Mystery Novelist Digger Cartwright Releases Transcripts of Q&A Session from the Thinking Outside the Boxe Annual Symposium

Myrtle Beach, SC, Orlando, FL and Washington, D.C.
(PRWEB) September 15, 2007—The office of Digger Cartwright,
author of Murder at the Ocean Forest, released the
transcripts of a question and answer session from Thinking
Outside the Boxe’s Annual Symposium held in South Carolina
recently. Mr. Cartwright participated in the symposium
question and answer session via telephone. The symposium
focused on a wide range of topics including economic
developments over the last few months and the outlook for
the coming year, geopolitical events, domestic politics,
global warming, and energy.
Mr. Cartwright’s opening statement was as follows:
Thank you very much. It is a pleasure and an honour
to be participating in the Thinking Outside the Boxe Annual
Symposium. This event provides a valuable opportunity for
a wide range of business people, academics, intellectuals,
and hardworking Americans to discuss some of the most
pressing topics of our times in a forum where thought
outside the box is welcomed. Far too often we are spoonfed
the information that the mainstream media—-the
newspapers, the television news programmes, the internet-—
wants us to have. Unfortunately, this is usually tainted
by the producers’ political or personal agendas.
Journalistic integrity has reached a low point these last
few years, but it is refreshing to see so many great minds
participate in Thinking Outside the Boxe’s symposium. It
is quite encouraging to learn that so many people have read
their material, questioned issues, and contributed to the
body of knowledge.
When I was invited to participate in Thinking Outside
the Boxe’s endeavours, I knew little of their think tank
and what they were all about. Working with them over time
on various topics, I have come to more fully appreciate the
magnitude of their work. Their cause is far bigger than
any one individual or group of individuals. Their desire
to foster the very creativity and intellectual growth that
has been at the heart of America since our Founding Fathers
formed this great nation is true American spirit. Their
efforts can rightly be compared to those of John Jay,
Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison whose contributions
to the birth of our nation helped to lay the foundations
for the great nation that we have today. Today, Thinking
Outside the Boxe helps to keep the American spirit alive.
As such, I would like to pay tribute to the efforts of
the team at Thinking Outside the Boxe in promoting
thoughtful consideration and debate of topics vital to our
nation. Further, the research that they have conducted
presents, in my view, balanced, unbiased perspectives and
outlines the facts in a straight-forward manner. They call
it as they see it, which is a difficult thing to do
nowadays for most media outlets in pursuit of political
correctness and ratings. And when they take a position,
they back up their position with reasoned arguments. For
this, I commend them.
Again, it is truly an honour to participate for the
first time in Thinking Outside the Boxe’s Annual Symposium.
I look forward to spirited conversation and debate and
thought provoking questions. I hope that this will be the
start of a long tradition for me and my friends at Thinking
Outside the Boxe.

The transcript of the questions and Mr. Cartwright’s
responses is as follows:
1) You have recently endorsed Fred Thompson for
President. How do you feel about the Democratic
None of the Democratic contenders for the presidency
in 2008 really impress me at all. I don’t feel very
good about the direction in which the Democratic party
is heading with their policies and vision for America.
Talk of universal healthcare and negotiating with
America’s enemies is just not good policy. Universal
healthcare is another term for socialized medicine.
We certainly don’t need to be taking America in the
direction of socialism. They talk about restoring
fiscal discipline but want to swell the government
spending on social programmes. It just doesn’t add up
to fiscal responsibility in my opinion.
Negotiating with our enemies is a sign of weakness.
Do it once and they will always have us over a barrel.
National defence is probably the most important issue
for America in the geopolitical struggle against
terrorism and Islamic extremism. America needs to
remain strong both militarily and foreign policy-wise
and, of course, economically. Nothing that the
Democrats have proposed fits into this framework.
Having said this, I think the last best hope for the
Democratic Party is John Edwards. If you recall in my
statement endorsing former Senator Fred Thompson, I
mentioned that to be President of the United States an
individual needs to have a certain presence—-a certain
look. John Edwards has an almost Kennedyesque aura
about him. If you look at the Presidents and
presidential candidates from FDR to President Bush,
you’ll notice that they all have a certain
“presidential” look as compared to their opponents.


