Oh no! Write this day down in history: I beg to differ with Paul Krugman.
Today in the New York Times, Krugman speaks of how “tarnished” the United States has become in the eyes of the world, especially Europe. I will give that one to Krugman. We deserve some dirt on our faces. However, no one forced other countries and their corporate entities to follow suit. Credit Lyonnaise, Societe Generale and RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) all had their own pigs at the helm. Certainly, from their governments to their board of directors to each and every employee, they did not have their hands tied above their heads and placed on a water-board to follow the same greedy, speculative path that the good ole’ USA had chosen. There were ALWAYS options, such as assuming regulatory, corporate and individual responsibility. So no, Mr. Krugman, this time you have gone overboard.
In my opinion, Europe has always shown a lack of guts and backbone, instead sitting by and watching whatever outrage (the Nazis marching in to Czechoslovakia in 1938, Poland in 1939, the monstrous murder of six million Jews right in their own backyard, the German occupation of France during WW II, the blitzing of London during that same time period, the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 —– should I go on or is that enough?) visited their lands. Furthermore, I have observed that once Europe chose to be just a bystander to events happening on their continent, they then bitched and moaned, turned tail, and whined and cried that the U.S. needs to come save them. And we did.
Well Mr. Krugman, I take exception to that tack. It is time for each and every country, corporation and individual to save themselves through intelligence, responsible policies and dedication to the fight for what is right. By stupidity and greed, the U.S. almost brought down its own house. Looks like our European counterparts blindly followed suit, and now want to blame our country for their sheep-like actions. This time Europe needs to stand on its own two feet, not exemplify its typical cowardice, take the necessary punches and blame for allowing the same garbage that the U. S. allowed to get by them, all for the sake of personal enrichment. Mr. Krugman, Europe, as well as our own nation, needs to pay the piper.
On another point, I believe that Krugman will be proven wrong. Everyone and their mother are predicting an angry backlash towards President Obama and our nation once he hits the European shores for the G20 economic summit this week. I foresee the people of Europe rallying around Obama, not trashing him. They will turn on their own leaders who, like the null and void GOP and such companies like GM and Chrysler, have not done their homework and instead rely on their stunning good looks (Ha!) to get them a huge infusion of government money to avoid any real work to change the financial particulars of their companies and the necessary innovative responsiveness that the future requires. Taking public money to maintain the same old status quo does not a turnaround make. In government as well as finance, we have seen a total abrogation of anything that resembles responsibility, both here and across the pond.
Good on ya’, Mr. President, for firing Rick Wagoner’s ass at GM. He has had months to come up with a viable plan to save his company and place it in the running for future industry innovation and leadership. Leadership begets leadership, and Wagoner has not delivered.
President Obama has delivered and will continue to do so on many fronts. He has taken the mantra of responsibility from his and Michelle’s personal realm, by refusing the allotted $100,000 to renovate the White House’s living quarters and instead will spend their own money, to the corporate world by giving GM and Chrysler 30 to 60 days to get their act in gear or undergo restructuring, to showing the world that yes, we have a leader, and a damn good one, in the United States of America. He has guts and conviction, something historically missing from “the continent”. Watch what happens when he makes his sojourn to Europe. Obama will set the stage for global cooperation, economically and ideologically, by his example of sacrifice and vision. Europe is going to have to take the same difficult steps we must to assure a fruitful recovery. Krugman is wrong: there will be tremendous support for this man who will turn out to be not only our great hope, but also that of the world.
I am annoyed at Krugman for slamming our country so quickly and completely. Who says a flaming liberal can not be a patriot?**
**The term “liberal patriot” is not an oxymoron. Here is an example of what is an oxymoron. Having lived in the D.C. metropolitan area for over two decades, I often drive by the CIA headquarters. Years ago, that facility was renamed The George Bush Center For Intelligence, referring to the first President Bush. That, my friends, is an oxymoron, equating George Bush with any degree of smarts. However, little did I realize until his son, George W. assumed the presidency, that the CIA’s new name wasn’t so bad. Everything is relative, and George the Second made his father seem like a genius.