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From Winstonia's shores, thanks to the broad reach of our satellites, I see that Election Day is here at last for Americans. By the time America reads this, its citizens might already have cast their votes, many no doubt hoping that would end the cacophony of the candidates, the near ceaseless barrage of campaign noise, mudslinging, sleaze and punditry that accompanies elections in the United States.
Even my e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, has been receiving messages almost daily from candidates in the U.S. House and Senate races and from their political parties, with increasingly shrill messages about the end of life as we know it if the other team is elected. I figure about half of these are phishing expeditions by clever hackers hoping I will open my wallet and pledge my credit limit to the cause. The other remainders are fishing expeditions by political parties hoping I will open my wallet and pledge my credit limit to the cause. My wallet remains closed.
Even the candidates appear to suspect that much of the populace has grown weary of the endless catfighting between the parties. Now, when watching political ads on U.S. television I have to squint at the fine print in the last 0.5 seconds of an ad to see if a candidate is a Democrat or a Republican, since candidates from both parties are studiously avoiding such angst-ridden labels and emphasizing their "independence."
Of course, very important business issues could well be decided by these elections, such as Eliot Spitzer's to do list, whether the federal government opts to partly finance terrorism insurance, or foot the entire bill after an attack, and whether bacon cheeseburgers become the next mass tort.
It must be frustrating for U.S. businesses to have their fortunes dictated by the votes of people halfway across the country with whom they have no relationship, or whose political leanings can be swayed overnight by John Kerry's bloopers or what comes out of Rush Limbaugh's mouth.
How much simpler running a business would be in a place where, with a little grease on the palm, virtually anything a company desires is in reach--a place like Winstonia.
Winstonia, as any school child can tell you, is a benevolent dictatorship nestled in the wilds of Illinois. As such, our government is blissfully free from the hysteria caused by campaigning politicians, influence peddlers and Jon Stewart. Our tiny nation exists for one purpose: To make money for us both.
You want tort reform? Just ask (and please refer to the handy fee schedule that accompanied your incorporation papers). Tax-free catastrophe reserves? No problem (if the aforementioned fees are current). To do away with quarterly earnings reports? That's a big yes (as long as your quarterly deposits are maintained). Back-date your stock options? You'll find that the rules of the Winstonia Department of Securities are quite enlightened on this subject (for the proper percentage).
There's really only one thing that Winstonia frowns on, only we can't remember what it is at the moment. Oh yeah: a free and meddlesome electorate.
Risk Manager of the Year
Did you know that there is only a little more than a month to nominate someone for the 2007 Risk Manager of the Year?
This is your chance to tell us about a boss, a colleague or a client who should be recognized for their outstanding work as a risk manager. The nominating process has been revised this year to make it easier to nominate worthy individuals.
Please visit www.businessinsurance.com/RMOY to download a simple nominating form and tell us about a worthy individual who is a credit to the profession.