Fred Thompson and John Edwards have this look.
But more than that, John Edwards is, in my opinion,
the most capable leader of the Democratic candidates.
Though he has his own faults, they are far fewer than
the other candidates, and I think he can make a
certain connection with the people of America that
will be helpful in moving America forward.
2) What are your thoughts on the Congress and the job it
is doing?
I was disappointed with the Republican controlled
Congress towards the end of its leadership, and I am
even more disappointed with the current Democratic
controlled Congress. All the talk by the Democrats
that this would be a different Congress, this would be
the most ethical Congress, this would be the Congress
of fiscal responsibility. It all rings hollow if you
ask me. This Congress has done nothing to move America
forward and put the bitterness and divisions of the
recent past behind us.
It is all petty partisan politics—-measures to force
the President to withdraw from Iraq, political witch
hunts, budget wrangling for pork. Why can’t the
Congress get together and work towards finding
bipartisan solutions for the problems and challenges
facing America? When is the Congress going to start
working for the common good of the people who elected
them—-the hardworking men and women who make this
country what it is?
This Congress’ real agenda is obstructionist policies,
antagonism towards President Bush and his
administration, and rolling back the policies that the
Administration successfully pursued in its first term.
The policies such as tax relief helped to benefit the
hardworking people of America and stimulate our
economy unlike ever before. This Congress, however,
is intent on raising taxes and undoing the economic
good resulting from those tax cuts.
And the sad thing about all of this is that the
American people are the ones who get shafted. But
more importantly, the American people don’t seem to
care all that much—-they seem agnostic towards this
mess. And until the people make enough noise and put
enough pressure on their representatives and senators
in the Congress to get some work done, sadly, nothing
is going to change.
3) We have had some problems with products imported from
China. How do you think we should address this safety
It’s very simple—-buy American made products! It is
frightening that our nation has become so dependent
upon other countries for most of our goods. Go to the
grocery store and a department store and you’ll find
that a majority of the products come from overseas.
Why are we importing pineapples from Costa Rica when
Hawaii is known for pineapples? Why are we getting
our onions from Peru, our oranges from Brazil, lettuce
and tomatoes from Mexico? The farmers of America can
produce enough goods to feed the world, but we can’t
get our own goods here in America? This is absurd.
You know, it wasn’t the American produced onions that
made people at Chi-Chi’s sick. It was onions produced
in Mexico that were grown in contaminated water. And
how about the contaminated strawberries? Those
weren’t American produced either. Why are we so
surprised when we have problems with produce from
other countries that don’t have the same health
standards that we have here?
And the same goes for lead paint in toys from China or
poisons in our pet foods. They are producing to a set
of standards that they set-—not standards that we set.
Therefore, we have to live with what we get if we want
to continue to buy products from these places.
But the problem isn’t this simple. There are many
facets to this. For example, let’s consider oranges
and orange juice. Hundreds of thousands of acres of
orange groves have been destroyed in Florida, without
being replaced, for rampant real estate development.
The same goes for California. Has the demand for
oranges or orange juice gone down? No! So, we have
fewer orange groves producing less supply for equal or
growing demand. Well, it is easy to see that two
things are going to happen. First, prices are going
to go up; that’s economics 101. Second, we are going
to have to start to import additional oranges to
fulfill our demand. So, as more and more orange
groves are destroyed in the coming years, we are going
to be paying more for oranges and orange juice, and we
will be forced to become more dependent on foreign
suppliers. With respect to these foreign suppliers,
we don’t know what they are using to grow these
oranges or maintain their orange groves, what
pesticides they are using, what quality of water is
being used, etc. And it doesn’t stop with oranges.
Second, we have the larger issue of globalization.
