Sunday, March 30, 2014

NAFTA and U.S. Immigration Reform

As I sit here tonight and think about immigration reform, it brings me back to my Junior Year at La Salle, and in particular, this History class i took called Latin America in Revolution.  In this class, I learned about the progression on Latin American history from 1500 to the present time.  Towards the end of the semester, we learned about the Mexican Revolution and the integration of the North American Trade Agreement into the economies of the U.S. and subsequently Mexico and Canada.  As the world becomes globalized, we've seen a shift in extending our borders and trade within adjacent nations to increase overall ties both politically and economically.  In recent years as a result of illegal immigrants entering our country by "border hopping" as I would call it, the U.S. government has begun adding increased measures to stop such "border hopping" from happening.  Although I understand that illegal migrants are breaking the law by crossing the border without going through the proper measures, we, the United States, are a nation of immigrants for the only natural born citizens of this great nation are Native Americans.

Sometimes I sit up at night and think about our immigration issues in this country.  I watched a YouTube video awhile back of Mark Zuckerberg, who also is a key proponent of Immigration reform.  As a result of his initiative in solving this problem, I too, became interested and concerned about this growing issue in our country.  As our nation's population growth is steadily declining as a result of the Baby Boomer generation getting older and the younger generation putting off Child Baring until they've settled down within their respective career, it leads me to think that relaxing our laws on immigration isn't such a bad idea.  As a teacher in a town/city where we've got a large Latino and Hispanic population, I've got to see first hand just how happy Mexican and Latino American children are to be living in this country and how hard they work at learning and integrating into the English language.  As a result of knowing two languages, they will only help themselves and the economic stature of the U.S. leading into the future. I believe it is a common misconception that we've learned from watching Border Wars on television that Mexican citizens only come here to traffic drugs to help give and bring money back home to feed their families.  I've had personal and private conversations with my students about the struggles and triumphs their parents have faced just to come to America to improve the lives of themselves and their children.  As a result of the their work ethic, I believe that relaxing laws, so that the immigration process is much easier to go through will stop illegal immigrants from feeling it is necessary to "border hop" to enter our country.

It brings great pity to my soul that Americans are so racist and ignorant to immigration in our country.  Some Americans are completely against Mexicans that immigrate to the U.S. or anyone for that matter from emigrating to our country.  We, as a nation, were all immigrants at one point in time in our family's history or just the history of our nation as a whole.  I do not understand why we've become a nation that looks down upon people who come to our country to better themselves as well as the economic stature of our nation as a whole.  Foreigners are some of the hardest working people i've ever met and they certainly take advantage of what we have to offer them in this great nation.  They are willing to take jobs that lazy, ignorant Americans feel they are "too good" for.  I've worked in almost every type of industry you can think of, and I have busted my rear-end in every single one of them, and it brings great shame that Americans are starting to see themselves as "too good" for certain jobs.  We, as a nation, need to look real hard in the mirror and realize without immigration we probably would not be where we are right now.

NAFTA was created to boost the flow of money and trade between the countries of North America.  By not solving immigration reform, we are doing a dis-service to this agreement we made a few decades ago.  By integrating our economies together, we can and have increased the flow of money and traded goods among the members of NAFTA.  As a result, just like the laws and regulations that have been put in place to help economically among the countries of North American, we should make it easier to allow for the flow of legal immigrants to and from America by making laws that promote legal immigration instead of making it more difficult which will only promote "border hopping."

Border Wars has created a negative perception towards Mexicans and immigrants as a whole.  Men and woman using assault weapons, night vision gear, and helicopters too stop illegals from entering our country just puts a bad connotation on a false reality for the American viewers.  Most Mexican immigrants just want to come to our country to give themselves, their families, and their children a better life, better jobs, and a better education.  We as a nation, need to relax laws and make the legal process much easier and quicker for immigrants who have no prior history of crime and illegal activities, so that immigrants do not feel it is necessary to enter our country by illegal means.  I feel we need to protect our borders from drug smuggling as much as the next person, but each of us need to realize we are a nation of immigrants, and as a whole, immigrants, especially Mexicans, from what i have experienced, are some of the hardest working people I have ever seen and they will only boost our economy in the future.  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Keynesian Economics Vs. Laissez Faire Economics

Throughout the 20th and 21st century, American politics and economics has shifted quite often.  This shift in economic and political policy can be broken down into two categories:  Keynesian economics and Laissez Faire Economics.  Keynesian economics, in a nutshell,  is the idea that government spending or in 21st century terminology, capital injections, help grow the American economy and maintain overall stability of the market place.  Laissez-Faire, or "hands off," approach to economics is the economic and political policy that states that business and economics will regulate itself.  In the words of the former Chairman of the Fed, Alan Greenspan, "Let business do as business does."  In the end, both economic and political philosophies have their pro's and con's respectively, but I personally believe that the right combination of both will lead to prosperous times for the United States leading into the future.  Although many people would not agree with what Ben Bernanke, Janet Yellen, and Obama are doing or have done with regards to American economic policy, the U.S. has seen overall market growth over the last 2 years although the job market is still lacking.

