New Economic Solutions For The 21st Century

Which Path Will the U.S. Take At This Economic Crossroads?

The United States is at a historic crossroads. The direction that it now takes will determine if it continues to be a global leader. Many feel that the decline of the U.S. is part of a natural cycle in world history. Others see it as a temporary blip in the inexorable march of American exceptionalism. Neither view is inevitable but as always change is. The change that I advocate for is a systematic investment by the U.S. in education, infrastructure, scientific research, and green energy investment. We are in a unique position at this time to more easily facilitate this program. This is ironically the result of the collapse of the U.S. economy beginning in late 2007 as a result of irrational economic investments. This collapse called for economic stimulus. The first round of stimulus in 2009 has to date been marginally helpful with a woeful deficit of investment in our economic future. Now is the time to remedy this misstep. Many calls have arisen for a second stimulus due to our stubbornly high unemployment rate. Now is the time to install the plan that I am advocating. It will ensure our long term economic growth while also stimulating the economy immediately.

I believe that true infrastructure investment is the ideal starting point for my plan. This would be the quickest way to stimulate economic and employment growth. But these investments should be true long term investments and not short term political pork projects. A crumbling infrastructure could also derail other reforms. Tight budgets have stolen funds from capital budgets and these should be restored and expanded upon. This large down payment on our country's infrastructure projects will ease the burden on our states and cities which will free up funds for other essential services especially education. This leads me to our most crucial investment and responsibility.

The education of our children is crucial to the continuing vitality of our economy. Innovation in all fields has been a hallmark of our nation's creativity in the sciences and the arts. Our student academic performance has been steadily deteriorating over the last several years putting this creative edge in danger. This is especially true in our poorer school districts. An unprecedented strong investment in our schools is essential to reverse this alarming trend. But increased spending without new ideas to improve our education system would be foolish. Experimental charter schools, increased academic standards, and greater teacher accountability should be part of a new education policy. New and increased tax credits for college education should also be used to allow a wider swath of our population access to higher education.

Investment in scientific and medical research should be another major area for stimulus funds. Military and space research have spawned countless commercial breakthroughs that we use in our everyday lives. Large amounts of seed money should be granted to universities and corporations for targeted critical research which would spur similar innovations and discoveries that would be essential to our economic expansion. Stem cell and other genetic research show major capacities for rapid advancements in medicine. The laying of new fiber optic lines is another potential area of investment which would tremendously increase information transmission capacity. This investment would allow for much greater productivity. Basic research in our universities as always should be funded and expanded. It should not be slashed as it always is during economic downturns. Once again education is our future.

Alternative green energy is my final area for investment but by no means less important. It is vital to our economy, security, and environment. The truth of the matter is our oil and natural gas supplies are finite and rapidly shrinking. The sooner we seriously invest in alternative energy options the easier our transition will be. Environmental damage has been rapid due to global warming caused by fossil fuel use. Dependence on foreign oil has undermined our national security and has pushed us into Middle Eastern wars. For all of these reasons there is no time to waste. Delay will only exacerbate these problems. We have invested in solar power, wind power, synfuels, nuclear energy, and other alternatives over the years at varying levels. These investments have been administered as direct grants or tax credits. I believe these investments in energy diversification should be enormously expanded and made part of a new and expansive energy policy. President Obama's cap and trade energy legislation is an important step towards improving our environment as well as creating energy policy. My investment program would be an important companion to this legislation or an essential alternative if it fails.

The Obama administration has now passed their health care overhaul which consumed them for over a year. This was a historic achievement but the time has now come to lay the foundation for the revival of our economy. The plan I have set forward here will address present high unemployment but more importantly it will sow the seeds for our future economic security. But we must guard against another pork laden stimulus bill. My plan would inject funds into the economy quickly in labor intensive industries. The continuing investment will return the United States to pre-eminence in the world and lead the way for other countries to follow. I sincerely hope that we take advantage of this opportunity.

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Comments 18 comments

niall.tubbs 6 years ago

HSchneider-

Your writing is intelligent, informative, and optimistic.

Welcome!


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you Niall. I look forward to reading more of your writings.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

This is a very thoughtful and thought-provoking Hub. Though not from the US I can relate to a lot of what you write here. The spending priorities you have listed are pretty much what I believe most countries should concentrate on. Most especially education and alternative energy. In South Africa we allocate the largest percentage of national budget to education of any country in the world, but delivery of quality education is still eluding us for various reasons.

Thanks for this really intelligent Hub which I very much enjoyed reading.

