Focusing Our Resources
This is the last installment of my series on fixing the American economy. Really, it’s been more of a call to action to live within our means as a nation. As a people we have been living on more than we’ve been bringing in for a long time. We’re used to it. We are comfortable with it. Changing the status quo will be uncomfortable. Frankly, it will be painful.
In the process, we must establish priorities. We can’t afford anything we want. So, since this is my column, I’ll put in my vote for areas that need to be looked at carefully.
One area we better get right is energy. All kinds of energy. Our factories need to keep humming, our lights need to stay bright, we need the ability to travel from here to there, and, of course, we need our food cooked. Unlike Blanche DuBois, we as a country shouldn’t depend on the kindness of strangers; we need to rely on ourselves.
Next, our infrastructure: The wires that carry our power, the pipes that carry our water, the highways that carry our cargo and ourselves, the airwaves and fibers that carry our information. We need to keep what we have working and continue to upgrade them as well.
While I’m on the subject of upgrades, allow me to mention that we need to upgrade ourselves. We all know that the greatest resources of any country are its citizens. Let’s ensure we are a very highly educated and flexible workforce. We want to make sure that our workers are well trained and competitive in a global economy.
Lastly, it is a dangerous world out there. Although I want to get along with all the neighbors we have in this world, we need to keep defense a priority so we can protect ourselves if necessary.
You may not agree with my priorities. That’s fine. What I want you to do is consider the country’s financial challenges. If I’ve convinced you in the last three months that there is truly a problem, take action and make sure your own house is in order. It will be a lot easier to get your family’s budget balanced than the country’s.
Then get in touch with your city, county, and state representatives. They can’t get into as much trouble as the country since, unlike the feds, they’re not allowed to run up debts indefinitely. They also have a much shorter time to get things fixed for the same reason. Help them decide what mix of taxes and expenditures make sense. Let them know what your priorities are.
Finally, take that same message to your U.S. senators and representatives. Don’t let them off the hook by allowing them to blame that other political party. Both sides have led us into this mess, with our encouragement. I’m not really interested on whom we should lay the most blame. I want to know what we can do to fix the problem.
We’re in this together, let’s work together to get out of it.