The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

In the United States, we’re averaging close to 100,000 rapes that are reported to police a year, according to a United Nations study on the subject.  The UN also estimates that between 75-95% of actual rapes are not reported by the victims.

It’s hard to imagine why, in an age where promiscuous sex is nearly a virtue, there are so many rapes.  But as psychologists tell us, it’s not about having sex – it’s about control.

The same psychologists and women’s advocates tell us the reason that there is such a lack of reporting this crime is that it is personally embarrassing for the victim; there is a fairly low rate of conviction; and the sentences that are meted out in the event a rapist is found guilty are relatively mild.  All of those statements are probably correct.  Of course, knowing this, the potential rapist is empowered to ply his craft with little fear of the consequences.

Some jurisdictions have imposed a prison sentence as well as chemical castration for the convicted rapist.  That seems to be a step in the right direction.  But rather than have the people continue to pay the cost of this sexually-depressant drug therapy, I would suggest that physical castration would solve the problem and, at the same time, save the taxpayers money.

There are three other benefits which society might derive from instituting this policy.  First, we would permanently remove one confirmed rapist from the populace.  Second, it might encourage more victims to come forth and identify their assailant – realizing that true punishment would be delivered in the case of a conviction.  Third, realizing the potential of the second statement, it might dissuade some of the would-be rapists from fulfilling their ambitions.

Now if this legislation were sponsored by a woman, there is the question of whether this was motivated by a desire for retaliation; an example of Freud’s “penis-envy” theory; or some other less than honorable rationale.  While, if it were proposed by a male counterpart, there would be no concern for these issues.  (I guess penis-envy might still play a role).

And that brings me to the point of discussing financial rape.

As we saw in the previous discussion on physical rape, a person proposing legislation to which they were not subject must leave the intelligent individual asking the question of what is this legislator’s motivation?  That is a fair and honest question and one which we should ask.

Now with the fiscal cliff appearing to be something that we will  go over until all the parties have their time on television to support their “moral” positions, we will no doubt pass something or other and there will be a lot of back slapping in Washington as they make this retroactive.

But what part in this grand scheme do any of the parties actual play.  Do they have personal skin in the game?  The answer is a resounding, “NO”.  And they intend to keep it that way – much to the detriment of all Americans.

America will not repair decades worth of financial irresponsibility through the passage of a single act of Congress or a presidential signature.  Those who are foolish enough to believe that could be achieved in one act of legislation need to take a remedial course so they can pass their GED.

All of us would like everything to be rosy, wonderful and Eden-like.  But that is simply not reality – and admitting that puts us in a mindset which we need to adopt.  How do we take positive steps to overcome our negative past actions?

Because the focus of this blog is to expose certain things that are to me self-evident, but apparently not so to others, not only to criticize but to offer positive solutions, I would like to offer a few suggestions that are based on an old-fashioned principle called common sense.

Both parties agree, though the Republicans are pushing this far harder, that whatever is decided in terms of tax increases is minimal in resolving our debt crisis as compared with the amount of profligate spending which should be eliminated.  It’s hard to argue with the logic and the figures – although many of the entitled feel differently.

When we speak about “Entitlement programs” we generally refer to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  That omits one extremely important entitlement – government pensions.

I am attaching a link to a discussion on the subject that was written by Wayne Allyn Root, a former Vice-Presidential candidate from the Libertarian Party.  Please take a few moments to read this article because it speaks, in large part, to a serious source of our problems.

Returning to my premise that we are not going to fix things overnight and avoiding Draconian solutions which might disturb the fabric of society, I have thoughts on how we might begin to institute new policies which will ensure our financial stability and our health as a nation.  They are simple, direct and less than earth-shaking.

“All new government employees, whether at a Federal, State, County or local level, shall be entitled to no pension other than what he or she may derive from the Social Security System.”

