Neel Kashkari has gone soft.
Not in his body (he tightened that up chopping wood in a cabin in the woods a year ago), not in his fiscal policy (he wants to tighten that up too start with cutting spending and decreasing our budget yesterday) – he’s gone soft in his head. Or maybe a few inches south of there.
He writes in the WaPo today that Wall Street’s culture of excess has cultivated a “me first” attitude. And Kashkari wants that change to a “we first” attitude, pronto.
- Before we can embrace any reform proposals, we must understand the influence our culture has on our decision making.
- A “me first” mentality usually makes markets more efficient. But this “me first” mentality can also lead to shortsighted political decision making.
In Kashkari’s utopia, a “we first” society, everyone would:
- Cut entitlement spending; think beyond what is in our own immediate self-interest
- Focus on our collective good, or all of us will suffer
- Make cuts before the fiscal crisis is upon us
In the end, what Kashkari writes is nice, and we wish it was realistic. Here’s why it isn’t. Take a look at Kashkari’s 3 steps necessary to achieving this “UtopiUSA:”
— Our economy needs to experience sustained growth, creating good jobs, so Americans feel economically secure. It is hard for anyone to think about long-term sacrifice when they are worried about how to pay their bills today.
— The emotional bruising inflicted by the financial crisis needs to heal. Along with the passage of time we need a renewed sense that people are succeeding and failing on their own merits.
— Our leaders need to make the case for cutting entitlement spending by tapping into our shared beliefs of sacrifice and self-reliance. They must be willing to risk their own political fortunes for the sake of our country.
Since when are these are steps? The third one, maybe. But suggesting that our leaders “find these shared beliefs to tap into”?
These are all just comments, and in the end each feeds the attitude he’s (pretty meekly) trying to fight. Competition and a “me first” attitude wins every time over a pussy strawman argument like this. Sorry.