Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you agree that Americans’ right to say “one nation under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance should be protected?
- Do you agree that English should be the official language of government?
- Do you agree that the death tax should be abolished and families should be protected from the IRS’s forcing them to sell their family business or family farm?
- Do you believe that American workers should have the right to a secret ballot when voting whether to unionize their workplace?
- Do you believe that there is too much special-interest spending and that the budget should be balanced by controlling spending and not by raising taxes?
- Do you believe that science and technology can create new methods for improving the environment without hurting the economy?
- Do you believe that there are too many lawsuits and that too much money goes to personal injury lawyers?
- Do you believe you should have the right to know price and quality before you make decisions about your health care?
- Do you believe we must do better at educating our young people so America can remain the most productive and strongest country in the world?
- Do you believe that government bureaucracy is amazingly slower and less effective than all the modern technology we currently enjoy, from ATMs to the internet to modern sophisticated information systems?
If you agree with most of these propositions, then Solutions Day is the day for you.
Solutions Day Is September 27
In six months we are going to have a very exciting and historic event.
On September 27, the anniversary of the Contract with America, we will have the first annual “Solutions Day”.
Solutions Day will be a day of citizen activism. It will be devoted entirely to positive solutions based on positive principles to enable us to transform government and public policy so America can win the future.
Solutions Day will feature an online workshop available to every American.
Since September 27 is a Thursday, we will repeat Solutions Day via the Internet on Saturday, September 29, so people who have to work can be involved.
All of the material will be stored at AmericanSolutions.com and will be available to people whenever they want to study it.
American Solutions will enable people who want to improve public policy and dramatically transform the effectiveness of government while lowering its cost to network and work with other people who share the same interests.
Why We Need Solutions Day
The challenges facing America are simply too big and too important to be solved within the current political framework.
Here are just some examples of the scale of change we need in order to be effective in the next generation:
- Developing a sound energy policy that helps the environment and the economy while increasing our national security by freeing us from dependence on dictators and Middle Eastern oil;
- Controlling the borders so we have real security from terrorists and drug dealers;
- Having a sophisticated worker-identity system that enables employers to be conveniently, accurately and rapidly sure the person they hire has legal status to work in the United States;
- Developing a learning system that works, replacing a system wherein the Detroit public schools only graduate 21% of their entering freshman on time and an African-American male who drops out of high school faces a 74% unemployment rate in their 20s and a 60% possibility of going to jail;
- Creating better jobs and more income for Americans by transforming litigation, regulation, education, taxation, health, energy and infrastructure so America can compete successfully with China and India for the next 50 years;
- Replacing bureaucracies that function so slowly and so incompetently that 18 months after Katrina, the Gulf Coast from Biloxi to New Orleans remains a mess and government remains expensive and ineffective; and
- Creating a sound Social Security system for younger Americans so they can use the power of a personal savings account to have three or four times more money in their retirement years than they will get from a government run transfer program.
Why the Current System Will Not Get the Job Done
The current political governmental system has four major flaws which block it from developing the kind of solutions we need:
First, it is dominated by daily headlines, a focus on the negative, fights rather than discussions, and sound bites and commercials so short they can’t communicate anything complex or positive.
Second, the old system simply does not have the ideas and techniques for being successful (see “Why We Know We Can Transform Government” below). Today’s politicians are trapped in old ideas, old interest groups and old bureaucracies that simply do not have the tools for solving America’s problems.
Third, consultants dominate the current system, and they are essentially technicians with very limited knowledge of fundamental issues and historic lessons. So they tend to reduce the system to clever commercials and fancy fundraising gimmicks.
Fourth, the current system focuses on the Oval Office, yet there are 511,000 elected officials in America, from school board to city council to county commission to state legislature. Real solutions have to move through all these offices, not merely the White House.
Why We Know We Can Transform Government
Think about it. All of us really live in two different worlds today.
In one world the power of modern management and modern technology increase productivity and quality every day. Your power as a consumer in this world gives you more choices of higher quality and lower cost every day.
The other world is the world of government. It is a world of massive, inflexible bureaucracy. Of waste and inefficiency. Of a lack of creativity and innovation.
In the first world we have ATMs for cash worldwide, credit card payments at self service gas stations, cell phones with cameras, and Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz so you can pick your own airline flight, payment amount and hotel 24 hours a day 7 days a week at your convenience — just to name a few. In this world, again and again, we see the power of modern technology and modern management to change and improve things.
But contrast the ability of UPS and FedEx to allow you to track your packages on the computer with the inability of the federal government to find 11 million to 13 million people who are in the United States illegally.
Contrast the ability of Wal-Mart, Target, Costco and IBM to move goods quickly, accurately and efficiently with the collapse of government in New Orleans after Katrina.
American Solutions is working to identify the systems that work and the people who know how to make them work.
Then we will network these people to mentor and help others who want to apply these systems to government at all levels so that we can bring government from a 1965 fossilized, unionized, failed bureaucratic model into a 21st Century intelligent, effective system of public service.
Why We Know Solutions Day Can Work
We have two great examples of transformation working in government in recent years.
In New York City, Mayor Rudy Giuliani introduced the CompStat (computer statistics) system of policing. With Police Chief Bill Bratton’s help, Giuliani created a modern and effective policing system. Mayor Bloomberg has continued this same general pattern.
The transformation in public safety has been astounding. New York City today is the safest big city in the United States. It is four times safer than Houston, Tex. But it required real leadership and real change to make it happen.
Similarly, the United States military has been working since 1987 on “jointness” — the capacity of the four branches to work together cohesively to achieve America’s military objectives. Today, jointness is an essential contribution to the most sophisticated system for real-time use of information and the most effective integrated application of military power in history. These lessons need to be learned, built upon, and expanded so they can be applied again and again to all levels of government — so that government can approach the quality, efficiency and productivity of the private sector world that works.
The result will be a better environment, better pubic safety, a better system of learning, a better health system, a less expensive government with lower taxes, and a stronger economy with a greater number of higher paying jobs.
Join Me in Taking the First Step to a Better America
If this sounds like something you would like to know more about, go to AmericanSolutions.com and sign up for more information and to learn more about Solutions Day and what you can do between now and September 27.
If you want to help host a workshop or otherwise participate in Solutions Day, visit AmericanSolutions.com.
Join me in taking this first step toward a better America.
P.S. — Walter Isaacson wrote a very good biography of Benjamin Franklin. Now, he has outdone himself with an even better biography of Albert Einstein. Einstein was the most influential physicist since Sir Isaac Newton and with Darwin was one of the two most influential scientists of the last 400 years. At a time when we are faced with four to seven times as much scientific innovation in the next 25 years as in the last 25 years, I highly recommend Isaacson’s Einstein as an introduction to how breakthroughs occur and how individual intellectual entrepreneurs can change just about everything. It is a fine book.
P.P.S. — My soon-to-be-released active history novel, Pearl Harbor, will describe the drastic consequences of being unwilling to come to terms with a dangerous reality. To pre-order a limited-edition, signed copy of Pearl Harbor, visit Premier Collectibles.
P.P.P.S. — In case you missed it, I wrote about the importance of learning English in order to pursue happiness in the L.A. Times this weekend. You can read it here.
P.P.P.P.S. — You are invited to join me and Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry for a discussion focused on global climate change and the environment. You can view the webcast on demand beginning at 9:00 pm EDT on Tuesday, April 10, at AmericanSolutions.com