Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Modest Proposal

Peter Goldmark of Newsday is a former budget director of NYS & former publisher of the International Herald Tribune. He headed the climate program at the Environmental Defense Fund.
On August 19th and repeated in today's Sunday Newsday he wrote an OpEd putting forth a few "modest" ideas to straighten out the country.
He invited readers to send in their thoughts via email and he promised to read and respond to all.
That might be a tall order given the amount of angst in New York, let alone America.
I guess it's not a surprise that I offered my opinion, naturally, in the hopes that someone, somehow, somewhere will start to listen to those of who make less than a few million dollars a month!

Hi Peter,
Thanks for offering to listen to those who read & listen to you.
I almost do not know where to begin – Almost.
First and foremost we must restore confidence in America and self esteem in Americans. And when I say Americans I am speaking of the vast but dwindling middle class.
You are absolutely correct on all your points and I wish to add a couple of finer points to the list.
I realize there is no single project, no silver bullet to kill all that ails us as a country but one area that is definitely a win-win is infrastructure repair.
The nation’s bridges and roads are deteriorating at an embarrassing rate and putting people to work repairing them is a no-brainer. Sadly many of the politicians on one side of the aisle ARE no-brainers as they refuse to allow any movement that could be seen as a plus for the President.
If we do get to move on infrastructure I wish to add a new project to the mix:
When we built our National Highway System it became a model for the rest of the world to point to. We should use our ingenuity to now plan and build a similar system, not for vehicles but for water.
How often do we see terrible flooding in one part of the country while others are literally praying for rain? (I couldn’t resist a little dig at Mr. Rick Perry.)
This National Water Main system would funnel water away from flood ravaged areas and send it to places in dire need of the precious liquid.
The project would create jobs for tens of thousands and ongoing careers maintaining the structures for ages to come.
And it could even have the extra added benefit of producing hydro-electric energy as the water is moved around the country.
As for so-called entitlements I guess reform is absolutely necessary but certainly not as necessary as tax reform.
The wealthy who have contributed much to the problem in America and very little to the solution should look to Mr. Warren Buffet, no slouch he when it comes to money. We should agree with him as he asks why he is paying so little toward his fair share of tax revenue.
Incentives for state and local governments are nice and should always be looked into. But how do we ask the local municipalities to do that which the nation refuses to do?
But many years ago and for five consecutive years I was the President of the Home Fashion Products Assn. During one of my many speeches in the 1990s I warned that our nation was headed for terrible times as we continue to send jobs overseas.
I warned that we would become a third world nation unless DC started to place tariffs on products manufactured by cheap foreign labor.
I also admitted that we could not blame any CEO for trading highly paid and skilled workers in America for ‘who cares, they’re cheap’ labor in Asia since if they did not do so while their competitors did their businesses would fail.
My laundry list is much longer than I note here but I must stop somewhere.
But unless and until I see a willingness in Congress to tackle ANY of our problems I fear we will be airing our dirty laundry in public for many years to come.

I don't expect to get an actual reply from Mr. Goldmark but I wouldn't mind hearing from any of you.  Am I off the mark or am I striking Gold?
If he replies I'll post it here.

1 comment:

Reschzoo said...

My reply from Mr. Goldmark was a bit more than a dear occupant letter and for that I am thankful. Unfortunately I could write a coimputer program that would have induced the exact same response to my letter so I am not convinced he or any member of his staff actually read the darn thing.
Still at least I got a reply. Here it is, verbatim:

Dear Bruce Resch -

Thanks for taking the time to send in your thoughts. And thanks, especially, for all those good ideas - including the National Water Main system. Like you, I think rebuilding the infrastructure is a win-win proposition.

Sounds like your speeches back in the 1990's were clairvoyant!

With all best wishes,

Peter Goldmark

Thanks Peter!