No flaming, just answers…
I see it posted and said often that democrats (or anyone but republicans) have no answers to many of the problems that currently plague the United States. Sort of a “put up or shut up” mentality.
I am curious as to how you all (if you were king of the forest) would handle the following problems. It is my hope that we will see a broad section of ideas and that we can agree to disagree without flaming or put downs.
1. How would you handle the threat of terrorism and terrorists from the middle east?
2. How would you handle the U.S. involvement in Iraq?
3. How would you handle taxation in this country?
4. How would you handle the movement of american labor jobs to overseas?
5. How would you handle the problem of pollution and global warming?
6. How would you handle the rebuilding of New Orleans?
Remember, no flaming and no put downs of others ideas. If you feel a need to be nasty, please don’t respond to this post. This post is meant to share ideas.
|1. How would you handle the threat of terrorism and terrorists from the middle east?|
First: make sure our intel. community is fixed. Then focus on understanding what’s causing the terrorism. Try to develop policies that deal with the real problems.
|2. How would you handle the U.S. involvement in Iraq?|
Since we’re there, I don’t think we can leave. Just keep training the Iraqi’s to take care of themselves. However, privately, I would set a pull-out date & make sure that the Iraq government understood that. I would start charging them for our services.
|3. How would you handle taxation in this country?|
Our policies have been becoming less progressive. I would immediately undo the tax cut for people making over $200,000. I would look to try to simplify the tax code. I would make sure that are tax benefits for conservation of energy, etc. I would also make sure that the little business person is not unfairly burdened and I would give credits for hiriing American workers.
|4. How would you handle the movement of american labor jobs to overseas?|
That’s a tough one. We need to level the playing field, i.e., make sure that the governement can equalize, as much as possible, the benefits to send workers to Canada, China or India, e.g., if countries are providing health care which reduces companies’ cost, then we need to compensate.
I also would look at some of the ideas Kerry talked about, i.e., tax credits. However, I would make sure that the companies getting work visa’s for foreign labor really could justify it. I think the tech. companies (mine included) are hiring way too many foreigners, when they could be hiriing US citizens.
|5. How would you handle the problem of pollution and global warming?|
I would implement more environmental taxes. If people would to pollute fine, but we going to charge you to do it. We need to make sure all the costs of pollution are included in the products we buy because they currently are not.
|6. How would you handle the rebuilding of New Orleans?|
Another tough one. I would require a comprehensive city plan before I dumped any money in NO. Then I would do cost/benefit analysis’s & attempt to make a decision. However, in the end, the decision may be political, i.e., you may just have to rebuild?
Seems to me that the main thing is to involve a lot of competent people who hold a variety of viewpoints on the issues, and work out answers in some collective fashion. I can’t say that I know enough about any of the issues to say exactly what to do, but I do know that ignoring scientists is a bad way to make public policy on scientific matters, for example. Democracy works when every voice gets heard.
I can answer all of them with one word… education.
Tom and Bubba are getting close with their one-liners… but I think you have to go back even farther to get to the root of our plague.
Well, wiping out man and starting over or mass sedation are not an option I don’t think.
However, I don’t think answers like Tokers are going to get us anywhere. Those are band aids and treating symptoms, not the underlying disease. The only thing to over come our innate humaness is education IMO. (Others may call it orginal sin, in any event, we’re hard wired to not necessarily work well with others out side of our tribe.) Our innate humaness is what gets us into messes to begin with. We can’t become unhuman, but we can at least become better judges of the consequences of our actions and hopefully pick up some self control along the way with a bit o learnin’. It’s an old story, trying to fix problems without knowing the systems behind it. Let’s sacrifice a virgin to make it rain and have good crops. Let’s eat tiger penis soup to conquer infertility… Let’s blow ourselves up in a mall to further our political and social goals. Let’s mow down a whole people to enforce our “right” way just to see them revolt later on and knock us off of our horse to enforce their “right” way. Specifically to the NO question, let’s go build a city in a swamp/flood plane. A little learnin’ can teach not only what to do, but what not to do as well as how to make informed decisions as to how to act and effectively achive one’s goals.
|may call it orginal sin,|
I didn’t mean THAT far back!
