Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mandatory Voting

Should the U.S. have mandatory voting to guarantee that the will of the people is being served? Australia has mandatory voting and apparently has a mid 90 percent turnout. Should voting be a duty for the citizens of America? Would this change the way politicians campaign? Would the real issues become more important in a campaign? If this was implemented, would it be possible to enforce such a requirement and would the cost associated with such an effort be justified? If implemented, would this create more corruption and voter fraud? Would the public actually learn about the candidates prior to voting or just go and vote for anyone? This is an interesting concept, but there are certainly many questions that come to mind in relation to implementing such a concept in America. There is no question that too many citizens refuse to exercise the right to vote and voice their opinion. Something needs to wake up the citizens and provide that desire to participate in the election process, but the answer to solving this problem is elusive.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The cost of healthcare, as everyone knows, is completely out of control. If you are lucky enough to have insurance coverage, you are paying an increasingly larger portion of that cost as employers pass these premium increases along to you. This is an area that needs more control by government. I know more government control is not always a good thing, but in today’s business climate controls are a necessity. Businesses will take advantage of the public whenever possible and that is just a fact. The healthcare and energy industries are areas where out of control may not be a strong enough term. If you do not have health insurance and this group of Americans continues to grow, you really get the shaft. You have to deal with the outrageous cost plus deal with the fact that healthcare providers give insurance companies discounts while charging uninsured individuals higher amounts. There are many excuses by providers for this event, but the bottom line is this should not be allowed to happen. Being uninsured can happen for numerous reasons and most of the time is unavoidable and always undesirable. Being in this situation should not be a reason for healthcare providers to rape the public. Congress should act to rectify this situation and also correct numerous other problems in the healthcare industry including drug companies ripping off the public with outrageous prices. This is something that the wasteful members of Congress just talk about without ever making a real effort to correct the situation. There needs to be a grassroots effort to remove every member of Congress and replace them with individuals who will govern for the people that pay their salaries. In that regard, salaries for members of Congress and staff should be reduced to a level that is more in line with the average income of the American citizen.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Tax Structure

The tax code for U.S. taxpayers is overdue for massive change that will provide an equal system for all citizens and businesses. The current system basically allows for the average citizen to foot the bill for the government that is out of control in regard to spending and wasting tax dollars. There are too many loopholes and deductions that allow the wealthy and corporations to walk away without paying a fair share of the cost for operating the country where they make the massive sums of money. According to various sources, there are individuals and corporations that don’t even bother to file a tax return. There are significant taxes that are past due and not being collected. Revisions are needed in all areas of income tax and social security tax in order to reflect today’s society. A flat percentage tax would be a start so that everyone pays without any loopholes and this includes all businesses. Do away with all deductions (they are abused anyway). A portion of the wealthy and corporations will scream, but they will continue to operate and find ways to make even more money. The simplification of the tax structure is needed, necessary, and long overdue. Some information indicates that a flat tax would actually bring in more revenue and businesses would actually prosper. At the same time, the average citizen could have the taxes reduced and live a little better while spending more and boosting the economy. Certain information indicates that countries where a flat tax rate was established have had phenomenal results. The bottom line is the current tax code is broken and a real Congress should act in order to solve the problem.


Networking in the business world has reached a point where it is bad for business. A large number of businesses today are having problems in the financial and operational areas that can be directly related to bad management. This includes middle management and upper management. Networking has placed inept individuals in positions they are not qualified for and are unable to function efficiently or effectively. The remaining employees suffer the consequences, along with the business suffering in the areas of profitability and success. There is entirely too much of the “buddy system” taking place in the business world. Positions aren’t being filled by qualified individuals, but rather by someone’s contact or “networking buddy”. This has always been something to deal with in business, but over the last number of years this type of behavior has become too much of a normal routine for businesses. The senior executives have become so involved in their golden parachutes and bonuses that they have forgotten the reason or purpose for the business. Employees have no job security and most have no confidence in the company or management. Greed has taken over in the business world. Maybe the saying “For the love of money is the root of all evil” is appropriate for today. All of this reflects in today’s businesses with poor customer service and poor opinions of business. The problems in the business world can, in part, be traced to placing inept individuals in management by utilizing the “networking” or “buddy system”.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Energy Crisis

