Monday, January 03, 2011

Bowles: 'Ain't nobody listening'

Former UNC President and Charlotte businessman Erskine Bowles marked his first day of retirement -- thought to be an exceedingly short retirement by those who know him well -- by speaking to hundreds of people at the 9th Annual Economic Forecast Forum sponsored by the North Carolina Chamber and the N.C. Bankers Association.

Bowles said new UNC President Tom Ross, former President of Davidson College, asked him recently what it was like to be president of the 17-campus UNC system.

Bowles said it was like being "CEO of a cemetery.... You've got lots of people beneath you, but ain't nobody listening."
Bowles can surely be forgiven the graveyard humor.  He has just finished months of work with former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming figuring out a plan for dealing with huge federal debt, and so far the plan has drawn a lot of detractors who seem more interested in preserving their turf and their entitlements than in dealing with what Bowles warned is a crippling burden -- a cancer that will "destroy our country from within."


John said...

If Bowles was serious about reducing debt he wouldn't be so bent on messing with SS which is not a driver of debt in this country. But he isn't really. He is really only worried about making sure the old money like his gets theirs. "The president's deficit-commission report, scheduled for a vote by the full panel on Friday, proposes to slash tax rates for corporations and for high earners."

Oh yeah he is real worried about that cancer eating away at this country. So he's all for a tax cuts that will put a huge hole in the budget for peopel that already have had it all handed to them while the middle class continues to shrink. What a joke

Rita Bumgarner Kenion said...

If someone with more modest income, and not married to a millionheiress, told us what to do about the national debt, more of us might listen. Likewise with a state university. Duke alums would be more favorably impressed. I loved your mother-in-law and your Dad, though.

Anonymous said...

Jack, just like Leo Jenkins and Bill Friday.

Anonymous said...

12:06am on Thursday and no comments. I guess that confirms your diagnosis.

"nobody listening to Erskine."

What a shame.

Anonymous said...

Having lived in Charlotte for the last 20 years of the 20th Century, I always found Erskine Bowles to be one of the most serious, knowledgeable and brilliant Democrats around. His service as co-chairman with Sen. Alan Simpson of the Debt Commission was a service to all of us. His "ain't nobody listening" metaphor is as applicable to the past Congress as to the members of the North Carolina University system.
Joe M.
PS: Being a Republican let me advise my Republican friends in North Carolina, watch out, if Erskine Bowles becomes a political candidate again, you better find a super start to run against him or he will run over you this time.

Anonymous said...

Just like the snooty Bowles to consider everyone else "beneath" him.

Anonymous said...

'Ain't nobody listening'
Not to him they're not.