It doesn’t seem possible, but it has been fifty years since I started college. Some things haven’t changed. Both were times of political tumult. Students of today behave much as we did. The way we learned is the same. The textbooks may now be electronic but students still sit in classrooms listening to professor’s lecture.
We have seen incredible changes over the last half century. Science and technology have had a tremendous impact. Forget smart phones, we didn’t even have portable calculators. Nobody back then could have foreseen the progress women and minorities have made.
The current generation faces a much more difficult time than we did. The cost of education has grown rapidly. Many leave school with a mountain of debt. Back then, having a degree almost certainly meant you could find a job. I knew someone with a degree in medieval literature who worked as a computer programmer. Now, many degrees have little or no economic value.
Giving everyone a free education is not the answer. What is the point in spending untold billions so that people can get worthless degrees? Instead, colleges need to find ways to provide cost effective, meaningful education. Unfortunately, most want to keep doing things the way they always have.
Kodak fought digital cameras and ultimately lost their film business. Netflix embraced the future and went from mailing DVDs to streaming. Most schools are more like Kodak than Netflix.
We are hearing a lot of talk about Medicare for All. First of all, it is completely misnamed. Under Medicare, the cost of healthcare is paid by a combination of the federal government, private health insurance and the individual. What is being proposed is that the government pick up virtually the entire tab.
The big question is how it will be paid for. There aren’t enough rich people to pay for it so everyone will see a hefty tax increase. They also plan to sharply reduce reimbursements.
Getting free health insurance will mean a dramatic increase in demand for healthcare. Many hospitals and doctors will be unable to afford to stay in business because of the lower reimbursements. More patients and fewer doctors is a recipe for disaster. Wait times will dramatically increase and the quality of health care will suffer.
Eventually providers will opt out of the system. Private health insurance will reemerge. We will then have a two-tier system. The wealthy will use the high-quality private system and the rest will be stuck with the government run system.
My scenario has happened in many countries. I have worked with insurance companies around the world who are offering coverage for the private healthcare system.
The cost of healthcare has been a real burden for me but that’s not my main concern. I have incurable lymphoma. Getting quality healthcare is a matter of life or death for me.
In recent days, both President Trump and Elizabeth Warren have shown a total lack of class. Trump got the ball rolling by forwarding a tweet implying that the Clintons played a role in Jeffrey Epstein’s death. Warren deliberately misstated the facts in the Ferguson, Missouri shooting. Evidently, she hoped that increasing the racial divide might pay off at the ballot box.
Politics can get rough, especially in these turbulent times. Even so, their actions go way beyond what we should expect from our leaders. Both are putting themselves above the country. We deserve better.
My last post covered several recent occurrences of hate being directed toward Trump supporters. A complaint has been filed against Rep. Joaquin Castro over his tweet naming Trump donors. One person targeted has seen his business, a chain of barbeque joints, flooded with thousands of people. Instead of left-wing demonstrators, it’s conservatives buying brisket.
Universal Pictures has decided not to release The Hunt, the movie about killing conservatives.
I find these events encouraging. It is in Democrats best interest to tone down the hate. If they want to regain the White House, they need to attract more votes in places like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Demonizing voters is not a good way to do it.
We are seeing some dangerous ideas taking hold among some Democrats. They don’t just consider Donald Trump evil. They include his supporters. Since they are evil, they don’t deserve to be protected by the Bill of Rights. They deserve whatever they get.
Hillary Clinton got the ball rolling with her “basket of deplorables”. Recently Beto O’Rourke compared a Trump campaign event to a Nazi rally. When people like him talk about less confrontational language, they mean Republicans should shut up and Democrats can be as nasty as they want.
Congressman Joaquin Castro (brother of the presidential candidate) went even further by putting out a list of Trump donors. He claimed he doesn’t want action taken against them. He wrote about them spreading hate and listed their business. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind a bit if there was a boycott or demonstrators at their front door. Doing this just days after an Antifa sympathizer committed a mass murder is the height of irresponsibility.
Of course, Hollywood wants to get into the act. Next month Universal is releasing a movie called The Hunt. It is about people hunting and killing conservatives.
I am sure that O’Rourke, Castro and Universal do not favor violence. That could very well be the result of their actions.
