Thursday, August 27, 2015

A few quick things

Well Mr. Trump is still going strong, and if that is what it is right now, then that is the way it is right now.

I worry though of how much his support is based on reactionary politics. The market temporarily crashes and he starts tweeting out this is China’s fault. And in some ways he is correct, but it is much deeper than the reasoning he is using. He is using this situation to ramp up the base he has built, but it is all coming from his use of people’s anger to his advantage. And I hope people start to realize how scary of a proposition this can be.

It is one thing to run for office based on your beliefs or because you feel you can actually make a difference, it is quite another to rely on people’s anger and hatreds for your support. Mr. Trump feeding off of this works for him now, but what good is it for our country.

I rail against the right wing, the left wing, both major parties, and even try to tap into people’s angst with our current government to try and find some common ground with people to evoke some change. Change can be positive and I am hoping beyond hope it seems to find some way to motivate people to look at other alternatives or to create other alternatives for the betterment of our country. To watch Mr. Trump galvanize support with reactionary comments and especially the amount of support he is currently receiving scares me no end.
So I beg you dear reader to monitor this with great attention. It is when we ignore or discount what he is doing and saying that we can wake up one day with a much greater monster than we ever dreamed running the show. And if you are saying I am exaggerating or this is all much ado about nothing, then you need to stop right now and reconsider. This is exactly how we lose what is valuable to us. Look around, there is much to heed in our country and hoping Mr. Trump and some of what he represents or who is representing will go away at some point is exactly how the epitaph is written on democracy.

The anger and fear in our country is growing. It is a disease, a cancer that will eat us from within. Only the majority of people truly understanding the depth of the infection will we be able to keep us alive. If the majority does not understand what is brewing real close to the surface then when it boils over it may be too late to cure.

Too many shootings in the news. Two today. This is another cancer on our society that needs to be addressed. Do you think someone like Mr. Trump or quite frankly any of the declared candidates has an answer to what is happening to us? This is not about gun control. What is going on is another much deeper problem. The use of guns is a symptom to a much larger problem that cannot be cured by removing the symptom. It sounds nice to say we should control guns, and in some cases it might make a difference in a situation or two, however, overall we really need to look at identifying problems long before they get to the use of guns. At some point someone has to know something is going on with another person or are we becoming that disconnected with each other.

And with all this said, we cannot rely on superman or the avengers to save us. It is up to us. Everything we face in our country, our world, can be addressed, but we must take ownership. We must decide to rely on ourselves. We do not have to do everything, but we cannot sit on our hands and expect someone else to solve problems. I am always open to discussing this further, yet I know no one wants to hear from some old fart what they need to do. Just in case though I am open to much discussion on what we can do.

It would be more fun to talk about our favorite sports team and I will, yet we also must include in our discussions what is important for us to have in society and culture that allows us to think, criticize, express, and enjoy who we are as a people. It is our right and our duty to give a $%&!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Flat tax

Well campaign season is going to be ramping up soon and sooner or later some new versions of this idea will start to materialize.
When I first started thinking about writing about the flat tax idea I thought of some analogies to start out with, something that offered an incomprehensible set of choices or do you remember the movie The Stepford Wives. This was a movie that had a perfect small town where all the wives were perfect, but there was one small catch.

Yet I realized that you probably need to really sit down and examine what is the flat tax and why it might be popular to some. And if it is attractive to some, is there a viable reason?

Taxation has been a part of our country since before we wrote the Declaration of Independence and part of why we were motivated to write the Declaration.
Somehow, some way a government has to be funded and taxes are the vehicle of choice. Taxes come in a variety of packages. There are income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, value added taxes, creative taxes like the lottery and so forth.

The irony is the government gets to choose how it raises taxes to pay for itself. Our role is to find the politicians and elect them to give us the type of taxes we ..ahem… well…. Huh… accept. And in our country that has always been great fodder for political speeches, yet we still feel we are overburdened by taxes.

