Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Moving Forward

One of my readers asked me how I would suggest that America move forward. The question came as a response to my comment about how "doing nothing" will not move our country forward.

I am like Will Rogers, "all I know is what I read". However, unlike Will Rogers, I get information from varied sources, not just the newspaper.

One of the actions I would suggest for moving our country forward is to place more emphasis on an educated workforce and do everything we can to see that our children enter school prepared to learn.

The next action I would suggest would be to invest in research and development. Testimony: the fact that the agriculture sector today is the one segment of our economy doing well is due in a large part to development of superior genetics in crops and livestock. This did not happen by our government doing nothing.

Caveat: these are long term fixes. I think we need quicker fixes so our grandchildren will be able to enjoy a standard of living at least as good as ours. (Probably not as good as our kids.)

The immediate action whose bandwagon I would jump on is not my idea. It comes from someone who knows a lot more about economics than I. Robert Reich has suggested the following. Even though our economy is under a lot of pressure and is in the tank, the United States is looked at by the world as being the safest place to put money and China, in particular wants to lend us money. (The fact that Europe is on the brink - who would not want to place their money with us for the time being.)

Reich suggests that the best thing Congress could do right now to help our faltering economy is to borrow money from China and use it to finance a huge infrastructure improvement program. He is talking roads, bridges, canals, airports, railroads, locks and dams, schools, etc. We all know how much these infrastructure improvements are needed. Reich contends that this will put more people back to work and thus spend more money and thus pay more taxes and businesses will need to hire more and this will help decrease the deficit. An additional benefit is businesses will be able to move goods and services more efficiently and less expensively.

Reich has said, "If Congress had half a brain, they would do this."

Admittedly, Reich is of the Democratic persuasion and the other side of table does not believe that this idea will work and stands by the reducing government as a way to put more people to work. This begs the question, government has been decreasing in size for a number of years and yet we are not seeing an increase in jobs. Also, big companies are sitting on lots of cash and have lots of earnings, yet they are not creating jobs. It would seem time to give the other idea a try.

Reich comes from a Democratic philosophy - but conservative people are of a similar view. David Frum said, "this is not the moment for government to be cutting back". He agrees that the situation is so dire that his normal policies need to take a back seat for the interim.

I do not like to see our country so deep in debt, but doing nothing will not get us out of debt and too many in Congress are - in Reich's words using "political ideology to substitute for thought". end.

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