We need different thinking for the presidency and quiet but firm resolve in foreign policy…

February 8, 2015

It seems the Republican Party might have the best chance to win the 2016 election if for no other reason than the electorate might feel it’s just time for a change of parties. That certainly was the case in the congressional elections.

But a self-described right-wing but decidedly non-Rush Limburger Cheese-like radio talker I often listen to seems to be in a quandary. He thinks Obama is ruining the country but at the same time he thinks the economy is really doing well. And while he spends a lot of time promoting the idea of putting a Republican in the White House to improve the economy, among other things, when confronted with the fact a Democrat has been in there for going on two terms and the economy is improving he shifts to the notion, well the president really has no effect anyway.

Kind of like the blowhards who talk politics and run down one side and then when confronted with the fact that their guy did the same thing or worse says: “Oh I don’t care; they’re all a bunch of liars and crooks anyway.”

(But I don’t mean the talk show host is a blowhard. Actually he comes across as intelligent and quite level headed and certainly not bombastic.)

That aside, we need some new thinking and a new approach.

Yeah, I think often economics just happens and it runs in cycles — boom and bust. But of course the government sets policies that certainly have an effect good and bad — and I think that talk show host was saying much the same thing. We can agree on that.

One problem in these economic reports, besides the fact I and most people don’t totally understand them, is that what is good for one sector is not necessarily good for another. What is good for business is not necessarily good for workers. What is good for big business is not always good for small business. What is good for energy producers is not always good for other producers. You get the picture I’m sure.

But a big problem is that we are in a major social transition. Kind of like the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century — I guess this is the post industrial revolution (although we have to have industry, so I don’t know how to square all that).

The whole way we do business and produce products and distribute wealth is going through a radical change (and I am not referring to the notion of redistribution of wealth, although our long-standing tax policies are just that).

Yeah, I wouldn’t mind going back to what seemed a simpler place and time, but we are not going to. And besides in that simpler place in time I had a heck of a time finding work. The good old days in some ways are only the good old days in memory.

But we need a restructuring in lifestyle and education and future job training. If we don’t restructure we will devolve into chaos.

President Obama has proposed free community college (free to the student not the taxpayers). But that to me seems like it just makes community colleges a continuation of high school — instead of four years of high school, six years. I wonder if high school should actually be trimmed to three years or less, but with more intensive instruction, with on emphasis on basics we all need.

And why do four-year institutions end up teaching high school level English and math?

If we are to remain competitive in the world, we need to demand more of our students and demand that they (and their parents) make decisions about their future earlier.

After high school, you either head to vocational training or academic pursuits. Yeah, it’s a free country, and you can wander the highways and byways, or kick around town, but why do the rest of us have to support you?

And these days, employment prospects may require more of a mix of academic and vocational training, so the whole structure of education may need to be changed.

(I knew a guy whose father worked his whole life in the paper mill industry, and then this guy went into that and worked many years. Then when his mill closed he applied for a job at another one in another state but flunked the application process because he did not know how to figure weights and measures in the metric system. He was not stupid, and he really should have done his homework before applying, but at the same time, he should have already had all this ground into him in high school and even grade school.)

The business, education (public and private), and governmental sectors should work together in all of this.

While we don’t want to elect someone president who has no concept or interest in foreign affairs, we do need one who can look more homeward than one who is on a mission to right all wrongs in the world.

And while we need a person who can look homeward, we also need one who is willing to stand up to the bullies of the world, not with George W. like bravado, but with quiet resolve, letting actions speak louder than words. We also need someone who is not foolish enough to draw lines in the sand, only to back off, or someone who does not telegraph our military intentions (on eventual withdrawal) to our enemies.

No one comes to mind right now.

President Obama deserves to get due appreciation. The economy by many measures is reported to be on the upswing and has been improving throughout his tenure, part of that of course due to the natural cycle of business.

And the worst thing the Republicans can seem to criticize him for is trying to provide health care for everyone in a way that does not clog emergency rooms and require those with insurance to pay so much for those without (whether Obamacare fills the bill remains to be seen).

Oh, and they don’t like his executive end run on immigration but they can’t seem to offer anything in return except to say there is an immigration problem.

And did anyone ever think maybe we just need to take another look at our immigration standards? I mean shouldn’t anyone who is healthy enough and who has the ability to get employment be eligible for citizenship, as long as he or she demonstrates commitment to the USA and is able to pass the standard citizenship tests that require more knowledge than most of our native born?

(Of course there still may need to be quotas of some sort to insure we have room for additional citizens, but we should not favor those of one country over another.)

A  jumble here I know. Just some thoughts.


And NBC anchor Brian Williams is taking some time off. Maybe he’ll write a book. A fiction novel.