Sunday, March 06, 2016


By Allan McNew

It seems that solutions to enormous problems are shrilly debated to dogmatic excess without asking questions as to why the problems exist in the first place.

For example, the cost of higher education. No one asks why education costs have skyrocketed, the debate is about who has to pay for it. Not a word about the multitudinous courses in fields few can make a living from much less pay off education loans, nor about exploding administrative expenditures beyond reasonably financing educational institutions. Add to that the push that everyone go to college when so many, for various reasons, aren't suited for it and should learn a trade instead.

Or as to why so many kids graduate high school practically illiterate. It's easy to blame teachers (academia does share a large part of the responsibility as does associated bureaucracy and institutionalized ideology), but there is little charting of societal changes, parenting styles, family fragmentation, and absurd political correctness with key decades being the 60's, 80's and 2,000's to be compared with plummeting academic achievement.

Ditto for rising health care costs. I haven't heard much noise about the games played between medical and insurance corporate boards of directors and how the patient gets kicked back and forth between and financially pummeled by both. Despite all the assurances to the contrary, it's not about the patient receiving treatment so much as which side can successfully pencil whip or out lawyer the other and get the money on one hand, and who foots the bill between the private and public sectors on the other.

Illegal immigration? Whether or not a wall can be built or if it's possible to deport 12 million people. Not a peep about the role of employers and too little recognition of double dealing, double talking politicians on both sides of the isle.

Maybe a little more complex scenario has to do with farm help in the form of illegal labor. To most people, food comes from the store (not a clue), and apparent farm worker compensation is dismal indeed with employers claiming that Americans won't do the work. Sometimes the valid counter claim is made that Americans won't do the work for the compensation forwarded. However, no one observes that much farm labor is subsidized through the tax base with subsidized housing and social services administered from federal to local governments - as well as other services operated by non profits with government grants and contributions by charitable organizations. What is not paid up front with wages and benefits from the employer (and ultimately the consumer) is paid through the back door by the taxpayer and private citizen.

On the other hand, I found it ironic a few years ago to see some United Farm Workers members picketing outside of a strawberry field being picked in Oxnard, California. The great likelihood this day and age is that both groups have the same illegal origins - the main difference is one group is picking strawberries and the other holding protest signs - but the picketers arrived a few years before the pickers and resented THEIR compensation beaten down by newcomers willing to work for nothing. Some decades ago, the American Cesar Chavez (race does not indicate nationality), who's grandfather fled peonage debt slavery on a Mexican hacienda, had a lot of trouble with illegal labor breaking his farm worker strikes for better wages and working conditions. Prior to that, many of the kids who left the family farm to fight in WWII came back changed men who didn't return to the farm.

Too often, too many problems in many arenas are subjected to talking point solutions without regard as to why the problems exist in the first place.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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