The Governmental Role in Global Affairs

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At one point in time, all people question the actions of their government; this in itself is not a surprise.  It is for this reason that the concept of majority rule was “invented”.  Going beyond the political aspect of this subject and inspecting the interesting results of the approval of governmental role when tied in with that particular country’s global affairs.

Let me highlight two government decisions made in the USA based on global affairs that to date have received, from the majority of the populace, the so called nod of approval.

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In 1941, the United States Government was faced with a difficult decision.  How should it best respond to the Japanese assault of Pearl Harbor?  Again, some may have argued with the eventual decision, but the rationale behind the decision was to protect the citizens of the country from a possible violation of their rights; as well as perform the protective services duty that is expected from a government entity.

“Production Miracles In industry after industry Americans performed production miracles. One story helps capture the scale of the defense effort. In 1940 President Roosevelt shocked Congress when he proposed building 50,000 aircraft a year. In 1944 the nation made almost double that number. Ford’s massive Willow Run bomber factory alone produced nearly one plane an hour by March 1944.

To achieve increases like this, defense spending jumped from $1.5 billion in 1940 to $81.5 billion in 1945. By 1944 America led the world in arms production, making more than enough to fill its military needs. At the same time, the United States was providing its allies in Great Britain and the Soviet Union with critically needed supplies.”  Click here for link to source

It can be seen that an increase in government spending in wartime production by 5433.33% over four years (late 1941-1945) was considered acceptable based on the circumstances provided.

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Fast forward to 1957.  The former Soviet Union had successfully launched Sputnik to be the first nation to reach “space”.  This had enormous implications for US national security.  Four years later (1961), the U.S.S.R. achieved the goal of putting a human in orbit.  Without the ability to do this, the United States would be at an extreme disadvantage.  Therefore, President Kennedy declared that it would be imperative for the United States to build a program that would at the very least match that of their rivals.  With this a larger percentage of the US federal budget was allocated to the newly founded NASA to fund the Apollo program. In July of 1969 (8 years later) the United States surpassed the Soviet Union in technological prowess and landed the first man on the moon.  At its peak, NASA’s budget was 4.41% of the federal budget (1966); this value was roughly $6 million.  Click here for link to source.

Again, it can be seen that a 797% increase in government spending on technological advancement for space exploration over eight years was acceptable, based on the circumstances.

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These astounding figures may be hard to grasp, but what isn’t hard to grasp is the fact that it took 66 years from the time of the first recorded human (unpowered) flight to when a human was placed on the moon.  This rapid pace of advancement of new technology would not have been accomplished without governmental support.

With the environmental issues at hand, what would be the impact of a concerted government effort to drive the renewable energy sector?  Seeing the astonishing data depicting the depletion of natural resources and the effects on the world climate and usability, it would seem obvious that soon it will reach the crisis point; and the government must again protect its citizens. The only problem is, there is no visible enemy. When will it be too late? It is best to act sooner rather than later so all catastrophes can be avoided or, at worst, minimalized.

Now should be the time where it is acceptable for the government to increase spending on the renewable energy sector as the circumstances of our future lies in limbo.

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Posted in climate change, community, ecological footprint, economic development, energy, government policy, sustainable development, sustainable living, sustainable technologies, US politics

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