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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Boldly Going Nowhere

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Common Sense Solutions

The country seems to be in a mess these days. The solutions to most of our problems seem as obvious as the nose on each of our faces. Unfortunately, most people can't see their own nose without using a mirror.

The Economy -- Even with a strong economy, new job creation is lagging behind. We need to create 200,000 new jobs each month just to keep up with population growth. Politicians promise us more jobs while ignoring the obvious. If we collectively cut back the workweek (a 4-day week or whatever), there would be more job openings available to maintain current production levels, as well as additional jobs created in the leisure industries. Plus morale and productivity would increase. We don't need more jobs; we need more time off.

The National Debt -- Our national debt is now $7 trillion with annual deficits as far as government accountants can see. Plus the Social Security system is in jeopardy with a wave of baby boomers retiring soon. More taxes will only slow the economy. We clearly need to spend less. The two-party system is the problem. One party wants to stay on course while the other wants to stay on course a bit faster. We need a third party that will trim the system back to a reasonable level. Once baby boomers realize that older generations borrowed against the future (bankrupting them), a third party will perhaps become a reality, probably a combination of Libertarians and the Green Party. Without a majority party in control, excessive spending on nonessentials will then cease.

Energy -- There's only so much oil on this planet, causing a great deal of friction between tree huggers and profiteers. Inevitably, the oil reserves will all be used up some day -- those who profit from it will fight vigorously to make sure that happens. So let's quit the squabble and use it all up. The sooner it's gone, the sooner we'll be hooked on whatever replaces it, which will no doubt be readily available the day the oil disappears.

Education -- Our educational system is little more than a baby-sitting service so both parents can join the workforce. Children aren't learning as well as they should under a "one size fits all" approach from the national government. Education should be a local responsibility, not national, where it can receive local attention. If we manufactured cars through a national edict, we'd all be driving Edsels. Better yet, schools should be privatized where feasible, allowing competition to ensure higher quality to prevail and much needed diversity.

Crime -- Too many people associate drugs with crime. If drugs didn't exist, there would still be evil people preying on others. Our prisons are overflowing with drug offenders, a very costly operation. The criminalization of drugs has caused the crime, just as the criminalization of alcohol caused a rise in crime in the 1920s. If drugs were legal they would be monitored, taxed and kept away from children just like alcohol. Guns don't kill people; evil people kill people. Drugs or alcohol don't commit crimes; evil people commit crimes. Treating your neighbor like you want to be treated includes being tolerant of them, even if they don't live by your personal moral code.

Immigration -- It's illegal to enter this country if you're not a citizen, but government is fond of loopholes. If you attempt to land from Cuba you'll be turned back, but if you make it to shore you're home free. If you attempt to sneak in from Mexico you'll be sent back, but if you can find a job you then qualify as a temporary worker and are on the fast track to becoming a citizen. In a sane world, if you're trespassing and get caught, you're still a trespasser. Removing hypocrisy from government would go a long way toward making this a better country.

Freedom -- Politicians invariably appeal to greed rather than common sense. When government gives you something it costs you something, both in earnings and freedom, usually far more than it is worth. The federal government should be a forum for basic essentials, such as infrastructure (roadways, dams) and a common defense. When government presumes to nurture (control) citizens from cradle to grave, it enslaves them.

Regardless of noble intentions, huge bureaucracies don't function well. Will Rogers once said, "Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for." Those who want more government get what they deserve.