{PART 3 OF 4} SOLUTIONS TO THE CRITICAL ISSUES DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY AND YOUR FUTURE

PART 3: “OUR PROBLEMS ARE FIXABLE, BUT WILL HAPPEN ONLY IF WE SET ASIDE PARTISAN POLITICS AND NARROW SELF INTEREST – OUR COUNTRY MUST COME FIRST!”  {Excerpts FROM JAMIE DIAMOND, CEO J.P. MORGAN CHASE, CEO AND CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, ANNUAL LETTER- Public Policy} 

“None of these issues is exclusively owned by Democrats or Republicans. To the contrary, it is clear that partisan politics is stopping collaborative policy from being implemented, particularly at the federal level. This is not some special economic malaise we are in. This is about our society. We are unwilling to compromise. We are unwilling or unable to create good policy based on deep analytics. And our government is unable to reorganize and keep pace in the new world. Plain and simple, this is a collective failure to put the needs of society ahead of our personal, parochial and partisan interests. If we do not fix these problems, America’s moral, economic and military dominance may cease to exist.

In my view, we need a Marshall Plan for America. To do this, Democrats have to acknowledge that many of the things that have been done as a nation – often in the name of good – have sometimes not worked and need to be modified. Throwing money at problems does not always work. Recently, a report showed that the federal government wasted nearly $1 billion on charter schools due to mismanagement and lack of adequate oversight – this was money intended to help children. Democrats should acknowledge Republicans’ legitimate concerns that sending money to Washington tends to be simply seen as waste, ultimately offering little value to local communities. Republicans need to acknowledge that America should and can afford to provide a proper safety net for our elderly, our sick and our poor, as well as help create an environment that generates more opportunities and more income for more Americans. And if we can demonstrate that we are spending money wisely, we should spend more – think infrastructure and education funding. And that may very well mean taxing the wealthy more. If that happens, the wealthy should remember that if we improve our society and our economy, then they, in effect, are among the main winners.

Our nation requires strong political leaders to develop good, thoughtful policies, use their political skills to determine what is doable and exercise their leadership skills to lead people toward commonsense solutions.

WE NEED TO SET ASIDE OUR NARROW SELF-INTEREST

We live in an increasingly complex world where companies, governments, unions and special interest groups vie for time, attention and favorable circumstances for their respective institutions. While it is a constitutional right to petition our government, and many organizations legitimately fight for the interests of their constituents, we all may have become too self-interested. I fear that this self-interest is part of what is destroying the glue that holds our society together. We all share a collective responsibility to improve our country.

I would like to give a few examples, which represent the tip of the iceberg (it would be easy to come up with thousands more).

  • Governments, both federal and state, fight to keep military bases open that we don’t need and Veterans Affairs hospitals that are broken – making the military more costly and less effective. Our shortcomings are not just about inefficiencies; they border on immoral. In an incredibly depressing story, former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates describes how Congress took years longer than it should have to approve the building of U.S. Army personnel carriers that we needed in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect our soldiers from improvised explosive devices. While we dallied, many of our soldiers died or received terrible lifelong injuries.
  • Five states (California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey and New York) fight for unlimited state and local tax deductions because those five states reap 46% of the benefit – even worse, knowing that over 80% of the benefits from these deductions go to people who earn more than $320,000 a year.
  • Businesses are equally guilty here. Just start digging through the tax code – buried in there are an extraordinary number of loopholes, credits and exemptions that aren’t about competitiveness or good tax policy. Suffice it to say, industry gets its share of tax breaks and forms of protection from legitimate competition. I could add hospitals, schools and unions to this list – none of our institutions is blameless.

While leaders obviously fight for their institutions, we all need to be able to advocate for policies that are good for our organizations without being bad for our country. And as a general matter, we, as citizens, should support policies that are good for our country even if they may not be good for us individually. For too long, too many have fought to use regulation and legislation to further their interests without appropriate regard for the needs of the country.”

STYRON POWERS’ CONCLUSION

Our nation requires strong political leaders to develop feasible, thoughtful policies, using their political skills to determine what is doable and exercise leadership skills to lead America toward commonsense solutions. 

How many of you believe we have strong political leaders?  Polls show a favorability rating of 26% and 74% of Americans are dissatisfied with their Congress Members. 

So let me ask you a few question:

  1.  Do you vote?  Only about 35% of us actually vote.
  2. If you vote, why do so many citizens continue to grant lifetime seats to the very same idiots that have put us in a national crisis?
  3. Do you constantly complain and whine about the unfairness of America today?  The unjust inequalities of wealth? Etc.
  4. Do you care about your country?  Better yet, do you care about your family’s future?
  5. What are you going to do about it? 

AMERICA THE CHOICE IS YOURS  

Inaction is a choice.

You can read Jamie Diamond’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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