Recently, on a large social networking site, friend posted the question, “what would you do if you were President?”
As usual, a laundry list poured forth into my mind. Here’s by no means a complete list…
#1 – Truth In Advertising
First and foremost, let’s agree to say what we mean, mean what we say, and stop flat-out lying to the American public (and indeed the world). It starts with food – no more hiding harmful ingredients under innocent-sounding aliases (MSG), labeling ingredients by weight not volume (1%, 2% milk), leaving ingredients off labels altogether (anti-caking agents in spice mixes, or less than 2% of gluten-containing compounds in rice milk), or GMO foods, etc.
Another area that needs addressing is TV commercials – fine print crammed onto the bottom of the screen for all of 5 seconds, such that you’ll never be able to read all of it even if you do try to do so, drug commercials that need not list all side effects but rather point you to a website or phone number, or sugary cereals that talk about being part of a nutritious breakfast.
And then there are other things, too – hidden fees in everything from hotel rooms to phone bills, apartment complexes that only show you models before you sign a lease and move in, and Google search returns that don’t actually contain the text you searched for.
#2 – Education Overhaul
It’s time to bring back reading, writing, and arithmetic. It’s also time to bring back citizenship, good sportsmanship, physical activity (gym class and recess), and the arts. It’s time to challenge our kids, teach them (and not just to a standardized yearly test), and not be afraid to fail them when they don’t actually pass. It’s time to toughen up, smarten up, and run a tighter ship.
It’s time to pay teachers better, and employ more of them. How do we accomplish this? By cutting the number of administrator positions – we don’t need 6 vice principals and 2 principals. We need 1 principal and maybe 1-2 VPs. It’s time to actually require teachers to be able to use proper spelling and grammar (especially the English teachers, and this is a skill that is sorely and sadly lacking). It’s time to require that teachers not only know their information inside and out, but actually know how to teach it as well.
It’s time to cut out all of the forced diversity, warm fuzzy, artificial self-esteem pumping, and wasted time. It’s time to de-emphasize sports and class/race warfare. Teaching global warming is wasted time because that’s a theory only, with lots of contradicting evidence.
Instead, let’s bring back real, decent science courses, based on logic and proven fact. Let’s bring back real history courses, covering both that of the world and the US. Creative writing classes and contemporary literature have all gone out the window and it’d be beneficial to bring them back. I’d also love to see a good health class that was really relevant and effective. Something beyond the circulatory system, “just say no”, and the USDA food pyramid, TYVM.
And why in the hell are we charging people to ride the freakin’ bus? Abolish parents blocking entire lanes of busy streets to pick up their kids when they live less than a mile away. Kids can walk (Lord only knows today’s obese kids need exercise). And if the bus is free again, they can ride it (gotta walk to the bus stop and back).
#3 – Restore American Jobs
I don’t know what in the hell Congress/Bush/whoever did in 2001 to lift restrictions on the exportation of American jobs to other countries, but it’s time to hit a big whopping “Undo” button. Between that and the looming threats of the catastrophe that is Obamacare, jobs have fled this country wholesale. And it hasn’t boded well for those of us who live here.
I’d like to see deep tax cuts and instead, tax the crap out of businesses who have moved their operations elsewhere. As in, take away all their itemized write-offs. This will encourage people to buy domestic and employers to employ domestic, too. This will also start to solve the plethora of problems caused by Chinese products and diminish support for human rights violations and other unpleasant working conditions in China.
I’d also like to see the minimum wage be abolished. I know that’s not a popular concept and when I was younger and less educated, I supported the hell out of a major minimum wage increase. My reasoning at the time was that you can’t raise a family of 4 on 5 bucks an hour. But then, I got a clue. First, you’re not ever supposed to raise a family on 5 bucks an hour and if you are, maybe you need to rethink the idea of having a family.
Second, most people making 5 bucks an hour are not those trying to support a family, but rather, teenagers living at home, simply trying to pay for a car or some spending money when hanging out with friends, but who otherwise have all their basic needs met. It doesn’t make sense to penalize small business because of some teenagers or unplanned parenthood.