During economic depressions, the American government and banking systems alike have taken the route of Keynesian Economics.  During the largest economic depressions in the last century, the government and our national banking system, The Federal Reserve, have used what are called capital injections which is money loaned from the world banking system to help temporarily boost economic activity and the flow of money in the system of finance and the overall business world.  Because of the lack of "flow," as i would call it, the overall market is stagnant because during a time of crisis businesses and/or financial institutions hoard cash in an effort to save themselves from further damage.  Although from a consumer perspective, this may seem selfish or irresponsible, from a business perspective, they have to do it in order to keep the company afloat during rough seas.  As a result, the national banking system, the President, and Congress, use its banking power to help alleviate such chaos by injecting funds into the marketplace in order to stop a further decline, or to help boost the overall economy out of a hole, but who created the hole is story for another time.  At the same time, this capital injection or Keynesian approach to economic activities is put onto the taxpayer to pay back in the future, and sometimes the money injected into the economy is not trickled down from top to bottom which in hindsight is a sound fiscal policy for any economic system as a whole.

From the beginning of American History, businessmen or women have taken a key stance in supporting laissez-faire economics.  In a perfect economic system, the idea of a hands off approach to government in business is something that can really work.  With less regulations, businesses can put more money into the overall growth and development of the company as a whole.  With the implementation of more taxes, regulations, and penalties, businesses cannot hire more workers or really see major economic growth, but whether they really would really hire more workers is a matter of debate/opinion.  As a result, too much government interference can really hinder on the overall growth and development on the markets that be.  At the same time, if business is left to fend for itself, one will start to see businessmen and women take advantage of the lack of oversight as we have seen in 1929 and again in 2007-08.  Without government oversight, the market tends to lean towards price fixation and overall abuse of power and money, but too much regulation will inevitably lead towards the stifling of overall growth.

In the end, both economic systems have both their ups and downs.  During times of economic crisis, government and national banking stimuli is needed to help against the overall collapse and stability of the markets that be.  At the same time, if government plays too much of a role in trying to control the growth and development of the economic system, then the overall business environment can be negativity affected.  People and business alike will be too afraid to invest their money into companies that the government tries to regulate too much, but at the same time, the government is an intermediary between business and the people, so public outcry must be heard and equally represented in a democratic republic.  In conclusion, I personally think that Obama is doing the best he can at making sure he doesn't stifle growth, but at the same time, making sure the people are being fairly represented.  Unfortunately, in a capitalist system, the balance between the people and business can be difficult to maintain sometimes and industries definitely become way too powerful, but hasn't Obama used tariffs to bring jobs back home, if you don't believe me check out Apple's growth in Arizona and Texas where they've created thousands of jobs which they don't tell you on the news?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Why The Next President Should Be A Woman

Over the course of human history, the role of women in society has dramatically changed.  For many years woman have had the role of household manager and the person who raised the children to adulthood.  Since the start of the Industrial Revolution through the present time, the role of woman in society has dramatically changed.  As the cost of living has risen, the growth and availability of the job market increased, and gender barriers within the workforce have diminished, woman from all over the country and even the world for that matter, have since entered and thrived in the world of employment.  As I think about how the U.S. and subsequently the world have started to embrace the change in job culture, I start to think that woman are just as good if not better than men in leadership roles for many reasons.  Woman are better multi-taskers on average than men, they are not driven by male testosterone, and they see the world in a different, broader perspective than men do.  According to the United Nations, there are 193 independent states, yet only 32 of them have female leaders.  Here's my story:

Throughout my life i have been keen on observing how woman think and conduct themselves.  As a child, I grew up in home with 3 woman, 2 older sisters and obviously my mother.  For much of my childhood, my father worked night shift at his job, so I grew up with a house full of nothing but women.  As a result, I really got a first hand perspective on just how woman think, act, and carry themselves during all different kinds of situations.  I really focused on my mother for I get my personality from her, but I look like my father.  From observing her, and eventually all woman in society, I've realized that woman are much better at multitasking than man.  Men tend to see life through what I call tunnel vision, where they tend to only focus on one task at hand while woman are able to be more multi-functional than men.  As a result, I believe because of this superior ability to multitask, that they would be better overall leaders than men.

I'll say this right off the bat since it is the God's honest truth, men tend to think with one head, and its not the one connected to the neck.  Male driven testosterone really hinders man to think logically sometimes.  Because of this, it causes them to act more in a primitive manner than woman.  Because of this, when one's pride or pockets are hurt, man tends to feel obligated to lash out towards another through violence or irrational thought.  As a result, a man with power or money will use more extreme measures such as war to retaliate rather than use logical and rational thought and language processing to subdue the situation.  As a result, over the course of history, we as a world have caused great bloodshed and harm towards one another in a male dominated world.  In the end, because of male testosterone, it is becoming ever more clear that having a female leader is something that could possibly shift the world of international cooperation.

As a result of growing up with woman, and being in relationships have they be friendly or intimate, I have learned and observed that woman view the world in a much different way than men.  Women, as a majority, tend to view the world in a broader perspective than men.  Although it drives me crazy that woman think of every possible angle of every possible situation,  I think that gender trait or quality is something that a world or national leader should have to be a good leader.  Being able to look at every possible angle of any given situation or conflict, allows one to make better overall choices that can help lead to better, more logical and rational choices and decisions. Although not all men see the world through tunnel vision, woman tend to think with both their heart and mind when looking into a certain situation in life.  Woman are much more caring than men because their brain is hard-wired to think that way because of the nurturing and caring they have and give to their children.

In the end, I believe woman would make better overall leaders than men.  In the past few years, women have received more PHD's than men which goes to show one that women are just as hardworking and intelligent if not more intelligent, logical, and rational thinkers than men.  Women are not driven by testosterone which in many cases causes men to lash out when their pride or pockets are hurt by another person, company, or nation as a whole.  In conclusion, women just perceive life in a different, much more broader perspective than men do which, in my opinion, makes me think that they would make great world leader or in this case, Presidents than men as a whole.