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America's economic trouble requires a We the People solution, not a political one
by Robert Randle
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The one thing that is becoming increasingly clearer by now is that our elected officials don’t have the answers to solving our problems. They tell us what we want to hear and blame the other political party for being obstructionist and partisan, and yet, aren’t they equally as biased towards serving their own particular constituency and supporters? Politicians cannot fix what’s broken [I guess it’s above their pay grade] and when they show “Humpty Dumpty” to the public, he is a legislative patchwork of duct tape or held together with rubber bands and paper clips. It’s funny, but the Tea Party as a grassroots movement initially had the right idea, and that was to reform the way things were done in the Beltway by wanting to limit the power of Big Government [Federal] and the influence of corporate lobbyists [special interest groups], thereby preserving to the “People” the power to control their own lives and make decisions that serve their best interests and the public welfare. It is under the U.S. Constitution’s Declaration of Independence that a free people can amend or abolish any form of government that deprives them of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness [without ‘Due Process’]; and of which does not promote the general welfare and domestic tranquility of its citizens.

It is time to realize that although we are a nation of many individuals from diverse backgrounds yet we are “all” in this rut together and it is going to take our ‘collective’ intellectual, technical, scientific, spiritual and creative energies [imagination] to save all of us. We can no longer pay attention to the divisive labeling and characterizations of Americans who are just as patriotic, God-fearing and who love this country just as much as anybody else. It isn’t about popularity, celebrity, or even hypocrisy, but rather who can come up with solutions. Sometimes we forget that we breathe the same air and if a butterfly flaps its wings, the effect can be felt somewhere on the planet. None of us is an island unto himself so why not put aside all of the nonsense, bickering, finger-pointing and roll up our sleeves, get to work and try to figure out our way out of this fiscal nightmare and economic mess that even some of the experts haven’t been able to come up with the answers.

Perhaps the best way to go about this is to attack the problem from all sides, that is at the local level [community/town], city, county, state and then all the way up to the federal government. The first thing to acknowledge is that all problems cannot be solved at once and that each and every person is responsible to make sacrifices and contribute in some way, because there are no free lunches. For whatever reason, it seems people are so averse and adamant against being taxed, but yet they still want to benefit from the resources and services that those very unpopular taxes provide as revenue to these same agencies. Somehow, “taxation without representation” means, we pay too much in taxes already so we don’t want to pay more. This attitude forgets to take into account that more people than ever before are receiving payments from some government program today than at any other time in the nation’s history.

Of course, nobody wants to pay taxes, but more importantly than that, no one wants to pay more that their fair-share; there are a few, however, that don’t want to pay at all. Former hotel heiress Leona Helmsley was once quoted as saying, “only losers pay taxes.” The one thing that makes America one of the greatest countries on earth is the unrivaled spirit that people have when it comes to voluntary giving through philanthropy and private donations. Funding doesn’t always have to be the result of a bond, levy, bill, referendum or proposition. There are at least two avenues to pursue when it comes to solving the budget and financial crisis facing all business sectors [private, public, state, federal, etc.], namely, to promote and advertise through some non-for-profit organization or foundation the benefit of public support on a voluntary basis to keep certain programs viable and serving the community. The next idea, which is not new because some schools already use it to motivate academically poorer students to get better grades or higher SAT scores, and is performance-based. A similar approach could be used, which is an incentive program that rewards any great idea, whereby if it is used, the submitter will receive financial compensation or in this case a cash annuity like the lottery. If the person is a teenager, they can receive a full 4 year full-ride scholarship to any university in the country, along with the annuity if they qualify; which can be used to pay for living expenses if living off campus or for whatever.

This strategy means thinking out of the box and is a fundamental shift in the way that things are done but considering the dismal track record that exists now and how politicians seem more interested in Texting pictures of themselves wearing briefs or boxer underwear, this is a much better use of taxpayer money. This can be done at any government level and some age restrictions and other guidelines would apply but it shouldn’t be any different from entering a sweepstakes, game contest or even playing in the State Lottery. Perhaps something like this has been tried in the past and it was more trouble than it was worth to set everything up and administer it. Well, that may very well be but isn’t it worth a second look and remember that it was either Thomas Alva Edison or Alexander Graham Bell that failed in his experiments 99 times before he came upon the one that succeeded. Besides, the way things are going, what do we have to lose?

Robert Randle
776 Commerce St. #B-11
Tacoma, WA 98402
July 14, 2011

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