05/05/12 — Use some sense: When you take the politics out, solutions to problems become obvious

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Use some sense: When you take the politics out, solutions to problems become obvious

Never fear. We have solved the crisis in America.

We admit, it took a while to figure it out, but we have finally, after much trial and error, come up with exactly what this country needs to get back on track.

Wait for it ...

Common sense.

That's right, a good old-fashioned dose of straightforward, down and dirty, listen to your mama "like it is."

What seems to be happening these days is that politicians, pundits and lobbyists take what are simple cause and effect relationships and turn them into complicated "issues" that are based more in politics than reality and that require them to have extensive, name-calling, mind-numbing debates over who is the most righteous.

Truth is, the answer to most of the world's problems really is just what your mother and father taught you when you were small.

Here are a few examples (listen closely and you can almost hear your mom or dad saying them):

• Share and share alike only works when the playing field is even or if participation is voluntary. Or, if you did not do the work, you will never fully appreciate or value the reward. -- There are very, very few people who are born rich. Most of the people who are successful today had their lean years when they had to work harder than ever and to sacrifice to follow their dreams. If you take away the money they worked so hard for and give it to someone who has not made the same sacrifice or put in the same blood, sweat and tears, they will stop pushing, hoard their savings and never even think twice. If you let them share their wealth as they see fit and let them control more of it, they will be more willing to give someone else a chance to make their dreams come true. It is only fair. And that, not a life on welfare, is the American dream. Teach a man to fish and he will never go hungry ... and well, you know what happens the other way.

• If you allow someone to skirt the rules as a youth, their definition of achievement will be finding a way to claim the rewards of an education or a career without the pre-requisite hard work. And you will pay for them the rest of their lives. -- If you do not hold people accountable for their own success, refuse to let them have a pass if they have not earned it or demand that they stay in school or they lose privileges, you can just about guarantee that some of them are going to take the easy way out. We need to stop making excuses -- they won't stay in school if they can't play football; some children need their driver's licenses; no child should have to miss his prom; you cannot have 13-year-old third-graders -- and demand more from our youths. It is our duty. We are the ones who should know better.

• No teacher can undo the damage parents and environment do. -- Wake up. Despite what some say, where a child grows up does matter -- and the kind of parents he or she has matters, too. If you want to fix problems like drugs, youth violence and having 19-year-olds with extensive criminal backgrounds, start holding their parents accountable.

• There should be some stigma to some things in this world. -- Being on welfare should be a temporary assistance until you get back on your feet, not a lifestyle. And while we are at it, disability is not winning the lottery. It is a specialized program to help people who are truly out of options. It is time to reserve government help for those who really need it.

So how is that for a start?

Have a few suggestions yourself? We would love to hear them.

Yoo-hoo Washington, are you listening?

Published in Editorials on May 5, 2012 11:24 PM