Hiatus Break: Audit The Federal Reserve

Have you ever gone shopping like at the grocery store or for clothes? Any time you go shopping at a place on multiple occasions you probably notice prices change over time. This could be due to any number of factors. I feel like at the grocery store most people have a certain amount of money they like to spend. I know that I do and even with clothes shopping, my wife and I usually set a limit. If you’ve ever felt like every year you go with that set budget you buy less stuff, then you have felt the effects of the federal reserve. So you have to ask yourself did prices go up or did the buying power of my money go down? The answer is probably a combination of both.

If you haven’t read the title or guessed yet this post is about auditing the federal reserve. Now many people have absolutely no clue what this is or what it does. The federal reserve is a private, central bank that regulates our monetary policy here in the US. It is not controlled by the US government. Although the President is able to appoint the Chairperson of the Fed and the other heads in 11 cities around the United States. All of the appointments have to be approved by Congress. This is the only role that the government plays.

The current Fed Chairperson is Janet Yellen whose term is up. This means Donald Trump has to appoint a new chairperson. His selection matters greatly for us. I don’t care who Trump picks but whoever it is, has a big responsibility.  The Federal Reserve controls interests rates, money circulation, debt, bonds,..etc. They tell the US mint how much money to print. They set the circulation levels of the denominations. Keep in mind they have a lot of power without much supervision.

So why Audit the Fed? Well, one of favorite Senators Rand Paul has been saying this for years. The problem with the federal reserve that Rand Paul and others see is that an institution with unlimited power that has no accountability to anyone is a dangerous institution. Do your own research but here something that I learned by reading up on this. Before the 2008 financial crisis the federal reserve not only SAW but actively IGNORED the housing market bubble. They literally just WROTE IT OFF like nothing. The Chairperson of the Federal Reserve at time, Ben Bernanke just flat out denied that it was nothing but aberration!

Then during the crisis they did nothing.  Just a quick reminder that everyone employed by the Federal Reserve is very smart most of them with Ph.Ds in economics. These so called “economic geniuses” failed to act in the face of major crisis that saw trillion of dollars lost and millions of families affected. People lost their houses, lost their retirement and their jobs. Did the Fed suffer any consequences? Nope. Somehow they are still allowed to function!

Auditing the federal reserve would mean accountability. We can’t let them devalue our money and ignore possible crises that could affect millions any longer! We need to hold these professional bank robbers accountable for their crimes against the USA. Auditing the Federal reserve is just the beginning. After we find that they have been fucking us over, we have to get rid of them. Ever since 1913, when the fed was established, we have been getting screwed over by their monetary policies.

Trust me, every day people like me and you are screwed by these pompous assholes. They devalue the dollar on purpose. They decrease your buying power. Why do you think that 30 years everything was cheaper? I can remember growing up and my parents both had steady jobs. Luckily they never got laid off or fired until this year. So we always had a steady income. The financial crisis hit. We went from shopping at Hannafords which isn’t super expensive but its pricey. We started shopping at Audi’s which is much cheaper in comparison. I didn’t realize it til later but the financial crisis drastically decrease my parents buying power. Thankfully we never starved.  But imagine the price paid by poorer families who could barely get by in the first place?

The federal reserve is an evil institution. It cannot be trust. We need to end the Federal Reserve. I hope whoever is picked as Chairperson agrees to an audit which will inevitably lead to ending the federal reserve. Thanks for reading. Please tell your friends and share this post. #EndtheFed #AudittheFed Let’s spread the word.

 

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Mixed Bag: Wrong on Tariffs, Got Hacked?, Garrett for President 2028?

My last post on tariffs was very good if you haven’t read it yet. I just want to make one clarification about that post. Throughout the post, I mention the possibility of plan to make tariffs a bigger source of national revenue. The problem is that I wrote it just trying to educate people about tariffs and thinking after research I could present a plan to help relieve the tax burden. After some research, I’ve come to the conclusion that I was totally misguided. I know that free trade is a great economic benefit for every country. I never proposed doing away with it. I’ve come to the realization that I was wrong about tariffs. I don’t think there’s way to make tariffs viable without starting multiple trade wars or killing off American businesses. The explanation is simple. Its basically a tariff on imports would make many products that aren’t produce here in America very expensive to the consumer. A tariff on exports would create tension between the US and other countries whom export to us. The bottom line is that tariffs in this free trade world just won’t work either politically or economically.

This particular post is a mixed bag of goodies such as the tariff plan which is not happening. I’m going to try to keep short, not sure that is possible for me. (See any other post) I think that first I want to address the Russia hacking. I don’t usually like to give these ridiculous stories that people call “news” any sort of attention. However, its been bothering me. The problem I have with the story is not that Russia tried to hack, or that Trump wanted to them to hack, or even the debate over whether or not its true. There are conflicting reports that the hacking was made up. Whatever the case is, I find it completely ridiculous. The best I came up with to describe it was this unusual status I made on my facebook:

The Russians interfered with my whole life, hacked my SATs scores, college transcripts, my facebook, my old myspace account, and all four of my email addresses. (I lost count actually) Apparently its totally a valid excuse for why I’m such a failure. You want to see proof just look at how big of a loser I am. This my friends is what the federal government and Democratic party are doing. How pathetic and sad can you honestly get? Trump won because people are tired of Obama and his socialist policies that really haven’t worked. They don’t like the increased terrorism and racial strife. I don’t believe that Trump is the solution but blaming your problems on Russia is ridiculous. Trying to start World War 3 is dumb. If I could run for President in 2020 I would, because the only people who seem to be politicians are idiots.

