Our most precious national resource by kevin murray

If one was to ask the average American what would be the most precious natural resource that America has, a significant amount of people would mention that it is oil, which is lifeblood of our energy needs, of which America is self-sufficient in; as well as there would be those that would answer that it is the great hi-technology companies that America has, in addition to those that would state various other miscellaneous things in which America is a known industry leader.  But though each of these answers may be a reasonable answer, and justifiable to some degree, the real most precious resource that America has, is actually its children.


The bottom line is that each generation of Americans, must pass the baton onto the next generation and onto the next, and so and so forth.  So that, of those that founded this great nation, there is not a single one of these great visionaries and courageous characters that still lives today, though their ideas and ideals, contained within our Declaration of Independence, and our Constitution live on; but these only live on based upon the foundations that America still maintains, in which, should those foundations be corrupted or circumvented, so then does this nation and its people thereof, suffer for that.


This does mean that it is critical to bring up all of the children in America in a manner in which they are prepared to take hold of the mantles of leadership, innovation, morality, respect, and diligence in seeing that America continues to be the best hope of mankind, as well as that bright beacon of freedom, liberty, and happiness.  Yet, when it comes to the education of those of our youngest generation, America is falling further and further behind other nations, in its overall educational achievements in aggregate, despite the fact that America is the richest nation that the world has ever known.


This lack of general educational achievements is not for the lack of spending money on that education, for no country that is a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) spends more; but the end result is a gross and disturbing disparity between high achievers as opposed to a multitude of persistent low achievers, of which these low achievers are in so many ways, often functionally illiterate.  While America has the strongest university and collegiate system in the world that thereupon recruits in the best students throughout the world for that first class higher education; it is disturbing to note that the mass of students domestically are so ill-educated that it has been estimated by americanprogress.org, that "40 percent to 60 percent of first-year college students require remediation in English, math, or both."


While pundits can point to the fact that our high school graduation rates are trending higher and higher, and that those that are attending collegiate institutions are also utilizing a higher and higher percentage of eligible students, both young and old, the bottom line is that it is the results that matter, in which, far too often primary and secondary educational learning for far too many students is abysmal, and that far too many "colleges" that students attend aren't really successfully educating those students for relevant gainful employment, but are merely playing a shell game with federal student loan guarantees to exploit those students.


This most precious natural resource, our children, must be nurtured from day one, and must be inclusive of all Americans, in which, continual failure to see that all are soundly educated as well as being knowledgeable of what it means to be a true American, and thereby becoming a productive and meaningful member of this society, will invariably lead to the state of disunion from life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Autonomous vehicles and the greater good by kevin murray

Autonomous vehicles already exist in the United States and the continued advancement and growth of these vehicles being on the road with other drivers seems a certainty.  While there isn't any doubt that the sophistication of these vehicles and their "vision" is superior in most every way, in comparison to humans who are prone to error, fatigue, impairment, as well as distractions; these autonomous vehicles ultimately have to be programmed in such a way, that difficult and rare decisions, in which, somebody will get hurt or even killed, are made.


That is to say, not all accidents and collisions happen, simply because of human error, but are in some instances, inevitable, based on weather, failure of equipment to brake or tires to hold the road, or pedestrians that just jut out into the street, or blind spots on roads because of curves or abrupt inclines, and so on and so forth.  Of which, because of the speed that vehicles travel at, it is not possible in every instance to actually stop that vehicle on the dime, because the time to do so before there is impact, is not enough.


Therefore, this does mean, that driverless cars will crash into not only other driverless cars, but also cars with drivers, as well as into pedestrians.  The thing about human drivers, when all this is happening, is that in most instances, they are going to make a decision, of which, such a decision could be construed as being both reasonable as well as selfish, whereas others could be construed as being both reasonable as well as unselfish, as well as many other decisions that could be construed as being unreasonable and ill-advised.  Basically, with human drivers, just about any possibility when it comes to decision making or the ignoring of such is possible.  On the other hand, autonomous vehicles are programmed to do exactly what that programmed has instructed it to do.  So that, it is fair to assume that autonomous vehicles have been programmed in such a manner that decisions about crashing into a light pole, instead of running into a stream of pedestrians has already been weighed and determined.


All of this assumes that autonomous vehicles are programmed for the greater good in which, one question is whether the programming of what is considered to be the greater good is actually the greater good.  Additionally, most people have a firm opinion about their own self, in regards to their value, of which, that value is reasonably determined by that person's status, not only within their own family and friends, but also of their value to society at large.  So that, within the value of those that are traveling within an autonomous vehicle, it is clear that not every passenger within the confines of an autonomous vehicle, would or should have the same value.  For instance, the CEO of a major technology firm would probably be considered to be of far more value to society, than an old man, that has but six more months to live, yet an autonomous vehicle would not know this, unless such was somehow taken into account.


This thus means, that it is conceivable, that autonomous vehicles, in the future, if not already being done so today, will be programmed in a manner, that those of "high value" are always protected over those of "low or unknown value".  That is to say, society is very unequal today, but at least those that are considered to be "lesser" still have a conscious choice as to what they would do under very trying circumstances in regards to an imminent vehicle collision; whereas, in a world in which the passengers of autonomous vehicles are valued at different rates, those automated decisions will protect foremost those more valued at the expense of those less valued.

Global power and the Panama Canal by kevin murray

In 1803, Thomas Jefferson, made the Louisiana Purchase, which the United States bought from France, for a mere $15 million dollars, all for an area of 827,000 square miles.  In 1867, Seward negotiated the terms of the Alaskan purchase from Russia for $7.2 million dollars, for an area of nearly 600,000 square miles.  In 1904, the United States purchased what would be known as the Panama Canal from Panama for $10 million dollars, as well as paying France $40 million dollars for the work that they had initiated in the building of the Panama Canal but never finished, for an area of just 435 square miles.


What made the Panama Canal of vital interest to the United States, was the ability of that canal to connect the Atlantic ocean from its great ports such as those in New York City and New Orleans with its great and upcoming ports on the Pacific coast, and onward then to Asian markets as well as to better command those two oceans for the security and the power of the United States, which allowed America thereby to bypass having to sail around South America and therefore saving in distance some 8,000 miles of sea travel.  This was of upmost importance in the early 20th century, because aerial power was not yet known, and the great global powers of that age, were all those that controlled the seas, and being able to travel seamlessly from the Pacific to the Atlantic and vice versa, gave America that power, along with increasing its reach and strength in global trade.


