Two very good but different articles are worth a look today. A sense of optimism surrounds each about our American condition and future as well.
In "Rick Perry: Ready for Prime Time?", the recent Texas record reveals super strong job growth accompanied by things like no state income taxes, a disdain for overleveraged home mortgage obligations and a healthy respect for the tenth amendment (keeping the "well intentioned" national politicians from controlling everything), and all of these things contribute to making a Rick Perry presidential candidacy in 2012 a compelling alternative to the current administration.
Simply stated, the question to be put before the voters would be whether the road to recovery requires less or more national government intervention.
I'd bet on the inherent wisdom of our fellow citizens in making the right choice.
In "States Want More in Pension Contributions", there's a good discussion about how almost all of our 50 states are addressing in an aggressive manner the underfunded (to say the least) public employee pension financing issue by requiring either more contributions or reduced benefits, or both, with respect to public employees. These changes would in turn bring public employee retirement benefits closer to, but not at parity with, those received by private sector employees.
Looking back at history, Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama all came to office after the economy was in a severely weakened condition, and the American people were concerned and perhaps even scared about our economic future. Government solutions through intervention and active programs were offered by all three Presidents, and "We the People" bought the story each time. When we discovered each time that government intervention wasn't, because it couldn't, going to provide any real solution to our problems, we chose the free market entrepreneurial approach to economic growth. Such an individual driven free to choose based private sector system, although imperfect for sure, best describes our American "memes".
In the end, "We the People" believe that a government based on individual rights and responsibilities provides the best opportunity for prosperous economic growth. The individual's right to be left alone is a strong one indeed
To summarize, my strong view is that our economic history teaches that we Americans are a freedom oriented resilient people who genuinely prefer limited government, but that sometimes we look for what appears to be the easy answer during economically stressful times. Soon thereafter we invariably regain our collective and peculiarly American "can do" spirit of rugged individualism.
Because I expect that to repeat itself this time, I'm very optimistic about our American future. First, however, we'll have to wake each other up and smell the coffee.
The two referenced articles today indicate, at least to me, that we're very much in the process of that awakening, even if we're not yet completely alert. Stay tuned.