Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's not a game.

Pension reform can create serious hardships for the thousands of public employees who worked hard and played by the rules. Union employees believe they are entitled to their negotiated pensions as promised.

There is some real merit to that position, as stated by union leaders and public employees who resent trying to fix the budget crisis "on the backs of hard working union workers".

There are even more taxpayers, retired and not retired, both unemployed and employed, struggling to make ends meet, who also resent having to pay those benefits to union employees; taxpayers who also play by the rules (has anyone seen the rules?) and who also resent those very generous benefit payouts levied on their hard working backs.

So what we have here is a contest, like a baseball game, where there can be only a winner and a loser.  In fact a recent quote by a union leader, when asked about his strategy in dealing with the upcoming pension solution to be laid out by Treasury Secretary Raimondo, responded that he wouldn't reveal his strategy just as any team manager wouldn't reveal strategy before a game.

A game. It's what our public policy battles have been reduce to - a game, a battle between powers where, if there's a winner there must be a loser.  Is this really what produces the best result for our citizens?

Truth is that most legislators act like they're playing only for their "team", Republicans v Democrats,  liberals v conservatives,  Progressives v Tea Party when instead they should be "playing" for the fans, all of them.

Sure there are greedy, dishonest, obscenely wealthy business men and women, but there are also wealthy people who are incredibly generous with their wealth, who support charitable organizations, who have helped grow and guide huge companies that provide employment and security for millions.

In the same vein there are dishonest police and lazy teachers who care nothing for their students, and welfare recipients who would simply refuse an honest job if it were offered. But there are also police who would give their lives to protect you, teachers who pay for student supplies themselves, and people truly deserving of unemployment benefits who would do anything to have a job to support their family.

Our politicians, and we too, are squandering the wonders of this great nation.

Maybe it's just me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Create Jobs? Really?

In reading a Providence Journal Commentary, "Could Occupiers become next generation of entrepreneurs?", by John Robitaille, Friday, Oct. 21, Mr. Robitaille suggests that government should 'stop treating business owners as "revenue generators" and begin treating them as job creators'. Well, firstly, no companies, large or small, create jobs.  Jobs follow an increased need or want of either a company's products or services.  Jobs aren't widgets to be created.  

Before we can see real change, businesses must stop thinking of themselves as "revenue generators" and start thinking of themselves, first and foremost, as providers of services or products that are of value to the public or other businesses.  I'm afraid some businesses act as if the public exists for their benefit, to provide them with revenue.

As I occasionally had to remind myself and my staff, we must never forget that our patients do us a favor by seeking our help, not the other way around; we exist for their benefit, not they for ours.

Maybe it's just me.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Written in 2007. I still believe it.

Government is supposed to provide the services we can't provide for ourselves, like defending the country, maintaining roads, public education, public health etc.

How's it working?

We know for instance, that health care costs are skyrocketing. We in the U.S. spend more per capita than any other country in the world.

Unfortunately we also have millions of people with inadequate or no health coverage at all.