“It’s the economy stupid” — wasn’t that Bill Clinton’s campaign mantra ?
That’s what I wish the Obama administration would adopt. If it could get the economy moving then it could assure itself that it will be around for a second term and health care would take care of itself (almost).
We’ll get universal health care when and if the public really wants it. The public at large must be somewhat ambivalent about it right now. They need work to either buy their own insurance or get it through their job or even to pay taxes for government-sponsored health insurance.
People need jobs, and government, particularly at the state and local level, needs revenue, revenue that can only come from a robust economy.
Free enterprise is great, but it needs a jump start from government now.
And we need to rebuild our industrial base and not waste time about it.
Yes the learned will point to history and say that protectionism is bad — it exacerbated (or even helped cause) the Great Depression.
But right about now we need to do something to strengthen our industry and protect it from cheap imports and protect our workers from going the way of those in third world countries. We don’t want to go back to slave labor.
Ironically as hopefully what is left of our domestic auto industry may be turning back towards the idea of quality and value and hopefully (I don’t know) moving somewhat away from planned obsolescence, Toyota of Japan has shot itself in the foot by adopting the more aggressive, quality and safety be damned attitude which helped bring down the American auto industry. Well at least this might give the domestic auto makers a chance to catch up and surpass the imports.
The federal government needs to offer major incentives to domestic industry, and I mean industry not only located here but run by Americans, not foreign entities.
And the government needs to discourage and penalize domestic industry that moves its production across our borders and overseas and then imports the goods back here to sell.
We don’t want to get carried away and cut off all trade. We need imports so we can match them with exports. We need to be competitive on the world market by specializing in quality. But part of being competitive is allowing ourselves to play on a even playing field and not let other countries dump products on us that result from unfair price supports from their own countries. These world trade agreements have to work both ways.
Our own society has to rediscover hard work and real labor and realize that unrealistic demands by labor only hurt everyone.
And our capitalists need to rediscover something called patriotism and put their own nation who they owe their own comfort and protection from the evil forces of the world to first.
Levi Jeans are as American as apple pie, but years ago their production was moved across the border. Justin cowboy boots have not been made in America for a long time either. Just two examples of capitalism being unpatriotic.
Budweiser beer isn’t even owned by Americans anymore, and ironically uses the slogan now: “America’s beer” or something like that.
Personally I prefer Sierra Nevada, brewed in Chico, Ca, (please don’t sell off to a conglomerate and please not a foreign conglomerate).
I say to the president and congress — quit spinning your wheels and politicking on health care (important as it is!), and get America moving again. Both the right and left may need to compromise on this one, but unless something is done we are destined to be a third world nation by the time our children or grandchildren are adults.
Possibly one of the symptoms of our malaise is the disappearance of morals and civility. Mass marketing seems to thrive on immorality and even uncivil behavior. I don’t really know why.
Perhaps we’ve had the bread and circuses presented to us too long.