Coyotes Question Carly Fiorina
On Wednesday, February 8th, many of the faculty and students of Kansas Wesleyan attended the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner. Attendees from KWU included President Matt Thompson and his wife Jennifer Thompson, Paula Hermann and her husband Mike Hermann, Provost William (Bill) Backlin, Dr. David Silverman, and students Autumn Zimmerman, Alison Casey, Ethan Resh, and Trail Spears. The Coyotes were well represented at the event. However, the students in attendence were offered the experience of a lifetime at the event.
Before the dinner took place, the KWU students from The Advance newspaper staff had the opportunity to attend a press conference in which they were allowed to question former Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.
Fiorina is known for being one of the most successful women in the modern day. She began her career as a secretary for the Marcus and Millichap real estate office, but Fiorina worked her way through the ranks of Marcus and Millichap as well as AT&T and eventually became the CEO of Hewlett Packard. This success allowed Fiorina to soar into the political spectrum.
During the press conference, a variety of questions were brought to the table from various perspectives. The conference began with a question regarding the infancy of Donald Trump’s presidency. Various reporters asked Fiorina how she felt about Trump’s presidency and his string of executive orders. Fiorina responded, “He won the Presidency fair and square. Trump is a shock to the system and that is what the voters wanted.”
Following this line of questioning, Autumn Zimmerman changed the subject to poverty. Fiorina outlines throughout her website that, “poverty in areas like the Phillipines, Congo, Tanzania, Romania, India, and Nicaragua does not result from a lack of intellect or potential, but from a lack of tools. Zimmerman proceeded to ask Mrs. Fiorina if she felt that the same principles applied to the impoverished state of the United States. Fiorina responded by outlining that, “Every individual has potential. Human nature drives people to want to build a life of dignity. Poverty is not something that results from a lack of gifts or a lack of care, but it results from a lack of resources. An example would be credit.”
Fiorina went on to outline that the government is partially at fault for the impoverished state of the country. Fiorina states that, “We are creating programs that tangle people’s lives up in dependence. For example, a single mother with a couple of kids could be dependent on food stamps. She may work twenty-five hours a week and have the opportunity to work forty to fifty hours. But in too many cases, this woman would lose access to food stamps. She then has to weigh the situation differently. What if she loses her job? What if she loses the food stamps? It is for these reasons that we must rethink our programs.”
Zimmerman went on to question Fiorina about programs such as Medicaid, asking how Fiorina felt about Medicaid expansion. Fiorina stated, “I think one of our biggest problems is too much money, too much power, and too many decisions in Washington D.C. If too much is given to Washington for too long, money is wasted and power is abused. Funding for these programs should come from Washington, but enforcement should come from places closer to home. So do I think that the federal government should be in control? No. But do I think that they should increase funding? Yes.”
The conversation then shifted to education. Zimmerman asked Fiorina, “How would you alter funding toward education?” Fiorina responded by outlinging, “There are so many examples where the government spends and spends and education doesn’t get any of the money. Where, who, and how we spend this money is what matters.” Fiorina went on to give examples of California’s education system having spent more on education than all but one other state. She then pointed out that, “Even though California spends more on education, they are ranked forty-ninth in the country for their education system.”
Alison Casey of The Advance then asked Fiorina where she had gotten her information with regard to California’s education system. Fiorina had no response to this question other than, “You can look it up on the internet and find it.”
Zimmerman then asked, “Do you feel that the drop in educational standards is the same for all states?” Fiorina responded by saying that, “There is no argument that standards of achievement are not improving. They are deteriorating. Education right now is not where it needs to be. Spending in increasing, but education is not. It is staying the same at its best. We are spending education funding in the wrong places.”
As the conference drew to a close, the topic shifted away from education back to consumers and workers. Dr. David Sliverman asked Fiorina, “Why is it so much more expensive to buy ink for a printer than to buy the printer itself?” Fiorina responded by stating, “Ink cartridges look so simple, but there are hundreds of patents surrounding them. Manufacturing these cartridges is a complex process. Making the cartridge is far more complex than constructing the printer itself.”
The final question of the night came from Zimmerman. She asked, “What will happen when industries begin to replace workers with machines?” Fiorina responded that, “Consumers want more, faster, cheaper. They are not willing to pay more for less. They want to pay less for more. The only way to manufacture products efficiently and cheaply enough to do this is through utilizing technology. There is no question that we can’t put the technology genie back in the bottle. If we look to the highest technology driven manufacturing floors, people aren’t gone. They are just doing different work. Robots are assisted by people.”
Following this question, Fiorina explained that she had run out of time for questions and she thanked the reporters for their time and questions. Throughout the rest of the night, Fiorina outlined the importance of people’s potential and the potential of technology. Following her speech, the dinner concluded and both the KWU faculty and students returned home, both fueled by questions, and inspired to unlock their full potential.