IMF Cuts US and Global Growth Forecasts for 2014 -
The International Monetary Fund foresees the global economy expanding less than it had previously forecast, slowed by weaker growth in the United States, Russia and developing economies. The lending organization predicted Thursday that global growth will be 3.4 percent in 2014, below its…
Governor McCrory has an approval rating of 39 percent
The American political system has turned into a spoils system, and all things go to the winner. Looking at the political appointees of the governors and presidents, it’s possible to see a pattern of nepotism. This nepotism must be addressed, because it has reduced the efficiency of government.
The most notorious case of this is Michael Brown. In 2003, George W. Bush appointed Michael Brown as the administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He mishandled the Katrina disaster, because Brown had never worked in a field relating to emergency management. He was party man, lawyer and former candidate for Congress. The only qualification he possessed was that he was loyal to the Republican Party, and backed George W. Bush for the presidency.
During Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was destroyed. 1,833 people were killed. The levees, which kept the city safe, had been breached, and the storm surge swept through multiple wards. Hurricane Katrina set the record for the most property damage by a hurricane – estimated at 108 billion dollars. Sixty thousand people were stranded in the area.
The government response was botched even before Katrina made landfall. The government set mandatory and voluntary evacuation zones, and did not count in the coastal Louisiana parishes. Since these areas were not declared as evacuation zones, no disaster relief supplies were prepared before the storm. Later investigations revealed that most of the latter issues arouse from this poor planning.
Due to a lack of police and law enforcement, the immediate aftermath was disorder. Violence and crime were widespread. FEMA was inefficient because it could not communication and coordinate efforts with other agencies. FEMA then deliberately slowed down their relief efforts until proper coordination could be managed. They turned away three WalMart tractor trailers loaded with water, prevented the Coast Guard from delivering 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and cut Jefferson Perish’s Emergency Communications lines, so the sheriff had to pull men off the lines to protect them from FEMA officials after they were reconnected.
The New York Times reported that 91,000 tons of ice ordered by FEMA at a cost of over $100 million and intended for hospitals and food storage for relief efforts never made it to the disaster area. Federally contracted truck drivers instead received orders from FEMA to deliver the ice to government rented storage facilities around the country, as far north as Maine. In testimony to a House panel, FEMA director Michael D. Brown stated that “I don’t think that’s a federal government responsibility to provide ice to keep my hamburger meat in my freezer or refrigerator fresh”. This caused existing food supplies within the affected areas to go bad, worsening the situation.
Bob Herbert wrote “Incredibly, when the out-of-state corporate owners of the hospital responded to the flooding by sending emergency relief supplies, they were confiscated at the airport by FEMA”. A September 16, 2005 CNN article about Chalmette Medical Center stated, “Doctors eager to help sick and injured evacuees were handed mops by federal officials who expressed concern about legal liability… And so they mopped, while people died around them.”
This will go down as the worst emergency response in American History, because George W. Bush put someone in charge of FEMA because he was supporter, and not because he could do the job.
These incidence are happening in other government positions, and not just in the Federal government. This spoils system has to stop, because it doesn’t serve the American people – it puts them at risk. The spoils system only serves those that support the officeholders at the cost of competence and efficiency.
New guidelines must be put in place to keep the nepotism out, and draw the competent in. The Reform Party supports creating these new guidelines, and working to end the spoils system.
Gerrymandering is a product of the spoils system. It is a tactic the two major parties use to take and maintain offices at the expense of the American People, and it has to end. Gerrymandering is the art of drawing district lines to pack as many straight line voting party members into a district, so that it will always elect a representative from a single party. It reduces competition and silences the voice of independent voters.
The first symptom of gerrymandering is that Congress has a six percent approval rate, and a ninety percent reelection rate. This is because only ten percent of Congressional districts are tossup districts, and competitive. The other ninety percent will always hold a member from a single party (either a Republican or Democrat). This means when the majority of the population disprove of the government, only ten percent of the representatives can be replaced.
A second symptom of gerrymandering is the loss of moderate voices in the Congress, and an increase of partisanship and polarization. The moderates are the candidates that win tossup districts, so with few tossup districts, there are few moderates to create compromises, and reduce far-right and far-left partisan friction.
The last symptom of gerrymandering is that it silences the will of the people. In the 2012 election, 59,645,531 people voted for Democratic Congressional Candidates, and 58,228,253 people voted for Republican candidates. Even though the Democrats had 48.8 percent of the vote, and the Republicans had 47.6 percent of the vote, the Republicans won 234 or 53 percent of Congressional seats and the Democrats won 201 or 46.2 percent of Congressional seats.
The Reform Party of the United States calls for the end of gerrymandering, and the addition of new guidelines for the creation of legislative districts. It also calls for the creation of independent, nonpartisan redistricting boards based on the Iowa redistricting system.