Buster’s Blog 18/6/2 – IDEAS FOR SAVING OUR DEAR OLD USofA – June 1, 2018
Trying not to sound too ambitious, old pap and I have boiled down our ideas and those of friends, neighbors, and a fellow blogger named Tim into the following list of ideas towards saving our dear old USofA: (not in any particular order) (also, not related to MAGA in any way).
Old pap and I aren’t the brightest bulbs in the pack, so we don’t feel this list to be exhaustive of the problems facing our dear old nation, but it represents most of the things we think can be asked of our dear old govamint. Others, such as the social divides among urban, suburban, and rural communities, we are just going to need to work on by being good neighbors and looking out for each other. This effort, we believe, will require our thinking rather than merely emoting. Our current “leader” does enough of the latter for all of us!
1. National Service:
We’ve noodled on this first item for quite some time, originally considering calling for a revival of the old “draft” which served so well for WWII and earlier conflicts, but the idea of a “draft” seems to be unpopular. So, let’s call this idea the Establishment of a National Service Requirement for ALL youngsters, kind of a domestic Peace Corps. This plan would allow poor kids living in our inner cities who have extremely limited chances for economic success to experience a structured training system. Kids having wealthier parents would be given time to prepare for further formal education (sending them to college to learn beer drinking games, etc. can be sort of chancy). All our kids would have the opportunity to live, study, and work with kids from various circumstances as our older folk were able to do back when there was the military draft.
Initially, we’re thinking six months of Boot Camp, six more months of trade skills training, a year or two of work on our crumbling infrastructure (avoiding the use of a costly big corporation boondoggle), then, a “GI Bill” type program for college education or further skills training. We have old military facilities all over the country (which the politicians won’t let the govamint close due to loss of jobs), and a bunch of old Generals down in the Pentagon who can get some exercise out marching with the kids, sort of acting Drill Sergeants! Oh, yes, part of the infrastructure work can be rebuilding as needed, and tidying up our inner cities!
This plan should fit nicely with old Bernie’s call for “a job for every Amurican.” Pap and I both think Bernie is a real good guy, but he can use our help on practicality! Old pap and I think this type plan is our only hope for changing our current dynamic of rampant polarization and virtual lack of understanding of each other! BTW Bernie, old sock, we went back and looked at your Platform from 2016. Felt it was a tad platitudinous, also. We should get together and “flesh out” this “Service” thingy.
2. Healthcare :
We believe what we now have should be termed “Sick” Care:
Despite President Trump’s saying, “Who knew healthcare could be so difficult?” after he and his pals failed to “repeal and replace,” pappy and I believe that fixing this horrible situation to be a classic NO BRAINER!
First, we need to alter the education of our Doctors, and retrain many of those in practice now. Then, we think it would be helpful to drop the word, “medicine” altogether. “Medicine” seems to us to have the connotation of magical potions ingested or applied to the body for healing, and, of course, in it’s present form represents the addictive drugs now pushed in carload quantities by Big Pharma.
We need to change our Healthcare focus from “healing” to illness prevention, as well as from “how to pay for everyone’s care” to really reducing the costs of both. This is not “rocket science” (that’s Kim Jong Un’s bailey wick); we can slash the cost of drugs quickly by: first, eliminating the symbiotic relationship between our Docs and Big Pharma, and then, by banning tv ads for drugs (this worked for cigarettes). The worst words on your beloved telly: Ask your Doctor…opps, now, TELL your Doctor! Also, remove the govamint ban on Medicare and Medicaid negotiating drug prices. It turns out those raping, murdering, drug dealers aren’t coming over our southern border, they are right here in their Trumpian Towers on Wall Street and Madison Avenue!
Old pap and I believe his experience over the last 50 years to be instructive. Every Doc he’s seen over that period has mentioned drugs; first, during annual physicals, and then, more recently, regarding various aging problems, sometimes for actual issues, and a few times for no logical reason, such as the questionable problem – cholesterol! Fortunately, pap was able to hold them off, remaining drug free until past 80 years. A tiny, but tremendously helpful example from “the old guy:” Pap remembers friends taking addictive pills for years to alleviate painful hands due to arthritis…old pap was lucky enough to get a tip from a wonderful Occupational Therapist to merely squeeze a sponge in warm water several times a day, avoiding the need for those pain “killers.”
FOLLOWING ARE A FEW MORE OF THOSE “NO BRAINERS!”
– Get the Dreamers situation fixed.
– Then, a Congressional panel, with regular reports to the public, to study a sensible plan for the future!
– Come to a sound, sensible compromise on 2nd Amendment “rights!”
-Definitely enact universal background checks.
-Ban Assault Rifles, and “bump stocks”
-enact a waiting period for all weapons transactions
REAL TAX REFORM
– Eliminate all LOOPY-holes!
– Assign another congressional committee, also with regular public disclosures, to study the entire tax code, and recommend a logical replacement.
Immediately, if not sooner, repeal the Tronald Dump tax “reform!”
Revive Anti-trust laws, including BANK regulation (bring back Glass-Steagall)
– Need to balance Corporate versus Union power.
REFORM INCARCERATION RULES: Revise mandatory minimum prison sentences and begin closing private prisons and detention centers.
ENFORCE VOTING RIGHTS FOR ALL CITIZENS:
-Make election day a federal holiday and broaden/ensure voting access to all eligible voters
-(Somehow) begin dismantling and prohibiting all forms of political gerrymandering
REIN IN MILITARY WASTE and DRASTICALLY REDUCE COSTS:
-Reduce military spending as a percentage of federal revenue with an emphasis on support for veterans and military families and policies of peace and deterrence rather than the stockpiling of weapons and the cycle of perpetual war.
-The military/industrial complex must be controlled – at least half of the budget is most likely WASTE! The military can also be used to administer the National Service Corps (with stringent oversight, of course) Getting those old generals out of the Pentagon will be good for them and the country.
SERIOUSLY WORK ON REDUCING THE INEQUALITY OF INCOME:
-The 1% versus the rest of us. Need to reform tax and other policies which exacerbate inequality to reconcile a booming economy with the worst period of income inequality in our history! (hopefully prior to hauling out the GUILLOTINE)!
-Minimum wage improvement and Enforcement of wage laws already on the books.
-Equal pay rules for similar work.
LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST – GET BIG MONEY OUT OF POLITICS:
To have any chance of having reasonable govamint, this step is essential.
– The Start – Overturn Citizens United.
-Severe limitations on individual donations to candidates and political parties.
-Limitations on tv advertising.
-Use of Public TV to hold (hopefully civilized) debates among candidates.