When the Panama Canal was successfully completed, at a great cost in both men's lives lost as well as in monies spent, it indisputably help solidify America's status as the greatest economic power in the world, as well as establishing America as the most dominant military force, if not immediately in armaments and in ships, then certainly in its capacity and strategic positioning to be so, which is why when America entered into World War I, the tide of that war immediately changed to the Allies of that cause.


France's failure to successfully complete the massive engineering and manpower needed to create the Panama Canal, was the opportunity for America to take over and thereby to control the Panama Canal for primarily its own purposes, of which, Panama as a country, would best be seen, at that time, as a vassal state to America.  However, eventually Panama would assert its sovereignty, through American acquiescence over the Panama Canal, and thereby a new treaty would be signed transferring the canal over to Panama at the end of 1999, with the important provision that America would maintain the right to defend the canal.


America would not be America as we know it today, if it was not for the strategic purchases as well as the taking of lands from other nations, in addition to having the vision and foresight to recognize that the building of the Panama Canal would not only be vital for trade within America, but also for trade with other countries, as well as making America the international powerhouse, second to none.

Protein and good health by kevin murray

Whenever one is shopping at a grocery store or when eating in many restaurants, there often is listed the estimated calorie amount per a given food item.  Additionally, food labels will often break down the amount of total fat, total carbohydrates, as well as other substances, in addition to the protein, if any, that the food is estimated to contain.  The most important thing to take away from food and nutritional labels in general, is to recognize that simply making it a point to consume, for instance, 3000 calories a day is not necessarily going to help keep a given body, healthy.  That is to say, those concentrating solely upon calories, but aren't paying much attention to what those calories consist of, are making an error in judgment, in which, their only saving grace, would be somehow maintaining a very balanced diet.


In point of fact, between fat consumption, carbohydrate consumption, and protein consumption, the most important of these, by far, is protein.  What makes protein so vital is the fact that it is necessary in order to properly maintain good bodily health, because of proteins' critical role in helping to maintain muscle as well as to repair tissue, in addition to it being the required component that aids in the development of amino acids, which are needed in order to maintain the well-being of the body.


Another very vital attribute of protein consumption, is that a consistent and sustained consumption of protein does a markedly better job of reducing hunger, and therefore the additional snacking of foods, created by the body still feeling that it is still hungry is reduced.  So that as reported by healthline.com, "One study in overweight men showed that increasing protein to 25% of calories reduced cravings by 60%, and reduced the desire to snack at night by half (Gunnars, 2016)."


Protein is a part of foods such as meat, milk, fish, poultry, lamb, eggs, nuts, and beans, in which a diet that makes sure to consume an adequate amount of those proteins will allow that body to maintain the appropriate amount of protein in the body tissue which is essential for good health.  While the United States has a food pyramid chart, as well as having recommended foods to be consumed in a given day, in addition to recommendations of appropriate amounts of those foods to be eaten; what has happened though instead, because of such a strong emphasis upon caloric content in the minds of consumers, as well as the sheer abundance of cheap foods that are both heavily processed and are containing a multitude of empty calories, is that far too many people either concentrate on the calories being consumed to the exclusion of all else, or eat items that they believe are wholesome or good to consume, not recognizing that the nutritional content of those items are suspect.


It is only in very recent times, that we have seen that in western nations, that the fattest people are also the poorest people; whereas, the incidence of being overweight in poor people, historically, was extremely low, mainly because most poor people did not take in enough calories to ever become fat.   Nowadays, however, certain calories of certain foods can be incredibly cheap to buy, so cheap, that those on limited budgets are able to consume not only way more calories than their body really needs, but these are often the type of calories that are not good for the body.   So that, those that do take in enough protein day-in and day-out, have a strong preponderance of being overweight, in addition to the fact that because of the lack of protein in their diet, they are physically in much worse shape.

Face the music and quit vilifying tobacco and nicotine by kevin murray

In America, the smoking of cigarettes is considered to be epidemiologically harmful to the body of the person that is smoking, and for some organizations, the very smoke that is exhaled from smokers (second hand smoke) is considered to be harmful as well as a pollutant.  The thing about cigarettes in America and especially those from "big tobacco," is that cigarettes consist of not just tobacco, in conjunction with the natural amount of nicotine contained within tobacco leaves, but also the chemicals and additives added to cigarettes for taste, smoothness, consistency, and anesthetics.


That is to say, tobacco has been grown and harvested for millenniums, of which tobacco naturally has nicotine contained within it, which acts as a stimulant as well as indirectly releasing dopamine to the brain.  While most people today think of tobacco as solely being smoked, in fact, as a leafy product, it can also be chewed, sucked, as well as being burned and then being inhaled through the nostril passages, in addition to its most common form of consumption which is being smoked through the mouth.  While medical science, as we know it, is a fairly modern construct, it would be surprising to most people that as reported by cnn.com, "In Egypt, out of hundreds of mummies, only one case of cancer has been confirmed."  This, doesn't mean definitively that there wasn't any cancer in ancient times, but it does serve to augment the theory that history as well as epidemiological research does not support that the smoking of tobacco always has lead to a very high incidence of lung cancer.  For instance, only in very recent times has it been discovered that in the United States  that "… lung cancer in male smokers vs. non-smokers was 40.1," as reported by verywellhealth.com, and quite obviously a ratio of such a staggering size means that to presume that smoking does not cause or contribute greatly to lung cancer would be a grave fallacy.


However, within that same report by verywellhealth.com, they state that, "in Korea were 4.0 to 4.6 times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers. The relative risk in Japan in this study was 3.7 to 5.1, and that in China was 2.4 to 6.5."  While, racists might jump to the conclusion that the significantly lower rates of cancer in Korea, Japan, and China, must be because Asian people have an inborn immunity to such at a much higher level than Americans of all types; the fact of the matter is that the best selling cigarette in these countries, in order, are as reported by chartsbin.com:  Esse, Mild Seven, and Chunghwa, whereas in America it is Marlboro.


The fact is that chemicals of all sorts are typically added to cigarettes, of which, some of these chemicals as reported by lung.org are: acetone, ammonia, arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde, and tar, to name just a few.  Further, lung.org states that: "When burned, cigarettes create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are toxic."  This thus signifies that in all likelihood, those that deliberately smoke substances that contain toxic chemicals, are going to place themselves into the position of probably having a significantly higher amount of cancer risk, of which, those that smoke cigarettes in America are at risk of getting lung cancer 40 times higher than those that do not smoke.  On the other hand, it is implicit within worldwide studies of smoking, and in particular, involving different brands being so smoked, that smoking cigarettes could impact the risk of lung cancer to as low as just 2.4 times higher than the non-smoker, and perhaps even less depending upon the chemicals and additives added to those cigarettes.


