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By Marty Nemko

I know that politicians are supposed to be upbeat on America, but if I am to be honest with you, I'm worried about America.

And if I am elected president, I'll particularly worry on your behalf about nine things, and here are my thoughts on what I would do about each:

I worry about our jobs. How can we keep America employed when, in our global economy, employers can hire people overseas for 80% less, fewer benefits, and with fewer regulations. Of course, there are obvious approaches to creating jobs such as carefully reviewing regulations to reassess their cost-benefit. But here are two other ideas I believe would create large numbers of new good jobs. One is entrepreneurship education. Instead of requiring all high school students to learn things they're unlikely to ever use--for example, quadratic equations, the intricacies of the periodic table of the elements, or the vagaries of the Peloponnesian Wars, I will encourage schools to teach high schoolers how to become ethical and excellent entrepreneurs--that creates jobs. A second idea I'm excited about is what I call Assist Americans. Unlike big-government approaches to job creation which, as we've seen, despite being wildly expensive, have not created quantities of good jobs, in Assist Americans, all the government would do is a PR campaign--which would cost a tiny fraction of current job creation efforts-- to encourage individuals to hire a part-time assistant: from helping with their newborn child, to a homework helper for their school-age child, to a personal assistant to do the errands and wait for the plumber, to a tech assistant to teach them how to use technology, to a patient advocate to help get the needed health care, to someone to look in on their aging parent. Assist Americans would create large numbers of rewarding jobs, jobs that are not offshoreable, with minimal use of tax dollars. I worry about our jobs and if you elect me, you and I will change things--finally.

I worry about our health care and that of our families. ObamaCare is so complicated and so overlapping in agency responsibilities, in private sector responsibilities, in patient responsibilities, that even the legislators who passed it didn't even read it. Can you just imagine what it will be like for the entire nation to implement it? Instead, I'll fight for FreedomCare, in which, yes, the truly indigent would have a basic safety net, which is both humane and save taxpayer dollars by, for example, emphasizing preventive care rather than emergency room visits and with most care provided by nurse practitioners rather than by expensive physicians. Beyond that safety net, FreedomCare would have government's involvement minimal but potent: simply to mandate that all doctors, hospitals, and so on, prominently publish their prices and their risk-adjusted success rates for the common procedures they do. That will empower you and I to make informed choices and improve quality, in contrast with ObamaCare's disincentives even if the unimaginably jury-rigged, Rube-Goldberg-machine-like ObamaCare were somehow to work. I worry about our health care, and if you elect me, you and I will change things--finally.

I worry about our schools. In a time of ever greater global competition, despite ever greater spending of your tax dollars--the U.S. ranks #1 in per-capita spending on education--our schools continue to underperform. In the latest international comparison, we tied for 23rd with Poland. In polite company, most people won't discuss all the reasons for this, but if we are to improve, discuss them we must. Just two examples: In generations past, most of our best and brightest women saw teaching as the highest-level career to which they could reasonably aspire, but today, half the students in law school, MBA programs, and medical school are women. We must attract some of those women--especially the lawyers--we have too many of those--into teaching. How will I do that if you elect me as your president? First, teacher training must be reinvented. Currently, prospective teachers must take course after course of largely real-world irrelevant theory taught by academicians who've never taught K-12, let alone been master K-12 teachers. I'd replace that absurdity with training by master teachers, in school districts, in private schools, and in new teacher training academies that private entrepreneurs would create. I'd also not allow the teachers unions to continue hurting our children. How unconscionable that the unions successfully protect even ineffective, hurtful teachers and refuse to allow the best and brightest teachers to receive merit pay, rewarded for their excellence instead of being forced to accept exactly the same pay as the worst teachers get. Why would the best and brightest women (and men) want to go into teaching when they'll never make a dime more than the worst teachers get? I worry about our schools and if you elect me, you and I will change things--finally.

I worry about war. I worry about how many wars our government has gotten us into and whether they've been worth our taxpayer dollars, not to mention that thousands of young men, yes 99% men who have died, not "men and women" as the media likes to say. Countless more soldiers are injured and with psychological scars that may hurt them and their families forever. Can we afford to continue to act like an empire, the world's policeman, at enormous financial and human cost when we are literally FOURTEEN TRILLION dollars in debt, yes, trillion with a T? Our debt is so large that for the first time in American history, Standard & Poor has lowered the outlook for the U.S.'s credit rating from stable to negative. Yes, I am aware that if we had intervened when Hitler was first coming into power in 1933, we might have prevented the Nazi Holocaust and World War II. But do military incursions into Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya rise to that level, especially with us being in such mammoth debt? Especially when radical Muslim groups use our military adventurism as a recruiting tool for terrorists to fight jihad against America, the Great Satan? And as uprisings mount in Syria, Bahrain, and Yemen, do we have a strategic or even a moral obligation to plunge yet deeper into debt to be the world's policeman in those regions and in the next regions to erupt? There are no easy answers but I promise to lead full and open, rather than ideologically stacked, discussions about such issues. I worry about war and about your tax dollars, and if you elect me, you and I will change things--finally.