I think that I make a valid point of how this Russia hacking is playing out in the media. I’ve never actually believed anything the media tells me. I would recommend you don’t listen either. As they say: Don’t drink the kool-aid.  I thought I would just share that.

In an unrelated matter, I want point out that I made a half hearted declaration for President in 2020 even though I’m only going to be 30. If you didn’t know you need to be 35 to run for President. In the event that I turn 35 and I decide to run, I promise that my readers will be the first to know. If you are curious, I will be 35 in 2025, and eligible to run in the 2028 election. So uh, mark your calendars. If Trump doesn’t ruin us then I hope I can count on my educated readers for your support. I will be on running on the libertarian platform with a little bit of my own ideas mixed in. Just for fun, lets review my positions:

  • Against Minimum Wage
  • Pro-Adoption (Pro-Choice because 14th amendment and Against Abortion because its killing)
  • Audit the Fed (Reserve) (Hold them accountable)
  • Pro-free trade
  • Cut spending and actually lower taxes (Against raising taxes on anyone)
  • Hold the Department of Defense accountable (military industrial complex)
  • Make Healthcare a free market system (fix regulations)
  • Repeal the Patriot Act
  • Make gay marriage legal everywhere (states rights be damned, gov’t shouldn’t control marriage
  • Make marijuana legal everywhere (kills the black market and raises revenue)
  • Basic Income, see my post, Which also leads to cuts in all of the welfare portions of the budget plus a savings of about 200 billion dollars
  • Invest in infrastructure like high speed rails and roads
  • Pay down the national debt (again extra money from cuts over a course of 10 to 20 years)
  • Pull all troops station abroad and put them on the Mexican Border (Simultaneously, I would institute a streamlined immigration for legal and illegal immigrants basically just giving them citizenship after a background check and psychological evaluation plus for illegals a higher tax rate to ensure they really want to come here. No handouts here. All countries citizens welcome.
  • Slowly end all unnecessary government functions or phase them out because a big bureaucracy isn’t necessarily great in terms of cost and effectiveness. Including but not limited to my own power once I get what I see fit to be done.
  • Eliminate all Federal government regulation regarding education such as common core because teachers know their own students better.

Granted my plan is ambitious but I don’t just win the presidency not to make a major impact. I made this list off the top of my head. I made some vague positions and perhaps in the future I will get to expand on them. If I had to describe my presidential ambitions in a sentence or two I would describe it as:

I want America to be a fiscally smart, diplomatic savvy and self aware as a nation and as a people. Americans have always thrived on their freedom and their ability to govern themselves and that is exactly what I aim to do, is put the control in hands of the people.

I think my plans are simply for freedom and not much else. America has become extreme and its painfully obvious with the election of a person like Trump. I think we need to go back to our roots. People need to read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. These are the documents that built the country. I think the words have significant meaning that puts being American in great honor. I also think that we shouldn’t forget our past mistakes whether its invading Iraq or the whole cold war, we should not let history repeat itself. I really don’t fancy getting elected or being President easy. However, I think i would really enjoy working to make a country that I’ve been living in and studying since I was a child.

That’s will do it for this post. I had to address a few things and next post will be more coherent, I promise. Thanks for reading!

 

 

On the Basis of Democracy: Aristotle Part 1

I am so happy to be writing again. I took nearly a month off because the election just made me really want to stay out of politics. It was so demoralizing and embarrassing. Just glad that it’s over. Now with the election over and the reaction starting to cool down, I want to swing my blog into more a history based content. My true passion is history. This specific blog post is going to analyze some of the classic political writings and philosophers. Don’t worry I won’t bore you to death with just some biographies. I want to present a logical argument for a representative democracy. My last post touched on this with Alexander Hamilton writing the 68th Federalist paper. Just to recap, Hamilton presents an argument for the Electoral college that says that a small group of people who have the ability to make a decision is better than having it rest just on the everyday person. Hamilton argues that its crops out the corruption and makes sense when trying to determine who should be elected. Hamilton’s brilliant argument became my own in my defense of the Electoral college. I want to build on the representative nature of the Electoral college that makes our democracy so unique.

I want to introduce two figures of political history. One is an ancient greek and the other an Englishmen from the 17th century. Hamilton was so well versed in all political philosophers. It shows in his Federalist paper 68. I think that its important to know about where the founding fathers got their inspiration and at times their whole concept. Many people who I know and meet, are understandably ignorant on political philosophy. Unless you are a political fanatic or you love philosophy then you probably don’t know much about these two figures. For the sake of this blog post, I want present some of the most relevant theories of Aristotle and John Locke that regard democracy.

