Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Response to the State of the Union

As much as I admire President Obama as an orator, I have a cynical reaction to the State of the Union address.  The words about innovation and education are the right ones, but ultimately meaningless when so many from K to higher ed are fired, furloughed, or part-time.  (Including me, which is clearly why I feel so strongly about it.)  The false comparison between a family living within their means and the government balancing its budget is the hot new trend, but a government has nothing in common with a family.  It's a comparison that makes zero sense. We our family can't print money or pursue macroeconomic policy, can yours?  Rather than saying the government must cut expenses, like a family would, why not flip it around and say that the government must increase revenue, like a family would?  Yes, I'm telling the government to "get a job" by creating a tax system that makes sense.  When high profile billionaires are saying, yes, tax us, what is the major malfunction?  Oh, yes I remember, corporations are people now.  The elephant in the room is war expenses, and until that discussion is on the table, it's just words, words, words.

The hot takeaway is "win the future."  Seriously?  No wonder we love to go to and stay in wars, with that kind of language.  Life, the future, is something to be "won" which means taken away from somebody else.  I'd prefer to think of a future in which a Chinese scientist discovers a cure for cancer and the entire planet "wins," rather than the US "loses" because we didn't think of it first. Win the future.  I'd hate to see what means justify that end.

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