Monday, October 29, 2012

'Practical Wisdom': Who Has It, Obama or Romney?'

'Who delivered the cadavers to the alumni dinner?'
'Practical Wisdom' is a book by Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe that seeks to find out what is missing in modern American life when it comes to ethical, responsible leadership.

They lean heavily on Aristotle who used the phrases we are sure all of you have heard lately:  Phronesis which means 'practical wisdom' which helps us all achieve eudaimonia or a 'life that flourishes'.

It is worth the read.  Pick it up off your favorite Amazon website someday.

President Obama said over this past weekend to Joe Scarborough and Mika Brezinski of MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' that the #1 priority for him, if re-elected, 'is to reduce the deficit and the national debt'.

Seriously.  Do you believe him when he speaks those words?  They sound good but have his actions and decisions over his four years now in office given you any confidence that he actually believes them?

This is where you as the American voter needs to exercise your own phronesis or 'practical wisdom'.  You need to use your own eyes and ears and brains to see the facts as they are, not as you wish they could be.

'Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence'--John Adams, 'Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials,' December 1770

'Statistics are like a drunk with a lamp post: used more for support than illumination.'-Winston Churchill

'Who dropped a whole truckload of fizzies into the varsity swim meet? Who delivered the medical school cadavers to the alumni dinner? Every Halloween, the trees are filled with underwear. Every spring, the toilets explode. -- (No, not even President Obama can be charged with such underhanded shenanigans...this quote is from Dean Wormer, Faber College, 'Animal House', 1979 just to lighten the mood and ease the tension some here in the final days of this long campaign)

We have given you over 330 different posts to read here approaching close to 400,000 words over these past 4 years. All of them have been backed up by various reputable and non-partisan resources such as the CBO, GAO and fine print in much of the Appendices to the OMB reports to the President each year on the US federal budget.

We remain pretty confident that all of what we have had to say here is 'true' and 'verifiable' simply because we have relied on the raw data entombed in these resources and databases and not relied on the fulminations of anyone you might see on a regular basis on MSNBC, FOX, CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, Al Jazerra or Pravda.

Like Chris Matthews, just to name one particularly over-the-top 'non-biased journalist'?

So here are 3 questions for you to answer in your heart of hearts here one short week out from the most momentous US election we have had in close to 50 years:

  1. 'Has President Obama done everything possible to right this ship of state?' 
  2. 'Do you have 100% confidence that he knows what he is doing?'
  3. 'Will what President Obama proposes to do 'work' and help get everyone back to work and send this economy off into the stratosphere where we all know the US economy can and should be once again?'

If you can honestly say 'YES!' and whole-heartedly mean it based solely on the facts as they have unfolded over these past 4 years, then by all means, go ahead and vote for him to lead this great nation of ours for the next 4 years.  You will be glad you did, even if the economy never returns to full steam, right?

However, if you can not honestly give a full-throated cry of approval for the way President Obama has conducted business as our national leader-in-chief while in the White House or made the right decisions to get us fully out of this economic mess by now, then how can you in good conscience vote for him again?

There may be other reasons why you would vote for him such as his position on some social issues or the inspiration he provided to millions of African-Americans, Latinos and young people in the 2008 election but none of that is leading to more jobs for everyone, is it?

We simply can not afford to take the immense and probable risk that the economy in 2016 will be just what it is today: Moribund with the following characteristics:

  • 23 million Americans un/underemployed; 
  • GDP creeping along at a 2% or less annual growth rate, which is not even enough to absorb the new entrants each year from college and high school; 
  • National debt of over $22 trillion and still climbing fast; annual interest costs approaching $1 trillion or more out of a $4 trillion annual budget and 
  • A frightened private sector that is unwilling to invest in new plant and equipment and hire new workers simply because of new Obama rules, regulations and taxes that weight them down like a millstone today.

Here's a terrifying statistic that you really need to remember before you vote this year (if you have already voted, Godspeed to you and thanks for being a responsible citizen of the United States of America!)

As much as President Obama would like to tout his record that 4.5 million people have found jobs over his tenure in office, TWICE as many people have become frustrated and left the work force because they can not find a job.  9 million of your fellow citizens.

And this is 'progress' (sic), 'change we can believe in' (sic) and 'a good thing' (sic) that President Obama keeps 'bragging about'?

This just plain isn't right in the United States of America. There are tons of opportunities, technologies and new products and services just waiting to be developed in America and each and every time some gutsy person invests in something and starts a business or grows the one they already own, we all benefit.  The fact that 23 million Americans are now without a fulfilling job is a national catastrophe and should not be tolerated by anyone on any side of the political spectrum.

President Obama had his chance to pull this nation together and make the right decisions coming out of this terrible economic implosion we all experienced in one way or another.  He chose poorly, especially in the areas of economic growth policy and budgets.

Mitt Romney is specially prepared by his background, training and temperament to come into the White House on Day 1 on January 20, 2012 and start fixing what ails us, which is the economy and by extension, the budget deficits and national debt.

Use your phronesis to make your decision and vote so that everyone can experience eudaimonia again.  If you haven't voted for Mitt Romney yet, go out and do so.  Today, if you can avoid Hurricane Sandy that is.

1 comment:

  1. The President of the United States is both an honor and considered one of the world's most powerful people. The US Presidents List responsibilities include being the commander-in-chief of the military and leading the nation with the largest economy.


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