What I think is IF all mankind were on equal footing with the same moral, ethical and just plain ol’ decency values, we would be MUCH better off.
IF education is the answer as Bubba suggests, (and I agree to a certain extent) then EVERYONE should have an equal education. An education that teaches not just the three R’s but common decency as well.
|Democracy works when every voice gets heard. |
IF everyone were TRULY equal and treated as equals, their voice WOULD be heard.
Yeah, I know… pipe dreams and a whole lot IF’s plus $3.00 will get you a gallon of gas… maybe.
TG – dreamer…
PS That’s a pretty good yarn you spun there Bubba. I think I’ll print this thread and keep it around after all is said and done.
|What I think is IF all mankind were on equal footing with the same moral, ethical and just plain ol’ decency values, we would be MUCH better off.|
But that’s utopia because we’ll never agree on what the values are.
Hey Bubba - I tried to offer realistic things that I would do if I were President. I think some of my ideas would help fix the problems.
mmm…tiger penis soup…mmmm
Right on, Bubbagump, education is indeed the ticket.
|mmm…tiger penis soup…mmmm|
We have a dessert in England called "Spotted Dick"
Will that do?
Spotted Dick? What the #### is in it?
Um, not as exciting as it sounds.
I agree Bubba that education could heal many of society’s ills, but that answer is also sort of a cop out. The fact is that we live in a reality where not everyone is educated. Further more, education is not even a top priority in this country so that isn’t likely to happen soon. I commend Mr Soul for at least trying to answer the questions with thoughtful answers.
I have heard too many times that if you don’t have a concrete answer to a problem, then you are stuck with the answers that are already in place. And we all know that the current answers are not necessarily the best answers.
I’m a bit of a tech person and believe that technology properly used can promote great change in a short time. The first 5 questions could all be answered and solved with technology growth in solar energy and efficient, ecologically sound battery systems. If the US government spent just 1/4 of the amount of money that has been spent on the Iraq war, they could have built a technological revolution in solar energy production. Oil would drop in value and terrorists money would dry up. New technology jobs would drive the american economy for the next 50 years. The US would lead the world in clean energy.
And for those of you that say, “That’s silly, it can’t be done”, remember that the same thing was said about building the atomic bomb by many of the very scientists who built it.
We have an amazingly wealthy and powerful country with more resources than at any time in history. The government could fund a program that would rebuild this country as the technological powerhouse of the world.
And it would take a lot less money than sending our sons and daughters to die in a foreign land.
Sure, education could save this country’s sorry ass, but look who we vote for. Education won’t save it soon enough. And the job of the government is to protect it’s people and to fund positive programs that the people couldn’t possibly fund themselves.
As far as New Orleans goes, I do not know the topography of the region but I think they should turn the part of the city that is flooded into wetlands and build uphill from the dryest spot. That could mean building many miles inland.
Out on a limb with my $.02
|From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.|
Spotted Dick and custard
A can of Spotted Dick sponge pudding.Spotted Dick is a steamed suet pudding containing dried fruit, usually currants. The dessert is especially popular in the United Kingdom, usually served with custard.
