26 December 2010

Made in the USA: Three solid ways to start re-defining America as the Dominant Superpower

I:  Re-Calibrate the Unemployment Benefits Program

Attack the handout attitude and entitlement generation(s) head on.  The government needs to stop tacking on additional weeks that unemployment is provided for – pick a duration, whether it is 26, 30, or 40 weeks.  Stop creating extensions and just agree on a timeframe.  Those that are unemployed will have to finally take other jobs.  Regardless of how bad the economy is, there ARE jobs out there.  Many of the positions that existed during the last bubble may never exist again.  So, why should the rest of the taxpayers pay for the stubbornness of those that are waiting for positions that are not coming back for a very long time or opportunities that they may just be under-qualified for?  What ever happened to putting your head down, working hard, and moving up?

The Unemployment Benefits Program that provides money to those out of work should change in the following two major ways:

Community Service

All recipients should be mandated to complete 15 hours or more of community service within the last 28 days.  This requirement would be ongoing and recurring to require a new contribution of 15 hours monthly.  The time also needs to be reported and signed off to prevent false information, and would be required until they are off of unemployment.  Imagine the results and potential turnaround?  The current 15 million people that are unemployed would be dedicating 15 hours a month totally over 50 million hours a week to local organizations going forward.  The impact would be tremendous!  The networking alone would reduce the numbers on unemployment by connecting those looking with leads back into the workforce.  And the amount of service that would delivered to all of the good causes…America would genuinely be having a rebirth.

Enforcing mandatory community service would also drastically reduce the number of those that are simply cheating the system or that are just lazy.  Think about all of those individuals that are working ‘under the table’ type jobs.  It would no longer be as easy to work those non-reported jobs AND donate time.  Then there are those that are too lazy.  This group would either have to comply and donate their time to benefit their community like everyone else or have to step it up and finally get a job.

For those that are financially de-motivated because collecting their unemployment allocation pays more than jobs they would land – well, at least they are donating their time while trying to ‘beat the system’.

And for those that are legitimately unemployed - is 15 hours a month of volunteering really that awful?

Drug Testing
A real change that needs to be implemented is drug testing.  Americans receiving free money to help them while they are unemployed should be drug tested with the same strict tactics of those that have judge sentenced drug testing.  Got a problem with that?  Don’t take the handout!  Violation of civil rights?  Too bad.

II:  Launch Independence Month
There are currently well over 50 awareness months, weeks, and days that are recognized in the United States.  Why not create one more awareness situation to boost our Independence Day, July 4th, with an entire Independence Month?  The theme of all of July would be to advocate supporting local businesses and buying goods Made in the USA.  This component of recreating American dominance would be by no means a boycott of foreign goods or large organizations, but merely going back to our roots.

One guaranteed way to improve the U.S. economy and create jobs is to buy goods that were designed, created, shipped, and sold here within our borders by other Americans.

There would be no mandate to be absolute with this theme of buying all American - just to take recognition and adjust your decision making process similar to how we do with Breast Cancer Awareness Month or Earth Day.  Have Americans think about their decisions, reflect on their history, forecast the futures of their grandchildren, and support the cause for the whole month.

The results would surely be staggering.  Americans would eventually change after instilling this behavior amongst family, friends, co-workers, and peers to recognize who and what you are supporting with the purchase of goods and services.

III:  Fast Track Approval for Infrastructure Programs

This tactic of the larger initiative to re-establish American dominance would be a bit more challenging.  Initiating and fast tracking Infrastructure projects would make our country better as well as providing more jobs.  Even though this could be viewed as a temporary solution, the results become building blocks.  Not only would people be placed with new jobs to help build out or improve bridges, roads, railways, bus stations, etc..  The areas where travelers will end up in transit would improve over time.  Citizens would be able to travel safer and easier from place to place increasing the need for businesses and homes in both destinations:  to and from.

These ideas offer solid solutions to accelerate our country back to the top and Americans would be without a doubt more engaged with society after the implementation of these program modifications.  Enforcing volunteering would begin to re-install a sense of community pride.  Anyone not in agreement with this tradeoff should be embarrassed to participate in the unemployment program.  Improving the country’s infrastructure would minimally deliver necessary improvements to our great country.  And finally, solidifying the Independence Month & Made in the USA viewpoints will certainly put the right foot forward to getting Americans on the same page to solve our own problem with our economy.


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Reshaping of the Big Ten Confernence

A little tardy to the party, but reinforcement can only do just that - reinforce the point.  The new Big Ten Conference Names and logos stink.  Ten or Twenty years ago...fine.  But for 2010 and the dollars they probably shelled out, no thanks.   The 2010 regular season performance of the NCAA Big Ten football teams really put them back on the map in the BCS conversation.  Not the #1 conference but finally the ability to have them in the conversation again.

The new logo

The Big Ten changed their logo from the creative Big Ten title hiding the number Eleven in the negative space in between the letters to the newer two in one "Big" "10" combination.  It retains a level of creativity, but added a level problem solving to understand the full logo.  No harm for the college graduate audience, but not much of a comparison to the revamped PAC-12 shield that will be going live.  Here are some links to more information about the changes:  Big Ten Artist comments and Big Ten artwork.

The new divisions

This is the one that demands a revision as the logo will probably grow on the fans.  What ever happened to North, South, East, and West groupings?  And who possibly came up with Legends and Leaders?  Was this some joke towards the teams who are in the Leaders conference?  Sure.  Leaders is an admiral title to be branded with, but compared to Legends it doesn't really match up.  What were these people thinking?