Problems facing America today in regard to energy are enormous and it is way past time for the political leadership to address these issues and take action while keeping the environment in mind. Steps should be taken to make the country more independent by utilizing solar and wind along with putting the great scientific minds in America to work developing auto engines that are more efficient. I know engines that run more efficiently could be developed and adapters could be developed for older engines in order to increase their mileage rates. The oil and auto industries would have to take a large role in this effort and those industries may end up smaller, but the spin-off industries would make up for those losses. The many articles written about ways to increase mileage and about alternative fuels indicate it can be done, but the political establishment and corporate America are not taking the necessary action. Regulation of oil company profits could be a possibility in relation to reinvesting since this is a national and public interest matter. Billions and billions of taxpayer’s dollars are wasted each year on unnecessary and useless matters dreamed up by corrupt and self-centered politicians and members of the public that work with those politicians. Those billions could easily assist in solving the energy crisis. Congress approves billions that are wasted in other countries when citizens of all races in the U.S. are without homes or food. America needs to address problems at home in a more effective manner prior to pursuing the role as world police. The time is now for the American political establishment to change their spots and address the problems facing the country they are supposed to be serving and the citizens that pay their outrageous salaries and pensions.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

American Society

American society has so many positives and negatives that it would be impossible to compile that list. This is a country that draws people from all over the world with dreams of freedom and success. Sometimes it is easy to forget the freedoms that exist when you are overcome with the negatives that blanket the news related to government and business. The fact that only a small percentage of eligible voters turn out to voice their opinion at the polls is one of the large negatives. There is so much dissatisfaction with what takes place, but people have apparently reached a point where they feel it doesn’t matter if they vote. The depressing aspect of the situation is at election time the voters have no reasonable choices when it comes to individuals running for office. Money dominates the election process and the process screams for drastic changes. The candidate that is able to raise the most money and dominate with name recognition gets the most votes no matter what the real issues are in the campaign. The process should allow for anyone that is qualified to run for office and controls should be in place for each individual to have equal time and equal advertising. The money factor should be taken out of the equation and allow the citizens an opportunity to have representatives that actually have their best interest at heart. Term limits should be in place for all elected officials. If this ever happened, government might return to what it is supposed to be and that is to serve the people. Government fraud and business fraud is at an outrageous level. Young people grow up with an attitude that this type of behavior is normal and that is a sad legacy for each generation to pass along to the next. Our government shows a blatant disregard for the environment and this failure to take the necessary actions will have a drastic effect on future generations. There are a lot of people living fantastic lives in the American society, but at the same time there are a lot of people barely surviving. If you make the effort, you can see people of all races in this country without homes, without food to eat, and without hope! Government wastes billions of dollars when so much could be addressed and so many problems could be solved. Society has changed over the years with many changes for the good, but there is so much more that needs to be accomplished.


Deregulation supporters say it has led to more efficient and innovative businesses, but others say it has led to higher prices and poor service. The move for deregulation really took off in the 70’s/80’s and this was supposed to bring great changes in industries such as airlines, banking, financial services, trucking, railroads, electricity suppliers, and telecommunications. The American public will have to determine if this effort by government representatives has produced the desired results in any of these industries or made matters worse or made any change at all. Have we had lost jobs, higher prices, fewer choices, and poor service? Is deregulation responsible in part for the economic conditions we face today? Are our political representatives asleep at the wheel? Should government be striving for a more balanced regulation situation? Yes, nobody can predict the exact outcome, but current conditions would seem to indicate things have gone wrong somewhere along the line. Maybe it is time to evaluate the results in certain areas and consider making some changes. Consider the numerous problems that have occurred in more than one industry over the last 20 years. A complete overhaul of deregulation might not be called for, but it is evident that some changes would be desirable.

Military Service & Draft

Military service and the American draft haven’t been discussed much in the news lately. I, like many people, may have mixed emotions about the subject, but this is something that has crossed my mind in recent months. I have noticed more and more young people with bad attitudes, bad manners, and outright rudeness. This would also include drinking habits and bad driving abilities. They seem to have a lack of respect for other people in general. These young people appear to be in the age range of 17 to 25, with some 25 to 30. I have to associate this behavior with the parents of these young individuals and a failure in parenting skills or possibly parents not being around enough during the growing up stage. I am not condemning the majority of this group, but I am talking about a large percentage. I will admit that there are a lot of very stable, polite, great young kids in society.
In my opinion, reinstating the draft in some format would be beneficial to society. Having to at least experience six to eight weeks of boot camp and training would provide some discipline, structure, and better attitudes. The American family has changed drastically over the last 25 years as a unit and this does seem to have affected a generation in many ways. The volunteer military that exists today may serve the needs (even though that may be questionable), but it wouldn’t hurt to have a pool available if a situation occurred in society that called for additional resources. There could also be a period of time after basic training where there is required community service to assist the needy and poor in their own community. The draft could serve more than one purpose and would be for everyone in a certain age range (nobody excluded) and then utilized as a reserve call-up list for a 1-2 year period of time. This would create a spending issue that many taxpayers would probably oppose, but needs to be explored. If this is not a possible avenue to consider, then is there anyone with an explanation for the situation and a possible remedy?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Youth Vote

