Search This Blog

Friday, February 24, 2012

Open Letter To Obama, What is Wrong and How to Fix It

      I sent an open letter to President Obama showing him a way to create thousands of jobs, with technology that is already available.  My hopes and expectations of getting a reply are slim to none.  However I put in my two bits and can show there are ways to create jobs and not with taxpayer money.   The program I submitted also addresses America's energy crisis.  The more I hear the president the less I think he is sincere in his desire to help America.  I am posting this just so people can know he has been sent viable solutions. His actions or lack of them is on him.  So the rest of this post is stuff I sent him.  Part of it is a previous post but it is important at least I think so.

Dear President Obama,

      This letter is sent as a concerned citizen   I am neither Republican or Democrat, but Independent and concerned with the situation America finds itself in.  Having spent thirteen years in the military it is my observation that leaders are defined by the situations that arise on their watch.  In my opinion you got a raw deal.  You were given a broken economy and an empty piggy bank and the obligation to fix it.  I think you have done an outstanding job considering.  Being a history buff I fear we are headed toward making the same mistakes that were made by Hoover.  His actions or lack of them plunged us into the Great Depression.  He denied the gravity of the situation, which you have not.   However he waited till it was to late to turn it around to take action.  He thought it was just a temporary blip.  This situation we find ourselves in is nothing knew. It happened in the 1870’s, 1890’s and 1920’s and always does after large moves forward.
      It is my opinion that the present situation is going to define your presidency.  It is also my opinion there are ways out of this situation.  It will be determined by your actions and by thinking outside the box.  I would first like to make a couple comments.  I come from a very democrat area.  Enclosed you will find a picture taken on election day in 2008.  It should not take you long to see what is missing in that picture.  On twitter and the internet I hear people slam you and it bothers me.  While I did not vote for you it is my job as an American to support the person in the White House.  I post the below paragraph on my blog and twitter account all the time and I believe it.  That is why I am writing this.  It is to offer you a view that is outside the box.

                 “Obama was fed the American dream & naive enuf to believe it, determined enuf to
                             pursue it, proved it is true.  Now what is he going to do with it”          

     The attached sheets have ideas and opinions that could turn or start a turn around. They can be initiated by private industry and would create thousands and thousands of jobs.  The governments only roll would be to eliminate red tape and maybe give some tax breaks as incentives.  The thing it will take to get it rolling is a call to arms.  If nothing else I have learned from President Obama, he is good at putting forth ideas.  This one would require calling together the leaders and asking for their help.  This would bypass Congress and from what I have seen at many rallies and your State of the Union speech.  Americans are willing and want to help America.  What they need is leadership.  You got the job, now what are you going to do with it.  Your actions or lack of them will be what defines your Presidency.  I agree with you that the dream still works. However it is not just going to happen.  Look again at that picture and you will see that some parts of America were trying to stop you before you even got started.  Good Luck in all you do.      

