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Michael Miller


By Michael Miller
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Final Random Thoughts On The National Campaigns, Part 2 Of 2

1. General Motors sold a record number of their plug-in hybrid engine Chevy Volts in August. Unfortunately, industry analysts estimate that it costs $89,000 to manufacture each one and that GM is losing, in the long run, $49,000 per unit.

2. President Obama has personally promoted the Volt as a major answer to our energy challenges, ignoring its price, dirty technologies required for its manufacture and operation and the fact that there is a superior technology choice available to consumers right now. Doesn’t make the Volt a bad car or a bad choice, but it’s not The Answer.

3. Governor Romney mocks promotion of alternative energy choices and is apparently prepared to drill, scrape and blast anywhere to keep the carbon atoms flowing. To him, coal and oil will be the backbone of all future energy policy.

4. One is wrong looking forward and one is wrong looking backward. One is wrong but uses the language of a promising and better tomorrow and one is wrong but promotes policies we know are already unsustainable, expensive and failing us.

5. In which one do you invest your trust, support and hopes for the future?

6. New York has been relegated to the role of piggy bank. We are not in play, but a strong signal should be sent. We all need to say to the national Republican Party that they will not be rewarded for this. They will no longer advance in this way.

7. Because what happens at the top sets the tone for below. It sets the operational parameters. Right now, there are no standards left to be lowered.

8. A story with this headline was posted by Fox News on September 13: “Obama Calls Libyan President to Thank Him After Ambassador Murdered.” On September 14, while putting out the garbage, a man in black shorts and gray T-shirt power-walked by my house speaking very loudly into some kind of handless device. Very loudly. And he was saying: “I can’t believe it. Called to thank him. This guy is not an American…”

9. Some of our neighbors are buying it. When choices are limited and times are tough, people reach out for something that sounds like a solution.

10. When all of this is over, we are all going to have to calm down, take a deep breath and roll up our sleeves to figure this out. Figure out America, figure out Nassau County, figure out your school district. It’s a mess, and it’s been 30 years in the making.

11. The American economy is large enough to provide for everyone’s basic human needs, without taking much away from those who are doing extremely well. A small transfer tax on stock and derivatives trades could provide $150 billion to the federal government. It would allow New York to slash school property tax bills in half. It would also discourage the speculation that is still rampant in the system. We can’t talk about it. It isn’t allowed.

12. Instead, we have this reality. Two weeks ago, a federal judge upheld a $675,000 fine against a man who illegally downloaded 31 songs while he was a student at Boston University. The Recording Industry Association of America said: “We are pleased with the District Court’s decision.” Meanwhile, former Senator Jon Corzine, whose firm, MF Global, disappeared $1.6 billion in clients’ money, is free and will face no federal charges. Ever.

13. Corporate profit margins, measured by dollars made per sale, just hit an all-time high, and wages as a percentage of the economy hit a new low.

14. More readers knew about the breakup of that couple from the vampire movies than knew that last fact.

15. Americans are tired of being afraid, of being angry, of being unable to solve problems and move forward. There is no more time.

16. President Obama has seemed compelled to compromise generously, maybe obsessively, with everyone except the people who were already on his side. It has been thrown in his face and it has frustrated millions who invested their hopes in him.

17. I’m tired. There is no time, and I refuse to reward the wrong people.

Michael Miller is a freelance writer, designer and strategic consultant who has worked in state and local government. Email: