I’ve got to admit that I’m very discouraged by the news that I’m following these days. The stories that I’m paying close attention to are:
- Healthcare reform. As I commented not long ago over at OTB I wouldn’t oppose a single-payer system in the U. S. if (and only if) it were accompanied by measures that would actually control costs. In the absence of such measures IMO we’ll just have a the most expensive single-payer system in the world that we can’t afford, either. In the presence of such measures we wouldn’t be worrying about the unaffordability of healthcare insurance in the first place.
- China-U. S. relations. I think that the mutual testing and saber-rattling is unhelpful, a prelude to a genuine trade war (or worse) that will benefit neither China nor the U.S.
- The U. S. economy. I am very concerned that the desperate moves to get things back to normal are actually preventing the new normal from taking form. We’ll never have a U. S. car market dominated by U. S. automakers again and the car business is unlikely to be a growth business. Subsidized alternative energy products bought from overseas companies are unlikely to help the U. S. economy. Keeping unrealistic promises made to public employees’ unions won’t help, either. It’s cruel to say but bankrupt car companies and insolvent banks need to be allowed to fade away.
- Iran. I have no confidence whatever that the green movement in Iran will result in anything other than a bunch of people being beaten and killed by the basiji. I also think that we’re going to need to reflect seriously on how we’ll deal with a nuclear-armed Iran since it’s probably too late to prevent them from developing nuclear weapons now.
We seem to be a collective deer caught in the headlights. Deeply discouraging.