Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fear and Anger Deny Logic

Our politicians and powerbrokers should be studying the happenings in the middle east to learn how fear and anger don’t work forever. The special interest groups in this country have combined to provide us with political choices that defy logic. Once logic is ignored, you can only gain support using fear and anger to push your points. Consider:

How do we get government out of our lives while pushing hard to insert government between a woman and her fetus?

How do we defend “for profit health care” when the only way to increase profits is by: postponing cures in favor of treatment, having more sick people, or increasing the cost of care?

How can we defend the idea that all men are created equal, when we want to deny gays the right to the same benefits that the rest of us have?

How can we condemn the Muslim theocracies in the world while trying to make the United States a “Christian” nation?

With a media so scattered that it is impossible to determine the “Truth” about so many issues, I propose that we should be measuring our reactions to our politicians using Gandhi’s statement:

“Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear.”

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cutting off the nose to spite the face.

After 35 years in the insurance industry I have become too familiar with the idea of cutting your nose off to spite your face. This is caused by a combination of CYA and a lack of intellectual capacity. It seems that those most interested in complaining about America’s decline are the same ones causing it; by refusing to discuss tax increases. As the US Congress cuts spending, vital programs are passed on to the States; whose politicians have refused to discuss tax hikes, and cut aid to the cities, counties and towns. As a result our schools suffer, our infrastructure doesn’t get the upgrades necessary to remain competitive, our police and fire departments can’t do their jobs and those that can’t care for themselves are tossed onto the street. The politicians involved in this have ‘kept their pledge about not raising taxes” and think they are qualified to enjoy a higher political office. They have passed these costs to our grandchildren! Meanwhile, our collective taxes are amongst the lowest in the developed world.

The Social Security actuaries have stated that a total of 2% increase in the Social Security tax would completely solve the deficit in that system. Other simple changes like allowing some of the trust fund to be invested in blue chip bonds would also go a long way towards reducing this tremendous deficit. The cuts proposed by both the administration and congress would not dent the size of the deficit. When are our politicians going to stop relying on fear, anger and ranting about failed 19th century economic systems, and actually make some of the difficult decisions we need to go forward as a nation?