This I Believe

Tara - Greensboro, North Carolina
Entered on December 9, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe…

I am growing up in a generation that is much different from any of the past. Turning on the news at night I find myself confronted by many different things going on in the world. From Britney Spears to the war in Iraq, the media fills our minds with many different stories, most of which have no importance and bring no value to any of our lives. What has this country come to? We are fighting a war hundreds of miles away, but I honestly could not tell you what it is we are really fighting for. Is it for terrorism, or is it because of the politicians in the government that have millions invested in the oil industry? Why do we care what Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are doing? What about the problems with genocide in Darfur? What about the problems we have right here in the United States with overcrowded jails, increasing crime rates, poverty and starvation? What about the corporate crime that costs America 6 billion dollars a year? Most importantly, what about what we are doing to the planet and how it is going to affect future generations? Why are 40 million Americans without health insurance? Though some of these problems are being addressed, they are not being done in a way to truly convince people. I could go on about all of these issues for pages but I will seek to bring up two of the most important issues we are facing today. Global warming and health care are things that we can fix and we need do it sooner rather than later and this is what I believe….

Social democracy can be seen in governments all around the world but the United States is one country where it is not. Why? We are supposed to be one of the world’s superpowers. This semester I took a French history class and learned about their social democratic system. They pay 9.9% of their gross national product on health care where the United States pays 13%. Being that we spend almost 5% more, one would think most citizens would have health care, but that is not the case. 40 million Americans are uninsured and in France all citizens are. This does not even begin to explain all of the issues with our health care system but it’s a pretty striking statistic that can make someone begin to think.

Many people today also seem to have forgotten about the bigger picture. We live in a fast paced society and many only worry about themselves. In order for future generations to live we need to start thinking about the future and the environment. Al Gore produced a movie about global warming several years ago that received a lot of media attention, but why? Yes, global warming is a problem, but does his house run off of solar electricity? No. American’s are so easily influenced by the media and want to be a part of anything that seems to be popular. Global warming is a serious issue today and there needs to be more done about it besides a movie. We will never be able to turn back and eliminate the problems we have caused environmentally but there are things we can do to help. Green ideologists are individuals that seek to promote ideas to help this cause. They seek to create policies, programs and regulations to try and preserve our environment. The government needs to a look at these ideas and incorporate them into laws.

I believe if there were to be incentives for the people to do things to help the environment more would be inclined to do so. If the government offered tax breaks on solar panels more people would be likely to go out and purchase them. The government also needs to speak out more and let people know that if they use other sources of electricity they can earn money from the electric companies. I know a teacher who had solar panels on his home and the energy he did not use was bought by the electric company. He did not pay for any electricity and received a check from Duke Power every month.

The issues today in America range greatly and many people have different ideas on how to fix them. No change will happen over night, it is not possible, but change can, and has to happen. Our society is on a downward spiral doomed for failure and it is up to the people in my generation and the ones following to make a difference. It seems like the only way any change could happen, would be to have a revolution, which is very unlikely. In looking at different political ideologies throughout this semester I believe that the ideas behind Evolutionary Socialism could be very practical for the situation today. Bernstein’s idea to bring about socialism was that in order for it to come about, it needed to be done peacefully. He did not think revolution would bring about change in a positive manner because the society that would be left would be one that was broken apart. Bernstein suggested that socialist ideas needed to be brought about in evolutionary means, meaning that officials needed to be elected into office and bring about change gradually. The socialist views that he wanted to instill are not the ones we need today, but the idea he had for putting socialist views into effect are what we need. Change needs to happen gradually for it to be effective because most American’s dislike radical changes, especially ones that happen over night.

Not everyone would be happy with our government taking a stance in the fight for mother earth, but it is not all about them. It is about looking to our future and protecting our planet for those who will come long after we are gone. It is about trying to create a better society. In creating a better society, health care also needs to be provided, which is an issue almost all American’s can agree on. We need to begin making a move towards universal health care because we have the means to do so.

I consider myself a liberal because of the benefits that universal health care would bring about would benefit the people’s well being. I believe that we deserve the freedom and right to health care and our government needs to provide us with that. As for my stance on Green Ideology, I do not believe in extreme radical change. It needs to be a smooth transition towards a green society, which Bernstein suggested through his evolutionary form of legislation. I believe in evolutionary liberalism because it can bring ideals into effect faster than conservatives, but still be done overtime. It would be a happy medium and satisfy those who want change and those who are opposed to fast radical changes. There is no doubt that change needs to happen, but in order to make it happen we need to make sure people are being educated on these important topics.