Sunday, November 30, 2008


Too big to fail. How many times have you heard this lately? Lehman Brothers, A.I.G. Insurance, and now the auto makers specifically General Motors. Lehman represented all the banking business in the country. AIG represented all the insurance. Of course the auto makers represent millions of our workers. We have been told that all the surrounding support companies will go down if the auto makers fail. They are all just too big to fail.

My aim in this essay is to ask the question, too big to fail or just too big? I think it is a fair question. Have we as a country come to rely too much on a few businesses to support this economy? I don’t fault the businesses for growing. I fault some of the decisions during that growth, but that is another essay. No, this is about our putting too many eggs in too few baskets.

Here are a few other examples of what I’m talking about. We are now hearing that gasoline tax receipts are at such a low that highway improvement projects will have to be curtailed. What did the powers that be think was going to happen when gasoline hit $4.00 a gallon? There has been a natural cutting back in the use of gasoline. We will either have to find other sources of funding these projects or reduce our expectations for a time.

When the auto makers were going strong, they probably felt that they were invincible. They negotiated contracts with the UAW that put themselves and their unions in real jeopardy. Now those chickens have come home to roost. In previous writings I have commented on how the auto makers have borrowed the future buyers out of the market and now have fewer and fewer potential customers. They and their unions are going to have to reduce their expectations for a while.

How about the banks? They have shelved good judgment in favor of huge short term profits and they now are seeing the only possible result of that lapse in judgment, delinquencies and foreclosures. What else could they have been thinking? Is it in the best interest for we the people to now take on their potential losses so that they can continue with their excesses?

Consider the plight of BWM Inc. This is not to be confused with BMW Inc. That would of course be Bavarian Motor Works. No, I’m talking about Buggy Whip Makers Inc. Imagine if you will the buggy whip makers going before Congress and begging for a bailout. Further imagine that such a bailout had been granted. We would now have warehouses filled to the rafters with buggy whips. The horseless carriage eliminated the need for buggy whips. Those makers of buggy whips had to figure out another business strategy to stay alive or they perished. Keeping them alive served no purpose to the country as a whole. I wonder how the buggy whip makers would have traveled to Washington to ask for the bailout. Oh how the mind wanders.

During prohibition several beer makers resorted to soft drinks to stay alive. They probably knew down deep that their problem was temporary and they just needed a strategy to keep going until America came to its senses.

I remember many years ago when I was given my first management assignment. My supervisor told me that management was the process of making decisions. If you make more right than you do wrong you will be successful. Nothing has changed in business.

So what are we to think of these latest events? Sadly in my view we have no choice but to continue to bailout the businesses in question. But, and this is a huge but, with restrictions. Restrictions in executive compensation, restrictions in executive retreats, restrictions in executive travel, and finally restrictions in union contract negotiation. It can no longer be business as usual. Those agencies whose job it is to audit banks must get serious about their jobs. Boards of Directors in companies must hold their executives feet to the fire. Unions must get real in their demands. They gain nothing for their members if their demands put companies in jeopardy. Finally Members of Congress must take a long look at their allegiances. Their only special interest is the American people. It is past time for them to start acting like it.

We as a country are not too big to fail, but we might get too big for our britches so we have to get smarter. We the people have to expect better from those we employ to guard the hen house.

Ron Scarbro November 28, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I have decided to apply for the job of “expert financial analyst”. It seems to be a job for which I am uniquely qualified. I have no formal degrees from any prestigious universities. I don’t have many years of experience studying these matters. I don’t even have a bunch of letters after my name. What I do have however is an opinion and from all indications, it is as good as, if not better than, most I have seen or heard these past few years.

Consider if you will just last week, job numbers came out and they were in fact dismal. I don’t know about you but I sorta figured they would be dismal. The experts were astounded. They were surprised. What? Were they looking at the same news I was looking at these past few days or were they looking at something else? What kind of moron would be surprised to see an increase in the unemployment numbers?

Our financial markets have been distressed for this past year. The banking system has stepped into problems that will take years to get out of. The automobile manufacturers have made poor business decisions that they may not be able to recover from. The current financial experts say “Well nobody saw that coming”. If nobody saw that coming, why on earth do we need these experts?

