Our country is broke (in more ways than one), so how do we fix it?

Real Estate Agent with Honeycomb Properties

I'm Big Ten college educated middleclass with 16 years working professional experience.  8 years in lending, 8 years in real estate, and 2 years in employment. My experience in all these industries and in my personal life has provided me with the following viewpoints and ideas regarding our current state as a nation:


I'm seeing a lot of ideas regarding fixing our current economical problems come from different industries with some solutions sounding better than others, but most are in some way, shape, or form; self serving leaning towards the educated and extremely wealthy demographic groups.

Here are some of the big problems our nation (and world) face currently that I believe need addressed and possible solutions proposed. I don't claim to have all the correct answers, but I believe the media is corporately/politically driven and many of our real problems aren't even being talked about to the extent that they should.

  • Our Political System is Broken- Most high level politicians are bought via campaign contributions before they are even elected. Everyone knows this happens, but do we fully realize the level of bias it creates? I've heard talk about campaign reform, but how can they when it doesn't serve their own best interest. We (as a people) need to change the way officials are elected to office.
  • Our society's focus on the well-being of self before others is wrong- This needs taught at a young age, and yes I realize many people still won't get it. This grows up to cover all kinds of issues like energy and the environment.
  • TAX USE- I think most people would agree that we need to pay taxes, the real problem is where the money is spent. I don't agree with the WAR money we spend and the udder lack of EDUCATION, HOUSING, FOOD, and HEALTHCARE money. Our government's top expenditures should always be EDUCATION, HOUSING, FOOD, and HEALTHCARE for the people... If you can effectively take away the need to spend $$ for these basic necessities for the general public, I believe we can become a much more productive society.
  • No more Capitalism- Instead how about Fair Trade? "Capitalism = Greed" in my book. Many companies take advantage of the consumer and employees at a benefits to the investors/owners. Greed at many different levels, from consumers to producers put us into many of our current problems.
  • A real separation of church and state is needed- Take religion out of politics. It shouldn't matter what happens to you after you die, because we are discussing what's going on now.
  • A strong middle class structure provides for the strength of a nation.

Ok- I want/need to keep this short, so here is my best rough draft solution and thought process:

Who should be the leaders of our country? Where should that candidate pool come from? Our educators, our medical and/or scientific community? If they are teaching our future generations, shouldn't they assist in leading our country?

How many representatives do we really need? We have the technology, can we move to a more democratic system and reduce representation in that way?

Our educational system need help and lots of it. I believe this is mainly due to the breakdown of the family structure within the US. We leave children behind everyday...how do we stop this? (the answer is not religion-any religion for that matter)

How do we fix tax expenditure issues. Why do we have bills submitted with items that have nothing to do with each other? This is the pork that's talked about and it has to stop. If proposed legislation doesn't have a shown relationship within the subject matter, the legislation needs separated.

We should have public healthcare. Quit trying to scare me and say it's socialism. Libraries, public education, police, firefighters are all publicly funded socialist ideas then. Stop being stupid. We should have have the same healthcare- public officials and the general public. There could still be private healthcare to supplement if needed.

Quit writing laws to protect businesses. The people will survive if they don't have laws written against them.

I am seriously upset that my much of our tax dollars have gone to kill and wage war, bail out large corporate institutions, given to defense contractors, etc. and not healthcare, education, housing, and agriculture. I shouldn't be alone on this. I feel like I am/have been taxed without representation! I say a democratic decision could be made on the percentages of total budget, then representatives can be accountable for execution.

Why as a society, do we allow our public servants such as firemen, policemen, educators, researchers, etc. get financially rewarded at lower-middle class incomes in this "Capitalist" society? We have individuals that can play sports, drive, entertain, that have more money than they can spend. I'm talking about values- how can we change things so that our future generations have education, health, and happiness?

You can call me unpatriotic, say it's treason- you would just be shouting fear (of change). Our current governmental system was designed by white men in wigs. Things are different now and we need serious change. I challenge you to think outside the box and really evaluate the world around you.

I would love to hear any other possible solutions to issues such as these. Thanks for reading my little rant. Please understand I care about others deeply which is why I am discontent with out current status and want to initiate discussion and help implement change to improve- while I still exist.






Comments (84)

James Wells
Honeycomb Properties - Zionsville, IN
Zionsville Indiana Real Estate

So, let me understand Lane...you think healthcare for everyone is a bad idea?

You will never win that debate with me. The question isn't if...it's how.

P.S. You will get the same attitude regarding education.

Oct 26, 2009 01:52 PM
Dan Sanley
La Mesa, CA

James,  this blog has to be one of the best I have ever read on BP.  There is so much well thought out information that you have provided us.  I have a hard time making a challenge to anything you say.  I am still trying to weed through the replies, but so many people sure get way off subject.  Jeez!

I am still trying to figure out why Aaron was accused of being arogant.  Hit a wrong button I guess.  Then the bickering back and forth begins, so the rest of us get lost in the verbage.  Some day I would like to see us all try to stay on subject and not call people names or give them labels.  Please!

Enslaving doctors?  How do we get so far off subject?  Why keep picking on Canada and England?  People here don't have a clue about how those systems work.  They are happy with it, so who are we to say?

I agree with Sharon who says the corporations run this country.  I also think that big government is not the answer,  Medicare is totally out of control.  If we are going to put programs like this in place, then we had better have a way to "inforce it".  Every time there is a new government program, there are thousands of those figuring out ways to game it.  Let's start spending a little extra for some legal inforcement.  We had better figure that out before we start planning to give away even more.  But I am all for universal health care. Let's just do it right for a change.  Keep the corporations out of it for starters.  And as for the government, show us the checks and balances first.

James, planning on running for office any time soon?  You would have my vote.  I have to go back and take notes about all you have said, and I may be back with comments.

Plus I want Aaron and Carl to come back.  I want to hear what they really have to say (not about each other).


Oct 26, 2009 02:50 PM
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

 Dan Sanley,

You said "I am still trying to figure out why Aaron was accused of being arogant.  Hit a wrong button I guess."

I guess you must have skipped over Aaron's comments.  When I read his comments, I too intially thought he was an arrogant.  Then when he said that he was smarter, it proved that my initial opinion was correct.

"I'm sure you will see that most people that will find this blog will be on the right.  Good luck weathering the storm.  I'm finding most to not be free thinkers, they just rattle off what they heard the day before on Fox"

"Now run along and watch your Fox news and cry about the state of our country.  And, why didn't you go after poster #8, she was way more direct than I was.  Besides, I said most and not all, and I never called anyone a name like you did to me.  Are you just mad because I'm smarter than you?"


James, Just because someone isn't for government healthcare or government education does not mean that they are against healthcare and education for everyone.  It's how we get there.  A house for everyone would also be good.  Do you want the government controlling how much in commissions you can charge?  Are you OK with the government forcing you to help someone buy or sell a home and paying you whatever they decide is appropriate?

Oct 27, 2009 02:45 AM
Patrick A. Daniels


You are living in a society that has succeeded in separating church from state: The society we have is what we get when secularists like you go into politics.

Although you probably cannot articulate it, your perspective is progressivism; the belief that because society becomes more enlightened over time, our government must do what its modern citizens require of it, rather than what our antiquated government did when "men with white wigs" founded it upon certain inalienable rights granted by our Creator. ... A Creator whom you reject.

And you believe you're thinking outside the box.

Now THAT's funny.

Patrick A. Daniels

Long Beach, CA

Oct 27, 2009 03:25 AM
James Wells
Honeycomb Properties - Zionsville, IN
Zionsville Indiana Real Estate


If it makes you more comfortable to label me, go ahead, I've been called worse.

What I don't understand is your logic. What proof do you have that I have rejected my mother and father? They created me... Ok, that was sarcastic and I'm sorry, but Patrick here is the 1st person to get under my skin. He laughs at me because I try and be open minded?!?! How does insulting me, attacking me, and not offering a single potential solution help anyone?

What proof do you have that there is a creator for me to reject? Many religions believe in multiple creators and others none. Many people have a hard time separating religion and moral values. I'm sure I may have offended people of religious faith with this post, but it's not my goal. And since we are labeling- I would call myself an agnostic. I don't know what happens after you die and I don't believe anyone else does either. They may have faith...but they don't know!

