12/28/11 — Bad mornings: We need leaders who know how to turn this country toward better days

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Bad mornings: We need leaders who know how to turn this country toward better days

The magic of Christmas is over and the world is once again focused on the coming realities of the new year.

As, too, should be the residents of Wayne County and those who will be charged with choosing new leaders later this year.

There is a money problem in the United States.

Those who are working are struggling because their wages are not going up and their tax and household bills are not going down. They are worried about the debt concerns in their state government, which are being caused in part by the continuing debt issues at the national level.

No one knows for sure if the economy is going to recover, or if the state and local governments will be able to pay their bills without tax increases.

And that is worrisome -- especially when there is no guarantee that your wages will be increasing or that your company will not be cutting costs itself to meet the demands of the new health care law and an increasingly unfriendly climate to business.

Business costs that go up preclude expansion, raises and employment -- that's the reality when you have to answer to stockholders.

So, truth is, January is a sort of wake-up call.

The Christmas shopping burst is an enigma -- a reality that occurs because Americans are going to spend at Christmas, recession or not. What the season could have been, if the economy were healthier is another question.

The continuing up and down on Wall Street signals that no one is really sure what to expect -- and that with retirement funds dwindling and housing prices far from steady, investors and regular people are not sure if they have any nest egg to count on let alone to pass on to the next generation.

So, truth is, it is time to deal with the sobering reality that there really is a need for some new ideas in Washington and in Raleigh -- and that someone, somewhere, had better figure out what to do to get this economy off the ground.

And, unfortunately, it might mean that we cannot afford a bevy of government jobs -- or a flurry of guaranteed public pensions and benefits -- anymore.

It is the reality of running a business or other enterprise. You must have the money to pay the bills. Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul simply will not work, not if you don't want to end up even deeper in debt.

Fixing the United States economy is not embarrassingly simple, but getting started is. It begins with saying "no."

It's what you do in a family -- and it is what we need to do now, too.

And then, when spending is under control, we can start looking at ways to fire up the economy -- to create an environment that encourages businesses, large and small, and entrepreneurship, because that is the only sustainable and honest way to create jobs. Increasing government bureaucracy is a shadow game -- the jobs it creates are not what this country needs to stay strong.

America is not lost. It just needs a new set of resolutions.

And tops on that list should be putting people in charge who understand that.

Published in Editorials on December 28, 2011 11:26 AM