Tuesday, November 05, 2013

We Invest In Everything Around Us, But Not Our Country?

I'm fraught with frustration (and this blog is mostly about my frustration), but mostly saddened by America's political culture, and as much as I want to blame Congress or the President, I can't, but shall. And my depression grows...

For the first time since World War II, government investment has dropped. Key investments in education, scientific research, military innovation, bridges and infrastructure and our future are gone. This article in the Financial Times illustrates this trend extremely well. It lists the Republicans (the Tea Party) as the main culprit, a fact I do not disagree with (even though, in the Regan-era, when there were rational Republicans, spending rose). Spending has dropped from 5% to 3.6% (and is falling). In lieu of growth, we are opting for austerity (which does not work).

Let me pose the question to you in a different way. If your company was operating in the red, but you saw a real potential for increasing your sales through innovation, would you ask a private equity group for money? YES! Every company is trying to raise money to grow, and the United States is NO different.

I want to ask the Tea Party people why? Do you not believe in this country, or do you want to see the Obama Presidency so damaged by your short-sided thinking that you'd risk ruining our future? Do you not understand how our economy works (kind of like a mortgage)? To me, the answer is undeniably political, but again, I cannot blame them. We must point the finger at our culture, US!

As a culture, we have turned totally inward. Look at all the isolationism rants, religions that are more concerned with "my salvation" vs good works for wider community (I grew up Presbyterian), constant selfie's on Facebook and more. We aren't connected to our communities, our neighbors, our governments (when was the last time you wrote your congress person or went to a city council meeting). And this has lead to the Tea Party rise, those that would shut our government down, costing $24B in lost revenues and JOBS! This is our fault! We elected them, we have chosen to NOT invest in our country, unless it directly benefits us, and immediately. We are choosing hyperbole and political fire versus rational investments in our future. 

Do you really think having a faulty and dangerous bridge, or limited research for vaccines is a good idea? Do you really think cutting food stamps from children in need (those with the next cure for cancer in their uneducated minds) is smart thinking? Do you really think it is more important to score political points than making sure people have healthcare (remember the Republicans had the chance to help improve the law, but they didn't. And of course they have no plan to offer)? This ME, ME, ME culture is terrible, and it needs to stop...

What if we had a leader that just told Senator Ted Cruz to stop, to really listen to what he has complaining about (without offering any ideas). What if we had a transformational leader that helped us unite under a common theme? What if WE as a culture changed and focused on our communities, neighbors, the poor our children? What if by giving we learned that we received more?

There was a time... Remember?

The rant... Is over... 

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another...
Charles Dickens

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