Privatization and Prioritization

Well, tonight (8/29/12) is the big night for vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan, who will deliver his speech at the convention in Tampa, Florida, where they have escaped the worst of Isaac’s wrath.

Ryan has been criticized for authoring a budget that would drastically curb the national debt, but would end Medicare as we know it and ultimately privatize Social Security.  As a fellow Republican conservative, I realize the need for this and the respective sacrifices, but as a member of God’s human race, also concerned about the impact on the elderly and disabled.  Yes, Mr. Ryan’s plan is to not touch these entitlements to anyone fifty-five (55) and older.  But as Murphy (Murphy’s Laws) once wrote, two things you never want to see manufactured are sausages and laws.  After 535 senators and congressmen have their hands in it, there is no guarantee the final polished version of the bill that hits the president’ desk (regardless Romney or Obama) will ensure that.  Also, there are many of my fellow baby boomers in their early fifties that have hit hard times and may not be able to make it on savings and 401Ks alone, especially if they got laid off and had to change jobs (if lucky enough to find another job).  And remember the obligation in the preamble of the Constitution that states promote the general welfare; written long before the creation of the modern welfare state we now scorn, but stating an obligation to care for those who are completely unable to care about themselves.

If I had a chance to converse with Mr. Ryan (or Mr. Romney for that matter), I would like to state the slight ridicule with respect to having privatized Medicare and Social Security services, and yet, have a government operated railroad, we know as Amtrak.  Would it not make more sense to first privatize Amtrak before exploring privatizing social services?  In Great Britain right now, British Railways, the railroad owned by the British government, is now being challenged by Richard Branson’s company, Virgin Atlantic, a popular airline that is now offering rail service as well.  It seems to me Delta or United could diversify and offer rail service in addition to airline service; and by the way, that would create jobs.  Furthermore, instead of those Kawasaki built M-8 rail cars that are taking over on the Metro North New Haven Line I use to commute to work (which are by the way nice cars, but made in Japan), Boeing or Lockheed-Martin who manufacture jumbo jets for the afore mentioned U.S. airlines, could manufacturer the rail cars and keep them current, comfortable, and safe; once again creating jobs.  A Montreal, Quebec Canada based company knows as Bombardier is currently the only manufacturer in the world that makes both trains and planes.  When I ride the diesel powered Waterbury branch of the Metro North in the off-season, many of those rail cars are made by Bombardier.  The Bombardier concept can serve as a prototype for how the afore mentioned jumbo jet manufacturers to set up their train division while Virgin Atlantic would be the airlines’ prototype for their diversification.

I am suggesting we see how much money the federal government can save, and subsequently curb the deficit by privatizing Amtrak before encroaching on the so called third rail of politics.


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