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The Environmental Problem

May 24, 2013 Leave a comment

The ever growing and prosperous capitalist economy of America is considered by many to be a near perfect system. Our economy helps  ensure success is attainable, without detriment to  any one person or any group. Unfortunately, this perception is not reality. The American economic system has brought about many negative externalities, most notably the environmental impact our corporations have made on our planet. Greed and overindulgent behavior of businesses have led to a possible environmental apocalypse. Large egocentric corporations are causing fossil fuels to be near extinction, mass pollution and destruction of vital habitats, and carbon emissions to rise.  These negative externalities that are caused by corporations need to be reduced or abolished. At the moment the government is doing very little to stop corporations from destroying the environment.  President Obama’s current environmental policies are very vague and undisruptive. Over the past 5 years Obama has enacted the Recovery Act and attended the Copenhagen meeting. These actions have led to very minimal environmental recovery. The Republicans and corporate lobbyists are not doing much to promote the environment either. In fact “The big business lobbies, like the Chamber of Commerce, American Petroleum Institute, and others, have been very clear and explicit in their support of commerce over the environment. A couple of years ago they stated they intend to carry out a major publicity campaign to convince people that climate change is not real, that it’s a liberal hoax.”Image Republicans and corporate lobbyist are actually denying the existence of an environmental problem even though the statistics show otherwise. In 2012 carbon emissions increased 2.6%. Increased carbon emissions will weaken the atmosphere and dangerously heat up the earth. Due to pollution, only 1% of Chinese citizens breathe air that is considered safe. This has caused cancer to be the leading cause of death in many parts of China. The north pacific gyre has approximately 100 millions tones of trash. This trash will harm sea life, and take centuries to dissipate. These facts show that environmental damage is extreme, and impacting quality of life on the planet.  At the moment corporations are acting out of self-interest and greed. This will be an on going predicament unless there’s some alternative policies initiated. I believe that slight regulation as well as higher prices and taxes for certain fossil fuels will help alleviate the environmental woes. At this point in time, large businesses have too much power and freedom, which is causing large negative externalities. Creating higher taxes for fossil fuels, will promote switching to alternative methods of energy production. This will give corporations incentive to switch to cleaner energy. In addition, raising the price of certain fossil fuels like gas and oil will have a great affect on the consumer. Due to higher gas prices ,the consumer will most likely feel the need to utilize a car that does not rely on oil. Consequently, demand for gas run cars will decrease, and companies will start to make more eco-friendly cars that appeal to the consumer’s tastes and preferences. I also believe that we should implement stricter regulations. Unfortunately, large amounts of greed have consumed the American economy in the past 30 years. Corporations have started to deviate from rudimentary business ethics. The federal government needs to take some control over the reckless corporations. In recent years, deregulation, corruption, and greed has destroyed the earth, and the government has done very little to stop it. Implementing the right policies and actions will Imagemake the environmental problem treatable and will help the planet for all its citizens.

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The Role of Money in Elections

March 1, 2013 Leave a comment

In recent times money has been making a huge presence in  government elections. The presence and influence of money in elections makes everything a bit more complex, and corrupt. These days a candidate cannot exclusively focus on editing and perfecting his political ideology. The candidate now has to host political parties and fundraisers to attain more capital. Raising money has become a key component to elections and must be done if the candidate wants to win. Media corporations will not publicize a candidate with very little money. Consequently, the candidate’s political philosophy will not be well known to the public. Money’s presence overcomplicates and corrupts elections.

In the 2012 election both parties combined made a total of 2.38 billion dollars. “A big chunk of this money came from the uber wealthy.(wall street journal)” “149 super rich donors gave 500,000 or more, contributing 280 million to the funds raised so far.(wall street journal)” The upper class in America is getting more involved financially than ever with the elections. This shows that the Imagesuper rich are trying to muster up some type of influence in the white house. They are using their financial wealth and power to insert themselves into political decision-making. The super rich aren’t the only ones that are doing this. PACs (political action committees) are organizations that campaign for or against certain candidates. These PAC’s are allowed to give as much money as they want to the political party of their choice.  PACs are the “wildcards” of elections. A total of 266 PACs spent over 546 million on the candidates of their choice.  The reasoning behind giving this much money is to somehow have influence over the candidate that gets elected. The large spending from certain corporations, individuals, and committees goes back to the 2010 Supreme Court ruling. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that “ corporations and unions have the right to political speech and their contributions can’t be limited.” In the current time frame, politics is being corrupted by wealth and power. This is not only what are founding fathers did not want but it is severely unfair for the lower class. Money is severely corrupting, and altering the election process.

ImageUnfortunately, money plays a huge role in these government elections. In past years we have tried to suppress the power money has over politics with laws like the federal election campaign act. The campaign act eventually got repealed because it violated the 1st amendment. Money has become a terrible distraction for the government. It has suppressed the importance of the candidate’s political views. Money and power have been a vicious virus that has infected the elections.

The Bulgarian Predicament

March 1, 2013 2 comments

ImageOn February 27th2013 parts of the Bulgarian government left office due to recent protests over austerity measures, electricity prices and alleged official corruption. Bulgaria has faced many economic hardships and has become the 10th poorest country in Europe. Even Greece is financially outperforming the dismal Bulgarian economy. Prime Minister Boyko Borisov was the main component of the government to step down. Mr. Borisov issued a statement after making the decision saying “it is the people who put us in power and we give that back to them today.” Unfortunately, the exile of the prime minister did very little to put satisfaction back into the Bulgarians. The citizens are asking for a whole new system of government. They want to implement more of a socialistic style of government rather than a democratic one. Unfortunately for the people of Bulgaria, the president does not agree with the viewpoint of the citizens. Instead, the president is sticking with the present style of government and is currently setting up an interim one. Elections for the more permanent government will be held in April. This has not been taken well by the majority of the Bulgarians.

In my opinion the Bulgarian government made a good decision by having the Prime Minister leave office. The protests were gradually starting to become more violent, and change needed to be implemented. But not all the decisions made by the government have been ideal. I believe they should abandon the multiparty system and transfer to the government that the people are demanding. With the economy of Bulgaria being the worst of the European union and the poverty rate above 20% the government needs a more drastic change. Even though the changes that have been completed are not radical enough, the Bulgarian government is responding to the dissatisfaction of the Bulgarian people. This shows that the average citizen of a nation can make a difference in their society. This relates to our government class greatly. The goal of the class is to create citizens that are active within the United States political system. This story proves that actively representing our beliefs can make a difference to our nation and change the course of it for the better. 

Sources

http://www.indexmundi.com/bulgaria/population_below_poverty_line.html

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/22/us-bulgaria-government-idUSBRE91L0LI20130222

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323549204578315393360867474.html

 

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