During this July 4 holiday weekend, it’s worthwhile to reflect on the greatness of America and consider issues that could hurt our country in the future if they are not addressed.
The inspiration for this essay is a very bizarre op-ed piece by Paul Krugman at the New York Times. He stalked around for several paragraphs before finally making his point that the wealthy in America are hypocrites attempting to hold down and debase all other Americans. I disagree with everything this man puts in print, and his piece today was no different.
Here are 9 issues that will bring this country down in the near future if we do not deal with them soon.
1. Class Warfare
Krugman believes that the wealthy are conducting a discriminatory war against the needy, and the downtrodden should rise up and smite their oppressors.
Liberal politicians, in an effort to gain votes, and the very liberal media, who are the self-appointed guardians of the have-nots, have relentlessly attacked Americans who have been successful in business, as if this good fortune is the cause of their problems. The misdeeds of Ivan Boesky and Bernie Madoff, and all the other notorious people who have cheated and misled investors, are now a blight on all successful people in Krugman’s mind. It is surprising that he has not demanded that the wealthy wear a “W” on their breasts.
Businessmen and women and bankers are principally responsible for many of the lifestyle advantages Americans have enjoyed since July 4, 1776. Frankly, these Americans will drive the next economic recovery, not unions, newspaper editors, university intellectuals, ambulance chasers, or anti-business groups.
2. Intervention vs. Isolationism
The U.S. must decide whether its role in the world should be to directly engage with rogue nations and criminals. “In our national interests” is a trite and far too general rationale for American engagement with other nations. Our leaders must decide what our national interests are and whether putting Americans in harm’s way is more preferable than disengagement. In recent years, U.S. engagement has been unproductive from every conceivable perspective.
3. Partisan Politics
Congress is ineffective. While partisans fight and refuse to compromise, so many institutions are crumbling before our eyes. These include our educational system, roads and bridges, and so on. We need to elect leaders who really lead and know how to negotiate when ideologies are at loggerheads.
4. U.S. Relationship With China
The Chinese are an important key to political and economic stability. Their influence in Asia and many other places around the world is growing rapidly. The U.S. must find ways to work with China to end global pollution, human-rights violations, theft of proprietary property, and so much more.
5. The Assault On Banks
Banks should be regulated, but the idiotic attempt to emasculate large institutions because of size will lead to chaos.
6. Separation Of Church And State
One of the most important advantages America has over most other countries is its policy of keeping religion separate from government. All Americans should appreciate the wonderful contributions religious people have made to our society. But to make political policy based upon religious dogma is dangerous, as we have seen in so many situations around the world over the centuries. This policy needs to be reinforced because religious dogma has crept into many debates between politicians in recent years.
7. The Internal Affairs Of The Middle East
The lion’s share of American efforts should be focused on Israel, our only real friend and ally in the region.
The Sunni/Shiite conflict will go on in perpetuity, and the U.S. is best served by avoiding this brouhaha at all costs. Further, the Arab world wants the U.S. to stay out of its affairs. Given that America’s dependence on Middle East oil has waned, it would be wise to listen to the warnings to stay away.
8. Medical Coverage
This issue has been beaten to death in the media and on this site. It is shocking that so many are still in denial about the potential impact of health care costs on America. If left unchecked, this entitlement along with Social Security will bankrupt this country. Waiting, dancing around the issue, and expecting Obamacare to be the magic elixir for the U.S. health care problem are bad tactics.
The U.S. has about 11 million illegal immigrants living in the country. They are costing taxpayers billions every year for health care, education, and other services. They are living in fear of immigration officials. And, many corporations and businesses are illegally relying upon this group of people to do business.
Congress and the president need to get an effective immigration policy in place now. Our borders must be sealed off, and the flow of more illegal immigrants must end. Simultaneously, our lawmakers must put into place a path to citizenship that rewards those who work, pay taxes, and obey the law. The alternative will be chaos and suffering for Americans and illegal immigrants alike.
This essay is a 64,000-foot assessment of what is hurting America. There are many other issues that are rubbing citizens the wrong way. I sympathize with those that believe our civil liberties are being eroded. I also side with those that continue to be beaten down by bigotry and illegal business practices.
However, we must get to the really big stuff that could have a long-lasting impact on our ways of life. The aforementioned list will be a good start in America’s recovery.