SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

September 26, 2013

Watson: Budget debate ignores real problems

(Continued)

Further, we need discussions about what globalization, robotization, computerization, other technological advances and resource limitations mean for the long term. Will there ever be enough jobs? What standard of living is attainable, practical, and sustainable for our children and grandchildren? Is it possible and realistic (or wise) to maintain an economy that is fueled 70 percent by consumption?

The answers to those questions were coming due before the Wall Street meltdown. So, the meltdown is an emergency within an unfolding reckoning, and the debate about how best to recover from it can’t help but raise all the issues that beg for consideration within the larger, slower crisis.

It is that context that makes the paralysis in Congress so damaging. For with compromise and political skills, we could find many opportunities to remove the waste in government, reduce our military spending, increase tax revenue where it is fair and increase investments — with the private sector — to embark on endeavors that would start to craft a more sustainable economy. But this work would require politicians who won’t threaten to halt all of government itself.

---

Brian T. Watson of Swampscott is an architect and a Salem News columnist. Contact him at btwatson20@gmail.com.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion

AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate
Helium