Our wonderful elected officials and people trying to be our elected officials spend endless hours trying to convince us they have the answer. So, is the flat tax the answer?
It was our 16th amendment that led us down the road to income taxes: “The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

Or according to a Wikipedia entry the 16th amendment:” allows the Congress to levy taxes on us without apportioning it among the states or basing it on the US census…” And the amendment came about because of the Court case Pollock v Farmers loan and trust Co. that ruled certain other taxes were direct taxes which according to the constitution direct taxes could not be levied unless they were in proportion to the census or enumeration taken for the United States. Another words direct taxes have to be spread proportionally amongst the country based on the population. And I wonder how any type of taxes are going to meet that criteria?

So they worked with it and decided that income taxes were not direct taxes by definition and passed the 16th amendment. And if you know constitutional law passing any amendment is no small feat.

So ever since then our Congress has been grappling with income tax rates. Historically since the 16th amendment we have gravitated towards a graduated income tax and an enormous tax code.

The arguments always try to use the word fair. How do we tax ourselves, as citizens, fairly? And in politics how do we define fair? Yep that is one heck of a kicker. Fair, a wonderful word, spoken so highly of, but absolutely impossible for two different people to agree what is fair for both.

So with an over burdensome tax code and the ill-advised notion of finding fairness in our tax code we have let our Congress choose for us. And now you know one of the trumped up reasons there is a group of people that call themselves the Tea Party. Quite frankly I am surprised it hasn’t gotten more traction. Their lack of success in recruitment though may have something to do with much of the reality of who they are really.

Anyway our wonderful Congress tends to find ways to make the people who care the most about taxes the author or at least the creative force of all our tax law. And this includes large corporations and lawyers. Again you can wonder why the tea party isn’t the majority party based on tax initiatives alone. Oh in case you forgot TEA party is Taxed Enough Already party. Even catchy, huh?

So what about this flat tax, it sounds fair, everyone has the same rate, definitely can completely reduce the tax code, why isn’t this a win win for everyone.
Some will argue that the flat tax is not fair because it creates a greater hardship on lower income people because it is a higher percentage of their budget or what it costs them in basics such as food and rent. For example if the average family of four needs (these are made up numbers for example only) $50,000 to live lets’ say a middle class lifestyle and they have that exact income or the poverty line for three people is around 27,000 (which I think is about correct or just above the figure) a flat rate of 15% takes 7500 away from the middle class family and 4000 from the family just above the poverty line. This means they would have to adjust their budget accordingly or find a way to earn more just to meet their basic needs. And you can argue they just need to earn the difference, but actually they need to earn the difference plus 15% more and mathematically it may be a bit different just to get back to where they were. So now you have people needing to work 2nd jobs etc. just to pay the rent. Is this fair?

Well how about the fact that they can budget. If they know they need to pay 15% and they are not beat down by a convoluted tax code where they have to spend money to have someone do their taxes so they can get down to a 15% rate, wouldn’t that be better? Possibly yes. We are all tired of working our way through income tax season. Unfortunately though income tax is not the only taxes we pay. If the middle class family owns a home, there are property taxes. Both families pay sales taxes, then there are innumerable amount of fees to the things we do that various government entities collect to add to their budgets. This eats even more into the budget causing a new cycle of 2nd jobs just to keep up with the basics of living and the income our governments need to survive. And don’t get me started on toll roads, hotel taxes, gasoline taxes, sin taxes etc. that just creep into our expenses till there is a negative amount in the checking account with a third job.
And our wonderful politicians sell us their tax plan in October, we vote for them in November and are even more screwed by them in January.

And now we are back to the question with that monstrously ugly word, what is fair? The more money you have doesn’t automatically mean you are more responsible for what goes on therefore more responsible to pay for it. Some people will say it does. Actually though does it?
I will argue for corporations it is a resounding yes. Corporations take up much more of the government’s budget than an individual in a variety of ways. This post is already too long so will have to save this argument for another day, but it does increase as the size of the corporation increases. Yet it still doesn’t mean corporations need to be completely taxed out of business.

