Month: August 2012

Is the 2012 presidential election irrelevant

If one takes a moment and looks beyond the reasons every party seems to be promoting – why a vote for the other candidate/party is not good for America, and takes a cursory look at the challenges ahead of us, one might easily conclude that there may not be a very big difference who is elected to office.

Obviously, Obama and Romney have a very different world view, agenda, and plan (even if the plan neither been articulated nor shared with the American public in any significant detail).

The harsh reality is that we have a $16 trillion debt, and unprecedented deficit, looming social security issues, looming Medicare issues, higher defense spending then the second third and fourth place countries combined, high unemployment, a corporate tax rate that creates an incentive for companies to take their business elsewhere, and a global economy in which our foreign counterparts are more efficient in many areas.

With all of these looming challenges in the backdrop, we are assaulted with questions of whether Mr. Romney should disclose his tax returns (although not required to do so by law) or how egregious the (hopefully) accidentally released commercial regarding Romney as the cause of a woman’s death.

Medicare has become a big issue, because each party is trying to get the senior vote. However, the disagreement should be able to be resolved by an independent audit, accounting firm, or any other disinterested party that actually had the time and inclination to ascertain which plan would ultimately adversely affect Medicare.

Similarly, the Latino vote is being courted with some hollow immigration concessions which at best puts a bad aid on the real issue.

Obviously, immigration, entitlements, education, and foreign policy are also very important.

My question is if any of the candidates in their four-year term (in the case of Obama) or eight-year term (potentially in the case of Romney) can really address these issues in a meaningful way. . Let’s not forget that the president is not the “all-powerful” or ” omnipotent” person that people often assume.

We fortunately have checks and balances in this country and ultimately the president is subject to Congress and the Supreme Court.

Can any president really effect change considering the challenges we face.

Even if one party won both the presidential election and control of Congress would they be really able effect change.

Can change only occur if Americans as a whole recognize that there are some very tough (and painful) choices to be made, and the sacrifices can not be solely made by the other fellow or the other party.

Can real change be effected without consensus between the parties.

Has either candidate shown that they can reach across the divide and reach a consensus. Has this multi billion dollar “race to the bottom” campaign so muddied the waters that it is improbable that whoever wins will be able to effect meaningful change.

If ‘pro’ is the opposite of ‘con’ what is the opposite of ‘progress’? – Paul Harvey

As we enter the last stretch in the 2012 presidential campaign, both the Republicans and the Democrats have decided to spend incredible sums for their respective campaigns, or better yet, to hammer their opponents into the ground.

I think one of the reasons that we are exposed to a daily barrage criticizing the opponent, is because neither of the candidates are able to really articulate how they are going to right the course. However, that may be a discussion for another day, as I would like to devote this post to the issue of outsourcing.

The Democrats have made a lot of hay out of the allegation that Mitt Romney was responsible for outsourcing during his tenure at Bain & Co. I am not certain that the outsourcing occurred during his tenure, or in fact that he was responsible for it. However, even if that were the case, I fail to understand the problem that outsourcing raises with respect to a candidates ability to faithfully serve as president of the United States.

From my perspective, there is a predicate question. Is outsourcing the evil that the Democrats claim. The secondary questions are (1) and even if outsourcing is evil, and even if Mitt Romney was responsible for outsourcing, does that in any way affect or limit his ability to lead this nation, and (2) is this really one of the core issues in this election, (3) is the negative campaign (on both sides of the divide) driven by an inability to set forth in concrete terms how a particular candidate or party will effect short term refief as well as lonf term answers to the obvious questions. I will deal with the first question in this post and leave the other questions for my followers to ponder.

When I was in law school we had a professor who expected everyone in the class to be prepared for class so that they could participate in the many questions posed by the professor and participate in the open dialogue. He took great exception to those students were not properly prepared, and as he explained it, this class was like in open ground bag lunch. To the extent you attend the lunch and expect to eat (derive the benefits) you have to contribute.

We live in a global economy. We are very happy when Boeing, IBM, eBay, Amazon, Microsoft, Dell, and numerous other companies generate significant revenue and profits through foreign sales. All of these companies outsource manufacturing and /or service operations. It makes sense – we live in a global economy. While we used to comparison shop in the neighborhood, and as our reach grew we shopped throughout the city, state and country, we now are able to comparison shop anywhere on the planet. To remain relevant and to maximize profits, companies must avail themselves of the best the world has to offer – and similarly they have to offer the best value proposition to their clientele. Is it reasonable to think that American businesses will flourish if they operate with one hand tied behind their back. In addition, is it reasonable to expect our global trading counterparts to embrace our products and services if we reject theirs.

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