Dear Mr Pritchett:
Regarding: Letter of Lou Pritchett; April 15, 2012
This is a response to your open letter of earlier this year and for the record, I am across the border but as they say, when you (USA) sneeze, we catch a cold.
This letter is done in the spirit and observation of a friendly neighbour. I can assure you that the solutions that I am proposing might not be so popular on this side of the border.
You have made nine points and we will respond to them:
Your standing in the word is not worse than it was 4 years ago. People do not hate you as much. Having said that, President Obama has done little to promote your sense of values and aspirations. But the little that he has done has helped the “Arab Spring” spread. Low cost, big potential benefit. President Obama has also done a fair job of moving the USA out of Iraq and steadily out of Afghanistan. These are good things.
On the economy, President Obama inherited a disaster, and unfortunately, he continues to administer over a disaster. The solution is simple. Scale back “bureaucracies” wherever they may be found and let’s put people back to productive work. Class, envy, race and religion all become less contentious when people can get food, shelter, education and medical treatment.
Cultural diversity is America. That may be hard for the majority to accept, but who is this majority? Is a Black Christian okay for President, but not a white muslim? Is a Mormon okay? How about an Irish Catholic? A divorced person? A gay person? How about if we look at the person and decide? President Obama is a smart, articulate and passionate person. It is not his fault that he was elected when he had little experience. Blame the opposition for who was running against him and the economic catastrophy that the economy was in. So let’s stop the snide “cultural” arguments and let’s focus on policies and viewpoint.
It is true that President Obama’s presidency has been one of “czars”. In part that is because of the malaise of getting appointments through Congress. It is also because he recognizes that the polarized political environment and the bloated bureaucracies that feed from it are stagnant and ineffective. He has not chosen the correct solution, but his actions indicate that he recognizes the problem.
The problem is not the unionization of American society. There have been unions for over 100 years now. The problem is the big bureaucratic unions, as well as the big bureacratic businesses (think too big to fail banks and car companies) as well as the government bureaucracies. Note I use the plural for government as it is a problem at the municipal, state and federal level. We soon will have a department to keep track of the departments….yet as citizens we are continuously told that “that is not our department.” We have all heard it; we are all fed up but yet we wait. What are we waiting for?
The national debt is not the problem. The problem is what are we spending this money on? What are we getting in return? If we were spending this money to transition from the bloated bureaucracies that we mention above, it would be a terrific if overly expensive investment, but when we are spending it to feed the current beast, with no end in sight…well it is a waste and a shame. But people need money? Sure let’s allow them to work. People need education, let’s allow them to get it. And the same for medicine. But why do we equate, good work, good education, and good medical care with expensive? It does not have to be so.
Energy is energy. The reality is that BIG OIL has caused much of our current problem as they profit from high oil prices and the “fake” market economy. When will America wake up and realize that there is not a market economy in oil when too much of it is controlled by OPEC and their allies? When will America stop funding these dubious regimes because they insist on wasting money on gas? Encouraging alternative energy supplies is good, but energy is energy. Take into account the cost of the energy in how you tax it (i.e. nuclear might be cheap to produce but how about when you need to decommission the plant) and then encourage the market to decide…when it is true market.
The USA is a power in retreat if you look at the world as a zero sum game. Too often the media does just that. For instance, as China increases its economy, and with 4 times the population of the USA it might eventually have a larger economy than the USA. So what? If the entire world is better off and American citizens can afford food, education, shelter, medical treatment and leisure activity…so what? Let’s worry about making American citizens better off, whether that is 8x, 4x or 1.25 times what a Chinese citizen is, is not the concern. As Bruce Springsteen sings “let’s take care of our own…” A richer China is good for the world economy and America benefits from a better world economy!
President Obama lacked experience when elected last time. He is a smart capable man. Let’s wish him well if he is elected again. But having said that listen to the other candidate for what they are saying and not just how they are saying it. Pick the better candidate. And let’s hope for the leadership that we need. So are we done?
Here is my added point. Leadership begins at home. Get your revenue to expenses in line. Help a neighbour. Look at making changes in your communities, towns, cities and states. Let’s fight against corruption and bloat. Let’s get the bureaucrats back to work so that we have a more productive society. Let’s find solutions and not problems. Let’s understand that there are costs to the solutions. Costs that you and I bear as consumers, as taxpayers, as citizens and members of society. So get out there and vote – but that is the minimum of our obligation not the end of it.