Monday, August 31, 2015

Trump talks of raising taxes, alarming G.O.P

       Donald Trump has recently talked about implementing tariffs on American companies and moving their factories to other countries. He also has talked about increasing the taxes on the compensation of hedge fund managers. Republicans have been known to consistently preach cutting taxes and bolstering business to help economic growth.

         Traditional republicans are in shock but the huge difference in Trumps view of taxes. They fear the Trumps opponents may start to adopt a more tax admitting stance to gain some support from some people on the fence on Trump. However, traditional republicans do not want to see a tax allowing nomination represent the Republican Party.

        Many republicans are fearful because while Trumps view on taxes may not align with republicans it does support the feeling of a great deal of voters. The club of growth is an anti-tax group that is investigating Trimps tax plan and is seeking to find flaws in it.

        I feel that Trumps view on taxes is a great risk for many Republicans. if Trump is seeking a tax increase, his opponents are going to be forced to allow for taxes at a greater frequency because they want to lessen the gap between themselves and the current leader of the polls. However, by doing so, the candidates are going against the orthodox republican view on taxes and this could become a big problem if some of their votes leave for a third party candidate in the election for presidency.

Ten years after Katrina

When I first heard about Katrina, I was too immature to understand. Instead of thinking about the billions and billions and billions of dollars it would take for the city to recover or how some parts could never be the same at all, I thought that maybe New Orleans could be like the next Atlantis, and even though all of this sucked, that would be pretty cool. Don’t judge. I was six. 

But even ten years later, I still can’t pretend to comprehend how long and painful the journey to recovery for New Orleans was. It did not help that New Orleans pre-hurricane already suffered from high rates of poverty and crime. Today, while the city is definitely on the road to recovery, it’s not quite there yet. Reflecting back on the natural disaster’s 10th anniversary, some think that disaster relief hurt the people it was supposed to help the most, and point out that there is disparity between some regions, that affluence and recovery fall along racial lines. 

(I like this article. It's informative and interesting and also has nice pictures.) 

Fast forward seven years later, and Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast in November. This time, FEMA was more prepared to address the natural disaster, bracing itself for the storm before it even hit. Obama’s approval ratings shot up after Sandy…which happened, lucky for him, right before the 2012 election. 

The Constitution does not address how the government should handle things like natural disasters, which are incredibly costly to manage. To me, especially because of what I can see in the difference between how Katrina and Sandy were handled, the answer seems obvious. The government is there to provide help in times of crisis, is it not? And while there is an argument to be made that the government should step out in times of recession because the economy may bounce back by itself in times of stress, I cannot see one that excuses government inefficiency and hesitance to respond during a natural disaster. To me, while this is not a power explicitly enumerated in the Constitution, I see it as an extension of the government's duty to protect the security of the nation. 

What are your thoughts on the role of government in responding to natural disasters? Please provide a constitutional basis. 

Dick Cheney warns of another potential attack similar to 9/11

                                                                                             Former president Dick Cheney has criticized Barack Obama and Joe Biden for allowing ISIS to grow. Cheney claims that if Osama Bin Laden was able to assemble a force to attack America with airplane tickets and box cutters, then America could be at great risk because ISIS has the ability to get their hands on much more powerful weapons. He claims that ISIS could get their hands on chemicals that could inflict great pain that Americans should not be faced with.                                                                                                                                                                                                 Dick Cheney sights Obama as the fault of ISIS. He feels that when he and president George W. Bush left office in 2009 America had Iraq under control, but Obama allowed Iraq to be left without American military soldiers. In doing so, Americans saw the rise of ISIS. According to Cheney, the most concerning issue is how ISIS is able to recruit people from America to fight in Syria and Iraq. Without high level security these Americans could return to the U.S and inflict serious pain.                                                                                                                                                                           Cheney also referenced that ISIS is extremely terrifying with the prospect that a nuclear weapon could be made in the middle east. I feel that Cheney is trying to bring worry to Obama's foreign policy. He is calling for a much higher security and may be referencing that we must take a stand against ISIS.
        While I feel that ISIS is a big risk, I feel that it is unnecessary to automatically take a military stance against ISIS. While ISIS is a dangerous organization, a war could not prevent deaths and would not lessen the tension between America and ISIS. However, I am fearful that American citizens that have joined ISIS could inflict damage to the U.S. I, however, trust American security and feel that we must just be cautious and prevent people from joining and strengthening ISIS. I do feel that we must not let ISIS obtain too much power because it would put America at risk. 
       This can be tied the to the Bill of Rights and how citizens have the right to bear arms. However, I feel that if people are putting the U.S at risk then they may be punished for their words. I feel that if Americans support ISIS then they are putting America at risk and therefore are subject to questioning.                                                                    

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The USA considering building a wall between us and Canada

       Republican candidate Scott Walker has raised a controversial topic about building a wall between America and Canada. Walker believes that it is a serious issue. Walker claims that we have to fear a terrorist attack coming through Canada. Canada has seen two Islamist terrorist attacks in the past years and Walker feels that Americans could be at risk. The republican fight for nomination has been dominated by talk of immigration. Donald Trump has taken a strong stand against immigration and many republican however a majority of the discussion has revolved around Mexico.

