To monitor business’ pulse on politics, The Times will present Southland executives’ and business owners’ opinions about the presidential election. This is the first in a series of snapshots.
Name: Joseph F. Alibrandi
Company: Whittaker Corp.
Position: Chairman and chief executive
Q. Who are you going to vote for?
A. George Bush
A. Because I think we’re less likely to get increased government, increased negative regulation of the economy, increased taxation and so forth under George Bush, although I must say in his first term he really fell short of the commitments he made.
Q. What are the main issues for your business?
A. The economy is a main issue, but really my concern is in the area of government intervention and regulation. And most fundamentally, I support Bush in the area of education. I think we’re doing a terrible job of educating the next generation of kids, and I think George Bush’s willingness to face up to the bureaucracies and the unions is more likely to yield a positive result than Clinton’s hope that they will reform themselves. Bush is more willing to introduce true competitive innovation than Clinton. As long as we retain the monopoly that the bureaucracies and the unions have in education, we’re never going to get the level of education we need.
Q. What needs to be done to right the economy?
A. One of the things we as Americans fail to appreciate is, we are a part of a world economy. It’s no longer U.S. policies alone. We need to go forward with a free trade philosophy. The trade agreement with Canada and Mexico is a solid step in the right direction. I think the whole area of government regulation, the legal system, tort liability, is just horrendous. We’ve really lost our balance with regard to workman’s comp in the areas of stress and so forth. A lot of my colleagues prefer to use machinery or contract out to Taiwan or Mexico rather than hire people. Education is the area that could have the greatest impact. We could create a much greater market in the U.S. and create more jobs, we could eliminate money spent on welfare and crime prevention--if we really did a job of improving the quality of education for our kids.