A Busy Day in the News – Perry, Bachman, Dowd, Friedman!

Dear Commons Community,

There is much to blog about in today’s news.

First, as was expected, Texas Governor Rick Perry officially entered the Republican nomination race for president.  We will hear a lot of that “old-time religion” on steroids.

Second, Michelle Bachman won the Iowa Straw Poll where about 17,000 people paid $30. each to cast a vote.   She garnered 29% or about 4,900 votes – not sure what this means nationally.

Third, Maureen Dowd has one of her zinger columns today entitled, Power to the Corporation.  She takes aim at corporate America and how it has usurped  and has essentially bought  the American political system. Her conclusion:

“The back-door money infused by Karl Rove, the Chamber of Commerce, the Koch brothers and others elected a slew of radical Republicans. Thanks to that Congressional wrecking crew, America’s credit rating has been downgraded and its economy has been hurt.”

Lastly, for me, the most insightful piece was Tom Friedman’s column entitled, A Theory of Everything (Sort of).  He revisits his “world is flat” thesis and reflects on the riots and protests going on in Europe and the Middle East  – “From Athens to Barcelona, European town squares are being taken over by young people railing against unemployment and the injustice of yawning income gaps…”.   He establishes that significant parts of the problem  are global competition and information  technologies where “the world has gone from connected to hyper-connected.”  In order to survive in this environment, young people are going to have to study harder, work harder and compete harder.   Furthermore, these world forces are driving much of what is happening economically, politically and socially in the world today.  His conclusion:

“We are increasingly taking easy credit, routine work and government jobs and entitlements away from the middle class — at a time when it takes more skill to get and hold a decent job, at a time when citizens have more access to media to organize, protest and challenge authority and at a time when this same merger of globalization and I.T. is creating huge wages for people with global skills (or for those who learn to game the system and get access to money, monopolies or government contracts by being close to those in power) — thus widening income gaps and fueling resentments even more.

Put it all together and you have today’s front-page news.”



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