We should have moral discussions regarding our political system (the one created 200 years ago under god), without religion. So much for our separation of church and state...it's even on our money. We are predominately Christian/Catholic nation and politicians use that belief system to get elected to office. You can't seriously say we have a complete separation of church and state. I think we do better than most countries, but it's still there.

Don't forget, these were the same people that said that ALL MEN were created equal (not women). I believe our founders were great men of their time that instituted change. I'm saying things are a little different now and maybe we should re-evaluate the system. There are laws being proposed regarding "Sexting" among teenagers- I don't think our founding fathers could foresee this. 

The 1 thing that doesn't change is change. I just want to discuss things with an open mind and hopefully the change will be for the better.


Oct 27, 2009 09:42 AM
Scott Smith
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Gloucester, MA
Gloucester & Rockport, Massachusetts

James: Don't take their bait. Their have nothing but bait. They race bait, the gay bait, the belief bait. Well, it's time to either fish or cut bait.

Oct 27, 2009 11:47 AM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Where did I say people shouldn't get health care?  What I said is that nationalizing health care (and let's not kid, that is Obama's goal) will NOT help people get health care.  In Canada there are several million people that can't get a primary care physician.  Since they have about 10$ of our population, the problem would be magnified 10x. 

Simply put, rationing care isn't going to help people get the car ethey need. 

The Democrat plan seems to be for old or sick people to die more quickly and not use up too much of the system...  Isn't that what Rep. Grayson said?

Oct 27, 2009 03:03 PM
Rebecca Sargent
Century 21 Home Realty Inc. - Kitchener, ON

Lane, you clearly completely misunderstand Canada's health care problem and I wish you would stop using it as an example for this reason. 

The problem with not having primary care physicians in Canada is many fold, but to say it is based primarily on nationalizing the care is entirely faulty. It is based on not educating more physicians, or encouraging the education in this direction. We have had at minimum a 10% reduction in medical enrollment since 1993 based on budgetary cuts to the education system. This is not because medicine is socialised, it is because of political priorities in budgetary spending. The shortage is also based on not recognizing the foreign talent we have already in the country waiting to get national accrediation and encouraging more foreign talent. There has also been a big cut in national health spending and education in our country while increasing the budget (an unlimited budget at that) to our military in the past several years. Our politicians have chosen, unfortunately, to follow the American example of militarization to the detriment of all our well-being and our health care has truly suffered because of this.This disgusts me beyond belief.

I urge you to please stop citing Canadian examples since you are not doing so responsibly and with valid information. What you also seem to neglect is that a national health care system can be altered to overcome many of the problems described if properly managed and executed. If you see a problem in other national health care systems, you can use these to help design better systems. Incentive systems could be set up for government health care so that it runs based on positive performance. There is nothing forbidding this. For example, some national health care systems in Europe pay their doctors more for reducing the health of their patients (ie. they receive higher salaries if their patients experience reduced blood pressure or if they quit smoking). Why does everyone keep insisting that only companies are capable of creating incentives? Government systems can be incentive based as well. If we mostly agree that companies are not to be trusted, why would we give them increased responsibilty by handing over everything in privatization schemes? That makes absolutely no sense to me at all.

And Patrick's claims that the US has already succeeding in the separation of church and state made me literally laugh out loud. Are you kidding me? Now THAT is funny.


Oct 27, 2009 03:23 PM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Perhaps you should look at what you are saying...  WHY would anyone go through years and years of medical training in order to take a government job that doesn't pay as well as they could get on the free market?  So... declining numbers of doctors. 

And where is the "seperation of church and state"?

Oct 28, 2009 01:38 PM
Rebecca Sargent
Century 21 Home Realty Inc. - Kitchener, ON

You seem to have again missed my point. They cut the budget to education, not people stopped enrolling.

