Skip to main content

The Reasons We Think America is On the Wrong Course

I was listening to the Michael Medved show yesterday. He does a nice job at talk radio. But he was worked up because the CBS News Poll showed that 72% of Americans surveyed think the U.S. is on the wrong track. (When I went to CBS' site, it looks to me like the number is 69%, but that's an insignicant difference). Medved's view is that income for the poorest citizens are rising (recent government data), unemployment is low, stock market is high, no cold war, so why so pessimistic?

Here are my answers:
  1. Several of our young men and women are being killed every day in a war that we are getting sick of.

  2. The deficit is some unimaginable, staggering number that my generation is imposing on my children.

  3. Social Security is bankrupt and both Congress and the Administration (both previous and current, and both Republican and Democratic) are unwilling to face the issue.

  4. There are virulent infectious agents in hospitals that are resistent to essentially all antibiotics, and the drug companies have little incentive to spend research money on antibiotics, so there aren't many treatments in the pipeline.

  5. At a time that education, including tough courses in math and science, are requisites for jobs in the future, our school system is a mess, while India and China's education system continues to improve.

  6. Al Queda wants to kill as many of us as they can.

  7. Our borders are essentially nothing more than lines on a map, so that millions stroll in every year.

  8. When the police arrest someone they suspect is here illegally, unless they have an Arabic name INS isn't interested in doing anything.

  9. We are paying $65 a barrel for oil so that the countries that harbor people who want to kill us become the richest countries on earth.

  10. We know that we need nuclear power, but a small environmentalist lobby can hold up the majority for decades.

  11. President Richard Nixon declared war on cancer almost forty years ago; the cure rate has only increased slightly and for many forms of cancer not at all.

  12. Largely as a result of government profligacy, the dollar has gone to hell against almost every other major currency.

  13. The percentage of babies born to unwed mothers is shocking despite widespread knowledge that one of the largest categories of poverty is families headed by single mothers.

  14. That rat bastard Osama Bin Laudin is still alive.

  15. People in places like Darfor are dying by the hundreds of thousands and we basically have no idea what to do about it.

  16. The war in Iraq costs about $100 billion a year.

  17. For $100 billion a year for five years, we probably could cure several forms of cancer.

  18. The typical American thinks there are some fairly simple solutions for the immigration issue; our elected officials can't seem to figure out a solution at all.

  19. When we go to an airport we have stand in endless lines, take off our shoes, and throw away perfectly good shampoo and toothpaste.

  20. Despite the billions raised every year by the Federal tax on gasoline that is supposed to go to the Interstate highway system, our highways, once the finest in the world, are increasingly inadequate.

  21. Teenage obesity and diabities is a real problem.
  22. Our fourth biggest oil supplying country is headed by a demogogue who is centralizing power.
  23. Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
  24. North Korea, run by a dictator who could be a SPECTRE character out of an old James Bond novel, has nuclear weapons.
  25. There are both elected and appointed officials in Washington who actually believe that they should pressure China to float the renmenbi against the dollar, expecting the renmenbi to rise (e.g. a falling dollar) would be good long term economic policy.


Scott said…
Let us not forget the push by companies, especially in the tech industry, for changes in the work visa laws. And the presidential hopefuls (Hillary Clinton), that are all too eager to give them what they want. All to relieve highly paid Americans of their jobs and pass them on to foreigners.
gene said…
Given the bombing doctors, I think the visa push will be under real pressure....

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: What Matters Now by Gary Hamel

Interview of Eric Schmidt by Gary Hamel at the MLab dinner tonight. Google's Marissa Mayer and Hal Varian also joined the open dialog about Google's culture and management style, from chaos to arrogance. The video just went up on YouTube. It's quite entertaining. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Cover of The Future of ManagementMy list of must-read business writers continues to expand.Gary Hamel, however, author of What Matters Now, with the very long subtitle of How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation, has been on the list for quite some time.Continuing his thesis on the need for a new approach to management introduced in his prior book The Future of Management, Hamel calls for a complete rethinking of how enterprises are run.

Fundamental to his recommendation is that the practice of management is ossified in a command and control system that is now generations old and needs to be replaced with something that reflects an educat…

Book Review- Stretch by Scott Sonenshein

Have you ever watched, or been involved in, a business failure, where, despite the best efforts of hardworking people, the business doesn’t survive? Scott Sonenshein lived through it, as he describes in the Introduction to his engrossing book Stretch.  (In some books, the reader can skip the intro- not this one; the introduction is a must-read part of the book.) He was hired by start-up Vividence in Silicon Valley at the very apex of the tech boom.  Despite prestige VC backers, top-tier hires and $50 million, Vividence didn’t make it. As his career continued, that experience led to an interest in why some well-funded operations don’t succeed, while other, more resource constrained, do. Peter Senge wrote about reinforcing cycles as part of his book The Fifth Discipline, which I consider one of the finest business books ever penned. In it, Senge describes the downward cycle that some companies fall into, and why it is so difficult to reverse. Sonenshein explores those cycles from diffe…

Tax Inversions

A savvy businessman once told me “it’s important to know what problem you are trying to solve”.
Let’s ignore for the moment whether or not Treasury or the IRS had the power to change the rules on so-called tax inversions without Congressional action. (The power they said they didn’t have only a few months ago.)
Rather, let’s focus on what problem we are trying to solve. That is, why is the greatest country on earth chasing companies away? Shouldn’t the U.S. be the place that companies want to locate their headquarters?
Imagine this: the U.S. legal structure and tax regime was so attractive that Mercedes, Toyota, Astra Zeneca, Samsung, Total, Singapore Air, Banco Santander, Petrobras, Fujitsu, Nokia, SAP, Audi, Tata Group, Lenovo, Pirelli, Deutsche Bank, Honda, LG, Hyundai, Roche, Credit Suisse, Four Seasons, Siemens, Phillips, Bridgestone, Anglo-America, DeBeers, Volkswagen, Canon,  L’OrĂ©al, Swatch, Armani, LVMH, Toshiba, H&M, Mahindra, Aldi, Kubota, Onex, Ducati, Pemex, Saudi-Ara…