No Patient, Depositor, or Client Left Behind!

I have another modest proposal.

You realize that in 3 years, under No Child Left Behind, every single student in every single sub-category in every single public school in America must be “proficient” in both math and reading, or else their schools will be labeled as “failing”, with the faculty and staff getting the axe, and the school being turned over to private entrepreneurs, who will do no better.

So my proposal is that we do the same sort of 100% proficiency test to every other area of American life.

For example: there are entirely too many cancer patients and patients suffering from other diseases who don’t get better, but, in fact, die while under the care of their doctors and hospitals. This is unconscionable. Why, many other nations spend much less per capita on health care, and their citizens live considerably longer than Americans.

Since this obviously means that doctors are sitting around doing crossword puzzles while their patients are hemorraging to death, and it’s almost impossible to fire board-certified doctors and nurses, then we need to have a No Patient Left Behind Act. The measurement is simple. We measure the total number of patients and the total number of patient deaths; the ratio of deaths to patients must fall every two years in an publicly measurable manner; and statistics will be published for every single doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or hospital that accepts federal money . After 12 years, the number of patient deaths should fall to zero. Just as with the public schools, if there are ANY patients who are seen, operated on, prescribed a medication, or otherwise come in contact with any medical professional who die within 60 days of said interaction, then that hospital or medical professional is a FAILURE and needs to be replaced with someone with alternative qualifications.

Similarly, with lawyers. Way too many clients suffer irreparable losses because they are found guilty in court or lose the lawsuits in which they are either the plaintiff or the defendant. This is inexcusable. There are plenty of other nations that have way fewer lawyers per 10,000 population, and their people are much happier. So, we need to pass a No Client Left Behind Act. Every single client who comes in contact with an attorney who is registered with his or her State bar will have his or her outcome measured. If the client was successful in his/her lawsuit, or was acquitted by a jury or judge, or had all charges thrown out by the court, then that counts as a success. Otherwise, it’s a failure on the part of the lazy, incompetent, Bar Association-protected sleazy lawyer, who is purposely trying to screw his or her client at the expense of the public. (I bet those public defenders are the very worst! Just think! They are given many MINUTES – sometimes even HOURS – to prepare the defense of their indigent clients, and they STILL lose most of the time.) Plea-bargains count as losses. In the first year, any lawyer whose win/loss record is less than 60% will face having his/her name published in the local newspaper. Eventually, any attorney whose record is anything less than 100% will be disbarred, fired, and replacement by a student intern.

Let’s not forget the police and the judges. In this country, there are way too many crimes that are not solved. We need a No Crime Left Behind Act. You’ve probably guessed the eventual outcome: in about a decade, if there are ANY unsolved felonies OR misdemeanors in a state, county or city, then the entire police force and judicial corps (including judges, bailiffs, sherriffs and so on) will be fired and replaced with someone who isn’t tainted by actually having some sort of legal certification …

Oh, what about politicians? Many members of the public complain that the politicians that they elect either abandon their campaign promises, don’t return constituents’ phone calls, don’t satisfy every single constituent complaint, and are unable to get legislation passed that they introduced.The  No Constituent Left Behind Act would produce measurable data that accounts for all of those categories, and in about a decade, if there is a single broken campaign promise, a single nonreturned constituent phone call, a single non-fixed ticket, or a single piece of legislation that isn’t passed, then the politician will be immediately turned out of office and replaced by … umm … not sure whom.

And how about investors and folks with stock market shares, or deposits in banks, savings accounts, and so on? These days, their rates of return are unconscionably low, maybe only 2 to 5 percent!This is inexcusable! The No Depositor Left Behind Act will measure the annual rate of return for each and every single depositor whose deposit is insured by the FDIC or whose bank or credit union has been bailed  out by TARP, or whose corporation gets tax benefits from the IRS. For the first two years, the annual rate of return needs to be at least 10%. After 2 more years, this rises to 20%. Finally, after a decade, the annual rate of return needs to be 100% for each and every single depositor, or else the corporation, S&L, or bank will be taken over, the board of directors and CEO and all of its staff fired,  and all of its remaining assets distributed among the shareholders and creditors.

Let’s not forget software engineers and database programmers. There are way too many “bugs” in software, and the manuals aren’t readable. So, we need the No Bug Allowed To Survive Act. As you probably guessed, if after a decade, there are any poorly documented or buggy pieces of software produced by any corporation or individual programmer, then the entire corporation will be dissolved, all of its programming functions will be replaced by 10-year-old American idiot savants and low-paid programmers in India and China, and all of Bill Gates’ money will be distributed to the poor and helpless.

Have I left any categories out? If so, please feel free to add some more!

Published in: on April 29, 2011 at 10:18 pm  Comments (13)  

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Fantastic! I have printed this and placed copies in my colleagues’s mailboxes. Actually, I think some of your modest proposals are quite logical – particularly the ones about software and Congress.

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  2. wonderful. This should have been written long ago. I hope it gets wide circulation.

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  3. How about No Crime Victim Left Behind? Because, we all know that the police, sheriffs and other patrolling entities have nothing to do but eat donuts or pull over undeserving speeders when they could otherwise be out there fighting crime and warding off evil. 🙂

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  4. You make,with non-analogous examples, the same point George Will makes, which is that NCLB is not conservative because it is Utopian. Indeed, it was written by Ted Kennedy. The notion that everyone can be proficient is absurd. So is the notion that every worker is worth being paid “a living wage” or that everyone can have a “good job” or that everyone should have/can have a college degree.

