What is Helicopter Money?

By: Alexandria Pendergast

Helicopter Money is a policy made by the government, so help distribute money after they print new money. How they distribute it, is by giving it directly to the public. It is also used through tax rebates. They will give tax rebates to the public so that they receive more money, though this is a more roundabout way to do it. So if you get a higher tax return or a tax rebate, it is how the government is trying to give the public more money in their pockets.

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Theoretical Politics

This is a piece I wrote for fun, that has no basis in reality, it is just something that I believe could potentially happen. I wrote it for my International Relations Theory class.

By: Alexandria Pendergast

“Today, a multipolar international system is reemerging. As a result, a future world war is very likely.” This war would probably end up being World War III, but would be considered closer to world war with more countries in play than the previous wars. This war could possibly be used with nuclear war heads, when nuclear deterrence stops working, and escalating tensions finally rise to the breaking point creating nuclear war.

In the multipolarity system there are classical realists like E. H. Carr and Hans Morgenthau who believe that the multipolar system is very stable. They think that the great powers will create alliances and since small scale wars cannot affect the power, the powers will stay in power without change. This will create an alliance system against the small powers and have very stable intergovernmental relations between the nations. Unfortunately, I disagree with this because of the historical and political tension between the eastern and western hemisphere.

 I am following the nonrealist’s theory that focuses on the security and says the opposite of the classical realists. The multipolarity will cause the great powers to misjudge other states and create fears between the nations. The war would follow the historical, political, and militaristic tension between states. While in a bipolar system the two powers can have fear for each other and the worst thing that might happen is a miscalculation of the intentions of the other states, there might be mutually assured destruction. While in a multipolarity scenario the mutually assured destructions with nuclear weapons may be a little more stable because of shifting alliance between all the world powers. These alliances will continue to shift until either a balance of power is struck, and neither side wants to attack or there once alliance will attack the other, because of fear of a near alliance or confidence of defeat. In this system most international decisions are made to create a balance of power rather than ideological or historical reason. But I disagree because most people hold onto tension for hundreds of years after they happen, so I think the eastern and western hemisphere will continue to have tension even when the eastern hemisphere starts gaining its own powers.

The multipolar system is rising with the countries of China and India rising to power. One of the ramifications is a single international relation will exist and nation-states will dissolve. This would cause a dispersion of power and a change in regulations away from the Western traditional style. The only reason this would happen is the eastern powers may emulate the western style but really form a different style of government. Maybe create a dictatorship or the appearance of democracy with a dictatorship. This is when the war would emerge because of the fight with the western and eastern powers which are rising. Once these two styles of governmental powers have balance there will be an alliance system which would look similar to a bipolar system but would be a multipolar system with the powers.

The multipolarity system would start when the powers would rise with an economic boom in the Eastern Hemisphere. This would have a rapid growth in economy in the previous poor powers and start a rise to a world power. Then this economic boom would help form their government to a style that would fit the people. This is dependent on the belief style which is drastically different from the western style of belief. Eventually, there would be a creation of human rights in these countries that would be agreed upon by the international union, allowing them into the fold of great power. The military would not increase but there would be an increase in nuclear weapons for the countries now in power to be on the same level as the United States. Eventually this would lead to them creating an alliance with the smaller countries around them that would have a similar belief style. The small alliance would extend to the other big powers around the area where they would create a great trade relationship with. This would start to form the bipolar alliance system in a multipolarity world. This would be the start and base of the shifting alliance system before the war started.

I would surmise that Russia, China, and India would be the leading powers in the Eastern Hemisphere, and United States, Britain, and Germany would be the leading powers in the Western Hemisphere. The eastern powers would grow to the point of creating a power not just economically or militaristically but also with human rights. These would create a stable government and have an alliance after Putin has fallen from power. Putin would have to fall from power, because this scenario would have to have a different style of government to create an economic boom. Putin could be in power because he could be the tipping point between the powers to start World War III. This is unlikely because he would not want to be unfavorable to the people at his age because he would be in his 70s. Eventually tension would rise between the two powers because of the different styles of government, which while both democratic would be a different version of democracy. These would only happen if the alliance was created. Another reason a World War could break out is if the Arabic countries go into power and decide to create an alliance. Which I doubt would happen because of significant religious differences.

