Thursday, August 9, 2012

Quote of the Week - Age of Cheating

Rick Karlgaard, writing in Forbes about cheating in sports, extends his analysis to the effects on larger society. He is spot on in both:
Cheating in sports is but a single facet of the cheating that’s rampant today in everything from education to finance to government. The financial meltdown of 2008 was a bonfire of bad behavior on all sides. Fannie Mae is built on the lie that every American is capable of paying a mortgage. Mortgage lenders steered victims into loans they could never pay. But the victims were not all innocent. Many lied on loan applications, claiming incomes they never had.

President Obama wrote a biography based on fabrications, which he admitted to this year. The oddest of those lies concern the “girlfriend” he now says was a “compression” of real people. Even small lies reveal character.

Somehow, it is now considered rude to point out this lying and cheating in polite company. You will be called a racist and worse for saying that maybe even the borrowers bad behavior had a hand in the financial meltdown, or that Obama's is less than forthcoming about his true record.

As our friend KT and Left Coast Rebel have pointed out, it is the culture that precedes the economy.


  1. Obama wrote in the forward of the first edition that some characters were composites.

  2. To be fair, here is what is written in the introduction from "Dreams from My Father" (the 2004 paperback edition):
    "For the sake of compression, some of the characters that appear are composites of people I've known, and some events appear out of precise chronology. With the exception of my family and a handful of public figures, the names of most characters have been changed for the sake of their privacy."
    However, it is my editorial judgement that the amount composition might be considered excessive for an autobiography, which is what Barack Obama characterizes this book.