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June 29, 2012

We all know that something is broken.  We can see it.  We can feel it.

The evidence is all around us, not the least of which is in the extreme separation ideologically between any two sides of any single argument. The stakes are high and we are so afraid of what could happen that we can not begin to see past ourselves to address the ideas of others.

The current health care debate is a good example.  Everyone knows our health care system is bonkered. Everyone knows that an aspirin shouldn’t cost $20 just because it was given to you in the hospital.  Everyone knows that paying $120/hour for a physician you never actually see seems insane. Everyone knows that it should not be legal for anyone who is sick and needs medical care to be refused care because they have no money.

And yet, we argue and we fight, we compromise and we do anything to keep the other side from getting it’s way.

We need a clean slate, start over (not that it’s possible, but if we could…)…build a system that works, one that begins at the beginning.  Fix our educational system.  Scrap the current BS that passes as “requirements” and go back to teaching our children from an early age how to think, not what to think. Challenge them.  TEACH them, not to some test, but to their ability.  Don’t lump all kids together and teach to the lowest common denominator.  

Make it possible for all children, regardless of background, income or willingness to incur debt, to attend a decent college to learn a vocation.  Students shouldn’t graduate from college so deeply in debt that they will be paying back student loans for the first 20 years of their careers.

Make public transportation an actual viable option for people to get to their jobs and schools.  I live in an area with pretty decent public transportation, however to get to and from work on it would require a mile walk, a train and two buses, followed by a half mile walk.

Provide healthcare that treats anyone and everyone as equals and does not cost insane amounts.  Yes, this will require some doing.  Yes, we need to control the costs of medical supplies and equipment and the prices doctors are allowed to charge, we need to invest in infrastructure and educating the public on when to see a doctor, when to treat at home. Start by controlling the cost of education, so that we can make new doctors who aren’t starting their practice 6 figures in debt.

And while we’re starting from scratch, lets find a way that it doesn’t cost so damn much to be poor.  As a general rule, poor people pay far more for the meager amounts of credit they can get, meaning their payments are higher and they are far more likely to end up falling behind and going deeper into debt.  There HAS to be a better way.

So much is broken in our society…and still we argue like kids on a playground instead of fighting for REAL solutions.  I’m not saying I have the answers.  I clearly don’t.  But we’ll never hear them, if we can’t stop shouting long enough for whoever has them to speak up.


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