Monday, March 22, 2010

Some simple changes can make the world a better place...

I'm not going to beat around the bush here, some things need to be changed in our fine country. My friends on the left are going in one direction, while my buddies on the right appear to be running in the other direction. Clearly there are some differences with what direction we should go. Each side could be doing what they feel the right thing to do is, but I'm not so sure that is the case. I feel that we took a step in the right direction last night, but I'm not here to get in to that today. Today I'm going to give you some more thoughts on how I feel we could better this fine country.

1. I would expand upon the snack tax and charge a fast food tax. Fast food is unhealthy, right? I don't think you can argue that. The fact that fast food is so cheap and bad for us is a large problem in my opinion. I would see to it that no items on a fast food menu be less than $5.00, making the Dollar Menu a Five Dollar Menu. We need to encourage people to make healthy food choices, which would in turn reduce the number of trips to hospitals, therefore lowering health care costs. It would also bring in extra tax dollars for each state.

2. I would move toward a 4 day work week, as well as a four day school week for children. Workers would still work the typical 40 hours, it would just be done over the course of four ten hour days. This would give families more time to spend with each other, which would create a happier worker, therefore a more productive employee. I would also make it mandatory for companies to offer all full time employees a minimum of two weeks vacation, and that the vacation needs to be used each year. For those employees that choose not to use their vacation time, they would actually be docked pay for any days unused. I feel that there is a direct correlation between personal time and a happy, productive employee.

3. People that speak out against the president (ME!) or their fellow representatives would be harshly reprimanded by being stripped of their governmental position and it would then be given to an elected official of the opposite party. For example, Joe Wilson, the Senator that yelled "YOU LIE!" to President Obama would have seen his position go away and given to a Democrat from his state. Would you yell out something like that in a Board of Directors meeting at work? Would you call your boss or a co-worker a "baby killer" during a staff meeting? No, you wouldn't, and you should not be able to without some sort of punishment. Stripping you of your post and giving it to someone of the other party ought to make that sort of behavior go away quickly.

4. I would significantly lower the cost of higher education, or in some cases get rid of it completely, while keeping the same academic standards in tact. Higher education is so important in today's competitive job market, and I want to see everyone that desires to move on to college given the opportunity to follow that dream. So many students are unable to attend college due to the financial constraints, while many that do go are straddled with student loan debt that they can't support when they finish school. I would also add a mandatory class or two that deal with real life issues like personal budgeting, credit card education and job search training. These are vital issues and having a solid knowledge of how to deal with all of them will better students moving forward.

5. I would not only make casinos legal, but I would make it so each state was required to have at least two casinos within state lines. Now, these casinos would be for the benefit of the individual states, not the Donald Trumps of the world and there would be no restriction on size. They would not be run by the state specifically, they would be run by individuals that were paid by the state. This would be another way to bring revenue into each state. For those of you that will say "but gambling is bad and addicting", I would say tough crap. In 2008, $49,491,086 was transferred to the state's General Fund from the Maine State Lottery. Clearly there is already some gambling going on, so why not capitalize on it.

Again, just a few changes to the status quo, but some that I think we would all benefit from in one way or another. I'm tired of all the name calling and finger pointing. I'm looking to make things happen that will benefit you and me and if you disagree with my views, we can discuss it. If you, however, want to call me names and try to use scare tactics, you'll be out of work faster than you can say Glenn Beck! I'm just saying...