The five major problems facing not just the US but almost all developed countries are the following:
1)Jobs are going to the developing countries with very favorable rates of exchange and wage level relative to prosperous developed countries. Wages in China, India, Vietnam, Brazil and others across the board are a fraction of the developed country wages. How can Canadian, Spanish or US lawyers and legal experts compete with their Vietnamese, Peruvian, or Indian counterparts when the skills are roughly comparable but the wages and telepresence both are distinctly better than their home country.
2)Jobs are becoming ever scarcer commodity for all nations as smart machines take over ever more sophisticated tasks. In order to earn even a median wage, a college degree if not graduate level and an ever longer period of “free or open source” volunteering or low wage apprenticeship is required for almost all jobs. Pay equity is shot to hell given top executives pay at 9 sigma levels of expected effectivenes but performance a) not even approaching 4 sigma levels and b)very much dependent on much less adequately compensated staff and workers.
3)Action on Climate Change and 5 other impending environmental disasters: 1)energy independence from monopoly sources, 2)ever more expensive water supplies worldwide, 3) countermeasures to instantly spread communicable disease, 4)species eradication including fish, bees, and biodiversity, 5)air pollution across a broad spectrum of airborne is tripping of ever-increasing allergies, asthma, cancers and other debilitating diseases is at a standstill. Ame is subject rabid and calculatedly self-serving anti-science denials. Only overwhelming catastrophes putting vast regions at the edge of disater can elicit concerted emergency action.
4)The rate of change across societies both rich and poor is accelerating. There is constant multitasking, rushed decision-making, and action in situations where the slack in time and resources is at a minimum. Yet asymmetric terrorism, nuclear ambition, and despotic tyrants rule the roost across the world.
5)There is a breakdown in problem solving due to a)the wicked nature of many problems, b)the anti-rational denials, and c)the preying on fear, confusion, and short-term memory and often limited understanding for ulterior ends that dominates the scene. Clearly, the 1% want to retain their privileges and basically unfair equations of income and wealth at everybody else’s expense [see the 2007-2009 Financial Meltdown].
Into the this Wicked Problem Space now place a no longer functioning legislative government. The 1% of US”Job Creators” have managed to construct and buy over 30 years a mass of political controls of a profoundly unfair nature:
1)A Senate in which 40 votes can overturn any bill, action, or appointment. The Senate is one of the deadly sources of venomous political partisanship.
2)A House of which nearly 40% percent of the members have taken a pledge of no new taxes at a time when the overall taxes as % of GDP are the lowest in 40 years and the 1-percenters tax paymentsas a % of income are the lowest in 30 years. This pledge is to a traitor, Grover Norquist, who advocated the Starve the Beast policies which spend grossly more than you paid for in taxes and thus created the huge deficits that he wants to manage with no new taxes. Norquist has been instrumental in a)sabotaging any Pay As You Go policies that might reduce the debt and b)encouraging massive deficit spending up until 2 years ago.
3)A Us Supreme Court that has allowed corporations and any organization to spend unlimited funds for lobbying and campaign financing but with limited disclosure of who is funding those groups.
4)A system of too-big-to fail financial rescue that bails out the financial community to the tune $3.3 trillion at tax payers expense. Efforts to limit that exposure in the Dood-Frank and other legislation have been watered down such that they are inoperable in preventing another bank bailout by taxpayers.
5)A system of white collar financial prosecution that with the lone exception of Ponzi Schems [think Madoff and Stafford] and Insider Trading, constantly uses token “biggest fines ever” with no admission of guilt, no prison time or restrictions on the perpetrators.This is in stark contrast to the Graham Oxley on accounting fraud – which cut off some gross accounting misconduct during the financial crisis – but left major exceptions.
Given this as a setting, the US Presidential election seems to be heading for a debate betweenMitt Romney accusing President Obama as being the worst President since George W. Bush and President Obama attacking the Republican Congress for being the perpetrators of the demise of his Promises of Change.
Oh my goodness gracious – such a disappointment.