America has a strong tendency to simplify things that should not be so simplified, so that the smoking of cigarettes is one of those things which have mandated a health warning that states, "Smoking causes lung cancer…"In point of fact, the smoking of tobacco leaves, and in particular the smoking of tobacco leaves containing nicotine, without any chemical or additive additions, in all probability, does not cause lung cancer and never has.On the other hand, the smoking of chemicals, and in particular those chemicals that are added to and are part of the actual cigarette packs so sold, especially those chemicals which are known to be cancer agents, in and of themselves, implicitly must and do cause lung cancer.

The logical reason why there is so much unauthorized Mexican immigration to America by kevin murray

According to the Pew Research Center there were "In 2016, 5.4 million unauthorized immigrants from Mexico lived in the U.S.," whereas according to the Pew Research Center it was estimated "that 100,000 Canadians were in the U.S. without authorization in 2014." While it is true, that Mexico has a greater population amount than Canada, which represents a ratio of 3.35 times more people between Mexico then Canada; the ratio of unauthorized immigrants between Mexico and Canada is on the order of an incredible 54 times more unauthorized Mexicans than Canadians, yet both of these countries are contiguous to the United States, in addition to the fact that it is far easier to cross the border from Canada into America, then it is to cross from Mexico into America.

Stanford historian, David Kennedy, states that “The income gap between the United States and Mexico is the largest between any two contiguous countries in the world,” which is probably the most prevailing reason why so many Mexicans want to get into America. That is to say, when you are a resident of a country in which, opportunity for economic success, not to mention rule of law, good education, and solid infrastructure is literally right across a border that stretches for 1,954 miles, it makes eminent sense to seriously consider crossing that border, especially when that country, has all the accouterments of one's home country in the sense of language and culture, because there are already so many Mexicans living within America.

In the scheme of things, most people want the same basic things for themselves as well as for their family, of which these basically consist of having a decent home, a good education, fair employment, safety, and freedom. Not only does America represent those attributes much better than Mexico, it has by far, a significantly higher amount of all those things, and these are far more readily available for its population. So then, in a country in which there are a plentitude of jobs that native Americans aren't really interested in doing, there are still plenty of immigrants that are willing to do that work, not necessarily because the jobs pay all that well, and not because the conditions of the job are even that good, but mainly because the pay for that work in comparison to what they could make in Mexico, permits them to make a living, as well as there still being the opportunity to find something of even more worth, somewhere in their future.

The fact of the matter is, when the income differential is so great between contiguous countries, as in Mexico v. USA, then those that have any sense of ambition and a desire to improve their material welfare are going to seriously look at immigrating to America, irrespective as to whether it is legally accomplished or not, because they know, that with 5.4 million unauthorized immigrants from Mexico in America, amongst all the other unauthorized immigrants also here, that there are powerful forces within America, that clearly see the need and have the desire for these immigrants being here, or there simply would not be so many unauthorized immigrants residing within this country.

Mexicans come into this country because this indeed is the land of opportunity, whether they themselves are exploited or not, and whether they are unauthorized or not, because at least in America the dream is both real and alive, and even if the dream isn't quite all that, the hope is that if it doesn't actually happen for the present generation, then at least for the next generation, born within these borders, it will. lived in the U.S.," whereas according to the Pew Research Center it was estimated "that 100,000 Canadians were in the U.S. without authorization in 2014."  While it is true, that Mexico has a greater population amount than Canada, which represents a ratio of 3.35 times more people between Mexico then Canada; the ratio of unauthorized immigrants between Mexico and Canada is on the order of an incredible 54 times more unauthorized Mexicans than Canadians, yet both of these countries are contiguous to the United States, in addition to the fact that it is far easier to cross the border from Canada into America, then it is to cross from Mexico into America.


Stanford historian, David Kennedy, states that “The income gap between the United States and Mexico is the largest between any two contiguous countries in the world,” which is probably the most prevailing reason why so many Mexicans want to get into America.  That is to say, when you are a resident of a country in which, opportunity for economic success, not to mention rule of law, good education, and solid infrastructure is literally right across a border that stretches for 1,954 miles, it makes eminent sense to seriously consider crossing that border, especially when that country, has all the accouterments of one's home country in the sense of language and culture, because there are already so many Mexicans living within America.


In the scheme of things, most people want the same basic things for themselves as well as for their family, of which these basically consist of having a decent home, a good education, fair employment, safety, and freedom.  Not only does America represent those attributes much better than Mexico, it has by far, a significantly higher amount of all those things, and these are far more readily available for its population.  So then, in a country in which there are a plentitude of jobs that native Americans aren't really interested in doing, there are still plenty of immigrants that are willing to do that work, not necessarily because the jobs pay all that well, and not because the conditions of the job are even that good, but mainly because the pay for that work in comparison to what they could make in Mexico, permits them to make a living, as well as there still being the opportunity to find something of even more worth, somewhere in their future.


The fact of the matter is, when the income differential is so great between contiguous countries,   as in Mexico v. USA, then those that have any sense of ambition and a desire to improve their material welfare are going to seriously look at immigrating to America, irrespective as to whether it is legally accomplished or not, because they know, that with 5.4 million unauthorized immigrants from Mexico in America, amongst all the other unauthorized immigrants also here, that there are powerful forces within America, that clearly see the need and have the desire for these immigrants being here, or there simply would not be so many unauthorized immigrants residing within this country.


Mexicans come into this country because this indeed is the land of opportunity, whether they themselves are exploited or not, and whether they are unauthorized or not, because at least in America the dream is both real and alive, and even if the dream isn't quite all that, the hope is that if it doesn't actually happen for the present generation, then at least for the next generation, born within these borders, it will.

The progressive sales tax by kevin murray

There are five States of the Union, that do not have a State sales tax, though even some of those States have a local sales tax, of which, the vast majority of the States do have a sales tax, and those States that do have a sales tax, have in almost every case, inexorably risen that sales tax rate over the years.  For instance, in California, when the sales tax was first introduced that rate was just 2.5%, but as of 2019, a combination of the State and local sales tax in some jurisdictions are as high as 10.25%.  The other thing about the sales tax which is especially annoying, is that the price of goods of those subject to the sales tax, do not have the sales tax price embedded into it, so that an item that sells for $10 in California, doesn't actually cost the consumer $10, but rather in a State such as California could cost the consumer $11.03, and those consumers that don't pay much attention to the sales tax or really don't even understand it, must pay that price at the cash register.