#4 – Lose The Chemicals
Our society is so full of chemicals it’s not even funny. It’s not like we’re actually living any better through chemistry and in fact, the environment and our bodies are horribly suffering.
I’m talking about food. Organic cultivation is quite possible and even efficient. Natural bug repellents do exist. Natural cows can be raised, without antibiotics or growth hormones. It’s not like factory farming is a whole lot cheaper: it’s not. Vitamin E is just as good a food preservative as BHT and corn starch is just as good a de-moisturizer as wheat flour and is far less reactive.
I’m talking about cleaning supplies. Did you know that grapefruit seed extract and lemon essential oil are powerful disinfectants? They’re also very concentrated. Put them in a spray bottle with some distilled water and presto – you have a better cleaning product that Windex.
Or how about color-safe bleach? Did you know that hydrogen peroxide is a powerful antibacterial agent? It’s even safe enough to gargle with.
Vinegar, baking soda, and club soda all have their uses. Colloidal silver is powerful, too, as is tea tree oil. You don’t need to buy into a ton of Soft Scrub or Pine-Sol. Sure, those make jobs easier, but natural is better and more healthy. Haley’s Hints is a great book for many of these tips and tricks.
I’m also talking about beauty supplies. I found that when I ditched all the hairspray, mousse, frizz ease, and other products, my hair…didn’t need as many products. Going natural left it less oily, flaky, gunky, and flat, and I found I could make it cooperate much easier. Those products don’t actually give you much more shine or control. They don’t really make your hair healthier. Really, they don’t.
#5 – Ban Mercury
I don’t know what this fixation is with Mercury in this nation, but it seems to be lurking everywhere you turn. The big 4 places are thermometers, high fructose corn syrup (yes, that cheap sweetener that’s in everything), vaccines, and those ugly coily fluorescent light bulbs. Ban them all. There are substitutes for all of them that perform better, cost less, and prove to be much safer. If we banned lead in 1978 fairly effectively, why not mercury? Mercury is even more of a health hazard than lead!
#6 – Bring Back The Gold Standard
Or something to secure and anchor our monetary system. Because otherwise it’s going to float away by way of the dodo bird. Seriously. Many decent books have been written on this subject, fleshing out the idea that our economy is based on ever-increasing debt and inflation because our paper money system is no longer tethered to anything finite. Instead, paper money is only worth anything because the store down the street will accept it, and only on the premise that he is fairly confident that he can turn around and use it, trading it in for material items he needs.
This is an incredibly fragile scenario. And with the government printing more by the ton to pay for its debts, all this means is that we’re all going to pay–very dearly–at some point in the rapidly-approaching future.
#7 – End Animal Testing, Deter Crime
It’s cruel and irrelevant, since animals are pretty different from humans. Instead, why not use the very most violent criminals in their place? Put shampoo into a rapist’s eyes instead. Test that pre-market Vioxx not on a monkey, but on a serial killer. Two birds, one stone. I hardly see how that is cruel and unusual punishment. After all, these people took lives, either in whole or in part. They lost their rights when they did that and got convicted of it.
#8 – Cut Spending, Increase Revenue
It’s time to start shifting cost burdens to where they are most appropriate. Health care deserves its own item (and a complete overhaul), so I won’t discuss it further in this one, other than smokers and drinkers pay much, much more and are completely barred from any government-offered public option.
Let’s stop subsidizing factory farmers. In fact, let’s have them pay into a fund that then goes to subsidize organic farmers. (And let’s tighten the definition of “organic”, too.)
Let’s stop subsidizing nonproducers (in the form of long-term welfare) and multinational corporations (in the form of corporate welfare).
