Thursday, November 03, 2016

Use your imagination

Thomas L Friedman has written this in The New York Times, aimed at potential Trump voters,
"The smartest thing we can do now is to keep our economy as open and flexible as possible — to get the change signals first and be able to quickly adapt; create the opportunity for every American to engage in lifelong learning, because whatever jobs emerge will require more knowledge; make sure that learning stresses as much of the humanities and human interactive skills as hard sciences; make sure we have an immigration policy that continues to attract the world’s most imaginative risk-takers; and strengthen our safety nets, because this era will leave more people behind."
This applies as much to the UK as to the US. People voted for UKIP for similar reasons to Trump supporters. But our government is as behind the times as those who lament lost jobs, while punishing people for failing to get one. The old manufacturing industries are disappearing. There are too many service and retail businesses. There are too many people worldwide (and I don't mean immigrants), so there should be fewer babies. Money's going to be wasted on unnecessary projects like HS2, Hinkley and another airport hub runway, while projects that need finance, like renewable energy development, less destructive farming, waste control, and affordable energy efficient housing, are starved of it. Where do we start to change things? By untangling the mess that recent governments, Labour and Tory, have made of the education system, closing divisive faith schools, and encouraging creative thinking. By booting out the old guard on the right and left whose values are no longer relevant to life in the 21st century. A new electoral system would be good, and a new way of voting for people, rather than parties. We could do so much better.
“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”
                                      ― Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See

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