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Is US Politics Showing Symptoms of Cancer?

by John on 10/31/2016

trump-hillary-goofyWatching and reading the news on Hillary and Trump makes me think of a man dying of cancer.

Tell me if this makes sense.

The man is terminal.  But he can’t understand why.  He was the healthiest person he knew. In fact, he was so healthy he never went to the doctor. He ignored symptoms. “Just getting a little older,” he said.  Then bam!  He’s withering away.

Watch the Clinton email and foundation investigations and the Trump sideshow then this makes sense.

the-most-deadly-type-of-cancerToo many of us shake our heads at the two political candidates we are allegedly stuck with. We blame politics. We blame Washington. We blame the government. We blame the wealthy elites.

The blame, however, is ours.

We are that man who never went for yearly check-ups. We didn’t monitor our health to see for any long-term problems.  Unknowingly, we let things fester.

Worse yet, we might have been told about potential problems and solutions, but we ignored them.

How often have we heard of people who ignored doctor’s advice?  You’re a diabetic; you need to eat right and exercise even if it means walking an hour a day.  But the patient wants to live the way he or she has always lived leading to amputation or stroke – that could have been avoided.

As a country, we are failing to see the underlying problems we face.

The first is an aging population. Too much money is going to those who are not producing for society. A lot of you will say Medicare recipients have already paid in. Wrong. They have paid in maybe 1/3 of what they will use in their lifetimes. The rest is being paid by future taxpayers.

Do you really think any candidate will run on a platform to raise the Medicare eligibility age and the amount of money people have to pay into it? No. They want to get elected and reelected. And old folks, including yours truly, vote their special interests. Until we look at this problem square in the face as a country this problem will fester.

But that’s only part of the problem. The rest has to do with massive deductions and give-backs to all parts of society. We give deductions to companies who offer health insurance to employees but the incentive only takes more money out of the system will discouraging businesses from hiring and salary increases.  And studies show there is no incentive to keep healthcare costs down while providing for healthier employees.

The second big problem is technology. Although wonderful, it has done more to reduce jobs and salaries then creating them.

Both political parties have ignored real problems, because these special interests vote.

One reason that so many working class folk have moved toward Donald Trump is because he is finally paying attention to them.

The elites, on both the left and the right, pay more attention to the corporate interests. The Democrats used to be the party of the working people and the masses. That changed in the 1990s when they started drifting toward Wall Street. When all of the foreign trade deals went through, no party paid attention to the fall-out that would hit working class jobs because of cheaper Chinese products.  The Republicans still believe the only cure is a tax cut.

No, we didn’t need to find them new jobs or offer them hand-outs.  We needed alternatives like job retraining. That did not happen.

It’s the same when we went to war. We failed to see the long-term costs – medical costs and the creation of more terrorist group – that are hitting us financially for at least another generation.

Politicians pay attention to who votes. They don’t pay attention to problems and solutions.

Why is that?

Because getting elected and reelected is now very lucrative.
We have allowed political industry to become very lucrative.

We didn’t pay attention. Why?  Well, you hear people say, “I don’t like politics so I’m not interested.”  It’s just like saying, “I don’t like to go to the doctor, so I won’t.”

So we have allowed the political cancer to fester because it was easier.

We have failed as a nation to be informed.

Our man with terminal cancer could have easily stopped the progression by doing some simple things. We know now that 80% of the diseases that affect Americans can either be cured are controlled by lifestyle changes. Diet, exercise, reducing stress, sleeping well, taking heavy doses of vitamin D etc. will increase life expectancy and the quality of life.

The same holds true in politics. If we did some simple things — that aren’t difficult — we would not have the problems of today.

What are those simple solutions?

The first is tax reform. We need to get rid of all deductions and start all over again. We have no idea what the tax rate should be because there are so many givebacks. How any candidate can talk about reducing taxes by a certain percentage is unfathomable.

What’s worse, even if a candidate or party did pay attention to the tax reform solution, they would have the problem of fighting corporate interests who don’t want tax reform. There high-powered financial guys can find them more than enough deductions to keep their tax rate low. God forbid we would have a free market where government isn’t tipping the scales for one business or industry over another.

The second solution is entitlement reform. The biggest offender is Medicare. Until we start controlling those costs we will be facing a financial situation that in 10 years could turn this nation into a banana republic with a devalued currency and little chance and growing the economy.

The third solution is investment in retraining. This has to be a public and private cooperation. We are already seeing it in many community colleges and it is working.  Sadly, many high tech jobs are going unfilled because there are not enough qualified people.

This needs to be expanded so that more workers are eligible to work in the 21st-century economy. This is not about art history, it’s about coding and technology.

The fourth solution is an immediate investment in infrastructure upgrades. This means roads, bridges, railroads, airports and Internet connectivity and security.

Sure, it will get some people back to work right away. But in the long run it will make us a technologically more sound country. We are still so far behind the number of the Asian countries. And like it or not, the Internet is going to be our commerce highway.

Those four solutions are not sexy. Those four solutions have nothing to do about finding a President who inspires us.  It’s simple: get down to work and get things done.

But these solutions are a difficult sell.  Why?  Because we are stupid customers when we should be shareholders of this country.

Until we all realize the insanity in the political process is really our fault then solutions for a better America are not going to happen soon.

In fact, they will only happen as an immediate reaction to the severe problems we’re about to face.

simpson-bowles-deficit-chartThen we are forced to perform life-saving measures when we could have spent a lot less on preventative measures.

By the way, all of this has been researched and documented in the Simpson-Bowles Plan which both parties shelved.

Think about that.  A bi-partisan plan that would grow the economy while reducing the federal debt.

That’s like living in a country with massive natural resources; becoming energy independent; and has geo-political advantages over every other nation; but has decided to throw it all away so we can be fat and stupid.

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