Changing the World

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My latest book find from the library started out sounding like a drag. Most books on Political Science seem to be somewhat un-entertaining. Nevertheless I read them to learn. Jonathan Tepperman wrote this book and titled it The Fix, How Nations Survive and Thrive in a World of Decline. Right there the title caught my attention because I don’t believe the world is in decline at all. It is evolving onto a new era, but it is not in decline. In fact, I believe that to be stupid. As bad as the USA is at this moment in history it is no worse than previous generations. Yes, the USA is going through growing pains, but it is not in decline. We just have to catch up with the technology and information age. The last time the country changed phases was the change from an agricultural economy to the industrial one. That wasn’t easy either. The difference is we also experienced an amazing generation of people who were inventors and dreamers who fueled the change like Edison, Ford, Firestone, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, JP Morgan, and Rockefeller to name a few. Our current generation has a new group of these people namely, Jobs, Gates, Bezos, Adelson, Ma, Brin, Zuckerberg, Ellison, Musk, and many more. The difference is that these companies don’t employ as many people as the companies of the Industrial Revolution, and the country has a much bigger population to employ.  These companies are steeped in technology to be more efficient, or if they rely on manual labor they have moved manufacturing to the third world. The efficiencies require less manual labor, and our workforce has not caught up to this level of technology. How often have we heard that the USA worker does not want the types of jobs we have to offer them. Most of us think about labor to pick tomatoes or green beans, but many of the jobs we really have to fill require knowledge beyond high school and sometimes even a Bachelor’s degree. We don’t have enough picker jobs, and factory jobs to fill the huge number of low skill migrants that arrive daily. The real emphasis on immigration lies in getting educated migrants.

In the introduction to this book, Tepperman lists ten trouble areas causing the world to wane: 1. Inequality, 2. Immigration, 3. Islamic Extremism, 4. Civil War, 5. Corruption, 6. The Resource Curse, 7. Energy, 8. The Middle Income Trap, 9. Gridlock I, 10. Gridlock II.

For the most part I agree all ten of these points are trouble. I disagree in correcting inequality because no matter how much advancement we make there will always be a separation between those that have some, and those that have a lot more, it is all relative. I do agree that people who live on less than $2 per day are too far away from the one percent, and they can be raised to a level of decent living.

Tepperman then begins his work in earnest and convincingly chronicles how a number of places have raised themselves from virtual ground zero to healthy, growing economies, like Brazil, Canada, South Korea, Indonesia, Rwanda, Singapore, Botswana, Mexico, New York City, and the USA. In each of these places the problems encountered seemed insurmountable: corruption, lack of resources, lack of leadership, etc. What Tepperman realized as he researched is that in each instance a leader emerged who had a different approach to government. These people, men and women both, fell outside the mainstream political parties and used techniques and ideas totally unorthodox to conventional governmental systems. All through the narrative I kept getting visions of President Donald Trump. He too is in a difficult situation. The USA has become stagnant and no longer is able to resolve its problems with a corrupt (swamp) leadership and bureaucracy. Both political parties work against him because they believe he is not of the system. In each of the narrative situations Tepperman cites leaders who were faced with even larger swamps, and more massive corruption. Yet these individuals were able to lead their countries out of the quagmire and into the limelight.

By the end of the read, I was totally engrossed, in the micro history of these countries during periods of problem solving. I also developed a new respect for these countries and their developments.

If you enjoy Political Science this is an excellent book to read: five stars.

PSA-170823-More Useless Info

32 Things To Get Your Mind Off Politics…..I never knew

1. A rat can last longer without water than a camel.

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2. Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks or it will digest itself.  
3. The dot over the letter “i” is called a tittle. 
4. A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top. 
5. A female ferret will die if it goes into heat and cannot find a mate. 
6. A duck’s quack doesn’t echo. No one knows why. 
7. A 2″ X 4″ Stud is really 1-1/2″ by 3-1/2″. 
8. During the chariot scene in ‘Ben Hur,’ a small red car can be seen in the distance (and Heston’s wearing a watch). 
9. On average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily! (That explains a few mysteries… .)
10. Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn’t wear pants.
11. Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of wood. 
12. The number of possible ways of playing the first four moves per side in a game of chess is 318,979,564,000. 
13. There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, purple and silver.
14. The name ‘Wendy’ was made up for the book Peter Pan. There was never a recorded ‘Wendy’ before.
15. The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin in World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.
16. If one places a tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion, it will instantly go mad and sting itself to death. (Who was the sadist who discovered this??) 
17. Bruce Lee was so fast that they actually had to s-l-o-w film down so you could see his moves. That’s the opposite of the norm.
18. The first CD pressed in the US was Bruce Springsteen’ s ‘Born in the USA.’
19. The original name for butterfly was flutterby. (and that is a more accurate description)
20. The phrase “rule of thumb” is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn’t beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.
21. The first product Motorola started to develop was a record player for automobiles. At that time, the most known player on the market was Victrola, so they called themselves Motorola.
22. Roses may be red, but violets are indeed violet.
23. By raising your legs slowly and lying on your back, you cannot sink into quicksand.
24. Celery has negative calories. It takes more calories to eat a piece of celery than the celery has in it to begin with.
25. Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest. (???)
26. Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.
27. Sherlock Holmes NEVER said, “Elementary, my dear Watson.”
28. An old law in Bellingham, Washington, made it illegal for a woman to take more than three steps backwards while dancing!
29. The glue on Israeli postage is certified kosher.
30. The Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from public libraries.
31. Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a spacesuit damages them.
32. Bats always turn left when exiting a cave!
SEE….NOW WASN’T THAT CALMING AND NICE FOR A CHANGE?.
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