Thursday, December 17, 2009

Two Birds, One Stone

President Barack Obama is getting heat from both sides of the aisle for his policies, particularly health care reform and the economy. Critics suggest Obama took his eyes off the latter by focusing so much energy on the former, and they're right. If Obama had done a little thinking, he would have been able to take care of job creation and health insurance for the less fortunate in one fell swoop.

And it starts with manufacturing. Have you noticed that America doesn't make that much anymore? That's because our manufacturing base has evaporated due to numerous factors, including rising labor costs and government regulations. As a result, we're importing goods that could be made here if our manufacturing base were in place and active.

On the health care side, there are many people in the country who do not have health insurance or choose not to take it. The latter is hard to overcome, but the former can be addressed. Government health insurance isn't that great an idea (as we've seen with Medicare and Medicaid), so we need another option. These days, most companies offer health insurance packages for employees or at least give options for lower cost insurance policies. Now, all we need to do is get the people who need health insurance into jobs that offer them.

Reestablishing the manufacturing base in America would accomplish both job creation and helping the less fortunate get health insurance by opening up factories in America. At least in the short term, government can help bring this about by giving companies incentives to build factories here, including tax breaks. If it passes Constitutional muster, perhaps government could also put a 5 year moratorium on unionizing workers to sweeten the deal with the understanding that the company follow labor laws or suffer severe penalties.

This would be a win-win for everyone, including the President. People would get access to paying jobs and health insurance, thus improving both conditions. The economy would see a boost. Imports would start to decline, which also has an impact on carbon emissions and, thus, the environment because we wouldn't need to import as much. And, for the President, it would help shore up his falling job approval ratings while making him look like an economic genius and a caring President.

A simple solution to several problems. That pretty much guarantees government won't even consider it.

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