Matt HealeyTuesday,19 February 2013

The Snap:

I have been out of touch for a few days suffering through several feet of fresh powder skiing in Telluride, CO. I know, it is tough, bit someone has to do it. Anyway, as a result of this, I am behind on the news. One of the stories that I wanted to talk about was the criticism of Marco Rubio for his drink of water during the rebuttal to the State of The Union.

The Download:

There are a lot of things that the speech, and Obama’s State of The Union speech, could be criticized for. These speeches are political fodder for the party bases and as a result they are highly partisan. This provides the opposition with plenty of opportunities to discuss the issues. Obama raised several issues that we need to discuss in a rational way. For example, the issue associated with raising the minimum wage is complicated. Corporations do have billions of cash on the sidelines and income disparity has become worse in recent years. So clearly raising the minimum wage is a good idea. But improvements in communications has made internationalization of work easier than it ever has been. Traditional tasks that would have to be performed locally now can be done remotely, with the results shared globally. Medical tests can now be read by doctors in lower cost countries and routine diagnoses passed back to the U.S. Legal briefs can be prepared by attorneys in the other countries and then be reviewed by practicing attorneys in the U.S. Engineering plans and drawings can be prepared in any country and most IT tasks can be accomplished remotely. So, raising the minimum wage is clearly a bad idea, because it will drive jobs to lower cost countries.

Every issue is like this. We live in a complicated society with complicated issues. So the battling speeches provide an excellent opportunity to kick start some of these discussions. But what do we focus on? Rubio having to have a drink of water during his speech. Okay, he was not exactly graceful in the way he did it. He did look mechanized. But who cares? Why do we obsess over “Water-cliff” (OK it should be Water-gate, but since I think cliff has replaced gate…)? As long as the U.S. population continues to focus only on style over substance, we will get the dysfunctional government we deserve.

Hat Tips:

Telluride, Corporate Cash, Water-cliff, Cliff replacing gate, Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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