Recently I've been enjoying T. Boone Pickens' new book, The First Billion Is the Hardest. One part that stood out to me during my post-Hurricane-Ike-reading was Pickens' description of shareholders in 1980's: "It was averaged that approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population owned shares in corporations. They had an average age of 44, a yearly household income of $37,000, and a stock portfolio of $6,000." - Pickens, p. 40 Realizing that this group was largely unrepresented and not particularly wealthy, Pickens decided to take a stand in the summer of 1986. He launched the United Shareholders Association (USA), a national lobbying group dedicated to giving American shareholders a platform and a voice. Pickens shares in his book how many companies in the '80s expected their members to ante up, even when the CEOs and presidents themselves didn't have enough faith to hold large shares. By 1993, USA had attracted 65,000 members, scored a number of major victories and spaked a national dialogue on corporate governance issues. By 1993, the Association had completed its mission: to change corporate culture so that shareholder concerns were more integrated into business decision and planning. So with the mission accomplished, they shut down USA. And a new "Booneism" was coined: The higher a monkey climbs a tree, the more people can see his ass.