The slippery slope of what is fair is the underlying problem we have with any tax rate, whether flat, graduated, or truly fee based only. Whatever we choose someone will not be happy.

The potential best rate is going to be the one that manages the affairs of government (and you can go back and read the Constitution on what should be taxed as always for the starting point) and doesn’t unduly overburden any member of society.

The flat tax does have the advantage of lessening the burden of paying taxes etc., yet at what point do we start the taxing. Some that support the flat tax say well lets exclude the first x% of income for everyone before we tax. Oops now we are creating a tax code again. And of course who decides what that percentage is? Oh yeah, our wonderful Congress who joyously work so hard with their partners in corporate America to write these laws. Someone somewhere will want to make sure it is fair (based on their version of fair) oh yeah attorneys are good for arguing all that. Hmmmmmm……

The flat tax can tantalize the imagination of many people and possibly many people who earn enough to be taxed at a higher rate than people like myself. Definitely a good idea for them. It is just how do we budget to a flat tax because the rate has to be chosen and what if 15% isn’t enough. Now we have the majority of the country working four jobs to get by. Is that even possible? Okay cut the budget you say, well history has proven that to be easier said than done.

I can understand the romantic lust for people with money to have a flat tax rate. Yet how do you rectify my example families with someone for example who makes 100,000 or 500,000 or more. At even 100,000 you are taxed at 15% so your net is 85,000 which puts you 35,000 over the imaginary middle class threshold of 50,000. And since these are non supported numbers you can easily argue that this is not a good example, yet it gives a reader a starting point that is not unrealistic. And of course if you make more than the middle class norm you do not want to feel like you are middle class. So being taxed at 30% sounds unfair because now you are hardworking and having less in status (and material goods, which is why we work hard isn’t it? Supposedly) Sure for 500,000 you are good right, 15% equals 75,000 leaves you at 425,000. Who wouldn’t want that? Some people would still be unhappy

And based on the thought that no one is going to be happy, I suggest we just tick just about everyone off and tax at a simple graduated rate. And yes this means all earned income is taxed, even for the family of three at 27,000. It would just be their rate would probably be in the low single digit percent vs someone who makes a million being somewhere in the current 30+% rate. And somewhere in these we derive a graduated tax rate and lose most of the current tax code. Are you happy, I doubt it, but we have to fund this government or we won’t be able to bemoan it at every turn. It is the government that has its roots in our Constitution that we need to fund or no matter what we do or say, will all be in vain. I am in no mood to work for someone who doesn’t give a rats ass if I am a human being or not and our Constitution is about the only source of protection anyone on this planet has in the secular world.

And there is not a good tie in to the Stepford wives, and I couldn’t think of any other analogy. We are stuck with something imperfect, which the Stepford wives was about, making the imperfect perfect. Yeah it worked in the movie, but what did they truly have? One giant lie. So I think it is better to be imperfect and trying to find the right answer than thinking there is one right answer and finding out it wasn’t what they advertised or really worked.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Too early on Saturday

I saw a bumper sticker that said:

I am going to keep my guns, my money, freedom and my God. You can keep the “change”.

Now I think even agnostics can see the problem (main) with this one. Why is God listed last?

If God is in your life you are taught that God should always come first. So guns over God, money over freedom. Anyone wonder why we have such a hard time with values in our country?

And I have a guess, but what exactly is the “change”?

And along those lines I have always struggled when people come up to you and ask for spare change. There is two levels of problems here. And I have to be honest sometimes I do fork out a dollar or some change, but nowhere near to giving every time.

The problems are part of why we need better leadership in our society. The first one is many times these people are border line struggling with being full capacity people. They are homeless, adrift, and forgotten about by most of society. Yet they are humans. We need to do something, but who is responsible? Church and Charities? Our individual graces? I think more because they are human and if their circumstances are such that they cannot function in society without help then all of us as humans need to be prepared to contribute. Does that mean the government should be completely in charge of taking care of them? Actually no. Yet we need to find the solutions that help these people correctly with contributions from all, but not anything that overburdens us. Another words we do not need a nanny state government that over burdens us with taxes and obligations, but leaders who can create a combination of public private partnerships in local communities that find ways to help these people be a part of our society as best as they are able. This is what true leadership means. Finding the right answers and implementing them.

