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January 3, 2017

The Big Why Questions for 2017….

by Anne Paddock

With the beginning of a new year comes hope for a better future, a more enlightened approach to problem solving, and a commitment to do better. And, so we ask ourselves the questions that transcend time. Questions that hang over us like a wet towel or an annoying mosquito that never seems to go away. Questions that we try not to think about because they may be too hard to solve. Questions that are complicated, inconvenient and often easier to dismiss than figure out. But, questions nonetheless that are worthy of our time because they make us look at our ourselves and see if our actions are aligned with our beliefs. The questions also make us wonder if we are part of the problem or the solution.

Why does anyone care what the Kardashions are doing?

Why is the MDTA still working on the highways in and around Baltimore?

Why don’t we have trains that are clean and arrive on time? Trains with a cafe car that serves decent food that can be enjoyed at tables without Amtrak’s staff  backpacks, suitcases, and briefcases strewn about?

Why do people leave their personal trash in movie theaters?

Why can’t people drive on the right and pass on the left?

Why do people block intersections so that traffic comes to a complete standstill?

Why do consumers buy products with high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, and additives?

Why are scheduled programs – the news and 60 Minutes – continually delayed by football games that networks won’t take off the air on Sunday night?

Why does anyone care about another person’s tattoos or piercings?

Why do courts continually put the rights of parents ahead of what’s best for foster children?

Why do people bring their cell phones to the table and either take calls or text while having a meal?

Why are so many people focused on recording a moment instead of living the moment?

Why is the Social Security Wage Base set at $118,500 while the Medicare Tax Withholding has no maximum wage base limit?

Why are we still debating women’s reproductive rights? If you don’t believe in birth control or abortion, don’t use it or have one.

Why are states getting away with passing Ag Gag laws thereby penalizing whistle blowers instead of the perpetrators?

Why does anyone doubt the validity of global warming?

Why does anyone care what bathroom someone uses?

Why does anyone need a high-capacity magazine for a gun?

Why are there so many commercials for prescription drugs and none for broccoli, blueberries, or apples?

Why do so many people take medication instead of addressing the cause?

Why are airlines able to cancel a flight and not pay passengers a change fee but passengers have to pay airlines (except Southwest) a change fee for canceling a flight?

Why do retail stores continue to ask customers for donations to charities that have billions of dollars (i.e. St. Jude’s, The Salvation Army, World Vision)?

Why can’t the USPS office at 335 East 14th Street in Manhattan get their act together and deliver the mail, packages or at least leave a notice for a delivery attempts in the 10009 zip code area?

Why did the US government give more than $35 billion in foreign aid last year when our infrastructure is crumbling and our public schools are in vast need of improvement? Maybe we give $33 billion next year and spend a billion fixing our roads and bridges and another billion improving the public school system.

Why do we have unions in the public government sector? Unions originated in the US to improve wages, benefits, and working conditions primarily in the private sector in response to the economic, financial, and social factors of the industrial revolution when employers often took advantage of workers. It’s hard to understand how public sector employees could be taken advantage of given the labor laws in place.

Why is health insurance still tied to employers instead of a single payer system so that businesses can focus on what they do best?

Why do we allow the Senate to hold a filibuster to block the voting of a nominee to the Supreme Court?  If they don’t like the nominee, they can vote no but Senators should be held accountable to do their jobs.

Why did 90 million voters not vote in the November, 2016 elections?

My advice for 2017? Keep asking why?

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