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It seems to me that we are in a perilous time — a tipping point of sorts. The United States has a lot of people out of work, and increasingly, many people who are not educated well. There is, I believe, a connection. This country needs good educators — it’s the only way it will ever have good students.

While there is an oil boom and an increase in manufacturing, it’s not enough to overcome the overcompensation of the federal government and a weak economy. At some point, as the song in the play Damn Yankees says, something’s gotta give.

It’s chilling to read in the New York Times, generally thought to be a liberal newspaper, that the government did not want to publish the prices of insurance offered through the PPACA exchanges because they were thought to be too high. It seems like government also needs a compliance department to keep it in line. It only wants to tell us the sugarcoated half-truth, not the whole truth. It’s worrisome.

On “60 Minutes,” a television news program generally thought to be liberal (more so since Mike Wallace retired), they interviewed an eyewitness to the horror in Benghazi. If his account is true — and it seemed very credible — our government seems to have been, despite lots of warnings and pleas for help, extremely careless and lackadaisical about protecting its own.

The market seems to be humming along. At the least, it’s making a better showing than the slow-growth economy. The reason? Companies have cash and high-productivity employees. There seems to be a disconnect between the market and the economy. There is definitely a disconnect between Democrats and Republicans in Washington.

This is a time for leadership. It’s a time for the next president, if this president can’t get his act in gear, and the next Congress, if this one is stuck in posturing, to focus on the country and not on the same tired old crap. If we want universal health care, that’s fine. We have to charge for it, and in order to pay the freight, we have to give something else up. It’s simply basic economics.

If we want to fix Medicare, we’re not going to do it by making it harder for poor people to have supplemental protection. If we want to fix Social Security, it’s simple: put more money into the mix. Social Security is a defined benefit plan; it’s easy to fix and, when the demographics get better around 2040 to 2050, the contributions can be reduced.

There’s a lot right and a lot wrong in the United States. I want us to tip toward the country standing tall again, where there’s a lot more right than wrong. I’m a bit worried about us being on the edge.

Have a great week and be thankful that you are in a great profession and that you can help people solve problems.

For more from Richard Hoe, see:

How to sell more than you thought possible


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