The younger generation that talks about change appears to be caught up with only that phrase and not seriously looking at what the candidate can actually produce. The office of President has limited power when it comes to actually making changes. Congress is the body that the younger generation needs to focus on when looking for change. Members of Congress have become overly complacent when it comes to their responsibilities and American society in general. Greed, pork barrel politics, and self-satisfaction rule the current environment in Congress. My previous comments cover numerous issues that need to be addressed by those members and the younger generation needs to recognize those facts and become more involved in those elections. The condition of American society calls for those issues to be addressed and action taken in order for even small steps to be taken in the desired direction. I call on the “change” generation to become more involved in the entire process of government and actually bring “change” to society.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Term Limits

Term limits is something that should be in place for all elected officials and should be of more importance when it comes to members of Congress. In my opinion, the lack of action by Congress on issues such as drug cost, healthcare, lobbying, economic conditions, social security, and government waste (along with many other issues) can be tied to the greed factor related to staying in office as long as possible and accumulating a large net worth along with a nice pension. Money, as always, is the controlling factor in accomplishing anything in government. If members of Congress were limited to two terms, maybe there might be some interest in working to perform the duties associated with the office. The goal of government has been lost for many years and seems to continue drifting away. Of course, term limits is not the miracle answer to problems associated with the U.S., but it would be a step in the right direction. Yes, certain members of government will say the more seniority they have, the easier it is for them to get things done. I say this relates more to pork barrel spending than really accomplishing things that are important and need to be done for the public in general. Corruption can be tied to new politicians, but longer-term members are better targets for individuals or groups interested in buying influence. Since members of Congress are the ones to implement such a change, this can only happen by the public demanding for such action and voting out all members that have been in office more than two terms. The chances of this ever happening are slim, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a more efficient and productive government!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Lobbying & Washington

The relationship between politicians and lobbyists is completely out of control and could be considered a large factor in the potential destruction of American society. The thousands of lobbyists in Washington is an example of how greed has taken over society and made life for the average citizen very difficult. This segment of government operations is long overdue for a complete overhaul. The public needs to demand that Congress make drastic changes to eliminate this destructive aspect of government. The American public suffers in the areas of drug cost, gas prices, bank fees, healthcare, credit card interest rates, predatory small loan companies, and numerous other areas. This is caused by lobbyists utilizing the greed of politicians to prevent regulations and/or controls that would protect the citizens. Over the years the process of lobbying has been allowed to more or less control how government operates. “For the love of money is the root of all evil” could be an appropriate phrase to apply to the current situation. There is always talk about this subject around election time when promises are made that will never be addressed again or any action taken to correct the situation. Is it possible for any representatives of the people in Congress to actually take steps to correct this situation? Regulations to control members of Congress becoming a lobbyist or setting up a lobbying firm are circumvented in simple ways such as retiring early to beat a deadline. This needs to change and lobbying should be taken out of the equation when it comes to how government operates. If you agree, voice your opinion to your representatives.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Military & News Media

A few days ago I read an item that brought to mind past thoughts related to how the news media covers different aspects of society. This item was about a group of U.S. Marines returning home after a year’s duty in Iraq, with some having completed a second tour of duty. They arrived at a local air center and were taken to a Marine center where they were greeted by their family and friends. Missing from this event was the news media. They were apparently notified about this homecoming, but must have felt that this was not newsworthy. A large percentage of Americans may disagree with this conflict or war, however you want to classify the military campaign, but the country needs to pay more attention to these men and women as they return home. These members of the different branches of the military are involved in something they believe in and are putting their lives on the line. They do represent, serve, and protect the American public and even if they are volunteers, they are still our military. The media gets so involved in ratings wars that they seem to forget about covering news that could be important to the public. The news stations are too involved in sensationalizing the murder or other crimes along with giving away a car in order to obtain that top rating. Certain network news anchors do try to include a feel good story and I applaud them for taking those steps. I realize that society is burdened with tragic news every day, but it would be acceptable to include some good news stories.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Economic Conditions