Respectfully Yours,

Richard F. Ryan

                               America Needs Energy Independence & Jobs, Here’s A Solution              

       I am glad for once to say I am wrong.  Today the Dow is above where it was three years ago and the Nasdaq is higher than it has been in eleven years.  That is clear back before Bush took office.  Jobs are up and while the housing market may not have hit bottom some trends show signs of improvement.  There is a trend toward multi-generational housing.  That is not all bad as it may help America return to the values it had in earlier generations.  If you have ever driven the back roads of New England you often see rambling built on and extended frame homes.  Especially in the country.  They are houses that were extended to meet generational needs, most of them during the Great Depression.  Today many of them are Bed& Breakfasts.  While those facts are  nice my goal is to put out a plan that will create jobs nationwide and also conserve energy.  So what is my expertise that qualifies me to  make such a proposal.  I spent thirty years in transportation. Thirteen of it in the military logistical fields.  My civilian experience includes being self employed and hauling produce.  Being married to an X-migrant worker for almost forty years.  I have seen the produce industry from several sides.  As a business owner(trucking) I had opportunity on many occasions to talk to other business owners.  I watched a man who had years of experience at farming fail when he tried to enter the produce business.  A big part of the reason for his failure was the high cost of energy to heat the greenhouses.  They hired Mexicans, but many of the Mexican families no longer follow the crops.  They are getting out of the fields. In my wife's family all thirteen kids left the fields. Three went to college, four went into factories and some work in other administrative type jobs.  With all that being said here is the idea.
       At present most of the produce that goes to markets on the east coast and New England states, especially in the off seasons up north, comes out of Florida, California and Mexico.   All of these suppliers are thousands of miles from the markets they are serving.  It does not have to be that way.  There are hundreds of power plants all through the Midwest and North Eastern states.  They all have abundant supplies of energy that they burn to generate energy.  The waste product, "heat" goes up the chimney and is wasted.  To power companies the heat is simply a by product.   With very slight modification the plants could capture much of that energy and use it to heat greenhouses built in proximity to their power plants.  This helps in several ways. First thousands of trucks do not need to run clear across America just to deliver some produce.  Each truck running from California to say New York City burns between 500 and 600 gallons per truck.  You multiply that times the thousands of trucks that are making the trip daily, weekly or annually and you are talking millions and millions of gallons annually.  There are hundreds of intermediate markets that need serviced also.  Look at a map.  All those cities represent people that need to eat.  Building thousands of greenhouses across the country shortens the supply lines and creates local jobs.  The technology is available and the engineering modifications required are minimal.  The energy and cost savings to America would be immense.  It would make a major stride in moving toward energy independence.  It would create jobs upgrading the plants, jobs building and maintaining the greenhouses, jobs for workers to grow the plants, pack and ship them to local markets.  It will take good management and eventually the power plants would see a return on their investment.  The key is keep the cost low so it is economically feasible.
     Another benefit is that it would lessen the wear and tear on America's highways, bridges and other infrastructure.  It would not eliminate trucking jobs.  It would change how and where they run.  It would change the types of jobs.  The main impact would be on the economies of already hurting states like Florida, California and Texas.  These changes could be offset with some business changes.  Not all plants and produce would adapt to the changes.  However enough would to make it worth while.  There are plants that take mass acreage to grow like watermelons and cantaloupes,  also products like citrus that would not work with a greenhouse operation.  Over time with development even some of the need for those products might be met.
     What would it take to get this program in gear?  How about the President calling a meeting of all the major power distributors in America.  He could lay out the plan and ask what kind of tax breaks they would need to get this going.  The upside is that it could be done by private industry and not with government money.  It might require changing some regulations and securing some land near the power plants.  It will also take developing teams to run the greenhouses and market the produce effectively.  It is all doable with technology that is out there right now.  It mainly takes committing and doing it.  It is not pie in the sky, it is real jobs and it is available right now.  With proper motivation the first greenhouses could be in business for the fall season.
     Oh yeah I almost forgot.  One other possible benefit is a reduction in cost, because of the shorter supply lines required to get stuff  to market.  This would lessen the demand for energy and possibly prove to be a way of lowering costs for the average American.
     This could be beneficial to American national security.  We would not be as at risk in case of attack by a foreign country or natural disaster. In the this age of terrorism,  What if a group of terrorists decided to cut America in half.  Ten to twenty tons of fertilizer made into a bomb could easily drop a bridge into the river.  If you think I am wrong remember the Oklahoma city bomb was only about two tons.   Dedicated terrorists like the ones who planned 9/11 could easily get hold of a semi and make the bomb or bombs.  Trucks are stolen all the time.  If we look at the Mississippi River it has from Minneapolis to New Orleans only eleven interstate bridges across the river.  Six of those bridges are in the New Madrid fault zone.  If the “big one” which is said to be overdue happens and at the level of the 1811-12 quakes those bridges might be out of commission.  This would effectively cut America in half.  There are only twenty eight bridges total on the Mississippi in the same area.  Over half of those are in the New Madrid zone.  The collapse of those bridges would effectively cut America in half.  With the present system in the right season a large quake could place all the states east of the Mississippi in danger of not being able to get food supplies.  This is a situation that could be remedied by proper prior planning.  It is why I also think the movement towards renewable energy should focus on individual home units.  This would limit the effects of some kind of major disaster.  All of America would not go down if the grid did.  It would be more effective for national preparedness in case of a natural disaster or attack.
      Having spent thirteen years in the Army and over twenty years in civilian trucking I have had time to ponder the what if’s.   In my humble opinion America is not ready for some very possible what if’s

