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Subject:  Re: OT: Man in the White Suit Date:  2/12/2009  3:15 PM
Author:  Lokicious Number:  25956 of 36218

So perhaps we need to review our priorities and the choices we have made. We still have major advantages over much of the world, natural resources, financing, and excellent skills available to us if we choose to deploy them.

Otherwise, as Nero fiddles, Rome continues to burn.

As an educator, I am concerned about our human resources and skills. We are no longer near the top of the world in terms of a well-educated population, especially in science. I know I'm just an old fogey, but the thinking skills undergraduates bring to college with them, except for a small minority, have deteriorated. And for years we've been selling the get-rich-quick model of life, instead of hard work. We need to improve public schools, and that doesn't mean simplistic standardized tests and textbooks that are safe for Texas. And we need for a college education to be affordable.

Going back to Reagan, and probably Nixon, initiative on economic development in this country has been left to the masters of the universe and corporate executives, with the politicians providing not only no direction but incentives to make decisions based on short term profits (I hear Warren Buffett saying "hear, hear!") With the exception of the development of computing and the internet (invented by and for academia not corporate America and bungled by the arithmetically-challenged masters of the universe), investment choices have been, to be gentle, stupid. Anyone with half a brain knew back in 1973 that gas guzzlers were dinosaurs. The pump and dump scams around the tech bubble and the no-such-thing-as-a-bad loan idiocy have squandered trillions in capital that could have been put to work.

Obama deserves credit for wanting to provide economic direction from the top: energy independence, affordable health care, education, and he recognizes if you wait around for market forces, it will be too late. But the country has been bankrupted, and these directions need investment that can only come from government. Plus I've seen no sign he is up for going boldly where no man has gone lately.
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