Friday, October 17, 2008

Spreading the Wealth

By now, most Americans have seen the Joe the plumber's encounter with Obama. You see him ask the question about taxes on those businesses who make over $250,000 and then Obama's answer of spreading the wealth. McCain has even made an effective TV ad about it. What you don't see in the majority of news sound bites nor in McCain's ad is the intervening 6 minutes between Joe's question and Obama's answer.

Not exactly Marxism or socialism, is it?

I wrote in a post last evening I was going to take some time out but this morning I read The New York Times article on the presidential nominees views on science and technology. I found the following very interesting:

Mr. Obama embraces the theory of evolution and argues that the teaching of intelligent design and other creationist ideas “cloud” a student’s understanding of science. While Mr. McCain says he personally believes in evolution, he has also said children should be taught “all points of view.”

While not stating it, Senator McCain's statement seems to suggest Intelligent Design(Creationism) is a valid subject to be taught in schools. Intelligent Design can be described best as a pseudo-science and a little disguised effort to bring religious teaching into schools. It would be like teaching the beliefs New Agers have on pyramids and crystals.

Intelligent Design has no place in our schools. It is a matter of personal religious beliefs. I believe G-d created the world and science gives us a glimpse into the order in which He did so. My religious views or any other's have no place in science education. Philosophy, yes, science, no.

The US struggles behind other countries in science and math. Intelligent Design(a oxymoron) will not improve matters. I go with Obama's views.(Science Debate 2008) I also agree with many of Obama's ideas for propelling the US back into the forefront of scientific and technological discovery and development. Many will gasp at the price tag of his ideas. According the article, Obama's plan would cost around $85 billion and McCain's, around $78 billion, excluding McCain's proposed tax cuts.

This election is making me do more research than in others past. The economical future for our country is unknown. At first glance, the answer would seem to be to cut unnecessary spending. Our country is facing debt it hasn't seen since the aftermath of World War II. And yet, when the Russians were pulling ahead of us in space technology, President Eisenhower created and heavily funded NASA. his vision propelled and kept the US as a leader in space technology, telecommunications, and other technological advances. We stopped being leaders in most of those fields when Nixon cut funding to those programs. Why spend more money on space programs when we've already been to the moon?

Nixon's and subsequent presidents lack of vision has led directly to the decline in our technological leadership. It has led to a decrease in the number of American students who go on to fields of study in science, math, and engineering. One of the bills McCain proposed and was able to pass, led to a further decrease in US exports of technology. It was based on security concerns but many feel those concerns were unjustified.

There's a saying that it is better to teach someone how to fish than to give a fish. Obama's plans would teach a larger number of people how to fish than McCain's would. It will help spread the wealth by education and by expanding the US's economy.

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