Saturday, January 29, 2022 Jan 29, 2022
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Cover Story

Phil Gramm Was Right

Bellyaching has become one of our defining characteristics.
By  |

It happened very quickly—and very predictably.

A top aide to a presidential candidate said something controversial. There was an awkward period of “clarification.” Then the aide quietly stepped down.

The instance I’m referring to involved ex-Texas Sen. Phil Gramm, now the former co-chairman of John McCain’s presidential campaign.

As everyone and his dog probably knows by now, Gramm was driven from the GOP candidate’s inner circle after saying something politically incorrect to The Washington Times. America has become a nation of “whiners,” Gramm told the paper, adding that our current economic woes are largely psychological.

But, hey, you know something? The old free-market advocate from Texas A&M was largely right.

Now, before you pull out your .38 and start searching for my address, I’m not discounting the anxiety that many are feeling these days. High gas and grocery prices, not to mention trouble in the housing market, have surely taken a toll.

I’ll even concede we might be in a recession—even though our Gross Domestic Product continued to grow, if only a little, in the last measurable quarter. (And, ahem, our Texas economy added a whopping 47,000 jobs in July.)

But, here’s a major news flash: Economies go through cycles. Nationally, we’re in a down period just now. Things eventually will turn back up.

That’s easy to forget, when every scrap of negative economic news is trumpeted by the mainstream news media, liberal bloggers, and, most importantly, candidates for elective office. The lousier the economy seems, the more glittering the latter appear—White Knights with solutions for everything that ails us.

Meantime, too many of us have bought into the game, becoming, yes, a bunch of crybabies in the process.

The plain fact is that, even with our current challenges, Americans enjoy a remarkably high standard of living, with boundless resources and an ingenious system that billions who came before us never even dared to imagine. And, our current “woes” are nothing compared to the hardships faced by the Greatest Generation.

So, here’s a message for everybody who keeps bleating about gas prices or the cost of carrots: Suck it up, and get over yourself.


Careful readers of D CEO will notice that, beginning this month, we’ve tweaked our format a bit.

The changes mainly involve consolidating our old Prospectus and Indulgences sections into a new, more lively section that we’ve named The Ticker.

We’ve also spiffed-up some of our standing art elements, and added a column of colorful quotations (Closing Quotes).

The changes are aimed at making it easier and more pleasurable for you to read about—and, ultimately, network with—your fellow members of DFW’s C-suite community. Please drop me a line at [email protected] and let me know if we’ve succeeded.