I’ve been experiencing growing frustration with social/political issues lately, and each time I get to thinking about various problems that this country faces, I try and hash out what could be done to turn things around. Thrown together haphazardly below is a list of a few of these ideas. I recognize most of the difficulties with these solutions, so don’t take them too seriously.
- Raise student standards and prepare to fail a large mass of the student body for a few years to come. The standards for education in this country are sickening; we’re creating a giant underclass whose only solace is the fact that they live in this country. Anywhere else even our average graduates would be hopelessly sub-par.
In short, our high school and college graduates are utterly unprepared to compete with their peers in most comparable countries. The way to do this is to spend like 6 months finding out where the rest of the world is, set a standard a little above where that average is, and then get there by any means. Not doing so is a path to certain disaster.
- Raise teacher standards, raise teacher pay by 50%, and cull the heard of the sub-par. Too many high school teachers are in education because it’s a steady job. They don’t like teaching, and even worse — they don’t like learning. They’re mouthbreathers in teaching positions because it pays better than not being paid.
This isn’t all, of course, but many. A related problem is the people who love teaching, and who would be good at it, who are chased away by the deteriorating classroom environment and horrid pay. Raising the pay and standards for becoming a teacher will get rid of the bottomfeeders while simultaneously attracting those who really care and will push education in the country forward.
- Overhaul the criminal justice system. Many comitting murder are out on parole in two years, while people serve triple that for non-violent crimes. People need to put politics aside and make some serious changes. I see two options, and I’m not sure which is better — either make a swift move for a strong death penalty (as in proven guilty –> dead in two weeks), or build/enhance an infrastructure of hard time prisons. I tend to favor the latter, as I have some problems with the death penalty given the number of false convictions seen over the years.
The final goal is simple here — make it suck really bad to commit serious crimes. This is revolutionary, I know, but it’s worth taking a look at. As it currently stands, prison time is something to be glorified, flaunted, and even anticipated due to the social status gained. If you make prison suck so bad that no one will ever want to go back, this in itself will make a difference in my view. The idea is to create a deterrent.
- Get out of the world police business, and apologize to to the international community for past offenses. There are times when certain kinds of imperialism are good for our national interests — I know that — but it’s been taken to a perverse extreme over the years. This doesn’t mean we grovel, it means we acknowledge and ask forgiveness for wrongdoing — we turn over a new leaf, so to speak. True progress can’t be made in our current situation. When the most powerful economy on earth owes the most to other countries, is full of illiterates, and is hated by a good portion of the human race, it’s time to start re-evaluating things.
It’s time to focus inward — on getting our own ship in order. We can’t afford to keep trying to maintain our superiority by influencing our surroundings.
- Re-homogenize. One of the most dangerous things facing our country in coming decades is the balkanization of our population internally. We all know the cliches about division and falling and such, but no one seems to take the simple truth to heart. Here’s what needs to be done:
a. Take all current, legal applications for citizenship as of last month, review them, and accept them. Mexico, Guam, China, Germany, Iran — wherever. If they’re not dangerous people, and they played by the rules via the legal application process, they’re in.
b. As for the illegal immigrant population currently in the states, we perform a period of amnesty. Yes, I know it sucks, but it’s for a greater good. Besides, the real reason not to have amnesty is because it slaps those who applied legally in the face — a problem we’ve already fixed above. What will happen here is we’ll have a major border lockdown period; call up the Minutemen folks, triple the border patrol, etc., and then start an amnesty period that will last say…6 months. Anyone who signs up during this period will become legal and move onto the fasttrack for citizenship.
c. After this amnesty period is over, border enforcement and immigration operations will become extremely strict. The application process will go something like this: “What can you do for the United States?” If the answer is, “Not much.”, then we don’t need you. Are you a doctor from Mexico? Glad to have you. Are you a Physicist from Iran? Welcome aboard. Oh, you’re a waiter from Quebec? Don’t think so. Weigh people based on what high-level skillset they bring to the country.
