Thursday, July 23, 2009

Health Care Reform

I am glad that health care is being debated throughout the nation. It is a topic that does need to be addressed, but I think we thinking too big right now. I think it should start small and focus on certain preventative services at first.

What I mean by preventative services is those services that have the greatest effect. The services that I'm thinking of are basic dental care and immunizations for all children. It not only helps prevent certain childhood diseases that could cause problems later in life, but it shouldn't increase the cost or length of receiving these services. I think this is a good start for a program that is needed.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


I was just listening to the radio and they were talking about John Kerry's proposal to subsidize newspapers.

First of all, newspapers cannot be independant observers if they are subsidized by government.

Second, I come from a small town that rarely ever gets mentioned on the TV news, even for weather. The only ways to get news about the goings-on in my hometown are through gossip and the local weekly newspaper. I have a feeling that the EC Progress will get along fine without John Kerry's handouts. The Progress and other small town newspapers like it could be the cockroaches that survive the nuclear holocaust institutions like the Denver Post are falling victim to.

Third, I do not want to see newspapers go. Studies have shown that people who read the newspaper are more likely to be politically active. Newspapers are able to go into greater depth on stories than the evening news and are therefore more able to disseminate information to the consumer. Watch the news, check the headlines on the internet, be informed about what is going on in the world around you, go to bed, wake up and retrieve the newspaper from your front porch and get a more in-depth view. Just as only snacking on junk food is bad for your diet, so is snacking on news blips bad for your mind. You cannot properly form opinions about things if you do not take the trouble to look at the issues beyond superficial and passing interest.

Fourth, if newspapers go the way of the Dodo, so will crossword puzzles. One of the reasons I picked up the "Daily Universe" almost every day while I attended BYU was to do the crossword puzzle by Will Shortz of New York Times fame. In fact, my affinity for said puzzles is how my husband and I became friends--he was my human German-English dicitonary when I came upon clues that were Greek to me.

Just as the horse and buggy made way for cars and trucks, the newspaper is fast becoming the subject of a Trivial Pursuit question. If print media wants to survive, it needs to embrace the technology that is threatening to run it out of business, not look to the government to uphold an antiquated institution. The impostor "Mad-Eye Moody" said it best when he was giving advice to Harry Potter in "The Goblet of Fire"--"Play to your strengths." The strength of the newspaper is to provide news at a level TV cannot. If you watch the cable news channels, you will notice that they cycle through the same stories every five minutes or so, enabling people who are just tuning in to catch up--news snacking. The real meat of a story is cut out. That is where newspapers come in. True it is delivered in a less timely manner than what is available on HNN, but it leaves you more satisfied. The better informed people are, the better able they are to make wise decisions. They will think more about what they want out of political candidates. They will be more involved for good in their communities.

Many newspapers have websites where you can get the same thing you would find ideally on your doorstep and not in the bushes, but without paying for a subscription. Print media needs to find a way to be viable without newspaper subscribers, who are a dying breed. Government subsidies are not the way to go.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Global warming. The wrong argument.

I was flying home last night and sat next to a gentleman that talked to me the entire time. Normally, I’m not one to talk on flights but this was quite an interesting conversation. Topics ranged across the board from Abraham Lincoln to religion to global warming. And it is global warming on which I would like to discuss, well sort of.

First off I won’t tell you what each of us thought about global warming. It is irrelevant to this discussion. What I would like to talk about was something that we both agreed upon, and that was the important thing, we both agreed.

Global warming has been a constant discussion point in the news and politics over the last decade. It is either true or it isn’t, there is no middle ground. Both sides have their studies, both sides have their arguments, but they will never agree. These arguments have become so entertaining that Michael Crichton even wrote a book about it (State of Fear. I highly recommend it). But what is the point of the argument, there will always be conflicting sides to global warming discussion, but one thing I think we all agree on, as was the case with my co-flyer, we want to breath clean air and drink clean water.

Instead of arguing about whether global warming exists, we should work on solving a problem that we all agree needs to be fixed. I think it is just a bonus that it also solves the global warming problem (right or wrong).

Monday, February 9, 2009

Economic Stimulus Plan, or Government Ponzi Plan

The Senate has been debating the economic stimulus plan over the past week and it looks like a vote is going to happen in the next few days. As the price tag started to get closer to $1 Trillion I asked myself, how can we afford this?

At the same time as this plan has been debated, the story of Bernard Madoff has been in the news. Mr. Madoff has orchestrated a $50 Billion Ponzi scheme. For those of you who do not know what a Ponzi scheme is, it is the process of paying off investors with subsquent investors' money. The plan works as long as the number of investors or money invested continually increases. But if that doesn't, the whole thing falls apart.

How is this Stimulus Plan different than a Ponzi scheme? We are using the taxes from the next generation to pay for our stimulus. Not a bad idea unless we increase the number of investors. So in order to keep this going, the American people need to start having more kids. That is something to think about this Valentine's Day weekend.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Test a Theory

The Republicans say the best way to get the economy going is to cut taxes. Well, let's test that theory with the automotive industry. What would happen if we cut sales tax on vehicle purchase in half for the first quarter of 2009? This is what I would see happen.

1) The automotive industry would sell more cars and earn more money, thus reducing the need for a bailout package.

2) More auto loans means more revenue for banks and credit unions. Thus reducing the need for a bailout package.

3) State revenue will probably go down unless car sales double. But I think the revenue would go up since there would be a lot more car sales.

I know this seems like a simple idea, but what are the reasons why this wouldn't work?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Give a man a fish...

There is a saying that if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. You teach a man to fish you feed him for a life time. How much better would government be if this principle were applied to the different social programs? Don't get me wrong, I think social programs are necessary. Nobody knows when they might need medicare, medicaid, or welfare. I just hope people don't consider that as their first or only option.

After Hurricane Katrina I met with some people who had spent some time helping people clean up and leave their damaged homes. One story that I heard was of a man that wouldn't leave his home and when they asked him why, he said that he was waiting for his welfare check to come in the mail. That is someone who was waiting for his fish.

The welfare program should be more than a hand out. There must be a requirement that someone who goes on welfare should learn how to fish. If someone can't find another job in their field, then they should train for a job in another field. I know that will take time, but it is better for everyone involved to improve their education. Hopefully the end game is that the person has improved self confidence and life skills. And on the other hand I hope it stops the reliance on welfare.

Monday, August 18, 2008

When does life begin?

This week both candidates appeared in front of an evangelical group to discuss their faith and to answer questions. One question that was posed to both candidates was, "When does life begin?" Both answers were quite interesting. Barrack Obama had a thoughtful answer, but he didn't answer the question. He said it was "above his pay grade". Even though he gave an answer, I really wished he would have answered the question than talk his way around it.

Compare that answer to John McCain's. He said "at conception". A short answer, that answered the question. Even though it was a political answer and probably his true belief, it was still good to at least hear an answer to the question that was asked.

For your information Merriam-Webster defines Life this way:

: the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body
b: a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate beings
: an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction