Friday, October 24, 2008

Stay Focused On The Task At Hand

Some of the best coaches, as measured by success, have emphasized the basics of the sports in which they coach. In football it's called blocking and tackling.

The next POTUS will have a plate full of problems, but there is one which might be like blocking and tackling, going back to basics.

He must coach his players, members of Congress, on the need to concentrate on the basics. In today's America that's about the need to convince us all that putting people back to work is the first basic step in returning America to a real contender, a winner. That means the need for jobs.

As a retired business manager I am keenly aware of the importance of a recognized need which requires work before a job could be justified. Jobs are cost centers; salaries, wages and benefits are very real costs.

That need which requires broad based recognition is the rebuilding of the nation's infrastructure. It's falling down around us like London Bridge. Roads, bridges, tunnels, etc., are the life lines of commerce and society. We've taken the view that once they are built they don't have to be maintained. This is known in business as deferred maintenance, and it's a killer if it's not addressed.

It isn't glamorous or exotic like going to the moon. It's more like what FDR inherited.

He identified needs which required work, which meant jobs. Some detractors claimed they were "make work" jobs. I was not yet around at the time, so I'll not comment. But I was around as we came out of that Depression.

Here's my own caveat about this. It might be valid to claim that WW II got us going again. Certainly it required lots of jobs. I'd hate to think that we need another war to get us out of this mess. Can we find enough work, short of war, which requires the jobs people need to have any chance of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

McCain would likely consider war. Obama not, I think.

Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper

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