Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Minnesotans’ Economic Reality

This year's campaign season is all about the economy. As former Bill Clinton said, "It's all about the Economy, Stupid!" It is clear in my mind that Senator Barack Obama is better at the economy than his opponent. A graduate of Colombia University's international economics program and a law degree from Harvard University, Minnesotan's should recognize that Sen. Obama has what it takes to understand intrinsically complex issues like our economy.

First and foremost, Sen. Obama will NOT raise taxes for anyone making less than $250,000 a year. He will end tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas. Obama promises to create a new “Making Work Pay” tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family. He will encourage working families to afford college for their children by providing tax credits for tuition payments. Sen. Obama understands what many Minnesotans’ reality with the State’s shrinking budget, the lack of economic development and the overwhelming poverty in the rural areas.

Kids, like me, grow up knowing their parents have to pay fuel and electric bills over the cold winters before they can buy food for the family. Beginning each month, discount shopping centers are bustling because welfare checks have just been sent out. To underscore the economic conditions near Bemidji and in the North Country, just a few years ago, over 1,000 people applied for 300 minimal wage jobs when Wal-Mart opened its first store in the area. The 40 percent poverty rate is higher than in some developing nations.

Born in Bemidji, I am currently a graduate student at Florida International University in Miami, Fla. I recently began the doctoral program after spending eight years in Washington, DC working for the Federal government. I feel that Senator Barack Obama knows our issues and is able to Help American Workers Compete in the Global Economy. Sen. Obama will fight for a trade policy that opens up foreign markets to support American jobs. He will make long-term investments in education, training, and workforce development and use trade agreements to spread good labor and environmental standards. This is precisely what my future dissertation will be about. Please join me, and vote for Senator Obama this November 4.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Barack Obama’s Latin American Policy Experience

While Senator Obama is reviewing policy plans and preparing potential jabs at Senator McCain, staying of course at the lovely Belleview Biltmore golf and spa resort in Clearwater, Fla, I ponder to think what does the Latin American community think of this junior senator? And what do they really know about his Latin American platform?

South Florida received a bit of Sen. Obama’s flavor when he presented at the Cuban-American Foundation back on the week of Cuban Independence day on May 20. At that time, the mainstream Cuban-American community charged that Obama presents bland open promises of “change” without any substance, making them reminiscent of Castro’s insurgency in the mountains of Cienfuegos. A scary thought even in the post-cold war world of potential Islamic terrorism.

Even worse, this still does not consider that most Latinos are racists. Many Latinos would not consider Sen. Obama, even with his academic accolades and national achievements, simply because of—indicated by touching an index finger to their wrist—his color. The historical tradition of Latin American social hierarchy was through extraction—encouraged people to open their hand to social classes ahead of the ladder while squashing and withdrawing from those below—was, so often enough, predicated by color. But are Latin Americans really racists and do they really fear a new global crisis with Sen Obama?

Besides, without a clear look at Sen. Obama policies will this ignorance continue?

Honestly, the Democrats winning the White House could help Latin America and its current political and economic condition. Although with some gaps, Obama would like to return America’s leadership in the Hemisphere. He wants to employ American immigrants to US public diplomacy, expand the Peace Corps to Kennedy’s desire of 50,000, and re-establish US special envoy of the Americas in the White House.

Sen. Obama shares favorable democratic and social policies with moderate socialists governments of Michele Bachelet, Fernando Lugo and Tabare Vazquez. Which together, they could help sway politically difficult issues in multilateral organizations like the Inter-American Development Bank and the Organization of American States to help America fight and promote democracy against the Latin America’s “axis of evil” Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro and other supposed foe. Appealing rationality to extremist with more friends could help the region. Engagement can only combat fear.

What's more, it is undisputable that Sen. Obama has superior experience in combating gang warfare and maintain high-quality security, which is a major issue currently effecting Central America and Mexico. A historic obstacle on the South Chicago, where Sen. Obama has experience to promote peace through civic engagement and faith based assistance. Possibly, this real experience might not help him win some votes, but it could provide endless use in the fight against the MARA and the Salvatrucha.

Finally, Sen Obama will promote more foreign assistance, engage the United Nations to eliminate the global education deficit, lead the world in the fight against the HIV aids epidemic, support small and medium enterprises, fight for more fair trade, while obeying human rights and labor standers, just to name a few ideas on the campaign. In conclusion, shouldn’t Latin’s reconsider Mr. Obama’s skin color, since it could help to put them in the oval office one day?

Symposium on Behavioral Approaches to Bureaucratic Red Tape and Administrative Burden

CALL FOR PAPERS Public Administration Review Symposium Editors: Christopher Carrigan, The George Washington Universit...