Additionally, the sales tax is a regressive tax, because regardless of income, all must pay the exact same rate of that tax, which quite obviously means that those that are poor will pay or have allocated from their income a higher percentage of their money that must be utilized in the paying of that sales tax.  While it is true, that unlike the progressive income tax, which takes into account, the income of the taxpayer, that there isn't any way for the seller of the goods, to know or to apply a sales tax rate based on that income, there isn't any good reason why the structure of the sales tax could not be amended to charge a higher sales tax rate on certain items and a lower sales tax on other items and do so in a progressive manner.  For instance, when it comes to vehicles, the first $20,000 of that vehicle could be charged at the rate of just 75% of the normal sales tax rate, the next $10,000 could be charged at the normal sales tax rate, and any and all amounts above $30,000 could be charged at double the normal sales tax rate.  So too, State legislatures could look more carefully at the items that are subject to sales tax rates, and those items that are considered to be essentials, could have their sales tax removed or reduced, whereas those items that could be considered to be luxuries, could have their rates adjusted to a progressive scale and increased.


The fact that currently sales taxes are setup as one size fits all, is not an innovative way to actually apply sales taxes, especially considering that all States have an implicit obligation to do a better job in accommodating those that are the least and the most vulnerable, while at the same time, charging more for those that can easily afford to pay such.  After all, a sales tax is a consumption tax, so that those that have the wherewithal to purchase goods that are expensive, optional, and/or are considered to be luxuries, should pay a higher progressive sales tax rate for doing so.  


In point of fact, the income tax is progressive, in which, there are tiers constructed at increasing tax rates based on that income, in which, the basic thought is that those that make more should pay more.  At the same time when it comes to spending that money on material goods, those that have more and are willing to spend their money, should pay a higher sales tax rate on a progressive scale.

Privacy is an unalienable right by kevin murray

While it is true that the Constitution does not contain the word privacy, so too, does it not contain many other words, including the words slave or slavery, until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in which slavery was legally legislated out of existence.  However, a careful reading of the Constitution and its amendments clearly indicates that citizens of this country do have the right to privacy, as demonstrated most particularly by the Fourth Amendment, "…to be secure in their persons," as well as in the Ninth Amendment, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people," in addition to other Amendments that allude to privacy, and the Constitution itself, which as the prevailing written document, is the Supreme Law of this land, which was specifically written to "…secure the Blessings of Liberty," of which one of the blessings of liberty, is the right to be secure in one's own thoughts as well as to be secure in one's own private possessions, and not to be subject to a government that violates those sacrosanct rights, without due process of the law.


The very people and governmental agencies that disparage the rights of the people of their privacy and to be secure in their possessions are almost always the very same people and governmental agencies that lack integrity, honesty, and transparency in their own affairs; and further bring both the worn-out shibboleth that the government needs to know everything about its people in order to protect those people, in which the sacrificing of their privacy is considered to be a fair trade.  For all those that voluntarily relinquish their right to privacy, that is their prerogative, but when that privacy is unjustly taken from them, it is a violation of the Supreme Law of this land.


In regards to a world in which so much of what a given person does online or through their conversations and movement is now duly recorded, stored, collated, and utilized by high tech corporations of all types, this is, despite the terms and conditions of usage by the people of those high tech devices and their conduits, a direct affront to the privacy of the individual, whenever those individuals do not have the real power and the real choice to control or to own their  private being in a manner in which they are the masters of their own persona, as opposed to having little or no control over their image, their postings, their movements, and their interactions with others.


Those that do not have control over their privacy in their person, have for all intents and purposes, morphed into something that is now public, and the more public that one's thoughts and images are, in which these formerly were private, the easier it is to be marketed to, to be propagandized to, to be manipulated by, and to be controlled.  That is the case, whenever a given individual no longer has a sacred place to be in solitude, therefore having no sanctuary; and hence those without a sanctuary are no longer free or liberated, but are instead, bounded into a form of servitude.

Search and seizure in the era of big data by kevin murray

The Fourth Amendment to our Constitution makes it clear that the policing agencies of the governmental state are not permitted to engage in "fishing expeditions" when it comes to the searching and the seizure of goods or items from possible suspects; but rather are restricted to first getting a warrant, issued forthwith under probable cause or exigent circumstances, and specifically relating to what is to be searched for.  Never has the Fourth Amendment been of more vital importance than in this current era, in which seemingly every activity done over the internet or through one's smart phone is collected, collated, and stored, under the aegis of being for the benefit of the users of such or for the marketing of goods or services to those users.


The problem with companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter, Verizon, as well as other similar high technology companies really comes down to whether or not they are corporations that ultimately protect the users of their products and their privacy in regards to the integrity of their communications and activities, or whether these companies wittingly or unwittingly provide that cogent information to governmental agencies, for those government agencies own perusal, which essentially then allows those governmental agencies to monitor all those that live in a digital world, in a way, in which those governmental agencies have real actionable information, considered by those citizens to be in most instances to be their own business or their own private communications.


In point of fact, communications and posting of all sorts by its citizens, are routinely seized and searched by governmental agencies without a warrant, and specifically are done in a manner in which the privacy of the bulk of those citizens are violated by those governmental agencies, which is not reasonable, and is in constant violation of those citizen rights, all of which is done without probable cause.  This is akin to a fisherman that knows the law in regards to not being permitted to catch certain species of fish, or species such as dolphins, simply deciding to collect any and everything that is swimming in the ocean, because that fisherman has the tools to do so, and does not want to go through the trouble and expense of actually following the law, but rather prefers to ignore the law for his own purposes.


While the government can issue all sorts of Executive Orders, or spurious laws, or have court decisions manufactured to support their misinterpretations of Constitutional law; what the government has not done is actually overturned the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, but has effectively perverted such, and has instead added its own coda to the Fourth Amendment, which appears to state, that the government and its agencies are permitted to search and seize whatever that they so desire, without end, for the ostensible safety of its population, whereas the reality of the situation is that they want all of that information so as to get over on its population and to manipulate that population for governmental control of them.


If none of these high technology companies will proactively protect the consumer of their products, from unwarranted governmental intrusion of their person and the security of their personal affairs, then the citizens of this country have essentially little protection of their comings and their goings, for what has occurred for all intents and purposes, is that high technology companies and the government are united as one.

