Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Peter Schiff, with all due respect…

Peter Schiff, a very successful American businessman, author and financial commentator, has spot on advice on the hard things this nation must do to revive our economy.  But he loses me and I’ll bet he loses many others with his crass approach to promoting his message.
Schiff relies on the harsh, attention grabbing phrase “…how to profit from the coming economic collapse” in his 2009 book,  Crash Proof: How to Profit From the Coming Economic Collapse.
I understand that giving advice is this man’s bread and butter, but aren’t there better ways to verbalize how to do it?  This title is in the same category as an advisor telling us “how to profit from your neighbor’s heart attack.”  Profiting from the failure and hardship of others may be a by-product of the capitalist system, but it is not a by-product that should be used to promote or shore up the capitalist system or fatten your wallet.  That title spoils the pot for a lot of people who really do need to be attracted to his message.
While we don’t have Saint Schiff in our midst, he has toned down the unbridled greed motivation of Crash Proof in the title of his current book with a less selfishly opportunistic sounding:  How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes.
I, a tiny fraction as successful as Peter is financially, nonetheless, with all due respect, have this word of wisdom to offer the man:
Peter:  For someone whose primary mission in life is to promote the capitalist system so it can make money for yourself and others, why do you write a book with a title that oozes with unbridled greed to the extent that it makes you sound like Satan Personified and that makes the capitalist idea seem like the spawn of Satan?  “How to profit from the coming economic collapse” sounds like instructions on how to line up at Walmart at 5 in the morning to trample your neighbor to death to get to the 30% mark down.  Capitalism doesn’t need and does not benefit by that kind of publicity.   How about using some of your gifted skills of self expression to represent capitalism in ways that will attract a wider audience?  You can do it, and you KNOW we need it.
On the other hand, Schiff does have accurate and valuable insight into the economic, fiscal, and behavioral problems this nation faces.  I agree with his concerns as well as his advice on how to avoid the worst problems, and agree with him that neither the politicians nor the electorate are willing to take the necessary and painful steps to avoid these worst problems.
Take a few moments and view several Schiff videos on the Peter Schiff Blog HERE.

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