Mass shootings are all two common. Now we have seen back to back massacres in El Paso and Dayton. Twenty-nine are dead, dozens are injured and many lives are shattered.
Sadly, there are those who, instead of reacting in shock, see it as a political opportunity. Several Democratic presidential candidates are publicly blaming President Trump.
It would be nice if we could wave a magic wand and eliminate all future shootings. Many propose more gun control legislation. Even if the sale of all guns were banned tomorrow, there are so many around that a would-be shooter could still obtain one.
The only solution is to try to stop them before their spree. That can only be done if people report suspicious behavior to the authorities. Sometimes political correctness gets in the way. Several terrorist attacks might have been prevented if people weren’t afraid of being labeled anti-Muslim.
I don’t need to be a psychic to predict that there will future shootings. Hopefully, we don’t have one for a long time.
President Trump and Rep. Elijah Cummings have been engaged in a silly Twitter feud. This has focused attention on the many serious problems Baltimore faces. It certainly isn’t alone. We see many of the same problems in these cities. They include:
The real problem is politicians that put getting elected (and maybe making some money on the side) above the needs of their constituents.
Many Democrats seem to live in an imaginary world in which they think they can overturn the results of the 2016 election. They tried recounting the votes and convincing members of the Electoral College to vote for Hillary Clinton. Those efforts failed miserably so their only alternative was impeachment. They pinned their hopes on collusion with Russia. When the Mueller investigation said it didn’t happen, they moved to obstruction of justice. Mueller’s often confused testimony certainly didn’t help their cause.
Many are still sticking to obstruction. Some have such a ridiculous definition that almost anybody could be accused of it. One Democrat claimed that that calling the investigation a witch-hunt was obstruction. Even those who are more reasonable have a tough case to prove. First of all, there was no crime. The investigation was allowed to run its course, nearly two years. President Trump waived executive privilege. Even if they convince a majority of the House to impeach, there is no way 2/3 of the Senate will convict.
Some are looking for other ways to impeach him. One man thinks his tweets somehow constitute high crimes and misdemeanors. Others are launching a fishing expedition regarding his business affairs.
It’s time for them to quit trying to overturn 2016 and focus on winning in 2020.
We obviously need a minimum wage to prevent exploitation. It will take someone smarter than me to decide what it should be. I do have a real concern about setting it at $15 an hour.
We need to start with basic economics. Every buying decision we make depends on whether the product or service has a value to us equal to or greater than the purchase price. Business works exactly the same way. They won’t hire anyone if their economic value is less than their salary. This applies to everyone. It doesn’t matter if they flip hamburger, drive trucks, perform surgery or hit a baseball.
If an employer is forced to pay above economic value, they will do what they can to cut hours or eliminate the job entirely. Bernie Sanders just provided a perfect example (along with a healthy dose of hypocrisy). His campaign employees complained that were earning less than $15 an hour. They got their raise. Now the campaign is cutting their hours.
Those low wage jobs are meant to be starter jobs. As people gain job skills, they move up the ladder. That’s how it has always worked. A dramatic raise in minimum wage means that millions won’t have that first rung on the economic ladder.
In recent days four extreme left freshmen congresswomen have become known as The Squad. They are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley.
They are Democrat Socialists. Normally we would hear little or nothing from a few new members of Congress, no matter how extreme their views. They have become the darlings of social media. Even traditional media can’t seem to get enough of them. Nothing is too outrageous for them and those close to them. Moderates are compared to segregationists and child molesters. Federal detention camps are concentration camps, President Trump is a Fascist and Israel is comparable to Nazi Germany.
They have a bad case of Potomac Fever. The “disease” is common among. Symptoms include an inflated ego and an exaggerated sense of one’s importance. Not all that long ago, Ocasio-Cortez worked in a bar. Now she thinks she is the most important Democrat in the country.
They come from districts in which all you need to be elected is be a registered Democrat and have a pulse. This means they have little to fear from party leaders. They may continue to generate headlines but will find themselves more and more isolated.
Bernie Sanders took Ocasio-Cortez’s side in her dustup with Nancy Pelosi. He said she is the future of the party. That would please Republicans immensely.