Nation’s Future 10.13.11DetroitJewishNews-1 (Column appearing in Jewish News – 10-13-11)
Is Our Nation’s Future In Jeopardy?
October 13, 2011
Many of us marvel at and are frustrated by the troubling economic problems of the era. Without question, these are serious problems and the prospect of a short-term solution is dim. We have suffered horrific losses to our net worth — by virtue of the real estate freefall and a recession that, for all intents and purposes, is starting its third year. We wonder and debate — what should we do as individuals and as a nation?
In recent weeks, I’ve pondered the future of our nation as I witness a deploable commitment to partisan politics and deadlock among our elected representatives. I say to myself,“As a nation we are only 235 years in existence. The Roman Empire lasted more than 2,000 years before its arrogance claimed its lifeline. What chance do we have?” At first blush — my conclusion — “It’s not looking good.” Last week, I happened to watch the newly released miniseries The Kennedys and gained a different perspective. I was reminded of the turbulent ’60s — the fight against communism, the battle over civil rights, the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam and our loss of cherished leaders who stood for principle beyond economics — Jack, Bobby and Dr. King. I realized that other than the era beginning post-Vietnam and abruptly ending on Sept. 11, 2011, we have been at war, on its verge or just beyond its conclusion, or in the midst of some form of economic trauma or civil rights controversy for our entire history. Ultimately, we face and overcome these problems, and it is usually because leaders emerge that have the guts to stand for what is right and are able to overcome those who seek to perpetuate the mistakes of the past.
As we age, we gain the benefit of experi-ence, as well as the knowledge that our insight and what we know is limited by our experience — which also applies to our elected representatives and pro-claimed political leaders. So what do these revelations mean and how to they bear upon the financial crisis? Since controversy is part of our American way of life, we should embrace it rather than fear it. We must question those in authority that demonstrate an unwillingness to seek new solutions and simply continue to preach unsupported claims of the past. We need to take such action that we can to improve our situation — and we need to take such action based upon the current times without regard to what others think is the right thing to do. Individually, this means looking at opportunities to recoup the losses sustained as a result of the economic disaster that has ensued, by shedding debt and seizing opportunity. As a country, the time is now for leadership — for someone to emerge that fears not what to say because of political expediency — a leader who can reach to our nation’s soul and carve a path that addresses what is best for our future.
Ken Gross is an attorney with Thav Gross and host of the Financial Crisis Talk Center, a radio program that airs weekly at 10 a.m. Saturdays on WXYT 1270 “Talk Radio.”