Current economic conditions are a cause for concern in American and also for the world in general. The gap between wealthy individuals and poor individuals is growing as the middle class disappears. The cost of basic living necessities is increasing at a drastic pace and creating severe strain on the average citizen. The oil industry continues to enjoy outrageous profits with the consumer paying the outrageous price and this high cost creates a rollover effect into all items associated with that fuel cost. The value of the U.S. dollar continues to decline adding to the problem. The housing and credit crisis continues and will do so for an undetermined period of time. The healthcare system is long overdue for change in order to be cost effective. Crime appears to be out of control in many locations. There are many areas/problems that need to be addressed in an effort to create a more desirable society.
I recently viewed a PBS program concerning Sweden and conditions in that country. They appear to have an excellent healthcare system, excellent system to assist the unemployed, protection for the lower class, and a smaller gap between the wealthy and poor. The taxes are higher in order to cover certain aspects of their society. Maybe the American political establishment should study and utilize aspects of their programs. Taxes do not necessarily need to be higher in order to address these issues. The American citizen is burdened with too many taxes now and a majority of the spending waste could be eliminated. Government is too large with too many overpaid and under-utilized employees. This goes for federal, state, and local government. The salaries have increased to levels that are ridiculous and out of line. This has lead to pensions that are way out of line when compared to the average American taxpayer’s retirement, especially the ones depending only on social security. Government employees spend taxpayers’ dollars with no concern for the consequences and apparently no oversight. Take the time to read reports by Citizens Against Government Waste. The time has arrived to operate government in a responsible manner and for the benefit of the public it is meant to serve and not special interest and government employees.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Privacy seems to be disappearing at supersonic speed in America and the world. It is harder and harder for you to maintain any sense of privacy in your life, no matter how hard you try. The technological changes that have taken place over the years may be partial responsible. You can utilize search engines and the internet to find just about anything these days or hire numerous companies to dig out whatever information you desire. Years ago you valued your privacy and most still do today, but the younger generation has grown up with a slightly different attitude concerning what deserves to be private or how much they care that other people know so much about their lives. There are numerous companies that do nothing but create and maintain databases of information on individuals, everything from your financial situation to what you buy at the store. The government is also not reluctant to maintain all types of information. The laws are very weak in this area and need to be much more effective in order to protect the public. There are just too many avenues and sources out there with too much information, along with many individuals that have a desire to misuse that information. We have the right to expect and to have whatever privacy we desire in our lives. Our representatives in Congress should be taking steps to correct this situation with the necessary regulations and the public should be demanding for Congress to address this matter.

Customer Service/Self-Service

Society and business appear to have lost track of what customer service means in today’s environment. I think it started with self-service at the gas station and has progressed to any and all avenues. Now you sack your own groceries, withdraw or transfer money at the bank, order your food, clean up your own table, represent yourself in court, and even wash your pet at self-service pet washes. There seems to be a self-service kiosk for everything today. The thought process being that this creates customer satisfaction and is more efficient. Maybe so in some situations, since real customer service is in such a state of disrepair. Are businesses too lazy, don’t feel it is necessary, or are they unable to properly train the employees to understand the customer is the reason for their job? I would like to see a return to customer friendly employees so you don’t leave a business with a feeling of anger and a promise to never return to that business. Maybe this is why a lot of people seem to be in a bad mood. A large number of businesses say they are working at increasing their customer satisfaction, but I’m not sure they are following through with their surveys in order to verify the results. Maybe there is hope, but does anyone see improvement in this area?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Government Waste

The CAGW (Citizens Against Government Waste) reported in their latest book on government waste that over $17 Billion was related to pork-barrel spending by members of Congress. Each year this type of information makes the news in various formats. You have to wonder how government officials can read this information and continue to ignore calls from the public for reform in the way they handle money that actually belongs to the taxpayer. Have they become so lost in their lifestyle that their sense of responsibility has vanished? There are also reports that mention waste in various government agencies and departments. Employees utilizing credit cards for personal use or just plain ridiculous spending that should not be approved in any format seem to be rampant. Where is responsible management in these cases? Are there no controls in effect to monitor excess spending or rogue employees? There is so much that needs to be done in America and could be done with the wasted funds. Try balancing the budget and applying those funds to various worthwhile projects or healthcare. Maybe the next President could make an effort at addressing this matter by appointing someone with the necessary vision and intelligence to a position with the authority to correct this situation. This could begin by eliminating a number of unnecessary positions within the inflated government. The President’s authority may be limited, but the public needs to demand action from Congress and the President along with voting those undesirable individuals out of office. There is so much that can be done to make this great country better and now is the time to move in that direction.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Financial Reform

