Anxious in America – Op-Ed – NYTimes.com

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Yesterday there was an op-ed in the Times that said a lot of what I have been feeling here lately…and said it well…Go read the whole thing…

Thomas L. Friedman – Anxious in America – Op-Ed – NYTimes.com
“America and its political leaders, after two decades of failing to come together to solve big problems, seem to have lost faith in their ability to do so,” Wall Street Journal columnist Gerald Seib noted last week. “A political system that expects failure doesn’t try very hard to produce anything else.”

If the old saying — that “as General Motors goes, so goes America” — is true, then folks, we’re in a lot of trouble. General Motors’s stock-market value now stands at just $6.47 billion, compared with Toyota’s $162.6 billion. On top of it, G.M. shares sank to a 34-year low last week.

That’s us. We’re at a 34-year low. And digging out of this hole is what the next election has to be about and is going to be about — even if it is interrupted by a terrorist attack or an outbreak of war or peace in Iraq. We need nation-building at home, and we cannot wait another year to get started. Vote for the candidate who you think will do that best. Nothing else matters.

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3 thoughts on “Anxious in America – Op-Ed – NYTimes.com”

  1. “Vote for the candidate who you think will do that best. ”

    That would be McCain for me.

    Gary, what you’re describing could be argued as simply business cycles running their course as usual. In the past 20 years, we have only had one recession, and we may be headed toward one right now. http://www.nber.org/cycles.html

    But one thing has remained a constant throughout the historical data in the link above, and that is, we have always recovered and had more growth than what was lost in the downturn. It just seems that a little positive attitude could fit well with your cynicism.

    Regarding GM, all I can say is that one rule of capitalism is creative destruction. This concept is that nothing is forever, and that new and often better processes arise out of the destruction of the old processes. Example: How many of the original companies in the Dow Jones index? Only one, General Electric. And this is only because they were able to reinvent themselves along with the changing times.

    Similarly, I think we as individuals also need to be prepared to deal with change in order to be successful. This is advocated in the popular book, “Who Moved My Cheese” by Spencer Johnson.

  2. No surprise in who you’ll be voting for Jim.

    Seems to my memory, though, there were two recessions in the past 20 years. Both during the Bush first terms. And the jury will be out on the last year until George W is back in Crawford. So…If these are only cyclic, then the cycle seems to be accelerating.

    But then I’m probably just whining.

  3. Gary, you are right – there were 2 recessions in past 20 yrs, not one. The data show a recession about every 5-6 years on average, and the data show that the frequency is not getting worse. These business cycles occur mostly without regard to the President except for long-term policies that stifle free markets.

    One plus for your candidate is that incumbent parties get voted out during recessions. It’s all about short-term, knee jerk reaction and instant gratification.

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