How far above and below your land is yours? by kevin murray

Property ownership is one of those seminal things that most people see as finally being able to state as well as to know that they are now the king and queen of their own castle, no matter how grand or how modest that castle may be.  Unfortunately, what a given owner owns in regards to that land is dependent upon Federal law, State law, local law, and the court of law.  Back before modern times, it was common to believe that one owned their land “to the heavens and to hell.”  However, nowadays, with the prevalence of underground utilities, as well as mineral and water rights, one's ownership of the land underneath their property typically comes with caveats, and it is those property restrictions that limit how much land underneath the property is actually owned by the owner of the land above ground.  In regards to air rights, in the age of airplanes, the general rule is that the owner of property owns, depending upon the height of their building, and air traffic around such a building, 80 - 500 feet above the property, as their own private airspace, but as with most everything, it depends upon the circumstances so involved.  That is to say, a helicopter or a drone for that matter, do not have the uninhibited right to specifically hover above your property for purposes of an invasion of your privacy or surveillance, even if they are above the airspace so defined, whereas airplanes and similar that are passing through are permitted to do so.


When it comes to the land below the property, the legal ownership documents so created upon the purchase of the home, usually specify what is or is not owned beneath the property, with any and all exceptions to mineral rights or similar, being so noted.  Of course, when it comes to governments and their needs, in most instances within land ownership, their right of eminent domain trumps the owner's right to be the master of what is allowed to occur underneath that land.  On the other hand, while most owners intuitively understand that the air directly above their property is not something tangible that they really can own, as well as acknowledging the typical restrictions as to how high one can build their property per the local zoning laws; so too, they understand that aircraft of all sorts have an imminent need to utilize airspace to travel to and fro.  However, now that drones have  come down significantly in price, so that, even the next door neighbor can own one, and further that drones can be outfitted with recording devices; there obviously is a potential issue with any neighbor that flies a drone over private property and records such, especially when that has been done, deliberately.  While certain States have passed legislation, outlining the rights of property owners and providing such with redress for grievances of this sort, even without new laws being written, each owner is entitled to privacy on their own property, and the flying of a drone, that is taking pictures or video of another person's property could easily be seen by a court of law as an invasion of the privacy of the owner of that property.


The old days of owning “to the heavens and to hell,” are long gone, if they ever really existed, and it is up to individual property owners in conjunction with their legislators to see that those that own property are properly protected in this era in which search, seizure, and privacy are all seemingly ceding more and more ground to governmental and institutional agents of all sorts.

Made in USA discount on sales tax as well as on income tax by kevin murray

Certain products bought have federal taxes associated with them, such as fuel, alcohol, and cigarettes.  So too, virtually every State of the Union, have sales tax applied to certain items that are sold, of which, such a sales tax, is typically structured to cover State as well as local budgets.   As reported by reuters.com, when it comes to buying United States manufactured products they "…found 70 percent of Americans think it is “very important” or “somewhat important” to buy U.S.-made products," indicating that a substantial amount of Americans believe in the importance of buying American.  Additionally, as reported by time.com, they "…found that twice the money stayed in the community when folks bought locally," which obviously is beneficial for those communities, as opposed to dollars being spent here but being repatriated back to foreign consortiums or foreign governments. 


One way to make the decision to buy goods that are manufactured in America, which helps to sustain jobs and industries within this country, even more germane, is to provide consumers with real incentives to do so, and one of those ways would be to provide income tax deductions specifically for sales taxes spent on American made and produced goods, as well as providing a lower sales tax rate for American made goods.  While to do this, would necessitate, a comprehensive agreement between Federal and State governments, one of the easiest ways to do so, would be to compensate those States through federal benefits on a one-to-one basis for their reduction of sales tax revenue through those State's amendment of sales tax rates for American manufactured goods.


So too, in an era of electronic transactions, the ability to seamlessly charged different sales tax rates on goods, would come down to the tagging and bar coding of those goods, which would designate such as being domestically manufactured as opposed to being foreign manufactured or goods that have not so been designated as either domestic or foreign, therefore being defaulted to the higher tax rate.  That is to say, those goods that would have the reduced tax rate would be clearly demarcated as such, and consumers would be aware of the difference in total price between the domestically produced products as compared to the foreign based products.


In the everyday world, people are accorded the opportunity to vote with their dollars, so that those that consciously want to buy American, would more clearly be able to see designated those products that are American, and therefore could buy them or not, per their desire.  The least that America should do as a country, is to make it their point and principle that all products produced and manufactured within this country, should be accorded some sort of designation and accommodation indicating such, so that American consumers are therefore able to make an informed choice.


If, Americans truly believe that they should be able to buy whatever product that they so desire to buy, without taking into consideration the country of origin, that will not change; what would change, however, is that those that comprehend that they have an obligation to the country of their residence to support better that country by buying domestically manufactured products, they should receive a reduction in their sales tax rate as well as being provided an income tax deduction, as a courtesy and as a thank you for helping to support the people that represent the greatest country on earth.

Your will be done by kevin murray

The most commonly known prayer is the Lord's Prayer -- in which the petitioner requests that God's will be done, on earth as is done in Heaven.  This presupposes that if God's will be done, that the petitioner is voluntarily relinquishing their free will to that God.  But how many that petition God with that prayer, really and sincerely wish that God's will actually be done for them?  Especially, when we take into consideration that part of being an American is the recognition that each of its citizens is accorded the unalienable right to free will and free determination.


Of course, what is probably happening and is perhaps lost in the translation of the Lord's Prayer, or in the dilemma so created, is the very reason why mankind lives so often within a construct that is inimical for mankind's betterment.  Which, comes down to the fact, that there are plenty of people that behave in the manner that they really do think that they know best, that what they will therefore is the best, when in actuality the world, itself, proves without a shadow of a doubt, that mankind does not know best.


Every time and in every instance that mankind utilizes its free will in a manner that is not consistent with justice, fairness, and love then mankind as a whole, fails; for in every application that is not the epitome of perfection and wisdom, this thus is error, and that which is error, cannot ever be and is not an attribute of God.  This means, that those that are wise enough or astute enough to learn from their esteemed elders or their mentors or through great books of learning, recognizing that such wisdom comes from those that know their given topics absolutely thoroughly and applies such correctly; yet somehow will not listen to that still, small voice within, then they have consciously turned their back on the Great Teacher, and replaced such with something that is both fallible and lesser.


Far too many people of real intelligence, influence, and power, align themselves with that power, of which, in form and function, they believe that they are the personification of what is good and right, whereas at best they are a fleeting reflection of what is good and right.  For, as it has been said, "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" (Lord Acton); of which many of great influence absolutely believe that it is their mission in life to take on the aspects of God, and therefore to bestow favors as well as punishments as if God, even though they are not God.


