Criticism Aside: What would you do to fix this country's problems?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by FuzzyKen, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    In the "Al Franken" thread there was a great deal of criticism of Democrats or percieved Liberals from those here who represent themselves as Republican Ultra Conservatives. There is on the other side a great deal of critiques the other way round as well.

    The idea is always dialog and understanding between people.

    There are some brilliant and well read individuals who post to this board.

    If you were in the "driver's seat" what would you do as an elected representative to reverse the economy and create jobs?

    What would you do to save the millions of people being forced from their homes Nationwide because they can for various reasons no longer meet their mortgage/trust deed obligations?

    What would you do to deal with the banking/investment industry and to make dead certain that the errors which lead to this collapse do not have a repeat in another 80 years?

    Because of the economy American Manufacturing including the Automobile Industry is facing bankruptcy. Remember that people showing problems are not limited to Ford, GM and Chrysler, but also include General Electric, Whirlpool, Boeing and other major industrial producers.

    What would you do to increase National Security while not stepping on the rights of the individual?

    It is very easy to throw a critique of another, but unless you yourself have walked a mile in the boots of that individual, and know completely what he or she as an individual has put up with that led to their success or failure do you really understand the problems?

    Somebody here may just come up with something that might actually work!

    Go for it!
     
  2. ZOS23xy

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    Perhaps some ideas that FDR thought up and used, like a corp of people to repair roads and bridges and maintain the road infrastructure.
     
  3. midlifebear

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    I grew up with the threat of conscription (the draft) and being sent to meet the friendly people of Viet Nam, learn their language, cultural values, and then kill them. So, I never really thought the idea of the draft was a terribly great idea.

    However, I would like to see something like a two-year partial voluntary draft where public school students 16 years of age or older (especially those thinking about dropping out of high school) were required to donate two years of public service as minimum wage earners to different communities than their own throughout the States working as teachers aides, for educational outreach programs for the poor, food banks, environmental projects, etc., before going on to continue with an advanced education as an undergrad or at a trade school.

    We still have the Job Corps, but that quickly turned into a convenient way to punish and incarcerate teenagers who would otherwise go to jail because of illegal activities. I'm thinking more along the lines of the extinct VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program. It was originally intended to function like a Peace Corps, but within the USA. Although I could have waltzed into my draft board and honestly offered all the male members of the board a a blow job, I didn't. I joined VISTA and served two years (actually a bit longer than that) working as a grunt secretary for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Monticello, Ewetaw. Boy, did that ever open my eyes. One of things I would love to see done with the BIA is have it completely dismantled, then reconstructed with only representatives of all of the American Tribes. They certainly could do a much more humane and fair job of overseeing their needs and being the bureaucratic ombudsman between the Tribes and the US Government. That would get rid of a lot of retired military slogs (mostly officers) who do nothing in their offices all day long but prevent anything from getting done while receiving yet another paycheck from the government including their full pensions. Fuck that shit!

    But anyone who has a litter of kids and then sends them off to be educated by a public school system should first spend at least two years working in public schools, especially elementary schools, as a teacher's aide working one-on-one with children who aren't as quick as the rest of the class, tutoring migrant students improve their English, and work as reading tutors. And I'd make damn sure it was illegal for anyone to drop out of high school before the age of 18, giving them the opportunity to find themselves by finishing their 12K educations while performing a valuable public service that might instill in them a sense of self worth and respect as well as motivate them to improve their own lives.

    But you can't force anyone in the USA to do anything, including to vote, because that is soooooooo undemocratic.

    Now, ask me what I really think.
     
    #3 midlifebear, Jan 13, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  4. vince

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    Close the bars from 7am until 5pm.

    Turn around all the desks of office workers so that their computer monitors face into the room. I did this in my office and the MSN'ing and YouTube watching went way down.

    Like MidLifebear I think some kind of National Service for all young people would be a good idea. It wouldn't have hurt me.

    A revamping of the education system is needed. Pay teachers and Profs based on merit rather than tenure. Fully half the teachers I have ever met, shouldn't be teaching. They are just going through the motions. I agree parents should be required to be more involved with the childrens school lives.

    Reduce the capital gains tax.

    Something has to be done to get a handle on healthcare costs in the U.S. The profit based system is just too expensive the way it is set-up now. I know the idea of a "socialist" system is a big buggaboo for too many people. So find a way to make it profit based and cheap. America is the most ingenious capitist system. I'm sure the present system could be tweaked to make it more fair and cost less.

    The government has to live within it's means. If that means cutting spending across the board and raising taxes, so be it. Canada did it in the 1990's and it did a world of good. Their deficits vanished and they have paid off a good chunk of the debts run up in the 70's and 80's. Somehow it should just be forbidden to spend beyond your means. It's been tried before. Try again.

    Make it very, very painful for corporations to move jobs overseas and make it very worthwhile to for them to bring research and production back to the U.S. You've got to get exports happening again. The balance of payment is horrendous and is draining your wealth. Tell the Chinese to keep their cheap-ass low grade shit and make your own.

