Apr 28, 2010

Goldman Sachs and and the Need for an American Cultural Revolution

Watching those bookies, excuse me bankers, in the senate hearing yesterday has convinced me we need a Mao style cultural revolution in the USA.

Now I know Chinese people who lived thru the Chinese cultural revolution and it damaged the lives and careers of many so perhaps this is too strong of a proposal but seeing those guys(mostly white males)made me wonder what parents teach their kids these days.

Is the "greed is good" mentality the only thing that drives us?

Maybe we should all be forced to spend a few years of our lives in a setting where profit is eschewed and social excellence skills are taught.

Corporate Competition is good between two or more companies whose products help humans(or gosh forbid the Earth) because it can make products better.
I just can see no need for a synthetic CDO other than to make a very very few people very rich and as the Fabulous Fab's negligence showed, some banks very poor.

My American style Cultural Revolution could be tailored after the Swiss who enlist the entire population into the military for a few years or the Thai who send most males to the Buddhist monastery for a year.
We could have organizations that could help the poor, clean the roads, volunteer in medical facilities. Of course in that we are environmentalists there is much that a social army could do to help the environment.

It just seems that trading paper, when there is no underlying asset to impact the paper is stupid. But in New York and London in the 2004-2007 period the people that did this were kings.
Were they kings because the press that is calling them all derelict now was not smart enough to see the damage they were to do?
Were they kings because their parents and the parents of others taught that the Buffetts and Gates of the world win because they are the richest?
Were they kings because they donated so much to the politicians who are now trying to hang them even though these politicians changed Glass Steagall and over promoted home ownership at the risk of all of us losing value on our real estate.

I suppose my Cultural Revolution needs to start in the schools. Maybe we need to teach competition of social skills. It will be hard since money is such an easy way to measure things.

Instead of Joe at the country club bragging about how he made a killing in the market. Maybe he would brag that he helped a homeless person find an apt or a job. Maybe he would brag about spending his weekends not in the Hamptons but in the hospital volunteering to read to patients. Maybe he would brag about cleaning the trash out of the local watershed in his spare time.

It's up to the parents to teach that such excellence in social skills is worthwhile. If they do not we will see the next generation of Goldman Sachs thieves in the next 20 years.

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