To be powerful in this world, in which one lords it over the other, is to be powerless in the only world that really matters, for those that are powerful but in essence lack selflessness, love, and unimpeachable integrity, are those that live for their will to be done, and therefore for God's will to be subsume by their own.  Whereas, those that truly live the creed of God's will be done, are those that are selfless, loving, and of unimpeachable integrity, for that well aligns in accordance with God, and only those of great consciousness, properly applied, understand that absolute surrender to God, allows the true embrace of the coming of God's kingdom, now and forevermore.

Time for the progressive capital gains tax by kevin murray

Although we read in Holy Scripture, "For you always have the poor with you…" (John 12: 8) --so too, is it quite apparent that we also always have the rich; and those privileged people in today's world are outrageously rich.  So that, as reported by forbes.com, in America, three people, "…collectively hold more wealth than the bottom 50% of the domestic population." 


Most Americans have to labor for their money, that is to say, they go to work and are paid an agreed upon hourly or salary wage, and have deducted from their paycheck, Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, Federal taxes, and in most States of this union, State taxes.   So then, those that work and labor for a living pay their taxes as required per the progressive tax system each year.  On the other hand, the very rich, though they may also labor for their wages, typically, make a significant amount of their money, not from that hourly or salary wage, but actually from capital gains, such as stock appreciation, or real estate appreciation, in which those long-term capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than those that are subject to the progressive income tax.


That is to say, the highest progressive income tax rate as of 2018 is 37%, whereas the highest capital gains tax rate is essentially 20% for long-term capital gains.  The fundamental difference between those that labor for their wages, in which they are required to work in order to make a living as opposed to all those that augment that income with capital gains or substantially make all of their money through capital gains is that the former is actually making their money by the sweat of their brow to get their daily bread, whereas the latter is for the most part, utilizing money to make additional money, without typically have to sweat for it, and already for the most part, have their daily bread and so much more.


Those that have large capital gains are the richest people in America, yet, those rich people effectively pay lower taxes than all those that are simply trying to make ends meet.  The whole point of a progressive tax system was not that it would be setup just to capture wage income but that such a progressive tax system would capture all income that a given individual makes.  However, this progressive tax system has morphed itself into being manipulated by the richest and most powerful Americans so that they will keep more, and the downtrodden will have less.


If this country truly believes in the progressive tax system, then it needs to address the inequalities created within that tax structure, and specifically should make it their point to progressively tax at a higher progressive rate, all those that make more income, whether that be by wage labor, dividends, capital gains, or a combination of those very things.    If, on the other hand, this country believes that it is right and good that just three individuals own more wealth then the bottom 50% of its own citizens, then certainly, don't change a thing, because the rich are getting so much richer, and the poor are getting so much poorer, and therefore we will always have the poor amongst us.

Geography, USA, terrorism and the Middle East by kevin murray

It almost goes without saying that a multitude of Americans are ill-educated; however, what may be somewhat surprising is that some of the most powerful people in America are somehow also completely ignorant of geography.  We know this because the United States spends an inordinate amount of time, money, weapons, and logistics fighting countries all over the world, such as Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Afghanistan that aren't geographically close to America, and pose little, if any, real threat to America.


In point of fact, America contiguous border has Canada to its north, and Mexico to its south and both of these countries, America has quite favorable relations with.  The only country that has conducted in recent memory any sort of saber rattling towards the United States that is actually in the immediate vicinity of America was Cuba, but that mainly was a provocation on both sides as well as the Soviet Union using Cuba as its proxy.  Americans if they bother to have learned their history, and actually listened to the father of its own country, would know that President Washington stated: "Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground?"  That is to say, why risk the great freedom and liberty that America has, to get our noses involved in foreign intrigues that are not our concern?  Yet, American does exactly that, today.


It is the height of stupidity for America to constantly involve itself, especially outside of the United Nations, in foreign affairs that are thousands of miles away from our mainland.  If, there are problems in the Middle East, and there are always problems in the Middle East, let those that live in the Middle East, and those countries that are located near the Middle East, try to resolve those problems, not America, and thereby do not then use American munitions and its soldiers.


The bottom line is that first of all terrorists typically are going to attack locally and not internationally, not necessarily because they don't want to attack internationally, but fundamentally because they almost always lack the infrastructure and resources to actually attack internationally.  Secondly, if a given country does not involve itself in the Middle East, then those that are terrorists are not going to attack those countries that do not attack, interfere, or involve themselves in their affairs, because there is no good reason to do so.


America, for no good or valid reason, insists upon being the policeman of the world, and gets its nose into just about every foreign affair that it can do so; however, if it was neutral in its conduct, and simply was an empire about commerce and nothing more, then all those that currently vilify America would not have the fuel to constantly attack her.


If America actually thought the process through, then America would recognize that being a melting pot and a sanctuary for all those that desire opportunity and liberty, would make America, both strong within as well as without, as opposed to placing themselves, their people, and their political institutions in harm's way.  


America is not Europe, and therefore if western nations can somehow be of benefit in resolving what ails the Middle East, then let Europe do so, because Europe is a heck of a lot closer to the Middle East and also because Europe use to do exactly that, before America decided to get itself fully involved.  If America wishes to sleep better at night, then it should recognize that now is the time to dissolve those political bands which do wrongly connect America to foreign intrigues and tribulations.

Will always the good of the other by kevin murray

For all the talk of peace, harmony, and love within relationships of all sorts, people have a strong tendency to forget or to ignore that in order for this harmony to actually occur, then each and every person in everything that they do, should be willing the good of the other, in every interaction so generated.  That is to say, there can never be true peace and justice in this world, when one party is getting over on the other, or when one party professes one thing, while doing something other, or if one or both parties behave selfishly at the expense of the other, demonstrated by their attitude and by their actions.


To resolve all of the disharmony and strife in this world, is as straightforward as actually living to the creed, that all are equally entitled to good, and therefore, that the greatest good that we can provide to our fellow brothers and sisters, is to sincerely desire to see that in all that we do, that we are good, and further that in every interaction, that we make it our point, to see that we are good to others, as if we are those others.


Further, to consider it logically, every time that we catch ourselves either thinking or acting out in a manner in which we are directly or indirectly taking advantage of another, we are quite obviously not willing the good of the other.  Additionally, those that do not sincerely will the good of the other, are helping to aid and augment the construct that will never allow this world to be a world of peace, harmony, and love because if others are not being good, then the world itself, is not going to be good.  It is only when everyone, without exception, is good, can this world be a good world, and therefore, in every circumstance of our lives, we have a sacrosanct obligation to will the good of the other, because that is the true doctrine of good.


