Friday, March 14, 2008

A Hell of a Mess: Observations by Lee Iacocca

(I got this in my email today.  After a quick check at to see if it was a legitimate article, truly written by Iacocca, I am reprinting it here.  Mr. Iacocca has, IMHO, hit the nail squarely on the head.)

So here's where we stand:
We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving.
We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia , while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs.

Nafta and Gat have destroyed the manufacturing base and we are dependent on foreigners for our most basic needs. Our $30.00 per hour jobs have been replaced with $8.00 per hour jobs.
Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Some public schools have a 90% failed rate. Over all America is number 27 in worlds education.

Our borders are like sieves. We have over twenty million illegal aliens draining the public treasury. We are running out of fresh water and our government services are overwhelmed. The middle class is being squeezed every which way.
These are times that cry out for leadership. But when you look around, you've got to ask: "Where have all the leaders gone?" Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, competence, and common sense?

I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.
Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened. We have millions of Muslims that want to kill us and the government wants to search old ladies because they are afraid of profiling.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when "the Big Three" referred to Japanese car companies?

How did this happen? And more important, what are we going to do about it?

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry. I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your butts and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity.
What is everybody so afraid of? That some bobble head on CNN will call them a name? If CNN was around in world war two we would all be speaking German.

Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change? Had enough? Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope. I believe in America . In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America 's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises:
The Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Lyndon Johnson years, the Vietnam War, the 1970s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I've learned one thing, it's this: You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play.

That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a call to action for people who, like me, believe in America . It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the bull crap and go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had enough.

Excerpted from "Where Have All the Leaders Gone?".(Copyright) 2007

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