       Scott Walker"s view on immigration has been shifting over the past two years. The governor of Wisconsin was quoted saying two years ago that it would be logical to grant citizenship to some of the undocumented immigrants. However, recently Walker said that undocumented immigrants were not entitled to amnesty. Also, recently Walker claimed that the number of legal immigrants may need to be curbed to protect American jobs.
       I feel that Donald Trump had a direct effect on Walkers shift on immigration. Trump strong stance against immigration forced Walker to take a stronger stand against immigration in fear of being denounced by Trump. Walker feels that if he stays highly tolerant of immigration he will be exploited by Trump and decided to lessen the gap between their views on immigration. Trump is leading the republican race right now and Walker does not want to be at the other end of the spectrum on such a heavily discussed topic like immigration.

       While immigration was not a overwhelming topic in the Constitution, the southern and northern states were split on the topic of slavery. In the Constitution the founding fathers did not know whether or not to count slaces toward the population. If Walker had stuck to his proposal of giving some illegal immigrants citizenship it would raise of the issue of representation in the house. In the constitution the founding fathers had to compromise to could slaves as 3/5ths of a person. However, immigration talks could cause some states to lose or gain power depending on allowing immigrants to enter or not.

       So while Walker claims that he would consider a wall between the U.S. and Canada due to terrorism risks, I feel that immigration could be another factor pushing his decision.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sanders to tell DNC that 'establishment politics won't do it'

Image result for bernie sanders establishment


        On Friday, Bernie Sanders, seeking the democrat nomination, will step in from of the Democratic National Committee to express his views of Establishment politics. Establishment politics are conventionally known as a closed group of elites in the government. Sanders seeks to denounce these ethics and strive for a smaller elite. Sanders strives to convince the democrats that we must not follow the elite groups like Wall Street or big banks. However, Sanders has never spoken in front of the DNC so his views could easily be dismissed.

       Everywhere I have read, the Democratic National Committee is said to be the most establishment meeting there is. Sanders is putting a high risk on himself by ripping establishment in front of a crowd that could easily shut him down.( 
       Sanders has been pushing a anti-establishment view on the government in fundraisers; however, this is the first real risk he is taking. Sanders understands that he needs to gain the support of smaller organizations for his nomination. Sanders is taking a calculated risk, but I feel that it is necessary for his nomination. I feel that the attention in the democratic campaign has been tied to Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden. Sanders needs to take a risk to get his name out there. 

       Sanders is attempting to get the support of the lower class. He wants to implement a $15 per hour minimum wage and free tuition for college.He realizes that to gain nomination he needs to please a certain group of people with opponents like Hilary Clinton having control over certain parts if the democratic party.

       Sanders view of the government ties in to how the Articles of Confederation attempted to bring down the power of the elite. Sanders seeks to give the lower class a higher influence in the government and seeks to please the. The Articles attempted to help the minority also by giving each state equal power and prevented taxing without unanimous decisions. Sanders is going away from the founding fathers view that there needs to be an elite class for a government to work. Sanders feelings that an elite class will hinder the government and society from moving forward.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Devaluation of the Chinese yen

                                                                               That is a lot. 

Devaluation of the Chinese yuan

Last week, over the course of a couple of days, China devalued its currency around 4 percent. This matters because currency devaluation can trigger a “race-to-the-bottom” effect – when a country weakens its currency, its prices are lowered, which increases its exports and market share because consumers want the cheaper products, which encourages other countries to do the same. 

There is much speculation over the cause of this rapid devaluation, which is the lowest the yuan has dropped in a 2-day period in a very long time. One thing most can agree on is that it reflects that China’s economy may not be as strong as the world thought it was and that its rapid yearly growth rate (the GDP used to increase by 7 percent every year) may be starting to falter. 

However, people think there is more to it than just an attempt to increase exports and boost the economy. I read lots of opinionated analysis on China’s reasons for devaluing. 

a) China has, in the past, been accused of initiating a “currency war,” which is another term for competitive devaluation. The United States has also, in the past, fallen victim to competitive devaluation, which causes loss of jobs and can force protectionist policies like the enactment of tariffs. Some news sources took the bad blood angle and “spun” the story to speculate that this may be the start of yet another currency war (

b) Others say no, starting a currency war won’t help China’s efforts to become an IMF reserve currency (, elevating it to the status of the likes of the dollar, the euro, the yen, and the pound sterling. Some articles I read ( and “spun” the story in a more forgiving way, defending China by saying it was only trying to loosen its grip on the yuan and try to determine it by market value, which is what the IMF wants – free-floating currency.

The difference between how the prices of currencies are determined: The U.S. dollar is “free-floating,” which means that its value is tied to the market. The Chinese yuan is not currently free-floating. The central bank, not the market, determines its value every day, but it can be assumed that the central bank takes the market into account. 

(Now, awkward transition as I try to connect this to what we’re learning in class right now. Sorry.) Both of these countries’ exchange rate regimes reflect, to an extent, the overall structure of how they run their governments. China exercises tight control, the United States lets the people decide what they want and hopes for the best. The advantage of free-floating currency is independence from other currencies and freedom from complicated intervention policies, the disadvantage of free-floating currency is volatility. The price of freedom is volatility. Is it worth it (in any case…feel free to talk about government or economics, but other examples are also welcome!) ?