What Are They Doing?

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  #1  
Old 04-24-2011, 09:38 PM
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Default What Are They Doing?

We've had conversations here before...either I've started them or jumped in early on...about the shortcomings of our government in planning and executing various types of programs for the long-term benefit of our country. We've talked before about high-speed rail. We're arguing, mostly at local and state levels, about whether or not to build parts of a high speed rail network. In the meantime, China is about 1/3 complete in building a 23,000 mile network of high speed rail to embrace and knit together the various regional economies in the country, improving employment and attracting investment and increased economic development.

Another area where China seems to be outstripping the U.S. is in their programs to reduce or eliminate their dependence on both foreign oil and fossil fuels in general. One large program that seems to have 'flown under the radar', even with the disaster in Japan, is China's huge program to build state-of-the-art nuclear reactors all over the country. Again, like the high speed rail network, their objective is to make China the world's most dominant economy, attracting investment from all over the world and rapidly improving the standard of living for their people.

China building a lot of new reactors—27 are currently under construction, 50 firmly planned—but their new reactors are also in the technological forefront. Most of their new reactor construction is a more advanced version of a design well-proven in France, and the other is a modern Westinghouse design developed over two decades. Construction is largely within budget and on schedule. On top of this is the imminent construction of a small high-temperature reactor in China that promises much, including eventual thermochemical hydrogen production.

So with this kind of competition cranking along in the Far East, what are our political leaders talking about these days?...
  • Our leaders are seeking the magic bullet to bring down gas prices before the next election.
  • We're in two major wars, sticking our toe in yet another, and there are many who are loudly arguing that we need to get involved militarily in Nigeria, where it's pretty clear that genocide is happening.
  • Our Congress debated for almost two weeks to agree on cost-cutting that totaled less than 1% of our federal budget, but when the CBO 'scored' the bill it turned out that the cost cutting totaled only 1/10% of our bloated federal budget.
  • And our political leaders seem to be at a loss even trying to keep those that control airplanes flying over our country awake on the job!
I could go on with what our political leaders are spending their time talking about. But what's crystal clear is what they're NOT talking about. They're NOT talking about providing the leadership in lots of different areas--energy, fiscal policy, education, economic development, etc. etc., that China is quietly working on every day.

The U.S. hasn't built even one nuclear reactor in the last thirty years. Heck, we've spent over $100 billion to build a secure storage facility to house our spent nuclear fuel and we can't even get the politicians to agree to actually use it!

When the heck are we going to wake up to what's going on? Our will we just wake up one day and find the U.S. being dictated to in all sorts of ways by the Chinese. We're not far away from that, I'm afraid.
  #2  
Old 04-25-2011, 09:16 AM
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Unfortunately, VK, you are 100% correct. I see our wonderful country going down the tubes. We have no real leaders, on either side of the aisle, as far as I'm concerned.
 

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