Democracy is synonymous with America. Democracy in latin means commoner. Democracy is associated with freedom. Democracy is in the words of Thomas Jefferson: ‘We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union’. (If you didn’t know, the preamble of the constitution starts like that) The question or argument that I will be presenting is simply what is the basis for a democracy? Why is Democracy such a successful system of government? These are just some of the questions that may or may not be answered because I don’t believe there is just one answer. History is not an exact science when it comes to the ‘Why’. (Also known as the five W’s: What, When, Where, Who and Why. A simple way to remember how to think about a historical topic)

Aristotle was greek philosopher and lived from 384 to 322 BCE. He wrote on hundreds of different topics ranging from family life to science to politics. One of his political writings is on democracy. First, you have to realize that Aristotle was a student of Plato who had a more utopian view of society. Aristotle was the first realist. He thought that the political community was the top of society. The political community is responsible for the education, health and governance of the rest. In his writings on the best democracy he lays out a few main points. One of these points about political community being a guide: “that human life has a telos and that the political community should provide education and laws that will lead to people pursuing and achieving this telos. Given that this is the case, a regime that allows people to do whatever they want is in fact flawed, for it is not guiding them in the direction of the good life.”  This is just a summary but in simpler terms, Aristotle believes that everyone has a spirit of good in them. This spirit of good needs to guided by the political community aka the democratic government to reach what he calls the good life or happy life.

Similar to Plato, who also believed that there was level of happiness that could be achieved that was above anything in the human experience. However unlike Plato, Aristotle believed that the best democracy was made up of farmers. His reasoning is that farmers or herders are less likely to assemble and own less land.  They offer a democracy the least path of resistance. You might conclude that some of the success of American democracy can be credited with large farming industry starting before and going well after the revolution. Aristotle thinks that a democracy made up of farmers and ruled by “This is a reason why the authoritative offices can be in the hands of the wealthy, as long as the people retain control of auditing and adjudication: “Those who govern themselves in this way must necessarily be finely governed. The offices will always be in the hands of the best persons, the people being willing and not envious of the respectable, while the arrangement is satisfactory for the respectable and notable. These will not be ruled by others who are their inferiors, and they will rule justly by the fact that others have authority over the audits” .  For the purpose of this argument, I think that Aristotle makes an interesting point with  words that I underlined. Let me explain.

What Aristotle means by authority over the audits is that the people must retain control of the budgets of public spending and they should be liable to be persecuted if there is wrongdoing. Aristotle considers adjudication as a right to fair trial by being judged by your peers. I find it so interesting that in ancient greek times, Aristotle is basically laying some constitutional principles that our founding fathers definitely included in our democracy. I also feel that politicians being liable to persecution is not met across the board with all public officials. I think that sometimes politicians are protected for personal gain and to avoid political suicide. Politics is literally a house of cards, because politicians depend on each other more than they let on.

I think Aristotle remains one of the most amazing and interesting philosophers. These writings occurred well over 2000 years ago. It makes you think about just how smart the Greeks were. Let me be honest though, the Greeks did not make the perfect government by any means. Their democracy in Athens was a true democracy with a senate. The voting took place with only land owning men. The politics were corrupt and dirty. There were demagogues that rose up and messed up their elections. However, the greeks set the stage for the Roman Empire which lasted 8 centuries and used a form of democracy for some of that time.

One of things I love about Aristotle is that he is a realist. His perspective mirrors my own in that the most capable people should be in a position to run the government. However, their power should not go unchecked. In a very indirect way, Aristotle is advocating for checks and balances,  the part where he says: “authoritative offices can be in the hands of the wealthy, as long as the people retain control of auditing and adjudication:” . The people need to be in control of the government. I believe this is a problem in our American democracy. We don’t hold the government accountable for anything. When it comes to spending our money or making foreign policy decisions.

To wrap this post up, I want to say in Aristotle’s view of democracy he had envision a simple concept where by the political community and the wealthy educate and govern the farmers and herders. However, the farmers and other common folk hold the purse strings and judge their peers. Aristotle contemplates a fair system of democracy that I believe gave us the foundation to America. America started out as farming settlement in North America. The wealthy men of the settlement decide to wage a revolution and break free from Britain over a variety of reasons including taxes. The ruling class has always been primarily wealthy. However, the biggest change is the modernization of farming which has led to its decline. This is the challenge to our future democracy.

Stay Tuned within a week for Part 2 on John Locke. Thank you for reading! Have a great day!

Citation text: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Police Violence and Racial Tensions: War Intensifies

The past events of this week have brought the racial tension and police hatred to a fever pitch. The protest of police shootings has led to retaliation by the same people who feel oppressed.  The amount of death and destruction caused by this police versus colored people is absolutely unnecessary and unfathomable. It is unfortunate that police had to shoot and kill two black men. It’s unfortunate that 5 officers had to die in Dallas because of those same police shootings. Nobody should be dying from unnecessary violence. Not black people, Not police officers. I am beyond mortified by these events and the coming war that will only get worse unless we act to remedy the real problems that exist. This post is not a political grandstand nor is it an attempt to cover up or dilute the loss of life, no matter what color skin.

