Republicans should be celebrating Romney’s prior work as an example of how the market functions – driving out inefficiency, generating productivity and creating a lean, mean capitalist machine.
The fact that Romney’s past has turned into a line of attack tells you that something has changed in America. Even in the Republican Party, there is a huge concern about what globalization and technological change are doing to the average, middle-class American. There is a sense that the system is not working for the median American worker. If you look at job creation over the last 20-25 years in America, you’ll notice that we haven’t been able to create any jobs in what is called the “tradable sector” of the economy – those jobs that are subject to global competition. The only jobs we’ve really created have been in industries like health care, government, and construction, which are basically local industries shielded from global competition. You can’t outsource the building of a New York skyscraper to a Chinese worker.
America hasn’t been able to create jobs in any sector that’s subject to global and technological pressures. As a result, there is a huge sense of disillusionment, disappointment and pessimism among Americans.None of the Republicans are addressing this problem centrally. They’re simply talking about cutting government spending as if that is going to solve the problem of creating new industries, opportunities and jobs. Simply cutting government strikes me as a very inadequate response to a massive challenge.Hopefully during the general election, we’ll have a substantive national debate about how to create jobs in America.
We are now a little more than three weeks from the Marathon day bombings in Boston, a good time to ask ourselves, what did it tell us about the future of terrorism? What is the nature of the threat we face – and are we prepared for it?First, Boston was not the kind of attack that we have worried about and planned for in the last decades. Al Qaeda, the group that planned and directed the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, then the attack of the American destroyer, USS Cole, and then the World Trade Center, was an organized, well-financed group with deep roots in a few countries, strategic leaders, clever planners, and fanatical supporters. That group is a shadow of its former self, battered by ten years in which Western and allied governments have attacked its leaders, tracked its money, and followed its trail. Perhaps most important, as it practiced terrorism in more countries, it lost any political support or sympathy it had in the Muslim world.