Mark L. Hopkins: Some things make little sense

Mark L. Hopkins More Content Now

Our newspapers and TV newscasts are full of conflicts, both statistical and otherwise, some of which make no sense at all. For instance:

Congress is suffering through a depth of unpopularity unparalleled in history. A recent survey listed the approval level of Congress as being just less than 9 percent. A follow-up question asked those being polled if they planned to vote for their incumbent representatives in the next election, and 71 percent of them said yes. Presumably, there are serious problems in Congress, but they are being caused by someone else’s representatives.

For most of the past 60 years we have allowed international students to come to our universities to be educated at the highest levels. Our immigration laws say that when they have completed their academic programs they must leave the country within 60 days. Presumably, we are willing to educate the best and brightest of our neighbor countries but want to insure that they do not stay to work in the U.S. Evidently, we are protecting the job market for Americans. A notable goal for sure. This despite the fact that our unemployment problem is at the lower qualification levels. We still have difficulty filling jobs at the higher-education levels. Virtually all of these internationals would have stayed and added their expertise to our economy. Instead, they were forced to go home and develop the economies of their home countries. The result is more competition for our business and industry in the international marketplace. Do you wonder where our automobile and textile industries went?

When the Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obamacare) was before Congress in 2009, not one Republican voted for it. The Republican-dominated House of Representatives has had multiple votes to repeal it. Virtually every Republican running for election in the 2014 mid-term elections seems to be running against Obamacare and President Obama as opposed to their Democratic opposition. It is safe to say that Republicans hate Obamacare. Or is it?

In a recent poll of both Democrats and Republicans who have enrolled in Obamacare more than 85 percent of the Democrats said they are satisfied with their new coverage and 78 percent of the Republicans enrolled said the same thing. Let me restate that. Seventy-eight percent of Republicans who are actually enrolled are pleased with their new coverage. Is it possible that all Republicans don’t hate the law? Is it possible that Obamacare is and has been a political football used for the benefit of some, not so obscure, political game plan? Is it possible that if Congress and the presidency were both in the hands of the Republicans there still wouldn’t be enough votes to repeal Obamacare?

Yes, some things make little sense.

Dr. Mark L. Hopkins writes for More Content Now and Scripps Newspapers. He is past president of colleges and universities in four states and currently serves as executive director of a higher-education consulting service. Contact him at