Employers have no obligation to provide a pension benefit for their employees.  Some companies do offer that as an incentive to a person to join their corps.  However, we have established IRA’s (both of the traditional kind as well as Roth’s) to which the thinking employee will contribute.  Expand the levels to which they may contribute and let them, through prudent money management, assure their futures and participate actively in that future.

“Any adjustment to the retirement age of Social Security recipients will also be reflected in the current retirement eligibility of government workers.”

This proposal is simple and equitable.  If we are to impact the ability of those who have paid into Social Security for their entire lives to retire, this should also reflect in the eligibility of those who receive government pensions.  I would dare even my most “liberal, progressive” friends to argue that this is unreasonable or unsound.  In their interest for equality, I should expect them to be the first to step on this bandwagon.  I doubt that it will be so.

“Require an annual deductible on all health insurance policies of a sufficient amount that people do not abuse the privilege of coverage.”

One of the obvious reasons that we are in a financial hole is the cost of health insurance and medical treatment.  They are, in some measure, different issues.  I remember a friend who worked for the City of Chicago complaining that her health insurance premium had been raised to ten dollars a month.  As I knew the cost of coverage for my employees and myself, I was shocked at this statement.

At the time, we had a $500 annual deductible per employee before our insurer would pay any benefits.  My cost per single employee (such as this lady) was over $200 per month.  So I asked what her deductible was on her policy.

She looked at me as though I were from another planet.  “Deductible – what’s that?”  She had a policy through the City of $0 deductible per year – a far better policy than I was able financially to provide my employees – or myself.

If you don’t think that when something is essentially “free” people do not try to get as much of it as possible, I believe you need to return from Never-Never Land to planet Earth.  While this is anecdotal evidence, based only on my experience and observation, I have seen a definite correlation between people who have premium healthcare plans, such as my friend’s, who make incessant visits to the doctor’s office and those, such as my employees, who had to consider making that call, realizing that they were going to pay for it out of pocket.

Our healthcare system is one of the most significant contributors to our present financial condition.  And it is only exacerbated by those who abuse it by making unnecessary visits to our medical facilities.  I’m just guesstimating a number here, but I would be willing to wager that at least 25% of doctor’s visits are not needed but those who have nothing to lose are taking full advantage of their ability to pay nothing to assure their “peace of mind”..

This is obviously not a comprehensive review of all the ways in which we could effect savings in our return to fiscal solvency.  But I hope that they will provide my readers a few ideas which they might review – and more importantly, critique.

I do not claim to have all the answers.  But on this New Year’s Eve, I hope that I’m asking at least a few of the right questions – and suggesting some workable solutions.

In this age of partisanship, bickering and short-sightedness, it is probably hard for those with a What’s In It For Me mentality to realize that they have already slaughtered the Golden Goose. Now they’re preparing to put it in the oven. And once they have wolfed down their dinner, there will be nothing left in the pantry. Perhaps Benjamin Franklin, speaking on the subject of the responsbility of different members of the citizenry to one another said it best:

“Gentlemen.  We must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately.”



  1. Yup, right on the nose, as usual.

  2. Mr. Root’s assertion that government pensions represent a sort of hidden “fourth estate” among entitlement programs is interesting – and scary. Somehow, it really should get added to the discussion, but in even suggesting this, we are asking the fox to make rules to control his own access to the hen house. Rather than seeing another opportunity to save ourselves, I see another nail in the coffin in which lies our former greatness.

    • I’m not sure if the fox is running the hen house or the inmates are running the asylum. One thing I have noticed about the “entitled” is that their concern is self-centered – and it was for that reason that I framed the pension “reform” as something that would pertain to new employees. As long as it doesn’t affect current pensioners, I’m sure they would have no problem sticking it to those who arrived late to the party.

  3. Perhaps so. But consider the uprising that would occur if we actually made an attempt to adjust the way benefits are calculated for those under the current system.

    • But I don’t have to consider this — it is an impossibility. That is, until we actually crash — then it is Greece’s public employees rioting all over again.

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