political leadership is more than window dressing

Making America Competitive in a Global Economy

In today’s political marketplace are the constituents voting for the person who has aspirations to represent us or our we voting for the public image they have been able to modify in order to win office. Are these men and women truly genuine in what they show us publically to represent our concerns, our needs, our fears for the present and future generations? I sometimes wonder with how this process has changed so in the later 20th century. It has become my belief that one of the reasons we do not see more government in action between the two majority parties is just because of the affect that image modification creates when one runs for office. It compartmentalizes these leaders into a very narrow box that does not allow them to govern, to make the rational and tough choices and God knows our country is having a lot of tough choices to make now a days.

This media image along with having to go with one of our major parties platform ideologies does not make it possible for leaders of both parties to willingly accept responsibilities and make those tough calls that would put them on that island of judgment. I see no greater detriment to our democracy then when party politics is so great that it stagnates our ability to invest our way out of our economic deficit and debt crisis. Our country if we decide to stay the current course has no more ability to grow our economy then a 3rd graders setting up a lemonade stand on the street corner has in meeting their families monthly housing needs.

Republicans are partial to being known as the party of business. We can all argue till were blue in the face that this also includes small business but as I have covered in previous blogs, small business basically is the sub organizations of larger national and multinational corporations that use these entitlements (yes even conservatives have entitlements) to game the tax code. The Democratic Party is for the most part considered the party of labor. Yes they also seem to champion the third rail of politics (Social Security and Medicare). In a capitalistic economy it is important ant to have both capital and labor to create wealth. Well, some would say cheap labor creates more wealth while others theorize that cheap labor creates inequality within a democratic society.

With all that is wrong out there in our economy today anyone professing the continuation of starving government of its revenues which has been the popular mode of operation since the 1980’s can look back at those dark and dreary years right after the great war in Europe and Asia and explain to me for one why we invested in our country when our debt was 124% of our nation’s gross domestic product? Was it a liberal Democratic President who dropped the A-Bomb from Missouri or was it the General from Kansas who was the leader of the European victory who invested in the Interstate Highway Act.

We had millions of young men and some women in the middle 1940-1950’s who were sent to colleges and universities, to technical schools to become educated to run and operate the corporations and provide the labor that made our country the greatest economic engine ever known to this free world at that time.

Now I cannot say for sure if it was fair for the wealthiest of us at those times to be paying 91% in a tax rate after their first 3 million dollars in income but I do know this they did not suffer like we see suffering today within our middle class. The stimulant program that was passed by Congress in 2009 when President Obama became President only accomplished 15% of what was needed to reinvest in America. Most modern sophisticated economist at the time felt this was half of what should have been invested in order to create the jobs and projects that would allow the country to start paying for its irresponsible leadership of the early 2000’s. I do not think some in Congress fore saw that after bailing out Wall Street they would not reciprocate by providing loans to companies to create viable projects and jobs that would have added revenue to help towards the debt pay-down.

Explain to me how we pay for two wars and a prescription Medicare plan and lower taxes not once but twice during the first term of the Republican Administration and Republican Congress? You can theorize that the trickledown economics of the 1980’s that President Reagan had to put a halt to was ready to be implemented due to our balance budget and that by giving the wealthiest more capital during the year they would spend that money on consumer goods such as televisions, cars, washers and dryers, you could have speculated that the middle class was given their few hundreds of dollars to spend for some of the same items which probably should stimulate the economy.

What happen though was we saw more money invested in large multinational corporations expanding into new emerging economies and benefitting those countries poor to a better standard of living and creating a very profitable exporting economy that allowed some of those same consumer good products that were once manufactured here that provided very good middle class incomes.

So it didn’t work, so what we say, we are an resourceful people we can figure this out. We have leaders in our government that know what is best for the country as a whole. At least that is what we wanted to believe I feel as a nation. But I am not so sure that the actions of our leaders can match the words that they speak any longer.

Our country needs an economic plan for recovery, it needs a Marshall Plan like was used in Europe after WWII (not the actual plan but a named plan we can all rally around). We need leaders who can create the vision, the goals that are attainable at specific times to invest in our country to stimulate us out of these debts and deficits. Don’t go all freaky on me when investment and stimulant programs are mentioned together. The national and multinational corporations along with the true small Mom and Pop businesses of this country can all benefit. The labor markets, the young high school graduates who want to attend college or learn a high tech trade all should be included in this investment plan. We don’t have to go back to 91% tax rates after the first 3 million in income but we cannot surely survive with 36% rates when they come with so many write downs and deductibles that they eventually are 15-18%.
The first investments need to be in starting projects that create jobs. The second investment is to make sure we are educating and providing the opportunity for this education to those who will be manufacturing these high tech goods and services as well as running those corporations in the future. The kinds of jobs we need are the same types of products and services we need for a vibrant 21st century country. Quality water and sewage, transportation from rebuilding the bridges that are becoming far too dangerous to travel over to the newer roads that allow for safer traveling and percolation of ground water. Rail systems for both move our new consumer goods from factories to ports. New high rail systems that will allow our country to lower our dependence on fossil fuels at a time fossil fuels are becoming extinct. Our power and energy systems. We need to make those major investments in solar and wind; tidal hydro and geo-thermal where they will best interface with our countries electrical grid system. Listen, big oil needs to maximize its profits with existing inventory this is reason enough to keep from fully investing in these future energy sources. If they have competition from other viable energy sources their oil will be cheaper. This is not good for them given that we only hold between 2.5%-4% of all oil reserves in the world and our neighbor to the north who holds the second most oil reserve (15 to maybe 20%) in the Alberta oil sands has a lot of cost associated with excavating and refining these products not to mention the environmental impacts, so they are going to do and throw as much money (100’s of billions of dollars at our and the worlds politicians) to keep sustainable energy from maturing this century.

It is time our leaders stop worrying about their public media driven image; it is time for patriotic labor and patriotic national, multinational and true small business to provide the economic organizations,: it is time for Wall Street to become a part of America’s future not only their wealthiest investors and find those sustainable financial economic engines to work together; it is time for our infrastructure to come into the 21st century; the time has come for our country to have a viable economic game plan for present and the future of our great nation.

JND

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