Question 1 & 2:
The most insightful and thought provoking comment I read throughout this course came about in Topic 7: Agriculture, Food, and the State, from Alice McEwen. It was one quote specifically that caught my eye, “Secondly, when the world hunger and famine problem are discussed it is always synonymous with poverty and solely the issue of that specific nation, rather than making the nations who are exploiting them take responsibility.” It is very ironic that the U.S. spends billions each year in helping other countries, but much less money could be spent if you are to take the time to look at the root problem.
No question about it, the U.S. has exploited nations such as Africa for years now. During our imperialistic days, we ran the slave trade through their country, and although we have come a long way since then, we are still stealing from many 3rd to 2nd world countries in different ways. Sure we can say we are funneling in money through projects, factories, farming and other businesses, but that is clearly not helping Africa’s starving children.
As an American, I will always put our country first, and I will also continue to defend globalization, but after seeing this quote and going through the readings, I’ve definitely softened my stance. Although we are benefiting from our business and agriculture in Africa, that is the home of other people and we as Americans need to recognize that. I don’t know what it will take, but our government needs to take a step back and really look at what is going on. Although Donald Trump won’t be the guy to do it, we as citizens need to keep raising as much awareness as possible, so that we can change public opinion and hopefully policy.
Another reason I really appreciate Alice McEwen’s comment is because it states the issue and gets to the point. Too many times in this class I’ve seen people start their sentence with some sort of derogatory term about Americans. If you want those you disagree with to consider your opinion, starting a sentence with “Dumb greedy Americans” doesn’t help your case. Our country is too divided these days, if you want someone to understand you and possibly change their stance, you need to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
Well done Alice.
I believe the biggest issue in our economic system has to do with the fact that corporations are allowed to donate money towards politics. The base of the American Democracy is freely elected officials serving the public good. However, in todays society a large majority of American politicians don’t serve the public good. Rather, our “freely” elected officials are beholden to outside special interests. These special interests are looking for the betterment of their specific group or socio/economic class, not the greater good for the public. How can you blame them though? Capitalism is based off of improving your current position. Given the opportunity people will try to get ahead in life, and now that Corporations can vote, that is exactly what they will do. Lawmakers today write and pass laws based on outside interests, which does not help the general public. Something must be done with the way our politicians receive funds in order to run for government positions.
If outside interest and money was not a worry of lawmakers, people who want to make a serious change on the political and economic system would be able to make an impact. There are representatives and senators who really do care about the greater good of the people, but unfortunately there are too many who are in the back pocket of special interest groups. To fix this problem, we as people need to keep voting in those who really do care about us, and keep pushing the government to take away human rights from corporations.
As someone who considers themselves as fiscally conservative, I do agree that corporations should be taxed less than they are now. I’m not against all big business, I just know that people are greedy, and given the opportunity they will take what they can get. The problem is though, is that the wants and needs of corporations and that of people very rarely align. What does a coal mining company and the people living in the state of Michigan have in common? The answer is nothing, nothing at all, so if our government is out to serve its people, lets cut the corporations out of the picture.