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A tale of two brothers

September 27, 2012
The Journal

To the editor:

The Republican rhetoric of the last six months makes me think of a story of two brothers who inherited a good business from their father. One of the brothers had twin sons. The business looked very good when the twins graduated from high school, so their father said, "With our family's half of the assets and profits from our business, we will be able to send you to college, and when you graduate with degrees in management, we will set you up with branch offices in nearby cities."

But when the day arrived for them to pay their first semester's tuition, the twins and their father discovered to their horror that their books had been cooked. With reckless disregard for the rules of good business and risk management, the uncle had frittered away much of the company's assets, and falsified records to hide his folly. The twins set aside plans for their education. They and their father tore desperately into keeping the business from total bankruptcy, knowing that others in the community depended on them, and that their failure would cause others to fail. Working tirelessly for 18 hours a day for over three years, they pulled the company back from the brink, and laid the foundation for a good future.

About then the reckless uncle came to the twins and said, "I think we should fire your father as president of the company. After all, didn't he once promise you that he would send you to college, and finance your new branches of the business? Well, he has had enough time, and are you any better off than you were three years ago? Obviously, he is incompetent. He has been a bad president. He is not a man of his word, and not worthy to be our CEO any longer. We should replace him-with me."

Henk Exoo

New Ulm



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