As for dealing with illegal immigration at this point — it’ll be swift and severe. Deportation within 48 hours, contact with the person’s government, etc.
Ok, here’s the reason for this. It’s time for unification. It’s time to say to solidify as Americans. What we need to have is a period of line drawing — we are Americans, you guys are not. That seems negative, but it’s not. We need to help ourselves before we can be good to the rest of the world. We start be embracing each other and becoming a nation again.
How this starts is by our new leader (this person will have to be quite ballsy, by the way) basically saying to all who just arrived via the visa process and the amnesty period, “Welcome, you are Americans. We are happy you’re here, and we look forward to starting our Renaissance together.” That’s the key. Mexican, Hatian, Dutch, Japanese, whatever — the walls are up — this is America — starting now. All the walls that are erected internally — tear them down.
We say to the population, “If you hate America, if you think we’re a lost cause and not worth fighting for — get out. We don’t want you. If you are disillusioned, hurt, but willing to fight to make this country great again, I say let’s do it together. Let’s fix our schools, let’s deter crime, let’s destroy racism, let’s lead by example instead of by force, let’s unite and become strong again — as Americans. I don’t care what you look like or what you believe — if you’re for these goals, you’re an American.”
- Destroy the plague that PC has become. Nothing is more dangerous than not calling failure, failure. Standards for achievement in all facets of life need to be erected and upheld. A society that’s not willing to live up to such standards is doomed to fail. Nobody likes to hear this, but it’s true. We need to build a country based on competition with other countries in order to be able to afford to not be so materialistic and goal-oriented.
In other words, in order to maintain a liberal, free-thinking, open society that doesn’t focus on competition and hard measures of achievement, we first need to master those very same things. Liberalism is what comes after a society is advanced enough to handle it; it can’t be sustained by a country too stupid to support itself.
Institute some sort of mandatory National service. One of the reasons Israel and China are so strong is because of their nationalism. As is being fostered with various points above, getting young people involved at some level with public service to the country will assist with growing these feelings. This, of course, can range from things like joining the National Guard, firefighting, feeding the hungry, building homes, all the way to joining the active duty Military.
Increase pay and standards for law enforcement officials. Very similar to teachers (although not quite as important), those who keep order on our streets need to be of higher quality and rewarded better. When you pay less, you get less. Again, as with teaching, many who want to serve and protect go on to other things because the pay is horrible, while too many who do it everyday do it because they can’t do much else. It shouldn’t be this way for important jobs like this.
Move to a new energy source. This is a well-known issue — no need to belabor it. All it takes is the will along with a lack of incentive not to do it — namely certain groups of very powerful people getting stupid rich off of the current status quo.
My personal belief is that we should go nuclear. Not popular, I know…but believe me, the alternative is going to be a whole lot worse.
- Roll-back the erosion of personal freedoms. We, as a nation, need to evaluate what has been lost in the name of security. As a mentor of mine, Bruce Schneier, always says, “What did we get for what we spent?” How much more secure are we now that we have the modified Patriot act in place? How much more secure will RealID make us? Let’s talk about it. If it’s not logical, let’s not do it. Reacting based on fear is not an option.
Ok, so if anyone is reading this and actually cares about these issues, you have to be wondering how I propose to pay for all this stuff. Well, I have a crazy idea — a massive tax — applied mostly to those in the higher income brackets.
Let’s call it the Renaissance Tax.
A saying involving money and mouths comes to mind, so let me be the first to say — if we had a leader who could pull of some semblance of this plan — I’d volunteer to pay the tax in a heartbeat. Let me say that again, I say tax me. Not for some lame program that puts bandaids on stuff, but for real reform. Anyone who doesn’t realize that this is an absolutely necessary evil deserves what they get. Taxes suck, and new taxes suck worse, but the alternative is certain demise.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that current politicians can’t pull this off. And if some canned politician came with a lame attempt at this with all the teeth pulled out I’d vote it down. The point is, this can save the country.
All we have to do is find someone with the balls to pull it off and the charisma to sell it.
(more to come later…must pause the outpouring of random thoughts)