The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Columns

March 25, 2014

Primus Mootry: A call for leadership in the 21st century

(Continued)

Usually, the signs are there long before the event takes place. But people have a difficult time envisioning and preparing for it.

Take this same idea, this phenomenon, to a larger scale. It's not just Anderson, it's the Rust Belt. It's not just the Rust Belt, it's most of the United States of America. It's not just the U.S., it's global. Yes, shifts are occurring on a global scale that are just as profound as the disappearance of GM from our town, but we choose to believe it is not happening. That's human nature, I guess,

Well, I don't know. I don't consider myself to be in any way an alarmist. I don't go around looking for gloom and doom. I don't see rain and say "the sky is falling." But I do see trouble ahead.

For one thing, this nation is so deeply in debt that there may be no way out of it. The solutions no doubt involve doing a series of things at the same time: raising taxes, judicious cuts to government spending, elimination of waste in government spending, and some mechanism for re-distributing wealth.

The problem with all that stuff is that it is so politically poisonous that it likely will never be swallowed. That's the second thing. Our national political leadership is functioning like we were in the 19th Century. Thanks to television and big money, our elections are little more than dog whistle popularity contests. Big money sells them, then it buys them. As they say, "he who pays the Piper calls the tune."

We are at a moment in time when there is an urgent need to keep our eyes on the road. That means effectively addressing issues of stifling debt, income inequality (many college graduates can't even afford to buy a car), quality public education and adequate health care service delivery, unemployment, poverty, immigration, globalization, nuclear proliferation, war mongering, climate change, loss of vital natural resources (like water), and on and on.

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