First of all, I want to declare for the record that I am an American in spirit (although living in Sweden) and my long-range goal is to return to the land of opportunity — the United States of America.
I want to spend time in a country with happy citizens and productive companies. After I read issue number 8590 of The Economist, I got a creepy feeling that not everything is okay in America at the moment, and the Americans are not a bunch of happy campers.
Here are some examples from the article, Unhappy America, describing the gloomy mood in America:
- Eight out of of 10 Americans think their country is heading in the wrong direction.
- Globalisation is under fire: Free trade is less popular in the United States than in any other developed country, and a nation built on immigrants is building a fence to keep them out.
- Politicians seeking a scapegoat for America’s self-made problems too often point the finger at the growing power of once-poor countries, accusing them of stealing American jobs and objecting when they try to buy American companies.
I want to state that it is important to point out that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (read Washington D.C.) in order to learn from the problems and change the situation to the better. How should the pioneers of the New World do a comeback?
“It’s the economy, stupid.” Sooner or later, you have to take care of the “quadruple” deficit (budget, savings, trade, and leadership). Today’s situation is caused by a long period of I.O.U mentality and therefore pushing the deficit problems ahead, instead of paying back as soon as possible. It is getting really messy when the Uncle Sam thinks it is OK to borrow 22 cents of every dollar that is spent. I wonder if you have watched the movie, I.O.U.S.A. - One Nation. Under Stress. In Debt?
Jonathan Hoenig of Capitalistpig Hedge Fund LLC, has coined a new term for the politicians who use the bailout to grab more power. Welcome to “Big Government 2.0.” He is ending his article, The New New Deal, in the following way:
Who deserves a bailout? Nobody. Not white-shoe investment bankers in Mercedes SLKs nor unwed pregnant teenagers missing payments on their subprime loans. Most Americans understand this.
What Americans don’t get, however, is that the goal of the bill isn’t to help Wall Street or Main Street, but to centralize power in Washington. Not surprisingly, that’s where its biggest proponents just happen to reside. (SmartMoney, October 2, 2008.)
Maybe it is time for a wake-up call for the Americans in the same way as the Swedes woke up 25 years ago when the leading politicians and bureaucrats wanted to enforce something called wage-earner investment funds (”employee funds” in Swedish), i.e., an intervention in order to steal money from the companies and then “give” to the employees via the hands of the labor unions. This is one of the few times I have participated in a public protest march.
I must say that I still have high hopes for a second renaissance in America, due to the fact of the positive sense-of-life which is shared by a great deal of Americans, combined with the historical foundation that the Founding Fathers achieved a long time ago. Please keep striving for your own pursuit of happiness!
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About the Author: Martin Lindeskog is a “trader in matter & spirit” and a small business entrepreneur in Gothenburg, Sweden. He is a board member of the Swedish National Association of Purchasing and Logistics (Silf, Western Region). Martin also writes a long-standing blog called Ego and will soon start a new series of interviews for his podcasting show on the Solid Vox network.
Martin is part of the Small Business Trends Expert Network.