    That said, every single example here is not logical. There is no need to pass a NCLB type law because the market (and the legal system) regulates those industries. Bad lawyer? You won’t have any clients. You may well also catch a malpractice suit or a criminal investigation (See, Phillips and Associates of AZ (managing partner’s license suspended,) and Lerner and Rowe (fed investigation in Nevada). The market will punish you and you’ll be relegated to ambulance chasing. Bad doctor? (A) you won’t have patients and/or (B) you’ll catch a med malpractice suit(s).

    BTW, that statistic about people living longer is annoying. American’s murder each other in far larger numbers than any other Western nation. So our lifespans are shorter. Remove all the murder, and we’re at or near the top. It’s a lie.

    Public defenders are not a fair example. Because the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” it is extremely rare for innocent people to get convicted in our system. It is far more common for innocent people to walk. Public defenders lose a lot because when they go to trial, it’s because the prosecutor usually knows he can win.

    Got bugs in your software? You won’t be around long or your business will suffer. Example? Look at the rise of Mac. Mac was a joke when I was younger. Then people started noticing their operating system wasn’t all wacked up like PC.

    The investor argument doesn’t. There is “No Investor Left Behind.” It’s called a savings account with $250,000 or less in it that is federally insured by the FDIC. Perhaps you forgot TARP where, although investors took it bad, they were not cleaned out by bankruptcy. Or perhaps you’re referring to the GM bailout – where the stockholders AND investors were cleaned out, and their money given to the unions!! Well, that will have to be taken up with President Obama.

    Nevertheless, outside of those examples, my point remains the same – generally speaking, if you don’t perform for your investors, they have the option to leave you and you’ll go away. The market regulates performance.

    Politician point also does not add up. If a politician breaks campaign promises or his constituents are pissed, they’ll throw him out. Ask the 2010 Democrats.

    In all of these examples, if someone’s a fool, you take your money and your business elsewhere.

    But what about public education? No such option. You’re either rich (private school) or you take what you’re given by DCPS and it’s brethren or you home school.

    The reason there is something as stupid and misguided as NCLB, is because there is something as stupid and misguided as an industry (education) that is a government monopoly immune from market forces. What happens if you’re a crappy, lazy teacher? Nothing. At worst you get warehoused somewhere and still collect a paycheck because the union doesn’t let you get fired. So how do you improve performance? How do you make teachers accountable? There is no way. So you come up with something like NCLB.

    I eagerly await your blog post on introducing market forces to education to perfect your analogy.

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  5. I think you’ve left out religious leaders. No Soul Left Behind is long overdue. I believe you can fill in the blanks.

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  6. One of your commenters missed the point of your satire. The very illogic of NCLB has been criticised by many education experts, but never with this fresh take. Reductio ad absurdum and hilarious!

    We’re posting it on Rheefirst.com, with your permission.

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  7. Spot on! And might I modestly suggest we get rid of those incompetent docs and replace them with enthusiastic Docs for America, you know those starry-eyed kids who mean so well!!

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    • Yes indeed. Anyone who has played the game Operation knows enough, right?

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    • And on the subject of religious leaders: we all know members and leaders of various religious groups who continue to sin in many, many ways. This is inexcuable. Under No Cultist Left Behind, this will be fixed. Every single religious organization that receives tax exemption status fron Federal or State authorities will have to accept strict monitoring of its members’ and leaders’ behavior and thoughts–both public and private. No excuses! Records will be kept of how many times each member or leader transgresses against the rules of that religion in word, deed, or thought; for each congregation a dossier will be kept to see if they are making Adequate Yearly Proogess towards perfection. We will not accept any excuses by those who claim that humans are naturally sinful. If a religious group or congregation can demonstrate that its members are making measurable progress towards perfection, its leaders will be replaced by avowed atheists — though not by secular humanists.

      On Sunday, May 1, 2011, Guy Brandenburg wrote: > Yes indeed. Anyone who has played the game Operation knows enough, right? >

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    • “Cannot demonstrate”

      On Sunday, May 1, 2011, Guy Brandenburg wrote: > And on the subject of religious leaders: we all know members and > leaders of various religious groups who continue to sin in many, many > ways. This is inexcuable. Under No Cultist Left Behind, this will be > fixed. Every single religious organization that receives tax exemption > status fron Federal or State authorities will have to accept strict > monitoring of its members’ and leaders’ behavior and thoughts–both > public and private. No excuses! Records will be kept of how many times > each member or leader transgresses against the rules of that religion > in word, deed, or thought; for each congregation a dossier will be > kept to see if they are making Adequate Yearly Proogess towards > perfection. We will not accept any excuses by those who claim that > humans are naturally sinful. If a religious group or congregation can > demonstrate that its members are making measurable progress towards > perfection, its leaders will be replaced by avowed atheists — though > not by secular humanists. > > On Sunday, May 1, 2011, Guy Brandenburg wrote: >> Yes indeed. Anyone who has played the game Operation knows enough, right? >>

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  8. GF: Hilarious post! Ever since NCLB was passed, with a goal of 100% proficiency for all students by 2014, I’ve been irritated by its obviously impossible goals. Sure, it sounds nice for a politician to say “All students will be proficient!” but it’s a utopian goal that no one really expects can be met, here or in any country. NCLB’s punishments, such as firing teachers and closing/opening schools when then goal is not reached, are equally ridiculous.

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  9. I love it!

    They’ve already started “No Athlete Left Behind” – no child athlete can lose a game… so, in some instances they’ve stopped keeping score.

    I don’t think you can get rid of the normal distribution… maybe that’s why its called “normal.” You can shift it right, shift it left, bunch it up, stretch it out; but you really can’t legislate that no children will be in the bottom.

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  10. […] a new post that satirizes the very illogic of NCLB. Reductio ad absurdum and hilarious!   Read the entire post here. […]

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