The problem with this scenario is that there would be a huge economic growth so no war would be wanted immediately and then there would be a significant drop in population. This rapid decline in populations that are in power would create an increase in the job market. This could create tension across the countries as the economy goes in to recession from the major powers. This would create international tension because of arguing and resentment from those in powers. This would either make immigration to other countries be stopped and/or the borders be opened for immigrants to help stimulate economic growth by increasing the population. This wouldn’t create a war, but would set the stage for a war to be instigated. It would create the tension between the major powers and would help set the stage for war, between the smaller powers.

An issue that could potentially cause war is how quickly the climate changes and the necessity for specific goods like a water scarcity. These rising issues with global warming could be a key cause for an international incident between multiple powers. The hoarding and lack of resources worldwide would create an anarchy effect. This would create alliance and increase the nuclear deterrent, with a similar situation with the United States and Russia with the Cold War. This would create a standoff in the nuclear deterrent, and the power would only be instigated if a smaller power (example is North Korea and South Korea) goes into war with another small power that would create an alliance shift and force the bigger powers to go to war. It would be a similar instigator to World War I but with a similar power play to World War II. This power play of alliance would be based on similar backgrounds and government types within the Eastern and Western Hemisphere. This would probably also be built on the dislike of the United States.

Overall this eventual multipolarity system would then form into an alliance system similar to World War II with two major alliances in play. The reason I feel that the War would start would be if two smaller countries went to war and brought all the major players into the game and force an alliance shift and the previous rising tensions would break out into a World War. This would be a similar instigator to World War I. This is how I feel the eventual multipolarity system in the neorealist perspective would break out into War, because I feel the United States has done too much for the rest of the world to not challenge their power. The only way the multipolarity system would be accepted by the United States would be through it being challenged through the military action of another country.

Student Loan’s

By: Alexandria Pendergast

Student loans is a major issue in the United States. The problem is how people have to pay back student loans, it is causing massive amounts of debt in the people who go to college. Now there are two types of student loans private student loans and federal student loans. So unlike federal student loans, private student loans are through companies like Capital One. These are usually gained through applying for a loan, just like any other loan through a bank, you need all your pertinent information and a co-signer. There are some differences between private and federal loans, but the main one is their interest rate. All federal student loans have a fixed interest rate which Congress sets the interest rate every award year. While private student loans interest rates are all over the place depending on cred score and companies. So the main problem with federal and private student loans is the repayment options. With international students, once they leave the country, its impossible to track them down and get them to repay student loans. So many dollars are wasted on international students who just leave the country and leave all that debt behind. This is only in certain countries that are coming here. Now local students still have problems with repaying student loans, they end up paying thousands of dollars just in interest. Also if they lose their job or can’t pay back then their loan will go into default. This makes are so they rack up 10s of thousands of dollars in debt. The reason this happens is that the federal government outsources their federal loans to private companies. These private companies are the reason the interested and default are so high if something happens. So this is one thing I have learned as a student, do not default or else you will pay significantly more on student loans than you ever thought possible. This is a major issue that many people in the United States face today.

The Problem with the Public

By: Alexandria Pendergast

The Public of the United States of America, really have a lot of problems when it comes to voting. That is because many don’t care about the policies but only the party that supports the policy.  The United States has become a bipolar system. This is not what the founders had intended, because they felt like the party system was evil by nature. If you look at the federalist papers, their opinions are heavily talked about in those papers. They are used as reference in many cases to help determine the intention of the founders. The founders felt that the American government had no place for the party system. This is in part because of how the British party system worked. They hated many aspects of the British government and created this government in part to help fix the many issues they found at fault under their previous government. The party system was ironically created shortly after the creation of the government by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who agreed on very little. This creation of the party system has caused a division in the country through this bipolar system. This division has been splitting the country more and more until this current election with Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. These are the extremists on both sides of the spectrum and are rallying many people under these two banners. While Bernie Sanders is not winning the election he is following in close behind Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders is a very hard core liberal and so are those who rally behind him. While Donald Trump is debatable, but with his speaking style he is rallying many hard core conservatives behind him. People are not really following what policies the republican and democratic party stand for, only what they perceive as their representative’s party platform. The political system is no longer about what exact vote people like, but which representative they like and what their representative approves of. The public has become very uneducated about the bills passed in their local Government. That is what I feel is wrong with the public, the party system. It has caused the public to become more uneducated about actual issues going on in their local area. I saw it during the Hillary Clinton rally, because when she spoke about local issues that people should know about, no one had a single clue what she was talking about. Someone who wasn’t from the area knew more about local issues than the locals. People need to actually read about the local issues and why they are important to them. Once people start doing that, I believe the party system will fall apart into smaller divisions and the government would be healthier overall.

