I’ve been lame of late. The last piece of literature I read was Bukowski. Lately, I’ve been down with the Wall Street Journal and the Economist. Oddly, what’s really pulled me this way has been the prevalence of economics in the news. And not just these past few months, though the current state of things certainly compels me to know more. Actually, that thing within me pulling my interests is poverty; rather, thinking of ways to eliminate it. I see a need to understand the “system” in a deeper way. With that, I think it’s also good to know the system that I live in, whether I wish to rescue others or just avoid becoming a victim of my ignorance.
Be that as it may, I’m starting to get a bit twitchy. Time to read something broader. Got the latest Parabola Magazine, which should broaden my gaze enough for now.
This does bring me to one of my life’s great challenges. My range of interests are ridiculous. Trying to find some way to focus has been crazy. I’ve been working with Steven Covey’s stuff, along with some other guides, and trying to get my, uh, “stuff” together and build a more careerish career. We’ll see what that brings.
Years ago it seems, I was very active in many usenet groups. As we progressed to web based discussions, I plied my ideas there, too. Now, though, I keep my distance. Heck, I often make it a point to NOT read the threads below an article. First, the basic tenor is simply ugly. Pretty much most popular discussion is dominated by the trolls, or the blithely misinformed (especially those who delight in the ignorance, claiming it as some sort of virtue). Given the condensed nature of my time of late, dedicating any of my most precious resource seems irresponsible. I guess I've lost the love of web 2.0. Perhaps…
Watching the capitol hill antics this week gave me pause. First, I was simply stunned at the auto execs un-preparedness for those hearings (though they're much better this past session…with room yet for improvement). I have not heard a single question posed to them that should have been unexpected. Glad they chose to finally do some homework this past week. However, it does make me wonder if they are the right people to lead this "reformation". If they are so disconnected to have missed all the signals for a tough questioning, why should I believe that they are in any position to read the desires of the American public? And be able to bring desired cars to market? Gads, lord help us!
With all this, I've thinking about all this mess at a macro level. Is the best public investment in the companies? Or would it be better to invest the public money in a safety net? Providing solid unemployment benefits, as well as career transition assistance for the displaced seems to me to be the better investment. It would be more likely to instill confidence and recharge spending.
In addition, it would make me feel better to hear policy-makers talking about how to best serve those now unemployed. I think this will last for quite some time, and we would do well to consider the long term recovery process. These half-million new unemployed, and those who follow soon, will probably take some time to get re-absorbed into the economy. Tough times ahead, indeed.