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88 Million Reasons for the Cardboard Box

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

After two weeks of non-stop convention-ing, the nation finally has all the data it needs to understand the truth about what this election should be based on.

After two weeks of people advocating for big-government, bottom-up philosophies vs. free market, small businesses, and ideas of how to grow our economy out of this mess, the halls have died down.

The delegates have returned home.

God has been voted down. The unborn child has been prayed for at the conclusion of both conventions. Assertions of freedom of choice have been made on everything from sex to guns. Distinct ideas have been put forth about economic improvement as well as America's role in the world, and one side has even carefully examined the number of times the other specifically mentioned the nation's military.

Now we enter the season--especially for you swing-staters--when your evenings will be barraged by the never-ending onslaught of ads that are designed to convince you to vote on something other than your basic reality. Then come the debates--where both sides will claim victory.

The assault of swing state ads will continue, and the outcome of all of this will be: little of it mattered.

The truth is that four years ago America the corporation hired a new employee to relocate to Washington and to run the largest corporation in the world. In doing so, he inherited significant challenges, but he also inherited the largest workforce our corporation had ever given an incoming executive. He would also inherit the largest amount of resources any CEO has ever been given. He has--by our good grace--the most amount of flexibility, power, and decision making freedom of any executive in the land.

He told us in a one-on-one interview shortly after taking the position that if he failed in three years, he'd only stay four.

But like so many executives that get used to the digs, after his performance has failed in nearly every area we needed him to bring corrective change to, he has come to us in his review period and said, "Hey... I could've done a lot worse." This isn't a very convincing explanation of his time with our company, and as the board of directors, we're about to fire him.

The interesting thing about our board--which makes it slightly different than other corporations--is that you do not have to be an active employee of the company to get a vote.

In fact we'd prefer to have a much leaner employee base. It is clear that our bottom line can not afford it, and yet this executive recklessly went out and expanded the number of employees we pay by a greater percentage than the private sector employees he was hired to help. The problem is, much of our payroll doesn't even go to actual... employees.

We're paying people because they have back aches, or they're over a certain age, and we're even paying people for 99 weeks after they cease having a job elsewhere--whether they are looking for work or not.

Morale is low. Pitifully low. Our executive has not inspired, given direction, motivated, or enabled his team to set new goals, develop new ideas, or innovate new products. In fact, he has placed powerful penalties in the way of people who would do those things by starting private sector corporations of their own. Therefore, it is of little surprise that we have the lowest formation of new corporations since World War II.

Worse yet, our executive has been openly deceptive and dishonest in his reports back to us: his board of directors.

He claims that he has inspired the creation of 4.5 million new jobs, but to do so ignores the number of people that have lost so much hope--after getting their 99 week check from our corporation--that they have still been unable to find new employers. His real job creation rate is closer to 2.7 million by the most accurate--and optimistic--accounting. But deception did not end there.

The day after our executive gave us his last argument for why he should get to keep his job he would claim to have created 96,000 more jobs. But we would learn upon closer inspection that 368,000+ gave up looking for work altogether, and instead of counting them as jobless individuals, our executive stopped counting them at all, altered his numbers, and tried to tell us that fewer people were out of work.

The pattern of dishonesty and deception would be reason enough for termination.

But complete incompetence on every important factor related to the health of our corporate initiative is what screams out for an immediate change of course.

Sadly, more than 88,000,000 people are jobless. But again, our CEO's numbers, in all of the reports he gives us, never reflect this horrible reality.

So we know that he implemented the plans of direction that he honestly believed would turn things around, but we as his employer, board, and stockholders could not disagree more with the idea of continuing those plans any further. Even if we support him individually, none of us can argue that he's done his job well.

We should tell him, "You will find a cardboard box, or a few, outside your office on November 7. Take from then until January 20th or so to pack up, but please leave the place as clean and neat as you found it. Our new applicant has some good experience on all the things we feel you've missed the mark on, and we'd like him to get to work right away."

At least, this would be the reality if any one of us had the same record he did for the last three years.

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