Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The So Called "Muslim Ban"

The recently signed executive order by President Donald Trump has caused mass controversy across the nation. It has been dubbed the "Muslim Ban" by the media and proclaimed as a horrific act that is against the values that America was founded upon.

In reality, when the executive order is broken down and examined, it's not the beginning of fascism as it is implied.

The executive order can be read in its entirety here.

Countries on the List

Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia are the 7 countries in which the executive order bans access to the United States from. It does not ban all people of the Islamic faith from entering these great states, but it prevents citizens from countries deemed high risk by the Department of Homeland Security from entering the country. This a measure to establish a proper vetting process to prevent from allowing dangerous terrorists into the country, not to discriminate and punish Muslims for their faith.

Further, the list was developed under the Obama Administration by the DHS, therefore President Trump had no say or even influence on the countries effected by the ban. This means that he could not leave countries that allegedly have connections to his sprawling business empire exempt. 

Countries Not Effected

7 majority Muslim countries' citizens are banned from the United States, but Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco are all not banned. They are 9 of the 10 countries in the world with the highest Muslim population. All together, they include almost a billion (around 980 million)  Muslims that are not effected by the executive order.

Over 80% of the Muslim world is not effected by the ban.

Length of the Ban

The ban does not prevent everyone from the countries listed from ever entering the United States. Instead, it is a 90 day restriction. This approximate period of three months allows for the federal government to set up a proper vetting process to screen incoming individuals when entering the United States. This will hopefully prevent the incoming of terrorists and prevent future tragedies from occurring on American soil.

However, there is an exception to this 90 day rule. Refugees that are fleeing the war-torn state of Syria are indefinitely banned from entry to the United States. The country is plagued by a civil war and the evils of ISIS and other radicals. It is horrible that many of them have nowhere to turn and that many children sleep with no roof over their head and with guns blazing just around the corner. But the risk of allowing an agent of ISIS or another terror organization into the U.S. is too great. 

It is a tragedy that many will suffer and that we cannot provide food and shelter for all that are in need, but the safety of the American People must come first.

The countries banned are not banned because they are Muslim majority, they are banned because they are high risk countries. President Trump has not banned people from entering the United States because their god is called Allah, he has put a measure in place to establish a better vetting process to prevent future terrorist attacks and to establish the safety of the American people as a priority.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Will Free College Bern the Economy?

Before I begin, I would like to clarify that while I have taken opposition to Bernie Sanders and his lately popular promises, I am not doing so out of bashing the liberal or progressive movement. I am simply stating my opinion as a conservative, and explaining why I believe so. This was never meant to be a blindly republican blog or hate on democrats blog, just a place where I can express the policies that make the most sense to me and explain why.

The college-bound youth of America face a dilemma after high school graduation, financing their college education. There are scholarships for those with the best grades, with exceptional athletic talent, with skills in the fine arts, and for a few other elite high school graduates. But there is no financial savior for the average kid that wants to go to college. There is only the scary and uncertain path of student loans. In order to fix this scary problem, Bernie Sanders has promised free tuition at every public college. While the plan is of good intentions, it is simply not worth the damage it will cause our economy and society.

Today, when high-schoolers graduate, they have a variety of choices for the rest of their lives. Many will go to college, but others will go to trade schools and technical colleges, join the military, or enter the workforce directly. The common denominator between the four life paths? Everyone has a high school diploma. It is expected that you graduate high school, and college is an option for your future. But when we hand out college education to every eighteen year old that wants it, the value of college decreases. Everyone has a high school diploma, so it's essentially worth nothing. When everyone has a bachelors degree, it's essentially worth nothing.

Making college free will only increase taxes and make it more difficult to get jobs. The best solution to make college education more affordable is to get the government out of it as much as possible. Let our free market economy drive prices down over time, creating a more plausible financial situation for future students.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Refuting the Argument against the Second Amendment

The lately infamous Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The final four words of the amendment have become the slogan for almost any pro-gun group, using them to boast their freedom and defend their individual liberty from recently popular anti-gun or gun control activist groups, such as the Brady Campaign or the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. And it’s the duty of the American people to defend each and every one of their constitutional rights and liberties from anyone who seeks to strip them from us. Now, let’s break down the argument of the left, and build a case for our constitutional right.

Gun Control Laws will prevent crime and violence. By far the most used claim against the Second Amendment, that outlawing guns or passing stricter legislation will cut crime rates and stop gun violence. However, the last time I checked, criminals and murderers don’t follow the law. If congress passed a bill calling for the confiscation of every firearm across the United States, only law abiding citizens would turn them in, not criminals. Take Mexico for example, a country with some of the strictest gun control laws in the world and only one gun store in the country, yet almost 55% of homicides occur with a gun. Laws will not stop a determined criminal from causing harm or getting what he or she wants.

American Citizens don’t need guns because the Police have guns. Another tactic to guilt Americans out of their basic liberties, that police should be the only ones with the guns. While police do serve the purpose of protecting citizens and preventing crime, they cannot do everything. If a robber breaks into your house in the pitch black of night, would you rather dial 911, hide in the closet, and hope that the police arrive soon and you survive the night, or dial 911 and be prepared to defend yourself and your family whether the police arrive sooner or later? The answer is clear to me, as every second counts and police are often minutes away.

Only uncivilized dumb rednecks want guns! When name-calling and baseless accusations become the center of your opponents’ argument, you’ve won.

American citizens have the right to bear arms. This right is most importantly a check on the government. The men who forged this nation from the fires of liberty did so by escaping a tyranny, and they knew that the American people must have the ability to rise up against their government if it oversteps its bounds. Your rights are not secured by the Constitution or the good Lord above, but by the fear that you will stand up to a government that attempts to take them away.

However, I am not denying the fact that our country has a crime problem and that something needs to change. I am just stating that banning guns or adding more paperwork to the registration process will not stop the trend of violence across our nation. We must instead come together as a nation and push forward education and safety to prevent violence in our country and its communities.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Case Against Raising the Minimum Wage

A focal point of Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders’ revolutionary economic plan is raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15.00 an hour. This means that the wages of any entry level labor job will more than double. On the surface, this change is appealing. Young people can save more money for their education, and those who work minimum wage jobs to support their family will earn more than twice of what they earned before, right?

Wrong. The jump might have some immediate positive effects, but in the long run, the workers suffer.

To explain the damaging effects of raising the minimum wage, allow me to dust off one of my favorite high school textbooks and present a simple equation I learned in AP Macroeconomics, the Quantity Theory of Money (also referred to as the Equation of Exchange):

M V = P * Y

Now, before anyone has a flashback to math class with numberless and confusing equations, let’s identify each variable:
  • M = amount of money in a given economy
  • V = velocity of money (the rate at which money circulates throughout a given economy in a given unit of time)
  • P = price level of goods and services in a given economy
  • Y = output of goods and services in a given economy
Essentially, this equation states that the amount of money in an economy is directly related to the price level of goods and services, given that velocity and output remain constant. So, when the amount of money increases, price will increase in proportion. Here’s a simplified model to explain what I’m getting at:

M * V = P * Y

  • The Amount of Money in this example economy will equal the current minimum wage, $7.25.
  • For friendly numbers sake, the Velocity of the money of this economy will equal 100. This means that a given dollar is spent 100 times in this economy in a given unit of time.
  • The Price Level of Goods and Services in this economy will equal $25.
  • Finally, the Output of this economy will be 29 units of Goods and Services.

Now we plug in our variables
($7.25) * (100) = ($25) * (29)
$725 = $725
  • Now let’s implement the higher minimum wage, and solve for the new price level. (Remember, Velocity and Output remain constant)

($15) * (100) = (P) * (29)
$1500 = (P) * (29)
P = ($1500) / (29)
P= $51.724 (rounded to three decimal places)
  • From this, we can conclude that increasing the amount of money in an economy will also increase the Price Level of Goods and Services in an economy.
Simply put, inflation will be the result of doubling the federal minimum wage. However, some might be scratching their heads at my explanation. After all, it’s just an economic theory, and there are some economists who refute it. Perhaps that criticism is fair, but real world occurrences of this phenomena exist in extreme examples. Take Venezuela, a lush South American country rich with oil has developed into a poverty-stricken nation with an almost worthless unit of currency. I pray the United States does not follow suit and give in to short term success with the consequence of diminishing our currency and damning the economy.