Saturday, June 20, 2015

Lost Confidence in Leadership

America's business, political and religious leaders are trusted by fewer and fewer citizens.  Consider the latest Gallup poll results:

  • Only 8 percent have confidence in Congress, down by 16 points from a long-term average of 24 percent – the lowest of all institutions rated. The rating is about the same as last year's 7 percent, the lowest Gallup has ever measured for any institution.
  • Thirty-three percent have confidence in the presidency, a drop from a historical average of 43 percent.
  • Thirty-two percent have confidence in the Supreme Court, down from 44.
  • Twenty-eight percent have confidence in banks, down from 40 percent.
  • Twenty-one percent have confidence in big business, down from 24 percent.
  • Twenty-four percent have confidence in organized labor, down from 26.
  • Twenty-four percent have confidence in newspapers, down from 32 percent. Twenty-one percent have confidence in television news, down from 30 percent.

It's an eleven year slide:

"2004 was the last year most institutions were at or above their historical average levels of confidence. Perhaps not coincidentally, 2004 was also the last year Americans' satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States averaged better than 40 percent. Currently, 28 percent of Americans are satisfied with the state of the nation."

People know what happened since 2004:

  • Abysmal response to Hurricane Katrina, including W.'s hapless Lessons Learned report
  • Sending millions of American jobs to China, which in turn gave us numerous toxic, deadly products
  • Private equity underwriters (PEU)became ubiquitous, making their founders multi-billionaires.
  • Both Republican and Democratic Congresses kept private equity's preferred carried interest taxation
  • Many retired "public servants" became employed by private equity in non-lobbying positions
  • PEU owned companies sent jobs to China or sought massive public subsidies for U.S. jobs they never provided (Vought Aircraft Industries)
  • BP Oil Spew occurred because of management shortcuts and greed
  • Co-chair of Oil Spew investigation sat on Board of Directors of BP partner in Gulf of Mexico, Conoco Phillips
  • Massey Coal CEO Don Blankenship killed 29 miners by placing production over safety.
  • Banks which committed serial financial crimes received $13 trillion
  • Sixty Minutes missed the proliferation of private equity, corporate raiders and the incredible harm they did to longtime employees
  • NBC News Chief Byran Williams lied, saying in his planned come back he welcomes being held to whatever harsh standard people may have, i.e. telling the truth.

It's the greed, power and image obsessed leadership generation.  That doesn't instill confidence or trust.