Lee Iacocca “what the hell is wrong with America?”

by Mr. Charrington on August 19, 2008

Remember Lee Iacocca, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from it’s death throes?
He’s now 82 years old and has a new book, and here are some excerpts.

Lee Iacocca Says:

‘Am I the only guy in this country who’s fed up with what’s happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We’ve got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we’ve got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can’t even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, ‘Stay the course’

Stay the course? You’ve got to be kidding. This is America , not the damned ‘Titanic’. I’ll give you a sound bite: ‘Throw all the bums out!’

You might think I’m getting senile, that I’ve gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we’re fiddling in Iraq , the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving ‘pom -poms’ instead of asking hard questions. That’s not the promise of the ‘ America ‘ my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for.

I’ve had enough. How about you?

I’ll go a step further. You can’t call yourself a patriot if you’re not outraged. This is a fight I’m ready and willing to have. The Biggest ‘C’ is Crisis ! (Iacocca elaborates on nine Cs of leadership, crisis being the first.) Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It’s easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else’s kids off to war when you’ve never seen a battlefield yourself. It’s another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. A Hell of a Mess So here’s where we stand. We’re immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We’re running the biggest deficit in the history of the country.

We’re losing the manufacturing edge to Asia , while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you’ve got to ask:’Where have all the leaders gone?’ Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are thepeople of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get
the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We’ve spentbillions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm.

Everyone’s hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn’t happen again. Now, that’s just crazy.
Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure outwhat you’re going to do the next time.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when ‘The Big Three’
referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do about it?

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem.The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn’t elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bonehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break.

Why don’t you guys show some spine for a change? Had Enough?

Hey, I’m not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I’m trying to light a fire. I’m speaking out because I have hope I believe in America In my lifetime I’ve had the privilege of living through some
of America ‘s greatest moments. I’ve also experienced some of our worst crises: the ‘Great Depression’, ‘World War II’, the ‘Korean War’, the ‘Kennedy Assassination’, the ‘Vietnam War’, the 1970s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s this:

‘You don’t get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it’s building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play.
That’s the challenge I’m raising in this book. It’s a call to ‘Action’ for people who, like me, believe in America . It’s not too late, but it’s getting pretty close. So let’s shake off the crap and go to work.
Let’s tell ‘em all we’ve had ‘enough.’

Make your own contribution by sending this to everyone you know and care about. It’s our country, folks; and it’s our future. Our future is at stake.


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

ugmold 08.19.08 at 11:51 am

This is one of the guys that was bailed out by the tax payer to make himself look like he saved Chrysler.

He and his type are why the USA is the way it is now, go roll in your money pile you cunt.

Charrington 08.19.08 at 5:53 pm

Really what tax payer money ever went to him? I’d love to see that info.

nancy 10.22.08 at 8:44 am

I wish we had more people like him in congress. Chris Dodd should be looking at some jail time. I have been mad for a long time about things that have been happening in our country and have expressed these same views but we (USA) have to be so damn politically correct. How did Bill Ayers and his wife become professors – these people are teaching our children and shaping their minds. Greed on Wall Street – who else earns 500 million in bonuses. Wake up middle America and ask how the middle class are going to be able to send their kids to college because good paying jobs such as Ford, Chrysler, have all but shut down here. Who is left here to buy these 30-40,000 cars. It is going to take some one who is angry and experieced to bring this country back.

Duke 10.29.08 at 3:34 pm

Iacocca approached the United States Congress in 1979 and asked for a loan guarantee. While it is sometimes said that Congress lent Chrysler the money, it, in fact, only guaranteed the loans. Most thought this was an unprecedented move, but Iacocca pointed to the government bail-outs of the airline and railroad industries, arguing that more jobs were at stake in Chrysler’s possible demise. In the end, though the decision was controversial, Iacocca received the loan guarantee from the government.

Mr. Charrington 10.29.08 at 6:42 pm

Good post Duke. Did it really save the jobs in the end? And do you know if the loan was ever paid back? I mean did we get screwed?

Totty 12.18.08 at 3:47 pm
colleen clark 01.10.09 at 2:48 pm

The money was never given to Iacocca. It was a loan…and it was paid back.
He was a leader and lead his employees to victory. If you know know the history…you can thank your poor education of the rank left wing teachers who re-write history to dumb down our society. WE are in deep poop! And you need several leaders to help come up with some good ideas…instead of the leaders who say…we are going to live green now and thats what will change our lives..oh yeah…ever want to live in a third world???? well get ready! Thanks to our new change we voted for…the same old a.h. who put us there are back in control…and if you don’t know that then you’d better start looking up history on the internet cause your not gonna get educated in schools of today.

colleen clark 01.10.09 at 2:54 pm

if you don’t know the history…of Iacocca then you can thank your poor education because of the teacher’s with the goal to dumb down america…they are victorious…we have the dumbest generation coming up…they know how to run an ipod, text mess., utube…next to china and japan, India…our education stinks…thank the gov. and the teachers…NO LEADERS… most of the gov…we have are corrupt…I’m with Iacocca…fire em all! We don’t need them anyway!

colleen clark 01.10.09 at 3:25 pm

Think about this one.

The federal reserve is a “for profit” corporation, NOT A GOVERNMENT AGENCY like you might think.

Congress use to be in charge of how much money was printed and in cirulation was joverned by the gold standard.

Congress vote in 1913 for the Federal Reserve act…and that gave The Federal Reserve Bank the control over our money. Our money is “their” money not our money at all. And The Federal Reserve Corporation is in the BUSINESS TO MAKE A PROFIT… They print all this money and they have nothing to support it …then they want us to pay them back… I think NOT>.. They have chosen to print and distribute all this money to their “banker” corporation…not to help the American but to fill the pockets for the “FOR PROFIT BANKING INDUSTRIES”…. REALLY THE FEDERAL RESERVE CORPORATION IS NOT USING OUR MONEY…THEY PRINTED IT AND IT’S THEIR MONEY…THEFORE THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR LOSES…


Gerry 01.11.09 at 5:19 pm

I agree totally in regards to voting the bums out but the reason they stay in is that they are good for their state only. For the country they are pathetic. I have always said and still say that 99% of politicians give the rest a bad name. S-o-o-o! vote the bums out. A $4700 raise while everyone in the country has to tighten their belts. Give me a break.

iacoccaisadickhead 12.08.10 at 7:06 pm

how we have forgottten that it was iacocca that wanted to sell chrysler to the germans or japs? it was people like him that started “offshoring” american jobs! iacocca should be shot ! you want to get america back on track?! cut the military budget in half bring the troops home and use them to protect our borders,quit letting special intrest groups interfere with politics and put a chockhold on the media,free speech is one thing talking crap is another!

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