Let’s be clear that globalization is not a bad
phenomenon. The forces of globalization have driven
down prices for many goods, thus enabling many people
to purchase products that may have been too expensive
in the past. Globalization is an extension of an
economic principle known as comparative advantage
whereby each party should produce that goods that they
are most efficient at producing then trade with other
parties. For example, suppose country A has access to
technology that enables them to produce widgets at a
lower cost than county B. However, country B has a
larger workforce and factory base that enables it to
produce gadgets more cost effectively than country A.
Both countries need these products, so they focus on
producing what they are good at then trade with each
other for what they need.
Today, China has a large, cheap workforce. Thus, they
produce labour intensive products—-textiles, durable
goods, etc. Americans want these products and are
willing to buy them from foreign sources. This has
come at the cost of a loss of hundreds of thousands of
manufacturing jobs here in America simply because
American companies cannot compete with the cheap
labour costs of countries such as India and China.

So, manufactured goods production has been dying a
slow death here in America. But beyond the sacrifice
of jobs, Americans have sacrificed quality of the
products. Are American produced textiles of a higher
quality than those produced overseas? Absolutely!
Anyone who says American made goods are not a higher
quality is just fooling themselves. In addition to
sacrificing quality, we have been forced to sacrifice
standards. Again, goods produced here in America are
done so under laws and regulations that do not
necessarily exist in foreign countries. Thus, they
are more likely to cut corners in an effort to
maximize return. After all, it’s all about the money,
even in these foreign countries.
So, we find ourselves in a quandary. Do we sacrifice
quality and standards to save a few bucks and in the
process perhaps risk our lives or those of our
children? Or do we try to return to American
manufacturing where we know what quality we are
getting and don’t have to worry about safety issues?
I prefer that we return to American made products and
in so doing show our economic patriotism.
Unfortunately, that isn’t likely to happen just yet.
It will probably take some tragedy that costs many
lives before Americans wake up and smell the roses on
this issue. Until the mentality in America changes,
all we can do is hope that our private industry and
political leaders work with our trading partners to
ensure that the safety of consumers is the highest
4) What is your assessment of the economy and general
business conditions?
There is no doubt that the economy has slowed down in
the last several months. GDP figures were weak for
the first quarter of this year, but there was a slight
rebound in the second quarter GDP growth. This might
be a little misleading. The biggest issue right now
is inflation. The monthly CPI numbers can be all over
the map, and some economists and analysts like to use
the core CPI as an inflation measure. But I don’t
think removing food and energy prices from the
inflation figures is a wise thing to do.
Let’s just look at the basics. Oil prices have been
reaching new highs. We’ve seen a large and
sustainable increase in oil prices the last few years.
This has translated into higher prices for gasoline at
the pumps. Anyone who drives a car knows that this
has a negative impact on their purchasing power. If
you’re spending $20 more in gas per week, that means
you have $20 less to spend on something else or to
save. And we talked earlier about importing goods,
both food and manufactured products. Those goods have
to get here by some mode of transportation that likely
relies on oil or gas. Guess what-—the prices of those
imported goods are likely to rise. Last time I
checked at the grocery store, we’re paying more for
food across the board. If fact, it seems like we’re
paying a little more for most goods.
It is no surprise to me that this rise in energy
prices has started to cost the consumer. But the
consumer in America has been resilient over the last
few years mainly as a result of skyrocketing real
estate prices that allowed many to tap into the equity
in their homes at very cheap rates. Now that the real
estate boom party is over, those consumers are not
going to be able to rely on rising home values to
support equity extraction for spending.
And, I think this slowdown in the housing market and
the subprime debacle is going to have more of an
impact on the economy than we think. I believe it is
going to get worse before it gets any better.
So, overall, I am pessimistic on the economy right
now. I think that we will continue to muddle along
for the time being, but the effects of higher prices
is ultimately going to manifest. At that point, I
would not be surprised if we see a recession.
Business conditions are favourable now for non
discretionary spending. People will still need food
and clothing, so those areas should be fine.
I would end by cautioning about the headline numbers
that are always released regarding economic data.
