Our dysfunctional political/financial family

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Family therapist Bowden McElroy brings his professional perspective to the bailout:

Think of our Representatives and Senators as parents and the executives of AIG as errant children. Years of poor decision-making calls for a natural and logical consequence. Instead we reward poor behavior. This article (AIG Executives Blow $440,000 After Getting Bailout) shows how little the men and women on Capitol Hill understand about motivating people to change. All we've taught the movers and shakers of our economy is that lousy business practices carry no consequences to them. Assuming legislation is passed to prevent these kind of problems from happening again, this country's top financial executives will simply find new ways to make poor decisions: what do they have to lose? We've just told them if you're big enough, the politicians will make sure nothing bad ever happens to you.

Read the whole thing.

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4 Comments

Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

Michael,

That is a good article. It tends to confirm for me that we have fundemental and dysfunctional problems in government and the current adulterated version of free markets. If I buy a washer and dryer from a rent to own place and get behind on the payments to the point of foreclosure, should the government let me keep the appliances, come in and buy my debt on these assets, so that I can go borrow more money? I don't understand this. Where are the consequential lessons? I can answer - there are none

Michael,
Thank you for the mention.

Jeff,
I think there are "consequential lessons"; just not the lessons most of us wish were being learned.

S. Lee Author Profile Page said:

The reps couldn't care less about motivating financial markets. They care about motivating the voters to reelect them. The recent events are more a reflection of the voters than the reps. Consider that Obama will be elected even though this will eliminate almost all checks and balances with the control of the House and Senate as it is; the possibility of a Republican filibuster being the one remaining, rather thin bit of a check. Voters are idiots. The reps know it. Seen any campaign ads lately?

Harry Rockefeller Author Profile Page said:

This same lesson hits at a personal level. My brother and his wife have lived selfish lives and squandered their productive years and earned income away. With the result that today they both have serious medical complications which would have been preventable with a change in lifestyle years ago. They now get enough money from the government not only for insulin, pump, dialysis treatments, dozens of prescriptions, etc. but also enough for a cell phone and computer. Don't get me wrong, I grew up sharing a bedroom with my brother. I love him but also see how he and my sister-in-law have "used" the system.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 7, 2008 10:53 PM.

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