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In the approximately 15 years that I have been writing editorials for Gear Technology, I've purposely avoided certain topics. Sex, religion and my own used gear machinery business are among the subjects that have always been off limits. But with this issue, I'm going to break one of my long-standing taboos by talking politics.
A good many things bother me about election years - the annoying sound bites, the negative commercials, the endless political over-analysis. But what bothers me most about the coming election is this: So far (when I'm writing this, it's admittedly early in the campaign) there's little or no talk about what is one of the most critical national issues of the next thirty years - our growing government debt.
The past several months have been filled with uncertainty. Everyone wanted to wait and see who would be our next president and how the political landscape might change. Now the elections are over, and the polls are all closed, so we should all be getting back to business, right? Publisher Michael Goldstein shares insight from our state-of-the-gear-industry survey.
Popular wisdom has it that manufacturing in the United States is no longer a viable entity. We are told that quality is poor, skilled labor is difficult to obtain, if not impossible, demand is low, and the government is helping to discourage business. So what should we do, give up?
Of timing is crucial in the successful implementation of good ideas, then now is the time to reinstate a good idea that fell into disfavor in the mid-1980s. Now is the time to include the investment tax credit as part of whatever inevitable tax structure tinkering is going to take place during this election year.
Taxes may be one of the only two sure things in life, but that doesn't make them popular. Nobody is happy to pay them, and the bigger the amount due, the unhappier the taxpayer. Conversely, politicians know that coming out in favor of a tax cut is the equivalent of voting for apple pie and motherhood. It's a sure-fire success at the ballot box.
The Internet. Big deal. Now that you've dialed up weird politics.com, http://www.Elvis sightings and alt.naughty bits, what's online that's useful? Anything that would make your job easier, answer important questions, solve tough design problems? Information about, say, gearing? Is there anything out there in cyberspace worth the expense and hassle of going after?