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Chris Norwood Headshot

Google for President. Why Not?

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In the ever drearier aftermath of the dreary election, it's time for a whole new way forward. Google for President!

This idea came to mind with the single thrilling announcement to massively capture the real can-do American potential that seems to have surfaced in all the years since our minds got crushed in contemplating useless wars and engineered financial mayhem.

This was Google's October announcement that it will be a lead investor and mover in a $5 billion, 350 mile underwater "transmission spine" to support massive electrical wind farming along the East Coast. Moreover, at 20 miles off shore, the transmission spine would be placed to bypass all the usual objections to the sight and sound of the giant windmills that represent a renewable future.

Wow. Money gained from one new technology goes to massively launch another new technology and does so on, a basis that responds to public objections before they can even arise!

Google for President.

Do we know who Google is? We've seen pictures of Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, but it's the essence of Google that matters here.

It's the ability to interest and enjoin worlds and worlds.

The lack of ability of our old and entrenched systems to do that is what's so harming us, indeed killing the United States. All groups and interests have their eyes just on themselves. I suppose there were many parts of the stimulus that showed this but none more glaringly than the $10 billion added to the National Institutes of Health budget at the insistence of thankfully now ex-Senator Arlen Specter as the price for his vote. Why should one man control $10 billion; because, he has had cancer---who hasn't?--and naturally considers that he should be able to use billions in public money to allot himself ultimate credit for a cancer cure.

So with unemployment rife in the land, the N.I.H. was distributing $10 billion extra to elite universities and "research centers"--- where base "researcher" salaries pretty much start at $100,000 plus benefits rates that would make unions blush--- to do a lot of sloppy and substantially useless "research". Everyone involved knew it was impossible to undertake $10 billion of productive, proper new research in the two year limit of the stimulus but that didn't stop everyone involved from gobbling the money.

Google wouldn't do that. Google puts together the resources of information, networking and "social communities" so they respond to whoever is using them.

That $10 billion could have supplied 400,000 useful $25,000 a year jobs in communities flattened by unemployment---systematically re-booting them. Using the Goggle principal of supplying not just useful, but usefully networked information, here's a suggestion for what those jobs could have done. As is well known, communities with the highest unemployment have the highest diabetes rates; as is well proven, teaching people with high blood sugar good self-care is twice as effective as putting them on standard medication in preventing them from progressing to diabetes---and incredibly cheaper. With jobs as diabetes prevention educators---something people can readily learn in a month---these 400,000 unemployed could easily have taught a minimum 10 million of the some 50 million Americans with high blood sugar how to avoid diabetes, lowering future diabetes cases in their communities by 50%. Actually, in a kind of Google flourish, where one advance builds on the next, the mammoth health care savings from the first ten million could have financed the next 10 million and on and on to a massive renewal of American health.

Instead, millions in "stimulus" funds went into cutting up rodents. And we wonder where the "base" is?

We have one party which is the party of "no" and one the party of "disconnect."---and it largely seems all the election did was give them a chance to change places. Already the self-advertised party of "no" that won by promising to slash the deficit is so disconnected from its victory that its leaders are insisting on billions in tax cuts and promising more billions in re-increased Medicare spending!

Google wouldn't do that! It's whole essence is assured mutual response---what goes in is actually the basis of what comes back.

Like Puskin's echo, " at once, to everything, through empty air, an answering sound (they) bring."

Google has sometimes invaded privacy, certainly a disconcerting fault; but in a day when your room-mate has a camera hidden in the ceiling, the person in your bed is posting digital pictures on their blog, and a lowly soldier can swipe masses of state department emails, it's best to remember that privacy is, alas, a past century concept. And let's hope their backtracking on "net neutrality" is a brief aberration.

On the other hand, they've stood up to China.

Google for President.

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