Yes, an idiot somewhere remodeled his Wall Street office for $1.2 million while the company he worked for was cutting jobs and damaging common shareholder interests. And yes, even Stevie Wonder could see that the A.I.G. bonuses were a bonehead move in this environment (and possibly just bad, if not tied to personal, group or company performance).
That said my friends, we MUST have a rehabilitation of the American banking sector, and soon, if there is EVER going to be a revitalization of our domestic and global economy, or what an African friend of mine described as "GDP in your pocket." Unless of course, YOU want to make that loan to your neighbor for their new Audi, YOU don't have a need for credit cards or any other form of rational personal consumer financing, and unless YOU want to return to a less than developed world-standard of living (a rational global economy operates on a combination of reasonable leverage and necessary consumer confidence).
Be angry if you need to be (for the moment), but let's not be stupid. And while I am at it, let's stop bashing responsible wealth creation as well. Wealth creation is not the problem, greed, bad capitalism and bad selfishness is.
Remember; "poor people cannot hire anyone." Orremembering what Israel's Shimon Peres once told me, “even if you want to distribute money like a socialist, you first have to collect like a capitalist.”
We must stop talking down generally responsible banks and corporations, such as Wells Fargo for example, that seek to host an employee performance awards conference at ahotel in say Las Vegas. This is not in the same family of theabuses of A.I.G. or the unintelligent individual who opted to remodel his $1 million office in the midst of a global recession.
Simply put, when you talk down business conferences in Las Vegas and other places, you are not hurting so called rich fat cats, you are hurting the very people we all say we want to HELP. When amajor corporate conference cancels at a hotel, thatimmediately hurts the hourly workers that are checking guests in, working the activities, catering the food, and the small businesses printing the brochures. We keep behaving like this and you will see 20% of tourism and conference reliant cities such as Las Vegas go belly up; that means corporate, personal, and even municipal bankruptcies. We wont have to worry about why can quality for mortgage refinance under President Obama's housing recovery program, because after we finish "talking down the economy" they will not have a job or any money to pay that mortgage at ANY amount. And by the way, who do we believe is getting recognized in these corporate conferences at hotels? Those in the executive office? No, it is the average, middle class American who has worked their rear-end off for 12 months and DESERVE to be recognized for their efforts.
(The system of) capitalism is a horrible system, except for every other system. In future Blog piece I will go further into an argument for "good capitalism" and love leadership, but for now let me just point us all to the facts. Quoting my hero civil rights icon Ambassador Andrew Young, "Communism failed because it could not create a middle class, and capitalism succeeded precisely because it did create a middle class. But capitalism will fail if it does not make itself relevant to the poor and the working class." I agree with my hero and mentor. Remember, even China, essentially a Communist country, chose capitalism as its model to raise its more than 1.5 billion plus citizens out of poverty. The only problem with good capitalism and free enterprise is that poor people do not have any.
Ladies and gentlemen, let's stop talking down the economy, and shooting ourselves in the foot in the economy revitalization process, and start figuring out what we do NEXT. We have got to stop being experts in what we are against, and start becoming experts in what we are FOR.
What we need is global movement from civil rights to (include) silver rights, for us all.
I believe that the next 30 years will be the most amazing in modern human history, but we will have to make it so.
Onward with HOPE,
John Hope Bryant
Ladies and gentlemen