The Leading Edge – When Will America be For Sale?

Thank God Europe, China, Japan, India and other areas are also experiencing economic meltdowns.


Thank God Europe, China, Japan, India and other areas are also experiencing economic meltdowns.


If you haven’t noticed, rightly or wrongly the global economy has taken center stage away from wars, global warming, health, hunger, poverty (except where it involves the nouveau poor casualties from the financial crisis).  The way things were going with America tanking financially and the rest of the world not, we could have been heading for the possibility of the more financially strong countries and regions forming a private equity consortium that could buy America and then try to flip it.

Fact or fiction?  Think of how foreign investors have already purchased a chunk of America and it may not be so crazy as it sounds.

Actually, imagining what such a consortium would do with America is not such a bad exercise.  I think here are ten ways they would cut the fat and make America a better investment than it currently is:

  1. Adjust CEO pay and bonuses to be the same multiple of entry employees as it is in all other western countries.
  2. Stop all bonuses to CEO’s of underperforming companies. Give all CEO’s of such companies an edict: “Turn the company around within two year maximum or you’re fired.”  (If many companies routinely let go of the bottom 10 % of their employees based on performance, a private equity company would do the same with top executives.)
  3. All excuse makers, blamers and people who act entitled to more than they deserve would be given warnings and then terminated. At the top of the list would be replacing the spoiled children of baby boomers with people from other cultures or countries with a higher work ethic who are grateful for the opportunity to work in America.
  4. Immediately institute education and training to give Americans the proper mindset and skill sets to compete successfully in a global economy with bottom performing teachers and students outplaced to other jobs if they can’t cut it.
  5. Revamp the welfare system.
  6. Consolidate General Motors, Ford and Chrysler under United Motors to see if they can become competitive with Japanese, Korean and German auto manufacturers.  If not develop plan to develop other products and services a la GE when they sold off their appliances and IBM when they sold off their computers.
  7. Immediately stop the war in Iraq based on economic reasons and secure from all nations dependent on the Middle East the shared responsibility for keeping that region stable.
  8. Redistribute the money the US spends on defense above and beyond what other countries do to provide healthcare for every American.
  9. Set specific criteria for success that are reviewed annually, if not quarterly and hold America accountable to them with clear consequences that are agreed upon ahead of time.
  10. Turn the United Nations into a World Trade Center that is much more an extension of the global economy than an extension of Wall Street, such that all participant countries would share in keeping it safe and secure.

I welcome any and all comments from our community about what you think a private equity company would do with America.

About the author

Mark Goulston, M.D. is the Co-Fonder of Heartfelt Leadership a global community whose Mission of Daring to Care it dedicated to identifying, celebrating, developing and supporting heartfelt leaders who are as committed to making a difference as they are to making a profit