Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Indiana Competition

George Will recently wrote that Indiana likes having the nation's highest portion of workers, 20 percent, in manufacturing. Apparently five days before Delphi, the Michigan-based automobile parts manufacturer, entered bankruptcy, Gov. Mitch Daniels, who believes that 'conservatism can be active,' called Delphi. Daniels praised Indiana as a paradise for even more Delphi operations. I am glad we have a proactive governor. However, with the odds stacked against manufacturing costs in the US, how can Indiana accelerate the move from "Industrial Work" to "Knowledge Work" ?

Furthermore, why should we even consider challenging incumbent candidates like Senator Dick Lugar? Competition. Competition is the stimulus that makes all of us perform at a higher level. We want our elected officials to perform at higher levels of productivity. The lack of competition in communist regimes inhibited their economic social and political growth. Competition also spurs you to imagine and brainstorm new ideas. Ideas like: How can Indiana accelerate the move from "Industrial Work" to "Knowledge Work" ?

I felt bad about the 30,000 GM workers losing their jobs. What can a modern vibrant American economy offer them? I recently thought aboutthis problem while considering a run for the 2006 US Senate seat from Indiana. As a young Republican Moderate, what could I do to help these folks? Brainstorm and Broker multiparty deals?

I met with a few local GOP leaders a few weeks ago at Charlie's Ale Restaurant in Munster, Indiana, and they informed us that Senator Lugar is going forward for his sixth term in the Senate. So, it is unlikely that my senate candidacy can go forward unless the Senator changes his mind. But, with a grin towards game theory, it was an interesting and somewhat nutty exercise in stimulating ideas that trickled down to Indianapolis.

Here is one idea I came up with. Since there are huge amounts of genetic sequences yet to be classified, Imagine if a Senator Bud Labitan(R) from Indiana, could broker and encourage a deal between Lilly, Microsoft, and GM to develop a simple plan to convert 30,000 "GM line workers" into gene-segment analysts or "knowledge workers." Also, imagine that these workers are all connected on a networked X-Box 360 running a simple research software application (developed by Lilly, Microsoft, and GM) from their homes, within 6 months. Microsoft knows competition. In time, the X-Box360 will sneak into American living rooms and control more automated functions. So, why not try to turn it into a modern workstation?

This goofy-sounding hypothetical temporary WPA-like program would actually help accelerate the discovery of genetic instructions. And, just like road building, new innovations would be developed as the projects progressed. Setting the proper incentives and time limits to government subsidized programs like these could facilitate the transfer of work groups back into a stimulated private sector of biotech knowledge work. If such a big conversion of industrial to knowledge work were brought about successfully, we would all benefit from more medicines and better health products developed.

Our Party can lead or "be lead." Pulling our party closer to the middle is vitally important to the future successes of our party's candidates. In my view, younger blood is needed for the healthy political competition of ideas. An elder statesman like Senator Lugar will not be inclined to tease Clinton and Obama, like Arnold went after his California "Girly-Men." I would have liked the opportunity to debate as well as "tease" Clinton and Obama as a senate equal on the good issues. Playing to the media, "the Indiana Oak" may help bring more good humor back to the GOP and help maintain "mass appeal" in the middle. Without more of the middle plus competition for additional minority support, out GOP is in for a spell of losing.


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