Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Who do they think they are? And who is John Galt?

The Federal Government has stepped over the line today - defining what privately held companies can and can't do with their money. This seems to becoming more and more common, with each passing day. I don't care if the government has "bailed them out" of trouble - they have no right to tell anyone how to run their business and / or how to spend their money.

Over the past 24 hours, the US Treasury Department has actively called Citibank, still a privately held corporation (as of today), and told them that it was "unacceptable" for them to accept delivery of a Executive Jet worth $45 Million dollars. Who are they to decide what is acceptable and what isn't? Sure they can tell them that they won't give them any more bailout money - but to be honest, even that is unacceptable, when they wouldn't even allow mortgage bankers that type of authority over who they lent money to over the last decade.

Now, don't get me wrong. . . I don't believe that buying a $45 Million corporate jet is a smart decision on Citibank's part, but in the grand scheme of things, it is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bad decisions in a company that in all rights should be bankrupt right now.

But, it appears that we have now turned the corner where businesses don't have the right to make decisions on how they wish to operate. And freedom in our country is over.

Its a free-market system. That means we can make the decisions we want and the market will either reward or punish us - based on whether or not they approve of the decision. If Citibank chooses to make stupid decisions on their expenses, then let it be known. And then let the market bear it out.

And let me tell you this! If I were an employee of that company, I would start looking for another job right away - or start doing something from the inside to change the course of the business. Sitting back and washing your hands of the matter - no matter if you are the CEO or the garage attendant - is unacceptable. Because the market will hold you accountable and you will either reap the rewards by continuing to be in employment or you won't!

Our elected officials were not put into power to decide what decisions should be made by you and me and how we should or shouldn't run our businesses. That is not the intent of our Founding Fathers no matter how you interpret our Constitution.

I write this Blog to help small business owners. And there is nothing more frustrating than this turn of events. I tell my clients everyday that they are free to make decisions - any way they want on how to run their company. But those choices have repercussions that they will have to live with.

So, if are a small business owner or even large business owner (including any one who owns stock in a company) and you want to keep your freedom to make your own choices on how to run your business - stand up and be heard.

Tell the Federal Government that they have crossed the line.

They were elected to uphold the Constitution of the United States and enforce the laws of the Country. THAT'S IT! Nothing more. The rest is power they are absconding from you and I - the power that each of us has to stand up and be heard - through our actions, our votes, and through the way we spend our money.

"In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours." John Galt


  1. Ayn Rand hit it on the head with her ideas of what will kill an economy. Rewarding crappy business (no matter how "well-meaning"), and distribution of wealth by need rather than merit may well kill our economy just like it did with communism. The stimulus package being approved with no real targets for money makes about as much sense as giving fertility treatments to a woman with 6 kids and no jobs. Political correctness run amok is as dangerous as a boss that wants to change things because change is good. Change (or almost $1 Trillion) with no goal is a complete waste.

    The term didn't exist then, but Ayn Rand is talking about political correctness too. The funny thing is that at the opposite end of the political spectrum, Kurt Vonnegut also saw forced equality, where everyone is just as crappy as everyone else, as stupid. Read his short story from 1961, called Harrison Bergeron...


    Spank Carlson

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