The American stock market since 9/11 has been a series of seemingly endless mood swings, from euphoria to near-clinical depression. Enough already. Granted we are supposedly a mature nation; that does not mean we cannot rejuvenate and move on.
Tempting as it is to dwell on the issue, I have just three suggestions for both government and business, but pointedly directed to the Congress, both houses, both parties.
First, Congress, get back to the business of responsible oversight and get your own house in order to do so. The staffs of both the Congressional Joint Inquiry and the 9/11 Commission quickly determined that one of the root causes of the nation’s vulnerability to a surprise attack was the inability of Congress to establish and maintain efficient and effective oversight. Multiple committees and subcommittees in both Houses, all with disparate agendas, were and continue to be in the oversight business. Enough already. Each inquiry softened the blow in its reports; perhaps we should have been more direct.
Second, Congress, let me announce my criteria for voting for representation, Senate and House, national and local, in 2012. Incumbents need not apply. Party lines go by the wayside here. The nation appears much better served to cast out the lot of you and keep doing so until some group of our citizens elected to do the public’s business actually charts, and then follows, a course to do so.
Third, business and government, I offer a universal solution to the unemployment problem, the market malaise, and the effectiveness of government. Hire some human beings to answer the danged telephone. This remedy applies to both the public and private sector and to government agencies at all levels.
If you want my business and my attention, hire people to interface with the consumers and the public. Enough already with your fancy voice tree menus. Provide no more than three options, please, in the following specific order:
- For any language other than English, press one
- To speak to a real person, press two (regardless of language)
- For other options, press three
The latter option is reluctantly granted recognizing that properly constructed menus can be useful. Few are so constructed. Try harder. Let me give you a hint: fewer words, shorter pauses, no redundancy, confident voices speaking in clear English, just to name a few items on a much longer list.
Begone with you now. Go figure out how you are going to gain my attention, my business, and my vote. Enough already with mood swings.