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The Scientific Revolution and the United States

The USA uniquely benefited from the scientific revolution and the industrial revolution eventually becoming an industrial powerhouse. What is usually forgotten is the reason the US got there was on the backs of the working class a history that is not usually taught. Instead we are told to focus on great industrialists not the people who made those industries great. It is easy to forget how the USA achieved its status in the world.

Is Taxation theft?

 

From my journey reading blogs and message boards across the internet I have come across a interesting argument that people on the right side of the political spectrum tend to make when confronted with the idea of what should we do with the government. The right wing in the American political landscape on the libertarian side makes the argument that the government should only be as large as was originally envisioned in the constitution. Then a convoluted argument is created to attempt to justify the destruction of various government programs. The right libertarians argue that since taxation is theft all of those programs the government funds with tax are immoral since the money is stolen. Mu take on the matter is that argument is absolute nonsense and clinging to how the country was in the past is counterproductive. It reminds me a lot of the federalists and anti-federalist arguments that we read about earlier in the course.

Economic issues related to automation in the american economy.

As the economy changes due to vastly increasing technology the threat of automation looms over many workers in the United States. While many US workers are no stranger to automation recent developments in AI and software engineering now make even supposedly safe white collar jobs under threat. Self driving vehicles stand to disrupt the massive transportation industry in the United States and its unknown if new jobs that are tech related will be created in sufficient quantities to replace existing workers. What will the US do in the future as unemployment continues to rise? Will we go down the road of more government programs? Or will the US attempt to do nothing and watch the economic model revert to serfdom?

The trail of tears

This period of american history was a sad and embarrassing chapter of the american experience. The forced relocation of thousands of Cherokee away from there homelands is a dark stain indeed on the american way of living. This shows that despite the auspices of the US being founded on freedom and democracy if you are not part of the majority you will not be treated fairly.

Kneeling and the National Anthem

Recently there has been not quite a bit of controversy regarding the NFL and some players kneeling during the national anthem to show solidarity for unarmed black men who have been killed by police. Some say this is an insult to the country and the NFL should be boycotted. Others say they are simply exercising there free speech and that there job shouldn’t prevent them from being politically active. Personally I think its great these athletes are using there prestige and influence to get people talking about an issue that moderate Americans generally ignore. Frankly I also find the whole its disrespectful argument silly and trite this isn’t North Korea we don’t have to stand when the anthem plays.

The fundamental character of American democracy.

While Tocqueville published his magnum opus Democracy in America nearly 182 years ago the unique cultural and political characteristics of Americans remain even to this day. When the United States was founded it was considered a radical experiment in democracy compared to the old monarchies of Europe. Now the US is considered by other first world countries to be somewhat behind politically as the US clings to old traditions and ways of governance. Is this a bad thing it is difficult to say.

The Role of the State in Modern Life

This weeks reading focused primarily on the the emergence of the new american government with the constitution as its primary document. Then and now interpreting the constitution and arguing about what should and shouldn’t be done is pretty much an american pastime. What struck me as interesting as the same concerns these early american writers had about tyranny and the interpretation of the documents Americans today still share these concerns. The goalposts have shifted and new issues have entered the forefront but the debates remain relatively the same. What is the proper role of the state? Has our government grown monstrously beyond what the founders intended or is our current system outdated?