Stating the obvious

Published 12:12 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Sometimes, the conversations around societal change in the United States can feel circular.

There is a need: more accessible health care, broadband, greater funding for public education, affordable housing. People point out the need. Legislators take the cases before the general assembly. Private companies make pacts, set up initiatives to bring economic development or technological advances to the region.

The initiatives, while promising, do not quite deliver what’s needed. The solutions aren’t quite enough.

Perhaps, on the state and federal level, we complicate the solution. Maybe the solutions are simple.

That was the case made by Senator Mark Warner when visiting leadership in Lunenburg County on Friday.

Addressing issues in health care, broadband, school funding and economic development, county officials and Warner also discussed possible solutions.

What seemed to stand out the most during the event was that people weren’t afraid to name the problems at hand, and weren’t afraid to call things what they were.

“Stupid” was a term used to describe one particularly frustrating incident when officials with Lunenburg County Public Schools applied for grant funding to replace old buses, only to find out, according to county officials, that their buses were too old to be replaced.

Warner argued that recent initiatives to bring broadband to the region did not deliver on the promises made.

Affordable housing and high health care costs remains an issue, situations that are morally wrong, and seem to make little sense on a financial or economic level.

For some of the solutions, county officials and Warner seemed to state the obvious: To grow a good economy, and to create a viable job market, health care system and public school system, you invest in people and invest in communities. You take care of them.

Whether legislators, our government, business representatives, county leaders, the media, all of us, collectively, can break down what seems ridiculous to pursue simple solutions, remains to be seen.