There are five items that impede the rebuilding of the American Economy and the American Dream. In many ways, it is a conundrum or catch-22. It is not going to be easy for America to spend money it doesn’t have but I’m not sure any other way. For the time being, let us adjudicate on the five items. One starts with D and the other four start with E.
Debt: Goes without saying. $17 Trillion on the way to $20 T before the end of the decade—you have heard this on many past blogs and at this point, to use the bully pulpit, as it were to elaborate on the problematics of the national debt would be preaching to the choir. The national debt is in the backdrop of the four Es that require the attention of all concerned citizens. If congress and the president will not aggressively pursue spending cuts, even those I don’t support whole-heartedly, yet see as Hobson’s choices, I don’t know what else anyone can do.
Education: This is the biggest conundrum that has to be faced in the rebuilding of the American Dream. In order to compete in a world economy, we need a world class educational system such as Japan and most of the European Union nations. Our educational system has been on the decline since the early 1960s and needs to be revamped in every possible way.
I am not just talking about educating doctors, lawyers, and white collar professions that require a bachelorette education or higher, which starts in grade school. In this high tech world, for the most fundamental component needed to repair the U.S. economy, bringing back manufacturing, a high level of education is now required. Assume you can bring back manufacturing, there is no longer a direct proportion with respect to manufacturing to manufacturing jobs. If you are going to use robotics, you do not need assembly line employees, you need highly educated computer programmers programming the computers that run the robots. Even factories that do require human hands, such as a company in Nevada that makes bolts for airplane seats, requires a certain precision and a lot of higher mathematics is required of the workers, not just the engineers, because decisions have to be made on the fly with respect to the nature of the beast. So we have a skills gap. No matter how desperate they are to higher workers, they can never just hire anyone.
What this means is no matter how deep we are in debt, we cannot bring back manufacturing to a significant degree unless we invest in education. And here lies the conundrum; you cannot invest money you don’t have. It is like a stock broker confronting a family of four with the father laid off from work, living on unemployment compensation which runs out in 99 weeks, to give up his last dollars he needs to put food on the table for his family, to buy stock. We would have to be willing to raise the debt ceiling to invest in education. It would take three generations to pay it off and still may never be paid off. I don’t have an answer at this time.
Entitlements: When it comes to responsible spending cuts and a balanced budget, here is where the rubber meets the road. Before the New Deal, we were a nation of opportunity, not entitlements. It should be a no-brainer to cut spending and phase out the entitlements build a model for the United States of America based on pre-New Deal rules. Most welfare recipients would much rather have opportunities than make welfare a life sentence. One thing you cannot due is eliminate all entitlements and leave people high and dry—even the preamble of the Constitution does not allow for that. We are now dealing with the third generation of the welfare state and too many people were born into it and it created a comfort-zone squelching one’s dream or even one’s ability to dream. Our Founding Fathers would spin in their graves to see a class system established in the great nation they built; they knew haves and have-nots was the price we would pay to have a free nation, but they wanted there to always be opportunity for the have-nots to overcome and join the haves. The saving grace is there is a bridge between caring for those who cannot care for themselves and limited government—privatization. The challenge is getting both sides of the aisle to agree on a privatization plan.
Economic Globalization: This is a metamorphosis George Washington, the man who preached isolationism for America, did not see coming. The easiest way to force manufacturing and manufacturing jobs back to America is to go back to George Washington and isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. If we cannot manufacture products that compete with on the global marketplace immediately, until a revamped education system can be implemented and the first kindergarteners are prodigies of the new system cradle to grave, as long as the products suit us, we are good to go. But this is highly problematic.
Natural Resources: Not only have we depleted most of our natural resources, some of these resources, such as manganese used to harden steel, were never abundant in North American soil. We have no choice but to have permanent working alliances with nations rich in such resources. We cannot manufacture without raw materials, no matter how qualified our workers are.
Foreign Policy: Our alliance with the state of Israel, established as a sovereign nation in 1948 and the hostilities of the Arab Middle East surrounding the Hebrew state have put us on the spot. My father’s side of the family was raised in the Jewish faith and I have had the good fortune to be surrounded by great relatives. Besides which, both the Jewish and Christian bibles make it clear God will always defend Israel. One of the unfortunate consequences, i.e., the price we pay to be a free nation doing the right thing in life pertains to how we deal with the world hostile to America. No matter how we develop our domestic energy sources, we will always have to buy some oil from OPEC, from Arab nations who oppose us and Israel. As much as they hate America, they love American money. The only reason they get any American money is because we purchase oil from them. If we ever reach a nirvana where we no longer need a drop of Arab oil, how do we stop a global jihad? The best we can do is develop domestic energy sources so Arab oil can be strictly supplemental.
Corporate Outsourcing: We need an economic policy known as America First. Corporate America must make it a policy to always hire Americans before outsourcing labor to foreign countries. I know it will cost more, but it will pay off in the long run as unemployment declines in America and more Americans have buying power to buy Americans. But no one can hire Americans if there are no Americans qualified—back to the concept of skills gap. This brings us back to the problem of investing in education with no money to invest. And American-made goods are not truly made in America if they are made in a factory of non-American workers. Also, Americans have to be willing to take such jobs. Nobody builds an American Dream to work in a factory.
Ecclesiastic Degradation: Few Americans put God first in their lives anymore. Politics and corporate greed notwithstanding, it is God that calls all the shots. We have unscrupulous politicians and corporate business owners that are who they are because they are oblivious to God’s principles. Though neither I nor any other mortal man can judge them, it is popular belief that if they don’t pay for their sins in this life, they will pay in the next. Capitalism is not perfect, but it beats every other everything else the world has to offer. John Locke made it clear that all power inevitably corrupts and even people who start out in the world honest and Godly can be corrupted once empowered with a lot of power and money. It says in The Bible it is harder for a rich man to get into Heaven than for a camel to stick his head through the eye of a needle. But with God, all things are possible. It is the un-Godliness of that top 1%, not their wealth, that the 99% should be concerned with. The humanistic philosophy of John Dewey in the 1920s is a major player in the secularization of the United States of America.
It is stated in Proverbs 14:20 that poverty is a curse and Deuteronomy 23:19 that those committing usury will not inherit the Kingdom of God. These versus coming from the Old Testament before the birth of Christ. This puts into perspective the real reason America cannot find its way back to fiscal responsibility and balance the budget. There may very well be politicians and other players with real solutions and relatively honest and Godly—but God will not allow them to get elected because America may not be done paying for its sin of usury. America may never be finished paying for that sin and we may be in the seven year tribulation period right now, in which case the saved people will benefit from a thousand years of peace and prosperity soon enough. The point is America as a nation, the greatest nation God allowed on Earth and let freedom ring across it so people could freely surrender to God’s principles, must become more Godly and seek his blessings before any political or pseudo-scientific solution can be allowed to work. Did it ever occur to you that every session of congress begins with a non-denominational prayer but your children cannot pray in a public school? What happened to the Ten Commandments posted at school entrances? Do people realize that separation of church and state does not in any way state the state must operate devoid of religion?
A D and four Es make up the fundamental principles needed to rebuild this great nation under God. Time to make it happen.