This weeks political highlights include the awesome show of bi-partisanship concerning the Stimulus Bill where the Dems offering did not receive one single republican vote. Go Figure?
I am tempted to side with the congress people of the minority party on this one. The current bill sucks and I mean sucks out loud. It is missing any significant jab at infrastructure spending and has a quarter of trillion dollars in tax cuts. There is no real effort to get at mortgages going bad, foreclosures and tricky little deals called Credit Default Swaps either. Listen up you dillweed legislators, we tried tax cuts and trickle down for eight years and it didn't work for shit. So please think of something else.
The bill now goes to the Senate, that place where being one ( a Senator) depends as much on the legal status of the governor as the will and knowledge of the electorate of the state in question. (What else explains the likes of Robert Byrd, Libbey Dole and bathroom tapper boy)
What are the chances of these geniuses coming up with something better? Less than 50/50 in my estimation. Still I remain hopeful that the promise that was the election of Obama can become the reality of good governance and sound policy.
But when it comes to our beleaguered and bludgeoned economy I remain skeptical. One of the key factors missing in every conversation is the awareness of how "Big" institutions of any sort are not necessarily a good thing for the citizens of this nation. I would like to hear talk about breaking up big companies, banks and government entities in favor of regional institutions.
First, this would put more people to work. Secondly,a regional system would allow for some actual de-coupling of regional economies. A return to regional self-sufficiency would enhance the ability of communities to survive economic downturns. As it stands now we are all so interconnected that a hiccup in America's financial institutions can bankrupt the country of Iceland.
Of course none of this is possible in the short term. We are too into "Big". We revel in large and worship humongous. And this of course leads us to import almost everything. It's not even possible to find a decent priced pair of shoes that doesn't come from China. I dare you! Go out to any store and look. No matter where you shop, the stores all buy from China, Thailand, Indonesia, India and everywhere else except in our country, region or town.
Had all the "well to do" and just normal folks spent the last decade buying locally or regionally or at least nationally on their day to day purchases we would be in an entirely different situation. Much of the money that poured into bogus financial products could have actually went into manufacturing here in the good Ole USA.
I admit this is a bit of 20/20 hindsight, yet the majority of experts, financial wizards and government officials talking about fixing this current financial mess are not even broaching the subject of downsizing and the benefits of small.
We are sitting in the middle of a gully in the bottom (or near bottom) of a potentially wide valley of economic upheaval and restructuring. Wouldn't it be nice if we came out the other side in better shape than we are now.
What do you think we need to do?