April 22, 2022 • By Dennis Beaver
“The war that the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler unleashed on the citizens of Ukraine was predictable, and the political elements that made it possible have been brewing for decades,” observes Dr. David D. Schein, an attorney and Professor at the Cameron School of Business of the University of St. Thomas in Houston.
“We – The United States of America and the West – have played a significant role in making Putin’s genocidal war possible,” Schein maintains, adding, “and the West sent him the ‘All Clear’ message when he annexed Crimea in 2014. But that’s not the first time we – America – had the chance to stop a tyrant in his tracks and failed.”
His first book, The Decline of America: 100 Years of Leadership Failures (2018), revealed the stunning errors shown by many of our Presidents that had a profound impact on history, “frequently showing the United States to be weak. For example, no one can forget the pitiful way Jimmy Carter allowed 52 American diplomats to be held captive for 444 days and tortured by religious extremists in Iran.
“Our military advocated for an ultimatum: Release the Americans within 24 hours or face the destruction of one of your cities. Carter wimped out.”
His just-published, tremendously well documented new book, Bad Deal for America, shows how politicians are, in effect, “living in a casino” where the chips they play with are paid for by us, through our tax dollars. He shines a brilliant spotlight on games U.S. politicians are playing with our money in a political system that is broken.
With each page Schein gives us insight into why things don’t just seem bad, but are more dysfunctional – dangerously so – than we usually hear discussed.
When I read Bad Deal for America – already a best seller – one word came to mind: kleptocracy. This is a government by those who seek status and personal gain at the expense of the governed.
Think of it as government of thieves whose purpose in life is to remain in power. Like a bloodhound, Schein follows the money – shows us personal financial statements – and we see how some of the most visible names in politics live lavish lives but pass themselves off as humble public servants.
“This isn’t what our Founding Fathers had in mind,” Schein said during our interview.
“The people who established our nation would turn over in their graves if they saw how Job Number One for most of our representatives is to keep themselves in office, not serve the public who elected them.”
An Important Read at this Stage of our History
I asked why he wrote Bad Deal for America, and why he feels it is such an important read at this stage of our history. He listed these reasons:
1) We need to return to citizen legislators. Our elected officials should go to Washington for brief periods of time, and then come home and live under the laws they created.
2) We need to break the power of lobbyists in Washington. Stop the revolving door.
3) We do not need to increase the salaries of people in Washington. It has been proven they can live in their districts, use Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, etc., and when their presence is required in Washington, to only go for as brief a period as possible.
4) We need to reform the system of seniority. It is just a bad system. Putting someone in charge simply because they have played the Washington game longer – not because they are experts on a subject or better qualified – is just plain dumb!
A Perfect Play Book for Disaster
As a lawyer who represents business interests, Schein points to “direct parallels to the horrible events in Ukraine and the business world that can be summarized with these few words: ‘Fail to deal with a bully and your cowardice will pay dividends in money and blood.’
“When good people permit evil to thrive, bad things happen. But when challenged, and put in their place, business thrives and the world is a safer place,” he points out, citing Germany just prior to World War II.
“Years before Hitler waged war on Europe, it was clear that Germany had violated terms of the Versailles peace treaty and other agreements limiting the size of its armed forces. Historians have documented that action taken then would have stopped his war machine from ever seeing the light of day.
“But European leaders allowed Hitler to chew off a large piece of real estate, claiming that Germany needed ‘Lebensraum,’ space to grow.”
In the business world, “A competitor or former employee steals formulas or lists of customers, and when becoming aware of the thefts or lost business, typically a company will have its lawyers issue a Cease and Desist letter that says, “Cut it out or we will file suit!”
And if they continue?
“You’ve got to go to court, request an injunction to prohibit the former employee from working for that company – enforcing your non-compete agreement which I hope you had in place – or the continued use of stolen customer information. But you’ve got to move now, not months from now, he underscores.
“Sadly, as Ukraine crumbles, once again the West can award itself an Emmy for ‘cowardice where action was needed.’”
Once you start reading Schein’s book, you will not put it down.
Dennis Beaver practices law in Bakersfield and enjoys hearing from his readers. Contact Dennis Beaver.