set modest, realistic terms of service for members of Congress. Second will be an adjustment of the compensation and benefits that they are paid.