Is it Time to Redraw the Borders Between the States?

The blog Maps on the Web recently posted this: 51st U.S. state called North Colorado. It is an article with a map of a hypothetical new state called North Colorado; it also includes a link to an article explaining the situation. The gist of it is that people in certain counties of Colorado are upset with the policies being implemented by the legislature in Denver, which they feel are detrimental to their interests. Additionally, these counties feel that their interests are diverging from the rest of the state. The solution that some have devised is to separate themselves into a new state so they can be free to pursue their own path.

There are a number of proposed states similar the one in this article. Usually it involves a part of an existing state that wishes to become independent, examples are: southern Illinois wants to separate from the Chicago dominated north, northern California wants little to do with the southern part of their state, southern Virginia wants to be separate from the increasingly liberal north, and now northeastern Colorado can be added to this list. The driving factors here are usually the same: dissatisfaction with a government that people feel does not represent them or look after their best interests. Continue reading

The Nicaragua Canal

(Video via: Fareed Zakaria: GPS¹)

Chinese companies are planning to build a canal through Nicaragua to connect the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. The canal will be a boon to global trade and help increase the interconnectedness of the planet’s economies. As mentioned in the video above the canal in Nicaragua will not only increase capacity for shipping by providing another route, it will also be able (if built as planned) to accommodate much larger ships than the Panama Canal currently can.

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Will Iran’s Election Results Bring Change?

Hassan Rowhani

Hassan Rowhani

According to The New York Times, Cleric Hasan Rowhani won the Iranian presidential election. Rowhani was considered the most moderate candidate in the race. An interesting result and one and that should be looked upon with caution as well as optimism. While this result was somewhat unexpected and may bring some important changes to Iran and the region, it does not represent an electoral coup. Reportedly, Ayatollah Khamenei declared that “A vote for any of these candidates is a vote for the Islamic Republic and a vote of confidence in the system.” In other words, a vote for any candidate is a vote for the status quo. Continue reading

On World Government: Trade and Economics

In the last two posts on world government I focused on political issues (security, and freedom). Now, I will make my argument (that the world needs and would benefit from a global government) with a focus on trade and economics.

Uniting the world under a single federal government would imply an economic union as well. The benefits of a global economy would be as great as the challenges involved in creating it. As the recent history of the European Union shows us, integrating disparate economies is fraught with difficulty. In the end the difficulties (and possible failure) of the EU and the Euro may provide valuable experience that will assist in the future creation of a global government. Continue reading

Green Technology and the Future of Energy

Recently the UN held an environmental conference in Brazil (Rio+ 20). The purpose was to assess the progress made in achieving the goals set at the first Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro (1992).  Nature issued a report card grading the world’s achievement of the goals set in the original summit; the world failed.

One of the goals was to reduce greenhouse emissions and limit climate change. Green energy is pushed as the key to meeting this goal. So, in this article I will look at progress made in the advancement of renewable energy. Continue reading

On World Government: An Orwellian Nightmare?

In the last post I wrote about how world government could improve safety and security, and protect people’s rights. This would not magically solve the problem. Civil war and sectarian strife would still exist, however, I believe a global government will be better equipped to deal with these issues than our current system.

In this post I will try to address some questions brought up in the comments on the previous post. Some of the questions I received regarded the possibility of a world government being used, not to protect and secure freedom, but rather to oppress. It appears that when people talk about world government it conjures images of a massive conspiracy or some dystopian nightmare of totalitarian oppression. (For evidence just google ‘one world government’).

There is no reason why a government at that encompasses the entire world would necessarily be more oppressive than a national government. Any government has the potential to oppress and terrorize as well as to guarantee and protect freedom. The question is not one of geographic scale. It, instead, relates to the scope and power of government.

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On World Government: Security

This will be the first post in a series of (not necessarily consecutive posts) about world government. This topic was brought up in the comments on my last post on intervention in Syria. This is a subject that I have contemplated often. Despite this, and due to the scope and difficulty of the subject, my thoughts on the subject are basic and still taking shape. However, I thought it might be useful to subject my thinking to criticism and debate. Continue reading

Syria: Time to Intervene?

The uprising in Syria began over a year ago in March 2011. The uprising began as peaceful protests, and was a continuation of the Arab Spring. Shortly after President Bashar al-Assad launched a violent crackdown against the protesters. In response, the opposition has organized and has been trying to fight back. As a result of the fighting, over 5,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands have fled the country. The most recent atrocity to be perpetrated by Assad and the Ba’ath Party is the massacre at Houla.

For a variety of reasons the West has chosen not to intervene in Syria as they did in Libya. The primary reason, I believe is Russian support for the Assad regime. Because of the outrage over the Houla massacre (over 100 people were killed, mostly women and children) many are beginning to reassess our sanctions-only approach to Syria. More and more people have been asking if it is finally time to intervene in Syria and depose Assad.

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Technology and the Jobless Recovery

The ‘Great Recession’ officially ended in 2009, and we have been on the long road to recovery ever since. The graph above shows how the recovery has looked so far. The GDP had fully recovered to pre-recession levels while unemployment remains high. This phenomenon is known as a ‘job less’ recovery.  This means that we are producing the same (if not more wealth) with fewer people. Continue reading

China, the Philippines and American Leadership

China and the Philippines have become embroiled in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea. Tensions have been increasing in the region, naval ships have been deployed, and there have been talks of ‘small-scale’ war.¹ The dispute is about who has exclusive control over the Scarborough Shoal. The Scarborough Shoal is a tiny ‘island’ in the South China Sea. At stake is not the shoal itself, but fishing rights, control of valuable shipping routes and most importantly control over natural resources. The South China Sea has large (but unproven) quantities of underwater oil and gas deposits. Oil and gas are perhaps the primary cause in this conflict. Continue reading

Are Corporations Too Powerful?

In today’s world corporations are everywhere. They are ubiquitous throughout the developed world and even in the third world. Corporations are powerful forces for wealth creation. They have created millions of jobs, become extremely wealthy and control vast amounts of wealth and resources. But, corporations are no longer purely economic institutions. They participate in the democratic political process, leveraging their tremendous resources to shape laws, policies, and regulations in their favor. Arguably corporations have become one of the most powerful institutions ever created. The question is: are corporation too powerful?

The basic idea of a corporation began when business started looking for ways to raise more capital. Stock markets help corporations concentrate vast amounts of wealth that can be invested in their businesses, fund research and develop new products. This concentration of wealth also provides corporations with an immense concentration of political power. Another good question to ask is: is this concentration of power, in the hands of a few, compatible with democracy?

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