And yes I know there are some programs and institutions that do help. Yet when you look around and yes you do have to look, there are many of these people who are not getting help.

And a quick aside. Mark Cuban posted a very interesting discussion on leadership on his blog. I would recommend it is worth reading.

And second issue is the people who are just homeless due to apathy and laziness or something similar. If they are capable of taking care of themselves then they do need to be held accountable for their own actions. What does held accountable mean? And here again this where we need creative ideas. Leadership that can inspire and implement programs that hopefully would engage people to want to participate in society, but and I mean this at the very least requires them to take care of themselves. The government shouldn’t be responsible for these people and actually that does include arresting them. Putting people who don’t care in jail basically is the government taking care of them.

Finding the solutions to these problems are actually what defines whether a government is doing its job or not. This doesn’t mean the government is the answer, but the driver of the solution. We cannot rely on our government to do everything or tax us to death just to throw money at problems. And especially when many of these programs fail the need. It is the responsibility of government to protect all the people so this means our elected officials need to find these answers. And finding these types of answers are really what defines a country/government as being great. These are not easy solutions.

And this is just one of the many reasons I feel Washington is failing this country and needs a whole new crop of elected officials to take over the reins of leading our country. Okay maybe this particular type of problem should be more addressed at the state and local level, but the need is still the same.

Obviously it was way too early on a Saturday morning not having had breakfast yet running errands to have seen that bumper sticker. Got me ticked off. You know the candy bar commercial, needed something in my belly to make me a better person. Well I have expunged some front porch preaching and hopefully one day soon we can make the changes we need to continue to truly keep our country great.

Have a wonderful day everyone

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fiendishly fossil and some other stuff

I have come to the point where I just do not get it. Actually I have been that way for years, but at some point it just gets into your head and bounces around like the ping pong balls in the old Keno machines.

There is an obsession that borders on manic or possessed when it comes to some people and fossil fuel. There is actually no reason for people not to get over fossil fuels.
First of all and I have said this before it will take us decades to get off fossil fuels even if we decided to completely eradicate them right now. So the jobs issue isn’t really a problem. One generation continues to have their jobs and the new generations get jobs in the new energy industries. Change will happen.

The same billionaires can continue to be billionaires in the new energy companies. So there is actually no rational reason to continue with fossil fuels. And every argument these people have can be addressed and I just did in a very basic way.

What gives? There is no reason on planet Earth to continue to press fossil fuels as the world’s energy sources. And if you are an “American” it hasn’t done us a damn bit of good to continue to force this down our throats. Yeah there has been some money made recently, but overall the future is not fossil fuels. (there is a bad pun in there somewhere).

Throughout world history power changes when a group, country etc develops the next source of energy. England conquered the world with wind power via sailing ships; we conquered the continent with railroads (remember steam engines) and now with cars and each time a new group of people develops a new technology or industry they thrive and the old withered away. Or people keep developing new technology that needs energy sources, ie ships, to rail, to airplanes and cars. Okay railroads still play an important role, but the new development seems to be in electric rail, not fuel and cars are ever so slightly changing to electric. Mr. Monk will probably be considered a pioneer in fifty years just the same as Henry Ford was in the 20th century. We just need to realize how we power our world evolves and this change is good.

Change, change, change, but there is such a fight against it. And why? If change is good then what happens when you do not change? Well stagnation, loss of economy, loss of power, others come in and replace you on the world stage, everything the people who want fossil fuels say will happen if we do not keep fossil fuels. History says different and why these people do not realize that the natural course of events is working against them; I do not know.

