They’re going to try
The Nov. 9 letter “Out of reach,” in which the writer said that the funds for Social Security and Medicare “are absolutely, categorically out of the reach of any and all Congress members,” was interesting.
Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who just won a new term, said in a 2010 campaign event, “I’m here right now to tell you one thing you probably have never heard from a politician: It will be my objective to phase out Social Security, to pull it up from the roots and get rid of it. ... Medicare and Medicaid are of the same sort, they need to be pulled up.”
I don’t know if, like the letter writer said, the funding for these programs is safe. But one thing’s for sure: Republicans are going to try to end them. They’ve told us so, repeatedly. It’s been a long-term project, just like ending legal abortion. Just like ending legal abortion, they’ll never quit.
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Considering their success at blocking Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland from even getting a hearing, even though they had a constitutional obligation to offer “advice and consent” on then-President Obama’s nominee, I’m sure they’re willing to bend a few rules, if that’s what it takes.
A rising threat
Apple and other U.S. firms have been aware of their vulnerability for some time in producing mainly in China to boost their profits and to gain access to the huge Chinese market. They have already seen how China’s extreme measures to control COVID have disrupted their supply chains and are now confronting a more aggressive, less welcoming Chinese leadership.
Chris Miller’s book “Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology” examines Chinese efforts to gain economic, technological and military supremacy through forced technology transfer, spying and heavy government subsidization of its semiconductor companies. It provides a stark warning about the cost of losing this competition.
The Biden administration’s move to bring manufacturing back to the United States, its financial support for the U.S. semiconductor industry, which is trying to recapture its dominance, and the banning of exports to China of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, design software and advanced chips, should help.
Apple and other U.S. companies need to rethink their business models and take action to reduce their vulnerabilities. They should ask themselves questions such as: “What happens if the Chinese decide to kick us out of China should the political climate deteriorate further?” “What will we do if China decides to blockade or invade Taiwan, where U.S. companies from many industries (e.g., aircraft, autos, consumer electronics, major home appliances) obtain major supplies of chips, including advanced ones, from the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.?”
America must wake up to this existential threat before it is too late.
I’m glad to see that North Carolina is taking steps to make it more practical to own and drive a electric vehicle (“NC starts plugging gaps in EV charging,” Nov. 7). I realize that we’re a long way from being optimal, but I hope we get there. It’s good for the environment and good for people’s pocketbooks.
I’ve been looking at some EVs, and while I haven’t yet found what I want, I hope I will in time. This would be a good time for auto manufacturers to be imaginative and create some new designs.
Speaking in Reynolds Auditorium on Sept. 26, science educator Neil DeGrasse Tyson predicted that in 20 years, we’d all be riding inside self-driving cars. He said they’re safer; they can drive better than we can.
That would be cool. It would also be cool if we reduced the greenhouse gases that are causing so many problems by going electric.
Run him again
Republicans lost the House, the Senate and the presidency in 2020 because of former President Trump. He’s just too divisive. Outside of his cult, few support his duplicitous and possibly criminal behavior.
Republicans have apparently lost the “red wave” gains they expected because of Trump, whose hundreds of endorsements fell flat.
Please, Republicans, run Trump for president again in 2024.
Ricky S. Phillips