Admittedly, my view of the world is about as significant as an ant in the middle of a manure pile, but symbolism aside, I believe the above quote pretty much says it all. When I read it, my first thought was that it referred to leaders in the late 1800s, when Samuel Clemens was alive, but then I rapidly came to the conclusion that it's just as true today. This poses the question: Why don't I feel better for the future considering the advancements in the world in the last century? Perhaps it's because the more time I spend trying to understand world situations, politicians and their seemingly irrational acts of decision making, I am thrown into a massive cranial squeeze resulting in further shrinking of my pea brain.
In reality, it's only causing a slight delay in the construction of my ‘crisis cave’ for family, some good friends and my pet caterpillar. I'm sure many of you would admit to doing the same thing, or at least thinking about it, when you hear the advertisements for guns, ammunition, survival foods or when simply contemplating the national debt.
Nevertheless, let me know if you want a copy of my crisis center plans. They include obsolete Solyndra solar panels, A123 batteries, Beacon Power flywheel energy storage and a 10-passenger Tesla SUV. Isn't it great when government spends our hard earned taxes on loans to businesses that mysteriously go bankrupt, but we never even get an “I'm sorry?” What is even more mind-boggling is the testimony of Secretary Chu, of the Department of Energy, on March 1, 2012, before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Committee member Representative Paul Broun of Georgia said he believed the DOE was clueless in making good business investments, and, as a result, a billion dollars was ill-spent in political favoritism that will have to be paid by the American taxpayers. With that in mind. he asked what grade the Secretary would deserve for his management of the DOE resources over the past three years. Secretary Chu, after citing a couple of generalities of success, stated, “There's always room for improvement, maybe an A-.” I'm sorry, but that assessment is simply bizaaaare!
Then there's the GSA's “business meeting” boondoggle in Las Vegas that only cost taxpayers $823,000. Not only do I think the cost is excessive, but the agency boss (leader) takes the fifth so he can't tell us why he thought it was such a great idea and if he cared or even knew it was taxpayers' money. I could just see a branch manager taking his employees to Vegas for a team-building exercise, spending $50,000 and then facing the boss and taking the fifth, or even the sixth. No way, my friend.
It would be nice if someone could tell me how I can become confident in our appointed officials to care or even comprehend who pays their salary and who is responsible to stop the blatant waste and absurd decisions of the likewise taxpayer-subsidized employees under them? Or, worse case, do they believe we are all stupid? I believe I have the answer to both those questions, if you don't.
In conclusion, it seems to me the term “too big to fail,” which has been tagged by the administration on private enterprise businesses, should more appropriately be ascribed to our government. Is government out of control, or has it become too big to control? I fear I also know the answer to that question.
Don Frendberg is chairman of North American Technician Excellence and president of Phase 3 Insights.
Contact him at 614/208-6801 or [email protected].