That data can be quite misleading and lagging. We
need to focus on where we are going in the coming
quarters not where we were in the first or second
5) What is your outlook for the economy and interest
Like I said, I am quite pessimistic on the economy
right now. I am willing to say that the preponderance
of evidence seems to me to suggest that we will have
significant economic weakness in the second half of
this year along with a higher level of inflation.
Whether or not the economy actually contracts in two
consecutive quarters (the typical definition of a
recession) or just experiences slow to no growth is
tough to gauge.
The Federal Reserve is in quite a position from a
monetary policy perspective. If they cut rates to
stimulate growth, they risk rising inflationary
pressures. Increased growth translates into more
demand for energy and oil which could, in turn, propel
oil prices even higher. That could then further stoke
inflationary pressures and become a drag on the
economy. If interest rates hold steady, there is a
good chance that the Fed can choke off inflation.
It will be interesting to see what the FOMC does at
the upcoming meeting. I would hope that they would
stand firm on rates for now, but the futures markets
are pricing in a cut of at least twenty-five basis
points. If the Fed does cut rates, we will likely see
some short-term pop in the equity markets and a fall
in the dollar on foreign exchange markets. But even
so, I don’t think a cut will stem the bleeding in the
real estate markets. This is an issue that is just
going to have to work itself out. Since it takes
about eighteen months for rate changes to work through
the economy, a cut now won’t stop the economy from
slowing in the short-term and will only perpetuate
future inflationary pressures.
6) Rate Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s job thus
far. It’s too early to tell really. He is quite different
from former chairman Alan Greenspan in that he talks
about monetary policy at a level that most members of
the Congress, business leaders, and the public
understand. There are those who believe his
plainspoken style as opposed to Chairman Greenspan’s
cryptic messages has helped to convey the Fed’s
positions along with its views on the economy and the
attending risk to the public in a more effective
manner. I’m not sure that I agree with this
assessment, but to each his own.
Chairman Bernanke showed clear leadership in
presenting a statement on August 17, 2007 that
indicated the Federal Reserve was aware of the
deterioration in economic conditions and the risks
posed by the credit crunch. However, I think that the
Fed’s subsequent action in reducing the discount rate
by fifty basis points was premature. That action was
not going to make any difference in economic activity,
though it did send a signal to the financial market
participants that it would take the steps it deemed
necessary to ensure a properly functioning financial
The real test for Chairman Bernanke will be his
handling of monetary policy during this current real
estate downturn, subprime crisis, and credit crunch.
If he appeases the markets and gives them a cut in the
federal funds rate, it will send a signal that this
Fed will provide a protective “Bernanke put” to
investors who have made bad decisions.
7) Do you feel the stock market is overvalued,
undervalued, or fairly valued?
Right now the market is probably overvalued. I don’t
think that analysts and investors have priced in the
risks to the economy as I see them and as we
previously discussed here today. Sure, corporate
profits have performed well of late, but the ability
to continue this performance is contingent upon strong
economic activity in the future. My assessment is
that inflation is going to rise and economic growth is
going to slow. I don’t think that businesses or the
markets will perform well in an environment of
stagflation. It is almost as if businesses and
investors have blinders on and that they don’t want to
hear anything negative about the economy-—like the
three monkeys that see no evil, speak no evil, hear no
I hope that I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am. Once
the economy starts to show signs of weakness, we may
well see substantial declines in the markets of 20%-
30%. This could be more if the downturn is prolonged
or deeper than I’m thinking.
8) Will it be a Republican or Democratic victory in 2008?
We’re still a long way out, and it could go either
way. The Republicans may have a difficult time
holding the White House given there is so much anger
and bitterness towards President Bush. I think the
American public’s disappointment in the previous
Congress, which was controlled by the Republicans, was
illustrated by the Democratic win in November 2006.
However, since then the Democrats have been fueling
this anti-Bush and anti-Republican fire in every
possible way. Ultimately, I think this will backfire
on them, particularly if the Democrats nominate a
polarizing figure such as Hillary Clinton.
