Letters to the Editor

How to really make America great

Americans have always prided themselves on innovation and industry. But this is a double-edged sword as many rural communities have found out since the 1950s as machinery has replaced the common worker.

You can’t extol the virtues of higher productivity, innovation, engineering and invention without acknowledging that the common working-class Joe will be displaced and become obsolete.

Those mega-international companies that you blamed for your eroding and vanishing lifestyle were conceived and are owned by your fellow countryman. Innovators saw a need for higher and cheaper production and created inventions that help feed the ever-growing population of the planet, and lets us communicate in ways we never thought possible.

Meanwhile, your neighbor, in pursuit of a better life for his family, made the business decision to have the widgets once made in Anytown, U.S.A. instead made overseas in Everytown, Mexico or China or India. Globalization is the genie that can’t be put back in the bottle. Every American is now in competition not just with the guy down the street, but pretty much with every human on the planet.

I know rural America is hurting, but the government is neither the bad guy nor the savior for our woes in most cases.

If you aren’t the innovator, the investor or the visionary, then you are going to be left behind.

If you can’t adapt to the changing landscape and circumstances being brought about by technology, your lifestyle is going to suffer.

“Make America Great Again” makes for a compelling slogan, but it is merely a verbal salve to the average Joe’s problems.

What is needed in this new reality is better pay for teachers, more education, higher education, vocational schools in modern industries, the health of the planet and basic healthcare for all.

Carlos Estape, Islamorada

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