Monday, October 31, 2011

Curing The Symptom

Education is not the solution. Technology is not the solution. Green jobs are not the solution. Getting money from the rich is not the solution. There is no one solution. We are looking at far too many things from the wrong direction, trying to fix the symptom rather than the disease.

Take the case of money in politics. We study a million methods of how we can run elections so that legislators can run their reelection campaigns without being corrupted by accepting money for that purpose. We calmly accept that a legislator, once elected, has reelection as his primary purpose and never question the value of a government with lifetime legislators who submit to a mere formality of periodic reelection.

When a legislator is in permanent reelection campaign mode, far more damaging to proper governance than the money issue is his constant pandering to public emotion and courting votes for reelection. It is that aspect of the lifetime legislator which has led to the legislator’s allegiance being to his locality rather than to the nation as a whole, and thus to a nation where each state, each legislative district is in a greedy contest for the biggest piece of the pie. We are proving the validity of the truism that
“A nation divided against itself cannot stand.”

We promote the idea that every child should be able to have a college education so that child can “get a good job.” The problem is not that the good jobs require a college education, the problem is that the jobs which do not require a college education are not good jobs, and they should be. They used to be good jobs. They used to be jobs on which a person could support a family. Someone needs to dig the potatoes out of the ground; someone needs to drive the truck that brings those potatoes to the market. Why are these jobs that “Americans don’t want to do” today?

Instead of addressing that question, restructuring those jobs and bringing back the factory jobs that our young people once aspired to, we prattle on about college degrees and “creating a new technology.” America cannot eat a new technology, or be housed by it or clothed by it. We are solving the wrong problem, and in the process leaving problems unsolved and creating new ones added on top. In this case bad jobs that “Americans don’t want” and unemployed people burdened with college debt. Stupid.

Faced with an energy crisis of catastrophic, global proportions we tinker around with electric cars and windmills, when we should be making a quantum change in the way that we as a society, we as a race, interact with our planet. We should not be worrying about how much energy our cars use, we should be working toward a way to live on this planet without using cars at all, and we are not even considering that.

Small thinking yields small results. We need to start thinking bigger.

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