Time will tell if any type of real reform actually occurs in the financial industry related to the recent announcements regarding this issue. It was obvious that some action would be necessary due to the staggering results of poor management and lack of vision. Are the actions by the Fed appropriate? Is deregulation part of the problem? Maybe monopolies and not competition are the results of deregulation, along with higher prices and bailouts. This can be debated at length due to the fact that the results vary greatly depending on what industry is being discussed at the time. Whatever the answers, there is an uncertain and bumpy ride ahead.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Medicare and Social Security

Recent news items related to the inability of the government (of the people, by the people, and for the people) to provide funds necessary to maintain the solvency of Medicare and Social Security are an insult to the American public. The Medicare trust fund is projected to be depleted by 2019 and Social Security by 2041. Where have the heads of the representatives of the American public been for the last few years? The trust funds of these programs have been discussed for a long period of time without a direct resolution being addressed. It has been obvious that changes in payroll taxes need to take place and the limits have to be changed along with the wealthy paying more into the system that made them wealthy. Could it be that a major portion of those individuals are politicians and government employees (large percentage are grossly overpaid and by the way receive their payroll from taxes paid by the majority of individuals that utilize Medicare and Social Security). The boom in recipients for these programs has been known for many years, yet the powers that be just keep trying to deny their responsibility to take action concerning the solvency of the programs. The trillions in waste by government could easily be diverted to these programs, but the representatives continue with their refusal to take action. Stop taking the junkets, stop trying to live like kings and queens in Washington, stop the party politics, and start addressing the real issues facing American today. The president and members of congress appear to be like a deer stuck in the headlights, unable to take action. Does anyone know what it will take for the wake up call? Are wealthy individuals working to prevent action? Will society and government completely collapse prior to steps being taken to solve the numerous issues facing this great country?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Animal Rescue

There are millions of animals in need of caring people to provide homes or assistance. This can range from a rabbit to a horse, with cats and dogs getting the most attention due to their large numbers. Yes, there are numerous organizations and thousands of people involved in and committed to the rescue and relief of homeless animals and I applaud those individuals. More needs to be done since these numbers grow by the day. You can adopt a homeless animal from the many welfare organizations across the country or if you are unable to adopt, donate to one of these organizations or volunteer some time to help one of these locations. Shelters deserve your attention since those animals will be destroyed after a certain time period. Any search engine or phone book will provide lists of possible sources for you to research and contact. In regard to donations, research before providing money and be sure that particular organization uses the majority of their funds for the animals and not for their salaries. There are plenty of good organizations, but you can’t escape the fact that greed creeps into just about all aspects of society. Animals aren’t able to be involved in the decision process related to their life and circumstances, so caring people need to provide or assist in locating a good loving home along with showing respect and compassion for all animal life.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Election Process

Now is the perfect time to address the election process utilized for the Presidential election. Past elections have shown that popular vote doesn’t matter. It is time for elected officials to change the process and allow the President of the United States to be elected by popular vote. The convention and delegate process is not appropriate for present time. Efforts are needed to streamline this drawn out and at times boring method. If necessary, the convention could still be utilized for party platforms, policy issues, etc. The election to place an individual in the highest office in America should be decided by the majority of registered voters casting ballots (even though that is a small percentage of eligible voters). There are many more aspects of the political process that should be changed, such as campaign contributions, pork barrel spending, and lobbyists. Those issues also require attention, if there was only some way to open the eyes of politicians to the fact that Americans desire for them to get off their lazy rears and listen. Balancing the budget should be a much easier goal and is attainable. This non-action may be the result of citizens being reluctant to voice their opinion or feeling that it does no good since politicians seem to only listen when the sound is from one of their large campaign contributors. Lower the salaries of congress, cut the massive benefits, put controls in place and make an attempt to have elected officials that desire to work for the people and not the money. Make it undesirable to spend millions for a job that pays much less. Wake Up America and voice your opinion.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Television Advertisements

The Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission together should take a serious look at their combined oversight of advertising. It would seem that big corporate advertisers have taken control of how they present ads with no concern for the consumers. There are too many television commercials with fast talking disclaimers and unreadable small print along the bottom of the screen. Any advertiser should be required to make all aspects very clear to the public without any confusion or misleading aspects. Drug companies should not be allowed to advertise drugs without clarification regarding why this drug would be prescribed and possible side effects should be very clear and understandable. There appears to be an extreme effort by advertisers to skirt the requirements and push the envelope as much as possible. Maybe it is time for these two commissions to band together and exercise stronger judgment when it comes to protecting the consumer. Currently, the corporate greed for revenue would appear to be the main reason for misleading, confusing, and downright outrageous advertising.