Everybody has something to say about the economy, the downturn, and who is at fault. And there are a ton of ideas for how to fix everything.
But fundamentally, somewhere along the line, we’re going to have to make the turn from our 1950s mentality to a sleeker, more sophisticated future. Using television metaphors, we need to move from “Leave it to Beaver” and start becoming “Star Trek.”
For years, Congress was cowed by the auto industry to NOT make regulations on fuel standards. One has to wonder if the Big Three (Big Two?) wouldn’t be in a better position now if they’d been pushed to be better a decade ago.
Some are crying about spending too much on education. Because, surely, all those great cuts in education, the denigration of learning as “elitism”, that came during the Reagan Era have put us in such good stead 20 years later, when all those kids are out of school now. What does it say when after 8 years this past president still has 27% of the populace ardently supporting him? It says that 27% of the American populace is straight up ignorant, unable to deal with rational thought, overpowered by faith as opposed to fact.
We hear “Drill here, Drill now!” That’s catchy. Republicans have always been good with words, turning a phrase, ‘making’ the situation. Which is fine if you have faith, but doesn’t work if you review the facts of how much there really is down there to drill, now or later. To enhance our stature in the world economy (we left isolationism along the side of the road a loooong time ago), we need to start making things the world wants again, not just running up our credit cards buying Hannah Montana dolls made in China. What the world needs are technologies that simultaneously solve our energy and environmental problems. By creating those, we can solve our financial problems and maybe, just maybe, start paying down our debt for future generations.
How do we come up with those technologies? Oh, right. Education! It’s hard to make the next electric car if you don’t start understanding currents and electrical theory early on. Not just at college. Earlier. Not high school, earlier.
Because the sad fact of it is, we may not be done with this downslide. It may take another generation to get our society truly moving in the right direction.
So … let’s give them the tools, the foundation, the philosophy and idealism to do what needs to be done when they get there. Because I hate to be the one to break it to all the Baby Boomers out there: Wally and the Beav are going to live forever on celluloid, but all of you guys are eventually going to die. So stop driving this thing like it’s never going to run out of gas, will never need a new transmission, and will never be any better than it was when you were a kid.