Djcnor’s Weblog

Economic Recovery: Twelve Steps

Posted on: January 25, 2009

When Obama announced that he was setting up a website to be transparent about the economic recovery program and it was going to be

it occurred to me that more than one person might type in that address expecting to find information on 12-step groups. I called on a good friend of mine (who of course will remain anonymous) to write an appropriate set of 12 steps for the kind of website it will actually be. Here they are:

1. We admitted we were powerless over our insolvency, wars, healthcare, and unemployment, and that our lives had become unmanageable.

Ouch! It seems the whole world might find it necessary to pledge that first step.

2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

A power named Obama. But Obama would probably throw it right back at us and say that the power is greater than ourselves by only other person, a person name Obama, but really no more powerful than any other person among us.

3. We made a decision to turn our unmanageable problems over to the care of Obama as we understand Obama.

Seems we’d like to understand him as promising to take care of it all on his own, but he seems to be intent on making sure we understand Obama as he really us. Luckily, he’d pretty dang good at making himself understood.

4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of the United States.

I don’t think there’s anyone who would deny that such an inventory is desperately needed. Thankfully, Obama took the lead on this in his inaugural address. Bush even looked a bit uncomfortable.

5. We admitted to  Obama, to our fellow Americans, and to the world the exact nature of our wrongs.

Whew! That’s a hard one. I have to admit that I really doubt many Americans are capable of this one. Not now. But some day in the future we will. In the end, we always do.

6. We were entirely ready to have Obama remove all these defects from America.

Are we? Should we be? You’ll hear me praise Scandanavia several times if you stick around this blog. It started when I lived in Copenhagen for three months and saw how well organized their society, how sensible and and how reasonable financially their solutions to problems we keep struggling unsuscessfully with were because we have a kneejerk reaction against socialism even if it works really well for the people. Still, it hit me as almost too civilized for American taste. Even I am chafed by being wrapped up in cotton wool. (That’s cotton balls to Americans.)

7. We humbly asked Obama to remove these defects.

Humbly? I’m agin’ it! But if we did, he’d say “If I construct you the tools, won’t you please agree to do it yourself?”

8. We made a list of all Americans, Iraqis, and other peoples of the earth that we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

Maybe around Christmas time? Doesn’t being American mean never having to say you’re sorry? Well, I’ve been telling the world I’m sorry about Bush for the last 8 years, but I don’t think I’m up to the full quantity of amends the world is owed.

9. We made direct amends to all these people, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Well, that is the correct way to do it.

10. We continued to take inventory of America, and when we were wrong, we promptly admitted it.

Oh, you can bet there are those who will be taking the inventory of whatever type of America Obama manages to build. However, if given a chance, I bet he would be a lot more willing than Bush to admit his mistakes.

11. We sought, through websites and letters and protests to improve our conscious contact with Obama as we understand Obama, asking only for the knowledge of his will for America and the power to carry that out.

LOL! Sure. Right. The first part, sure, but that last part? Not bloody likely!

12. Having had a spiritual awakening regarding the challenges and extreme difficulties facing America, as a result of these steps we tried to carry that message to other Americans and to other countries and people at risk, and to practice these principles in all of America’s affairs.

All too likely……unfortunately. Whenever the US does something right for itself, it always immediate and wrongly jumps to the conclusion that what is right for the US is right for everyone else in the world. It isn’t.


3 Responses to "Economic Recovery: Twelve Steps"

Hi, Sandy here – I got your note. First, I’m probably not the best person to look at this particular piece. I really DISLIKE Bush, but I spent some time in the USSR in the 80’s, saw Communism up close and personal, and what I saw was so abhorrent I want to pick up a gun at the hint of the mention of the name. This said: I like your idea. The concept of a12 stepper is a great framework. You get off to good start in 1. I think from there on a lot depends on your intent. If you’re appealing to folks LOC I think they’ll appreciate it. ROC folks won’t. I aspire to write to a broad audience and this necessitates avoiding factionizing humor. If you’ll look at SandySays I’m the butt of most Sandy’s sharp tongue.
PS – I was the world wide customer service mgr. for a 500 company- spent lots of time with SAS in Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm they are great places, love the folks there. In my travels I visited over 80 countries so I’ve seen the differences. I agree with you one of our nations failings (and the rest of the worlds humans) is that we believe “we’re right” and the rest of the world should comply. It shouldn’t and won’t. There 2 more items I find equally important. If a person percieves theirself as your enemy you can’t “love them into agreement” They see weakness not compassion. And while most of the world would like to beilieve “We’re all the same” we are not. If that were true we could all adopt a leader countries ideology. Sorry for providing too much info but hope it helps.

Oh, that’s OK. I saw the remains of communism living in Poland in 1995-6. I thought the extensive networks of support that everyone developed, the preservation of traditional skills and knowledge, and the almost total lack of waste coupled with the ability to keep things functioning for decades went a long way towards redeeming communism. There were aspects of their society directly tied to their years under communism that were very positive and that western societies were losing.

I don’t try to appeal to any side or viewpoint, though I freely admit to being a left winger myself. I just say what I think and often why I think it, and let it go at that.

Thanks for commenting. No, you can’t love your enemy into agreeing with you, but I would say you can love your enemy into accepting a permanent disagreement as tolerable. And , no, we’re not all the same, which is why Americans should long since have taken up learning extra languages and traveling the world as Australians have.


Good. No two thinking people view events, situations, systems, etc. the identical way. Two thinking people can discuss and appreciate the others viewpoint, as I do yours. I like your posts and will continue to stop by- hope you’ll do the same. I admire talent.
again PS- Your point about language is so true. The problem we face – which ones. I’ve long believed that many differences spawn from our world’s inability to communicate (just basically, not technically – the first facilitates the second) If there was a single project the UN could fruitfully expend effort on it would be development of a 2000 word universal “2nd” language. Unfortunately, just selecting an existing one won’t work. Ego interferes, just ask the French.

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