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Tag:america
Posted on: June 16, 2008 6:16 pm
 

The Path to a Peaceful and Prosperous America

Again I know this is not a sports topic, however, it's a very slow sports season right now with not a lot going on so I instead am writing about politics which is my true passion.  (I'm a political science major with big time political aspirations).  My last post Oil and the economy was not recieved as negatively as I though it might so I have decided to share with you all some of my other views on the path I believe America needs to take in order to be a prosperous and healthy country. 

Let me preface this by saying that I realize that to many people I am about to come off as a so called "bleeding liberal."  I can accept this label although I do not necessarily agree with it.  In actuallity I consider myself a moderate and I am open to at least listening to all sides of every argument, and I love compromise.  With that in mind let me begin with where I believe this country needs to go. 

The first step this country needs to take is a step towards better foreign policy.  When I heard that Barack Obama was open to dialogue with Iran I became even more of an Obama supporter than I already was.  I know that discussions with Iran are not a popular topic, however, I truly believe that his is the path to real peace for the United States and the answer to the threat posed by terrorism.  What people so often forget is that not every person in the middle east is a terrorist.  While I cannot deny that there is a large amount of anti American rhetoric in these nations, neither can I deny that these countries are not unjustified in their complaints.  Think about the issue this way.  When our country decided to go to war with Iraq, the Republic of France disagreed with us.  Soon after that there was a wave of anti-French sentiment in this country.  This was simply for disagreeing with us on a matter of foreign policy.  Can you imagine the kind of negative attitude towards France if they tried to meddle in American internal affairs or tried to violate the Monroe Doctrine? 

The fact is this is what we are doing to these middle eastern countries.  What I propose is a new era of negotiations as equals rather than our country trying to dictate policy to foreign nations.  If the United states can take our finger out of affairs around the world this will largely take the wind out of the sails of terrorists globally.  Do you think terrorists want to destroy America just because?  The eanswer to this is no.  Terrorists want to destroy america because we have meddled in middle eastern affairs since the end of world war II.  Stop meddling and the terrorists will have no more complaints. 

I thoroughly beleive that better foreign policy will largely reduce our domestic threats.  As a result of this I would in turn also hope to cut our defense spending in half.  Now I know that this sounds like a radical idea and admittedly it is a bit of a drastic step however consider this.  America spends approximately 700 Billion dollars a year on its military.  The next closest country to that figure is Great Britain who spends approximately 70 Billion dollars on their military.  http://www.globalissues.org/Geopoli
tics/ArmsTrade/Spending.asp
.  That means we spend ten times more than our closest competitor which by the way is our closest ally.  Now if we cut the military budget in half, we could have an extra 350 Billion dollars to spend in addition to still spending five times as much as our closest competitior.  We would still have total military overkill just not quite as much.

Now the question becomes what to do with 350 Billion dollars.  Let's just say I have some Ideas.  The first two are believe it or not supply side economic policies.  No most people associate supply side economics with conservative politics, however, I really like supply side policies for one main reason.  As Ronald Reagan pointed out, supply side policies are the only ones which have the ability to both increase employment and decrease inflation.  In Kenysian economcs, employment (a.k.a. output) has an relationship with inflation.  Thus as one increase so does the other.  The problem with supply side economics is that it is so often associated with tax cuts.  The problem is that the tax cuts lead to income inequality and a host of other problems.  My plan calls for the money saved from the cut in military spending to be invested in two places education and infrastructure.

I will start with why investement in education is crucial.  The simplest way to put it is that america is losing its technical edge.  Countries around the world are implementing universal higher education.  These include countriese like Sweden, Denmark, and Canada. (Sidenote, these countries also have universal health care and much higher tax rates and are the three happiest countries in the world).  Education is free in these countries while it is becoming more and more expensive for people to attend institutions of higher education in the United States.  The result is that these countries are producing a more educated populace.  If our country can start funding higher education the result will be more innovation and productivity which will in turn lead to more economic prosperity. 