As of Friday’s close of the stock market, you could buy a share of each of the big three auto maker’s stock for less than a trip to Starbucks. But nobody saw this coming. What is your financial advisor saying to you? Did he warn you of the rapid and dramatic downturn in the market? Did he tell you of the problems of the banking and auto industry? My guess is that he did not. My guess is that it was as much a surprise to him as it was to all the other “experts”. Exactly where does their expertise lie? What are you and I paying for when we employ a financial advisor? I wonder what the job pays?

That got me to thinking, Hell I can do that. I have time on my hands. I don’t have much else going on right now. Apparently you really don’t have to know very much. It seems to me all I have to do is add “expert” after my name. Who could doubt my qualifications? Who could question my prognostications? If they did, I could just say, “well nobody saw that coming”. It works for the Wall Street experts so it must be legal. It could work for me.

To give you an advanced picture of my abilities, I am going to make some astounding predictions. Are you ready? First, I do not believe that all of America’s great companies are going to go out of business. I believe going forward that there will continue to be a need for food, clothing, housing, transportation, medicine, and technology. While it is true that 6.5% of our people are currently unemployed, 93.5% are working. While 2% of mortgages are in trouble, 98% are not. The people who inhabit this country are not going to disappear and neither are their needs and wants. Secondly, the financial markets will improve and do so dramatically when investors, (traders), come to realize this fact. As has been the case in the past, markets recover. Yes it will take some time, but, as a wise man once told me, “What’s time to a hog eating corn?”

Some of you who read this will say “Ron, sometimes you can be so sarcastic. How can you be this optimistic?” I could be wrong. I could miss by a mile and the whole country will go into the toilet. If that happens, I’ll just put on my expert’s hat and say, “Hey, nobody saw that coming?”

Ron Scarbro November 23, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008


The following are some thoughts that, if implemented, would bring about a real change. That’s a word we’ve heard a lot lately. Consider with me these ideas.

First and foremost is this country’s practice of waging limited war. War by its definition is an unlimited exercise. Armies, by their nature, are forces of destruction, not nation builders. I therefore propose the following. America will only go to war when she decides to win quickly and decisively. Our forces are superior in every regard. We should never have to put boots on the ground. We have the ability to, from a perch in this country, send all out destruction to any corner of the world. Within minutes, we could, if we chose, eliminate any country or army or war making facility in the world. To go into these backward countries and fight street to street is allowing our enemy to dictate the rules of engagement. We should instead just eliminate the streets and anyone who happens to live on them. But Ron, you say, that could kill thousands of people. My question would then be, “what is the difference between limiting your killing to a few hundred or a few thousand”? Truman had to make the decision to bomb Japan killing thousands in order to prevent the killing of many thousands more. Such is often the nature of war. This country has proven time after time that she has no stomach for prolonged war. Our wars are lost not on the battlefield but here in this country with the assistance of an ultra liberal media with way too much influence. People who commit treason should be arrested and treated like the criminals they are.

My next suggestion has to do with illegal immigration. As of this writing we are approaching seven percent unemployment. How many American’s jobs are currently being held by illegals? My suggestion is simple. Arrest any employer who knowingly hires and retains an illegal. Arrest any agency employee who makes available welfare aid to any illegal. Arrest any city or church official who attempts to provide sanctuary to these illegal aliens. The result will be that illegal aliens will deport themselves when they find no job or free handout. At the same time this government must make available to employers and providers systems whereby individuals can be checked out to determine their citizenship. By the way, legal immigration should be encouraged and welcomed.

My next suggestion has to do with elections. We absolutely must verify the veracity of voters at the polls. No picture ID, no vote. You have to have picture ID to cash a check, welfare or other, to check out a CD from Blockbuster, or for most business done in this country. The only reason we don’t have this ID requirement at the polls is one particular political party has stopped it. They don’t want an honest election because they know that would have a bad result for them.