What is Hillary Clinton’s Problem?

By: Alexandria Pendergast

So during this Primary Hillary Clinton, who was supposed to have an easy victory, is having significant issues during the primaries. Shockingly enough Bernie Sanders has a strong foot hold on receiving the Democratic nomination. The real question is why? I saw both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton speak at their rallies. Now Hillary did not incite a very strong response within the individuals at the rally, she also was very knowledgeable at the local issues. The problem was her audience did not really understand or know of the local issues that she did talk about. Now my question is why? Looking at Bernie Sanders, I realized he did not talk about any local issues at all, but was really inciting the crowd. Looking around I realized most of the group that was there, was the Millennials, then I realized Hillary didn’t have many at all. Bernie had all the younger crowd that really make rallies exciting. What was the different between these two? Bernie spoke in very simple words and only spoke of generic social issues that he wanted to deal with like: legalization of weed, racial equality, feminine equality, universal healthcare, and free colleges. These are just generic issues, not local ones, that he ended up relating to most people. While Hillary spoke in more complex words, but did talk about local issues like flooding and using the Mississippi as an alternative energy source. When she talked about it, there might as well have been crickets in the audience, no one understood. I think her main problem is language. Most of her audience are individuals who only have a high school diploma, and many of them cannot relate to her, because of her higher level of language in use. Since she uses this higher level of language, the younger crowd, who don’t understand or care about local issues, are unable to relate. She also speaks very calmly in her speeches, very mild compared to Bernie Sanders. I think if she spoke in simpler terms and spoke of broad topics, she would be able to get a larger pool of people to follow her into the primaries. The main problem with this strategy is people won’t know if it works, and since she is in the lead, I doubt she would want to try and practice this new style. What do you guys think about this idea?

Taxes vs Flat Tax

By: Alexandria Pendergast

What is a flat tax? So many people think that a flat tax will cause the poor to pay even more in taxes. That is false. Based on the huffington post article, the average American pays around 10 percent in taxes, and the poor pay higher than that currently. That is because of a trickle down style of taxes, each tax bracket causes an increase amount you pay in taxes. The United States has a Progressive tax, which means as someone’s income increase the taxes they have to pay will increase. Say someone goes from making 9,000 a year and have to pay 10 percent in taxes to making 10,000 dollars a year and must pay 15 percent in taxes. That is how the bracket system works, but then they add deductibles to your taxes to make you pay less. You can get tax exemptions if you are Single, Maried Filing Jointly, Head of Household, and personal exemption, to name a few. Now the PEP and Pease are two provisions in the tax code that will increase taxes for high-income earners. Once a single person makes 259,00 dollars, married filing jointly makes 311,300 dollars, or head of household makes 285,350 dollars, these two provision will apply. Let us make taxes get more complicated with the alternative minimum tax. This tax was created in the 1960s and has not been adjusted for inflation. This was raised in 2013 so the middle class was not hit by this tax, since it was created for the richer individuals. This is another layer of taxes added to your bill. Then when you look at your paycheck you have the earned income tax credit. Now to counter this overly complicated taxes, big companies and richer individuals will get government subsidies to pay less money on taxes. These subsidies are and tax exemptions are used to decrease the percentage to the richer paying less than 1 percent of their income on taxes. These subsidies the problem with the tax system, otherwise the rich would get taxed more than the poor, like it was intended to do. Subsidies are even more complicated I will cover it in a later article. Subsidies though decrease the amount of taxes an individual or company needs to pay.

The way I would counter this would be with a Flat Tax, and the removal of subsidies. A Flat Tax is when everyone in the country pay’s the same rate, let’s say 10% is the taxes. There would be deductions or exemptions or additions to the taxes. This would create a more consistent form of taxes to be paid. Since there are no exemptions or special additions the amount would make it so there would be more money from taxes coming into the Federal and State Government. The countries who have put a flat tax on their country and seen a huge amount of economic growth, up to 6 percent. One of the problems is that these countries are partially tied to the United States and the biggest amount of their growth is during the 90s, when the United States was very stable and had a good amount of growth too. So there is a direct correlation and a heavy amount of data to say causation, but still there is doubt if there is actual truth to this statement. In the comments below what do you think is a good idea?

