Friday, December 9, 2011

A taxpayers proposition

I like this quote by former president Andrew Jackson, “The wisdom of man never yet contrived a system of taxation that would operate with perfect equality” and that is still the issue now.

I appreciate the vision this blog conveys in hopes of spreading some equality amongst the hard working taxpayers of this nation. The debt issue of this country is definitely a cause for concern, but I don’t believe that taking matters into our own hands and deciding where our money goes, would help this country stay afloat. The thought actually frightens me a bit.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, our top 3 expenditures are: defense and security, social security, and Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP. If the people of this country had a choice and could pick one program to fund, our country would experience a disparity in one or the other. Our defense and security could potentially be weakened; many who are disabled and unable to work would become homeless, and millions of disadvantaged children would suffer without insurance.

As our nation continues to grow and become more dependent on taxpayer dollars, it’s going to be a difficult, if not impossible, task to reverse the damage that has been done. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Healthcare be continued

Even though some of the changes to the healthcare reform have already gone into effect, the fight whether this law is constitutional or not is on its way to the docket next March. Just last week the Supreme Court announced that it has agreed to take on the constitutional challenge of the unpopular “Obamacare”, to determine if the main issues, such as requiring the expansion of Medicaid coverage to almost 30 million Americans and requiring the rest to carry insurance by 2014, is constitutional and whether to uphold the law or stop it altogether. Regardless, this debate is far from over.

Our country is obviously very torn by this – as we should be. This is major stuff that will affect every single American for years to come. As two federal appeals have already upheld this law, one striking it down and another one citing it to be too early to decide until all the changes have taken place, which will not be until 2014, the Supreme Court has lots to consider from all sides of the spectrum.

For some, healthcare has been deemed as a human right which is a right inherent to all human beings, regardless of national or ethnic origin, sex, religion, language or any other status. If healthcare is a human right and should not be governed by higher authority, as this reform is doing, how are the trends of high expenditures in healthcare and chronic illnesses in the number of Americans that rise each year, going to be handled? It’s seems as though we are in need of some changes and new provisions to our healthcare system and this reform may be it. I was not completely sold on these new changes, as I didn’t think it would be fair to many, but now that I’ve been working in the healthcare industry, my eyes have been open to the severity of the cost that individuals without insurance impose on our economy due to the high chronic illnesses that our nation is faced with day in and day out. In addition, as minority rates grow, so will the low-income statuses that are not able to afford insurance coverage and this can only be trouble if something does not change now.

The fact is that our government will never to able to satisfy both the interest of Americans at stake and the laws of the land. However, in matters such as these, the interest of our Nation, the economy as a whole, and where we are headed should take precedence over all. We need to be able to think ahead for the future of Americans and attempt to re-establish the health care system from what we have left, which balances at some level, the interest of all.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Job training in our country

In this blog that one of my colleagues writes regarding more job training makes quite a bit of sense to me. Being that we are in recession times, many individuals are finding that perhaps going back to school maybe the best thing to do in order to survive in this competitive economy, but after taking one good look at tuition amounts it’s hard to justify it. The Urban League Network is national and helps diverse professional s simulate today’s jobseekers.  I agree that getting the ball rolling on summer job programs and training the adolescence will help get things started and help the economy in the long run.
I also agree that the government should spend a bit more money on programs such as the Urban League that provides such resources that makes searching a lot faster and painless. This organization provides a website with job listings, job alerts, career and professional tips. A lot of times being such a internet driven world, it can place a barrier and be overwhelming to some folks to search the internet for things such as jobs.
Ultimately this department needs a bit more TLC from the government, and there is no better time than the present.   

Friday, October 28, 2011

Metal detectors in schools

Keeping our campuses safe has become a very serious topic or at least it needs to be, as incidents are happening more frequently than not.  Parents, communities, and the media want a tangible guarantee for security at schools like metal detectors, but are metal detectors the answer to the security problem in our schools? The more research I do, the more I lean towards, not so much.  
First of all, it would be very costly. Where in the world would schools get funding for metal detectors? The government? Not a chance! Even if there was a special grant they could receive, how would they be able to continue to pay for the upkeep such as maintenance, replacements and operation staff?
Secondly, how would metal detectors help in the cases when such incidents occur outside on school grounds? It doesn’t seem as though the security of metal detectors could enhanced a student’s safety enough to prevent those types of incidents.
Lastly, how would the school districts avoid making schools feel as “prison-like” environments. Ultimately in this case, I believe that school spirit would probably be directly impacted in a negative way with such protocols.
At this point, I don’t think metal detectors would benefit schools very much, but perhaps putting a strong protocol in place may help improve the feeling of security back in schools, parents and the community. By creating programs that help educate and promote these protocols to students and parents throughout the year and year after year, I am certain it would make a difference in preparing for such incidents. I believe that most fall outs happen from the lack of education, so if our schools could just spend a bit more time emphasizing on the importance of knowing what to do in certain situations, with conducting mock drills and information sessions, it may better the outcomes of tragic events.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Making college a safe haven again

With all the activity that has been happening with shootings at schools, I thought this blog was interesting and at the same time, extreme. Posted on, this blog talks about how we should go about creating a “safe zone” at schools and colleges.

