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12.26.2008:... We're all shareholders in the USA... and management is robbing us blind...

"Running a country is a lot like running a company."


Voting is like buying shares in a company...

Voters [Shareholders] elect a Congress. Congress is like a company's Board Of Directors

The Congress [Board Of Directors,] implementing the wishes and directives of the voters, hires managers [government agencies] and instructs them on what the business' goals are.

The managers [agencies] are measured on whether they have achieved those goals.

Citizens [voters] are very much like shareholders "in the country."


We elect the Board of Directors [President, Congress,] to "run the business" and supposedly tell our Board of Directors what the goals are that we'd like them to strive for. Peace, economic well-being, safety, etc.

Unfortunately, for the past thirty or more years, perhaps going back as far as Hoover or FDR, we've outsourced the decision-making to that Board of Directors and they've done, on average, a very poor job of reaching any goals we've wanted them to reach.

A dispassionate view of events of the past eight [or eighteen or fifty-eight] years shows that "The Board" has failed, and as shareholders, we, too, have "failed the company."

Every day we, the shareholders, read of failures of the government we've elected. We keep paying them, through taxes, to do things, and it seems that many times, we end up paying them to do the wrong things.

It is time to take a hard look at our "business model" and consider making some executive decisions about how the "business" is run.

As we've seen too clearly with the financial bailouts recently, giving people our money without including checks and balances is not working well. To provide "bailout money" without including strict objectives and feedback mechanisms to measure progress towards those objectives is laughable, yet we've let that happen. How can we change the business model to prevent those kinds of fiascos in the future?

We, as citizens of the "corporation" must set objectives and demand that there be measurement of progress towards those objectives.

In the business world, these objectives are often called "deliverables, milestones, or measurables."

While objectives and goals can, may and must change occasionally, the measurement of progress toward the objectives must never stop.

Goals and objectives come from the nominating process for candidates. Goals are suggested and voted up or down. There's no "maybe" here, although priorities can and should be established.

The next step is to ask who will sign up to deliver on those objectives and be measured on their progress and success.

Then, we elect them.

Unfortunately, in our history of the past three or five decades, what follows is the "blame game." Blaming the management for not achieving goals is to ignore, outsource and abdicate the powers and responsibilities of the Board of Directors and the shareholders of the company.

The process should be to mandate systematic and regular reports on the success or failure of "management" towards achieving the goals that we, the electorate [shareholders] set for them.

If they succeed, re-elect [continue their employment] or elect someone else willing to sign up for our list of objectives [ie, fire management.]

We can see, every day, the results of continuing to pay management to do the wrong things [look at the financial and automotive markets for easy examples]. We need to get more involved in the actions of management and the Board of Directors, and either re-elect them or fire them.

We have the choice of trying to fix the blame or taking back control.

Blaming is not a strategy.


How can we move towards achieving and retaining effective management of our "corporation"?

From the ground up, starting with grass-roots organizing: Get together and create achievable, beneficial goals, and deliver the list to "management" and the Board: the President and Congress.

Enlist existing companies who already have processes in place to monitor the actions and voting records of the "corporate leaders."

Report the results on a regular basis to all "shareholders" and, where needed, inform and educate some of those voters that, if they focus more on Blame than Results, the "more of the same" will be their legacy for their children, grandchildren, and forever.