What if the government funded WV community colleges so they could aggressively recruit miners to be trained as safety inspectors and specialists? These recruits from the mines themselves would be dedicated in a very personal way to protecting their own while dealing with the the 62k backlogged safety violations overwhelming regulatory agencies. It would save lives and empower communities.
Like any political junkie, last Sunday I was distracted from my usual weekend duties with the play by play of health care reform becoming law. And while I couldn’t help but be proud for a progressive movement that finally achieved this necessity of modern economic competitiveness, I also couldn’t help but notice that most of the players on the political stage, at least the angriest ones, were old men. And not only were they old in years, they were old with their arguments, falling back on the same outdated themes they have been hashing out since before I was born - big government vs small government, states rights, abortion, discrimination and the poor.
Watching these angry old men making their crusty old arguments, I began to wonder, at what point does a politician wear out his usefulness? Is the problem with enacting change - the problem with moving national discussions forward - generational? After all, America’s median age is about 37 years old, while the median age of a US Senator is just over 63 years. Compared to the rest of America, the Senate is old - so old, in fact, that there are 4 Senators who are older than sliced bread.
A couple weeks ago Rasmussin polled a thousand people and asked them to score 10 issues in terms of importance.
Not surprisingly, the highest ranking issue was the Economy, with 84% of Americans ranking it as “very important.”
The issues receiving the least number of very important votes, at 38 and 37 percent respectively, were Abortion and
the War in Iraq, two issues that have been at the center of our culture wars
over the last decade.
Hi, I’m Gina Cooper, the Political Outsider. Today I’m talking about the governing philosophies of incrementalism and do-nothing-ism, and how those methods are inadequate for addressing today’s big challenges.
“Health Premiums up 131% in Last 10 Years.” That’s what the San Francisco Chronicle headline read last September
when the average family premium for employer based health insurance officially crossed the $13,000 mark. 5 months later, Anthem Blue Cross announced that they would be raising their premiums, as much as 39% in California, even though it’s parent company, Wellstone, reported a profit of $2.7B last year.
It doesn’t take an expert in Health Care Policy to figure out that the American public is being fleeced, that these costs are unsustainable, and that citizens need something bigger than themselves to fight back.
The challenges of change are always hard. It is important that we begin to unpack those challenges that confront this nation and realize that we each have a role that requires us to change and become more responsible for shaping our own future. -Hillary Clinton