Glenn can be seen this Thursday LIVE at a theater near you for “Broke: Restarting the Engine of America”. David Buckner will join Glenn on stage to help explain the real economic danger our country faces, and he has given you an EXCLUSIVE preview of those dangers below. After reading, be sure to check out this link for info on where you can see Glenn lay out the solutions to turning our economy around and saving our country.
The Hard Truth: Our “Broke” Economy
After completing a discussion on the budget process and dismissing class, a student approached me to challenge some of my conclusions. “You can’t just remove funding for schools without hurting the students! My daughter deserves an education!” I had noticed his discomfort in class when I had used the New York Department of Education as an example of budget belt-tightening. His protest wasn’t unwarranted, as most people would agree that education in America must be properly funded. However, he seemed to miss the point of the discussion. We weren’t discussing “good” or “bad” expenditures, or even what was “fair.” We were discussing economic and financial realities—budgets, incentives, and balancing inputs and outputs. So rather than argue the value of any program or expenditure, I simply noted, “but there isn’t any money.” In a feeble attempt to challenge my statement, he argued, “But it’s not fair for my daughter! She deserves a good education!” My response? “But there isn’t any money.” He made one final attempt, asking “What kind of a society wouldn’t provide a good education for its children?” To which I again noted, “But there isn’t any money.”
As a father of five children, it’s not that I am not personally invested in ensuring our education system is properly funded. It is simply that I cannot change economic and financial facts. Economic and financial realities are neither moral nor are they immoral. In fact, they are simply amoral, lacking any judgment of good or bad, right or wrong. They are just economic and financial facts.
• If you spend more than you take in, you run a deficit (a loss)
• If you continue to run deficits (multiple losses) you carry a debt
• If your debt grows and grows, you will owe more than you are worth
• If you owe more than you are worth, you are bankrupt
• If you are bankrupt, you can’t borrow more money or continue in business
It is really pretty simple.
Yet there are those who suggest such facts are up for debate or discussion as if to suggest the law of gravity can be subject to a referendum. They often argue that raising taxes will solve the problem. Well, not if you continue to spend more than you collect. Again, financial policy meets stubborn economic facts.
Or that removing Congressional earmarks will reduce spending. Not if that spending continues under a different branch of government. Such an effort has only shifted who and how that money is spent. The money is still being spent.
Or my personal favorite-- we promise something in the future that we have no idea whether we can provide, a guarantee without an insurance policy to cover possible losses. We see this kind of promise in the form of Social Security, Medicare, and the new healthcare initiative. We are promising future revenue today with no assurance that we can ever provide it. If the money doesn’t come in, the promise cannot be kept. Once again, we observe financial and economic facts ignored by even the most astute of politicians.
Economic and financial facts are stubborn things. Unfortunately, they are too often ignored or set aside in favor of the more savory political wishful posturing. Promises that “everything will be alright” or “trust us, nothing bad could happen” are as illusory as the Wizard of the magic land of Oz who admonished the seekers of truth to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
Indeed, we live in interesting times. In a world where reality shows reign supreme, one would think we would be more in tune with what is real than ever before. But instead of accepting our current state of affairs, we are seeing economic and financial reality replaced with wishful delusion and permissiveness. Perhaps our illusory world has us believing that we can simply re-start the game and try again. Unfortunately, we aren’t playing a game, and to avoid further damage we need to quickly save our work and re-boot our system before we face the dreaded blue screen of a crash.
David Buckner is the President of Bottom Line Training and Consulting Inc., a firm specializing in executive management development and business acumen training with a consultative focus on cultural integration and change management. Previous positions for Mr. Buckner include VP of Administration and SVP of Chartwell Leisure, a hotel development company whose partners include George Soros, the Gordon Getty Trust, and the Fisher Family. Mr. Buckner also serves on numerous advisory boards and on the Board of Directors for four organizations, including the Greater New York Council BSA and Peak Alarm Corporation. He can often be seen as an economic analyst on several cable news shows, and has been a keynote speaker and featured trainer in North and South America, Western Europe, Asia and the Far East for more than 20 years. Mr. Buckner joined the Faculty of Columbia University in 1997, where he teaches graduate business courses for the Dept. of Organizational Psychology & Leadership at Teachers College.
To bring David and his internationally acclaimed Mini-MBA program to your organization, please visit www.bottomlinenyc.com .
For more information on his speaking engagements, television appearances and his newest book, Permission To Think, please visit www.buckneronbusiness.com.