    Keep the price of gasoline high by taxing it more. Already today, I heard news from the Detroit autoshow that they think there is less incentive for fuel efficent, environmentally friendly cars, since fuel is half what it was nine months ago. Short term thinking. Use the tax for transportation infrastucture and research into alternate energy.

    Quit wasting taxes on foriegn adventures that don't have a positive cost-benefit ratio. A trillion or whatever spent on saving the Iraqs/Columbians/Israelis from themselves is a black hole.
     
  5. houtx48

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    starinvestor posted a pretty good economic plan sometime back.
     
  6. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    Thanks Vince,
    I am 55 years old and fully agree 100% on teachers and education. I had several bad experiences myself when I was a young teen with a math teacher that did not know his own subject. I was given the old line "go read the book" and this teacher refused to answer questions. I rec'd a failing grade at mid-term and my Father went in for a teacher conference. He came home from the teacher conference in total dismay stating that the man was an absolute imbicile and to just to the best that I could do under the handicap of this fellow. I later attended college and when a good friend who was a math wiz studied teaching he gave it up during his student teaching. He became horribly incensed when he discovered in the teacher's lounge that about 1/3 of the teachers there could not complete the equations they were assigning their students. This country has continued to decline in Science and in Math and you are absolutely correct! This is one of the largest contributing reasons. I would also require that teachers complete continuing education at regular intervals and that those going on to be Principals etc. have to have outstanding records in teaching before they are promoted.
     
  7. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    Midlife, I also think that mandatory student service to the system would be a great thing. I learned a great deal when I became was "volunteered" to become a teaching assistant in the Los Angeles City Schools in about 1970. What I ended up teaching was ESL (English as a Second Language) to migrant kids in my own age group. I profited more from that than I would have ever imagined. I still think back very fondly of that and the respect that I gained for the teacher. She is now long gone and I often wonder what happened to some of the fellow students that were struggling with a new location and a new language.
     
  8. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    ...shocked..and surprised..but thanks

    Anyway, here it is:


    • Eliminate capital gains taxes. Drop them to zero. No one will have any gains for 5 years anyway. This would encourage hundreds of billions of dollars that are currently parked in cash equivalents to pour into the private sector as investment capital.
    • Give anyone that buys an American car a $5,000 tax credit. This will send people flocking into the car manufacturers and driving up demand, re-vitalizing the auto industry from top to bottom.
    • Give people a double, or even triple deduction on mortgage interest. This will cause homeowners to fight harder to keep their homes..reducing foreclosures drastically...it will cause homeowners that own their homes free and clear to take out mortgages to garner the tax deductions....that cash from home equity will be sent into the economy and the financial markets.
    No more $800 billion checks, just internal controls/incentives that will get this ship moving again.

    There is an overabundance of money in cash equivalents...which helps nobody. Reducing cap gains taxes, ramping up mortgage deductions, will both get cash to work. Also, the $5k tax credit, not deduction, is a giant incentive to purchase a vehicle. For a middle income family, they can buy a new car at $350/mth and get back $5k at tax time.

    If you bought a home for 100k at 5.5% interest, and you have a triple mortgage interest deduction..you essentially own the home at no cost. If you miss a payment, you lose the deduction.

    These are all incentive-based stimulus...no checkwriting...no more debt from overseas...just U.S. based stimulus.

    If the banks don't lend under those circumstances, fuck em.
     
  9. Elmer Gantry

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    If you had 3 maxed out credit cards and your bank was about to foreclose on your house, would you renovate your kitchen as a way of making your financial situation better?
     
  10. Elmer Gantry

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    I think the 0% interest rate is a bit self defeating, too.
     
  11. sargon20

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    First and foremost is destroy every 24hr cable network. They are responsible for a serious decline in journalism and the public getting accurate data. Corporate propaganda has managed to penetrate the public sphere everywhere. Airports, bars, restaurants, gyms, cafeterias, barber shops, homes, the list is endless. They control what we see and how we think. Corporate media frames the news and defines it. The public has no say at all. A one way mind control avenue. It's really almost science fiction the extent it's managed to be everywhere at the same time covering the same stories pushing the latest breathless headlines. The 24 hr shitfest must end. Without that being fixed it's all for not. In it's heyday Pravda didn't have this much control.
     
    #11 sargon20, Jan 13, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  12. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    I think... not sure... we have a new leader of the Army of the 12 Monkeys.

    I tend to think we can dissect for ourselves still and can realize things like the mainstream media (CBS, NBC, NPR, CNN, etc..) being the pockets of Democrats, while Fox is in the pockets of the Republicans.
     
  13. Wyldgusechaz

    Wyldgusechaz New Member

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    this economy is going to be tough to fix.

    First off we have an aging population and that aging population has most of the real innovative thinkers in it. We as a people are slowly losing our intellectual edge to other countries. This is fundamentally far different than even 20 years ago. Yes we still have some of the best and brightest, but fewer in proportion to the rest of the world. Imagine that kids schooled on the prairie in room schoolhouses 120 years ago learned math science reading and even maybe latin.