The first problem is obviously the social construct that is racism. People often forget that racism isn’t just limited towards black people but all people can experience it. It is accepted that black or colored people often face racism in common everyday situations. Unfortunately there are no laws or rules that we can make to fix racism. Racism is born out of our history. America was a slave holding nation in the beginning and after the civil war that same distinction that slaves had become the stigma of colored people. The racist ideas about colored people have never died only adapted over time. Now we see it in voting laws, education, police matter, and much more. Racism has one fix. It starts with you and me. In our everyday lives, we need to treat everyone fairly regardless of skin color. If you are in a position of power then judge people strictly on merit and character. Most importantly, encourage others to do the same.

The second problem is retorhic  of political nature. What I mean by this is that politicians especially liberals and President Obama tend to talk negatively about police. Yet at the same time they pass policies that hurt those people they say they want to help. The rehortic of gun control is also damaging to police and people who carry guns. The same people who want to ban guns are the same people who trust the police with guns. We need to stop talking and start doing something. President Obama does almost nothing but side with the victims. He gives no objective or constructive input on any of the situations that occur with gun violence by police or criminals. It’s unfortunate that the liberal media demonize guns and black people then it makes police shootings seem that much worse. The problem with talk is that its cheap. Politian need to shut up and maybe do something constructive to help mitigate this violence.

Now I want to look at what is not a problem and some possible solutions. It does no good to try to pick a side or try to sympathize with either of the victims. One thing that clearly isn’t problem is guns. There is no getting around the fact that guns will always get into the wrong hands. It happens and always will. We don’t need gun control just need to regulate who gets the guns. I have said this before, we need psychological evaluations every year just like a car inspection. Along with a yearly background check this will combat the number of people who get guns who might be a risk to shoot up some place.

Unfortunately there are limited solutions in tears of laws and rules. But one possible way to quell police shootings is through some stricter protocol of when an officer is actually allowed to pull the trigger. I personally know an NYPD cop. He and I have had conversations about police shootings. One of things that he told me was that officers are typically trained to go on their instinct. If they don’t feel safe then they are allowed to draw their weapon. I think officers should probably be trained to only pull the trigger if there is an absolute and immediate threat to their well-being. Such as if a suspect draws a gun themselves or another deadly weapon. The addition of body cams could help make sure that the officer actually does follow protcol. For me, I am just as concerned for the person who is being pursued by police as the police officer.

Another thing is make gun laws nationwide. The second  amendment guarantees the right to bears no matter what. Unify the gun laws so police know that in every town, county, city and state have the same laws. This way police can act accordingly. If every non-felon who has passed a psychological  evaluation year has gun than its fine. Another important thing if you do have a gun and the police ask you to identify where, then you should comply. The basic concept is that as long as you cooperate you shouldn’t need to worry about getting shot by police whether your white, black or any other color. However, on the flip side if you don’t comply then police should have a right to draw their gun. If you try to touch your gun then I would say they have to right to shoot. Its only fair.

If we don’t make changes to our justice system or to our social constructs this violence will only get worse. Its even worse because the two presidential candidates are totally blind to causes of this violence. Its never been white vs. black or police vs. black. All of these supposed rivals are human beings. We have set up these battles for political gain  or personal gain. This is not a new thing. We need to fix the laws accordingly and be more understanding of other’s struggles. Sadly, only a few people grasp the reality of this violence. The political policies of the democrats and republicans have only made the racism and wealth gap larger. Its no secret that the elites wants to battle each other. Look up Gender 21 or George Soros. Look up the Illumati. Look up who owns most of the world’s money. Its only about 300 families. People need to wake up. If we let these tragedies  control our emotions then we let the government take away more of our rights. Its a vicious cycle.

Just to remember to respect people of other races and respect the police, because like everyone else they have a job to do. Thanks for reading!

US Foreign Policy: Candidates’ Terrorism Platforms

If you are just reading my blog for the first time, then you may want to go back to the very first post. If not, then you may want to read or re-read the first and second post of this US Foreign Policy series. In this series, I have offered some insight into our national security policies against Terrorism. I have also revealed our relationship with China and its vulnerability to change with a new president. In this third post of the series, I will try to wrap up the terrorism topic. Then I may write about other things for awhile until I can think of some foreign policy related posts to write. In other news, unrelated to this post, Donald Trump has indeed clinch the nomination and will go to the convention as the candidate. This is obviously not shocking given all his opponents have dropped out. I said in my last post that I would preview each candidates foreign policy platform and try to glean how that would play against ISIS. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump does not talk about ISIS specifically, so instead I will use his trade policy with China as a sample of his handling in international affairs.