And instead of subsidizing hybrid vehicles (in the form of tax credits or write-offs), how about large SUVs pay a toll (after all, they take up more of the road, pollute more of the air, and are typically used as little more than commuter vehicles, and for typically a single person)? Maybe we could actually get some roads built that way and maybe, just maybe, they’d actually be wide enough. Maybe a tax cut for people who live within a certain mile radius to work? It could work in the form of a deduction at tax time.
How about instead of lots of large taxes on utilities (especially broadband, cell phone, cable, etc) that we shift back to plans with finite amounts of minutes on them, even during the nights and weekends, and even between phones of the same carrier? If you make people pay for what they actually use, and then tax them reasonably according to that usage, rather than giving it all away for free after a certain time, that would make more sense.
#9 – Healthcare Overhaul
A couple things on this one. First, let’s shift the mentality from self-irresponsibility and don’t-do-anything-until-it-becomes-a-problem to self-responsibility and preventive self-care.
Second, fricking pay for it. Catastrophic insurance policies only, for those unthinkable situations that prove to be quite expensive, such as a major accident or major unpreventable illness. Let’s actually start paying for our own care so that we are more motivated to take care of ourselves. So, no more government programs. Temporary programs only, for those who are on short-term assistance when they’re down on their luck through no fault of their own.
Next, let’s re-prioritize and re-allocate the system, spelling out what type of care should be used when. Drugs should not ever be used to manage diabetes type 2; diet and exercise do that just fine – in fact, when done properly, they do better than drugs. Allopathic care should really be used in emergencies only – dealing with a crisis, catastrophe, or extremely advanced disease, or some other immediate threat (such as a quite-pathogenic viral/bacterial infection), or perhaps some other emergency such as stroke, obstruction, bone fracture, cancer, etc.
But when considering most major chronic, degenerative conditions, or hormone imbalance, mysterious conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, disciplines like Functional Medicine shine best. The other disciplines should take a few cues from Functional Medicine and order a lot more (relevant) testing and be more open minded and current on the most up-to-date research and information.
Typical alternative medicine (those that use natural methods but without testing) should only be employed when the patient has no ailments or complaints and thus just needs wellness care. Any time there is a symptom or problem, complete testing should be done first.
So, the first-line care in immediate/serious situations should be allopathic medicine. First-line care for all other internal disorders should be Functional Medicine. If Functional Medicine fails (usually unlikely), then an allopathic approach is warranted. First-line care for aches and pains should be chiropractic. First-line care for neurological problems (dizziness, incoordination, weakness, etc) should be neurological chiropractic or Functional Neurology. Only when those fail (or become more serious/immediate) should allopathic protocols be utilized. That is truly how healthcare should work.
And should insurance cover any of that? No. Why? I’ve got several reasons:
- People don’t value what they didn’t pay for, so they’re less likely to follow through or respect the doctor and his/her advice.
- Insurance costs just increase the costs of care for everyone.
- Since Functional Medicine is the initial approach to most issues, and it is quite reasonably priced (not cheap, but great bang for the buck), it’s almost cheaper not to use insurance, and
- for all crisis care, there are catastrophic insurance policies that work well.
#10 – Misc
I might consider other ideas, such as abolishing (or severely limiting) the stock market (multiple reasons), eliminating radiation (bringing back the regular cordless phone frequencies), eliminating that God-awful radio station compression or those God-awful blue-ish car headlights, or abolishing school zones but heavily ticketing inattentive driving, increasing chiropractic standards but then elevating chiropractic societal status and expanding their scope of practice, requiring newborns to be screened by a chiropractic doctor, legalizing edible marijuana (at least via licensed doctor prescription), outlawing cigarettes, legalizing concealed and open carry for firearms (for all legal citizens with clean criminal backgrounds), abolish self-employed taxes, allow DCs to flat-out opt out of Medicare, tweak max subwoofer volume or frequencies, or ban them altogether, implement re-testing when renewing your driver’s license (every 6 years), disband the cult of Scientology (at least revoke their tax-exempt status!), ban frivolous lawsuits and pin the cost back on the idiot who started it, tax flipping houses and rental properties, and…
…Let Texas secede!