The 'Silver Bullet' Approach to Solving Some Pressing Problems

I like to “multi-task.” That’s “newspeak” for doing more than one thing at the same time. American business is always enhancing the bottom line by improving productivity through multi-tasking, and I think it’s high time government followed suit.

President Bush is attempting to multi-task in a way. He wants “comprehensive” immigration reform, which translates to stuffing border security, guest worker programs, amnesty for illegal aliens, and the citizenship “express” lane into a single piece of legislation. I think I can do better than that. Let’s look at reforming immigration, decreasing crime rates, increasing the tax base, and providing health care benefits to some legal Americans who, coincidentally, happen to already be here. My plan will eliminate the need for 12 million illegal aliens and provide the Nation with all the labor needed to perform virtually every job American’s “don’t want to do;” at least in the short-term. In fact, we can reduce the education budget as well!

“What’s that?” you say. “How can we possibly cure all of these ills with a single plan?” “By George, it simply can’t be done!” I say it can be done. By George W. and the members of Congress at little or no cost to taxpayers. We always “stick it” to the taxpayer, and my plan will actually give them a much-deserved break by utilizing some of the “talent” for which they’ve already paid. What is this “Silver Bullet?” In a word, or more precisely a compound word, it’s dropouts.

Our education establishment is producing record numbers of high school dropouts despite having more money than at any other time in the Nation’s history. In some of our major cities, the dropout rate is better than 60% according to a study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. In fact, according to the study, Detroit’s school system boasts an astonishing rate approaching 80%! To give you some idea just how large this problem has become, it’s estimated that the National dropout rate is somewhere in the vicinity of 30%. These numbers are even higher for Latino and African-American students. Consider the amount of money being poured into schools that seem to have solved the student/teacher ratio problem in this unique fashion. Clearly, if almost half your students have decided to drop out, you should only need half as much money for the remainder. After all, the dollars spent are supposedly on students and not administrators, so a reduction in school budgets is obviously in order. While this may be unpopular with the NEA, it only makes sense.

While this idea may have a “tongue in cheek” ring to it, there are sound reasons for giving it the “old college try” (forgive the pun). Here’s the way I see it; we have upwards of a million high school dropouts annually in this country. What are these people going to do in life? With no skills and the lack of even a high school diploma, the outlook for these people is bleak indeed. This is where we fix the problem with illegal aliens. Instead of using imported labor to do the jobs “Americans don’t want to do,” let’s use the unskilled labor available right here in the good old USA. After all, 99% of the labor the illegal aliens are doing is unskilled, so our unskilled population is more than capable of doing these jobs. Think about it; less crime due to less criminals, more tax revenue as more people are working and paying taxes, fewer dollars going to empty classrooms, health benefits subsidized by employers instead of the taxpayers and last, but certainly not least, no immediate need for illegal labor.

I know there are people who’ll say this is tantamount to throwing these people into the gutter, but I say is it? It provides an otherwise unemployable individual with a steady job, a steady income and more importantly, some real-world experience. It also relieves John Q. Public of the burden of supporting these folks either at the public trough, or in jail.

What will this plan do for our Country? In the short-term it solves a number of ills as described above. However, the long-term benefits are astonishing! If high school dropouts are required by law to take one of these unskilled jobs, it will act as an incentive for them to finish high school and quite possibly go on to college. It will likely put the Nation a whole lot closer to realizing the dream of our esteemed educators, namely, a 100% high school graduation rate. Furthermore, the American taxpayer will receive 100% “bang” for each of his education dollars. Think of it, students that can actually compete with students of other nations around the world. Isn’t that a noble goal? We live in the greatest Nation the world has ever known, yet our high school students consistently finish near the bottom of the heap when compared to students in less prosperous nations. It’s time we looked to solve our problems the American way instead of using cheap illegal labor and short-changing our own citizens. Will this “silver bullet” approach work? I believe it will, if our legislators have the courage to try it. And if it works as well as I expect, than we can look to Mexico and other countries for unskilled labor when our workforce is the best educated, most highly-skilled workforce on the planet. Now that’s what I call multi-tasking.