Infrastructure is also vital.  There are two reasons for this.  The first is that better infrastructure enables businesses to conduct their business with less costs thus enabling them to sell their products for less money and to hire more employees.  The second reason for infrastructure is to save the environment.  The country needs to invest in mass transit systems that are more energy efficient than the individual cars that people use to get from one place to another.  The country also needs to invest in an energy infrastructure that is focused around alternative fuels.  This has a twofold effect.  The first is that it obviously would help to save the environment which is the biggest threat facing this nation and the world today. (sorry terrorism).   Anyone who doubts the severity of global warming I invite your criticism but only after you have seen the scariest horror movie ever made An Inconvenient Truth.  The second benefit of alternative fuels is that it will get our economy off of its dependence on foreign oil.  As I professed in my last entry, I do not believe that oil prices are going anywhere but up.  This hurts the economy.  An ability to be energy independent would enable us to avoid many of the market fluctuations and price increases that we have in our economy.

Now onto my last point.  We need to pay off the national debt.  Interest on the national debt amounts to approximately 11% of the federal budget.  Imagine having all of that money to pour into health care or to create an 11% reduction in taxes.  I get excited just thinking about the prospect.  Now granted there are people who think the debt is good.  In fact one of my personal heros Alexander Hamilton was the main force behind the establishing of a national debt, however, the problem is twofold.  First of all, The level of debt in relation to the national GDP far exceeds anything that Alexander Hamilton was imagining.  The second problem is that the debt that Hamilton envisioned was in bonds posessed by Americans.  More and more, however, American treasuries are being purchased by foreign institutions making our debt foreignly owned rather than domestically.

Anyways If I were to run for president that would be my platform.  I strongly welcome any feedback in an attempt to revise and improve it.  Thank you in advance.

Category: General
Posted on: June 11, 2008 6:41 pm
 

Oil and our Economy

We all know that the cost of oil keeps going up and up.  I've seen numerious posts condemning the government for it's lack of action and inability to fix the problem.  I have a solution that I can guarantee just about nobody out there is going to like.  This solution to the problem entails more difficulties for the American people rather than less, however, ultimately this system is the only way that we can be assured of the long term economic survival of the country that we all know and love. 

In order for the crisis with oil prices to be resolved the prices need to continue to go up.  That's right I said up.  Now I understand that places more of a strain on everybody's wallets and really creates economic problems, but here's the thing.  Oil is a finite resource.  The reason that oil prices have gone up is not because of poor government policies, but rather it's an increase in the demand for oil namely from other countries such as India and China.  In order to lower the price of oil you need to either lower demand or increase supply.  Well India and China aren't going anywhere, and Americans are extremely reluctant to pull back on their oil consumption so that leaves increasing supply.  Yes we could drill new oil wells and destroy the environment and yes it could provide us with a short-term fix in oil prices, but what happens as developing countries continue to grow, we're going to be right back in the position we're in, Global warming will have increased to even higher levels, and we could be facing the brink of disaster.

Or we can let the oil prices go up.  This will eventually have positive effects, the first thing that will happen is that it will create a situation where market forces will force people to lower their consumption of gasoline.  This will create a huge demand for alternate forms of transportation.  Because there is a demand for these products, large corporations will step in to provide vehicles that run on alternative forms of energy.  You're skeptical I can see.  Well let me put it to you this way.  Do you think hybrid cars would have been developed if gas was a dollar a gallon?  The fact is they wouldn't be.  Not to mention the fact that now every car company produces hybrid cars and they are more affordable to drive.  Now Chevy is producing an electric car set to be released in 2010.  If that car is comercially successful, then there will be more companies producing electric cars and the result will eventually be a set of vehicles that run on no gas at all rather than gas that is only going to go up and cost more. 

Now politicians do need to work to subsidize alternative fuel power plants.  My hope is that these electric cars can be run on a combination of solar, hydroelectric, wind, and eventually Hydrogen Fusion.  The problem with this hope is that electric cars and alternative energy needs demand.  That demand can only be produced by higher oil prices.  Yes it will be hard.  Yes there will be suffering, but the end result will be a vibrant economy that is free from the shackles of oil and that has done our part to solve the crisis of Global Warming. 

(P.S.  anyone who doesn't buy into the global warming issue just watch An Inconvenient Truth, it is a frightening film)

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com