This article written by Sonia Schall
President, Imprint Gal, Inc.
Plantation, Florida

Hello! Well, once again I’m commenting on the master swindler Bernie Madoff who outdid his own idol, Charles Ponzi.

Everyday, I look forward to opening your email, because it’s always so fresh and honest. “Honesty,” a word that seems to have disappeared from our vocabulary; one must wonder where has that word gone, especially after all the effort expended by our parents and teachers to instill just that in us?

What has happened to the words integrity, leadership and humility? Were the words losing their definition with the beginning of Nixon? Or was it the T.V. show Dynasty? Nixon, made it an embarrassment to be middle class. We kind of had good years with Clinton, yet we didn’t know how good that was until now.

Then all of a sudden, we got an administration with truly ignorant, mean-spirited, uncaring individuals. After the catastrophe in New Orleans, do you remember hearing the phrase, “Well, they’re better off because they had nothing to begin with originally?” Does that phrase still get to you? Surely, it must. What was so vastly insulting about that quote, is that many people did lose it all in New Orleans, These people are Americans like you and me, working Americans, paying their taxes while their taxes have gone to fund an overseas war that has killed way too many of our children. Now Iraq has a surplus in the billions; there goes that B word again.

Well, I guess you can say the Iraqi reporter that threw the shoe at Bush must have said out loud: “mission accomplished.” Yes indeed! So, how do we purge ourselves of this disgusting greed that has been infecting many in our society like a plague? How do we cleanse ourselves and go back to the values we had as “the greatest generation,” which is what we were at the end of 1945? Do we start by re-defining the “business school curriculum” at Wharton? Do we start by being more diligent in overseeing and demanding proof of what actually the SEC is up to?

What still gets me, is people loved “Uncle Bernie” because he was giving them a return of 10% a year, even when that was impossible. Oh, that was O.K. because it didn’t matter how he produced the goods, as long as my portfolio grew. We’re all aware of “get it done,” don’t care how. He certainly did it, because in truth he was just an employee of all those who invested with him. So, how do we start searching our souls as to what is right, and honest? Can honesty be taught and practiced?

We have nothing to lose, we’ve lost so much already. Let us start with tomorrow the New Year.

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