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Ethanol: Food vs. Fuel

March 19, 2013 1 comment

Ever since global warming has become a major crisis, the world has sought a new alternative for fuel.  They looked to ethanol to become a common source of fuel. Ethanol is great for the environment, but the problem that it is sourced from corn crops has become a dilemma in the U.S.  Deciding what to use the corn crop for: either to produce more corn or more ethanol is in question and needs a solid answer to decide the future of fuel.

The U.S. ended up choosing to produce more ethanol, which was established from the policy made in “2005 when Congress set requirements of corn to be used for automotive fuel. In 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act greatly increased those requirements to improve air quality and become more energy secure”(McDonald). The U.S. is now the world’s largest producer of ethanol followed by Brazil, which is the world’s top user.  The United States used “44% of this years corn crop” to produce ethanol (McDonald).  The United Nations, though, has asked the U.S. to ease its ethanol mandate.  The reason why is because the U.S. is in a drought in the Midwest region and this has caused food prices to go up.  The United States is also the “world leading producer and exporter of staple grains” and these crop shortages are affecting global markets (McDonald).  In addition, the only reason ethanol policy was created was to reduce the greenhouse gasses, but the “irony is that a study done at Princeton suggests that corn ethanol does little to reduce greenhouse gas compared with gasoline”(Cendrowski).  Nevertheless, ethanol is now only created as a way to make income and has caused a problem with the worlds food supply.

This current issue relates back to our economics class for multiple reasons.  There is a shortage of the corn crop due to the drought and it is being utilized for split resources. Another example that this relates back to class is because this concerns a trade-off for the United States.  The trade-off is to either use the corn crop to generate ethanol or use it to produce food.  Citizens believe that they are using too much on ethanol, even though there is a higher percentage of food being produced.  This dilemma is also portraying how the United States is a mixed economy.  Privately owned businesses that produce corn crops are given guidelines how much of the resource should be manufactured for ethanol and how much allocated for food.   In my opinion, the laws will need to be revised to accommodate the current scarcity of crop being produced because food supply is a higher priority than fuel.

Categories: B2, Learning

The Damage Of Money On Elections

In government elections today money has become a major part of running for office.  Many political parties raise money in effort to try to get their representatives to be more publicized, so that they have a better chance of getting elected.  It has become more than that though, money is starting to become more of the candidates and parties focus than the election itself.  They believe that they ultimately need money to win elections, which is sadly true.  The only political parties that have been elected into the presidency are Republicans and Democrats.  There are more political parties in the United States besides the two, but no one ever hears about them because they attain a less amount of money than the other parties. Money is an issue in government elections today and Congress should put a limit on it because it is unconstitutional. The money that is implicated with the election process is unjust: different parties have more cash than others, individuals and groups are taking advantage, and it is making government more corrupt.

Money is thought of to be unfair in political elections because a wealthier candidate would have an enhanced chance of winning.  The Democratic Party and Republican Party raised a combine 2.38 billion dollars for the 2012 election alone and most of the money was spent on advertisement (Washington Post).  Money is not just becoming a tool used as an advantage in government; it is also distracting candidates from their main focuses. “‘When candidates … are spending 90 percent of their time raising money,’ Bayh says, ‘that’s time they’re not spending with constituents or with public-policy experts’” (News Week).  The candidates that raise the most money get more recognition and that was thought of to be unequal. Members of congress did attempt to get rid of the huge factor of money in elections.  In 1971, the Federal Campaign Act was passed to try to limit the amount of money spent and after the Watergate scandal and more amendments were made.  These laws passed, established a court case Buckley v. Valeo.  Buckley argued that spending money was connected to freedom of speech and therefore taking away his rights of the first amendment. “The court sided with Buckley by taking away limits on overall spending, on spending on the candidates, and on spending by independent groups.  However, the justices upheld the public funding of presidential elections the court allowed limits on how much an individual or group might give to a candidate” (Scott).  This made loopholes in the law and political action, committees then started to give money to candidates.

This gave rise to PACs, Political Action Committees, and it allowed them to give unlimited sums of money.  These corporations, groups, and individuals giving ridiculous sums of money to the candidates are how the corruption takes place.  “They give their money in attempt to get access with the winners of the election, and make them wealthier” (News Week).  Their money goes to reforms that they help idealize and that benefit them and their companies.  This is how money is becoming a problem, since PACs are giving large sums of money, the candidates have to listen to their opinions and take them into account.  This is unreasonable to the poor people in the United States because they do not have the crash to donate so that they can have an opinion in government too.  PACs is why money is becoming corrupted in the election process, and government should alter the way that they are allowed to donate an unlimited amount of money.

Money has become a huge factor in elections and it is fixing which representative wins.  A lot of corruption is also involved and there should be a limit on the sums of money used in elections.  It creates an unfair balance between representatives because one is a lot more publicized than the others.  Money has also become a distraction in the government; they should be more focused on their priorities, which are the citizens of the United States.

Categories: B2

Background Checks not Confiscation

February 21, 2013 Leave a comment

In regards to the gun control crisis in the United States, Barrack Obama has created an idea of background checks for every American who wants to buy a gun.  The thought of this is great, but the only problem is that not many politicians are supporting it. “Universal Background Checks Backed By Republican Rep. Joe Heck” is an article about the solution Obama suggested towards gun control, which Joe Heck supports.  Joe Heck is a member of the House of Representatives and is a Republican.  He announced that he is in favor for Obama’s idea on background checks.  Most Republicans and gun owners are against Obama’s plan because they think it will end up leading to gun confiscation.  Heck is disagreeing with most of his fellow Republicans by stating that already 4o percent of people who buy guns have to undergo this process.  All Heck wants is to “figure out the best way to address the problem. And to me the problem is…. making sure an individual who shouldn’t have a weapon of any type – because they have a propensity to commit a violent act – doesn’t get their hands on that weapon.”  I agree with Joe Heck because gun control is a huge concern and there are many lunatics in the United States to just ignore it.  The government has to figure out a way to regulate guns to people that are not responsible enough to own one, and please the other citizens in the United States that agree with and support their Second Amendment.  This article relates back to class because we have discussed gun control numerous times.  We have also talked about the school shooting of Sandy Hook, which is the main reason gun control has been such an issue in politics nowadays.

What I have learned from government this year is that national politics is all around us in today’s world and I did not even notice it until I started this course.  Literally almost every article in the newspaper and current events encompasses politics.  Either its directly a political problem or an issue that arises that relates back to the constitution and our rights.  I have also been educated that I am an American citizen and that I have a larger say in our government than what I thought before.  There are multiple ways to deal with problems or laws past in the United States that people do not agree with.  For example, the 5 pathways we learned about at the beginning of the year are ways to deal with problems in our government.  Lastly, I have noticed how amusing politics can actually be.  For instance, the political chart of liberal and conservative plays amusing roles in media today.  TV shows make fun of politics and politicians all the time such as on the Colbert Report.  Government class has given me a way to enjoy national politics in a way that I have never experienced before. Now every time I read an article about an issue in the country I relate it back to government class.  I have now formed opinions on subjects that occur in politics and events that take place in our country.  For example, when we did the fiscal cliff project I became better in tune with that dilemma and gave my own judgment on how the government should deal with it.   I have just shared with you my view on the article about gun control and how I agree that mandatory background checks are an effective solution to solving this calamity.

Categories: B2, Learning
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