Time for a Hostile Takeover?

January 17, 2012

Congressional Futility
As voting shareholders of U.S.A Corporation, you will be pleased to learn that the recent 112th Congress was the least productive in modern history. Having passed only 80 bills, this Congress achieved less than any other since they began keeping records in 1947.
This left much of the government machinery on autopilot. Except the spending of taxpayer dollars. Here, much energy was put forth and the deficit continues to skyrocket.
Put simply, at a time when the U.S. needs decisive leadership, Congress is not up to the task.
Presidential Futility
With next year's election in full swing, President Obama has taken to the campaign trail. He may raise over a billion dollars for his reelection efforts.
As a candidate, Mr. Obama is formidable. Decisive, savvy and dynamic. As a president? The antithesis. Indecisive. Unfocused.
For all of the hope we instilled in him when he took office, he has largely disappointed. Youthful charisma and intelligence masked what opponents identified as an Achilles Heel all along. A lack of executive experience.
Can he turn it around? Possibly. The president has never lacked for ambition or brains. Is it disappointing that the last three years have largely seen the world's most powerful office used as an on-the-job executive training program? Very much so.
Put simply, Mr. Obama overpromised and under delivered. But, that is what politicians do. In so doing, he has steered the nation dangerously close to a European-style system of massive government safety nets, benefits and bloated infrastructure.
Washington D.C. now has the highest per capita income in the nation. The average Federal worker in D.C. makes over $126,000 per year. The Federal government employs over 2 million people. Countless millions sit at home and wait for a government subsistence payment each month. They arrive in the form of welfare, jobless benefits, bailouts, forgivable loans, ad infinitum.
Aside from U.S.A. Corporation's ability to print money, there is little difference between us and Greece. Well, we owe more money. Yet, at some point, our creditors will also recognized our lack of leadership. Our political intransigence. Our predilection for spending.
The U.S. government looks more like one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey than the enterprise intended by the Founding Fathers.
As Bill Frezza recently wrote, "The mismatch between the government's ability to extract money from its citizens and the promises made to shovel money to various voting constituencies has been in the making for seven decades. Both political parties are responsible. Together they built a warfare/welfare state that has gotten so large that it threatens to swallow the economy, and by doing so shrinking it considerably."
Corporate Futility
Even in the private sector does one see cracks in the foundation. Our free market economy is such in name alone.
Banks, paying their CEOs nearly 350 times what they pay their average employees, have grabbed every bailout offered. Competition be damned. Wall Street consumes government largesse like Popeye does spinach.
And why not? When politicians are for sale, somebody's gonna buy them.
CEOs, having failed miserably, leave with hundreds of millions in payouts. Government sponsored enterprises continue to bleed capital and rely on taxpayer funds for their very lifeblood. And yet their CEOs continue to be generously rewarded for producing nothing.
We once resembled a meritocracy. Good things flowed to those who earned them. Solutions and progress were rewarded. And the only way to get ahead was to work hard. Take calculated risks.
Now, most of the risks we see are taken with taxpayer dollars. Spent on Federal aid programs. Or on riverboat casinos, where welfare recipients pass their evenings playing nickel slots.
Time To Restructure
U.S.A. Corporation faces bankruptcy. Worse, its executive leadership has shown no ability to right the ship.
U.S.A. Corporation spends more than it makes. More so with every quarter. Yet, senior management does nothing. Rubberstamping its approval on every additional expenditure. Even as this once lean, competitive enterprise steers dangerously close to bankruptcy.
Profitability? A pipedream. U.S.A. Corporation employs many more than it actually requires. And it pays its employees much more than it should. Twice the level of its private sector competitors. Its employee health and retirement benefits are so extravagant that the entire program may soon become insolvent.
Yet, the firm remains heavily unionized. Having been given so much, these labor groups will not gracefully accept cuts to their benefits programs. Though the company can no longer afford them.
U.S.A. Coporation needs a tough private equity firm. Capable of downsizing payroll. Modernizing. Firing management.
A tough, business minded, turn-around specialist is exactly what U.S.A. Corporation needs. Someone who has reorganized distressed organizations. Made difficult decisions. Trimmed the fat. And brought companies back from the fiscal brink.
If you happen to know of a prospective candidate with this type of mettle, please ask him to call our human resources department. Immediately.

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