About Me

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Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University where he majored in history. His career in the life and health insurance industry involved medical risk selection and brokerage management. Retired in Florida for over two decades after many years in NJ and NY, he occasionally writes, paints, plays poker, participates in play readings and is catching up on Shakespeare, Melville and Joyce, etc.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The G.O.P.'s Soul, a Morici Column, a Bit of History and an Executive Search


The Soul of the Republican Party

Ted Cruz and Donald Trump define what has been the hitherto obscured soul of the Republican Party for many years. 

Many G.O.P. voters have always had a love affair with those on their Party's fringes who espouse the ideals in which they really believe, but whom they have always recognized as unacceptable when it came to winning national elections.  Hence, even though they have proven to be losers on a national basis, many Republicans have been happiest when they can actually cast ballots for candidates such as

Barry Goldwater in 1964 or Sarah Pallin in 2008.  But they recognize that while this approach can elect local officials, Congressmen, Senators and Governors, it is a failing strategy when the Presidency is at stake.  And so, they have had to be content with the Bushes, Romneys, Doles, McCains and of course, Ronald Reagan, all of whom also managed to attract independent and occasionally even Democratic voters.

Not so in 2016.  There are Republicans out there seeking the nomination saying exactly what their audiences want to hear, the way they want to hear it said, about issues which they carefully plumb emotionally and about the other candidates for the highest office in the land, whom they don't hesitate to attack ruthlessly, regardless of party.  And people are flocking to hear them.  This is the crux of Donald Trump’s candidacy, which feeds directly on that pent up, up-to-now unsatisfied hunger in the soul of the Republican Party.  The snake oil which his showmanship peddles has a veneer of respectability because of his business success and big time television exposure.   And most of the other G.O.P. Presidential hopefuls, with the possible exception of Jeb Bush and John Kasich, have chosen to try to similarly appeal to the roughly defined hungers in the souls of G.O.P. primary voters and caucus participants.

G.O.P. voters have always been smart enough to steer away from extremist candidates, the ones who were not afraid to get their feet wet in the sewer of right wing ideas where former Klansmen, skinheads, home-grown militia groups, believers in those “black helicopters” swooping down to trample their rights and even those who bombed a Federal courthouse in Oklahoma City, can be found.  But Donald Trump has solved that problem for them.  They can follow their heart and support him, for he is saying what they have always believed anyway and he has, as I have said, a veneer of respectability. 

To a somewhat lesser extent, this is also true of Ted Cruz who wears the “tea party” label he has sported since 2012, prior to which he limited himself to saying the same things that the safe “establishment” Republicans were saying.  Come to think of it, even Donald Trump was saying different things four years ago, but just

as he knew what to do to get television ratings, sell ties,  
fill casinos, and make money buying, selling and developing real estate, he now knows what to say to get Republicans to vote for him, because he understands what defines their soul.  Democrats, independents and those Republicans who still use their heads to make decisions will be a different story.

Jack Lippman


When Technology Replaces Jobs
Peter Morici, conservative columnist and economist from the University of Maryland, recently wrote an interesting column for the Washington Times, reproduced in many other papers.  Titled “Why Good Jobs are Too Few, Wages are Poor, ”it goes on to point out that “by 2030, it will become technologically possible to replace 90 percent of the jobs as we know them by smart machines” as well as commenting that "efforts to make a high school diploma universal have made it a nearly worthless credential" and that " a college diploma is not much better."

Want to know his solution?  Check out the full article by clicking right here.  The problem with his excellent suggestion, as I see it, is that it doesn’t provide a way of earning a living for all of those who will be affected by that 90 percent of jobs he fears may disappear by 2030.  Just some of them, I guess.  But every bit counts, because it is inevitable that the Government will have to step in with a solution to replace the the jobs the rest of them will have lost.  Morici doesn’t touch upon that.

Help Wanted: An Executive to Run the Country

  The presidency is the top rung in the executive branch of our government.  The person elected to sit in the Oval Office becomes the nation’s CEO, making appointments to and administering all of the government’s departments, agencies and bureaus, including the armed forces.  He runs the country making vital decisions every day. 

   This task is separate and apart from what Senators and Representatives in the legislative branch of our government, over on Capitol Hill do.  They, after research and debate, pass laws that the executive branch is to follow.   

  And the Supreme Court, which is the pinnacle of the judicial branch of our government, interprets laws and is the final voice on their legality and constitutionality.  

No matter how erudite a Supreme Court Justice may be and no matter how brilliant a legislator may be, neither’s job adequately prepares them to be the Chief Executive Officer of the United States Government.  It follows then, that the only candidates who really are best qualified to become President are those with administrative experience.  This includes being the governor of a state, being the mayor of a city or perhaps having been the CEO of a large corporation.

Included on a list of such candidates would be those with gubernatorial experience: John Kasich, Chris Christie, Martin O’Malley and Jeb Bush.  Bernie Sanders offers some experience as a mayor.  Carly Fiorina has extensive corporate experience as a CEO.  If someone like Michael Bloomberg would enter the race, he would be similarly well-qualified because of his experience as both a CEO and a mayor.  

Clearly, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio lack any such “administrative” experience.  In a limited way, because of her cabinet post where she ran the State Department, Hillary Clinton might have such abilities.  Although Donald Trump ran successful businesses, his record is more of being a deal maker than an administrator.

It is likely that the next person to occupy the top rung in the executive branch of our government will lack any real experience being an executive.  That is unfortunate because the President is required to be the CEO of our country, and that is no small assignment.
This Month in History

In 1932, Germans were in great economic distress.  They felt that the democratically elected Weimar Republic's government just didn’t work any longer and that the existing politicians including aging nonagenarian President Hindenberg offered no real solutions.  So they turned to the maverick National Socialist (Nazi) Party of Adolph Hitler which already held seats in the Reichstag (their parliament) and which, led by Herman Goering there, was already boisterously seeking the support of the people to change the way things were going for Germany.  To help this effort, they even had a spirited collection of toughs, wearing brown shirts, out

on the streets rallying support for their party.   

Without even winning the Presidency, Hitler, a charismatic speaker who was able hypnotize large audiences with his rhetoric playing to their worst fears, became their agent of change and in 1933, on January 30, eighty-three years ago this month, President Hindenberg appointed him as Chancellor, a designation which was soon replaced with the title of Fuhrer (leader). You know the rest of the story.