If I had to make a guess now, I think the Democrats
will keep firm control of the House of
Representatives. The Senate may revert back to
Republican control given the number of seats up for
grabs, but we’re more likely to end up back at 50-50
or with only a one or two seat Democratic majority.
The control of the Senate will be the most hardly
fought battle, in my opinion.
Control of the White House really depends upon who
gets the party nominations. I think Fred Thompson has
the best ability to win the election if he gets the
nomination. John McCain could also win in a close
contest. I don’t think that the Republicans can win
if they nominate Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani, unless
the Democrats nominate Obama. If Edwards wins the
Democratic nomination, I think he will likely be the
next President of the United States, regardless of who
the Republicans nominate.
9) What are your views on Social Security reform?
Social Security reform is an issue that needs great
attention. I applaud President Bush’s efforts to
address this issue during the 2004 campaign and at the
start of his second term. I am highly disappointed
that the Congress and the public dropped the ball on
this matter. It is not as if we don’t know about the
insolvency facing Social Security. We’ve known about
this problem for quite sometime now. Our hosts at
Thinking Outside the Boxe have written about this
issue for several years now. They have, in fact, come
up with some creative ways to address the issue.
Simple fact is that we must reform Social Security or
else raise payroll taxes substantially. The Social
Security Trust is going to be bust, bankrupt, or
whatever you want to call it, in about two decades.
If we wait until then to fix the problem, payroll
taxes will have to rise so much as to make American
labour more uncompetitive. But more than that, this
places a substantial burden of paying for programmes
that this generation and previous generations promised
upon the next generations that were not even part of
the decision making process. That’s unfair for the
American people and the next generation of workers.

How do we start to fix the system? I am a proponent
of reforming Social Security in such a way as to give
the younger generation the option of a personal
account. People call this “privatization” and shirk
away from this as if such proposals are heresy. I
would rather take my chances with an account to which
a portion of my payroll taxes are being contributed
and accumulated for my benefit than with the current
system. By the trustees own information, we know that
the Social Security trust is earning a below average
rate of return of less than 4%. Any money manager,
even the most conservative money managers, should be
able to beat the returns on the current Social
Security trust. Wouldn’t workers be better off
putting their money in a diversified investment
account? Absolutely! And the worker is able to claim
ownership of this investment account, unlike the
current Social Security system. If the worker dies,
the surviving spouse, family, etc. would be able to
have this asset that has accumulated over time.
Social Security reform is not a matter of if; it is a
matter of when. Burying our heads in the sand will
not make the problem go away, and ignoring it will
only exacerbate it. Now is the time to take action to
protect current Social Security beneficiaries and the
future generations of workers. I will continue to
support privatization until we have a better proposal
on the table.
10) What are your views on tax reform?
Much like reforming Social Security, reforming our tax
regime is a matter of when not if. The current income
tax system is antiquated and horribly complicated.
The tax code has become so convoluted that the
ordinary hardworking American can’t understand it.
It’s grossly unfair in that the middle class bears a
disproportionate burden. And what does it say when
more people are afraid of being audited by the IRS
than of being mugged?

Of course, there are few options when it comes to an
overhaul of the tax code. We can tax incomes, we can
tax property, or we can tax consumption. I have long
supported Steve Forbes’ plan for a flat tax on
incomes. This would be an important step towards
comprehensive tax reform, but I think that we will
ultimately need to change to a consumption tax much
like the Fair Tax proposed by Neal Boortz and John
Linder. Philosophically it makes sense—-if you
consume more, you pay more. Thus, there is also an
inherent incentive to save money, which could help
America balance the current account and increase the
national savings rate from abysmally low levels.
