What this country needs to move forward

What this country needs to move forward

Back on Track

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are fun forums to banter about many different topics from the inane to the profound. Sometimes it makes us laugh and sometimes we just want to cry. One recent topic that came across my feed asked “What does it take to get our country back on track.”

Education was my answer. This may seem pretty funny to those who know me by my posts alone. I often say that college is not necessary for financial success. Please don’t confuse college with education or knowledge. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla recently said “College are basically for fun and to prove you can do your chores, but they’re not for learning,”

The educational system is failing America. Baltimore spends more than $16,000 per student per year in 2016 graduating 70% with a reading proficiency of 11% and math proficiency of 12%. While that is just one horrific metric but the real tragedy is not being measured. 

One area education should address is difference among rights, needs, and wants. Reread that. Now don’t be dismissive of something so seemingly simple. These are important ideas that have started many wars that have and continue to shape our world. As simple as these are they can be hard to define.

In the Declaration of Independence it speaks to unalienable right among these are life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. These are examples of natural rights, often attributed to God, because it applies to people everywhere There are also civil and political rights. These include the right not to be discriminated against or the right to vote.

Needs are things you must have or you will die. That’s how many people see needs. Abraham Maslow broke down needs into different strata which we know as the Hierarchy of Needs. Each level provides the foundation for the next. Physiological needs like food and sleep come before Safety needs come before Belonging and Esteem needs. Most people recognize that the foundational physiological needs are universal needs. As you move higher on Maslow’s pyramid the “needs” are less needy in most people’s minds.

A want can be just as powerful a motivator as a right or need, maybe more so. Many times our wants are actually tied to our needs. I want a bacon cheeseburger because I need to feed myself. 

So how does knowing the differences between rights and wants get the United States back on track? Tracks lead some place and if we follow those tracks we will get to where we want. If you follow a want, thinking it is a right, then you will eventually find out you are not where you want to be. 

Free healthcare is considered a right by many people. A lot of time and money have been put forth into making this a reality in America. Is it really a right? We say that life is a right given by God and recognized in our founding documents. Here’s the false equivalence the healthcare equals life can be seen. We know for certain that nothing is truly free. Economist study the use of things that have alternative uses. Even the most abundant things end up being scarce meaning they are limited. You know what’s not free about free healthcare? Everything. Doctors don’t work for free. Construction companies don’t build hospitals for free. Government workers who oversee the industry don’t work for free. So that means government must take money, by force or threat of force to make this happen. This violates the pursuit of happiness and liberty of others. 

Rights are before needs are before wants. Before you act consider what is really the goal. Does your path to success infringe on other peoples rights? Does it fulfill a need? Maybe next time we can address lack of teaching involving critical or logical thought and the art of debate and salesmanship.

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