I was going to make this post about some of the silly assumptions that some of our federal departments use when the create the thousands of rules and regulations that govern almost every aspect of our lives.As I write this I have the televison on, tuned to a 24hr news channel. 99.9% of the time I really don't hear what they are saying,that's because I can really focus on what I am writing or reading.However,today a news story went hand in hand with one of the points I was going to discuss.
When the healthcare debate was going full force last year, the one point made time and time again was that it would lower healthcare costs. But will it? I am of the age were I am receivig social security and Medicare benefits. Well for Medicare part B, which covers doctors visits, I am required to pay $110 a month which was deduced right from my social security check.Well last December I decided to join a Medicare Adventage program.Well lo and behold my monthly payment went from $110 a month to $70 a month, Plus it includes a prescription drug plan with a $i5 co-pay with no limits on how many prescriptions I get,and wait for it, if I have to go to the emergency room my copay is only $50 as compare to $150 under the goverment program.I ask you if the government with their massive healthcare bill will lower costs why do I pay less with a private provider?
Now other oddies. We have been told we need to go green. I agree that we need to do more to save the environment.But I ask you what is wrong with the assumptions they are operating on. Lets look at the push for greener cars. Now the assumption is that the exhaust from autos not only foul the air we breath, but also contribute to gobal warming.Now since 1960 we have been working on the exhaust of autos,and our air is definitly cleaner. So that assumption seems to be valid. Ok what about the second assumption, that the exhaust contributes to gobal warming.Maybe,but there is something fishy to the assumption about how to solve the problem. The solution is to go to electric cars. Such a simple solution.Well on the face of it,yes,but if we really look at it, a few oblivious problems arise. First of all you need to plug it in to recharge.Well whats wrong with that.The problem is that well over 80% of our electricity is produced by burning coal.Though they have cleaned up the particle emissions from the coal plants, they still emit a large amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. So until we develope and build a tremendous amount of new clean power plants,electric cars are just a feel good solution. Now there is nothing wrong with that, but we need to acknowledge that is what it is.
Now speaking of cars lets look at the assumptions concerning the fuel to run them. One of the solutions they came up with in the late seventies and is being really pushed now if ethnol. For those who don't now what ethnol is, it is gasoline mixed with fuel made from corn.Ok great so far. But once again there is a problem with the assumption.To use corn for fuel more corn is being planted. What is wrong with that. just one small problem.That even though more corn is being planted ,there is less corn for consumption by humans and for our feed anaimals. Therefore the price of corn rises,as does the price of everythin that uses corn. Which is just about everything.There is also one other unintended consquence to this solution.Consider this,if you plant more corn then other crops do not get planted. There is less wheat for consumption, and wheat is one of the stables that we send to areas were people are starving. See what I mean, when your assumptions are false not only do you not solve problems you actually can and all to often make them worst.So ask your leaders what are the assumptions you are making when trying to solve our problems, and if you don't know then find out before you pass one more law or regulation.How about that for a simple yet effective solution,what do you think?