A Scientist’s Point of View
I don’t normally comment on politics as having a flower shop in town we don’t want to offend anyone. However April is asking for blogs on the coming election so I thought the view of a scientist might be worthwhile to throw into the mix.
I have my own “beliefs and prejudices” like anyone else, but when pursuing a scientific idea I had to put them away and look only at the data in front of me. Sometimes that process led me to endorse the ideas of other scientists that I had personal reasons to dislike and admit my own ideas were not supported by the facts. This was good training for other non-scientific parts of my life.
This means I don’t think about which presidential candidate I would more likely sit down and have a beer with. Or—who is more like me as a person. Or---what I personally think about helping the less fortunate—or---not. Or----who supports my religious beliefs.
I don’t think of myself as either a Democrat or Republican----and----I don’t like being classified as an independent either. That’s because the “so called” independents seem to blow back and forth like reeds in the wind depending on which side has the best sound bites. I’ve voted for both Republicans and Democrats in past presidential elections.
After carefully analyzing the proposed policies of both sides this is what I’ve determined.
The deficit cannot be decreased in the long run without a combination of increasing taxes on those that can afford it and restructuring programs like Social Security and Medicare without hurting the people that really depend on them. Obama understands this fact. Romney doesn’t.
Foreign policy needs careful thinking. Being swayed by quick emotional responses to provocations against us or crimes against others is not wise policy making. The folly of rushing into wars without thinking through the consequences is readily apparent. However when bold action is called for politics shouldn’t be considered before acting. Obama understands this. Romney doesn’t.
Full employment can only be attained by investing in the American worker through retraining workers for the available jobs that need new skills they don’t have. Obama gets this. Romney doesn’t.
Religious views are extremely personal and as such people need to be able to make their own religious decisions without interference from their neighbor or government. Other people’s religious beliefs should never be forced on others through laws. Obama gets this. Romney doesn’t.
The future of the world belongs to countries that invest in energy sources that are renewable. There is only a finite supply of oil and gas. When it’s gone it’s gone. Countries that don’t prepare for this eventuality will suffer. Obama gets this. Romney doesn’t.
We are already seeing the consequences of a “heating up earth” in the increase in the extreme weather. Even forgetting about the human suffering this causes, the drag on our economy of weather extremes is enormous and will get worse if we don’t get grip on green house gases. Obama gets this. Romney doesn’t.
Banks need to be prevented from investing our money in overly risky ventures that provide little risk to the banks (if the banks are large enough they have to be saved) but large risks to us. The folly of not regulating the banks is evident in the recent crash of our economy. Obama gets this. Romney doesn’t.
The idea that giving large tax breaks to the wealthy (eliminating inheritance and capital gains taxes for example) will help everyone is not supported by fact. The wealthy already have purchased what they want and just invest the extra money. Lower income people normally have a backload of necessities they need, but can’t afford. Any return of taxes to them results in money being spent in the local economy. Obama gets this. Romney doesn’t.
The fallacy that businesses on their own will protect the environment and the quality of our air and water is also not supported by fact. Businesses can greatly profit from ignoring the consequences of i the damage they do to the environment, but this causes us all to suffer for what they do for short term gain. The poor quality of the environment of countries that have weak or non-existent government oversight is obvious. Obama gets this. Romney does not.