President Obama was inaugurated yesterday. I caught the highlights and sound bytes on television last night and this morning.
Much of the discussion was about whether the president can be successful at facilitating agreement between the warring political factions. It is common to believe that our government in Washington is dysfunctional. And, because of that dysfunction, we may be in difficulty as a society as we proceed.
While I won’t be so simple as to tell you that government doesn’t matter, I do want to share a quote from Warren Buffett, a legendary investor, one of the richest men in the world and a wise man. I heard it this weekend.
“What is right with America is so much greater than what is wrong in Washington.”
I wish I had thought of it but it resonated with me. When it comes to the future of our business and the decisions that are made about it, very little of that is impacted by what our government says or does.
To be sure, the more taxes we pay, the less we have to invest.
But, for the most part, how well we do as a company is well within our reach.
Buffett’s point is this. Despite what might be going on in Washington, there are still people out there trying to invent something new. There are people out there making something for someone else to buy. There are people out there getting the best education that’s available so they can live a better life. There are people out there who choose to focus on the freedom to do anything in America that is within reach and to excel and succeed despite the shortcomings and ineffectiveness of government.
When I heard Buffett say, “What’s right with America is much greater,” I found myself reacting with a surge of hope. I knew he was right. I am grateful that we are where we are. I am grateful to be on your team. I have a great deal of confidence that we exhibit every day at PalletOne the things that are right with America.