Archive for October 18th, 2008

After reading Fareed Zakaria’s Post-American World over the summer, I’ve gained a huge amount of respect for his optimistic vision of the country. One of the points he makes that concurs with my observation is the persistence of the myth that the US is the “bestest nation in the whole entire world”. We might have been at one time, but we’ve got some work to do.

In his most recent column, one paragraph summed up the US situation more than any other I’ve read recently,

In America today we’re getting government wrong in a big way. We have a patchwork of bad regulations, subsidies, and ad hoc interventions. Policies are designed to pay off powerful constituents rather than generate long-term growth. We have the most expensive and inefficient health-care system in the industrialized world, the most wasteful energy usage, the lowest savings rate, the worst maintained infrastructure, a complex and corrupt tax code. We’ve gotten by despite all these problems because the overall system has been dynamic and the world looked to America as the place to put its savings and its faith. But the free ride is coming to an end. It’s time to get serious.

I’ve come to think that government is the solution, not the bane of all existence.

I want to pay more in taxes. I want more public works projects. But not in the way we’ve had for the last 20 years.

If we just modify our government to slightly improve the way we currently do things, we are headed for a rough few decades. We’ll need some smart policy makers to survey the American landscape and to act effectively. Let’s hope we get some this November.

I know we can turn things around Washington...

I know we can turn things around Washington...

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Not too much unlike our national presidential debates,

[via Boing Boing]

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