December 2nd, 2011
in Op Ed
by Frank Li
The headline business news this past Tuesday (November 29) was this: “American Airlines files for bankruptcy protection.” Here is how this post begins:
American Airlines and its parent company filed for bankruptcy protection as they try to cut costs and unload massive debt built up by years of high fuel prices and labor struggles.
Were you surprised to hear the news? No, if you are minimally intelligent! A more profound question is this though: what do American Airlines and America have in common? (Caption picture from 5 Min. Forecast; Click on picture for larger image.)
Follow up:Here is my 3-folder answer:
(1) Both are deeply in trouble financially.
(2) Both have seen their respective peers go down, without adequate efforts to avoid the same destiny. Specifically, both are stuck with the special interest groups (e.g. unions) with no [easy] way out.
(3) What’s the destiny? Bankruptcy! American Airlines is already there; America will be there soon, if we resist fundamental changes.
There is a huge difference between the two: American Airlines is a company, for which bankruptcy is, overall, the best thing for the company at this time, although neither for the current shareholders nor for the unions. America is a country, the only superpower in the world! A bankruptcy for America could be a total disaster to the world, both economically and politically, to the point of a possible WWIII, as I postulated in an earlier post.
Here is the bad news: America has proven inadaptable: we spend only and we can’t cut, “because any cut would offend one special interest group at least, which is much more costly for the politicians than to simply hand out more - It’s out of the public treasury, anyway!”
Here is the worse news: According to the proven Darwin’s theory of evolution, the “winner” is often neither the smartest nor the strongest, but the most adaptable. We are therefore destined to be a “loser” because of our inability to adapt.
As the worst news, here is an excerpt from this classic piece:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.
We, the U.S.A., are 235 years old already! Is our time really up? I don’t think so and that’s why I have been trying to save America with my pen…
About the Author
Frank Li is the Founder & President of W.E.I. (West-East International), a Chicago-based import & export company. Frank received his B.E. from Zhejiang University (China) in 1982, M.E. from the University of Tokyo in 1985, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988, all in Electrical Engineering. He worked for several companies until 2004, when he founded his own company W.E.I. Today, W.E.I. is a leader in the weighing industry not only in products & services, but also in thought and action. Dr. Li writes extensively and uniquely on politics, for which he has been called "a modern-day Thomas Jefferson" (see page 31).