Constitutionally Right

The only way to predict the future is to create it.

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Location: Yardley, PA (Bucks County), United States

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

It's the End of the World As We Know It, But I Feel Fine - Bucks County Courier Times January 18, 2011

A friend just told me about an article that said it's healthy to be pessimistic. I instantly got very excited about my extremely bad attitude.
On my way to one of the 17 state and federal candidate interviews with the Courier Times' Editorial Staff I had an uneasy feeling that none of the problems that we've discussed will be resolved anytime soon.
In my opinion we can only enjoy true freedom by accepting responsibility for our own safety, education, food, shelter, medical care, retirement, etc. Economic growth and universal prosperity are driven by free markets; not government programs and their associated political manipulation.
One of my oldest memories happened right across the street from the Courier Times 45 years ago in Stonybrook when I got a glass of orange juice, laid down and poured it all over myself as I tried to take a drink. I've been fascinated with the cause/effect relationship ever since.
For example, increasing taxes on the rich leads to tax evasion which slows economic and job growth. The financially wealthy often become so by working day and night for a long time to provide something of great value. We rarely see the blood, sweat and tears it took and tend to overlook the risk, failures and uncertainty that defined the journey.
You either believe in the American Economy or you don't. Free Markets are a perfect machine of complex cause/effect relationships that cannot be manipulated to work better. Fraud and abuse should be regulated; not economic freedom.
We're trying to repair health care with what caused the problem in the first place. Health care has morphed into a "special interest feeding trough" where pennies on the dollar of our $2 trillion a year industry goes to medical care. The only way to fix it is to go in the other direction by putting individuals (not bureaucrats) in charge. No one will be left behind if properly implemented and you'll even find competition for pre-existing conditions. The market driven/patient guided model (as discussed by Regina Herzlinger in "Who Killed Health Care" and "Market Driven Health Care") is the only way.
The most popular topic was that of a Constitutional Convention. I started printing out the PA State Constitution until my computer said "Printing Page 1 of 66". We need 2 Constitutional Conventions - one to eliminate everything that has nothing to do with basic rights and individual freedoms and then another to discuss the processes of running state government. Our State Constitution has evolved into a dishonorably crafted legal document and true legislative reform will not happen until this impenetrable bureaucracy is dismantled.
We were told that 5,000+ feet under Pennsylvania is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. Drillers are already taxed in Pennsylvania. Adding an extraction tax will send more money to Harrisburg to fund projects that have nothing to do with drilling. Marcellus Shale is a safe step towards energy independence that will create opportunities for communities with endless ripple effects. It's the ultimate win/win.
Teacher strikes came up a lot. We can't prevent anyone from leaving their workplace, but we should definitely be able to prevent them from ever returning. I'm having trouble finding the words to describe the lack of integrity surrounding this issue other than to say that it demonstrates the failures of our current state systems.
Everyone's concerned about the pension crisis that's literally destroying the nation and the best solution came from a Democrat candidate who said we shouldn't be in the pension business. Each individual in charge of their own pension would create competition, choice and yet another win/win for all. Most candidates talked about pooling pension plans into a central bureaucratic authority which was unfortunate.
There's a lot more to discuss, but all that most would like is some sanity and leadership founded on accountability, courage and strong moral character. Candidates campaign year after year through a revolving door of false promises that enable a culture of dysfunction that never changes.
I really don't know what to do so I'm appealing to the next Editorial Board to pour juice over the heads of future candidates before the interviews begin. Other than restoring dueling I honestly can't think of anything else.