For most of the country, the economy has gone off the cliff.
Manufacturing jobs have drifted overseas; the Bush borrow-and-spend
policies and five years of spending $720 million a day on Iraq have
left the cupboard bare. Housing is in the dirt, not just here but
globally. Our financial institutions are in trouble.
Meanwhile, countries like China, India and Russia are growing
rapidly, supplying our products and a large percentage of offshore
labor that used to be done by Americans. Those countries have become
wealthy, if polluted, and technically advanced so that they can
conduct their own space and military programs. China has stated
publicly that it will beat the U.S. back to the moon, and could.
We have problems, and doing nothing is not a solution. We've
pursued military options but not diplomatic actions. Nor has the
White House set up a grand economic strategy. It just tries to plug
holes in the dam.
America's strength is still in place if we use it. And it could
generate practical solutions like jobs if we had a real strategy to
get back in this global marathon. First, we need to cut energy waste
and carbon dioxide emissions by building the green technologies that
will create new jobs. Instead of turning a wrench on a car in
Detroit, the next generation will be turning bolts on windmills or
solar panel farms.
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While GM loses money on plants in Detroit, Toyota and the
Japanese make money building cars in the U.S., in places like
Mississippi, for less than the $20-per-hour jobs that took little
education to perform. In the old days, the buggy whip makers were
replaced by the guys building cars. That process won't stop as we
move up the technology food chain.
We need energy, and again our own -- unused -- technology could
provide both a solution and more 21st-century jobs. At a recent
Space Advocates lunch, I heard current NASA engineers state that we
have the basic technology and know-how to generate solar energy from
space -- by beaming it from space to a collection station on Earth.
Such a project would not only produce needed clean, renewable power,
but it would also advance our technology and create new
state-of-the-art jobs. Older workers can retrain, retire or move to
the new opportunities.
Spending money on wars will not produce new technologies, jobs or
economic vitality. But a strategy to create jobs and new
technologies to maintain our leadership in the future with a global
strategy will help pull us out of the dive, while advancing our
We can leave the buggy whips behind for orbiting space energy
collectors with our feet still on the ground. It will leave us with
more jobs, and energy and technical leadership as the bonus.
[Text from file received from
American on behalf of
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