Friday, May 13, 2011

It will be Romney today

Just ordered this book, so I'll be reading it today. Hopefully, it won't be boring. I'll update here from time to time as I read the book.

Chapter 1: He begins with foreign policy. Rather than parrot what he says, I will just mention that I like what he has to say. But there is a caveat. One has to be careful about foreign policy. Romney probably isn't a cowboy, it doesn't go with his background. There's not a whole lot of specifics, though. General talk about American exceptionalism.

Chapter 2: Why nations decline. He cites examples, in particular the Chinese, who built great fleets, but destroyed them. This observation was noted in Mining the Sky. He criticizes isolationalism. He warns against a lack of vision. He notes that people would rather not believe something bad, would prefer to be told pleasant things. He quotes that democracies commit suicide by voting excessive benefits to themselves. He warns against political correctness.

Chapter 3: Says America is good and it is good for America to be strong. Warns against rising threats from China, Russia, and Islamists. Warns that too many in denial about the significance of 9/11.

Chapter 4: Pathways to American Power: America's soft power underutilized. Calls for real agreements, not just paper agreements. NATO hasn't adopted the necessary strategy to defeat jihadism. Not getting enough bang for the buck. Need more accountability. Too often, we are getting outsmarted. History of weakness is a bitter one. Steep cost of military weakness should not be ignored. Military proliferation of nukes is dangerous level. Cuts in spending in 90's was unwise. Need to update our forces. Not the time for a new procurement holiday. New threats like cyberattacks. Space and cyberspace are the new battlefields. Need a small footprint, huge impact approach. Allies need to upgrade too, but are not. Wishful thinking is no substitute for preparation, but that is the situation today in Europe. We need strong allies. Criticizes Obama's apologies, we have nothing to apologize for.

Chapter 5: A Free and Productive Economy. Keys to productivity. Productivity key to standard of living. There is natural resistance to increases in productivity. Moores law is an example of productivity increase. Profit motive encourages productivity. Good ideas not enough, conditions need to be right. Luddites oppose productivity. Lack of retail productivity in Japan. Governments can stifle productivity. And unions too. And of course, they can combine to stifle it even more. Government has no profit motive, no reason to innovate. It is a protective monopoly. Card check violates democratic principles. Subprime mess, how it happened, who's fault. Warnings unheeded. The stimulus, its faults. Debt problem. Need to protect trade secrets. Factors that slow growth.

Chapter 6: The Worst Generation: Boomers failing where WWII parents succeeded. The problem of entitlement spending. Medicaid as "Pac Man" because it eats through the budget. Government needs to produce a balance sheet as well as a budget. A balance sheet would make spending more transparent. Politicians succumb to temptation to offer more than can be paid for and hide the true costs. Gives his proposals for reform. Turns to discussion of runaway debt- says there's still time to deal with it.

I may stop here for today. I note that there is an article about Romney in USA Today.

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