these guys at the top of companies... they take risks, they make the company a lot of money, the company gives them a huge bonus. millions. repeat. that happens for a few years. then what happens? the system crumbles, it turns out the guy had bad ideas, the company goes bankrupt, everyone's out of work, anyone who the company borrowed money from just has to eat it.
but the one who made all the decisions has made $80 million in the last five years. so where's the lesson learned, for him?
Wall street learns these little lessons all the time... like how a .com with no business plan won't magically make money just because it's on the internet. Or now, how you shouldn't invest in a hedge fund because you can't look clearly about how much risk is in there. But there never seems to be a sense of, "Maybe we shouldn't try so hard to find the magic 'get rich' button every decade, because we always get burned."
And what really sucks is that other countries are starting to see the patterns in America, how we reward ruthlessness. They don't want to put anything into our economy because they're realizing that we're crazy. So where does that leave us, in the global economy? Suddenly kind of left out? I got an awesome e-mail forward about how WE'RE AMERICA and we need to tell Saudi Arabia that they can have $10 a barrel for oil, take it or leave it! I'm not kidding. I didn't know how to reply to that one... how to explain to the person who hit "fwd" that Saudi Arabia would definitely leave it. they. don't. need. us. we can drill offshore, onshore, and in between and we won't have oil to last a year or so, the way we go through it. Hell, the execs would just sell it to China anyway. Because they'd may more than $10 a barrel. Again with the rewards.
I tell myself that America has the same great things it always had going for it... lots of land, lots of people, infrastructure, determination. I relate to it, in that way. I have this idea in the back of my mind that no matter how weird things get for me, personally, I'm going to do well, because I'm a smart resourceful girl. I did well on standardized tests. Graduated college in a crap economy and was fine. Just trust your gut and it'll all come out okay. And turn the damn news off. okay.