Dr. Kevin “Coach” Collins, the writer for this blog website, coach is, is an adjunct professor of Behavioral Science at several colleges in the NYC area. He is also a member of the American Mensa and the Sons of the American Revolution and holds a doctoral degree in Public Administration. His name “coach” comes from his love of playing and teaching basketball. “Coach” Dr. Collins has also recently completed Subrosa, a novel of political intrigue.

“Ignore the Constitution and save lives!” is the name of his blog where Dr. Collins reveals his opinion on how to stop these heinous crimes that always seem to catch us “off guard”. Dr. Collins believes that in order for universities to be “on guard” several things need to take place – a push for gun control, which includes eliminating guns all together, more police security coverage around the campuses, the use of metal detectors, background screening for students with mental health issues and even students that have previously served in the military. He really emphasis on former military service and poverty stricken students being victims suicidal intentions which seems to be one of the root causes for mass murdering.  

I agree that more action needs to take place in order to make universities a safe haven again for students such as high security accountability and more metal detectors, but I think some of Dr. Collins other suggestions are a bit extreme. I don’t think that focusing on certain students that would be categorized under either “poor” or a former military student would prevent many of these events that, again, happen very unexpectedly. For example, just last year a 19 year old math major decided to step on UT grounds in Austin and started shooting and then shot himself. He was neither formerly in military service nor poverty stricken. How do you explain that?

Universities need to ensure the safety of their students, but “singling out” people, has never been the popular thing to do.   

Friday, September 30, 2011

US Education at Risk

                Our education system seems to be crumbing right before eyes and Dr. William J. Bennett, a current Washington fellow of the Claremont Institute, has a pretty good idea of what thinks works and what hasn’t worked in his article, ‘Record-low SAT scores a wake-up call’, on Dr. Bennett has firsthand government experience with having served as President Reagan’s chairman of the National Endowment of Humanities (1981-1985) and as Secretary of Education (1985-1988). His background has contributed to his well thought out article regarding education these days.
Dr. Bennett’s argument is based on the assumptions of the book, “Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools” by Steven Brill, which is founder of Court TV and the American Lawyer magazine. Brill’s assumptions form around, that in order to change and better our education system, starting with the teachers should be greatly considered. He describes the teachers’ union as being “untouchable” and difficult to reform, which is what Brill believes the government should try next. In relation to the involvement of several types of contracts the union holds, Brills also discloses an investigation that had been conducted in New York City.  Several teachers that had been suspended due to misconduct or incompetence were being investigated and it had been found that throughout the entire investigation, which lasted several months and even years, these teacher where still getting fulltime pay as they waited for their results. This immediately stopped after this was revealed.
Dr. Bennett does a fine job of conveying the message that with the dropping of SAT scores, there should be a huge concern for where our education system is headed to. He also does well with referencing Steven Brill’s studies into his argument in order to keep his audience tuned in and to keep the creditability of his topic. Although, I agree with the initial focus that poor teaching habits and the lack of government control in teacher unions could possibility be the reason of poor SAT scores, I can’t help to think that students and parents should also be held accountable for how they use the free education they receive. While the government is spending billions on education, the value of an education seems to be diminishing right before our eyes.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Black Friday or Budget Friday?

Our government leaders have a lot discuss in the months to come and some important changes are about to happen that may affect your pocketbook this holiday season. With all of the recent talk of our nation’s debt crisis, the time has come to put an action plan together and that is exactly what Washington is up to right now. ‘Supercommittee meets in private to talk deficit reduction’ is the first news report of this committee gathering for the first time to begin the process of proposing a $1.5 trillion debt savings plan over the course of 10 years.  The 12 member committee consists of 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans from the House and Senate. They also only have until November 23rd to present the proposed plans in order to begin the voting process before Christmas time, or else spending cuts to several government programs will be initiated, potentially affecting many Americans.  
It's a real shame that our nation's financial status has gotten to this point. $14 trillion is a lot of debt and some how it's hard to feel as though we have anything to show for it. The older I get, the more I feel our economic status impact me and the decisions I make for my future. I feel a sense of helplessness at times, but I am optimistic that the challenges we will face in the future will only make us stronger and wiser. After all what other choice do we have?