Our nation is in the throes of a recession. Most people don’t focus too much on the name. They know that things are not as easy as they once were. My home has lost 17K in value; groceries are more expensive; company implosions are announced virtually every week. People who used to believe they were safe in their jobs are getting an hour’s notice of layoff.

Is there a good side? Not in the short term. Spending money affects viability in business, but since consumers are afraid of losing their jobs, they are saving and not spending. Ordinarily saving is good, but when banks and consumers both not only save but refuse to lend or purchase, that’s very bad. It all goes to consumer confidence, a phrase hardly revered in history, until now.

In the long term, perhaps there is a good side. This may be the perfect opportunity to push through reforms and restructuring of all sorts of government run systems.

As long as I have been alive, I have been warned about my generation overburdening the medicare system, the social security system and the health care system. And, as long as I can remember, there has been a yearning from the citizens for a fix. There have been minor corrections, although far from adequate. The drug plan enacted by the Bush administration is a perplexing donut of absurdity, as all who have analyzed it will quickly attest.

Right now, the economy is the priority. But I wonder if large government run social support systems will be in trouble next? The bailout consists of tax payer money going to various large companies and banks. This money is not a gift from a rich uncle, but rather a loan with strings attached. Fast action is critical, but only effective with close adult supervision by our government.

What better environment to correct medicare, social security, and health care? The citizens will eventually demand it anyway. Fix it now before the crisis arrives. This is the window.

Of the three, health care would be the most difficult, because the government only controls a part of it; medicare. But, this part would be a great model for the rest, as is the present military health care system. Although imperfect, it is a single payer system, across all services.

The people want fast effective action for the economy right now. If it costs two trillion, three trillion, we don’t really care. Fix it, and fix the rest. Fix everything. It has been said before: we put a man on the moon, sent probes out of our planetary system, performed space walks, harnessed solar power and built a viable space station. Surely we can fix something right here on earth.