                                             America What Is Wrong and How To Fix It

      Watched the State of the Union speech and learned a couple things.  Some I already knew, but got a new perspective on them. The first thing I learned was how proud Americans are of those who serve our country, but found it is unanimous as both side rose to their feet.  Only a few things managed to get both sides to their feet and some real hand clapping.  Every one should get a fair shot and play by the same rules was pretty popular.  America  still believes we can succeed and all we need is a level playing field.  That is one thing I have personally always felt was true.  Most Americans support the idea of ending subsidies for the oil companies and spending the money to make America energy independent.  Fixing the tax code and passing the tax break for lower income Americans got a real good response also.  The one that really got a strong response was the comment for government to do only what the people can not do for themselves.  We can achieve anything if we work together as Americans was a double sided hand banging success. Our freedom endures because of those who defend it. Having spent thirteen years in the military and ten years overseas I really appreciated that one and it feels good to know America is totally behind the servicemen and women of America.  The final one I noted both sides rising on was the statement that We rise and fall as One.
     The basic thing one can take away from all those comments is that Americans are proud to be American's. I have always known that.  All you have to do is ask one and he will tell you in no uncertain terms that America is the greatest. The problem is there is a very fine line between proud and pride.  God hates prideful people. With all that positive attitude why can't America get things turned around then.  It is turning but very slowly.  We need some form of stimulus to get it moving faster.  There is nothing wrong with the work ethic in America.  American's still can and do work hard when given the opportunity.  The problem is the lack of opportunity.  It is not all foreign countries fault.  If you look at all the foreign car and manufacturing companies that have plants in America that becomes very clear.  One problem in America is we have invented ourselves out of our jobs.  This is something that happens on pretty regular cycles.  It some times takes a while to see it happen but looking at history will prove it.  The civil war stimulated industrial growth and it kept going so good that by 1873 America went into a major depression.   Then came the railroad expansion into the west and a series of economic turn downs running through 1897.  Then started the automotive and aviation expansions they carried us to the great depression with just a couple slowdowns along the way.  So the ups and downs are nothing more than normal cycles.  Eventually America adapts and moves forward.
     The problem this time comes in two areas.  First America is becoming a service economy.  Construction and factory jobs are being eliminated and may never come back because they are being eliminated altogether.  The question is how many service jobs can be created.  The second area is the collapsing infrastructure in America.  Infrastructure creates jobs that are temporary in nature, but the nature of repairing infrastructure is that it is ongoing.   It must continually be addressed.  Let me address them separately.
     The first deals with the so called Free Trade problem.  Which is another way of saying jobs being shipped overseas.  American industry has found they can get many things done cheaper overseas and make a bigger and better profit.  Does that make it right.  As an example I would like to use the Apple computer company.  Mainly because they have been in the news lately in two ways.  One is that their plant in China has been having a lot of employee suicides.  That is not Apples problem but China's for tolerating the exploitation of their citizens.  China has not set a high enough income standard to keep the employees happy.  The problem is they are more concerned about keeping the people busy than making profits.  At the same time Apple has become the richest company in the world.   How did they do that?  They did it buy exploiting conditions abroad that they could never use in America.  They could build the computers and phones in America, but it would cut into their profits.  The question is, is it right for the American government to turn a blind eye to actions by an American company abroad that they would not tolerate in America.  I argue they should place an import tax that would make them pay an equivalent price to what they would pay if they made them here.
     The argument is that they are not American workers.  Are foreign workers somehow subhuman when compared to American workers.  The argument that they do not need as much money to live in China is a flimsy justification.  Wal-Mart has many of its products made overseas for the same reason.  It increases their profit.  Is the bottom line all that matters to American business.  America claims to be a Christian nation but it is not practicing Christian concepts in business. Wealth gotten by vanity or being to proud will diminish a person, business or nation.  However that which is gotten by honest labor shall increase one.  So is the reason America is suffering because of the unscrupulous practices of her business class. That is in Proverbs 13:11 and proverbs 16:18 says it even better, "Pride goes before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
      I had to look haughty up but it sure fits the attitude of most American business companies. It means having or showing great pride in ones self and contempt for others.  That is the attitude of most wealthy Americans toward the poor.  The Constitution says it is the duty of the government to look out for the welfare of the nation.  If you read it closely enough you will find infrastructure comes under the title of welfare.  That is what was quoted when they built the Capitol and the White House.  They quickly rebuilt them when they were destroyed during the War of 1812 so upkeep evidently is a responsibility of the government.  So from my point of view the government is failing America because they have not created a means or way of taking care of America's infrastructure problems.  Some kind of program needs to be set up.  It would create jobs to take care of the problems.  It should be run at the state level. With Fed oversight.
       I can hear the screams now that we need to cut the deficits and reduce spending in America.  That is true, but if you do not stimulate the economy at the same time you will fail.  If the tax base is not there the system will not work.  Could infrastructure work be considered some kind of service work.  That is not the issue to me.  What is the issue is that the wealthy Americans need to reinvest their money in America.  If all they are going to do is sit on it and put it in off shore banks maybe their taxes need to be tripled if not more.  At one point taxes on the wealthy were almost 90%, maybe we need to return to that system and get the money flowing.
     The mega millions being spent on elections to buy favor with the government could create hundreds of thousands, if not millions of jobs.  The problem is not that there is not enough money in America.  Or that the money is not being spent.  It is how and on what it is being spent on that is the problem. There are many ways that American business could work to make America energy independent. One of my blogs has "Seven Radical Ideas" to get America back to work and energy independent.   America could be energy independent tomorrow if the right legislation is passed.  The technology already exists.  The problem and road block is government red tape and regulations that can be changed with the stroke of a pen.  However Congress needs to step up to the plate and accept and implement the changes to get it done.

No comments:

Post a Comment