Meridian Star

Columns

July 2, 2013

Strategic compromises can move country forward

MERIDIAN — The U.S. Constitution resulted from compromise – not just compromise for compromise’s sake, but strategic compromise to achieve a much needed solution.

    “Just as they did in Philadelphia when they were writing the Constitution,” said former Secretary of State Colin Powell, “sooner or later you’ve got to start making the compromises that arrive at a consensus and move the country forward.”

    True patriots like George Washington understood this.

    Republican Senator Marco Rubio gets it. “I would say to you that compromise that’s not a solution is a waste of time,” Rubio said. He was one of the bi-partisan “Gang of Eight” senators who drafted the compromise immigration reform bill passed by the Senate last week.

    “I got involved in this issue for one simple reason,” said Rubio. “I ran for office to try and fix things that are hurting this special country of ours. And in the end, that is what this is about for me – trying to fix a serious problem that faces America.”

    The problems of illegal immigration, a broken legal immigration system, and inconsistent enforcement have been with us for years, but Congress produced no solutions. Indeed, “immigration reform” became a popular wedge issue for both Republicans and Democrats. Dividers use wedge issues to keep us apart, with little care for solutions.

    The immigration issue now moves to a House of Representatives that seems to favor wedges and division more than strategic compromise and solutions.

Meanwhile, there are issues beyond immigration that need strategic compromise. Restructuring our economy should be at the top of the list.

    In “Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism,” noted economics author Kevin Phillips points out that finance now dominates the U.S. economy at 21 percent of GDP while manufacturing has fallen to 12 percent.

    “There is no historic example of a great power that has let itself financialize, where manufacturing has been subordinated, that has come back from it,” he said.

    The economic shift from manufacturing to high finance matches shifts by U.S. corporations to outsource and offshore production. In comparison, Germany made it a priority to protect domestic mass production expertise, technology, and manufacturing capacity. China is pursuing the same course. Both maintain huge trade surpluses. The U.S. last had a trade surplus in 1975.

    Rising shipping costs, wage gains in China, and other factors have recently provided a window of opportunity for America to regain manufacturing capacity.  

    Congress has a key role to play in taking advantage of this opportunity through tax restructuring and adequately funding infrastructure improvements and workforce training. A strategic compromise to get this done would create thousands of manufacturing jobs.

    But can a Congress that would rather fight than fix take advantage of this short-term opportunity?  With more like Rubio, yes.

    Bill Crawford (crawfolk@gmail.com) is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.

1
Text Only
Columns
Biz Marquee
New Today
Poll

On Tuesday, Gov. Phil Bryant signed the first pay raise for all teachers in the state since 2007. Do you think the pay raise was needed?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide