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What Matters Most for America - Part 5 of 5: Who Will Act?

Who will address these issues?
    National fatness.
    Mediocre educational performance.
    Sustainable future energy sources.
    Water resources and utilization.
    Climate change and sea level rise.
    Deteriorating infrastructure.
    Governmental fiscal discipline.
    Needs of an aging population.

It isn’t likely to be the politicians to whom we entrust the leadership of our nation.  The political parties might rise to the occasion and champion some of these issues if they weren’t so busy worrying about fund raising and the next election cycle and how to stymie the efforts of the other party.  With this level of leadership for government, the bureaucracy below may send up warning signals, but isn’t likely to act on its own.  Government is fiddling while the country heads toward multiple crises.  The nature and scale of those crises are such that the government’s typical crisis management problem solving will be inadequate to handle them.  We will be overwhelmed.

It is not likely to be the capitalists.  Capitalism has no national allegiance.  It’s driving force is the creation of wealth for the owners of the capital.  To the extent that individual capitalists have a sense of national pride and concern, they will guide their industries to help America.  Unfortunately, most large corporations are global enterprises with institutional stockholders.  Because of this, there is no driving force to make a firm an “American company” looking out for our national interests.  Small businesses may have patriotic positions, but they lack the leverage needed to command the stage and move the country.  We can compare this situation in America with that of China.  In China, business, industry, and government are coordinated as a single national force.  It may not produce the quality of personal life and liberty that the American system does, but it is making China a more effective international competitor for trade and resources.  As the Chinese economy gets larger and is fueled by its own domestic demand, it will become less dependent on exports to America, more self-confident as a nation, and militarily stronger.  It will challenge America for world dominance.  It will be helped down that road by capitalism that sold it the technology it needed to overtake America.

Only we, the citizens, can get these issues addressed.  For some issues, this will be done by individual action in our personal lives.  For other issues, we must copy the special interest groups who lobby the legislatures and finance political campaigns to get what they want.  They seem to have the influence that makes the system work.  The problem is getting everyday people to band together to work on these long-range issues when we are confronted by so many near-term problems in our personal lives.  Only when groups dedicated to solving long-range problems get involved in the political process, by preparing and financially supporting worthwhile candidates, can action begin.  It happens now for near-term and emotional issues like gun control and abortion.  While those are meaningful, they won’t mean much in a country that fails to address its larger problems.  In the meantime, the clock ticks on toward our days of reckoning.

This post first appeared on A Centered View Of Our Times, please read the originial post: here

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What Matters Most for America - Part 5 of 5: Who Will Act?


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