Greetings and congratulations on hosting the new VA Forward activity. We are enthusiasts.
However, I’d like to share criticisms I have made to leadership about missing activity by Andrew Yang since he announced the formation of the Party. He could have gained media attention by creating a system of regular, candid, and balanced press releases on political developments in the U.S. Many people – not limited to independents – are potentially hungry for solid insights and information that they are not getting from left and mainstream news or Fox (let alone more fringe sources). He might be active below the surface but has been almost completely absent from news and comment streams.
A second critique is the absence of networking to bring together informed or influential people to discuss policy. Below the surface of confident statements pushed out by President Biden are major problems not limited to inflation and financial concerns. A chilling article by Derek Thompson in the Atlantic points out that the U.S. spends many times the total amount of combined R&D of other major nations, yet is only a fraction as efficient in producing results. It costs up to six times that for other nations to build infrastructure. We now have only 5 major companies producing arms compared with 20 twenty years ago, and cannot meet the requirements of Ukraine for ammunition. We have become selectively deindustrialized – reliant on nations like Denmark to produce offshore wind turbines, Germany for high-quality incinerators, book scanners and hearing aids, and China for minerals. The U.S. is a black sheep in renewable energy consumption compared to world leaders, and though we’re among top four spenders on K-12 education, we ranked an average of 25th in the international PISA
tests for 14-year-olds n 2022. Alone among advanced nations, our longevity has declined for three or four years in a row and our health care costs are threatening to break the budget. You and other supporters can add other problems.
The point is not to take positions or propose solutions to all these issues, but to identify smart people with diverse perspectives who are concerned about them and initiate communications. In a research paper in progress I identified effective networking as a key element in past successful presidential campaigns and campaigns on behalf of major political initiatives. Many of our regional groups seem limited in their focus of activity.
Frank Manheim [email protected]