It is fiendishly insane and maddeningly scary. You would have to be addicted, possessed, or a manic depressive to be this obsessed to keep something when everything around says this isn’t good for you or is not working for you or not your future. It is time to make the change and reap the benefits.

Okay what is the difference between these next two statements:

Where do you live?

Where do you stay?

There is something there and it means much. If we can understand the differences it gives us an idea to understand some other differences that affect us today in our country. Think about it for awhile. There is the basic difference, then the underlying differences.

In any sport, but especially in the NFL it isn’t a good idea to break your star player/ starting quarterback’s jaw. Wonder how long it is before Jerry Jones thinks about bringing in a certain linebacker since being dropped by the Jets. Hahahahahaha The good news is he has settled down over the last few years, but a few years ago this wouldn’t have been a joke. Rational Cowboy fans would have had to sweat this one out.

The Cavaliers should take a lesson from the Mavericks and find a way to keep Mr. Thompson. I know they would have salary cap expenses out the whatever, but look at what happened to the Mavs by not keeping their team together and transitioning over time. He is a young talent worth keeping. Whether LeBron stays or not you still need many good players to stay competitive over the long haul.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Just a few things

Well lately I have been punking my own writing and rushing through stuff such as my Family idea. I still believe in my ideas and the values involved; just maybe not all the redundancy and verbosity I spewed out. Hey it is out there though and the gist of it is what I wanted out there. I still like it.

Since I haven’t written that Pulitzer Prize quality piece on anything yet I thought I would share a couple of articles I have read recently. Both are on Trump and no I am not going to vote for Trump as a Republican and even more importantly not as an independent which I would be more inclined to do since I don’t vote Democrat or Republican anyway. He is not Presidential material, but since he has made the news so much lately I thought I would share a couple of other people’s info on him.

I am sharing this one because it is a good informative piece. It has nothing to do with what side you are on.

I am sharing this one because even though I said I was more impressed with the Republican debate than I thought I was going to be, it was still pretty soft overall and not really a debate. They were handed softball questions and answered them, but it didn’t become a total bash Hillary or Obama love fest, nor a complete tea party love fest either. This article does get to the heart of the matter though that I wish I had stated that night and it hits upon there was no substantive policy discussion. I expected that to not happen, so I just blew by talking about it. Anyway according to this article Trump came close at one point.

And how would Ralph Steadman draw Donald Trump? Or has he already and I have just missed it? If so under what publication? Anyone? I am very curious as to how this has turned out or could turn out.

And think about this for a moment Carly v Hillary. How does this play out to all those people who want Hillary just so we have a woman President? And what would it take for us to consider either The President and not a “woman President”? Who wins on woman’s issues? You can probably break down the standard issues based on Republican v Democrat. I think both are pretty attuned to their party ideologies.

And I still have nothing to say on the Cowboys yet.

Stay cool everyone, it is August so we are in the roughest part of this heat wave.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Okay I caved.

Actually a bit impressed, the debate is turning out better than I expected. Started out real weak. I have been tweeting some through the debate and wish I could pull a couple of them back, but did tweet this started horrible and I hold onto that one.

Some of it was easy, conservatives asking conservatives questions especially for foreign policy and the military. There were some good moments, but I don’t think anyone was really challenged.

The Trump train may be slowed down a bit after this debate, but I cannot say there was a real winner. Trump’s limitations were on display, we will need to see how people viewed them. Bush may have survived well, but will he grow. Christie was okay, Huckabee was okay, but pandered too much, Paul just keeps shooting himself in the foot, but he did seem a bit genuine, Rubio may not gain ground, Carson needed to stand out and didn’t, not sure how Cruz is playing out, did get the God question right for the people who believe, Walker and Kaisch didn’t seem to stand out, I cannot remember anything that made them different; yet with all my opinion the polls will better answer who may have won and how they did in the eyes of America. The press will also tell us who won.

As with all of you, I will be curious as to the polling numbers over the next couple of days. The people will at least redetermine who the leaders are for now. And unfortunately the seven that didn’t make it to the stage tonight are now really fighting from behind the eight ball. There was some mention of Carly, but stating the name is nowhere near enough to overcome not being there.

