Tag Archive | "economy"

Thought Talk: What can be done to solve the national debt crisis?

Background: With a spiraling cycle of debt and hyperinflation on the horizon, it looks like the next few generations of Americans might be paying dearly with their money for our current poor management of government funds. As William Weld remarked, “There is no such thing as government money – only taxpayer money.”  With 1.2 billion on a daily basis being spent just on interest, the question arises as to how Americans will ever be able to pay for the other functions of the government as that interest continues to rise. Indeed, America’s debt is set to rise all the way up to 95% of GDP in the next eight years without any additional spending. What can be done at this point to fix the 13 trillion dollar debt we are wallowing in? The crux of the problem with our growing debt is based primarily on two things: pork barrel spending and bad loans to foreign nations. Pork barrel spending refers to politicians petitioning for government money to spend it on pet projects in their districts.  Politicians are looking for money to fill their states’ coffers in order to be re-elected in the upcoming year. The advertisement of pork barrel spending on any congressman’s website will attest to this. Foreign debt is accumulated by not utilizing American industries and natural resources, and instead relying on imports from countries such as China who possesses much of our debt. Drilling in Alaska is a perfect example of this phenomenon: Alaska has vast, unutilized oil reserves that could generate 55 billion dollars annually. Whatever the solution is, one thing is certain: If we do nothing, the currency will hyper-inflate and our deficit will soar to staggering heights.

~KS

DEC 2010

Posted in Domestic Affairs, EconomicsComments (2)

Solution Session: How should the government encourage higher job growth in a period of economic distress?

For the last few years, all Americans on some level have experienced a struggle in the economic downturn. Two aspects that have been hardest hit, the job and housing markets, are still struggling despite financial experts declaring the recession over. In this activity, everyone will try to see what is the best way to have better job growth? Is it in the construction industry, or would a foundation in higher education be a better route?

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Resolved, that convicts must work to pay for their time in prison.

Penal labor, also known as convict labor, is work for prison inmates, and is a necessary part of the rehabilitation of the criminal. The purpose of the labor is to give inmates a meaningful occupation and a possibility to earn money while in prison. Inmates may also acquire skills that would help them find a job after their release from prison. Penal labor also has a significant function in reducing the cruel monotony of prison life for the inmates by keeping their minds occupied and their hands productive. In contrast, many discourage the practice since convicts who are sent to work for a private company are prone to abuse. Many convicts do not receive proper healthcare on the job. However, proponents of penal labor argue that those are isolated incidents and are the responsibility of the warden to vet potential employers. Also, in the current economy, many are worried that penal labor will take away jobs from deserving Americans. For example, subsequent to the BP oil spill crisis, prison labor was used in the clean-up. Meanwhile, local workers objected as their jobs were taken away.

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