- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.
Last week I had a series of appearances in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. A couple of observations from that trip:
–Tax increases are not anathema, as least to the people to came to my talks. When the person introducing me at the Seattle Library mentioned that a recent approval of a tax increase would keep open more library branches on weekends, there was a round of hearty applause. I heard the same sentiments from people in LA about the recent vote in their state to raise revenues, I think for education.
–Nor is a draft out of the question to these people. To my surprise, the same crowd in Seattle that applauded the tax hike also warmly welcomed my suggestion that the country would benefit from having some sort of draft.
–Overall, I sensed a kind of nostalgia for the days when government worked, and a fingers-crossed belief that it still can. It is amazing how potholed California’s highways have become. One woman says she has her wheels realigned every three months.
–There sure didn’t seem to be any recession in Seattle or San Francisco. But LA’s Westwood neighborhood had a surprising number of vacant storefronts. I don’t know LA well enough to interpret the significance of that. Real estate is the most local of businesses. I remember a smart guy telling me he only invested in commercial real estate on the north side of Orlando and stayed away from the city’s south side, which he said was a whole different market, one distorted by Disney World’s force field.
Clyde Prestowitz is the founder and president of the Economic Strategy Institute (ESI), where he has become one of the world's leading writers and strategists on globalization and competitiveness, and an influential advisor to the U.S. and other governments. He has also advised a number of global corporations such as Intel, FormFactor, and Fedex and serves on the advisory board of Indonesia's Center for International and Strategic Studies.| Prestowitz |
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a senior editor at The National Interest. Prior to Fletcher, he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Drezner has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Harvard University. He has previously held positions with Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation, and the Treasury Department.| Daniel W. Drezner |