Sunday, July 3, 2011


In my previous blog I talked about how Wall Street is controlling public policy debate. So the question is, “What are the right questions to ask concerning the current state of American and world affairs?” Further, can we achieve greater independence on this Independence Day if we, the people control the discussions? Let’s change some of the fundamental questions and see how we get totally different answers.

  1. How do we find more oil? This is the wrong question. When asked in this way we get, “drill baby drill.” Or, ease up regulations, open the Tundra, claim the Arctic so that when it melts we have first rights, etc. But if we ask, “How do we eliminate fossil fuels and base our lives and economies on ‘truly’ renewable and clean energy?” the discussion is totally changed.
  2. How do we reduce the budget deficit? The simple answer, when asked this way, is to stop spending and pay back the debt. Unfortunately, unless you evaluate the effectiveness of programs, the result becomes a farce as the focus is on dollars and not effectiveness. But, if we ask, “What programs are worth keeping and what is the best way to improve the efficiencies, effectiveness and usefulness of those programs?” we now begin a discussion of substance and not dollars and sense.
  3. How do we privatize health care and get government out of the insurance business? Easy, make people buy health care or go without. Instead, let’s ask, “What are the most effective, efficient and reasonable ways that we can provide for the health care of all citizens?” and the answer is different.
  4. How do we eliminate illegal immigration? Not quite as easy but increase border patrol, deport all illegals and maybe even build a wall or two. Or, “How can we best integrate and reduce the negative impacts of illegal immigrants as well as control the rate of immigration?” Again, the nature of that debate is different from the first.
  5. How do we reduce the size of government and get those bastards off our backs? The answer, for some, is to slash and burn government payrolls and make government business friendly. Perhaps we should ask, “What do we really want from our governments in this complex world and how do we get there?” You see, as we enter this new age we must revisit fundamental issues and really see where we want to go.
  6. Aren’t our schools out of control and our kids getting dumber? Answer, fire the teachers and create charter schools. Okay, this is a major beef with me. Our public education system created the most powerful nation on earth. Yes, it had/has problems. But for some reason we decided to swamp the whole thing rather than fix the leaks. So the real question might be, “Why is our educational system in such turmoil and what can we do to correct it?” Changing times requires changing models, but clearly, all of the so called ‘innovations’ are not working. Time for a national discussion.
  7. Aren’t scientists wrong about this whole climate change thing? Therefore, do nothing and it will all sort out. Wrong answer. The real question is, “How do we best help reduce the effects of environmental abuse, help end the 6th great extinction, and prepare people for what is surely happening?”
I could keep going on but hopefully you get the point. The way the question is framed determines the debate and the answers. Too often of late we have allowed the very, very few and the well-to-do to ask the questions. Is it no wonder the world about us collapses while we are not even talking about the right issues? If, we, the people, start asking the politicians the right questions, maybe we can force them to get back on track and actually represent us for a change. Happy asking!

No comments: