Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Wrong Stuff.

There's a great scene in the movie, The Right Stuff, where the seven original astronauts are at their first news conference. They're giving out their short, military answers and the press is really unsatisfied, until they reach John Glenn, who starts going on about God, country, and apple pie.

The other astronauts see how the audience it eating it up, and they follow Glenn's example, laying it on thick.

Compare that to the Big (Little?) 3 Automakers sitting glumly in front of Congress, asking for 25 Billion on top of the 25 Billion they already have.

Would you give up your corporate jets?

Uh, no.

Would you forgo your salary this year?

Uh, I like my money.

I'm just a little comic shop owner, but I think I would have jumped all over that hanging ball, I would have knocked it straight out of the ballpark.

"You're right, Congressman. I'm going to sell those jets straight-away. And I'm going to ask for a 1.00 salary next year, because I feel that strongly these businesses need to be saved."

Guess what.

We'd be talking about that guy today. We'd be cynical, but we'd be talking. (The guy would be hired at twice the salary somewhere else down the road, or write a book. I suspect it wouldn't have hurt him a bit.)

No wonder these businesses are failing.

These guys embody the Wrong Stuff.

(And yes, I'm aware of unions and benefits and all the rest. But poor leadership is poor leadership.)

2 comments:

Steve said...

Boy did you ever nail this one. I have noticed that in all the tumult over the economy...none of the "big guys" (e.g. banks, brokers, CEOs) who are asking to be saved, or are wielding the mighty "lay off" sword...have stepped forward and said "We need to be lean and mean and that starts with a economic diet at the top...I made $12 million a year for the last few years and I can afford to defer any salary until my company is back in the black." I haven't seen it and I don't expect to. I am not a great fan of Gov. Schwarzenegger, but he has never taken a salary as governor due to his personal wealth...for that he deserves respect. How about any of the other millionaire politicos or corporate heads? The silence is deafening.

BilboBend said...

Dunc,

Your 'sort' of not seeing the BIG picture, I can remember in the 80's all the CEO's were buying Italian Villa's ( gated homes ) for $10M, that now cost $100M.

The fucking writing has been on the WALL for 20+ Years, if your high level, get your off campus, nice place setup, and get all you can, prior to 2006, because after the baby-boom goes down this place is going to shit until 2018 or later ( WWIII ).

It's odd that you focus on a contrived Nasa mission/movie, there never was 'patriotism', IN MY mind, HL-MENCKEN said it best 'whenever I see a man wave a flag I expect to get a bill".

Sorry, Dunc, but smart CEO's already have their golden-parachute, just like our Bend our over-priced new lawyer, and city-manager, there is a new crop now running the USA, and that is GET PAID a lot and quick, and get the hell out of dodge.

Nobody intends to stick around on the long-term after this one, the USA is reverting to a prison colony, that what it was in the first place.

Across the board future consumption will be in India, China, Russia. It will take decades for the US to payoff its DEBT.

It seems to me, that the only people who don't know what's going on is the Ned Flanders of the world.