Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012 | 2:02 a.m.
I despair over recent Republican arguments about how to win the 2016 presidency by appealing to various interest groups, such as immigrants and women. How is that more important than the national interest in recovering our competitiveness in the global marketplace?
First, it seems obvious that we need investment in speedier, more reliable public transportation and communications. Hurricane Sandy was costly to the GDP as well as homes and jobs, as it cut electric lines and flooded subways. That suggests underground lines and better flood control are needed.
And if work time is lost because of slow trains in the Northeast or elsewhere, doesn’t that call for bullet trains, providing greater productivity? Also, if other countries have better, less expensive health service and plans, shouldn’t we consider them?
Also, if, as “60 Minutes” has noted, many skilled jobs exist (some in Nevada) but cannot be filled for lack of skilled applicants, shouldn’t we know why this is so?
And if countries outside cheap-labor Asia have found solutions to economic security and a better life for their citizens, might we not look there for clues?
In sum, we should look everywhere and, though contrary to human nature, beyond elective self-interest for possible solutions to our basic problems. Or are office seekers and the electorate too selfish and full of false pride? If so, this is a sorry synonym for American exceptionalism?