References

Jarmon, Jack. 2009. University of Pennsylvania. 3 1. http://repository.upenn.edu/curej/130/.

Kavoussei, Bonnie. 2012. HuffPost. 9 21. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/21/poor-americans-state-local-taxes_n_1903993.html.

Pomerleau, Kyle. 2015. Tax Foundation. October 14. http://taxfoundation.org/article/2016-tax-brackets.

Povich, Elaine S. 2015. The Pew Charitable Trusts. January 15. http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2015/1/15/the-poor-pay-a-higher-percentage-of-income-in-taxes.

n.d. The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/government-subsidies/.

 

 

Donald Trump vs Bernie Sanders

By: Al Pendergast

This is Super Tuesday in Missouri and I had the pleasure of watching Ted Cruz and Donald Trump speak. I also had the pleasure of going to the political rallies of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Now I have been casually following the politicians, but until recently I have not heard them actually speak. There are many news articles about all of these politicians that I have followed and read, but there is nothing like actually listening to them live. Especially since I have only ever heard quotes taken out of context. The main thing I noticed was how similar Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders speak in public. They both are known for rallying people to their sides and known for being very charismatic. They are also known for being very liberal and conservative. Listening to them separately I was very moved by both their speech patterns, because of their passion and the passion of the crowds. While they are opposites on the political spectrums they are also very similar in how they present themselves to the public. So I decided to do more research after going to the rally for Bernie Sanders on March 14, 2016. I went to politifacts.com, which my professors in College use to fact check different people in the news and politics. I found Bernie Sanders tends to have a pretty even number of comments between true and false, but has no pants on fire ratings. Unlike Trump has a majority of false reports. Now this confused me a bit until I listened to even more of Trumps and Bernie’s speeches. Like I said they are very similar in how they speak, then after listening to more speeches I looked at the pool of supporters. Bernie has many millennials and minority groups following him while Trump has middle class white people as his followers. That is where the difference truly lies. Millennials are very socialists in how they want complete equality in every aspect of life typically unlike middle class individuals who have a solid career and would like to keep their life very comfortable. This is all based on their bases income and life style. Also the other thing that is very similar about these two politician bases. Bernie has followers that are very politically right while Donald has followers that are very politically left. So we have two opposite politicians who bases are very radical in both sides of the field in many cases. Also Donald Trump follows a speak first and apologize later style of speech. This may be because he has spent decades building up his character or it could be because he was on the apprentice and learned the best way to act on media. So while they are very similar in their portrayal on television, because of their base support, they are very different in how they show that persona. sure of going to the political rallies of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Now I have been casually following the politicians, but until recently I have not heard them actually speak. There are many news articles about all of these politicians that I have followed and read, but there is nothing like actually listening to them live. Especially since I have only ever heard quotes taken out of context. The main thing I noticed was how similar Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders speak in public. They both are known for rallying people to their sides and known for being very charismatic. They are also known for being very liberal and conservative. Listening to them separately I was very moved by both their speech patterns, because of their passion and the passion of the crowds. While they are opposites on the political spectrums they are also very similar in how they present themselves to the public. So I decided to do more research after going to the rally for Bernie Sanders on March 14, 2015. I went to politifacts.com, which my professors in College use to fact check different people in the news and politics. I found Bernie Sanders tends to have a pretty even number of comments between true and false, but has no pants on fire ratings. Unlike Trump has a majority of false reports. Now this confused me a bit until I listened to even more of Trumps and Bernie’s speeches. Like I said they are very similar in how they speak, then after listening to more speeches I looked at the pool of supporters. Bernie has many millennials and minority groups following him while Trump has middle class white people as his followers. That is where the difference truly lies. Millennials are very socialists in how they want complete equality in every aspect of life typically unlike middle class individuals who have a solid career and would like to keep their life very comfortable. This is all based on their bases income and life style. Also the other thing that is very similar about these two politician bases. Bernie has followers that are very politically right while Donald has followers that are very politically left. So we have two opposite politicians who bases are very radical in both sides of the field in many cases. Also Donald Trump follows a speak first and apologize later style of speech. This may be because he has spent decades building up his character or it could be because he was on the apprentice and learned the best way to act on media. So while they are very similar in their portrayal on television, because of their base support, they are very different in how they show that persona.