This actually has nothing to do with entrepreneurs. It is a rant about the US Congress.
While Congress is making all kinds of pronouncements and holding hearings and pointing fingers about the financial crisis, it is becoming increasing clear that Congress has played a significant role in creating that crisis. If much of the problem stems from the subprime mortgage mess, then who created and expanded that mess. It was Congress was it not that created Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It was Congress that ignored the criticism of those institutions and took Fannie and Freddie "contributions" for their campaigns. It was Congress that forced banks to approve subprime mortgages to advance unlegislated and unfunded social programs.
When Congress held hearings on the financial rescue plan, the most obvious fact that came from all the speeches was that no one in Congress had any idea of what was going on, what they were talking about and whether or not the plan was going to work. The stock market meltdown really took off when it became more and more apparent that this powerful body was both unable and somewhat unwilling to do something when it really counted. They reverted to political speeches on other topics. Watching Congress at this moment was like watching an act out of the Theater of the Absurd.
So, my solution to fixing the financial crisis is to start by firing Congress. All of them. They have failed to lead when it is necessary. They have failed to lead in the financial crisis. They have failed to lead to a solution in the energy crisis, they have failed to come up with an effective immigration policy. They have failed to address the long term entitlement bankruptcy facing the country. Instead, they pass bills where taxpayers have to pay them a bribe (called earmarks) for each bill passed. And, they spend a lot of time pointing fingers at everyone else. They lack honesty and accountability.
So fire them all. And elect new ones in a different way so the problem does not repeat itself.
Ignoring for a moment the Constitutional issues I would propose a new way of electing Congressmen and Senators. First, who cares what state they come from. That is part of the problem. Congressmen feel the need to bring gifts back to their states. Every election we see candidates positioning themselves as "one of us" Elect me, I am like you. To be like a redneck, they stand on the back of pick-up trucks, they wear redneck clothes, wear redneck hats and cheer for redneck sports. Underneath, they are chameleons.
Instead electing people who pretend to be like us, let us elect people who are really like us. For Congressmen, let's elect people who represent the different kinds of professions that Americans hold. School teachers, policemen, fireman, businessmen, janitors, contractors, Wall Street Analysts, social workers, farmers, fisherman. Let the professions elect their representative. For the Senate, let's elect representatives by age, gender and race. Let all of Congress be like America. So, they are not experienced legislators, so very few of them will be lawyers. So much the better.
Elections have become very expensive. They take too long. It seems an awful lot of money. So, I recommend reserving 10% of each house for positions that are sold to the highest bidder. If George Soros wants a Congressman he can buy one, if GM feels they need a Senator, pony up. The only constraint is that the purchased candidate, like a NASCAR driver, has to wear the company logos all over their clothes, so that everyone knows who is bought and paid for. The money raised in this matter could be used to defray the costs of the election and fund Congressional staffs.
Let me know your thoughts!!