Presidential candidate Barack Obama denounced corporate bailouts with great indignation as helping out the "Fat Cats." He said corporations needed to be responsible for what they do. Now, the "Chosen One" is urging President Bush to move quickly to bail out the struggling American auto industry. Why the change of heart? It is spelled UAW. It is all about Mr. Obama's financial and constituent base; it has nothing to do with what is good for America.
Why shouldn't they be allowed to fail? They can never be competitive in the world market as long as they are saddled with wages and benefits that are nearly double those of their international competitors. They are burdened with supporting union retirement funds and medical plans that are over-inflated and noncompetitive. Failure would break the yoke of union domination. That would be the best thing that could happen to the American auto industry.
We do not "need" an "American" auto industry. It is a world market. Isolationism is gone forever. The Japanese, Germans, English - even the Koreans - are building cars equal to or better than ours. If the auto industry is given the chance to start over, it will if it can do it competitively. It will never be competitive while shackled by the UAW. I am certainly not a proponent of a "new world order," but studies show that countries that have significant trade relations generally do not get into wars with each other. The bigger the world market and the more trade interdependence that exists, the better it is for world relations. The concept of "Buy American" makes about as much sense as not buying Michigan products because you are an Ohio State fan.
Where is Mr. Obama taking us?
'Joe' did good work on my plumbing
I waited until after the election to write because I didn't want politics to get in the way of what I wanted to say.
I do not know "Joe the Plumber" personally but I do know him professionally because he recently did two separate plumbing jobs at my home.
Joe is an extremely personable young man. He showed up when he said he would, did a good job, cleaned up the job site when he was finished, and charged what he said he would.
I don't know about you, but those four factors would make me hire him again, or vote for him if he were running for office. Would that any of our elected officials could say the same.
One party in charge has been successful
Now that the presidency and Congress are in one party's hands, some have expressed the opinion that we would be better off with a government divided between the two parties.
If, however, we go back through the last 54 Congresses, back to 1901, we find that approximately 60 percent were in the same hands as the presidency.
From 1901 to the present, political scientists generally agree that we have had four great presidents: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry Truman. Republican Theodore Roosevelt had all four of his Congresses Republican; Democrat Wilson had two of his four Congresses Democratic; Democrat Franklin Roosevelt had all eight of his Congresses Democratic, and Democrat Truman had three of his four Congresses Democratic.
None of this, of course, ensures that the new administration will reach the heights of past great administrations. But neither, of course, does it suggest that one-party control is in itself a bad situation.
Rebuild for future without fossil fuels
October unemployment figures were the highest in 14 years. There is talk that President-elect Barack Obama may push for government work programs geared toward rebuilding the U.S. infrastructure in his first 100 days in office. That would be a good use of tax dollars, and it would help employment and rebuild the area in which we live.
But I hope that government agencies begin to realize that the fossil-fuel age is in its final chapter. For both financial and economic reasons, alternate forms of energy and transportation must be vigorously pursued. If any tax dollars are spent to rebuild in the area of fossil fuels, it should be limited to building mass transit such as commuter trains, buses, and promotion of carpooling.
But the only way for the United States to regain a healthy economy is a long-term plan for solar, wind, and other alternate forms of energy. To spend tax dollars to rebuild an infrastructure that was built from 1940 to 1970 with fossil fuels as the leading source of energy would be a total waste of time, money, and resources. An infrastructure for the future needs to be started now. And when the programs and funding come, I hope that our representatives are ready to capture some of it for this area.
Election shows that racism is still alive
It was interesting to read, hear, and see the commentary after the presidential election waxing rhapsodical about how an African-American winning was a reflection of the manifestation of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream of judging a man by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin.
I do believe America has come a long way since the 1960s toward the realization of King's dream, and while Barack Obama's election is evidence of that, the presidential race and subsequent results also offer much evidence that racism is alive and well.
How else can you explain the fact that the entire southeastern part of the country, the core of the former slave states from South Carolina west to Arkansas, voted for John McCain?
The paradigm switch of the descendants of slave owners being led by a member of the race that was enslaved was too difficult to process. The only deep southeastern state that voted for Mr. Obama was Florida, and only because of the many transplanted northerners in that state.
That being said, America still is the greatest country in the world and I am proud to be an American. God bless America and God bless Barack Obama.
Republican demise greatly exaggerated
While this election was incredibly decisive, reports of the demise of the Republican Party are greatly exaggerated.
As long as there is a Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity to drone on about the evil of diversity, there will be a Republican Party.
As long as Karl Rove is around to surgically divide America with negative ads, there will be a Republican Party.
And as long as there are poor and middle-class folks who insist on defending the rich man's right to extraordinary tax cuts, the Republicans will be there.
Democrats, enjoy these days because the Republicans will still be there.
Libertarians could rise from GOP ashes
One aspect of the 2008 presidential election that has been under-reported in all the media is the impact of the Libertarian Party. In North Carolina, Libertarian candidate Bob Barr captured 1 percent of the vote. Sen. Barack Obama beat John McCain by 0.04 percent in that state, so you could say that the Libertarians are responsible for moving North Carolina into the Democratic column.
Traditional, old-school conservatives who believe in less government, fiscal responsibility, and less foreign involvement should consider the Libertarian Party instead of the Republican Party as their natural home.
Perhaps the Libertarian Party will rise from the ashes of the GOP just as the Republicans once grew out of the ruins of the Whig Party in the 1850s.
For 232 years, American voters have played the race card. This year they finally got it right. They played the human race card. About time.
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