Let’s being with Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state. She outlines a fairly specific national security plan. Instead trying to paraphrase it and make this post longer than necessary, I will instead just quote a part of it. The rest of it you read for yourself on her website, linked here. So here’s that quoted part:

 

  • Defeating ISIS. ISIS and the foreign terrorist fighters it recruits pose a serious threat to America and our allies. We will confront and defeat them in a way that builds greater stability across the region, without miring our troops in another misguided ground war. Hillary will empower our partners to defeat terrorism and the ideologies that drive it, including through our ongoing partnership to build Iraqi military and governing capacity, our commitment to Afghanistan’s democracy and security, and by supporting efforts to restore stability to Libya and Yemen.
  • Holding China accountable. As secretary of state, Hillary reasserted America’s role as a Pacific power and called out China’s aggressive actions in the region.  As president, she’ll work with friends and allies to promote strong rules of the road and institutions in Asia, and encourage China to be a responsible stakeholder—including on cyberspace, human rights, trade, territorial disputes, and climate change—and hold it accountable if it does not.

    ***

  • Strengthen alliances. From the Middle East and Asia to Europe and our own hemisphere, Hillary will strengthen the essential partnerships that are a unique source of America’s strength. That’s particularly true of Israel, which is why Hillary will continue to support Israel’s ability to defend itself, including with Iron Dome and other defense systems. If anyone challenges Israel’s security, they challenge America’s security.
  • Create partnerships for tomorrow. Hillary believes in free peoples and free markets. As president, she’ll invest in partnerships in Latin America, Africa, and Asia with people and nations who share our values and vision for the future. – Hillary Clinton

I quote two different sets of points. The two on the top are very controversial to me, because they are easier said than done and I will explain.  The bottom two essentially state the same goal but its actually a very encouraging sentiment to hear. Starting with defeating ISIS, it sounds like Hillary wants to use our allies in the middle east to help defeat them. (See the Italicized sentence) Although I find this to be a more tolerable policy then unilateral action, I still see problems. Naturally when trying to form a coalition to fight there will be disagreements. I think the real problems stem from who will pay for this fight and who actually can fight.

Let’s take Afghanistan for example, since the US handed over the reins of their newly installed democratic government, the Afghans still haven’t been able to re-gain full control. The insurgency is prevalent in interrupting day to day life. It also still requires a close relationship with US troops. If Hillary is counting on Afghanistan or even worse the center of ISIS in Syria to fight, then I think she is crazy. Now if we depend on other allies like Israel, Jordan, or Saudi Arabia; We might end up footing the bill. The sad reality is that typically the US does foot the bill for uni and bilateral action since we are the most powerful nation in the world. This is still leaves the question of would actually defeat ISIS?

In my humble opinion, I don’t think it would be enough. Nor would I say that invading would be effective either. I think Hillary should broaden the whole policy and include everyone across the world. Her stated policies of creating and maintaining allies and partnerships is the exact solution to defeating ISIS. The reason is that ISIS like other terrorism groups are fueled by fear and coercion. These two elements help a terrorism group achieve its goals. They are feared by the people, and they coerce governments into giving them what they want. So Hillary needs to make sure every ally that we can possibly have on board is ready to stand up against ISIS, not by fighting them but by not fearing or giving into their demands.

Before I talk about her policy with China, I want to highlight something I just said because its pretty much the point I wanted to make about the last two policies in the quote. The sentence in bold is why I like those policy points. Terrorism can only be fought with kindness not with violence. It seems to psychologically weird, however, the terrorism feed off of expensive wars and fear. Just look at Afghanistan. Now moving away from terrorism, I just want to make some quick points about her policy with China.

I have stated before that Hillary would follow in President Obama’s footsteps and continue the Asian pivot. If I am not mistaken it sounds like that is exactly what she wants to do. I believe that its a solid step in the right direction. However, I would add to her policy that we should become more economically independent by reducing our federal deficit. If you read my first two posts then you know that our relationship with China is securely hinged on interdependent economies. Speaking of China and moving into Mr. Trump’s policy, once again I will quote a part of it and link the rest of it, here on Trump’s website. Here is that quote:

Bring China to the bargaining table by immediately declaring it a currency manipulator.

Strengthen our negotiating position by lowering our corporate tax rate to keep American companies and jobs here at home, attacking our debt and deficit so China cannot use financial blackmail against us, and bolstering the U.S. military presence in the East and South China Seas to discourage Chinese adventurism. – Donald Trump

Mr. Trump lacks any sort of real national security issue on his website. However, this tidbit gives at least some clue as to how Trump would deal with foreign policy affairs. I find it interesting that his first statement is calling China a currency manipulator. Now its true, however, if anyone knows how to manipulate currency its Trump, see this heated post. I am not completely sure how he plans to get them to even talk about stopping much less punishing them. The reason why I feel such a slight chance of punishment is because the UN would be handing the sanctions. The problem is that the permanent security council that votes on sanctions in the UN, includes members like China. So obviously China would block anything  like that.

