I am attending a “going away” luncheon today that is quite bittersweet. It’s for a bright energetic young man who came to America as a land of opportunity, and found it to be severely lacking. In fact, he is now deciding to emigrate to Asia where there truly is opportunity.
My friend came to the US from Poland with the equivalent of an MBA from a Polish university. His English was pretty strong and he worked on a contract basis for us frequently during his stay here. Very bright and able to teach himself skills, especially online design skills, he would have been a great full time employee. In fact, we tried to help him through the immigration process and paid for an attorney to assist us. But it was to no avail. The system is broken. No claims are being processed unless you work for a large company who can somehow grease the wheels.
I will never forget his excitement when he sat in on our staff meeting, generally done via conference call and gleefully said, “My first conference call!” at the end. He thought his business career was zooming.
But a floundering economy and a broken immigration system is forcing him to return for awhile to Poland…..and then to new opportunities. Those that no longer exist here in the land of the free and unemployed.
Our ongoing research with investors reflects similar pessimism and frustration. Stuck now in the neutral to bearish mode since 2008, our investor confidence indices are no longer confident. Focus group and quantitative research both indicate that three quarters of investors no longer believe the future will be better for their children and grandchildren.
And our Super Committee wasn’t so Super, was it? If those individuals worked in my corporation and couldn’t solve a problem after 4 months…I would fire them. Why can’t we fire these incompetent statesmen?
I want my children to grow up in the Land of Opportunity. I am embarrassed that my country let my Polish friend down. What can we do to change this?
Catherine S. McBreen is President of Millionaire Corner. McBreen plans and develops content for Millionaire Corner. Catherine balances editorial content to meet the informational needs of both new and seasoned investors. She designs special monthly surveys on topical issues affecting the economic environment.
McBreen has a B.S. in speech communications from Northwestern University and a J.D. from DePail University College of Law. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Well-known for her expertise in the affluent and retirement arenas, McBreen is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. She has been quoted widely by the financial media, including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Research, Private Asset Management, On Wall Street, Reuters, Bloomberg News, The Dow Jones Newswires and Worth. Cathy has appeared as a guest on CNBC Closing Bell, First Business Morning News, Neal Cavuto at Fox Business News, ABC and CBS radio.
McBreen is co-author with Spectrem President George H. Walper, Jr. of the book "Get Rich, Stay Rich, Pass It On: The Wealth-Accumulation Secrets of America's Richest Families" (Portfolio, January 2008)
Catherine is the mother of four and is involved in many school and community events.