Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Is Paul Ryan Qualified to be President?

Is Paul Ryan Qualified to be President?

Global American Series
14 August 2012

Ronald Reagan once said he was surprised how much the job of  President involved international affairs.  So every election I ask the same question: Do these politicians in Washington DC really know the real world in which we compete? Advisers often disagree so it is vital that the officeholder have international experience to gauge good advice from bad since we are competing in a high-tech, global space-age economy (simply parking money overseas is not “experience.”)

Is Rep. Ryan qualified to step into the shoes of the President if the unthinkable happens?

Reviewing the history of past presidential tickets, Jonathan Bernstein in Wikipedia concluded that "depending on how one scores these things," Romney/Ryan is "certainly the ticket with the least foreign policy and national security experience since at least 1948, and perhaps as far back as 1912.”  In 2012 we face a much different world than we did a hundred years ago.

According to Wikipedia, Mr. Ryan has spent his entire adult life as a member of Congress, elected in 1998 at the age of 28.  Before that he worked at a McDonald’s and at one time drove the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. There’s nothing wrong with that, except the world is vastly more complicated than selling wieners and coming up with economic theories inside the Washington beltway. During his time in Congress, Ryan’s sole international experience has been his going on seven junkets to foreign countries with other members of Congress.  Getting wined and dined at the top is not the same as seeing a country from the street.

Mr. Ryan has said “I was born in Wisconsin and never left it.”  Like Mr. Ryan, I too was born in the Midwest – in Iowa. Later we moved to Texas when I was 15. But unlike Mr. Ryan, I got out of Iowa and Texas and saw the real world.

At the same age of 28 I didn’t go to Congress. Instead, I was hired by a Fortune 500 company (Dresser Industries) and spent five (5) years traveling to about thirty (30) countries on international business negotiations.  I can tell you that the world is a lot different than what you might think from seeing it on TV or in a book. I first saw China in 1982 when they had nothing but bicycles jamming the streets. Now they are the third country in the world to put astronauts safely into space and the largest car market in the world. They have advanced Magnetic Levitation trains that run over 260 miles per hour from the Shanghai airport.  I’ve seen vast changes from Europe to Asia, and how America has changed in that same time. It’s shocking.

On a Congress junket you learn only what they tell you and want you to know. When you are doing business deals on the street level you have to learn the local laws and customs. You have to know the people and build a relationship of trust with them.  If you don’t, your mission will fail.  I discovered that what you read in a book about a country is not what you find when you actually get there.

I went to Norway in 2011 for the first time. Despite being in nearly 50 countries and reading about Norway before the trip, when I got there I found I had no idea what it was really like. That came only after I traveled there and spent considerable time educating myself. 

We live in a global economy.  What happens in Europe, or China, does impact the U.S. economy directly.  The Euro disaster hurts U.S. sales since 20% of our exports go to Europe. We do not live in an isolated economic bubble.  Europe is today following an “austerity” program that has caused unemployment to skyrocket and growth to decline. Under President Obama, the U.S. took a different course similar to what FDR did to escape the Great Depression, and the U.S. has been lowering its unemployment rate since the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. The Europeans would love to have our economic situation instead of theirs.

Mr. Ryan’s proposed solutions (in the “Ryan Plan”) are to cut education and space investments every year for years to come.  How do we lead a high-tech world without investing in education and space?  We can’t. We either lead it, or China will.  Being No. 2 in the technology race is not a winning hand. It’s disaster for our future.

Unfortunately, I have to conclude Rep. Ryan is not qualified to be President in a global economy.

Next week: Will the “Ryan Plan” promote a recovery, or make things worse and put us an additional $5 Trillion in debt?

Michael Fjetland
Global American Series
Opt in/out (your call):

Or “Follow” or “Comment” at our Global American Values Blog:

Sponsored by Armor Glass International, Inc.
Saving Enough Energy to Pay for Itself While Protecting Your Weakest Link from Burglars, Hurricane-force winds and Solar Heat

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments from real people welcome. The only comment rule is "BE CIVIL." Let's discuss SOLUTIONS based on real FACTS.

Thanks for your feedback! Click "Subscribe" or "Follow" for notification of future posts. Feel free to Share with your friends.