Saturday, March 11, 2006

Pet Peeves. Group 1

In four months, I'll be 75, and, certainly, at this advanced age, I should be entitled to my biases as any good natured curmudgeon is.

ENTREPENEURSHIP---This word usually arouses my ire. Entrepeneurs, in my book, nine times out of ten come up with an idea for a new gimmick or process that mankind would be better off without. Everytime I wander through the stationery department of Target--there are new kinds of pen, with new shades of ink, with different shaped barrels. Some write with perfumed ink, or they have metalic sparkles mixed with the ink.

Entrepeneurs are supposed to be good for the economy. We
would be better off if we could make automobiles as well as the Japanese; movies with some imagination, force, purpose, instead of the repetitious drivel characteristic of Hollywood..

Instead of entrepenurs coming up with items that we have no need for, why can't bona fide engineers design products that work well and last long?

Democracies are usually republics, i.e. the people --one person, one vote-- choose candidates to represent them in Congress as senators or house members.

In the United States (and, no doubt, elsewhere) politicians are most interested in perpetuating
themselves in office. One solution: term limits. Problem: it is a rather mindless approach. Occasionally, a state or a district may find themselves fortunate to have a wise, informed, honest, effective person who actually cares more about the people's welfare. In that case, term limits, especially of a severe type are a disaster.

In order to stay in office, politicians need to amass large campaign resources. Top spin doctors; clever PR professionals, and television spots cost a fortune. Most of the money for campaigning comes from the wealthy or corporations -- who know how to get through the loopholes that are always there.

Suggestion: Establish a iron clad law that no one running for office can use any private money.

A modest amount of public money would be available to the candidates. This would have to do.

Result: a level playing field.

Once elected: nothing could be accepted. Nothing. No paid-for golf excursions to Scotland. No dinners, lunches, gifts of any kind. Period. Their salaries have to be enough.

Without any private money for campaigning -- the candidates would be unable to overwhelm the electorate by mindless, deceptive floods of media coverage.

Without the free treats while in office ---a politician, who runs and wins would tend to be the type who wants the position because she/he wants to serve the people according to whatever wisdom he/she possesses.