Friday, November 21, 2008

The Irony of Napolitano as Head of DHS

I can't be the only one who sees the irony here. Our governor, Janet Napolitano, looks to be the next head of the Department of Homeland Security. That's right, our governor. The one who has spent the last six years blaming every single immigration problem on the federal government. Now it's going from an issue she's been dodging to her responsibility.

I'm not sure if this is funny or sad.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Do We Bail Out Automakers?

Right now the Big 3 automakers are begging Congress for billions in bailout money. In the Wall Street Journal, Rick Wagoner - President of GM - makes an impassioned plea for the money he says will be a short term bridge to help GM get over this rough patch. He points to some amazing things that GM has done and he's right, GM has done some amazing things. However, the are still bleeding cash like there are no arteries left to cut. In 2006 their net loss was almost $2 billion. Not content with that, their net loss in 2007 was almost $39 billion. Assuming a US population of 300 million (I think that's pretty close), it would take about $103 from every man, woman, and child in the country. Do you like GM that much?

On the other side of the coin, there's the case to let the automakers fail. Mitt Romney, who made his millions turning around failing companies, has written an opinion in the New York Times on why we should let the automakers fail. He points out that it costs American companies about $2,000 more per car in labors costs. So, not only do they have to design a better car than Toyota, they have to build it for $2,000 less. No wonder they're having a hard time. He says that allowing them to go into bankruptcy will let them restructure themselves into a far more competitive company than any bailout would allow.

After reading both sides, I think that I have to agree with Mr. Romney. Yes the automakers are changing but they're not changing fast enough to compete. In fact, they aren't allowed to change fast enough to compete. Will it hurt? Yes. It's like heart surgery: it hurts a lot and takes a long time to recover but, when the alternative is a heart attack, most opt for the surgery.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Our New President

Well, I'm not exactly surprised that Barak Obama won. He had the momentum and a message that really resonated with the American people. I'm actually surprised that McCain did as well as he did (46% of the popular vote when I last checked). This election marks a huge shift in the political direction of the country.

Now I am not an Obama fan. I did not vote for him and, while I expected that he would win, I was hoping for an upset. That said, I think we could have done a lot worse. Yes, I believe that he is a socialist - not in any evil way, just that he believes in expanded government control and more social programs - but I also believe (call me an optimist) that he will honestly try to serve this country to the best of his ability.

I was really impressed with his victory speech. He was very upfront about the work that we have ahead of us. He didn't act like he would be able to solve all of our problems (which may be disappointing to some of his supporters) but called for everyone to work together.

And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it's been done in America for 221 years -- block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

He also called upon Americans to exhibit a trait that many seem to be avoiding, responsibility.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

If he can affect the kind of change it takes to get us all to work together and to think of others and not just ourselves, I will be happy. If he can do it without socializing medicine and over-regulating businesses, I will be even happier.

While I may not agree with his policies, I respect him as a person. He is smart, well organized, and very capable. Most importantly, however, come January, he will be our president.

Let's resolve to put away any disappointment, rancor, or other negative feelings and move forward. I choose to believe that most of us want our country to be successful and prosperous. Let's work together for that goal. Don't give up your principles or your convictions, just understand that while others may have different ideologies, most are working toward the same goals: happiness, prosperity, peace, etc. We can disagree without being disagreeable, we can build on commonalities without getting bitter over differences.

The easy part is over, now it's time to get to work.