Others are investing while we bail

Published 12:14 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I finished Nov. 14 at the UH Cullen Auditorium listening to Rick Steve's (PBS) talk about Iran, Amsterdam coffee shops that sell marijuana instead of coffee and the need for Americans to travel overseas and broaden their view of the world. (More on those subjects another time.)
His comments on how the Iranians treated him were insightful and fascinating.
The Iranian people were very friendly to him even after they discovered he was American.
Watch for it on PBS – it should be a must-see program with Iran's nuclear ambitions still a big deal.
Iranians believe foreign visitors are a "gift" and treat them with respect.
Without the U.S. as a villain, their leadership like Mr. Ahmadinejad would be out of a job -fast.
Seventy percent of the Iranian women do NOT want to be covered up.
Steve also mentioned that Europe is on a $500 billion infrastructure upgrade – building high-speed "bullet trains," etc., everywhere.
That means that China is spending $500 billion on infrastructure, Europe is spending $500 billion on infrastructure so both will have 21st-century stuff.
The Middle East is doing the same with their petrodollar wealth, while we borrow $700 billion to buy stock in banks and our highways and bridges are falling apart.
Since China has $2 trillion in savings made from selling us stuff to buy at Wal-Mart, we should insist they spend part of their $500 billion buying U.S. pollution control technology to clean their thick brown air.
We should tap the Mideast billions for road upgrades in the U.S. – roads that run on their oil.
Call it "spread the wealth." LOL.
Finally, we need to invest $500 billion in our own infrastructure starting in 2009 – which would create jobs and give us the modern transportation and high-tech systems we will need to stay competitive in the global economy.
We do need to save the one in 10 jobs connected to the auto industry while still requiring them to gut seven levels of management at GM and invest in R&D and fuel efficient vehicles instead of coddling them as we have done for the past 30 years.
If we are going to stay in the game, we need SMART change folks!