Opinion – How American Politics Became So Ineffective – The Atlantic – John Gelmini

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hillary Rodham Clinton, January 2007

Hillary Rodham Clinton, January 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The answer to Dr Alf’s open question is that politicians have dissembled too much, lied too much and have tried to avoid answering or thinking about the difficult issues we face.

Delivery under Obama has been so scant that you would need an electron microscope to see exactly what HAS been delivered and in America, as elsewhere in the world, people see themselves as consumers with certain rights.

Issues like automation, robotics, cybernetics, 3D printing and the need for up-skilling, more exports and a more outward looking focus have not been addressed, so when Obama, or his equivalents around the world, says that policies are working, people compare their situations to what has been promised and find that they are being delivered what Trading Standards calls “short measure”.

This means buying a pint or liter of beer but getting less than half of it, whilst being charged for the whole amount.
In the past people would grumble, be fed lies and in most cases put up with what they were given but no longer. They want what they were promised, when it was promised to arrive, and preferably faster than that.

Politics is still in the age of horses and carts, rather than the internet age where every promise and utterance can and is being compared with earlier utterances and politicians by not managing expectations and by not delivering or explaining why they can’t (changed circumstances), risk approbation and ridicule.

Trump may be a buffoon and will not win the Presidency but Hillary Clinton will not be able to disregard some of the important points he has made however much she might disagree with the inflammatory way in which he makes his case.
The genie is out of the bottle, people want delivery and they want to see fairer distribution of wealth and the old norms are simply not going to be accepted any longer.

John Gelmini

Opinion – Europe’s ‘unfair’ Apple tax ruling sparks US anger – BBC News

European flag outside the Commission

European flag outside the Commission (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The BBC reports that the US Treasury has criticised as ‘unfair’ tax rulings by the European Commission, following a demand that Apple hands over €13bn in unpaid tax.

Source: Europe’s ‘unfair’ Apple tax ruling sparks US anger – BBC News

Similarly, the Irish Finance minister immediately said that Ireland would appeal.

Personally, I think the ruling is very fair and should be seen as a warning to other large businesses trading in Europe that the days of near zero tax are over. This is an example of where the might of the EU is able to stand up for justice and fair competition. Large corporations have often been above the law for too long. It’s time for corporations to pay their just dues.