How I would fix the economy

So we are headed to Morocco in less than two weeks. The 21 of June is our flight at 5 am…probably shouldn’t go to bed that night, we sleep in too easily. We will have a huge apartment there; you can see it at http://www.zoufi.com/
More by necessity than choice, it was the only one we could find with all our requirements. It costs less than our apartment here at least. So that just means you guys will have to visit us!!! (Anyone who is reading this)

And fyi, sometimes we are told we are brave for traveling to different countries the way we do. My answer to that is–childbirth sounds a heck of a lot scarier than relaxing on a beach in Europe. I am in awe of mothers for how tough they are. My friends who are also mothers–I am amazed by you!

We’ve just been doing what we do. Working. Jacob goes to the gym while I explore the city and take photos

I’m going to post some political opinions now, in honor of the 4th of July, which we didn’t really celebrate, sadly. I’ve been thinking a lot about this stuff lately because I try to keep up with the news on the other side of the pond. I tend to have strong opinions but am influenceable if your argument makes sense. So feel free to disagree with me. If you aren’t interested in my spoutings, then skip to the pretty pictures below :)

To begin, I love America. The more I travel, the more I am proud of my nationality. But I naturally don’t always (or usually) agree with our government.

There is a reason why I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. No party seems to match my views exactly. Neither can see the other’s point of view, or recognize that the other must have some valid points to have half the population. I voted for Obama because I liked the guy better than McCain, almost as much as I liked Palin. Here is how I think he is handling things.

The economy: Well, things have gone from bad to worse from what I hear. Obama’s excuse is that “we didn’t realize how bad the economy was when we arrived in office.” Sure. If only he had owned a business before, he might know a little more about economics. Now that Jacob and I fit into that group called “small business owners” I understand better than ever why raising taxes on people who are successful is very demotivating. I’m with the Republicans on this one. Keeping taxes low on businesses is a fundamentable principle of successful capitalism. George Bush, although Republican, didn’t always spend money like one.

Now I wouldn’t mind if my taxes were raised if I got to choose where my money went. If, for example, I got to check the box that said, “Improve public transportation” I would be very pleased. But unfortunately, I don’t get to choose, and I tend to feel that the government squanders my hard-earned money.

Welfare: I think we give too much money to other countries. It’s money that we don’t have, and unfortunately, it’s money that often isn’t well spent. For example, we’ve given tons of money to the African country of Cameroon. The people there complain they haven’t seen a cent, and the money has been squandered by the corrupt government officials.

I believe Americans are the most charitable people in the world. We are generous. I base this on the fact that I know so many friends who have gone abroad to help orphans in Ghana and Romania, Guatemala and Mexico, Zambia and within the States themselves. We have the Peace Corps; we have missionaries; we have celebrities who have donated millions to charities. Given the chance, Americans would donate their own time, money, and effort to people around the globe more than any other people I know. Therefore, in most situations I believe the US government should not transfer money to another government, but individuals should serve other individuals with their own free will and choice to their own individual causes. This can be supported through tax breaks (not raises).

Health care: Obama is right that we have a system that needs to be fixed. Ironic that we spend more than any other nation and yet have such a horrible record in terms of people insured. I’m willing to pay more in taxes for this benefit BUT I don’t think it’s right that the richer people should pay for other people’s poor health choices. I think that the overweight, the smoker, the drink-and-driver should be paying the higher taxes, not the hard working businessman. Am I biased? Maybe, and that would be a hard system to enforce, but it’s the most fair way. I don’t know why Republicans are so against a national health care system along with privatized. Their solution is always “give a tax credit.” It’s true, tax credits are the answer sometimes, but really, do you think that will solve our broken healthcare system?
[Note to readers: Do. Not. Use. Humana.]