According to the figures I have read the average doctor in Canada can make over $200,000/year and they can make well over that depending on what they specialize in. That's not exactly starving... or "indentured servitude" as you so eloquently put it earlier. That's still one of the highest pay scales (except for maybe executives of big corporations) and more than the majority of the population will ever make. Maybe many deserve more than that and work insane hours (especially while interns!), I'm not arguing that, but I don't think this is the reason we are in a doctor shortage. Why is it then that we did not have this doctor shortage before these education cuts happened, when we were still under a nationalized health scheme for years and the pay scale was actually less than this? Our government literally CUT funding to education reducing the amount of people who got accepted into medical school by at least 10%. More actually applied. Less got accepted. This has nothing to do with making more money... If our government increased the amount who got accepted, maybe we wouldn't have a shortage and people would still apply to be doctors in good numbers.

Yes, we have had a brain drain to the US of some who want to make more money, but we actually also have thousands upon thousands of foreign doctors in our country just waiting to be approved and if we would allow a better process for them to become licensed here, we also wouldn't have such a shortage.

Yes, the free market will save us all-- either that or make us slaves of the corporations (which we already pretty much are). As I have said, incentive packages could make these doctor's pay scales even higher and create incentives for doctors to earn more money through positive performance. There are tons of tweaks that could be made to make the system far more efficient than it is. Why is only the free market capable of creating innovation? That just bull. There are tons of fantasticly innovative people working in government positions. There are tons of incredibly good managers there too. I'm not saying the way that government care is run is the best it could be. It could be much, much better, especially if we actually returned the money to the budget that was taken to go help kill people overseas.

Definitely not a separation of church and state, in the US or Canada (I think we may actually agree on something Lane! Cool! We've got a starting point at least!:) ). When was the last time you had a president who didn't profess his religion extremely publicly in their campaign? Do you not have "in God we trust" on your money? Does your Pledge of Allegiance that you must say in school not have "under God" in it?

I could go on and on here with examples from both our countries.... how is this a real separation of church and state Patrick? If you believe in God and want that in your states, fine-- but don't claim that it is not part of your state systems. It clearly is.

Ok. I'm done. This debate has gotten so off topic and I have no interest in continually trying to defend the Canadian health care systems over and over again. It won't change minds, and it definitely won't stop people from spouting our "failures" as reasons to not nationalize their own care. I urge all you Americans to not believe all the hype you hear on TV about these failures (and many others), because they simply are not true. You are being told propaganda, plain and simple. Read. Read up on things from independent sources of all kinds and come to a conclusion on your own. There is propaganda on both sides and I'm not sure the "truth" can ever be found, at least we have the ability to search things out in so many places now. All I know is that our system does have faults, but ask any Canadian, and I'm sure 90% of them (at least!) would not trade our free health care for anything. It is the best thing our country ever did for its people and I hope one day your people will get to see the same.

Oct 28, 2009 02:31 PM
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Rebecca, I do not know you or anything about you, so please do not think I am making assumptions about you - you may know about American history or not.

In any event, our Founding Fathers were of the Judeo/Christian heritage. That is a fact. The intent of 'separation of church and state' was that there would be no national church, as there was in England - the Anglican Church. The men and women who fought for and died to found America never intended for God or the Ten Commandments or the Bible to be removed from our schools and our political system. They intended for those morals and values to pervade our society.

"if properly managed and executed." is a quote you used in reference to your government. That is exactly our point. Goverments are infamous for NOT properly managing and executing. If you like your Canadian system, good for you, but it's okay for us American citizens to like our system - and we admit it needs some adjustments. We do have the freedom to say what we like and what we want.

I would not want government healthcare even if your system were the best in the world. I want less government and more individual freedom. I want the freedom to choose my doctors, hospitals, and the ability to get treatment when I need it, not when it's available for me, and by the best doctors who are free to succeed as much as they want to financially because there is no government official looking over their shoulder and holding them back. That is not freedom, that is control.

I think America needs term limits for its elected officials in Congress so we can get some people there who are not living in ivory towers.

Oct 28, 2009 03:46 PM
Rebecca Sargent
Century 21 Home Realty Inc. - Kitchener, ON

Ok, I know I said I was done, but I just have to say this. Sharon, I just want to say: Absolutely-- you are free to like your system and I am free to like mine, and I am thankful that both of us live in systems that allows us to speak out and say what we like and don't like. I meant no offense to anyone, and I'm sorry if what I have wrote did cause offense.

