Education, Healthcare and Energy Independence

This current administration is piling on trillions of dollars in debt onto our already weakened economy while trying to convince us this is the proper way to reach its objectives of improving our education system, providing affordable healthcare and energy independence, not to mention turning around the economy. Don’t get me wrong, I am also for improving education, affordable healthcare and energy independence but the way this administration is trying to reach these objectives is like giving a hungry person a chicken sandwich without deboning the chicken first. When they bite into the sandwich and chip a tooth they are left with more dental bills than the sandwich was worth.

Better education, affordable healthcare and energy independence all sound great but are they worth the debt that we are piling up now? What good will it do anyone if we accumulate more debt in the process of achieving these objectives than these programs are worth? I would like to see this administration set priorities with a clear explanation of how the priorities were established and how they intend to achieve them. If our economic downfall was a direct result from toxic loans where individuals accumulated more mortgage debt than they could repay, then how does this administration intend to turn the economy around and reach its objectives by this same principle, that is, accumulate more debt that you can repay?

Improving Education

Our current public education system is a government ran education system where the government dictates which public school, according to school district, a student has to attend. If our current school system is in disarray then it is a direct result of government intervention. How do we expect to see an improvement in our education system by allowing the government to have greater control over our education system? In order to mandate so called improvements the government is going to want greater control.

I have often heard that insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. If a government ran education system resulted in a poor quality of education for our children then how do we expect more government involvement to improve the system? I for one would like to see the government completely removed from running our education system and let parents make decisions regarding their children’s education. If parents make the decision of which school their children will attend then schools will have to raise their education standards to parent’s standards and not the governments.

If we take the tax dollars that we are currently spending on education and give it to parents then parents are going to place their children where they feel their children will get the best education. The schools that are providing a better education will attract more parents and these schools will have more funds to pay teachers. Schools can then pay teachers according to performance levels and quality of the entire education system will improve. Parents have this freedom with child care and college and yet in between these years our government somehow knows what is best for our children.

Affordable Healthcare

As I was preparing this article I heard a report on the radio about how the health care industry was going to have layoffs due to losses from investments. What caught my attention was the statement that layoffs were due to losses from investments. I thought the healthcare industry was in business to provide healthcare and not manage investment portfolios. Why is it then that layoffs are driven by investment losses and not from losses resulting from rising unemployment?

It has been widely reported that skyrocketing healthcare costs are a direct result of paying for the uninsured and yet staffing requirements are driven from investment values. Which brings me to another point that caught my attention, while the rest of the country has been struggling with economic turmoil the healthcare industry apparently has an investment portfolio that is strong enough that it takes until the spring of 2009 before its value effects significant layoffs.

The healthcare industry has claimed that high costs are related to the number of uninsured as if everyone without healthcare insurance is a burden to the healthcare industry. If I own a store I may have to increase my prices to cover the losses from theft. It would not be ethical of me to increase my prices based on the number of people who enter my store that don’t have enough money to pay and not base it on the actual losses from stealing.

What is the bottom line for conducting business in the healthcare industry. The formula is a simple one. Revenues minus costs equals profits or losses. If you make enough money to manage an investment portfolio then you are making a profit. If our government wants to get involved with controlling health care costs then why can’t it investigate the actual cost structure for the health care industry and quit feeding us information about the number of people that are uninsured. When the government finds occurrences of overcharging then heavy fines will get everyone’s attention.

Energy Independence

Our country depends heavily on foreign oil and if our nation were energy independent then the money that we are paying to have oil shipped into our country could remain in our economy. This disparity of paying foreign nations to provide the majority of our oil has been coined the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world and yet our nation still does not have a plan in place to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Our politicians are grid locked in a debate as to whether drilling for our own oil is the answer. We are told that if we started drilling now that it would take several years before any of the natural resources would be available for public consumption. Some politicians tell us that we need renewable energy to replace fossil fuels, but it will also take years to reach this objective. In the meantime our nation still needs energy to conduct day to day activities.

Drilling now may not be the comprehensive answer to solving our energy independence problem just as building the blue ridge parkway did not solve future mass transit problems. The construction of the blue ridge parkway did provide immediate jobs though and our nation was in desperate need of jobs during the great depression. Drilling now will provide immediate construction jobs to erect platform rigs. These platform rigs will need construction materials which will provide manufacturing jobs and these materials will need to be delivered to the construction sites which will provide transportation jobs.

We may not be able to drill our way to energy independence but we can drill our way to immediate job creation and shouldn’t job creation be a priority in a struggling economy. Our automobiles of the future may indeed be powered by renewable energy and our current automobiles will subsequently become antiques. These antiques will however be part of our heritage and if we want to preserve our heritage then we will want a way to fuel these antiques. Who knows? The drilling that we start today may be the energy requirements that we need to preserve our heritage of tomorrow without dependence to foreign oil.