Monday, November 22, 2010

A Sad Commentary

A recent item in The Week magazine captivated my attention. It is a direct quote taken from the Wall Street Journal and written by Scott Adams. From my perspective, it provides a sad commentary on the state of American business.

“The primary purpose of management is to kill any hope that staying in your current job will work out for you. Bad management is how imagination gets wings. The economy needs workers who are fed up, desperate, and willing to quit their jobs for something better. You can’t do something great until first you quit something that isn’t. The last thing this world needs is a bunch of dopey-happy workers who can’t stop humming and grinning. The economy needs hamster -brained sociopaths in management to drive down the opportunity cost of entrepreneurship. Luckily, we are blessed with an ample supply.”

Sad to think that the Wall Street Journal expressed the opinion that bad management abounds throughout our country. America take note!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Republican Agenda for America

It has been interesting to watch the resurgent Republican Party plot a strategy for flexing their newfound political muscle. They will soon take over the House of Representatives in Congress and increase their strength in the Senate. What will they do with all this power? Will they focus on addressing the fiscal problems that plague our American democracy or will they fritter away their energies on gaining retribution on their Democratic enemies?

Unfortunately, one of the Republican leaders remarked recently that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one term president.” Is that the purpose which will direct Republican strategy in the coming months? Is that what will benefit America most? Is President Obama the great Satan who must be removed at all costs?

Hopefully the new members brought to Congress, particularly those from the Tea Party wing of the Republican party, can stick to their principles. During the campaign they seemed to be well centered on financial issues and if they can just keep that sense of focus as they move on to Washington the country will greatly benefit.

From my perspective, our best hope is that the new Republicans in Congress will grasp control of their party and focus it on solving the problems of our nation rather than on defeating Obama. They need to put together a plan to immediately address the deficit spending that has plagued our nation for some 30 years now. We have to get control of that bad habit or we will see a financial collapse in this country which will make the great depression of the last century look like a Sunday school picnic.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sarah Palin’s Alaska

I watched the first episode of the eight part series about Alaska being carried on The Learning Channel. It is billed as something of a travel log, showcasing the wonders of nature in our largest state. However, if the first episode is any indication, it is misnamed. It should be titled Alaska’s Sarah Palin. It features more of Sarah and her family than it does of the state she loves so much.

There are scenes of Sarah Palin with her children both together and individually; Sarah trying to keep her daughter’s boyfriend from visiting the upstairs bedroom; Sarah taking the family fishing; Sarah flying in a float plane; Sarah walking on a dangerous glacier; and Sarah climbing a steep rock in the mountains and courageously overcoming her fear of heights to conquer that obstacle.

Though the producers claim it is nonpolitical in nature, there is a scene with Sarah having a discussion with husband Todd regarding the negative effect of taxes on business. There are also several shots of their next-door neighbor, a would-be biographer who she claims moved there to spy on them. The whole family reacts with disgust at his intrusion on their private life. Their protests of innocence aside, the producers have put together what from my perspective, is the slickest political infomercial I have ever seen. The film series probably should be seen by the American public as the opening volley in the 2012 presidential nominating process for the Republican Party. The next two years should be very interesting for us political junkies.

More Reflections on the Election

In further reflection on the recent election, I was much impressed with Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate in the last election. From my perspective, Mrs. Palin has shown evidence of tremendous maturity as a savvy politician. Please note: I do not use the word politician in a pejorative sense. America needs effective politicians as their leaders.

I must note that I do not support Palin’s political position on most issues. I am, however, fascinated with the growth she has made as a public speaker and in her ability to maneuver through the minefield of American politics. She put her considerable reputation on line during the midterm election campaign. She was not afraid to support relatively unknown candidates even though they had little hope of winning. She had enough winners among her picks so that she earned bragging rights in the world of politics.

It will be interesting now to see how Mrs. Palin maneuvers in preparation for the 2012 presidential race. A lot of important Republicans owe her political support. In the common vernacular, she has amassed considerable political capital. While her star may fade before the nominating convention, she has to be seen as a dominant force in the Republican party at this point in time. I do not see any other Republican that has given evidence of the political skill she has developed in the short time she has been active in American politics.

My prediction is that Sarah Palin will run for president in the Republican primaries in 2012 and be a strong competitor in the nominating process. All the other Republicans who plan to cash in on a weakened democratic President had better take notice.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reflections on the Election

In reflecting on the recent midterm election, I’ve given some thought to the work President Obama did in behalf of fellow Democrats who were facing the wrath of voters. In many respects the election was a commentary by the American people on the Obama presidency. From my perspective, I was very disappointed in his campaign message. He wasted a golden opportunity to speak to the American people in defense of his political program. Instead of railing against his Republican opposition (there is plenty to rail against) Obama should have made a positive statement regarding the struggling American economy and what is needed to get it back on track. He also should have pointed out the necessity for the actions he has taken in the past 18 months.

Without question Obama inherited a mess, but that’s old news hardly worth mentioning now. He could have praised President Bush for the actions he took in bailing out the banks and the automobile industry and pointed out the necessity of continuing those programs. No one, not even the most rabid Republican, would want the banking system to collapse. Unfortunately, Obama spent his time attacking his opponents instead of pointing out the necessity for the actions he took. Former President George Bush, in a recent promotional interview regarding his new book, made a much better defense of his own actions in response to the faltering economy. Obama could learn a lesson in practical politics from a study of that interview.

Monday, November 1, 2010

An Election Prediction

I write this just a few hours before the polls open for the 2010 midterm election. It looks like it will be a Republican sweep. President Obama and his fellow Democrats have not done a good job of justifying the actions they’ve taken in the past two years. Many of the things they did were absolutely essential to save the country from an economic crash. Had the Democrats not pushed through the bailouts, the American banking system as we know it would have disappeared. The same is true of the automobile industry. It’s hard to imagine why anybody really would have wanted General Motors and Chrysler to go bankrupt. But, Republicans and especially the Tea Party group have painted the Democratic action as a socialist takeover of the government. They seem to have convinced the majority of the public.

So, here is my prediction: Republicans will gain at least 50 seats in the House of Representatives. If they gain anything less than 40 seats it will be a great victory for the Democrats. In the Senate I suspect that they will gain at least 6 seats and possibly even more. In just a few hours we will know if my predictions are correct or not.