Robert Sisson, 1/9/2013 [Archive]

My Kids' America

My Kids' America

By Robert Sisson

When I was mayor of a small city, I always reminded the city commission to consider the impact of our decisions on people twenty-five years down the road.Our elected leaders aren't just making decisions for us, but also for future generations. It is a humbling thought, if one has the presence of mind to think it.

With my two teenage sons in the house for two weeks over the holiday, I thought frequently about what our country would like when they are knocking on the door of middle age.I see major changes coming in two industries that will have profound impact on our lives.

The first is healthcare.With federal healthcare entitlements out-of-control, taxpayer and ratepayer subsidization of the uninsured, auto insurance policies skyrocketing with mandatory hospitalization coverage, local and state governments with unfunded commitments to employees and retirees, public schools in the same boat, and American businesses competing in a global market where the biggest players don't provide corporate healthcare benefits (or the internal bureaucracy to administer programs), I'm convinced we will have universal healthcare sooner than later.

The solution, in whatever form it takes, will have Federalist roots. States, now struggling with the double-whammy of retiree healthcare and pensions, will call on the federal government to take on national healthcare and get them off the hook. Corporate America, now struggling to implement the Affordable Healthcare Act, will join the chorus.

The second major change is distributive energy. Technology available today makes it possible for new buildings to include design elements to make them energy independent or net energy producers. In Germany, more than 50 percent of solar energy production is from private homes, small businesses, and farms. This is the ultimate "cutting out the middle man" business model.

In coming years, paint-on or architectural solar technology, personal natural gas generators, and even toaster-sized nuclear generators will make it possible for every homeowner to affordably, or even profitably, get "off the grid".Today's giant utility companies will be forced to switch their focus from generation to distribution—collecting surplus energy being produced and routing it to customers who have not yet converted or consume more energy than they produce.

Obviously, the insurance and utility industries have an economic interest in delaying or quashing any such changes.So, too, do the employees in those sectors who will see their jobs evaporating before their eyes. Both firm and employee should be thinking ahead and planning how to participate in the changing economy.

It is for that very reason that our national leaders need to openly and honestly discuss what our future might hold for us. Unfortunately, the horizon for most politicians ends at the next election date.

That's a shame for my kids' America.

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©Copyright 2013 Robert Sisson, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Rob Sisson is president of ConservAmerica, a national grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the GOP's great conservation tradition. Robert can be reached at rsisson@conservamerica.org.

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.



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