Friday, February 26, 2010

Shared Sacrifice

It was interesting to watch a few hours of the Health Care Summit yesterday. I would have to say it was also a little depressing. Only so many words, words words. When somebody made a good suggestion, the President should have asked for a show of hands as to how many would support that. I'm sure some of them would have freaked out if he had, and they probably only agreed to come to the meeting after setting a few ground rules (i.e. not having a straw vote or having to publicly agree on anything). The President and a couple of senators (I think Democrats) suggested that the American public should have the same type of health care coverage that government employees have. I don’t know, but it seems that a few of our elected officials would be happier to see this administration fail rather than come to some resolution for the good of the public.

There’s a story of ancient times when a famine spread across the land. During this hardship the king not only gave away most of the foods and grains stored in the royal warehouse, but he also had all of his ministers and councilors reduce their food consumption and he himself completely fasted for forty days.

At the beginning of last year the small company my daughter works for in Wisconsin had to lay off five or six people. Then, rather than lay off any one else, and to weather the hard times, everyone was asked to take a 10% pay cut. The owner of the company stopped paying himself altogether. Now things have picked up for them and the cuts have been reinstated.

We’re really in this fix together. So where is the sense of shared sacrifice. It could start with the guys in Washington suspending their health care benefits until they come to some agreement. When it comes to the economy and job creation, they could take a 10% cut in pay until they fix that problem. And rather then get a hand out, those guys on Wall St. should all take 10% or even 20% pay cuts until their companies are solvent. Perhaps we’d start seeing some real solutions.


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