I worry about your tax burden. Not just the enormous amount you pay--which IS among the world's highest when you add all taxes-- from usurious fines for a stop sign violation to crossing a bridge costing the price of a pizza. I worry about the enormous time it takes all of us to do our taxes or even to get the paperwork in order for the accountant to do our taxes. I worry that while big corporations have high-powered attorneys to keep their taxes low or zero, you and I don't. And I worry about our metastasizing, tax-eating government that gets ever bigger, with ever more expensive and contradictory regulations that no one except a deep-pockets corporation can understand let alone abide by without being driven to its knees--no wonder small business is moribund, no wonder this is a jobless non-recovery. We need a simpler, fairer form of taxation, in which NO tax return is required--a VAT tax, which means that a fair amount is added to the price of each item we purchase. That would ensure far greater fairness, eliminate the monumental amount of time we spend in tax recordkeeping and in preparing our tax returns. And it would greatly reduce tax cheating. I worry about your tax dollars and about your time, and if you elect me, you and I will change things--finally.

I worry that we the people are devolving into we the peopleS. We are ever less of a nation, ever more a collection of balkanized so-called "communities:" the African-American community, the business community, the gay community, the environmentalist community, and so on. I worry that a people that thinks first about what's best for their community than what's wise overall is doomed to ever greater partisanship, strife, and civil unrest that endangers us all. We need less pluribus and more unum. I worry about our wonderful nation devolving into separate communities, and if you elect me, you and I will change things--finally.

I worry about America's ethics. When I read that roughly half of people lie on their resumes and income tax returns and 3/4 cheat on tests, the malfeasance of corporate executives and yes of politicians, not to mention clerics taking advantage of innocent parishioners, even children(!,) I am convinced that it is high time for America to become a Land of Ethics First. And it has to start with me. You may not agree with me on all the issues but you will ALWAYS get a straight answer from me, not the evasions for which politicians are legendary, let alone me be beholding to some special interest. Yes, I'll need to raise money to get elected but I will be utterly transparent about who is donating to me and will promise no favors to anyone for any donation no matter how large--you can go to the bank on that. But while integrity must start with me, it must not end with me. I will use this bully pulpit in nearly every talk I give, from Town Hall meetings to presidential debates, to raise the absolute criticality of ethics in the hearts and minds of the American people. A nation in which trust is not at its core is doomed to failure. I will not let America fail. I worry about ethics in America, and if you elect me, you and I will change things--finally.

I worry about the lack of ideological diversity in society's mind molders: the schools, colleges, and media. The people who run our schools and media are, by and large, people who've opted out of the real world and instead pontificate about how to fix a world they've barely experienced--few of them have spent much time in, let alone been successful in, business, a non-profit, or even in government. As a result, disproportionately affected by America's overwhelmingly leftist professoriate, journalists give us an overwhelmingly leftist-biased presentation of the issues, which of course, means that our next generation grows ever more leftist. Yes, some wisdom resides left of center, but not all of it. The best policies come from a fair-minded consideration of benevolently derived ideas from the full range of the ideological spectrum, not when ideas that dare veer right of center are censored or dubbed disparagingly as "conservative" or "the "failed, risky schemes of the Bush administration." If I am president, I can assure you that my advisors will consist of the best minds and hearts from across the ideological spectrum, so instead of fighting our problems with one arm tied behind our back, we can fight with all the brilliance and hard work we can muster, from wherever they come. I worry about the lack of ideological diversity in America and if you elect me, you and I will change things--finally.

Last but certainly not least, I worry about our children. I've already stressed how we must improve our schools, but our children will be dramatically affected by other factors. For example, our incomprehensibly large $14 trillion national debt puts our children, if not ourselves, at great risk. Like a family that lives well beyond its means, America's mammoth debt puts us at grave risk of collapse especially since a trillion dollars of our debt is owed to China, which can call in that debt at any time. I worry about our children, and if you elect me, you and I will change things--finally.

My fellow Americans, those are my nine worries for America and what I, with your help, will do about them. I ask that you consider voting for me as your candidate. I will spend every waking moment working to make our nation an America we can all be proud of and secure in. I will spare no energy, I will spare no time, I will spare no effort, but I will never spare my ethics. You and I will change things--finally.

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