As we begin this New Year, what I hear from many friends is that the companies they are working for are filled with idiots. It’s funny but everybody thinks the other person is a moron and that includes financial planners who even criticize their colleagues. It’s as if there is only one smart person in the world and that is the one doing the talking.   So, maybe we should put government to work with something a little more interesting. How about if we tell Congress to consider new legislation to provide new benefits for many Americans. It would be called the AWNAA, which stands for the Americans With No Abilities Act. It would be hailed by millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition.   I can just see it now. A prominent senator will probably issue a statement to the effect that “Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society.” And then somebody from the House will concur with, “We can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group of workers, simply because they have some idea of what they are doing.”   Do you think that may help put an end to the grousing in this New Year?   In fact, under the AWNAA, more than 20 million “middle man” positions will be created, with important-sounding titles but with little real responsibility, thereby providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance.   Consider what will happen. Mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given to guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees. The legislation will provide, of course, substantial tax breaks to corporations that promote significant numbers of Persons of Inability into middle-management positions, and will give a tax credit to small and medium-sized businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires.   Finally, the AWNAA would contain tough measures to make it more difficult to discriminate against the non-abled, banning, for example, discriminatory interview questions such as, “Do you have any skills or experience which relate to this job?”   I spoke to one woman who said she lost her job as a lug-nut twister at a manufacturing plant in the mid-West because, “As a non-abled person, I can’t be expected to keep up with people who have something going for them. This new law should really help people like me.”   I can just see one prominent politician, say a Senator, or one running for President, to come out with the following statement:  “As a Senator with No Abilities, I believe the same privileges that elected officials enjoy ought to be extended to every American with no abilities. It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each and every American citizen, regardless of his or her inadequacy, with some sort of space to take up in this great nation.”   Just think of all the added work a financial planner will now have in preparing estate and retirement plans for this bunch?   You know, I think I need more sleep……

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