Monday, October 13, 2008

The One Where I Fix America

It occurs to me that I’m always pointing my finger and rarely providing answers, so I thought I might take a few moments of time and go ahead and fix America. So, sit back, relax and enjoy ultimate solution to all of our problems.

Our problems aren’t really anything more than problems of perception. You see, we still think we’re a country that our founding fathers could take pride in, but the truth is that we haven’t been that in quite a long time. So, the first step in my solution is to give up the notion that we’re somehow above anything or anyone. We’re really not that good at all.

Problem number 1 is a problem of leadership and that is actually a fairly easy problem to solve. Al McGuire, the famous basketball coach once stated that world is run by C students and he’s absolutely right. The problem is that the pay for our leadership positions in this country can’t attract any of the really smart people. This is one of the perceptions you’ll have to overcome. The most intelligent of our countrymen are not making the noble sacrifice to spend their entire lives serving the better good. They’re busy making more money than they could ever use. We get stuck with leaders for whom the salary is one they aspire to earning.

Patriotism is a nice concept and all and sure, we all claim to be patriotic, but when just a miniscule portion of the population turns out to vote, that whole idea of patriotism goes out the window. We aren’t a country of patriots—unless you count a 2 week period of time after a war starts or a terrorist attack occurs. We’re a country of opportunists. Unless there is a specific benefit to us, we don’t do a damn thing.

So, the key is to pay our leaders such a ridiculous amount of money that the smartest among us would be crazy not to be involved in getting into politics. Let’s get rid of the C students we have running the country and get some damn scholars running the show! It seems kind of foolish to put someone only making $400,000 dollars a year in charge of a budget that’s in the billions. Let’s put someone who’s making millions of dollars a year in charge of things.

And not just the President, because you typically have to put in some time in the Senate or as a governor before you can become president, we should boost those salaries up too.

We can’t ignore that we’re a capitalist nation, and we can’t expect the kind of people who make millions of dollars a year to take a huge pay cut just so that our country can function properly. We’ve created this monster, now we have to pay it. That’s how things work around here. I’m not saying that capitalism is a bad thing, quite the opposite actually, but if we want to attract candidates who are actually intelligent, competent and motivated, we need to pay them their fair market value. And on top of a ridiculous salary, there should be an even more ridiculous bonus system in place. Reach a goal, keep a campaign promise, fix something that’s broken like health care and your salary just keeps going up, up, up.

Make the office of President one attractive to the people who really run the country, the captains of big business. Sure, they’ll have the interests of big business foremost in their minds, but this is another area where we have to give up our delusions because the fact of the matter is that our government already caters to big business more than it does to us. Let’s just stop pretending otherwise huh?

The other major change that needs to be made is that we have to make our government profitable. The only way we’ll ever see significant tax deductions and actually get to spend the money we earn is if the government—led now by A students—is able to earn it’s own money.

How will the government earn money you ask? Simple. Naming rights. We are nothing if not sheep that are easily manipulated by marketing and branding. Our stadiums, our sports teams, our television shows, it’s all brought to you by someone. The government is talked about on nightly news shows, on the internet, in the newspapers. The exposure of our government is huge! So why not make some money on that popularity?

Imagine the possibilities! Every time the president is mentioned, instead of just saying, President Washington, you’d have to say, President Washington, brought to you by Budweiser. Imagine the Coca-cola Senate and the Gillette House of Representatives. Imagine the revenue generated in war time if we changed the name of the Third Infantry Division to the Pepsi Infantry Division? The war would fund itself—and our soldiers could actually have the equipment they need!

And it doesn’t have to stop there! Think of all the federal holidays! Take a day off when General Electric presents Martin Luther King Jr Day! Take another day off when Chevy presents Christmas! Boeing presents Labor Day! Visa presents Independence Day! We have a ton of money available to us in advertising rights that we aren’t tapping into here! Sure, it’s true, it doesn’t look good when the politicians have corporate sponsorship, but again this is a matter of perception. They already have corporate sponsorship, we just choose not to acknowledge it and therefore we don’t get paid for it.

So, let’s stop pretending and start dressing our politicians like they’re NASCAR drivers! There’s money in it for us!

The way I figure it, once we have money and have smart people managing it, all the rest will fall into line. When the United States Marines as Presented by Blue Cross-Blue Shield invade some country, don’t fret over the rights and wrongs of war. Be happy that your country just made a mint that they can turn around and use to make healthcare affordable to everyone!

Look, the ideal isn’t to have a completely unethical nation, but to think that we’re anything other than that is just ignoring the obvious. So, let’s get off our high horse and truly embrace the way we’ve sold out. Let’s acknowledge that cash is king and put this country to work for ourselves. Here you go. This is a way to get smart people running the show and a way, to pay them and to make our government work without dipping into our own pockets.

It’s simple. It’s genius. You’re welcome. That is all.


PenguinsWalkAmoungUs said...

The problem I see with this is one of voting. Sure, the smart people would run, but would they have the charisma to win? People don't vote on qualifications. So basically, you'd get a C student with an inflated salary because the A students usually just aren't as appealing to the masses.

Anonymous said...

I think they implemented this system of government in the movie Idiocracy. You end up with a professional athlete as president and people watering their crops with sports drinks.