On Morning Joe today Jeffrey Sachs, Mark Halperin and Melissa Harris-Perry joined Willie Geist and Pat Buchanan to talk about the stock market fall and the possibility of the US heading into another recession -- I believe we never left the first recession. Although I disagree with Sachs' solutions on most of our problems, I certainly agree with his analysis of the problems -- Sachs basically says that politics are preventing any progress toward recovery. Harris-Perry who is obviously a big Obama supporter regardless of what Obama does, couldn't follow Sachs into criticism of Obama's performance in office -- she basically blames the Republicans and believes that things are not quite as dire as Sachs proposes. Halperin is basically taking a cautious middle-ground approach after his recent trip to the woodshed for criticizing Obama, so his analysis has been too careful to be of any use. Buchanan believes we're in a mess.
The conundrum for many liberals and progressives is that they intuitively want to protect Obama from criticism, but the reality of the economy and the situation in the mideast puts them in a difficult situation. I admire Sachs for his honesty, even though I don't agree with his progressive ideology. Later there was a discussion with David Ignatius regarding Syria and Libya. The rumors from DC are that Qadaffi is preparing to leave Libya and that Assad is at risk of being run out of power in Syria, but there's no factual evidence that either the Libyan or Syrian situations are changing that much except changing for the worse.
The big question is whether the US should be involved in either Libya or Syria. Our involvement in Libya could turn out with us presiding over chaos and civil war once Qadaffi leaves, and in Syria we're getting dangerously close to military involvement if Assad increases the killings. I keep thinking that the American people will lose patience with our mideast involvement, and I suspect that secretly most people have run out of patience, but so far there's no national demand to leave that region. If our economy gets worse, this could change. We have no idea what to do in the region to make things better, so we're better off minding our own business and simply upholding the principles we should be upholding but are not, one being the prevention of entanglements in foreign affairs.
Wes Moore and Jeffrey Sachs got into a discussion on the economy and brought up the problem of available jobs in America but a lack of qualified workers to fill the jobs. They both recommended what I wrote about yesterday -- job training -- but they want more government job training programs. What I recommended is for private companies to step forward and offer job-training solutions -- if government wants to help they can offer tax breaks to companies who offer job training. Government doesn't know what industry knows about what types of jobs are in demand and what skills are necessary for these jobs, but American companies know. This is a private sector problem, and it requires a private sector solution.