Problems, Solutions, and Gratitude

The United States of America has problems. Ignoring all of the foreign policy dilemmas, the US has major issues related to health care, education, equal opportunity, racism, and economic growth. These problems are not unique to America. It would be easy to find the flaws in other developed countries. Pointing out flaws is both simple and effortless. The hard part is finding solutions that cannot not only be passed by Congress, but can also be reasonably enforced and implemented.

Instead of trying to assert my intelligence by jumping on the blogging equivalent of a high horse and writing a one page solution for unsolvable major problems of the world, I instead want to highlight some simple everyday annoyances that should be legislated.

  1. Instead of having a speed limit, all towns should have an acceptable speed range for optimal conditions. For instance, instead of having a 35 MPH speed limit, signs should read “30-40 MPH.” If a driver goes 29 or 41 MPH, they can be pulled over. No one likes a slow driver. They are actually more dangerous than fast drivers. Seriously.
  2. Make it a fineable offense for leaving a grocery cart in a parking spot, instead of returning it. Are we really this lazy? How many parking spaces have been ruined because of the laziness of others? Based on my knowledge of a study that doesn’t exist, all of our obesity issues would be eliminated if we simply return the cart to the proper place.
  3. Make it a fineable offense for failing to return an item to the shelf after you decide you don’t want it anymore. I have seen way too many boxes of Ritz Crackers in the deodorant section. The fictional obesity study applies here as well.
  4. Pull people over and fine them for sitting in the fast lane on the highway. Getting back to driving, this law is a solution for something that is both dangerous and annoying.
  5. All states should be able to fine towns, or eliminate state tax credits for that town, that have more than one major road construction project going on at the same time. By major, I mean anything bigger than fixing potholes. Instead of having two crews of 10-15 workers, why not have one crew of 20-30 workers? More people and more specialization means faster projects, right?

What about you? What problems would you want to see fixed? 

A week ago I found myself thinking of a whole bunch of annoyances that I would like to see solved. I hoped to add to my list above. On Friday October 3, 2014, my entire outlook changed when Mariama Kallon spoke at my work’s annual convention. Miriama described what it was like living in Sierra Leone in the middle of a civil war. Within the span of a few days Mariama watched her parents be executed by rebels, saw her brother slain for refusing to join the rebels, and helplessly witnessed her sister’s legs be brutally amputated. She told us how the rebels delighted in killing women. Mariama said that due to the war, over 50,000 were killed and 10% of today’s living population has at least one amputated limb.

Everyone present that heard Mariama on October 3 walked away with great emotion and gratitude. The United States has issues. Some have an easy solution, but many do not. It is easy to be frustrated with the gridlock in Congress. It is understandable to show anger when crazy and unreasonable people on both sides of the aisle have a voice on cable news or on the internet. (I’m not referring to anyone in particular). Without changing my opinions or passion for public policy, I am going to express more gratitude for the life I am privileged to live every single day. I encourage all do to the same.

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