Dan Kennedy

When did it become so ordinary, so acceptable to be a p***y? To be so helpless and inept and pathetic? And why don’t we – and our elected officials and our media – look all these embarrassing people in the face and tell them to go make their own crutches or lie by the side of the road and rot as they choose? When will we refuse to enable this ever-expanding victimhood and shameful begging and thievery?

It’s not the flying in on the private jet to beg Congress for billions of dollars of food stamps that bothers me. It’s the fact that these executives aren’t so ashamed as to be physically ill, vomiting, ashen faced, apologetic.

No, I’m not looking for a show of remorse. I’m looking for real, sincere recognition of responsibility and a re-commitment to self-reliance. I’m looking for the auto-maker CEO’s and the head of the UAW to say, “We are foregoing our salaries and bonuses in this business we insist is viable, investing all our personal and family wealth, mortgaging our homes and investing that money, and we are going to take no vacations, no weekends off, and work 12 hour days until we fix what we broke.” The same from the executives of Citi and AIG, et al. If somebody like Jim Brown had been in charge and made such a mess, I’m pretty sure that’s what he would say. It’s what small business owners do.

And I’m looking for homeowners to say: “Gee, I should have made sure I understood what I signed. I shouldn’t have leveraged myself silly and bought four times the home I could afford then sucked equity out by repeatedly re-financing. I don’t want anybody bailing me out. I’ll take my lumps, go be a renter for a while, and be more responsible in the future. I certainly don’t want to have my government steal money from people who acted responsibly to give me a bail-out I don’t deserve.

If somebody like Jim Brown had made such a mess of his personal finances, I’m pretty sure that’s what he would say.


Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy is a serial entrepreneur and contributor to the Business & Media Institute.