Friday, January 23, 2009

What happens when you are completely out of touch

John Thain former CEO of Merrill Lynch spent over a million dollars decorating his office as employees were being laid off and the company was facing billion dollar losses. In addition he paid out 3-4 Billion in bonuses on Dec. 29 just prior to Merrill Lynch's takeover by Bank of America, forcing the bank to request an additional 20 Billion in federal bailout money.

People spend years in jail for shop-lifting at Walmart, but the theft of billions from the American taxpayer will likely go unpunished.

Is it clear to my readers that having no grasp of reality is commonly explained in terms of the hand? Out of touch!

Educational Sloyd had as one of its main objectives, the shaping of the child's personal integrity and character so that he or she might become a constructive member of society. There are important values to be learned and discovered through creative craftsmanship. Even the children of the rich and famous can learn important lessons from working with their hands in the service of others, so sloyd was proposed as a component of every child's education. Sloyd was a popular method in the early days of the 1900's, so its demise left plenty of time to develop selfish idiocy in the top tiers of American business, and the dramatic decline in the American economy is the direct result.

Take the hands out of learning, remove skill and craftsmanship from schooling, ignore the cultivation of essential human values, leaving the kids out of touch, and guess what you get?

In the meantime we do need to have children engaged in hands-on learning, so they, unlike the current crop of Wall Street CEOs will not be so far out of touch.

Ironically, John Thain was the one in the news earlier in the year for proposing to the Merrill Lynch board that they award him with his own 10 Million dollar bonus. The board balked. He was shamed and withdrew his request. Now for him to have passed out 3-4 Billion in bonuses to staff that could only have come through federal bailout money should be cause for investigation, and hopefully prosecution. Whether John Thain consciously sought the position of poster boy for the greed and arrogance hall of fame or not, it seems he is running neck and neck with Ponzi artist Bernie Madoff as this year's leading nominee.

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