A Leadership Crisis
It’s Up to Individuals to Take Accountability for our Future
by Jeff Piersall
If you place a bullfrog in boiling water he will jump out of it. However, if you place a bullfrog in cool water and turn up the temperature one degree each hour, he will eventually cook to death. How many people need to get out of the water before it boils?
John Maxwell claims that leadership is influence. Thus, a person in a position of leadership who cannot influence is not a leader – and charisma does not qualify as influence, as history shows us. I really like Richard Barrett’s definition of leadership: “One who courageously pursues a vision in such a way that it resonates with the souls of people.” This definition defines influence and clearly separates those who lead and those who dictate through their personality.
We have come to an historical stalemate in our society; one in which both political parties have failed miserably to lead. So what do we do? History shines a bright light on the path of the future – the failure is that our society has forgotten the past, or worse, history is being manipulated to fit the agenda of those in power.
In 1937, FDR, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and Hirohito were the world leaders. In 1932, Germany’s democratic government supported the Nazi party with only 34 percent of the popular vote, but this made them the largest party even without a majority. The elected president, Paul von Hindenburg, appointed Adolf Hitler as chancellor on Jan 30, 1933 and when President Hindenburg passed away in August 1934, Hitler took control.
One person’s decision – one vote – created a historical disaster of unintended consequences and the majority did not agree. It took twelve years and World War II to pull the people of Germany out of the boiling water. Here was the lay of the land back then:
- Germany had 10 percent unemployment;
- Government lived in extravagance while the people struggled;
- It was “the rich” who were the problem;
- The historical foundations of Germany were manipulated.
Are We In Crisis Yet?
The Chinese define CRISIS as danger/opportunity. Faith and fear have the same definition – “the things unseen in our future.” We need leadership that has faith in our ability to seize opportunity.
President Roosevelt instituted several social reforms to address high unemployment and the effects of the Great Depression – particularly Social Security. Subsequent leaders added healthcare programs, food stamps, unemployment, child care, housing assistance, and cash aid –all of which were designed with good intentions. However, the unintended consequences in 2012 are devastating. The programs no longer serve in the way they were intended. Instead, they now only create dependency and debt.
- In 2000, 17 million people received food stamps; in just the last three years the number has grown to 46 million people, or 1 in 7 Americans.
- Today, we have the largest number of people living in poverty in the history of our country.
- In addition to the national debt, the government has created the single largest debt structure in our country in student loans, exceeding credit card debt.
Everyone will have to pay a price and only those willing to take personal accountability for their situation will rise up out of the restrictive government programs. We need leadership that is enthusiastic, empowering and encouraging to our people, not leadership that blames, accuses and creates dependency.
A Problem or Just a Distraction?
The “rich” are not the problem and taxing them more will not resolve one single issue, but it will create a major problem: “tax the rich and they will remain rich, but they will not share their wealth with economic investment in jobs, businesses and services.”
Any leader who believes that putting more restrictions on the rich will help the economy is a dictator leadership, especially when that same leader will spend billions on themselves for vacations, trips, planes, cars and other luxuries.
Our country was founded on Christian principles; limited government and free enterprise both sprang from this source. Several of our founding fathers were atheists yet they knew from history that these principles would create a strong democracy. Yet, it seems as though mentioning those principles will make you a target of ridicule and scorn, if not downright hostility.
Historically, U.S. government revenue has been 18 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and spending has been approximately 19 percent. In the last three years, our debt-to-GDP ratio has grown almost 30 percent, to a historical level of 110 percent. That is $16.7 trillion – of which we, the citizens of the U.S., owe $10.8 trillion, while still borrowing $4 billion per day from China. Talk about “outsourcing!”
The Bottom Line
Despite what either side says, to sustain the current spending, taxes will increase a minimum of 50 percent unless, of course, our “leaders” do the right thing and cut spending and balance the budget. In less than 10 years with a balanced budget and a 5 percent per year decrease in spending we can be out of debt.
On November 6, the country will have a choice to make. Are we going to stay in the nice warm water and eventually cook to death, or will we choose to jump out of the pot before it’s too late?
Jeff Piersall is the co-founder and CEO of SCB Marketing. Contact him at (321) 537-4941 or email@example.com