Love and peace

Tony


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thanks for your kind comments Tony. I'm a little surprised that you are having problems with education with that large a budget allocation. Actually I guess I do know from experience here. Many times the problem is using the same old and staid educational practices and not innovating to suit the needs of the students especially in this modern area. It seems teaching evolves slower than society. Hopefully your country, mine, and all countries will wake up and realize that our children are our future. Thanks again.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

You are a clear thinker and an excellent writer with some good ideas. My idea would be to cut the federal government in half across the board except defense, balance the budget, and eliminate corporate income taxes. The thing is, huge central planning by the government has never been the road to prosperity anywhere on earth. It is private enterprise, currently shackled by humungous bureaucracies and mountains of regulations implemented by "experts" who go around the Constitution (Congress). Free Enterprise has always been the key to economic success. One look at how the world works teaches us that.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you James for your kind comments. You are also a clear thinker and excellent writer though we come from opposite political and economic spectrums. My belief is that a minimum of government would be the best thing also but that would be in a utopian world. People and companies are normally and expectedly driven to maximize their profits. Adam Smith felt that any excesses would be corrected over time. Experience tells us this is not the case and other people in our society get hurt. FDR started the era of big government when the country was near collapse and ripe for overthrow. His patrician background was against all his new programs but he knew that the alternatives would be far worse if a more reactionary force took power. I don't believe that the government is central planning but it is regulating to make sure the country's common good is served. The bureaucricies are way too bloated for sure. I am all for streamlining and policing them. But when you drop them things like the Gulf oil spill occur with no contingency remedy at hand. Free enterprise is rightfully the central tenet and the cornerstone of our economy. I will always assert that just as you do. We greatly disagree as to what and how much free rein to give them. Thanks for writing and I look forward to arguing these points and others with you in the future.


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 6 years ago from Northern California

Excellent analysis of where we're headed. I'm excited to see what will happen, and I think we're going in the right direction. Now I think a lot of it is having faith in our leaders. Thanks for the Hub.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you glassvisage. I think we are headed in the right direction also. But I hope those leaders retain some political courage to stay on the path and not cave into the loud criticism they are getting right now. Time will tell as well as November's election.


marisan profile image

marisan 6 years ago from Brazil

Hello HSchneider first come repay your comments on my hubs, speaking of the environment is necessary and urgent, but returning to the subject of your hub I believe that the U.S. is going through a period where he may lose global leadership, but in fact not believe that this occurs, at least not so soon. Despite the huge crisis that the world spent the last year, yet the U.S. remains the major world power, the only difference is that under-developed countries before piling up as the market of Brazil. China Became the second largest world power but not yet capable of becoming the great power that is the U.S.

Congratulations on the hub, where can I'll write more about the environment, economy and technology and that these three elements associated with elements associated can give us a much better life

Until next time


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you Marisan. I believe we both agree that the entire world should be doing more to ensure that we sustain our planet's environment and improve it. My country should do much more and we are starting to. Global warming is an urgent threat and we must invest heavily to control it. I don't believe that it's so much the U.S. will lose its dominance. The rest of the world is expanding and increasing its economic capacity and thus catching up. This is a good thing and will help everybody. Brazil is well on its way to becoming a big economic power and I congratulate you on it. Hopefully you will avoid some of the things we did to hurt the environment. I look forward to reading more of your well informed Hubs.


marisan profile image

marisan 6 years ago from Brazil

I like you hope that Brazil treat the environment better, we have some of the most progressive environmental laws, our problem is to apply them, our country is the breadbasket of the world, here is everything. As I said Pero Vaz de Caminha when we arrived "at planting if everything goes" and it's so true, but I believe that if each contributing the environment is preserved and we keep saying "anything planted in giving."

Visit my blog, the address is in my profile or at the end of the hub

Hugs


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Brazil is doing a wonderful environmental job. The Amazon must be saved and replenished. Our environment is at stake with the Amazon forest. We agree on all of this. I tried to read your blog but it's in Portugese and unfortunately I have little knowledge of your language. I look forward to more of your Hubs.


gjfalcone profile image

gjfalcone 6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

In an era that historians may very well label American Leadership "The Gang that couldn't shoot straight", it is refreshing to see one whom can not only pull the trigger on the tough issues of our time, but one whom consistenly hits the target.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thanks for your comments. I still have faith that some good work can be done on Capitol Hill. Not a lot of faith but some. Unfortunately I believe that November's elections are going to bring gridlock there through 2012.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

I like your middle of the road politics. When left and right extremists keep fighting - the middle of the road solution is unfortunately overlooked by both left and right.


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

Thank you for that observation. U.S. political discourse has become incredibly poisonous which is hurting our ability to govern effectively. I try to study each side's views comprehensively and take what makes sense from each. I am basically center left with my views but I am willing to listen to anyone unless they are simply spewing political polemics.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

My views are center right - so we make an interesting balance. If greed and power tripping was governed that would make a huge difference.

Example - If it became illegal for anyone to be worth more than 100 million (global law), and from the time they reach that figure if they we forced to dedicate their lives (not their money) at 40 hours a week, to any humanitarian causes, the world would be an interesting place to be... wouldn't it?


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey Author

The world would be an interesting place if that was the global law. Free market zealots would argue that those people would become lazy and not work anymore. Of course Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are gradually giving their wealth away to charitable causes. Hopefully the rich in this world will follow suit and this world will truly become a more interesting and more just place. You make great points about the lust for greed and power in this world. Thanks for your comments.

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