    We are fiscally irresponsible. We are in this mess because we were so fiscally irresponsible. We are fiscally irresponsible both in our homes and in our governments. Both parties can share in the blame. And now we are in the most vicious of economic cycles, printing money like sand on the beach, a fiscally irresponsible tactic if ever there was one, to get us out of another fiscally irresponsible mess.

    The economy is gashed and hemorrhaging and we are trying to fix is with transfusions. Wrong way. It needs to be sutured tight but sutures hurt like hell when placed across wounds.
     
  14. pym

    pym New Member

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    Legalize some really good weed.
     
  15. vince

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    Yes, I recall that post and most of it made sense.
     
  16. sro

    sro New Member

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    The system cannot be fixed. I've seen bubble after bubble, while they were happening, and gov't and the Wizards of Wall Street were happy to dive into them. We're just creating bigger bubbles for the future. Cutting taxes isn't going to accomplish anything - there's nothing real worth investing in, and trillions are sitting in money markets and bonds already. What, we're going to rebuild roads and infrastructure for unemployed people to drive their SUVs (purchased with tax credits!) on? We're going to prop up house prices in a new bubble?

    First, end the empire. Reinstate the draft. That will severely limit foreign escapades, reset the world bootprint. We need a Dept of Defense, and not Offense. All those trillions for Offense were nowhere to be seen on 9/11. A complete waste. Maybe 5% of the entire military inventory was useful in Afghanistan.

    Second, start devolving the Union, as effectively we're heading that way anyway. Wall Street will no longer be allowed by the world to be insane. Markets will move overseas. That leaves DC, and the only way to curb that appetite is to break up the country. Let the red states do whatever they think they want, and let the blue states stop subsidizing them. The only reason CA is out of money is because it sends $40B more to DC than it gets back every year.

    Individual states or sub-unions will figure out what they need to do. Some will be competitive, others will sink. New alliances will be formed.
     
  17. Principessa

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    Excellent idea! Bring back the WPA-Works Progress Administration. I thought Clinton should have done that during his first term.

    Is alcoholism really that big of a problem in the US?:confused: I'm not a big drinker so I have no idea. Where the heck are bars open at 7 AM anyway?!? I lived in the SE quadrant of DC for a year and most bars didn't open until 11:00 AM or noon. Maybe the bars opened early for the politicos on Capitol Hill; but in the hood we were a bit more civilized. :tongue:

    That is horrible Feng Shui! I can't work with my back to a door let alone a room full of people.

    Ditto



     
  18. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    <facetious>Haha.....this has been a fun read. Thanks guys.</facetious>
     
  19. musclebutt2

    musclebutt2 New Member

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    It is impossible to have better instruction unless teachers are paid a living wage. Education is undervalued in this country. Everybody wants to be a sports star, movie star, or rock star, etc. because none of those require an education yet pay millions of dollars more than anything in academia. Starting-salary for teachers should equal those of nurses and match them through the years of professional advancement. Maybe then will the profession attract talent and gain respectability.

    There was a teacher shortage so school districts lowered the requirements to become a teacher. This increased the number of unqualified people "teaching." They failed to address the root problem as to why there was a teacher shortage... it doesn't pay! Teachers get paid squat because their salaries are tied to a state's limited education budget. Despite the fact that educational expenses take out a huge chunk of every state's budget, much of the money does not go towards teacher's salaries or per pupil spending. It goes towards supporting bloated bureaucracies, benefits, operation costs, equipment maintenance and any other drivel that doesn't directly improve education.

    The pay tied to tenure system is also due to low wages. Tenure is a carrot and promise of higher pay the longer you teach. Plain and simple. Teaching has a high rate of burn-out; therefore, tenureship was meant to keep them in the system instead of leaving. Double the pay of teachers, hire more teachers to reduce class-size, and establish guidelines to prevent burn-out, and I guarantee there will be improvements in the quality of lower education.

    Unfortunately this will not solve all of education's ills. American students are fat, lazy, and have a false sense of entitlement. Being top dog for so long has reduced this country's competitive edge. Just visit schools in India, China, the Phillipines, and other up and coming economies to witness the DRIVE that is missing in our children. It is a systemic and multigenerational malaise that can no longer be cured. Natural selection and competition will ultimately mean that the U.S. will eventually be replaced as a world leader; just like France, Aztec, Rome, Assyria, and Egypt prior.
     
  20. vince

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    Well, that was meant as a bit of humour. BUT... My brother tries to run his business in Florida. He has more problems with staff not showing up on time (or not at all), being "sick" (hungover), or skipping out early to feed a habit than any other issue. He told me that if he can get a guy to just show up everyday and stay all day, then he's a keeper. He also has had lots of guys smoking dope at lunch. These thing are productivy killers. So 7-5 is working hours.

    I rearranged the office so that the engineers and project managers cannot hide their computer screens. There backs are not to the door, the desks are 90 degrees to the wall. I can't explain it without making a drawing. :rolleyes:
     
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