Global Failure to Cooperate

Posted January 2, 2011 by Greg
Categories: Blog, government, perfect government, politics

Why is it that we constantly hear about problems such as global warming, hunger, epidemics, and other critical issues, yet after all the talking we still make very little progress combating these issues? Jean-Francois Rischard believes this is due to a global failure to cooperate on fighting these issues.

He discusses the current methods used: treaties/conventions, UN summits, groups like the G8 or G20, international organizations like the IMF and WTO.

The treaties generally fail on the large scale due to a lack of many nations to join, inability to enforce the treaties, or simply not doing enough to solve the problems which they address.

The international organizations also fail mostly because they are too specific and therefore ignore problems outside their given duties. The G8 summit and similar conferences also succeed in doing not much more than addressing short term issues or announcing long term issues, but not sufficiently acting upon them.

Rischard estimates that solving the 20 problems in his book would cost $1 trillion a year, or 3% of global GDP. Therefore, this is affordable. Yet, as he mentions, modern nations have a problem sharing not only the land, but also humanity. So economic and social issues that could be solved with a serious coalition effort are brushed aside due to a lack of will by the capable nations to solve them.

Of course, it is stating the obvious by saying that much more could be done to fight the pressing issues of our time. It is also stating the obvious by saying that the gap between rich and poor nations is extremely large, and there is no serious effort to close that gap.

One must ask, then, why is that? If we as a species have the resource and capability to substantially increase the living standard of most of the world through global coalition efforts, why don’t we do so? With all of our intelligence and ingenuity, we still seem to lack compassion for others of the same human race.

Whatever the excuse is, whether its our primate behavior, our politically divided planet, or the free market forces exploiting this wealth gap, the fact is that we can solve these problems with international coalitions. As Rischard says, these problems cannot wait 30 years or more. Many, like climate change, needed to be seriously addressed years ago, or within 20 years at the max.

I believe the UN is the most capable of creating these international coalitions, though it would also take efforts from outside entities to truly solve the problems. Maybe, as these problems grow, the international community will find it inevitable that they work together to seriously address these problems.

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Decline of an Empire

Posted December 22, 2010 by Greg
Categories: Blog, government, perfect government, politics, Random Quotes

As America is still reeling from the effects of the economic collapse of 2008, and spending is increased to record levels, many are becoming increasingly aware of the decline of America’s empire. This is not to be confused with the decline of America as a nation, rather it is a retreat from the imperialistic nature in which the U.S. has lived by since the end of WWII.

Financially, the U.S. cannot maintain a military that spends basically as much as the rest of the world combined. While we are spending 50% of our estimated tax revenues on the over-compensated military for offshore adventures, we have officials and citizens fighting tooth and nail against spending a fraction of that amount of money on improving our ever-diminishing health care system.

Being that we are the richest and most powerful nation on earth, how is it that we have so many domestic problems and so much opposition to fixing them. Of course it is largely attributable to our corporate state structure and the capitalistic principles in which our government lives by.

Also, without sounding too socialist, it is also due to the simple fact that the wealthy class doesn’t want to share and finds paying taxes un-American, because it contributes towards the betterment of the lower and middle classes.

There are many faults in our current system which are driving our time as an empire through a downward spiral, but instead of expounding upon the roads towards American decline, I will point you towards a more informed article about that very subject.  Taking Down America

Food Insurance

Posted July 22, 2010 by Greg
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I came across an article at Mises Institute where the author discusses the possibility of having food insurance. I have never thought of that concept, but it seems perfectly logical and it may be the way that societies will head towards in the future. It would sure be a huge change to our current method of buying our own groceries, but could this system ever work and it would it be a good thing?

No Cliff

Posted July 6, 2010 by Greg
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The history of our times calls to mind those Walt Disney characters who rush madly over the edge of a cliff without seeing it, so that the power of their imagination keeps them suspended in mid-air; but as soon as they look down and see where they are, they fall. ~ Raoul Vaneigem

I find this statement as true now as it was when Vaneigem wrote it in The Revolution of Everyday Life. When I think of these characters, I picture the bankers most notably, but also average citizens who live beyond their means only to find the cliff ended a long time ago. I wonder what causes these people to act so irrationally and ignore reality, instead of doing what is rational.

Ten Lessons of Government

Posted July 1, 2010 by Greg
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I recently came across an article discussing Tony Blair’s speech this week. In it, he mentions ten things he learned from his time in the government. He includes some very interesting points and seems to have given much thought to this list. I find each one of them to be intriguing, though some more than others. The list is as follows:

1. Governance is a debate about efficiency rather than transparency

2. We are operating in a post-ideological politics

3. People want an empowering, not controlling state

4. The centre needs to drive, but not deliver, systemic change

5. Departments should be smaller, strategic and oriented around delivery

6. Systemic change is essential in today’s world – as the private sector demonstrates

7. The best change and delivery begins with the right conceptual analysis

8. The best analysis is based on facts and interaction with the front line

9. The people you appoint matter dramatically – private sector skillsets are needed

10. Countries can learn from each other

I personally find number two to be the most profound statement and if he is indeed right, that may be a sad fact for civilization. What do you find as the most impacting or true statement and why?

Radical Change

Posted June 29, 2010 by Greg
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Until a radical change takes place and we wipe out all nationalities, all ideologies, all religious divisions, and establish a global relationship – psychologically first, inwardly before organizing the outer – we shall go on with wars. – J. Krishnamurti

Censorship

Posted June 25, 2010 by Greg
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In a western style system, you want people to believe they are free and marginalize the effects of the freedoms they have on the establishment’s power while using propaganda to channel public opinion.

In a totalitarian regime, if someone stands on a soap box and shouts against the government a quick knock on the head and a trip to jail solves the issue (small scale censorship, but it will be apparent the people aren’t free); where as in a western style regime the propaganda apparatus is such that it doesn’t even matter at all if someone shouts on a soap box as he will be marginal and irrelevant, there’s no need for apparent micromanaged censorship (and people will not be aware they aren’t as free as they think).