If you think about the future like I do, there are a few things that are very worrisome. This is regardless of your politics.
First is the pending movement of all baby boomers to medicare and social security with an upside down pyramid of support that won't work.
Second is the diminishing quality of education in this country and the patchwork solutions we have in place. Not only do we fail those at the lower end, but lately we have put processes and systems in place that make it difficult to be brilliant. We really only support mediocrity.
Third is our complete and utter failure as a country to be "open for business". We don't promote the engine of small business; we allow big business to operate multi-nationally to exploit our US markets with little price for the tremendous dislocation they cause by such strategies; we have allowed a once perfect system of capital formation to fail due to unfettered greed and lack of ability of regulators to understand, much less manage the big casino on Wall Street that has become the heart of an American return to feudalism; worse we have totally flipped the paradigm of free markets- when they got into trouble due to ridiculous gambles, we supported them with Trillions of $ of direct investment that might better have been allocated to the millions of ordinary people who were victims of their gambles.
Last is the growing underclass of uneducated, unemployable, unfit people who have no hope or reason to participate in our system. This group is continually supplemented by failing education and business systems. These people need programs to bring up levels of education, fitness, employment and happiness.
You'll note I don't address many issues such as defense and terrorism, all the social issues, the environment and more. I submit that if we don't address the top four issues I lay out here, our positions on all the others won't matter because we will be irrelevant. Better countries will focus on the big important issues.
Is there a role for government in solving the problems we know we have?
There should be, but our system cannot meet that obligation. It is hopelessly broken. We had Obama with lots of hope and he got mired in our imperfect 220yr old Congress. Yesterday's election removed what little power Obama's has and put in place a Congress that will argue up a storm, and get nothing done.
So what do we do if we really want to solve these problems? We need to get creative and use the tools and systems we have in place (yes, web stuff) to bypass Washington with Government 2.0.
I am not certain how, but I know it is time to turn our backs on Washington as a place where problems get solved. There is too much ignorance, greed and self interest for anything good to happen. The bright side is that we problem solvers can get moving on things while Washington entertains us.
So, let's get moving.
More to come.