Thursday, January 28, 2010

We Consistently Reward Incompetence and Misconduct - Reaping What We've Sown.

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We Consistently Reward Incompetence and Misconduct - Reaping What We've Sown.

Note: This article was written by author Douglas Castle for simultaneous publication in his personal blog (Douglas Castle), as well as TAKING COMMAND!, HUMANITAS MAXIMUS, Douglas Castle's INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS and in THE NATIONAL NETWORKER RSS Feed and Daily Email Supplement. You can (and should) get the Supplement for free at, and you can join The National Networker GICBC (also, at no cost) by clicking on

Dear Friends:

I chanced upon this unsurprising but nonetheless saddening piece of news in an excerpt from the venerable New York Times today:

Breaking News Alert

The New York Times
Thu, January 28, 2010 -- 4:13 PM ET
U.S. Senate Confirms Ben Bernanke for a 2nd Term as Fed Governor

The Senate confirmed Ben S. Bernanke to a second term at the
helm of the Federal Reserve. The confirmation was a victory
for President Obama, who had called Mr. Bernanke a critical
leader in the nation's recovery from recession, but the
rancor surrounding the vote also signaled the extent to which
the Fed, once little known to the public, has become the
object of populist anger over high unemployment and bank

Read More:

Let me warm to the topic by saying that I'm not interested in making a political statement here. I am interested in posing a brief commentary on behavioral psychology and sociological evolution.

Some of you may recall that it was during Mr. Bernanke's "watch" that the United States Federal Reserve, with either the consent, an incredible lack of vision, or a hideous dereliction of duty on the part of a huge number of other governmental agencies (including, but not limited to the Treasury, The Controller of the Currency, FINRA, The SEC, The Commissioners of Insurance, The Legislature, The Executive Office and a host of other regulatory and enforcement bodies charged with the responsibility of protecting the citizenry and its hard-earned assets from pilferage and fraud by dirty, rotten scoundrels, con-artists, and other classes of persons whose debits never quite equal their credits) allowed an uncontrolled economic avalanche to destroy the United States economy, the lives of countless individuals, and the credibility (or the already-decaying nostalgic memories of credibility) of the  notion of an "honest" government to serve and protect the interests of the citizens whose contributions (through taxes and other tribute) actually finance the government...that is, of course, when the government isn't simply printing out bargeloads of paper currency and issuing debt instruments which it has no genuine plans or means of paying.

Mr. Bernanke just got himself confirmed for a second term at the helm of the U.S. of A. The thinking (using this latter term loosely) is that although he made a few "small mistakes" that "might have" helped to precipitate a "major recession," he kept things from getting as bad as he could have let them become. He bailed out the largest, greediest and most irresponsible financial institutions and other corporate interests because "they were too big to fail," [I'm inventing here] "too large to fit in jail," or "too fat to impale." 

He now gets rewarded for, in effect, driving drunk, hitting an elderly woman (who was walking her poodle) and managing to put her in his car and leave her on the steps of a hospital. This chap is the same symbol of shoulder-shrugging status quo who rewarded the unconscionable wrongdoing of an elite few at an incalculably devastating cost to this generation and to numerous generations to follow.

Why does this type of seemingly irrational system of "inverted incentives" continue to proliferate? Here are my guesses:

1. We have lowered our standards and our expectations;
2. Our perception is that any known quantity is better than a walk into the unknown;
3. We believe that our thoughts and feelings no longer make a difference;
4. We have lost our faith in our own fundamental values, because we live in a society where evil all too frequently triumphs;
5. We have lost our will to be free, and have resigned ourselves to being institutionalized;
6. We have lost the stamina to be activists, advocates and fighters;
7. We are living in fear of the government that is supposed to serve us.

An old colleague had two funny posters in his office at Hofstra University. One said "NO GOOD DEED SHALL GO UNPUNISHED." The other stated "UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES, THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE."

Facing facts, if we continue to stand idly by while incompetence and misconduct are permitted free reign, we don't deserve anything better. If you weren't insulted by that last sentence, then you probably will also fail to see that this is not a blog posting. It is a call to action.

You can get in touch with me by pressing the blue button below.

It's time for this GICBC notion to become a movement. Cooperate. Collaborate. Synergize.

We cannot build a peaceful prosperous future upon a cracked and decaying foundation, just as we cannot expect to find gold nuggets while panning in a tar pit, or expecting to grow fruit trees when we are planting sawgrass.

Trying to work within the constructs and constraints of the current paradigm is very much like trying to polish a turd. Stop for a moment and visualize it. Hmmm...

I enjoy ranting. How about you?


Douglas Castle

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