So too, while it is correct to get our mind right in its thoughts and by those thoughts to thereby follow through with the right actions; it is never going to be enough to simply will the good of the other, but rather it is vital to do our part to help bring that good will unto others to fruition.  While, each of us is entitled to our own free will, and none should be coerced into doing what they do not wish to do, we are all ultimately part of the same world, so that every action has a reaction, in which, our actions or inactions have consequences, so then, where there is disharmony we must do our part to bring harmony, as well as where there is misunderstanding to bring understanding, and also where there is hurt to bring healing.


In summary, we will the good of the other, because that is what we want for others to do for us, and the more good that is done one to another, the more good that there will be, so that, the good that is lacking in this world, comes down to not only whether we are good or not, but also how we propagate that good with those we interact with day-by-day.

Improving our dismal educational system by kevin murray

The United States should have the smartest students in the world, in consideration that America spends an inordinate amount of money on education as well as having ample resources to succeed in education for its population.  Unfortunately, quite clearly, test results and the general disappointing amount of students that are functionally illiterate indicate that America is not going to somehow improve much of anything, by simply throwing money at the educational conundrum; without instead fundamentally making it a point to solve the puzzle which must be successfully solved, in order to begin to demonstrate by its results, that American students' educational achievements in aggregate are as good as anywhere else, worldwide.


In the scheme of things, there shouldn't be much of anything within the current educational system as it is, which should be held to be sacrosanct, so that, in fact, from the administrators of the educational system, to the teachers of it, as well as the resources so given, the hours so attended, and the structure of classrooms, itself, should all be carefully looked at, contemplated upon, and seen as something that simply is not working the way that it should be, and therefore needs to looked at from the perspective, that what isn't working very well, must be tinkered upon, at best, and wholly replaced, as needed.


America is gifted with great technological tools, in which, the very biggest and most successful technological companies of them all, are located in America, and most of those companies, make billions upon billions of dollars in profit, every year.  Those companies have an obligation, if they are not already onboard, to see that some of those billions are utilized within the educational system of America, so that, students are able to take advantage of the power and throughput that laptops, tablets, desktops, and even smart phones have of representing the ready capacity to be student aids, and are able to be therefore structured In a way, that each student will have lessons that can be done utilizing these tools in conjunction with programs so written in order to more readily understand the subject matter, of which, unlike a teacher that simply cannot individually deal with thirty students at once, each student would have an online avatar that would keep track of every answer and every click and would work with endless patience with students on their learning.


That is to say, students in the same classroom work at different pace levels, further students learn at different speeds within a given subject matter, and additionally some students are much more engaged than others.  The thing about tablets and other smart devices is that what a given student has learned or not learned can be recorded upon that device, of which, that information would then be readily assessable to the teacher or the teacher's aide, so that progress and understanding of a given subject could be seen for what it is, in real time.  That way, there would be far less trickery and far less faking by students, for the tablet tells the tale, as well as the fact that unlike teachers that have limited resources and limited patience, a smart machine does not mind going over the same subject matter, again and again, perhaps in different ways, and through different perspectives, because that is the way that machines can be programmed to interact.


A school system in which more students have smart devices to record their progress and their answers to quizzes and tests is a system that will have a much better pulse of its student body, and in order for America to improve upon its dismal educational achievements, America needs to embrace the obvious, which is that technology, properly structured and utilized, will be of real measurable assistance towards student learning.

Plenty of sermons about tithing but never any about the money changers by kevin murray

History is filled of people and their preachers that read from the same Bible, but sometimes come to diametrically different conclusions.  In point of reference, whether one actually goes to church or watches such on television or through other modern streaming means, invariably, there will be sermons promulgated about the importance and therefore the blessing to come for those that appropriately tithe one's wages to the church.  In fact, the details of these sermons can seem rather foreboding, because some preachers even get down to the minutiae of what represents ten percent (which is what a tithe stands for) and as to whether ten percent should represent the gross labor pay or whether ten percent should more appropriately be based on one's net pay.  All of this serves to point out the rather obvious, that those that preach and pontificate about the value of freely giving tithes, almost always have skin in the game of such a sermon.


On the other hand, for every ten sermons about tithing, not many sermons are heard about the money changers in regards to the Jewish temple during Passover; which certainly was one of the seminal events in Jesus' ministry, of which, Jesus "… poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables." (John 2: 15).  This appears to make it quite clear that Jesus believed strongly that the house of our Lord should not be the place in which things of this world, corrupt the message of God's love, mercy, and compassion.  Additionally, Jesus makes the seminal point that what is right and true trumps over what mankind allows or permits, especially when what is happening is inimical to one's eternal soul.  That is to say, should any religious organization make it their point, to make a little profit here and little profit there, or be aiders and abettors of such; or should the message of any legitimate religious organization actually be about the saving and redemption of souls?


When it comes to tithes, we read in Holy Scripture, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith…" (Matthew 23: 23).  This makes it very clear that Jesus was quite aware as well as quite cognizant of the concept of tithing, but that those so-called righteous practitioners of tithing had made it their point to meet and adhere to just the letter of the law, but to their utter disgrace, they fully missed the spirit of the law.  Yet, how many of today's religious institutions do the very same thing, and even worse, for they seem to preach the message of tithing as being something akin to a quid pro quo, in which, credulous believers, give their money to their church, in return for blessings and benefits in the here and now, of which, true monetary giving of any amount to the church, is never about the actual amount of the money so given, but always about the heart of the giver.


While it is true that religious institutions, as in any institution, have a need and a place for monetary things; so it is also true that God is the Great Provider, and those that preach the True Word, and are faithful and diligent to their faith, should not be the same ones that unnecessarily pressure others to give monetarily, but rather should be the enlightened ones that will concern themselves exclusively upon the only thing that matters, which is bringing Light to the darkness, and thereby souls to salvation.

Money in a banking institution v. money in hand or specie by kevin murray

Most Americans that have built up a sizeable amount of assets will as a matter of course, have a significant amount of those assets stored inside various banking institutions and/or brokerage firms, in which though their account clearly indicates that they are the owner of those assets, not always are they able to access their own money, without restriction. 


That is to say, citizens of America, are subject to all sorts of laws, in which, assets can be seized or frozen by governmental agencies, law enforcement agencies, or creditors, when a given person, for example, is suspected of a drug offense crime, has unpaid debts adjudged against them, or has been convicted of certain crimes that mandate such a seizure.  Of course, most Americans don't pay attention to much of that, because first of all they don't conduct their affairs illegally, or at least don't believe that they do, signifying that they are far too often too credulous for their own good. 


