Years ago I recall a pundit lamenting that with migration of manufacturing jobs to overseas locations, pretty soon we in the U.S. would be left with nothing to do for each other but sell insurance. That was long before the ".com" age. The internet did permit us to exchange information freely, a seemingly good idea. But now we see internet hacking and privacy invasions, loss of local newspaper circulation, and consolidation of news sources. And we have a health care insurance industry to oversee health care spending which has risen to 16 percent of our GDP. In the main, our national budget is comprised of social services and defense spending - defense ironically more akin to an offense than a defense.
What needs to change? Can we reclaim manufacturing? No, at least not unless we too are willing to work for a pittance. Can we sell to each other a myriad of personal services? Are we not already eating too much convenience food! Can we innovate into new areas, areas perhaps we have yet to appreciate? If those areas include alternative and renewable energy sources, China and Germany already lead the way.
Madonna once sang "We are living in a material world, and I am a material girl." Madonna could have been more correct had she sang "and we all are material beings." What matters in such a material world? Perhaps this question underlies the arguments raging in Washington today. Realizing things must change, we cannot maintain our old course heading. One side argues that we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Revenue increases rob money from those who create jobs, and jobs are job one. Not disputing that jobs are job one, the other side calls for a more moderate approach, spending cuts and revenue enhancements. Do we really need to subsidize production of corn, when cheap U.S. corn is bankrupting Mexican corn growers, sending them up north to earn a livelihood here? Are we so material that back-breaking agricultural and housekeeping jobs are too unimportant to us? Did we not see this coming? Rome did not!
Dale Whiting, Chandler