Fortunately, Mr. Trump’s second point makes a lot more sense if he can do right. One way to stop China from cheating to rely less on their economy. Trump is headed in the right direction with both the corporate tax rate and attacking the debt and deficit. However, let me hope that he doesn’t try to use his boneheaded and stupid plan that I blew up in a post recently. Of course, the right way to decrease our debt is to stop SPENDING. Just to set the record straight. The last part of Trump’s statement is a little controversial. Here it is again: bolstering the U.S. military presence in the East and South China Seas to discourage Chinese adventurism.

I’m not personally crazy on this type of policy because it could give way to a war that we don’t want. I wrote before when writing about China that the Chinese are preparing to try to enlarge their sphere of influence. The Chinese aren’t ruling out a war as the building of their navy would indicate. Once again, I think military build ups just lead to war. There is no way for diplomatic negotiations with increased military force in close proximity. I think that Trump and the US would be better off using economic measures to help combat the Chinese reach for world power.

I hope that this was informative and gave some insight on how these policies may affect us if they are put into use. The goal of this US foreign policy series to help educate people on the aspects of foreign policy. It should also make clear who you may want to vote for. A candidate’s knowledge of foreign policy is a highly regarded asset in political circles. I think that besides the economy, foreign policy is one of the hardest areas in politics. The complexity and multitude of variable factors is absolutely overwhelming. I will say that even I struggle to comprehend foreign policy at times.Fortunately, my background in History has prepared me well to understand it. I also feel that foreign policy can make or break a presidency. I’ll be honest with President Obama, he had almost no foreign policy experience. Yet he has done just alright, with a quite a few mistakes. The two bright spots are his Asian Pivot and his dealing with Syria and ISIS. Anyway, I hope that you enjoyed all the posts in this series, there will definitely be more in the future!

Thank you for reading!

US Foreign Policy: Terrorism is the New War

Welcome back to the second installment of US Foreign Policy  as it relates to the presidential candidates and their future presidencies. Today, I will continue a little bit on my China and US narrative. Then I will start on a new issue which can be considered the most alarming threat to US national security. If you read or watch the news you know all about ISIS. I am more interested in how the candidates intend to fight back against ISIS. I will also preview a short history of terrorism, very similar to this post I wrote awhile back. I would encourage you to read both that article and read my last post: US Foreign Policy: Commander and Peace. I hope your ready for some complex international relations because these two situations typify two classic international relations circumstances. Just a warning, this post may be very long.

In my last post, I started out talking about the Chinese rise to a world power via economic dominance in manufacturing. I also covered the economic interdependence that tie the US and China closely. In my concluding statements, I talked about Hillary Clinton and her corporate connections that might draw us into war because of corporate and self interests. Now I want to try to explain as simply as I can, the order of preferences for both China and the US. Trying to pick out preferences or national interests in this case, can show us where the relationship between China and US is heading. Its nearly impossible to predict because sometimes actors make irrational decisions. However, most of the time, it is assumed that actors are rational. A rational decision maker follows standard logic of any given circumstance making it easier to predict. Also my perceived preferences could be totally wrong because I’m merely an observer, not an actor inside China or the US. Observations can be inaccurate due to a lack of information. For the sake of education and knowledge though, I will try to be as accurate as possible.

Let’s start with China’s preferences or national interests. Its clear from Chinese actions that they want to build up their power. I would say that power is China’s first preference. They already have economic power but they want to be considered among the great world powers. The Chinese have perceived by history, that they have been sort of second class in terms of world power. This perceived lack of power leads into their two second preference or national interests. Chinese are looking to become influential within their sphere of influence. I can tell this because the US influence in Asian is quite large. The US holds some type of alliance or mutual defense agreement with Japan, Philippines, and Vietnam. Japan is a powerful economic engine itself. Also they happen to be a Chinese sworn rival. The last Chinese preference from what I can tell, is the continuation of their economic dominance. This is both a power AND influence preference because the economy can allow a country the resources and wherewithal to pursue their national interests.

Of course with any preference order there is a preferred set of outcomes. Based on the China’s building up a navy and their defiance of international law, one outcome is war. I would assume that in a rational decision making process they would try diplomatic  or non-violent ways to get power and influence. However, I sense that now after nearly 20 years of economic dominance they still don’t feel respected. The outcome of war is very likely something that the Chinese would embrace given their large navy and abundant population. The only downside is that their opponent is already who or what their aiming to be.

The US preference is very similar to the Chinese but for different reasons. The US prefers to maintain their power because unlike China, the US already has the world power and elite status. The US also prefers to increase their influence in Asian to push back China via the Asian pivot. America also prefers to increase their economic production to catch up with China. As you can see, the US preferences are similar to China’s because the US wants to keep China from gaining too much power and influence. The most important difference is the outcome of war. US does not want to go war with China, hence the Asian pivot. Another factor that helps US national interests is economic interdependence with China. It also hurts the US because China has the same ability to effect a war.

Now in the perspective of a presidential candidate like Trump or Clinton, they will have access to much more classified information and intelligence. The most important foreign policy decision in regards to China is how to handle their bullying of other Asian countries. We can’t get caught up in their games. Its very similar to a game of poker, if a player bluffs a good or bad hand, then its up to you to figure out which their trying to hide. Sometimes you guess wrong. I believe that as long as Clinton or Trump protect US interests only and don’t try to overreach, they can keep China at bay. At the very least avoid a war that might cost over a billion people due to nuclear weapons.

