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America 2012 : Some Thoughts About the USA
A Few Thoughts for the United States of America as it is Today
Being that this is an election year in 2012, it was time to give my own two cents as a citizen about some of the current social issues. These are certainly not the only possible solutions, or necessarily the best ones, but they are some thoughts that I have had about the USA, and its many problems. It is my hope that these might spark debate, discussions, and that people smarter than myself, might find some inspiration in them, that might lead to formative ideas and future solutions to forge a better America in the years ahead. We the people deserve it and desperately need positive changes for our country.
In essence, it seems that the Constitution serves our country well, although perhaps we do not refer to it as much as we should. With this in mind, it seems only right to review the preamble to the constitution before the reader begins.
" We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Rock on America.
Establish a Human Rights Amendment for the U.S. Constitution
We have had enough problems with amending the constitution over the last century. Prohibition failed miserably, so we repealed it, and the Equal Rights Amendment for women should have made it into the constitution, but it didn't. The issues over gay and lesbian rights are also a major bone of contention. Some people will not like hearing this, but we need to establish a Human Rights Amendment for the U.S. Constitution. One that guarantees rights to every citizen, regardless of gender, social status, religion, politics, beliefs, age, occupation, or sexual orientation, and whether they are married, divorced, or single. All citizens need to be given the same rights across the board. Also it seems to me that taking away felons rights to vote maybe something to be reevaluated, as even prisoners are citizens to some extent, that is beyond the scope of this article. Either way, all people that we agree to be citizens, should be empowered with absolute equality when it comes to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Create a Private Infrastructure Bank for All American Businesses
Rather than have citizens use credit cards and high interest bank loans to fund their new independent businesses, we need a national bank that is dedicated to this part of America exclusively. Most credit cards and bank loans have extremely high interest, and the profits made go to interests outside of the American community, such as foreign national investment agencies. The United States government, more importantly the president, needs to establish an immediate executive order. This executive order would create a private infrastructure bank for all American businesses, and individuals wishing to start a business. This could be created using money from the interest of our own offshore loans to other countries. This bank could offer loans at 2% interest to all American investments, thus keeping both the interest down to a reasonable rate, and allowing persons to acquire loans that they automatically qualify for internally. More important, it would keep all of the money on American shores and outside of the major banking system. Being that the banking system has show itself to be corrupted in recent years, this would be a very good idea.
Socialize the Medical System Giving all Citizens Free Healthcare
This one is sure to ruffle a few feathers, but it is the only feasible way to revamp the healthcare system, as it is today. The current suggestions to change the healthcare system are not based on the realities of population and the need for citizen healthcare nationally. Socialization of the medical system will allow all citizens to have proper healthcare, it cuts the insurance companies out of the mix, it keeps the pharmaceutical industry out of the schools, and it allows for medical care to be cut from the welfare system. Giving all United States citizens free healthcare will not make the system worse than it is, in fact, it would afford many people the ability to get quality healthcare without defrauding the system to do it. It also would save American businesses tons of money, as covering their employees would be nominal in cost or completely free eventually. At this point in American history, it is worth giving this option a try. It has worked well in other post-industrial age countries, and is not likely to lead us down the path of total Socialism, as many argue against the idea. America is still a free market, and the medicine companies would still have plenty of room to compete as capitalist businesses. It would also help eliminate much of the medical black market for treatments and drugs.
Allow the Public and Secular Schools to Compete for Federal Funding
All types of schooling options should be allowed in the American climate. There is nothing that shows that public, secular, or even home schooling is better or worse, from the view point of educational standards. With the internet and the worldwide access to information databases, it is possible to school children from any location and given them quality scholastic experiences. If parents want to school their children in a semi-religious environment, or a publicly supervised environment, then the funding should be made available for those choices. It could be done using a new voucher type of system, and the funding for an individual child would be sent to the school unit of choice. Homeschoolers could be allowed access to the internet, testing systems, and free books through the public library system, so that their funds could be allocated and still be monitored sufficiently. It makes no sense not doing this, at least in this modern era of information. It would also end the debates about having prayer in schools, or teaching evolution. Parents could be assured that their individual value systems are being represented, yet still be a part of the major educational system and meet its qualifications. This also would allow the most possible diversity in the education system for today's American children.
Sell the Postal Service to UPS or make it part of the Armed Forces
Admittedly this might sound extremist, but it is based on some simple logic. It came to my understanding that the United Parcel Service has made offers to buy the United States postal service, on more than one occasion. In fact, I was told that they basically offered a blank check, if the government was willing to sell it to them. Granted, the exact details of this information are not privy to my researching eyes. Either way, it seems that departmental entities like the postal service, the Internal Revenue Service, and others may have out lived their actual ability to be functional in the modern information age. It seems that there are two solutions to situations like this, either allow them to be bought by other businesses that are capable of handing their workload or let them become part of our country's military structure. If they want, the Armed Forces could become the controlling entity for these departments, allowing for them to be re-utilized internally and kept functioning. Or perhaps there are other options, but both of these seem to be possible solutions to a major problem. The United States postal service is going bankrupt and very quickly falling under the weight of itself.
