A well written column by Noonan titled Privacy Isn’t All We’re Losing.
It brought to mind the concept of American Exceptionalism and how that has been attacked and ALMOST wiped out. Bear with me here – it will hopefully make sense.
A practice in the business world is bench marking. I believe the original purpose/intent of the practice was to see what other companies/organizations/leaders were doing that you weren’t and then adjust your practices/processes/principles so that you to could achieve more/grow/develop/improve. That purpose was short lived because it actually became the resource/justification for cutting costs. An example, I worked in a global giant of a company. Its history and reputation up to 80s was that of leadership, pride, ingenuity and putting people first. In fact it is one of the earliest,if not the first company, to create the mechanism of employees owning stock in the Company as well as profit-sharing. Results for the Company were typically very good including profit and it attracted some of the greatest minds in science, engineering, marketing and design. Unfortunately what transpired in the late 60s and is in practice current day is the use of bench marking as a cost saver. The employee benefits and programs have been whittled down year after year, decade after decade to be aligned to the companies it identifies itself with in their bench marking. The Company decided to forego exceptionalism and instead drive lower costs, hoping thereby to increase profits. The result? The Company’s culture is stagnant, demoralized, under performing, lacks innovation and struggles to attract the sharp minds. It has went from THE leader to “in the pack”. Sure its name is one of the globe’s most recognized names but that is because of the efforts and achievements of the years prior to the late 60s/early 70s. Exceptionalism was identified as too costly.
Here in the USA, the nation has been attacked since its inception by those who favored a more global (trying to be PC) approach. The lofty goals of doing things right and for the right reasons has been replaced by doing what is right according to the majority at that given moment of time. Despite the fact it is unpopular the truth remains that this nation was adopted and built on principles that embraced Christianity or at the very least Deism. Entwined in the founding principles of the USA was the idea of freedom, liberty and capitalism. In my opinion the wickedness of some’s hearts we watched the idea of capitalism be replaced by oligarchies, monopolies and what is now termed “too big to fail”. What replaced freedom and liberty was fear of the haves to not gain more and thereby the need to restrict the have-nots. Slowed erosion of personal freedom and liberty has provided platforms where each generation loses more but the current generation of the time is clueless to the actual loss and its cost. Our so called leaders have sought to benchmark with the countries of the world and instead of American exceptionalism we see American apathy. For example see NASA, Congress, abortions, education scores/rankings, actual innovation that IMPROVES life, etc.
Wrapping it up: In my country we are a patient that is very sick and it is a direct result to the diet that it has existed on. The diet, as diets do, has affected its abilities to think, feel and reason. This country is serious, grave shape. The thing is it is not fully aware of how bad the prognosis is because its looking around at the other nations in the world instead of its own history of greatness – exceptionalism.