And the Democrats are in trouble. Hillary cannot go up against this much publicity if the democrats just expect her to win. They didn’t even bash her much at all and she still lost much ground because the democrats do not have anything to offer the public to view that compares. The Republicans looked good overall so all the clown car jokes are going to be hard to invoke for now and coronation expectations look really bad now.

Time to finish off the Family

On the eve of the first Republican debate I wanted to try and complete my thoughts on The Family. Originally I did not plan to have this coincide, but once I noticed the debate was here I thought I would try and put my final thoughts together.

Somehow it seemed appropriate with the way I feel about the modern world to put in my two cents on some actual ideas that could be put in place to preserve the family at least in a political or secular way while ten people (with almost another ten waiting in the wings) who call themselves conservatives try to convince us that they know what is right in the conservative world. I will be curious to know if any of these conservatives actually offer the citizens of the United States anything practical or even remotely philosophical about the importance of family and what can be done to keep this cherished value alive and well for the 21st century in their answers and discussion Thursday night.

I am not holding my breath. In fact I plan not to watch it. I do not want to give my one Neilson rating number to Fox News for putting on this charade of an event. Fox doesn’t need me to watch. Enough people will that they will get their ad dollars. Anyway back to what I consider some conservative answers to sustain one of our country and in fact the world’s greatest treasures.

And these will not be in order of importance…. well because I just can’t determine which is the most important. These first few thoughts are interchangeable in priority. So to start I will discuss something I am in favor of for many reasons and have discussed many times before.

I talk about how important the Family is in passing values from generation to generation. Well to help us thrive we still need to improve our education. I would say education system, but really just the concept of education. If our children are to have a chance to succeed in the future they need us as parents and grandparents, but they also need the tools and knowledge to find success. The family encourages the young to succeed, but without a foundation to work from you are only hamstringing the children.

Have you ever noticed many families that have their own business and even had their children help out in the business make the effort to make sure their children receive the best education possible? Why? This is because they see the future for their children and they know that helping out in the family business is beneficial, but sooner or later some in the family need to move on and do more. These families see the value of working together for a common good, but also see the value in their children doing more than they could.
So we need to make sure that all families that want their children to achieve more can give their children this opportunity. And this is not just math and science. It is all aspects of education. It has to start at the very root of how we learn. Our education needs to lay out a great foundation and this starts with reading and writing. Reading comprehension is the beginning. Success in all other subjects requires it. I have talked about education before and in some of my other posts have gone into some ideas to improve the quality, but for now I want to tie in together that passing values from generation to generation starts with the family, but is enhanced by an education system that takes the values a society cherishes and reinforces them with the facts and knowledge a good education can bring them to instill greater dreams into the next generation.

Will we hear any of our conservatives talk about the importance of our children having the opportunity to be more than what we have been? And I am not talking about material growth, but creating a country that grows from generation to generation so that it becomes easier over time to solve the problems of our world. Making money is nice, making history is our future.

Man cannot live by bread alone, but it sure helps to pay the bills. For a family to thrive though it needs to be able to pay the bills. Remember when working extra or a second job was for a fancy vacation or a new boat, not to afford the electricity to run the refrigerator. We live in such a consumeristic world and I do not expect the debate to discuss consumerism etc, but will they discuss what they are going to do about livable wages. Nowadays you hear about $15 hour minimum wage or the company that is going to pay their employees at least $70,000 within a few years. All this sounds well and good, but what are we actually going to be able to do to achieve a true livable wage. There is no magic pill.

To achieve some level of financial stability back in our lives, which of course helps the family we will need to overcome decades of wage to living expenses decline. And that has to start with creating an economy in this country that isn’t heavily reliant on consumer spending. Many in the field tomorrow when job growth is discussed will stress it will come in the oil/fossil fuel industry. And actually there is probably some job growth with decent wages still left in that field. It is still a dying industry though. We cannot rely on this for the long term future.

