Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Is it time to "short" Google?

Theresa Poulson at National Journal reports that a former Google executive has requested president Obama to “please raise my taxes.”

It is an eye-opening remark.

First, this is a person asking the president of the United States for help.  It’s not like the woman in Florida who asked the president to get her a home.  It’s more intriguing.  This town-hall participant is asking for help with his personal angst.

Second, we get a glimpse of the difficulties associated with living in an easy-money environment.  Doug Edwards, the town-hall participant, feels like an untethered balloon.  He is asking that his balloon be “popped” to help him gain a better sense of reality and fulfillment.

Third, the president and his town-hall supporters treat Mr. Edwards with the greatest respect.  His problem is acknowledged by the audience with gracious sincerity and support.

Does this exchange help explain the “disconnect” many Americans feel with our cultural leadership?

Our leaders hold the belief that money and privilege are too easily obtained, and we must orient our public policies to generate a greater sense of fairness.  We see this structure in Mr. Edwards’ remarks.  He implores our political leaders to stop this injustice.  It is a paramount concern.

Try not to be cynical, but examine this issue in the context of the characterizations of our military that are explored by Ann Marlowe in today’s Wall Street Journal. She points out the personnel facts associated with military recruits, and compares these with the “personal facts” that are widely conveyed by opinion leaders.  Which point of view would Mr. Edwards hold?

Here’s a better question: If the highest levels of our cultural, political, and commercial stewardship reflect Mr. Edwards’ perceptions, should Americans be concerned?

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