Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The next 2 years,

Independence Day is a good day to look backwards at our accomplishments (emancipation, universal suffrage, civil rights, etc.) and look at what our country must do in the future. So that is my theme for today.

The United States currently has a large number of daunting problems/challenges, and a number of great opportunities:

  1. Partisan gridlock and yellow journalism (the largest of whom are MSNBC and FOX) is tearing our nation apart. With such polarization it puts a lot of pressure on our leaders to lead extremely well to make it impossible for these pundits make them look bad or good depending on their point of view. Obamacare is a perfect example of how such biased reporting can skew people's opinions, as Kaiser points out where the majority of Americans don't know what Obamacare actually does. That the majority of Americans don't know what a major law does shows a clear failure in our country's media. Obama clearly needs to work on his PR.
  2. Our two parties are at once closer than they should be and more distant than they have been in a long time. Everything the Democrats propose, even if it is taken practically word for word from a previous Republican proposal (like Obamacare and the Republican counterproposal in 1993) will be blocked from the Republicans. Most Americans when they turn on cable news get very biased and incomplete information about what is actually being proposed on the hill, and this furthers the partisan split as the Fox News watchers go one direction and the NBC folks go another. Very few people find the balanced center where you get the facts without the spin. This helps move our parties further and further apart in social issues with very little center in the middle, but on some issues like our constitutional freedoms (like the right to an attorney) neither the left nor right wing media is willing to tell the full truth and the parties further split on some core issues (like health care, whether there actually were weapons in Iraq, distribution of wealth and income, access to education, among others) and the coverage on some issues the media is so completely monotonous and frequently incorrect that there is little knowledge or debate about some pressing issues (like what should be done in Europe with the economy, Israel, North Korea, China, mass transit, among other issues). This force drives our two parties further to one side as they continue to get money from a select group of people that drive our policy. American policy is so much more diverse and there is so much more information about these issues than the media tells us, which eventually will be so clearly incorrect that a lot of Americans are going to be very disillusioned as the media grows further from reality.
  3. We will need more parties and a new election system to represent the splitting of Democrats ("Old Democrats" and "New Democrats") and Republicans (Libertarians and Christian fundamentalists) which have such large differences between them that will make the parties unstable. If we don't I fear we will eventually have a situation like Canada in 2011 which will be devastating to the victors once the parties split. Changing our voting system will also help bridge the partisan divide because everyone can agree with the Libertarians on something, creating a bridge in congress between the two sides. It will allow more views to be represented in Congress that will be a more accurate picture of Americans' beliefs.
  4. Our health care costs will continue to rise (though not as quickly as they have been) with Obamacare in place because it doesn't go far enough and it will need to be expanded upon and reevaluated.
  5. Many students coming out of our education system today will be so unprepared to be in the world compared to their international peers because of the way the government finances and runs education which means it will need to be reevaluated. If we don't we will be beaten economically and our economy will suffer from the lack of knowledge our students will have.
  6. We will need to reform our tax code so tax capital gains as regular income (like Australia) which will balance the budget and encourage investors to invest for the long-term so companies can use the money they give them, and give tax breaks to struggling American families to raise the demand curve. We will need to increase the incentives of businesses to hire people through taxes. If we don't our economy will remain unstable. This will also balance the budget. If we changed it we could become a very stable economy and surpass all other nations in economic growth.
  7. Immigration reform will finish going through which will probably be more work visas for farm workers.
Happy Independence Day, let's make this country greater!

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