Thursday, July 30, 2009


The other day, a friend of mine who had recently been through a divorce and some bad relationships told me that it was time to, "Rediscover who I am."

That's a necessary part of rebuilding a life, I think. But then I got to wondering, does that process of self-discovery ever get finished?

So I asked my Grandpa, who has the wisdom and experience of age. His response:

The question is not, "Who am I?" but rather, "Who am I today?"

Who we are changes every day, every year. It's not a fixed identity that we discover, but rather something we create, until the day we die. It is a process not only of reflection, but also of forward motion, growth, and action.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Health Care and Education Reform

I'm a big proponent of both. But.


But it seems like the government is trying to reinvent the wheel, by creating new systems rather than fixing the old.

Regarding education, rather than setting up programs for every student to go to college, why not fix high school so that a diploma is worth something? The system for educating everyone is already there - we've just watered it down so that a college degree is required for most jobs. If everyone goes to college, the same will happen to the bachelor's degree, and a master's will be the norm for the "good" jobs. All these systems do is prolong adolescence. There's no reason a young adult shouldn't graduate from our public schools job-ready.

And as for health care, there are a lot of good programs that already exist! Arkansas has one called the Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool - it's available to anyone who 1) can't get group insurance, 2) would have to pay 2-3 times as much for private insurance, and 3) is a resident of the state. About half of states have some sort of program like this. Why not just expand them?

I worry about the costs associated with growing these programs. Surely it would be better to improve the efficiency and scope of our existing structures (like public schools) than to keep adding costly new programs.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fed Up with Food Stamp Stories

I am sick and tired of the "try living on a food stamp budget for a week/month" stories. Yes, it's nice to see that we can get by on much less than we spend, but:

Food stamps are meant to be supplemental! They are not intended to be used alone to purchase food for an individual or family.

That's why it's called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Friday, March 6, 2009

What if....

It's becoming clear that the current events of our economy are changing fundamental aspects of how we live and work. It's made me wonder, what if....

... the corporation becomes obsolete, as more people, by choice or necessity, become entrepreneurs?
... colleges and universities become obsolete, with all the information in the world available at our fingertips? They might be replaced by accredited experts, which a student could cobble together or study under.
... people learned to cook again? The health and social implications of that would be astounding!
... paid cable TV gave way to free, advertising-supported internet TV? Combine this idea with community-supported wireless broadband, and you have something really spectacular.

So many possibilities. Hard times foster necessary changes, and maybe these hard times will make us stronger.