If you haven’t done so already, please read The Post 9/11 Narrative vs. The Past 50 years of American Foreign Policy. This is will give you some background about terrorism, also you could read my post on 9/11’s 14th anniversary. In order to save my word count and your time, I will get right into ISIS and how the candidates might deal with it. I think the best place to start is with former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Secretary of State is an appointed position within the President’s cabinet. The Secretary of State is responsible for diplomatic relations with other countries. Under Clinton’s tenure, the rise of ISIS happened among the civil war in Syria and chaos in the Afghanistan and Iraq. Many news pundits like to blame Bush for creating a power void that let ISIS come to power. I don’t want to get into how it was formed or why because it would take a rather complex, scholarly effort to conclude such a hypothesis. However, if we look back on how Clinton handle foreign policy situations we can see how her policies might unfold as president.

One of Clinton’s most controversial moves as Secretary of State was a decision to leave ambassadors in Libya despite the dangerous conditions in the north African country. The political scandal that has followed Clinton because of the deaths of these four ambassadors under her watch. It has become known as the Benghazi Scandal. I feel like Clinton’s handling of the situation was poor, however the surprise attack cannot be faulted on her. At the same time, she should have known that surprise attacks are common and had prepare an appropriate security force to protect those ambassadors. I think from this situation, I gather the Clinton will follow a policy of national interests over human interests. During her tenure, she choose to remain out of the Syrian Civil War, which has just begun a year or two earlier. This was despite the reports of Syrian president Assad killing his own people. Once again, Clinton doesn’t deserve all the blame because I feel she made the right choice.

The Syria Civil war is a very complex conflict within the country of Syria. There are multiple warring factions. It would be stupid to get involved in such a conflict. Even to this day, President Obama and new Secretary of State John Kerry, have decided to stay away with the exception of training some rebels and bombing campaigns. An all out war on Syria would be more costly than Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Unfortunately one consequences of not intervening has been the formation of ISIS. We have seen how Clinton handled some situations as Secretary of State, but how will she handle ISIS as president?

In the next series of this US Foreign policy, I will take the each of the Candidates platform on Terrorism and see how that will work against ISIS. To concluded this post, I will talk a little bit about why Trump worries me in foreign policy. Then I will do quick explanation of my title. Donald Trump is by profession, a business man. He brags about his book, Art of the Deal. Despite Trump being a savvy businessman, I have some anxiety about his foreign policy. Business deals tend not to have as high stakes as diplomatic talks can. Trump has to remember that in foreign policy, he represents the world’s most powerful nation. There are other countries and terrorist who want to see America go down in flames. Trump negotiating skills will definitely come in handy. However, his knowledge of foreign policy is probably not on par with many other past presidents.If there is one thing he could do to sooth my fears, it would be to get a very experienced Secretary of State that has been in foreign policy.

Obviously I can find positives and scary negatives about both candidates in foreign policy.  To conclude this post, let me explain why “Terrorism is the New War”. If you remember in your American and Global history classes,  in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries it was common for States or Nations to fight against each other. There is a multitude of wars that pit two or more countries against each other. The wars usually start over economic, religious, or land issues. Now, in the 21st century, we have seen a dramatic change in the face of war. Since the 9/11 terrorist attack, we have seen wars not to conquer other countries for land. The wars fought especially by the US have been over religious extremists and some economic interests like Oil.  War has changed and so has how we conduct foreign policy. Whoever becomes President in January 2017 will be dealing primarily with a terrorism threat. It was much easier when Nations fought each other because you know who your negotiating with. Also it was easy to impose international sanctions. Now, terrorists are just groups of people with a common cause. They don’t care about being diplomatic, they want to use force and coercion.

In order to defeat these terrorist who feed off fear and overreactions, we need to unite as country. We need to unite as allies with Europe and Asian. These groups of terrorist are not new or invisible. They are human beings. Whoever is President will need to bring peace of mind and stability. Their leadership will be instrumental in fighting back the terrorists. I personally feel that their intentions are to incite war. The best defense against another costly war is to be determined to keep peace through increased homeland security of our borders. We must keep out those terrorists and allow those who deserve to be here, to come freely. The future of our nation rests upon the foreign policy decisions made in these critical years.

Part 3 of this series in a few days! Thanks for reading!

 

Voting Choices: Person or Policy?

It occurred to me recently that people support different candidates for different reasons. Whenever I see the news and they talk about the election, I hear how people show and spread support. Its interesting to me and I know there is studies done on how voters choose a candidate. My main thought here is that people pick a president based on either the personality or the policies of that person. I suppose one could consider both. Rather than cite a bunch of studies showing how candidates get elected, I want to focus on the Person vs. the Policy way of deciding. My theory is that voting for personality may not be the best result. If you disagree then definitely leave a comment explaining why. I will use current candidates as examples.