As you can probably tell, I love debate, and sometimes I will just argue to play devil's advocate to stimiulate discussion. I've been studying international affairs and conflict in post-secondary education for most of the past decade and will probably be studying it for the rest of my life; it's a topic that facinates me beyond belief. I definitely see huge issues with socialized care and major government, and do not think it the end all and be all. I think government, if regulated in the right ways, could be much more efficient than it is. And I absolutely do think that it should provide its population with equal rights and access to the necessities of life. Besides that, I think it should mostly back off and just represent its people in international affairs. My biggest issue with free market systems has to do with the power it hands over to corporate rule. Money should not rule the world. The well-being of the organisms on this planet should. I will spend the rest of my life growing the majority of my own food and sewing my own clothes and buying from local or family run businesses and avoiding corporate rule as much as I possibly can.

And I have no issue personally with the belief in God and definitely think that if the majority of the population believes, then it has a place in the value system of their representatives. The idea of the separation of church and state goes beyond just American history. I just don't think that a separation of church and state exists here. Whether or not it should is not for me to say.

Oh, and ABSOLUTELY! Term limits! Ok. I'm really done now.

Oct 28, 2009 04:08 PM
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

If the men and women running the corporations of America, the lobbyists vying for favor with our representatives, and our elected officials had a really strong moral compas that included "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," we would not be having this debate. Huge corporations would not be discriminating against individuals to profit their bottom line.

It is very telling that the same elected officials who will ram government healthcare down the throats of its citizens will not likewise partake in that system. They have their own healthcare system that is superior because it has been based on a free market model.

Bottom line: When will the back of the American economy be broken by the idea of entitlements of its people and elected officials? When is the tipping point? Does anybody see a conflict here?

Oct 29, 2009 02:45 AM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

@ Rebecca and Sharon:  Term limits ?  Absolutely NOT.  We already HAVE term limits... it's called "voting."  Term limits would take away MY right to vote for someone in office who I felt was already doing a great job.  Please leave my right to vote alone. 

You already have term limits... by just voting out the person you want out.

Oct 29, 2009 02:52 AM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Rebecca...  The VAST majority of Americans like the system here.  Of course, those that want to change it bring up the very small minority of people that can't get health insurance... and add in all of those that choose not to get insured...  Those people are unhappy.  And those in Canada that can't get a doctor are unhappy, too. 

BTW, there are a LOT of countries with socialized medicine that have a shortage of doctors. 

And kids aren't required to say the Pledge of Allegiance at school... I suppose there might be peer pressure, though.

Oct 30, 2009 03:47 PM
Rebecca Sargent
Century 21 Home Realty Inc. - Kitchener, ON

Just a question Lane, because I'm curious, is that new about the Allegiance? Do they still say it in most schools and kids can just opt out, or do they not say it anymore at all in a lot of places? I'm kind of surprised to hear that actually. Interesting.

Oct 30, 2009 07:05 PM
Allen Lomax

James  -  Thanks for the thoughtful post.  It sure generated a lot of comment -- thankfully, most of it civil.  Our corporate media and politicians like to stir up strive and fear.  I expect more Americans than not come down on your side.  Most reliable polls have been showing that the majority of Americans want universal health care and they want government to play a role.  You wouldn’t know it though as our corporate media and politicians are too busy trying to convince us that the political spectrum is left to right when in reality, it is top to bottom.  Most Americans, though, are beginning to catch on as we are tired of being dumped on.

Lane and Eric, it seems you’ve spent so much time in front of Faux News that you are beginning to believe that it is the sun that shines at midnight.

Oct 31, 2009 11:21 AM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Rebecca, they say it and kids can choose to opt out.  That would be the reason for peer pressure.  And for the record, I think that Under God should be removed from the pledge.  It was added in the 1950s, IIRC... 

Oct 31, 2009 01:28 PM
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

I think this man speaks common sense for many Americans. He is Congressman Mike Rogers from Michigan.

Oct 31, 2009 04:33 PM
Rebecca Sargent
Century 21 Home Realty Inc. - Kitchener, ON

Thanks Lane!

Oct 31, 2009 09:12 PM