A sum up

By Sarason D. Liebler | Jun 13, 2012

In a column like this one, the writer has to limit the scope of the chosen topic severely. Unless the topic is narrow the column becomes a hodgepodge, the explanations and factual support must be curtailed due to space, and worst of all you lose the readers. I am not always successful in accomplishing these goals, though I do try.

Since the resurrection of The Republican Journal I have been highlighting just a few of the compelling issues that the world is facing, with an attempt to link them to the effects we in rural Maine might see. They are not new issues, they have all been with us for some time, but as none have been solved the cumulative effect is that the sum of the issues have grown into an unwieldy and far more threatening set of circumstances than I can remember, and I can remember a lot.

Why should the modern economic problems of Greece, noted in 2008, be an issue for Maine in 2012? Why should the bursting of the real estate bubble in the United States in 2008 affect China as well as Greece and the rest of the world in 2012? Why is New Orleans still a shadow of itself ever since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, while the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disasters of 2011 are well on the way to being left behind? How were our country and its allies able to squash the Axis powers in 1945, after only four years of total war, while today those same powers have been unable to deliver a favorable outcome in either Iraq or Afghanistan after 11 years of war?

Varied and complex answers, for all of these varied and possibly disparate questions, will not be provided in this column. That is not a problem, but the probability that they will not be answered in the halls of power, or even be addressed, is.

Certainly neither of our two candidates for president has given us a whiff of a pragmatic plan of how they are going to move this country forward, or how we can supply some meaningful leadership to a world that has gone wobbly. Instead we hear a mantra about jobs, taxes, the horrors or values of Obamacare, proven leadership etc., all without a hint of what either really can or may do. At the local level it is worse. I watched a debate between the two Republican candidates for our second congressional seat and I became woozy in despair. The embarrassing sitting Democratic congressman, Mike Michaud, will face either Kevin Raye, whom he walloped last time, or a true disaster in the making, Blaine Richardson, whose eager answers to the moderator's questions were close to incoherent and fortunately directed at the floor of the TV studio. As of the latest campaign reports, Michaud has raised over $810,000, Raye a bit over $170,000 and Richardson a bit over $7,500. Who in their right mind would give money to any of this trio?

What we need now is the guidance of some really smart people who have a history of putting their money where their mouth is and who have demonstrated repetitive success based upon their foresight. At the top of the list the skill set should be in the financial and economic field. Unless we, the world, can stabilize the world's chaotic economic wobble, we have no hope of addressing all the other issues.

A man highly qualified to provide guidance exists, but nobody is willing to take his advice. George Soros is an 80-plus-year-old Hungarian-born American investor and major philanthropist. He is also a philosopher and an unruly, nontraditional economist with a magnificent brain. His financial support for progressive issues, now over $8 billion, has made him the Antichrist for every conservative everywhere.

But not me. I had the great experience of working with Mr. Soros in the 1980s. He now manages his family fortune, which he built and is estimated at $24 billion. It was no accident and not tied to luck that he did not bring about.

Though I do not embrace his broad progressive activities, I am in awe of his deep grasp of economic pressures. In a recent speech that he gave in Italy he beseeched Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, to cause Germany to dive into the European economic crisis, which would cause the German nation and its people to use their economic strength to foot the bill for the Greek profligates and to commit to it by September. He admits that politically for her to do so will be very difficult, but he warns that if Germany does not do so no other entity will, and the effect will be that both the Euro and, indeed, the whole European Union will unwind. If it does unwind, so will the American economy along with the rest of the world.

And that sums it up for the moment.

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