Common Sense Please

A couple weeks ago Gov. Crist was part of a delegation to South America; the purpose of the delegation was to promote trade with countries in South America. This is a goal that America needs to place higher on the priority list. Increasing our business relations with South America will improve our political relations with those countries. If we want to increase the security of our borders and help curb the ebb of terrorism and the power of narco-terrorism then we need to do as much as we can to promote the improvement of the standard of living, as well as the political stability, of these struggling democracies.
Once again I seem to be coming back around to the same topic. If we want the people of the ‘third world’ to be more like us, at least politically, we need to improve their standard of living. We cannot expect people to be concerned about the integrity of their national governments when they are going hungry, living without electricity and running water, being terrorized by local war lords and revolutionaries and drug cartels. We do not seem to grasp two things with the world; 1, not every one has all their basic needs met, and 2, not everyone wants to be just like us. In my opinion the first is not acceptable—I believe that everyone should have the freedom and security to live their lives and meet their basic needs without fear. As for the second, I do not believe that we need to force our way of life down the throats of others as the only way to create allies. People can think and live and be different from us and still be our allies. We would gain more respect from other countries if we showed a genuine respect and understanding of their cultures. The western world has a long history of thinking that the only civilized people are people that are just like them. That misconception has to be eliminated. People do not have to be living in 2 story brick homes with 2 cars and 2.3 kids, an IRA and trying to ‘keep up with the Jones’ to be good, intelligent, civilized people. The West has to realize that some of these people have had the same way of life for thousands of years, that does not make them unenlightened or ignorant; and there are things that we can learn from them-especially when it comes to respect. We have lost languages, cultures, and an immense amount of knowledge –we cannot recover any of this but we can learn from our arrogance and prevent the further loss of these priceless treasures. We as the human race need to value all peoples and cultures and preserve as much of them as we can. If we would try to do this we would see that it would help our economic and political goals.
When we go into ‘third world’ countries and build our factories and pay the workers the bare minimum instead of something descent we are showing a total disregard for them as people and their country as an ally and their culture as important. If we want to go into emerging countries to make more profit that is fine, but you can make more profit and still do right by the people of these countries. When big business goes in takes advantage of these people it provides ammo for anti-American propaganda by radicals like Chavez. We cannot afford that. On the flip side of that here in our country we impose high tariffs on imports from these countries but give favored trade status to China. How many toy and product recalls have we had in the last 6 months of items made in China? And we impose a $0.54 per gallon import tariff on ethanol from Brazil; why so that the few farmers in the Midwest can get the subsidies? Are we selling ethanol mixed gas nationwide? Are we keeping the gas prices so low that we don’t need to care about the environment? And do we have enough support in South America that we can snub our political noses at Brazil?
We need to shelve our political and economic egos and use some common sense and respect. We will find that the old adage about catching flies is true.

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