Allow Non-Violent Felons to Serve their Time in the Armed Forces
Not everyone maybe able to agree on this point, and that is understandable. The fact is that the prison system is overpopulated, financially draining, and the majority of prisoners are not reforming their ways under the system as it is. Non-violent and non-repetitive offenders could be given the opportunity to serve their prison time in service of the American Armed Forces, not in the public sector, but still serve their country. It would allow these offenders to get educations, work, and leave the prison system with the distinctions earned by serving their country. It also would allow for many to have a sense of dignity upon completion of their prison sentences. This was something done by the Knights Templar and other military orders throughout the centuries, which seemed to have a considerable success rate with felons. It could at least be given a trial run, and see what the differences might be. It certainly would be worth it, if we could turn a rising population in the prison system, into working and educated citizens of society for the United States. It is important to realize that all human beings are redeemable, and try our best as a society to help redeem them, if possible.
Give all Citizens Free Cell Phones and National Internet
When you pay for a cell phone, Internet service, or even cable television, you only use a small percentage of the bandwidth that is created. The rest is left as an open channel, should you wish to expand your services, but most users never expand their services enough to use all of that enabled bandwidth. The companies that offer bandwidth are then free to allocate that unused bandwidth to their own infrastructure, it essentially becomes free for them to utilize as they wish. Our government could afford to give citizens free cell phones and create a free national wireless internet, it would be similar to Telnet, but different. By doing this, it would create an incredible amount of free open bandwidth which could be resold or allocated to offer other services to the United States and its needs. This is a very realistic possibility, the phone companies could be used as the main infrastructure, and they would still profit from it in the long run. Ask anyone you know in these relative industries, they will have something to say about what I am proposing, it would be interesting to know what their exact reaction is. It is another possible solution, surely there are others too.
How to Fix the Public Problems within the Roman Catholic Priesthood
This one is more of a side thought, and not necessarily an American issue, but has had ramifications on Americans to be sure. It would help solve many of the Catholic church problems within the priesthood to do two things, at least in America. First make time in the priesthood more like military service, priests would be allowed to serve four, 10, or 20 year periods, but not be forced to serve for an entire lifetime in service to the church. Secondly, after complete service has been finished, they could leave the church with distinctions, benefits acquired through their service, and would be allowed to get married. It might not solve everything within the Catholic Church problem-wise, but it certainly would allow for a more open arena and would attract a new kind of priesthood. The openness to the idea that priests are human beings, might help weed out some of the individuals who have committed acts that are not becoming the priesthood. Personally it is this author's opinion that much of the problems within the priesthood stem from the oppression of basic human desires, and therefore a more military style priesthood could be more effective. Again, this is only an opinion, but might be worth a try.
Free Associates and Bachelors Degress for All American Citizens
We must consider how important it is to continually upgrade the average level of education for citizens of the United States. If we do not do this, their will be a continual outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries and individuals who are better equipped or educated. The state level community college system could be reintegrated to offer free Associates and Bachelors degrees for all American citizens. The schools would only offer these to citizens in their own regional area, that way students would be more likely to seek jobs within the community that educated them. These degrees would be free for anyone who took jobs in their regional areas following graduation, but would be essentially free to all citizens. Higher level education would be part of a work study program system. To pay off the degrees earned in higher level education, students could enroll in work study programs during their time in school or serve a two year period as instructors for their field of study, this would eliminate high interest student loans, but still encourage more persons to get college education as a whole. Foreign students would have to pay for education or seek scholarships as they currently do today. These free degree would only be available to United States citizens with at least five years of citizenship established.
Investing in Society within the University Graduate Level Programs
Giving opportunities to nationally necessary career programs like doctors, engineers, scientists, teachers, law enforcement, and fire science, is an investment in our country as a society. All higher level education, for example doctors, would be exchanged for a two or four year period of service training others studying in the same field. These teachers would give back to the American public as a society, and the students would benefit greatly from having teachers in their same industries to learn from. This would also help decrease losses in the federal budgets, such as defaulting on student loans, which is a major problem on a national level. Education needs to be a priority, otherwise all other problems are only going to receive a band-aid. Our biggest problem as a country is the low standard of education that the average citizen is able to attain, either due to financial or social burdens. This would also level the playing field, anyone could receive education, not based on race, gender, or social economics. Therefore no one would be receiving a hand out, or being singled out as special, and there would be no favoritism. All citizens would be deserving of equal and high quality education, no matter who they are, or where they come from. Some version of this, would seem to be a very high priority for the United States to consider.