Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to the discussion thread for another blog entry at this site:
“What do you propose that I do, keep my mouth shut about the corruption that I have uncovered?”
If you have proof of illegality, you tell the proper authorities. If they fail to act, you move on with your life. It’s the “moving on” part that you can’t seem to grasp.
What you’re doing is revving and rocking the family car to get out of a snowbank, long after it’s obvious you are stuck. You could listen to your wife and call a tow truck. Instead, you stubbornly insist on ruining the tires and burning out the transmission.
I’ve notified the proper authorities and they have not acted, Anonymous.
You say that I should “move in with my life.” In the event that the last 35 years of peer-reviewed research is legitimate, the failure of the authorities to act is going to put us in the Second Great Depression. It would be fair to say that there are a lot of good and smart people who have managed to rationalize “moving on,” as you put it. I cannot. I love my country. I care about my fellow community members. I cannot go there.
I can wish you all the best if that helps at all. I can wish the best to all of those who know that Buy-and-Hold is a big pile of smelly garbage but who have rationalized not speaking up. That’s as far I can go. I like those people, I respect those people, I sympathize with the plight in which those people find themselves. I like you Goons. So all of that is on the right side of the line, so far as I am concerned.
But, no, I cannot “move on” and thereby fail to speak up about the biggest act of financial fraud in the history of the United States. Not when it is in the process of bringing on the Second Great Depression. My mother lived through the First Great Depression and told me stories about what that meant for her. I don’t want my boys to live through something like that. I dare say that you wouldn’t want your children or your neighbors’ children to live through something like that if you were capable of overcoming your cognitive dissonance and seeing that it was the Buy-and-Hold “idea” that caused the First Great Depression and that is in the process of bringing on the Second Great Depression. I believe that there will come a time when you will come to see that we have never been as far apart re these matters as you have long believed or at least pretended to believe we were.
If you see a child trapped in a burning building and you are afraid that you might burn to death yourself if you try to help, do you “move on”? I would call the proper authorities, as I did in this case. What if the proper authorities do not arrive on the scene until you realize that you are the only one in a position to save the life of the child? What do you do then?
I am not telling you what to do, Anonymous. I am not even saying that I would certainly run into a burning building to save the life of a child if I was the only one who could help him or her. I like to think that I would. But I am not sure that it is a good idea to make flat statements about such a thing until one has been put to the test.
I think that there are times when one has to put one’s self at risk. I can say that much. There are times when a person has to run into a burning building to save a child. There are times when a person has to speak up for civil rights even though he knows that it may get him killed. There are times when a person has to run in front of enemy fire to save the lives of the rest of the guys in one’s unit. There are times when a person has to block home plate knowing that it may cause a concussion because the World Series is on the line and it is up to you to take a stand no matter what the consequences.
You have to live your life and I have to live mine. I love my wife and I am going to help her out in any way possible. God didn’t make me to protect home plate or to speak out in favor if civil rights at a time when it was hard to do that. God made me to be the one who worked up the courage to challenge John Greaney’s safe withdrawal rate claims at the old Motley Fool board and then to follow the story of where that led us all wherever the story went. That’s my job.
Life is sad.
Life is a bust.
All you can do
Is to do what you must.
You do what you must do
And you do it well.
That’s me. That’s why I do what I do. I don’t have a choice. I love my country. I care for my fellow community members. I do what I must do given what follows from that.
I always will. It would be cruel of me to suggest that there is anything more than a zero chance that that could ever change.
If my wife ends up destitute, that would make me very sad. But not as sad as it would make me if she learned that the man she married was capable of selling out his country to turn a quick, smelly buck telling more Buy-and-Hold Lies. God has a plan for my wife, you know? He gave her a good husband (as he gave me a good wife). He has a plan and he will take care of her in some way that perhaps neither you nor I can imagine today. Perhaps my boy will take over the site when he finishes college and he will make millions and he will take care of his mom and his decrepit old dad just fine.
We’ll see. Time will tell the tale.
My job is to do what I must do and to do it well. That’s my plan. That’s my intent. That’s my strategy. That’s what I get excited about each morning when I hop out of bed and fire up the old MacBook Pro. That’s what it is all about for me. You do your Goon stuff, I do that. We are different in many ways but alike in that we both do what we rightly or wrongly feel a need to do. Fair enough, old friend?
I think things will work out. I think that it will all turn out 50 times better than any of us can imagine today. I think that Jack Bogle and I will be working together and will be famous friends following the next price crash. The stuff that people learn then will take his reputation to places it has never been taken before and he will look back and wonder why he ever got involved with the sorts of individuals who are capable of putting up posts in “defense” of Mel Lindauer and John Greaney. We will all meet to have a nice cold one and to laugh about the craziness of the first 14 years of The Great Debate. Anonymous is invited. Greaney is invited. Lindauer is invited. It will be a happening.
Let’s wait and see what happens following the next crash before making any rash decisions to “move on” and thereby leave you Goons to even LONGER prison sentences, okay? A true friend doesn’t let his friends arrange even longer prison sentences for themselves. It’s just not done.
My sincere take.