THE PFUNDSTEIN REPORT: Bright spots in the summer that never was

The kids are back to school. The grown-ups are back to work. The Red Sox are winning! The summer is quickly passing – actually, it’s not passing, it never arrived. So perhaps we won’t miss it.

Labor Day did shine bright, even if a little late for most tomatoes. I heard it wasn’t easy squeaking out a blue ribbon this year. But there did seem to be fewer entries.

Enough about the fair. What are you doing to create jobs?

For as long as I (and John Fogerty) can remember, we have been talking about reducing our dependence on foreign oil. My daughter suggested a new perspective someone should examine. While having dinner in Boston one evening before the Red Sox won, she had an interesting suggestion that I will share with you.

I pressed her to solve the conundrum of creating meaningful jobs when so much of our success depends on innovation reducing the demand for both white- and blue-collar labor. She suggested we examine whether real jobs could be stimulated by encouraging the conversion from oil-based products to non-fossil fuel sources of energy. She understandably asserted that the Middle East might appear a lot safer to us if we didn’t consume so much oil. If we could significantly cut our dependence and create meaningful jobs in the conversion process, we would have a laudable goal: A safer world with cleaner air.

When I asked if she would like to submit a guest column expanding on the concept, she declined, saying that she had not sufficiently considered the merits of the suggestion.

That doesn’t stop me. Who knows, maybe some other really smart young people can see if this all makes sense.

I’m sorry for those who see this is as the summer that never was. I’m not complaining. My tomatoes won a blue ribbon!

Donald J. Pfundstein is managing director of the Concord law firm of Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell. He can be reached at

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