Most recipes for spotted dick include the following:
White bread crumbs
Raisins or currants
Citrus fruit peel
ugh - steamed suet pudding - I’m sorry but I don’t think I could eat that…
Anyway, DrG, I disagree with your assessment of the practicality of education. Make a 4 year college degree free for everyone. It would cost surprisingly little at first, it would produce hugely offsetting economic returns to the states, and the results would show up in a matter of a couple of years. The link between education and economic development is well established, as is the link between education and reduced social problems. It is totally realistic, and perhaps the only realistic solution to the sorts of problems you have suggested.
edit: I’m happy to report that the Irish variant of Spotted Dick is a soda bread, and not a suet pudding.
n : hard fat around the kidneys and loins in beef and mutton
Yuck! I guess if you put enough Brandy in it, you won’t care if it has suet in there…
I can agree with the thoughts on education. I think it needs to go farther back than just college though. A gazillion currently graduating high school kids are getting out of high school with NO CLUE as to what they want or need to do. I was in the same boat when I was in high school. Our “Guidance Counselor” was a worthless prick who did not give two shits about us kids. There should be better counseling in high schools and some kind of accountability for lousy educators. Eliminate tenure?
No, can’t eliminate tenure, it is a guarantee of academic freedom, and that freedom is itself a source of innovation.
Of course you you and Bubba are right. I guess my cynicism about “everything in this country has to make money” has me wearing blinders. I also was so disappointed when the current administration could not see any other way to deal with terrorism than to start invading countries. How many times does that plan need to fail before we start to think outside the box?
Having a bad month; feeling cynical…
|Quote (TomS @ Sep. 29 2005,09:33)|
|No, can't eliminate tenure, it is a guarantee of academic freedom, and that freedom is itself a source of innovation.|
It's also a guarantee that guys like that jerk-weed I had in high school keep their jobs until they retire. Maybe the situation is/was not as bad in other parts of the country, but here, man oh man are our school systems loaded up with good ol' boy networks and free-loading nutcases.
What's the answer if not eliminate tenure? If I do a lousy job here, they will FIRE my butt! Regardless of whether I have been here ten days or ten years. If I were a teacher in our system, as long as I got past three years, I'm home free. Nothing short of a felony offense will cost me my job. I'm sorry... I just don't understand?
TG -- also cynical Doc...
|Quote (DrGuitar @ Sep. 28 2005,21:41)|
|I agree Bubba that education could heal many of society’s ills, but that answer is also sort of a cop out. The fact is that we live in a reality where not everyone is educated. Further more, education is not even a top priority in this country so that isn’t likely to happen soon.|
I think we are on the same page, but I see what you are saying. However, unless we change that attitude, we are doomed to be in the quick fix mode we have always been in. Changing that attitude is the first step in educating people. There are many obstacles to educating the masses and those need to be tackled one at a time as well. In some ways it is a catch 22. How do you educate a populus that is not educated, does not see the value in education etc. Well, when the right folks decided to start chasing the issue of smoking on health, the message got out and made a difference. That sort of action is the right direction to be running in. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t expect everyone in the world to be a PhD. But it sure woul dbe nice if a few folks understood basic economic theory, the crebs cycle, the carbon cycle, chemistry, and some of the other basics that people sleep through in their senior years of high school or memorize just for the test.
I find people spout a lot of what they have heard and not a lot of what they know. Global warming is a perfect example. YOu have groups on either side spouting what they have heard, but not what they really know. Understanding the carbon cycle, millenial trends, etc would put a new and probably more balanced focus on the issue rather than the either/or stances we see now.
Though as Mein Kampf (forgive me for the Hitler reference) and the past election has taught us, the masses don’t respond to nuance. (I am not saying Bush is Hitler or Kerry’s positions were right, just nunce is not received well. A cigar is only a cigar here.) Only the intellectual does. We need to turn the masses into somehitng that more resembles intellectuals so things can be discussed and compreheded rather than based on slogans, emotion, and buzz words.
Eliminating tenure is another catch 22. The academic world needs the fredom to investigate the controversial and perhaps that which goes against the status quo. Otherwise we keep looking for Prester John, thinking the world is flat, and that illness is caused by bad humors. HOwever, this also can lead to dead wood. However, tenure is not what I think a lot of folks believe it to be. My good friend has tenure at Ohio State. He is required to to produce so much research etc. You can’t just have tenure and do nothing.