Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Is Common Sense Dead?

People Making A Difference, Political, Quality of Life, U.S., Wisconsin

Common Sense is defined by Webster as follows:

sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts

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We seem to have lost our ability as a country to view anything from the perspective of common sense.  When was the last time that you can recall a ‘common sense’ approach to something the government was working to resolve?

If we have a budget deficit, we should stop spending.  Our state now faces at least a $3.3 billion budget shortfall in the coming biennium.  Governor-elect Walker is going to be put to the test very soon.  Will he be able to craft a real budget that calls for spending cuts where and to the degree necessary?  Will he, and the Republican-dominated Assembly and Senate, be up to the task of slaughtering some of the sacred cows that have grown fat over the years?  And then, the bigger question is: will we react as common sense adults when one of our sacred cows gets hit?

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If we can see a, so far, fool proof technique for keeping us safe while we fly, should we use that technique?  Or should we anger and frustrate the citizenry because we think we know better with degrading and not-very-practical scanning and groping?  Wouldn’t ‘common sense’ dictate that we should emulate Israel’s approach to screening passengers prior to flights instead of harassing everyone to avoid the possibility of being accused of profiling?

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If a long-time politician is found guilty of tax abuse, of not paying taxes he owes, should that politician just receive a slap on the hand and be permitted to return to his seat in Congress?  If we were to actually make an example of enough of our ‘bad actor’ politicians, might we not eliminate that problem over the long term?

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If our state and national politicians were required to abide by all the rules and regulations they establish that apply to you and me, would we have a chance of eliminating the crap-tacular rules and regulations they turn out by the hundreds?  Would we have ObamaCare if that were the case?  Would we have had to pass the bill in order to find out what was in the bill?

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If we were told we would be able to keep our health plan if we liked it, but found that that plan was being eliminated, would we think we had been bamboozled?  Or would we continue to think that our government knew what was better for us?  If we were told that by increasing health care utilization we could reduce total health care costs, would we be simple enough and gullible enough to buy into that rhetoric?

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If we saw the Post Office losing something approaching $20 billion dollars in three or so years, would we continue to throw more money at it, or would we think about other alternatives?  When we see a Netflix moving away from mailing DVDs to streaming movies, would we connect the dots and see into the future?  Would we maybe think we ought to pass this risk from government to the private sector and give it a chance to do something better?  Like maybe a UPS and FedEx solution of some kind?

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If we saw that Social Security was headed down the slippery slope to bankruptcy, would we permit our politicians to continue to use that fact to scare us into voting one way or another, or would we want solutions to be found?  If we had stood by and watched as the supposed ‘trust fund’ was raided almost before the dollars got there, would we have demanded that our government act honestly and spend within its means…and within our means?

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Common Sense is anything but common anymore.  It has become Uncommon to see common sense applied to real problems.  And that is a significant part of the problem we have today.  We appear to think that everything is much more complicated than it is.

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