Dan Gillmor – Bush-Kerry: Some Economic Issues

Dan Gillmor sets the stage with the first of three planned Sunday articles on politics and the effects on technology and the tech economy. Dan takes a fairly neutral perspective, thus I’m forwarding it on (this blog isn’t intended to be my pulpuit on politics, and I’m sure you all appreciate that).

My (hopefully equally neutral) reply to his article:

Dan, nice article, as usual.

One sentence really jumped out at me:

“Americans may be in for a generation of lowered expectations, and we need huge investments in education, research and 21st century infrastructure to give ourselves a chance.”

Agreed, 100%. The problem, of course, is that politicians are satisfied by only one thing: power (or more power). And so, most of them have a very short-term perspective, doing and saying those things that will get them re-elected or elected into a higher office (Kerry’s “say anything” flip flopping is a perfect example of this).

Second-term presidents (from either party) are a different beast. Something clicks; they realize this is the end of their show. They get anxious about their “legacy”. They want to “do something” that will actually matter; that history will remember them for.

I don’t know what that would be for Bush (and perhaps that’s a huge indictment in and of itself). But I’d love for him (heck, for any of these folks) to focus on doing the things that will matter for generations to come. And as you called out, education, R&D and infrastructure, while not sexy, are the very things that will allow this country to continue to lead for generations to come… or not.

Let us hope that whoever wins in November has a “second term mentality” for his entire time in office.

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