Fix it first, three words uttered by President Barack Obama in his 2013 State of the Union Address, got me thinking after I took my nap during his final 10 minutes and woke up in time to witness Senator Marco Rubio's Big Gulp! There are many things we need to fix first and bridges may or may not be at the top of the list.
In no particular order, here are some items that could top the list in an attempt to get our economy and employment market back in gear:
- Utility companies need to be compelled to make their grids up to date across the nation so the debacles of storms like Katrina, Irene, Floyd, and Sandy do not keep repeating themselves. Imagine all the jobs that will be created including design engineer, field engineers, computer programmers, line technicians, etc!
- Public schools, colleges, and universities need funding to restore programs lost in recent years since we will not rebound without proper education being taught. Partnerships should be struck with all the financial companies the federal government previously bailed out to put some of their riches into education creating jobs for educators as well.
- Contracts placed out to bid by our government for the purchase of just about every possible item one can think of should be open to all interested suitors from within the U.S., not just those on pre-approved vendor lists created by a select group of politicians. Open bidding will reduce procurement costs and ultimately lead to more jobs.
- The length of time a patent for a prescription drug may be protected needs to be dramatically reduced. As someone who has to take some relatively new medications, I can assure you the drug makers and insurance companies are out of control. Opening up competition earlier for the producers of generic drugs will put more money back into our pockets to spend elsewhere and also should result in job creation.
- Mass transportation in many parts of our country is pitiful. A program to upgrade and expand public transit is desperately needed and will again result in new jobs.
Undoubtedly, some of you are going to accuse me of bashing one political party or the other. You would all be incorrect. I hold everyone in the Senate and Congress responsible for getting the U.S. back to full speed. All among us who are registered to vote need to let our leaders know that there is no time like the present to come together and find a way to create new jobs.