“Everybody get together, try to love one another right now.”
Let’s all try to follow this advice by The Youngbloods from back in the ‘60’s because we have some non-partisan issues that affect all of us and that require that we resolve them in a cooperative and swift way.
The most urgent and all-encompassing problem we have involves our environment. We have been told by the vast majority of scientists that we have about 10 years to turn around what humans are doing to cause the earth to warm up … or it will be impossible to turn it around. That means that we must start now to reduce almost completely the use of fossil fuels and create sustainable and renewable energy sources. The United States did the most in the past to create the problems, so we should lead the way in solving them. A first step would be to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords and fulfill our promises in that pact. Look up the Green New Deal to see how we can accomplish what we need to do to save the world.
At this moment, large areas of the Amazon rainforest are burning because of the greed of companies that want to clear the land. Why should we care? The trees of that rainforest generate 20% of the world’s oxygen. Burning them adds to global warming and reduces our oxygen supply. We need world cooperation to get out of the global warming mode.
Another destructive human act that we can reduce greatly is the waging of war. I pointed out in a previous column the enormous cost of war in lives, harm to the environment and waste of money. Since World War II, the United States has initiated combat often because we wanted to prevent the spread of an ideology or to remove an evil dictator and/or to root out fake weapons of mass destruction. We have meddled in the affairs of other countries and have either accomplished nothing or made conditions worse. Think of the colossal amount of money we could save and use for beneficial purposes if we cut way back on attacking other countries.
The United States can have a great healthcare system if we get together and design one that works for everyone. We need to revise the weird cost setup that has different, mostly high, costs for the same item or service depending on…what? Prices for medications must be made uniform and much lower than they are now. Big Pharma should not be able to raise prices at will. We can put more money toward actual healthcare if we stop throwing money down the health insurance drain. Health insurance companies don’t provide healthcare but they make huge profits for being the “middleman” in the healthcare system.
Since 85-90% of children of school age attend public schools in Arizona, it should be our high priority to make Arizona’s public schools excellent. Excellent schools have excellent teachers and excellent teachers must be paid what their training and responsibilities and hard work merit, but Arizona continues to languish near the bottom of the amount spent per pupil in the U.S. State revenues are down mostly due to tax cuts and loopholes for the rich and corporations, so loopholes must be closed and taxes reinstated in order to improve our public schools. Education is of great importance to the prosperity of the people and the state, so it must be a top priority.
Let’s get together and get started on these issues (and more) RIGHT NOW!