Abortion: Obama signed into law the ability to fund overseas abortions. So we’re using taxpayers’ money to fund something that probably half of the US population feels is morally wrong? Why can’t we use that money to provide free birth control instead? Or to cover adoption costs? We’re trillions of dollars in debt and we’re funding women around the world to get abortions. Brilliant. To learn why I am against abortions, visit this site to learn the disturbing manner in which abortions are performed: http://prochoice.com/abort_how.html
It’s hard to read but important to know. I think my view on abortion was fundamentally changed after I read an essay by an abortion nurse on how abortions are performed. It’s fairly gruesome. I believe if women were educated on what they were about to do to their bodies they would be less likely to go through with it.
PS I believe birth control should not be prescription. It’s not in Turkey and I think a woman can decide as good as a gynecologist can which birth control works the best for her personally. Actually, better. And abortion rate would be greatly reduced if women didn’t have to go to a doctor to obtain birth control.

Environment: Sometimes it astonishes me at how little the Republicans seem to care about the environment. It would only take a little bit more effort on America’s part to become more green, but the very idea seems to shake some people to the core. To give up your SUV is like giving up your life(style).

Climate change: I don’t believe it’s a real problem, but I know Obama does–he and his wife donated $25,000 to the cause each. I’m more worried about pollution and cancer-causing agents.

War: I’m with Ron Paul on this one. Send the troops home. We use taxpayers money to keep people based in Germany, Korea, etc and I just think it would make more sense to build up our defense at home. I think we’d stop encouraging our reputation as the world’s bully, too. I’m not sure why Republicans are always so army-hungry. They seem to be a little bit more paranoid than Democrats. Maybe that’s why they’re so concerned about national defense. I know since we’re the most powerful nation in the world, we’ve got to be able to protect ourselves, but if we just lowered our budget as little as 5% on this issue, think of how much money we could use in its stead towards, for example, health care. I’m not saying that war is never justified, I’m just saying that it seems our government tends to be far too willing to jump right in. And then in hindsight, “Well, that five year war probably wasn’t a good use of resources… oh well” duh, how many times must history repeat itself.

Gay marriage: Although Obama said when he was running for president that he believed marriage should be between a man and a woman, apparently he told a gay rally that their struggle for rights was similar to the civil rights movement… thus implying that he actually supported gay marriage. Oh well, I’m going to be honest. I don’t think there’s any stopping it now. 25 years from now it will be the total norm. I wrote a pro-gay marriage paper at BYU, which was probably the only one written there in all of history, (I got an A) but I don’t think I would actually vote for it, for reasons in the previous post. But it’s so fashionable these days to be pro-gay marriage, really, it’s practically très chic.

Guatanamo Bay: Congratulations, Obama. You did the right thing to close this up. Torturing our enemies will put us right along side the Nazis and Communist regimes. The saddest thing is, anyone would confess anything under those conditions. Think of better ways to get people to tell you what you want to know.

And…that’s enough for now. Here’s some more of what we’ve been up to. Berlin is a wonderful city- I love it!!

Marchenbrunnen in Volksgarten (an adorable fountain with fairy tale character statues (the Brothers Grimm are buried here in Berlin)
Jacob and a communist car
Alexanderplatz
Gorgeous…Berlin is so beautiful…
We went to the zoo… biggest zoo in Europe.
Rhinos
My favorite birds…
Nice shot, eh? In Prenzlauer Burg neighborhood
I think this is the River Spree.
Former Communist Prison. That’s the wire tapping on the walls. These were paranoid times.
Beautiful Potsdam. Where the Prussian kings went in the summer.
Vomiting fountain
Jacob, not given to superlatives, gave a compliment of this area, saying it was among the most beautiful places he’s ever seen…

Graves of Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn. It doesn’t bode likely for a person, if he or she happens to be fantastically talented, to get a lot of whistles on their tombstone. You’re much more likely to have a fancy grave if you are rich. Here is Bertolt Brecht’s grave. He was a popular playwright.
About as plain as you can get.
Medieval choir stalls.
Alter piece. It’s official. Italy has the most beautiful religious art. (This museum had a ton of stuff from Italy.) Free museum night is Thursday, so I walk around til my feet get tired.
Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 364 awesome articles for us.

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