Obama’s Dilemma, High Speed Rail, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and Other Miscellaneous Observations February 1, 2012

Joel Kotkin, director of one of our favorite sites, Newgeography.com, has exposed how Obama has alienated people on all sides, even though he will probably win the election.  I notice, now that I think about it, that while the Occupy Movement has not spent a lot of time denouncing Obama, they have not greeted him with the fulsome praise that we heard in 2008. Once again, Obama’s “allergy to antithesis,” which I wrote about quite a while ago is not serving him well.

Kotkin supports bringing back the Works Progress Administration; I think, at the very least, we could revive the Civilian Conservation Corps.  It would provide employment for large numbers of young people who are having difficulty finding jobs now. And, also, it might institute a love of the natural world in new generations and populations which have grown up not hooked into that American tradition.

I voted for high speed rail in 2008; it may prove unworkable, I now admit.  Maybe our country isn’t advanced enough to afford high speed rail.  But I think that the airlines have become what the railroads were in the late nineteenth century, and I wanted an alternative.

I don’t think that social conservatism – except in the matter of immigration – is as much of a drag on the Republican party as Kotkin seems to think, provided that they lead with the economic concerns.  I would like to see a Romney-Santorum ticket – and Santorum has to learn how to talk about economic issues.  I will concede that in California, however, a large number of social conservatives – perhaps even the majority – are people of color who will, for other reasons, never vote Republican.  Social conservatives, given this fact, are well advised to take a bipartisan stance if they are to maintain their clout.  I do think that Republicans need to be for something other than ‘No Tax Shall Ever Be Raised Ever Ever,’ if they are to have any kind of a future.

It’s interesting that Kotkin has put Shellenberger and Nordhaus on his website.  I have been following them for a couple of years, and I subscribe to their Breakthrough Journal.  I think they have an interesting approach that bypasses traditional partisan locked-in viewpoints.

Related: “Obama’s Economic Trifecta: How The President Helped Kill Progressivism, Capitalism And Moderation” by Joel Kotkin at Forbes.com

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