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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Next President Needs GLOBAL Strategy for the U.S.

As this critical election nears, Americans need to be asking
themselves: Which Presidential candidate has a GLOBAL Strategy to put
America back in the economic/technological winner's circle?

Japan leads us in wireless, Germany in wind power, Russia in oil,
China in cash, France in health care, etc. The majority of the
Iraq/Afghanistan war costs are falling on the American taxpayer alone,
on money borrowed from China, who is busy making it (and not losing
any troops in places like Afghanistan).

We are in the midst of a global economic slowdown, so the solution has
to be GLOBAL to succeed. We need a plan from the next President to
get America back to where she needs to be – a leader of nations with
the highest moral principles, builder of democracies, broker of
even-handed justice and fair play.

In a global economy it makes no sense to have only a "national"
strategy –not if you want America staying on top in the world economic
situation we are an inescapable part of. Oil is going being priced in
Euros because of the dollar's decline in value; we continue to have
huge import trade deficit from buying cheap consumer goods from China,
yet we restrict imports of things like sugar from South America that
would cut both our energy and food costs. T. Boone Pickens is (almost)
right: We ARE (no `will be') making the largest transfer of wealth in
human history to buy energy – over $700 billion/year.

We could be leading the world in hybrid technology, but instead buy it
from overseas. With the cheap dollar we could be exporting more, but
not when the economies of other countries are also suffering a
downturn. If one tire has a flat, the entire car has a problem.

We could lead in solar and wind farming, but have wasted time focusing
on long-term "oil only" things like drilling that takes 10 years to
produce a drop of oil, and oil speculators, instead of passing tax
incentives NOW that would encourage diversification of our energy
sources into renewables. We could be ramping up green conservation
measures (tax incentives for using energy cutting solar security
window film, LED's, higher mileage standards, etc.) for immediate
paybacks. We've done nothing. Will that be the next four years?

Does either President candidate have a GLOBAL Strategy to handle these
complex issues? If not, we are in trouble America! The U.S. needs a
smart plan with an eye on the world scene for us to regain what has
been lost in our financial and technology leadership.

We should be taking a page from the Chinese play book and have a
long-term GLOBAL plan for global success. We need to be a technology
leader in 21st century technologies. WHICH PRESIDENT will be best for
America in the next four years to get us there?

Instead of the candidates discussing "big ideas" to rebuild America's
economic strength and fiscal sanity, we talk about little things like
tire pressures (Obama) and acid-in-the-face things, like throwing
Russia out of the G8 (McCain). I have had enough of small things and
unnecessary confrontation that brings more pain than gain.

Poking a bee hive is not going to make the bees act better. The
problem with Russia goes back to the Clinton Presidency and the
expansion of NATO (and missiles) when Russia was no longer a threat
after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Bush continued that policy and
it created a situation like cornering a bear -- so the bear striking
back from its corner in Georgia should be no surprise (people miss the
fact that it was GEORGIA that first sent troops into Ossetia, who were
turned back by the Russians).

By humiliating Russia in the 90's onward, we fed their nationalism –
which gave Putin the support he needed to consolidate power, and now
the revenge he sought. Oil has given him the money to do it.
Something more creative than a war is needed to fix it. China has
also feed a fervent nationalism that must be handed very carefully by
our President in the years ahead. Moral: Strategy (and policy) counts.

Therefore, voters need to make an informed decision based on what the
presumptive President tells us they PLAN to do about all of these
worldly things once in office. Will it be more of the same --a focus
only on oil, funding wars on borrowed money, tax breaks for the
wealthy and confrontation? Or will it be a leadership focused on
diversification, diplomatic surges to find solutions, and
international partnerships -- or something else? (I just hope no one
proposes we borrow more money from China and Russia in order to wage
war against them!)

American leadership (business and government) should approach the
Presidency and the world using forward-thinking strategy, like an
Olympic pro. We have enough smart people to do it, if we just did it.

So which candidate has the GLOBAL strategy to make American No. 1
again? That is what voters should be looking at -- not whether he is
the color purple, once lived on Mars or was tortured during a frat
hazing. That is all yesterday's news. What we need to know is what
roads on the global autobahn the next President plans to take us down
in the next four years.

We need the answers before Election Day -- not after. Let's hope it
will not be a head banging, off-road experience.

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