I now want to address the treatment of veterans and members of active duty military. The military is our champion. They alone stand between us and anyone in the rest of the world who would wish to defeat our system and our people. No expense should be spared in the medical treatment of our veterans or any active duty member. VA hospitals should be state of the art in every sense. They should be staffed with the best doctors and nurses medicine has to offer. Military hospitals should be the best in the world. These are our warriors. They deserve the absolute best money can buy. Anything less is a travesty.

Senior citizens have a life long contract with the government. That includes both Medicare and Social Security. This contract is inviolate. Anything and everything necessary must be done to insure the health of these systems. If government chooses to include non-senior citizens in this program, they absolutely must provide the necessary funding for those inclusions.

These are but a few of the thoughts I have recently had concerning the future of America. No doubt changes need to be made, but only those changes for the better. As time goes by I intend to offer commentary on the success and yes the failures of the new administration. I’m pretty sure that President-elect Obama is not sitting around waiting for my thoughts, oh well. For him to have a successful presidency, however, I and people like me will have to be considered. I have nothing but best wishes for his success because his success will be America’s success.

Ron Scarbro November 12, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008


America has made her choice. Like many of you reading this blog, I have seen many elections. Some I have agreed with and some I have not. I want to share some thoughts with you regarding this particular election.

It is historic for sure. We have elected our first black President. That part of it is far less important than who this black President is and his politics. He campaigned as a far left liberal and was elected with those credentials. That pretty much tells you where the country stands at this time. I do not believe, however, that a socialist government can co-exist with a capitalistic economic system. So something will have to give. I therefore believe that the socialist tendencies of this President will be greatly tempered. In other words he will move to the middle in order to govern with any efficacy at all. Let us just consider some of what he will have to face as President.

The first thing on his plate will be the economy for sure. There will be economic stimulus coming from this government very soon. To those among you who are pure conservatives, the new President will have no choice. He will bail out the auto manufacturers if President Bush doesn’t beat him to it. He will put more money into the system through tax incentives and rebate checks to most people in the country. This will be necessary because the government has already interfered in private business. Obama will have no choice but to continue with that interference. We will be witnessing the modern version of the New Deal of FDR. To those among you who will have to pay the bill, I apologize in advance.

Next let us consider his stance on the Second Amendment. Obama is on record as favoring much stricter gun control. Since his election, he has tried to allay the fears of the millions who fear his tampering with the Second Amendment will end private gun ownership in this country. This should be very clear to all and including those people who are in the government, no edict nor any elected politician regardless of his office will cause the American people to turn over their guns. America is armed by the authority of The Constitution for the purpose of defending themselves against the very government officials who would try to disarm them. To even consider messing around with the Constitution is a fool’s game guaranteed to fail. As I have said before, “from my cold dead hands”.

The next issue is much more difficult to get a handle on. That issue is health care. Obama has clearly said that he will bring about some sort of universal health care. Everywhere universal health care has been tried, it has failed. Don’t think for a moment that Canada and England are doing well with it. The cost is prohibitive. But, and this is a huge but, the medical profession including drug manufacturers and hospitals, have killed the goose that has laid their golden egg. They have virtually begged for the government to step in and fix their mess. Once again, the government will have no choice but to step in. Fixing the mess is a bit more problematic however. The government handling our health care is like the DMV or the Post Office handling our health care. It won’t work. We will have an opportunity to revisit this issue.

The far out left want us out of any war anywhere. This will also be a big problem for our new President. By now he will have been given security briefings and will know what this country is up against. His views are bound to change when reality strikes. He is going to have to disappoint his lefty supporters.

Many if not most on the left are in for some serious disappointment in the very near future. As the new President learns the truth about the real world we live in, most of his campaign promises will disappear. What will the liberal press say then? How will the media treat Obama when he turns to the middle in order to govern?

We will all survive the election. Hell we survived Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. The Republicans will reorganize and get a lot stronger in the next two years and probably make huge gains in the off year election. We will all get smarter. I recall the story of the guy who made smart pills out of moose droppings. He sold them to another guy who complained, “That tasted like moose droppings.” To which the seller exclaimed, “See, you’re getting smart already.” Hopefully there is an easier way.

Ron Scarbro November 10, 2008