Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ideas and Solutions for America’s Problems

Where are all of the ideas concerning how to fix our nation's problems? We have all of those politicians up there in Washington and yet we never hear about any ideas that are coming from them concerning how to fix what's wrong with America. Why? God knows it's not for a lack of problems; we've got a boatload of them. I guess maybe it's a lack of creative thinking on their part? Maybe it's the lack of will, which is necessary in order to implement these ideas? Perhaps the major changes, which our county so desperately needs, are just too drastic? Our gummed-up, broken system would not be able to implement them or adapt to them?

All I know is that we need ideas, we need change, and we need it soon; before it's too late.

I mentioned an important idea for real change in my last post: term limits. As of now, a U. S. senator serves a six-year term of office. With term limits, a senator would be allowed to serve two, and only two, terms. Twelve years is enough. I think we should also allow a U. S. representative to serve a four year term, rather than the current two year term; and they should be allowed, again, to serve only two terms. Eight years is enough for them. Their current two-year terms are, today, I think, too short. As it is now, by the time they get to Washington it's time for them to plan their re-election campaigns, and that's just ridiculous. They need to have time to work their office, not to begin planning another run for their office. The president, of course, is already bound, by the U. S. Constitution, to serving a limit of two four-year terms (i.e., eight years).

One of the biggest political/financial levers that the federal government in Washington now uses in order to manipulate the states into doing their will is the federal highway monies that it gives to the states. If a particular state doesn't like a new federal program and if they refuse to support this federal program, then the feds simply threaten to cut-off the state's federal highway monies. This always works, and the feds always get what they want. Bush used this tactic to push through his pathetic "No Child Left Behind" education agenda, which many states, at first, rejected; but they needed that highway money and eventually caved-in. (A side note here: I just recently talked with a friend of mine who has been teaching a high school student how to read, because the school this student attends hadn't done so. Thanks feds.) We can remove this federal highway money lever by simply nationalizing all U. S. and interstate highways, because these are interstate, as opposed to intrastate, highways. Let the state's take care for their own highways (i.e., intrastate) and let the feds take care of their own highways (i.e., interstate). It doesn't take an Einstein to figure this one out, does it?

Federal civil service workers are supposed to be civil servants, not lower party members. This means that if you want to work for the federal government you should want to serve your country; sort of like serving in the military. You don't join the military, and you shouldn't work for the federal government, so that you can get ten paid holidays per year; federal workers should get the same days off as the rest of us, who work for private businesses, get (more like four or five paid days-off). Federal workers, now, are getting paid to stay home from work on Columbus Day, which is this coming Monday, for crying out loud. This kind of thing has to stop. Not to mention the leave time, sick days, and vacation time that they get. (As an aside, did anyone happen to notice that the federal government has been shut down for the past three days, due to heavy snow fall in Washington? I didn't. My life wasn't affected by this shut down whatsoever. As far as I'm concerned the federal government could be shut down on a virtually permanently basis and no one would even notice.)

Federal civil servants should be paid a low-end salary, not the high-end salaries which they are currently receiving. No more six-figure salaries for civil servants, and no more bonuses either. The truth is, about eighty percent of federal "workers" need to be given the pink slip; laid off, for good.

What about U. S. foreign policy? This one is so simple, yet we have so many foreign policy issues that are now affecting our nation; even the safety of its citizens. Talk to almost any American today and they will all tell you the same thing: "We just need to butt-out of everyone else's business. Just leave those people over there alone." This one doesn't take an Einstein to figure out either, does it?

Our nation should do the right thing: support nations that treat their citizens and their neighbors justly, and oppose nations that treat their citizens and their neighbors unjustly.

Israel? Stop supporting it.

Overnight, the entire Muslim world love us, because we would finally be on the right side of this issue and we would no longer give the (accurate) impression that we are hypocrites. What would happen to the jihadist terrorist threat we now (supposedly) face? It would end, immediately.

I'll ask you this: If the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King were still alive, would he be a supporter of Israel or of the oppressed Palestinian peoples? Dr. King said:

"One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all. . . Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distort the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority." (Letter from Birmingham Jail, emphasis added).

In other words, he would support the Palestinian peoples. I miss Dr. King; he was smart, and he had courage too: a true leader.

What about international trade issues? What needs to change, for the better? This one is very simple too: stop allowing China to flood our nation with cheap goods; now. China, today, is doing the same thing to America that England did to post-colonial America: flooding it with cheap goods. This needs to stop, and America needs to re-build its manufacturing base. This will create jobs for us, rather than jobs for the Chinese. Again, we don't need a genius to solve this problem; we only need the backbone to correct it.

These are only a few, simple ideas that we can use in order to solve our nation's problems. My question is: Why are these ideas not coming from Washington? Answer: Because Washington is a large part of the problem.

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