Thursday, January 04, 2007

My 2007 Wish List

Hi everyone, I thought I would start off 2007 by posting my wish list (politically) for the upcoming year:

1. Immediate disengagement from Iraq. $355 billion of OUR money spent (and who knows what percentage of that is lining the pockets of Blackwater, Bechtel, Halliburton, et al); hundreds of thousands (again, who knows the exact number) killed; loss of respect in the eyes of the vast majority of this planet’s other inhabitants. We have gained nothing here. And don’t get me started on Bush’s “surge” plan. Talk about ignoring the wishes of the clear majority of our country’s citizens.

2. Progress towards universal single-payer health coverage. My SO has a seasonal job, with no health care from January through April. I recently was looking up short-term catastrophic health insurance policies, and guess what? They don’t exist! The two reasonably priced ones I found were from really sketchy looking companies. At a respectable company, the cheapest monthly premium was around $150 but that had a $15,000 (!) deductible! A more reasonable deductible of $2,500 had $300+ monthly premiums. Again, this is just for catastrophic insurance in the event of a major health crisis, with no other benefits. And if we don’t purchase it, I shudder to think of the years and years of debt payments we would incur if he does have an accident or something. Here is one of the best articles I’ve read outlining the advantages of a single-payer health care system. Such a system could actually benefit the economy by taking a huge financial burden off employers, who might actually raise wages using the saved money and even expand their total hiring and capital expenditures. Plus, it would give people more of an ability to take other financial risks in their lives, increasing entrepreneurial endeavors and technological breakthroughs.

3. A sane and multi-pronged approach towards global warming and energy issues. Let’s stop the questionable efforts at “renewable” energy production that are really just a huge tax credit and public relations opportunity for corporations. A government-supported effort to make serious strides in this country’s overall energy efficiency (which has got to be one of the worst in the world) would be far more beneficial to the environment. For example: increasing auto fuel efficiency standards, increasing investment in public transportation, and tax credits for improvements in energy efficiency both at home and work instead of for increasing power generation capacity. How about a pre-tax flexible spending account similar to the medical ones, but instead for consumer purchases that improve energy efficiency and reduce fuel use (i.e. fluorescent bulbs, new windows, insulation, energy star appliances, bus passes, programmable thermostats, etc.). On a similar topic, I’d also like to see energy deregulation reversed, as they have proven to be a yet another way that money is being taken from the average person and used to line the pockets of the rich.

4. Since 2007 marks a Farm Bill year, let’s try to have the ridiculous amount of money being spent on corn subsidies are reduced. Corn subsidies are one of the root causes of our country’s problems with obesity and general poor health. If we’re going to support farmers, let’s at least make sure that government money is being directed towards the production of healthy foods such as fresh fruits and veggies. This would make healthful food more affordable to all and in the long run would hopefully help reduce our huge medical costs too (see wish #2)!

Anybody else got some 2007 wishes??


At 9:36 AM, Blogger Farrah said...

Nice. I'm not very good at resolutions, but I'm down with all of Arianna Huffington's

At 2:35 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Fantastic post! I totally agree.

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Bev said...

You have definately hit upon my one of my big WISHES --- decent, reasonably priced health insurance. My DH has GREAT coverage because he worked for one of those companies that still takes care of its retirees. The premium for the health insurance I have (with a $5000 deductable) is $359 a month, so basically it is only catastrophic insurance, since it doesn't even cover any of my RX!! I've looked at other plans, but they want to exclude everything that I currently take RX for, so it basically would be a case of lining their pockets and giving me nothing unless I fall out of a building window.

My second wish would be for more affordable education for all of our children. My daughter is struggling with paying college loans and can not go back to grad school even tho' she wants to because there's no way to pay for it.

Just my two cents!

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Marianne said...

I'm with you on ALL of these...yes, to #4...and the particularly viscious high fructose corn syrup, not to be confused with just the plain corn syrup used say for making...pecan pies. They've been putting that 'evilness' in *everything* and when they started doing the 70's that's when some real obesity and health problems started in earnest. I don't buy anything if it has that crap in it, it's BAD.
ooops, I got started, eh? But seriously, take all the crap out of the foods, it effects people's physical and mental health...perhaps get a healthier country, folks start thinking again.....they'll be wondering 'WTF happened here!'

At 6:47 AM, Blogger jenfromRI said...

Wow - I'd love to add some "wishes", but I think you really nailed it!

At 10:34 AM, Blogger the nut said...

I want beating your wife/girldfriend within an inch of her life to be a felony charge and I want women to stop being held accountable for their own rape/sexual assault. I would love for gender discrimination, mainly misogyny, to be taken seriously and be considered a true hate crime.

Then I would love to see animals taken care of properly and real laws made and enforced to protect them. Banning a specific breed doesn't punish the people causing the need for the ban. I would also love it if the world woke up one day very soon and realized any kind of animal fighting is inhumane and assholish and decide to pass laws (and actively enforce them) to reflect this. I would also like to see the phrase, "but it's just a dog/cat/goat/sheep/squirrel/mole" disappear from our vocabulary.

And I have declared my own war on the word "retarded."

That is all....for now.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Marianne said...

the nut, YES !!!

At 4:33 AM, Blogger lobstah said...

The Nut...awesome additions! I too am sick of people asking, "Well, what was she wearing? Where was she?" when they hear of a woman being raped! As if there is ever ANY excuse! I'm also sick of people trying to act as if men are just as at risk of rape/physical abuse, when the facts show completely otherwise!

And as a huge animal lover, I definitely hope for stronger laws and punishments for those who abuse animals. I get so upset when I see some criminal getting a slap on the wrist for truly heinous crimes, just because they're against animals and not people. And the breed-specific legislation is ridiculous too. How about legislation against back yard breeders instead??

At 3:20 PM, Blogger Kimmer said...

A new law here in California makes it illegal to tie up a dog for longer than 3 hours. This includes in one's yard. The 3-hour limit still allows someone to go into a store to pick up an item or two, or to have dinner at a sidewalk cafe.

About rape...the thing that irks me most is it's usually women who say things like "She shouldn't have been drunk/dressed like that/in that part of town". Sorry, but he should have kept it in his pants. It doesn't matter what a woman is wearing, or if she's alone in a bad part of town, or if she's had a few drinks. This doesn't give any man a right to violate her in any way, shape, or form.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger the nut said...

Yep, if I've said it once, I've said it 1,000 times: Only men can truly stop rape.

At 4:17 PM, Blogger Krista said...

Great wishes everyone! I am in favor of revamping health care too. I had a child in the NICU and we thought since we were in an "in network" hosptial, we'd be covered...right. There goes our savings! But I'd like to use 2007 as a time to begin more energy saving methods too. It's taken some time to convince my husband, but I think he's on board. He finally saw the Al Gore movie!


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