SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

May 22, 2014

Anderson: Some solutions to last week's fears

We should impart our courage, and not our despair, our health and ease, and not our disease, and take care that this does not spread by contagion.

— Henry David Thoreau

Part 2.

Sorry about last week, readers. Hope my list of scary things, from the national debt to antibiotic-resistant germs to the electromagnetic pulse that will wipe out modern civilization, didn’t keep anyone awake at night. I promised to share some solutions to them this week.

Debt, personal: As my dad taught me, never borrow for anything but essentials, like your home and maybe a car. If you run out of education money, borrow only what you feel confident you’ll have a job to pay back; otherwise drop out until you’ve saved up for another semester.

Debt, national: Support politicians who recognize debt as a threat to our economy and your loved ones’ futures, who pledge to cut the total debt and unfunded liabilities at all levels of government. Prepare for the serious cuts in services that will be unavoidable come the next 2008-like crisis, when everything that is too big to fail, fails.

Disease. Don’t overdo antibiotics: be sure to take the full amount when they are properly prescribed, but you really don’t need to wash your hands with them unless you have a cut. Democrat politicians should stop demonizing the drug companies who look for new treatments and carefully monitor companies that do research with tax dollars. Be aware that illegal immigration bypasses the vaccinations and medical exams required of people who come here legally — one reason pertussis and tuberculosis are becoming a concern again in the U.S.

Can’t find good news about the declining bat population: “The Forest Service estimates that the die-off from white-nose syndrome means that at least 2.4 million pounds of insects (1.1 million kg) will go uneaten and become a financial burden to farmers, possibly leading to crop damage or having other economic impact in New England. ... Comparisons have been raised to colony collapse disorder, another poorly understood phenomenon resulting in the abrupt disappearance of Western honey bee colonies” (Wikipedia).

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