BETHEL – With all due respect, Washington, you don’t get it, you are failing.

Jobs are created by demand, not from cute incentives. Our country has fundamentally changed over the last 30 years. We are now primarily consumers where we once were primarily producers.

We are in the midst of the largest economic crisis in our country’s history. The housing disaster has cost a generation of homeowners trillions and put more of us into poverty and out of work than any other event in the history of America.

We have a monetary crisis, a financial crisis, a consumer confidence crisis, a full-blown economic disaster. Amazingly though, we as a country have access to an almost unprecedented amount of wealth. We are not out of money.

Our country’s economy has changed. It was built on middle class spending, raising living standards and educating ourselves. Americans are now too poor to buy, afraid to buy and not motivated to buy.

Couple this with lagging exports — both manufactured and intellectual — that would employ us and we have unprecedented unemployment and diminished revenues.

OUTSTRIPPING GROWTH

Without jobs there is no tax revenue. We have only 1 percent GDP growth and government spending based on 3 to 4 percent growth. That can’t work. Meanwhile corporate profits are strong, coming from increased productivity. (Fewer people being more productive, resulting in fewer jobs.)

The rapid growth of government programs, not matched by economic growth, has resulted in the trillions of deficit we choke on. The tax code, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid need to be dealt with immediately. And extreme caution, if interest rates rise, things will get a lot worse.

To recover we must build our way to prosperity. This requires strong and unified leadership with a bold and decisive vision.

We need to build products, services and intellectual property that we consume and sell to the world. We need the next generation of everything, literally everything. When we build, sell, invent and consume, we get the jobs and economic benefit that comes with it.

The two steps to prosperity:

Repair what is obviously broken — big things first. That means the tax code, Social Security, and health care. A fair, simplified tax code that levels the playing field will do immediate wonders. Social Security that simply recognizes that we live to be 90 or 100 now not 70 or 80 is fair and essential. Health care that eliminates massive bureaucracy and teaches us to be healthy will save trillions.

We are not suffering from an incurable disease; we are suffering from visionless leaders, pandering politicians and bad economic policies. We know we need to fix these things. We should fix them.

Establish clear economic goals that get us into the business of building, inventing and making things that last for decades. Building efficient products that cost less to operate, inventing solutions that we can sell to the world, investing in things that make us healthier, wealthier and wiser, is what we must do. When we build, educate and innovate, we have jobs and our neighbors have jobs. When we create a better, smarter work force that can innovate, we build the country, we create prosperity and we create the future.

BETTER GOALS

We need specific goals like cars that get 50 miles per gallon that are built in America and financed for seven years but will last for 14 years. Or refrigerators that use 50 percent less power and last for 30 years.

A better product that is more efficient and lasts longer is easier to finance and is then affordable. Let’s produce our own energy. We should develop American fuels that are renewable, build houses that are energy efficient and last 200 years. We need more highly motivated college graduates, high schools that graduate 100 percent of their students, and lifestyles, knowledge and motivation to make us healthier. These are goals with which we can build jobs and prosperity.

We, of all people on the planet, know how to build our way to prosperity. We have done it before; we can do it again. We see what needs to be done and we Americans are ready to do our part. Our country was founded on shared values and shared goals. We freed ourselves from a king, survived a civil war, defeated the Nazis, led the Industrial Revolution, won a cold war, walked on the moon and led the global technological revolution.

It’s time to be American again and do what we do. We build, we make and we create.

Our message to Washington should be: Fix what’s broken immediately. Then apply leadership, vision, goals and a little guts and we will build America.

– Special to the Press Herald