So will they talk about giving tax credits to companies that develop new products we can manufacture here and export? Or will they just talk about tax credits for business and stop there? We need to encourage companies to create here in the United States. There are many ways we can accomplish this, and one the Republicans love is tax credits or lowering taxes to business. The real strength though is holding business accountable to what we give them. If we say we are going to lower taxes to businesses instead of individuals (families) then they need to give us something in return and actually they should give this upfront and the tax breaks come as the reward for contributing to the economy as a whole, not just for the few. The government as policy could offer tax reductions that would really be offsets earned because their workers are earning enough to cover the taxes and they are able to live off the wages generated from the new products and services being created by new industries.

Or you can give tax credits back for successful R&D work. And yes I said successful R&D work. We cannot rely on false effort. Putting the carrot at the end of the road forces the companies to be successful. Companies that cannot compete will fall to the wayside. Too much of our corporations’ profits are not from business and commerce. We need to encourage business development for that is what will bring back wage growth and other benefits to the worker. And in previous posts I have put forth a few ideas and even some very largess concepts or new industries like desalination or to foster energy diversity.

Generally our families need an economic foundation that allows them to raise their children and give them the ability to show their children that making an effort in what they do is worthwhile. Right now we cannot undue the amount of hyperbole around some of the TV families and reality shows, but if our children see us achieving our goals through our efforts we build a stronger foundation for future growth in our children’s lives. If people believe that they will be successful through what they do, then people would be less reliant on what is on TV or winning the lottery. Whether it be a family business, a career, a product created in a garage, we need to put in place policies that allow for the individual to thrive and for corporations to be successful because the people can afford their products from their labors; not for corporations to hold a monopoly on what is available and to whom it goes. The so called American dream came about because people felt they could be successful on their own merits. That dream no longer exists when families have to run their wheels just trying to put clothes on the children and food on the table. Again, let the individual be the driver of their success, not beholden to someone else’s success.

Believe it or not I am going to say healthcare is important. Our children need to grow up well. And I am not a fan of the affordable care act. It is the most convoluted piece of legislation around. Will we hear anything new Thursday, who knows? We may hear how terrible it is. Yet we do need to find a healthcare system that allows for growth in the industry so new medicines and knowledge can improve our heath, but does not eat up such a large percentage of a family’s budget. We need an overhaul that really looks at the true cost of medical care. And we need to honestly look at what we can do as individuals to control those costs on our end.

Do not get me wrong. I do not want a government that tells me how to spend my healthcare dollars. I am already frightened by the size of our government and adding to the intrusion of how our government is in our daily lives is not the healthcare reform I want. The government should create a framework that allows us and the medical community to find a healthier model of healthcare. The individual (family) need to have the final say though in what is right for us. And this goes back to a good education. How can we know if we are not informed?

These are just a few philosophical points that hopefully give a reader something to think about for themselves. If we can create a strong underlying set of public policy that supports people being able to thrive in life then the more important aspects of family can thrive. The ability for families to be able to come together for holidays or reunions, to share experiences, to have those generational moments when the younger generation thinks it knows it all, but deep down knows who they really want to hear answers from. Families are the best people to take care of the young and the old. This includes financially and their health. We need to put families back together and that is a society issue. It would help though if we put into place some basic public policy that gives strength and opportunity back to individuals so the family worries less about necessities and more about what it can add to our society and country.

If not everything we hold dear will fall to the wayside. We will just become animals and slaves to a small group of people who have manipulated us to such a degree that even they will have no idea what is beneficial to them. How can they stay rich if we have nothing to give anymore? One weird vicious cycle of lies will develop if it hasn’t already.

Families give us the framework to build a society upon. If we cannot preserve the framework of the family, we are nothing more than cogs in an inhumane world. So when our wonderful conservative politicians talk about how conservative are they, remember the root word for conservative is to conserve. What in our country are they preserving? Us or ????????