February 12, 2020

AFF Community

Weekly Writers Round-Up: Saving Small Towns, Congressional Term Limits, and Healthcare Staffing Problems

By: Josh Evans

Each week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AFF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. Do you dream of having bylines like these? Applications for the summer session are now open!

Saving the Small Town Without Big Government by Chelsea Follett (Summer 2017) in Townhall
So-called “deaths of despair” in rural areas — from drug overdoses and suicide — have become so common that they have even affected our national life expectancy figures. Life expectancy in the United States has fallen for three years in a row. That is a reversal not seen since 1918 (during a pandemic) or in any other wealthy nation in modern times, as Nobel-prize winning economist Angus Deaton has pointed out. What should be done?

Small town woes in many areas can be traced to the erosion of manufacturing jobs. A typical example is Lordstown, Ohio (population 3,300) which revolved around a now-shuttered manufacturing plant for 50 years. “The feeling in the plant my last day was eerie, because nobody knew what to say,” noted a metal assembly worker employed at the Lordstown factory for 22 years until it closed…

Term limits will drain the swamp and stop career politicians by Conner Drigotas (Fall 2019) in the Washington Times
One of the ironies of the impeachment of President Trump is just how similar the cast of characters is to those in the impeachment of Bill Clinton. By the time the trial was over, Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Nadler, Maxine Waters, Lindsay Graham, and 80 other members of Congress had cast a vote. And what is obvious is that the same players have been acting out for decades. When will things change?

Let’s face the facts: Washington politicians and bureaucrats arrive in the swamp and become entrenched. The longest-serving members of Congress have served for more than 45 years, and there are 44 congressional districts in which the age of the representative is more than double the median age of their constituents…

Nurses unions have a bad idea for better healthcare by Elise Amez-Droz (Summer 2019) and Trace Mitchell (Summer 2019) in the Washington Examiner

Last week, a union representing nearly 8,000 nurses and other medical service providers went on strike in Seattle. Members had many demands, such as higher pay and more authority over staffing decisions. But it appeared their main gripe was with understaffing and too-flexible nurse-to-patient ratios, citing nurse burnout and low patient satisfaction. The voices behind these cries for help are often driven by the best of intentions, but they should probably rethink their demands…