Talk of the Nation had a discussion on the radio while I was applying sunscreen for a morning run.
Some good arguments regarding the work of the ‘The Roberts Court’ were made as I moved to see how much gravel of all sizes had lodged into the above running shows that I purchased in Ankeny, Iowa during my road campaign in 2011. These shoes were a relatively new design, so despite not having much material the shoe was expensive, but the sports gear shop was going out of business and had them discounted substantially. I also have some of the five-toe compartment shoes that tread with not much more than a flexible vibram sole on the bottom so I was interested in Nike’s take on the evolution of running shoes that hope to free mobility for our feet.
Nike generally has good designs. I hated their shoes in the late 1980s when I seemed they started cutting corners with fashion statements. That’s when first tried New Balance shoes. It the late 1990s it got popular and profited from fashionable options. Both companies corrected their ships when their brands became more about looks than performance.
As you can also see from the photo, despite Nike’s many years of design and experience with road surfaces, they let the goal of chasing the market get in the way of smart sole design. I also let myself get blindsided by the new different in this alternative too. I saw smooth grassy fields when I imagined wearing these shoes. I mostly run on gravelly trails. Government does as well.
I remember noting that the waffle maker was used to make the first Nike shoes in the 1970s. The result was an inverse of this pictured grid. The holes were not grooves to trap rocks, but were the squares where they can bounce off most of the time.
Healthcare is no uniform grassy field. That’s why we need the Supreme Court to rule against the insurance mandate.
We need to design a system that helps consumers mold the presentation and cost of care options. Over time our system has become the inverse of what is needed.
Healthcare as it is practiced in the USA does not most often promote healthcare. It’s sickcare. The President and Congress hammered out a new agenda with hopes to cure the woes of our healthcare system, but its treatment will merely alleviate some of the short term symptoms of bigger pathology in the system. It will exacerbate long term weaknesses in cost control and quality. Patients, care providers, insurers, taxpayers, morals, and morale will suffer.
We got the package because the executive and legislative branches recognized a big problem of spiraling health care costs and the noble goal of universal coverage. Their plan; however, only modestly tweaked the healthcare’s coverage design to minimizes the most flagrant symptom of the disease – insurance company bullying of patients with pre-existing conditions. But the package will exacerbate the underlying disease in design of the industry’s producer and consumer incentives while masking over this one symptom.
If we continue implementing the dumb design we can now call Obamacare we’ll just pick up more gravel to weighs us down while we trot along thinking we have a newer design anyone can run with. That gravel will aggravate us and bore holes in all the floors walked on. That’s why we need the judicial leadership.
An elected legislature is prone to mandating bad designs as public opinions gradually shift with other shifts in our social welfare structures. Thankfully, the base government design in the USA is for the branches of government to check and balance each other. The primary check by the judicial branch is its responsibility to maintain rule of law’s purity when electoral trends distort the power the other two branches are proffering. I understood this in Coach Garret’s Civics class in 8th grade.
It’s hard for me to understand how anyone growing up in a state with elected judges would be able to understand checks and balances. Tenure for a judge is the only possible way they can help right a wayward ship misguided by short term chaos in the two branches more accountable to popular opinion.
Unlike university professors, who often get lazy because of tenure, judges and justices face pressure from the public despite the fact that they are not elected. They can keep their mind and decisions focused on the long term good, but they will bend their ears to consider what public opinion thinks.
The discussion on the radio also mentions how the general public opinion of the Supreme Court is declining and whether they should care. One voice on the show noted that the decline follows our overall declining opinion of government. I agree with this comment. If its true, the Supreme Court should use it as another signal that the time is appropriate to correct the trajectory of that curve. They should do it for the entire government’s sake.
The judicial branch is best equipped to use perspective powered by the tenure of its leaders to correct a dying government’s course. It’s restraint can be that it will always follow logical principles and design simplicity over politics. This will save the other branches when they distort their activism in illogical ways or in ways toxic to the intent of the constitutions goal to distribute power and enhance diversity of community through a republic and the expression of greater power through individual freedom and responsibility.
You might also like the story the radio show did immediately after, I’ll listen later I deeply empathize as someone who has struggled to become true to who I am, a republican outcast activist.