For instance, wrong information and wrong identities can create the type of confusion in which the wrong party finds their account confiscated or frozen, and in order to unfreeze or un-confiscate an account necessitates not only very good legal aid, which is expensive, but actual monetary assets to pay for such.  Of even more concern, however, is that a government that has the legal right to freeze or confiscate assets under currently narrowly defined circumstances, probably has the potential to expand those conditions against enemies of the state, or in emergencies of national defense, or basically under any condition that it sees fit, if that government controls the legal as well as policing aspects of that country with an iron fist, for certain governments have a nasty habit, of seizing what isn’t theirs, under dubious circumstances, because money is not only a form of valuable power, but also because the lack of money, allows the government to control far more easily people that annoy them.


So then, those that have lots of assets that they can log into online, to check upon and count, may find themselves in a situation, under trying circumstances, in which, that money as an asset to them, is frozen, not necessarily because the government has taken it, but because of newly developed governmental exigencies, of which that government has put a "temporary" hold on those assets, perhaps to assure that the owner of such, won't abscond to another country, or basically in order to keep those assets within the country, because of, perhaps, a financial crisis which seemingly necessitates such in order for the monetary system to stabilize itself.


On the other hand, those that have money in physical specie, such as gold, have something that has historically held its value as well as also having something of fundamental universal worth as a means to store assets and money.So too, somewhat surprisingly, those that have physical dollar bills, such as $100 bills or other denominations, have money that is relatively stable, which is also universally acceptable, as well as being well-nigh anonymous, and despite whatever financial crisis may come, these owners are aware that the circulation of printed dollar bills, as reported by visualcapitalist.com, demonstrates that "….physical currency makes up only about 11% of the total value," of the dollars in circulation, in which, dollars in hand, in times of blood in the streets, quite obviously have a lot more value than dollars stored in a bank or brokerage account online, especially when the very log-in of the user in question has been seized by the federal government

American sports and their endless playoffs by kevin murray

America, proves virtually every day that it is a country that is all about maximizing profit and revenue, of which, this is seen quite obviously in the sporting world, in which despite having a regular season, which in the scheme of things, should actually decide who the best team is over the course of that regular season, this is really just the preliminary means towards deciding who the champion is, which is accomplished via the postseason.  That is to say, in any of the top four American sports, whatever team has the best regular season record, ultimately represents a whole lot of nothing, for the champion is not decided upon the team with the best regular season record, though, one ignorant of these rules, might question as to what the regular season is actually for, but instead is decided via a postseason playoff format.


It would be one thing if the postseason really just had the best teams that have proven themselves over the course of a long season, but instead, the major American sports, make it their point to occasionally let in even teams what have winning records of less than .500, because when a sport decides that sixteen of the thirty teams are worthy of being in the postseason, inevitably that will occur from time-to-time. 


Compounding that error, is the stupidity of having four team divisions, in which the fewer the teams in any division, the greater the chance that the division winner will have a sub-adequate record, so that the results of the regular season are compromised by the unworthiness of certain division winners.


While the executives of these major league sports indicate that everything that they do, is really because the fans demand it, especially, in order to make late season games more interesting, or in order to allow Cinderella teams to progress deeply within the playoffs, the reality of it is that the more teams that are in the postseason and the more games and rounds that are played in the postseason the less relevant the results of the regular season are, except in the qualifying for the postseason.


The truth of why there are so many playoff teams and why the rounds of the playoffs are often so long, really comes down to revenue, money, and profits, of which, for the owners of these sports franchises, this is what it is all about.  The fact that the postseason is more about making money then having the best teams play exclusively against the best is a reflection that money means more than the integrity of the sporting competition, itself.


In modern times playoffs have gotten much longer along with having more qualifying teams, and it doesn't seem that the ownership has the gumption to ever reduce such, especially since the money is too good to walk away from.  This seems to indicate that the regular season for all intents and purposes is becoming more akin to just a warm-up to the postseason, in which, there isn't any point in a given player giving their all, till the games really count, and therein lays the crux of the matter.

Unfair global competition by kevin murray

Americans pride themselves on their ability to compete against other comparable companies, and feel for the most part that competition is beneficial not only for the end users of the products, themselves, but also benefits those corporations, for, as they say, iron sharpens iron.  However, it is one thing to compete domestically against other domestic companies, in which, even that competition, may have inherent advantages depending upon location, labor conditions, materials, taxes, and so on and so forth; whereas it is an entirely different proposition to compete against global companies that are headquartered outside the United States, and are not subject to the same laws.


For instance, the United States has all sorts of laws, rules and regulations, in regards to different industries, of which, these laws, rules and regulations, cover such things as the environment, so that companies are not permitted to just dump their chemicals into rivers or streams, or endlessly pollute the skies and so on.  Additionally, companies are required or obligated to provide some sort of health benefit to their employees, once they reach a size of fifty full time employees or more.  So too, there are Federal as well as State laws, which stipulate how many hours of labor a given person is permitted to work on a given day, or a given week, before overtime pay becomes mandated.  Also, those of a certain age, such as teenagers have specific rules that apply to the hours and the amount of hours that they are legally permitted to work, in addition to their being Federal as well as State minimum wage laws.  Also, while unions have been in steady decline in America for the last few decades, unions, with the exception of a few industries, are permitted within America, which helps provide those that labor with a seat at the negotiation table with management.  Finally, the currency of any country, can be manipulated by government officials in order for the goods of a certain country to become cheaper to the export market, as well as some governments in order to be internationally competitive work hand-in-glove with the domestic corporations that are exporting goods as a team.


All of the above, indicates that domestic companies in certain industries, are often not going to be competitive against global companies, simply because their domestic labor costs and their health costs, as well as their environmental regulations, and so on, are materially more expensive than these other companies, and no matter how hard these domestic companies work on being even more efficient and effective, the ground that they have to cover is just too much for them.  In a free trade world, perhaps this is considered to be ideal, of which the consumers are thereupon able to benefit from getting lower cost goods or services, of which even if this is true, what is lost in the translation, is that it doesn't make sense that certain countries are compelled to pay a minimum wage or a living wage, and are compelled to provide health insurance, as well as abiding with environmental laws, whereas other global companies are not compelled to do any of these things.  So that, what has occurred, in effect, is that the exploitation of labor, and the abuse of the environment have essentially been exported to other countries, while consumers blithely purchase the services and goods imported into this country as if the playing field is level, when it clearly is not.


If, it is important that laborers receive a living wage, and further that the environment is dealt with in a responsible and sustainable way, then it would seem to indicate that products and services, the world over, should be appropriately designated as being in conformance with these attributes, so that, those that procure those services and products, will, at a minimum, know which side their dollars are supporting.