The first order of business is breakdown each way deciding by defining what each way means exactly. I also want to add a third category of Both/Random. This category is basically a combination of both personality and policy or could be just like a coin flip because the voter is indecisive. Personality in many studies is a huge among voter choices. I’ve seen many studies done and you can google them. Many of the past presidents have great personalities. Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Jefferson..etc .Personality can mean things like friendliness, likability, empathy, energy, charisma, honesty, and sociability. Personality can also have negative aspects like dishonesty, aloofness, cold, lazy, and anger. The current candidates all display some or all these characteristics. I think Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both can fit into likability, energy, charisma and sociability.  Meanwhile I would put Hillary Clinton with dishonesty, aloofness, and empathy. Are these traits really that important for each candidate?

I believe that personality only matters very little. The problem is that personality can get you elected and be well liked. But if you look at presidents with great personalities they usually had savvy policies that helped. The counter argument is that their personality pushed their policies through. I would contend that might be applied to one or two presidents because there is a lot of factors to consider with policy. So what does policy mean? Policy is what the candidate intends to do while in office. For example, President Obama wanted to push a new healthcare plan (Obamacare), kill Bin Laden and end the wars in Iraq, and various others. Now whether he achieved them is irrelevant to this case. All candidates have put forward policies. This information is (I believe) the most important information about a candidate that you will ever have. Their policies will determine the future of the United States and in turn your future. I feel like people forget that a President is a leader who is supposed to help execute laws that make America better off. Its in your interest to know what kind of policies the President might pass and understand how they affect you.

Since I can only use my own views to enlighten this conversation, I will be using my own logic to make a decision between a few popular candidates. I will consider both personality and policy to make a point. However, let me just say that I almost always choose on policy. First up: Hillary Clinton. I said previously that I find Clinton to be dishonest, aloof and empathic. I feel like her personality compared to other candidates is lackluster. As for her policy, if you have read any of this blog you know that I disagree wholly with the how not the end goal. I think that with policy for Clinton, she is just a bland democrat with nothing too special. Her policies ride in line with party practice. I can get on board with some of her family programs but my problem is how is she paying for these? Raising taxes is exactly what Republicans like too. Even though Hillary has a lot of baggage like the email scandal, I could ignore that if she was better with her policy. I’m a libertarian so she is too left with her policies.

Second: Bernie Sanders. I love Bernie Sanders personality. He might have the best one in this years election. He connects with young people and old people. He has energy, sociability and even date-ability? Apparently theres even a dating app for Bernie? So yes, Sanders has a banging personality. Once again, I won’t repeat myself but I put Bernie in the same category as Hillary. He is way too liberal. My problem with Bernie is that his polices are cosmetic because they look good on paper but in reality they won’t fix problems. My favorite example is minimum wage. I only talk about it every other post. Here. Here. Here. Here. If you haven’t gotten the point, its basically that an artificially inflated minimum wage creates problems for lower classes and the middle classes. Not to mention causing inflation and small businesses to go out. My simple problem overall with all his programs is how he is paying. I don’t necessarily disagree with his goal. Let’s face it that the rich people are not the problem, its the people who taking advantage of our tax code and regulations written specifically for them. My decision is no, for those of you feeling the Bern.

Last but not least: Donald J. Trump. Trump is a wrecking ball worse than Miley Cyrus. However, Trump combines some interesting elements of personality to really grab our attention. He is so outspoken and yet agreeable because of how  he talks. Trump’s style is literally a bull in a china shop. Do I like his personality? The short answer is I find it amusing and amazing how he can take over the media coverage basically shutting out other candidates. Its definitely been working as I predicted.  As for Trump’s policy, I would call it somewhat misguided. Trump doesn’t suffer from the liberal problem of how are you paying? (Remember Mexico, Putin and China are paying or so he says) Trump policies tend to be a little more racists, exclusionary, and make me who is really paying? Trump is in line with most republicans which means he wants to give tax breaks to people who don’t need them. Obviously, Trump’s wall on the border of Mexico and banning of Muslims is where his racism comes into play. If he could tone the racism, then increased border security is never a bad thing. I think for his tax plan that he doesn’t go far enough to really change much. My decision on Trump is also no.

Ok so I said no to all three. Here is the truth my horse in the race has dropped out. Of all the 30 or so candidates that declared, the closest candidate to my personal policy preferences was Rand Paul. The difference between Rand and the others is that Rand understands how the economy actually works. Its not even anyones fault because there is a lot of ignorance about the economy. So it does not shock me that most of the candidates have terrible tax plans and economic policies. I’m not an economist either. But trust me, the simple truth that the government pays for its crap with your money can explain why most candidates suck.

I hope that this article helps you make a choice, or I mean a better choice. I believe that policy is the way to go. It doesn’t matter what kind of personality any candidate has. You have to be mostly concern with policies because they actually affect your life. I realize that all of this is my own opinions and you can disagree if you want. In the end, I feel like if just a few more people consider policy when voting then we will make a better choice.

Thanks for reading!