REAL SOLUTIONS TO THE CRITICAL ISSUES DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY AND YOUR FUTURE {PART 1 OF 4}

THE AMERICAN DREAM IS ALIVE – BUT FRAYING FOR MANY! } {Excerpts FROM JAMIE DIMON, CEO J.P. MORGAN CHASE, ANNUALLETTER- Public Policy} {PART 1 of 4

This week I am posting four excerpts from Jamie Dimon’s, CEO J.P. Morgan-Chase, Annual Letter dealing with Public Policy.  This week,I will post on Monday April 15th,  Wednesday, April 17th, Friday April 19thand Monday, April 22, 2019.

FINDING GOOD MENTORS

With today’s electronic communication we do not need to personally know a mentor.  I consider Jamie Dimon, Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch and others as excellent role models and mentors. We can learn from well-known individuals from their interviews and writings.  Jamie Dimon is one of the best Finance and Banking Executives, globally.  Mr. Dimon would in fact make an excellent President of the United States.  Unfortunately, in today’s divisive politically world, he does not fit in either of the two main political parties.  Dimon is a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. 

PUBLIC POLICY-THE AMERICAN DREAM IS ALIVE – BUT FRAYING FOR TOO MANY! {PART 1 of 4}

“There are many critical issues roiling the United States and other countries around the world today – just to name a few: capitalism versus other economic systems, the role of business in our society, how the United States intends to exercise global leadership, income inequality, equal opportunity, access to healthcare, immigration and diversity. Many people have lost faith in government’s ability to solve these and other problems. In fact, almost all institutions – governments, schools, unions, media and businesses – have lost credibility in the eyes of the public. In the meantime, many of these problems have been around for a long time and are not aging well. Politics is increasingly divisive, and a number of policies are not working. This state of affairs is unlikely to get better without thorough diagnosis, thoughtful policy solutions and a commitment to a common purpose.

In this section, I attempt to analyze and offer some views on what has caused this situation and then suggest some solutions. Neither the diagnoses nor the proposed cures are purely my own. These issues have been studied intensively by many people with deep knowledge. And given the space and other constraints of this letter, I may be about to violate the Einstein maxim, which I love: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” One of the main points I am trying to make is that when you step back and take a comprehensive multi-year view, looking at the situation in its totality, it is the cumulative effect of many of our policies that has created many of our problems. And whatever the solutions, I think they are unlikely to be achieved by government alone – civil society and business need to be part of the equation. To start, we must understand our problems.”

The American Dream is alive — but fraying for TOO many!

“Before I talk about our problems, I think it’s important to put any negatives in context, so first a paean to our nation. America is still the most prosperous nation the world has ever seen. We are blessed with the natural gifts of land; all the food, water and energy we need; the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as natural borders; and wonderful neighbors in Canada and Mexico. And we are blessed with the extraordinary gifts from our Founding Fathers, which are still unequaled: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise, and the promise of equality and opportunity. These gifts have led to the most dynamic economy the world has ever seen, nurturing vibrant businesses large and small, exceptional universities, and a welcoming environment for innovation, science and technology. America was an idea borne on principles, not based upon historical relationships and tribal politics. It has and will continue to be a beacon of hope for the world and a magnet for the world’s best and brightest.

Of course, America has always had its flaws. Some of its more recent issues center on income inequality, stagnant wages, lack of equal opportunity, immigration and lack of access to healthcare. I make it a practice when hearing complaints to strive to understand where people might be right or partially right instead of rejecting or accepting their views reflexively.

Middle class incomes have been stagnant for years. Income inequality has gotten worse. Forty percent of American workers earn less than $15 an hour, and about 5% of full-time American workers earn the minimum wage or less, which is certainly not a living wage. In addition, 40% of Americans don’t have $400 to deal with unexpected expenses, such as medical bills or car repairs. More than 28 million Americans don’t have medical insurance at all. And, surprisingly, 25% of those eligible for various types of federal assistance programs don’t get any help. No one can claim that the promise of equal opportunity is being offered to allAmericans through our education systems, nor are those who have run afoul of our justice system getting the second chance that many of them deserve. And we have been debating immigration reform for 30 years. Simply put, the social needs of far too many of our citizens are not being met.

Over the last 10 years, the U.S. economy has grown cumulatively about 20%. While this may sound impressive, it must be put into context: After a sharp downturn, economic growth would have been 40% over 10 years in a normal recovery. Twenty percent more growth would have added $4 trillion to GDP, which certainly would have driven wages higher and given us the wherewithal to broadly build a better country. Key questions that keep arising – and remain unanswered are: Why have productivity and economic growth been so anemic? And why have income inequality and so many other things gotten worse? Included among the common explanations is that “secular stagnation” is the new normal. I’ve also heard blame placed on institutional greed and “short-termism,” bad corporate governance, job displacement from new technologies, immigration or trade and a lack of new productivity-enhancing technology. Another common refrain is that capitalism and free enterprise have failed. As you’ll see, I think some of these arguments miss the mark.”

STYRON POWERS’ CONCLUSION

April is Financial Literacy Month in the United States and the past two blogs have discussed this theme.  The majority of Americans are considered financially illiterate.  In my field, {Health Safety, Security and Environmental} without identifying the true root causes, solutions tend to be a complete waste of time and money.  

KEY POINTS MADE BY DIMON IN ABOVE POST

  • Imagine if we all, especially our leaders:  “.. make it a practice when hearing complaints to strive to understand where people might be right or partially right instead of rejecting or accepting their views reflexively”. 
  • Middle class incomes have been stagnant for years. Income inequality has gotten worse.
  • More than 28 million Americans don’t have medical insurance at all
  • No one can claim that the promise of equal opportunity is being offered to allAmericans through our education systems,
  • No one can claim that the promise of equal opportunity is being offered to allAmericans through our education systems.
  • Why have productivity and economic growth been so anemic? 
  • Why has income inequality and so many other things gotten worse?

The next three blogs will continue this discussion looking at the true root causes and common sense solutions.

You can read Jamie Dimon’s entire annual letter by clicking the below link.

https://reports.jpmorganchase.com/investor-relations/2018/ar-ceo-letters.htm?a=1

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DISCLAIMER

I am a proud nerd (my beautiful wife and daughter told me so) investment and finance blogger, with University Rutgers, MBA and Harvard University, Advanced Management education.  

I started my first business at ~13 years of age. I am a successful investor in equities and real estate and happy to share my personal finance and investment lessons learned with you.  I am NOThowever, a licensed financial advisor.  Please do not construe my suggestions on this blog, as recommendations for your personal situation.  For individual finance advice please seek your own licensed CPA or financial advisors.  

Powers Investments Management, LLC

This blog will provide, information and simple strategies, that will assist you to achieve YOUR financial objectives and long term targets. For over 30 years, I solved multi-million dollar problems, for Fortune 10-250, companies. My formal education includes: Business, Finance and Chemical Engineering {Problem Solving} at: Harvard, Rutgers and North Carolina State. And an additional 30+ years, managing my family’s investment decisions. I currently manage/advise people with net-worths ranging from the tens of thousands to several million dollars.

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