Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why Not?

"That's impossible! Never happen. Not is a million years. OK, not in my lifetime."

These phrases are uttered daily by well-meaning people. Change is hard. Changing long-held conscious and unconscious thinking is even harder. There are a few people temperamentally wired for change; however even these initiators of innovation have some habits that are hard to break.

If we are going to solve some of the economic, political and social problems of our era, we must welcome change, as long as the proposed ideas and actions are rooted in well-established values. We often confuse morality with modality, or purpose and method. Within ethical boundaries, there are multiple sound ways to achieve noble ends.

Here are some reasons change is vital right now:

  • As most Americans see more than 30% of their earnings going to taxes, there is something wrong with GE paying no taxes.

  • As Congress cries poverty as they manage social programs, perhaps they need to shed some perks and join the rest of the citizens in paying for health care and pensions.

  • Colleges and universities need to rediscover the mission of professors and students learning together. Let's try to graduate more students debt-free instead of multiplying irrelevant courses.

  • A good society takes care of those in need; however, most citizens in such a commonweal do not believe such help is a "right."

  • A death tax on monies already taxed is foolish. Far better to give incentives for investing.

  • We can drill judiciously and have private-public partnerships developing alternative energy sources. Look how far batteries have come in just a decade.

  • Reformation of systems begins with reformation of self. A republic is only as strong as the virtues of its citizens.

  • We can be honest and humble about history and hope without denigrating the achievements of our past and indoctrinating earnest minds with politically-correct but empirically untested formulae.

  • Change is hard. There is, however, no virtue in stubbornness born of fixation on old methods.

  • Unregulated capitalism and bureaucratic socialism achieve the same end: a few are enriched at the expense of most.

Why not change how we do things? From government services to business ethics; from education to social welfare - we can do better if we keep the good of all in mind. Why not? The only limiters are our fear and pride.