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Democrat policies nurture the growth of big, big business

To The Daily Sun,

Trust in government has slumped to near record lows. The one question we should be asking every presidential candidate is, "What are you going to do to reform government to make it more effective and cost far less?"

According to a Pew research poll, 74 percent of Americans rate government just fair or poor at running its programs. Another Pew poll indicates 75 percent of Americans believe government will do the right thing just some of the time — or never. The last poll suggests Americans believe Washington wastes 51 cents of every dollar it spends.

These poll numbers represent an indictment against government ability to do anything right. This country should be screaming its lungs out for a real government reform candidate. That surely is not Hillary or Jeb.

The true government reformer would have plenty of fodder to work with. They could start with the $700 billion already on the books in unpaid taxes, delinquent debts and over payments to individuals and government contractors. Many experts believe we could cut the government payroll by 10 percent, and the contractor payroll 15 percent by simply updating the antiquated technology that infects government from the FAA to Homeland Security.

Can anyone forget the Obamacare roll-out catastrophe that cost taxpayers hundreds of millions. It illustrates the point perfectly. If you want "Three Stooges" incompetence, put the federal government in charge. Excessive costs and bungling are irrelevant because government has your wallet as an open money pit to pay for its endless boondoggles.

Funniest of all, when business screws up like government, government demands it must be in control of it. Government obstructs modernization because improved efficiency shrinks its size and power. Every government employee from Obama to the congressional building janitor obstruct anything that might shrink government or its cost that is killing main street paying for it.

What has the massive explosion of government over the past 50 years bought us? Record debt, flourishing inequality, entrenched long-term poverty, steadily declining family incomes , a shrinking middle class, a frustrated lower class, a deteriorating black culture with the rich richer than ever, all tied to total collusion between big business and ever more in in your face, in your life, BIG government. Freedoms are fewer, taxes are prolific and higher while government more dysfunctional than ever, as the electorate spews heated venom at each other. This, after a half century of non stop growth of government.

The progeny of big government, big business. You can't name an industry today where the top 10 companies don't have a larger market share than they did 20 years ago. Big government's rise has grown hand-in-hand with big businesses rise. They monopolize the country together. What's good for big government is almost certainly good for big business. Every new government regulation becomes a new hurdle that keeps competitors out, making the already big, even bigger, and stronger.

Democrats say they hate big business, but their every policy nurses the growth of big business with milk from breasts the size of Mount Everest. Big government loves big business because they are much easier to control and collude with.

The passage of Obamacare has spewed more consolidation producing more health care behemoths in the past four years than took place in the previous 100 years. Two of the largest health insurers in America Anthem and United Healthcare are now trying to buy their slightly smaller rivals, Cigna and Humana. All deals in the multibillions.

Every Main Street clinic has been bought by the local hospital. The local hospital is then bought by the regional chain. Then the regional chain is bought be the national chain. The big drug companies now consume all the small biotechs rather than do research. Why? Because only the huge can survive the costs associated with complying with the frontal attack leveled by big government from Obamacare.

Doctors have been turned into data automatons. The person your apt to be treated by is now is not a doctor, but a nurse practitioner because a nurse practitioner gets paid less. Guess what? Many of the health insurers are seeking 10 percent to 30 percent increases in premiums for 2016. Obamacare did nothing except put the cost of health care for the less fortunate on to Main Street while while it will create 10 giant companies in health care that government will declare too big to fail so they can demand control over every aspect of their businesses the way they do big banks.

Screaming they must do it to protect Americans from unscrupulous big business which government created and wants. Time to wake up America.

Tony Boutin
Gilford

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E. Scott Cracraft - The Walmartizaton of higher education

One has to laugh when one reads that "liberal, socialist, anti-American, tenured radicals" have taken over American higher education. Actually, our institutions of higher learning are coming more and more under the control of autocratic and bureaucratic administrators, often with backgrounds in business, who are forcing our colleges to adopt a "corporate" model. Some have called this the "Walmartization of higher education." One would think this "business" model would actually please many conservatives!
A look at the facts shows that "tenured" academic positions have become much less common in the last two decades. Statistics show that up to 75 percent of college professors are adjunct instructors with little hope of achieving full-time status with any benefits, much less "tenure". While adjunct instructors may teach the same load as full-time instructors, they are compensated less and some actually qualify for public assistance!
It is no secret that colleges across the country want to eliminate their full-time faculty and to replace them with poorly-compensated adjuncts. Some colleges try to accomplish this through attrition/retirement. In some cases, administrators permit work environments that drive professors to quit or retire early. In other cases, highly competent, long-serving full-time instructors are simply replaced with adjuncts.
While there is certainly a place for adjuncts and many are certainly highly committed educators, the downgrading of full-time positions has negative effects upon higher education. These include less time spent with students and, since adjuncts are often looking for full-time jobs, there is understandably less commitment to the college.
Many perpetuate the myth that college academics — and educators in general — are "underworked and overpaid". This disrespect for the teaching profession is echoed by many politicians as well as by educational bureaucrats, many of whom have spent little time in a classroom but who earn huge salaries because of their "business expertise". The management style of many administrators is "top down" and even autocratic, with little regard for the input of faculty and staff members who for years have served students and built our colleges. In addition, there is a growing trend where the "bottom line", slick salesmanship and appearances are more important than quality. This can only lead to the further "dumbing down" of higher education.
Meanwhile, students pay outrageously high tuition and take out loans they will spend years paying back while the role of the instructor is degraded and the administrators pay themselves larger salaries. This is part of the so-called "business model" in higher education. Some administrators even call students "customers" and courses "products". As in corporate culture, the CEOs and other top managers of our colleges and universities expect salaries much, much higher than the average employee as well as such "perks" as free housing, annuities, club memberships, and company cars. Of course, in some places, the athletic directors and coaches make even more than the administrators!
Three decades ago, it was possible for a student to finance a college education with high school savings, perhaps some family contribution, and student and summer jobs. There was a time when, in some states, community college courses were free or at very low cost.
Those who support this corporate model are going to blame faculty and collective bargaining for the rising cost of education. Administrators often cite a "lack of funding". While it is true that legislatures are giving less to public education it is equally true that more and more administrative staff is being hired at salaries much higher than any instructor. Instead of investing in good faculty, they invest in more educational bureaucrats, buildings or in highly experimental programs designed to turn colleges into "degree mills". While it is public money being used, there is sometimes a woeful lack of oversight. Perhaps tax dollars are being misspent but who is doing the misspending?
And, why do lawmakers not see education and keeping good, loyal instructors as a sound investment? They claim they value education but actions "speak louder than words".
Public education is not a business. It is a service that should be available to all. Education is already free through the university level in many countries. A fraction of what we have spent on the military in the last decade could pay off all student loans and give several years of free higher education for America's students. Surely, quality education is also part of "national security".

(Scott Cracraft is a U.S. citizen, taxpayer, voter, veteran, and resident of Gilford.)

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