There are several benefits to a consumption tax. The
Economist several years ago did a large piece on
European countries that had switched to a consumption
tax from an income tax. The data showed that the
government tax revenues increased overall whilst there
were no adverse impacts on the individual as a result
of a change from the income tax system. I think we
would see a similar surge in government tax receipts
here in America given the huge underground economy and
the number of illegals here who don’t pay any income
Think about it—-if there are in excess of an estimated
twelve million illegal aliens here in America who are
not paying income taxes but who are consuming goods, a
consumption tax makes them unable to avoid paying
their fair share of taxes. If each illegal is making
$15,000 per year in cash, spending $10,000 per year of
that income on clothes, toys, electronics, etc., and
we have a new 10% national consumption tax on
purchases, each illegal will be paying $1,000 per year
in tax. If there are twelve million illegal aliens
here, that would equate to roughly $12 billion for the
government that was not there before. If we had this
$12 billion per year now, it could help make the
Social Security system more secure. Isn’t this fair?
Why should hardworking Americans bear a
disproportionate tax burden under the income tax
system whilst millions of illegals here make their
money tax free?
In the long-term, I think that we would see an
improved standard of living for more Americans across
the country. In an ideal world, higher tax revenues
coupled with constrained spending would benefit
everyone. But to get to this point, a lot has to
change, particularly the mentality of the public and
our elected leaders’ willingness to tackle this very
large and politically-charged issue.
11) What risk does the federal deficit and federal debt
have in the outlook for the economy and business longterm?
Let’s consider this from a business perspective.
Budget deficits or net losses for a business are
unsustainable for the long-term. The same goes for
the level of debt. It cannot continue to increase
without bounds forever. Short-term, businesses can
experience losses and increase their debt burden. In
fact, it is even healthy to do this sometimes. For
the government, deficit spending is sometimes the
right thing to do to get an economy out of recession.
But the deficit spending cannot go on forever.
Likewise, governments can take on debt at manageable
levels. Basic finance principles indicate that debt
in the capital structure of a business increases the
shareholders’ return on equity. Debt may be necessary
to expand a business and maximize returns and
production potential. So, deficit spending and debt
are not evil things.
However, uncontrolled deficit spending and increasing
debt can drive a company into bankruptcy. There is a
point beyond which additional debt for a company
increases the risk of bankruptcy at an exponential
rate and actually becomes a drag on the company. I
think we’re getting to that point with the federal
debt for the United States. The federal government,
of course, can simply raise taxes to cover budget
shortfalls or reduce outstanding debt. Often times,
that is not an economically sound or politically-wise
Former President Bush and the Congress increased taxes
in the early 1990s. This ultimately resulted in an
increase in government revenues which, coupled with a
strong economy and the balanced budget initiative by
the Republican controlled Congress in the mid-1990s,
produced a budget surplus. The Congress and President
Clinton’s administration used the budget surplus to
pay down a portion of the federal debt. At the time,
there were projections that the federal debt would be
complete eliminated by something like 2030 or so.
Those projections did not include extraordinary and
unexpected events such as the bursting of the internet
stock bubble in the early 2000s and the attending
recession and the 9/11 attacks and the havoc that
brought on the economy. President Bush and the
Congress decided to use the budget surplus that they
inherited to fund a massive tax cut that helped avoid
a potentially prolonged and deep recession and brought
substantial tax relief to most American taxpayers.
Then we had the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that have
cost billions to protect America and our interests
overseas. But then the Congress embarked on runaway
spending initiatives that included massive pork
projects like the infamous bridge to nowhere in
Alaska. That is when things went awry.
Quite simply, we need to restore fiscal discipline.
Yes, deficit spending is necessary at times, but we
must then attempt to return to a balanced budget. I
believe that a balanced budget is a fiscally
responsible endeavour. If there is a budget surplus,
I would advocate a combination of paying down the debt
and tax relief. What I do not advocate is a complete
paydown of the federal debt. I think we could get the
federal debt down to a more manageable level which
could help to lower long-term interest rates. But
before we do this, I would advocate using a portion of
the surplus to help, in the absence of comprehensive
reform to the programmes, shore up Social Security and

If we allow the trend of budget deficits to continue
indefinitely and the federal debt to increase
uncontrolled, there will likely be long-term adverse
impacts to economic activity. The likely outcome
would be higher interest rates and a potential
increase in taxes which would make our economy less
competitive. These events could trigger a slowdown in
general economic activity, perhaps spark inflationary
pressures, and damage overall business activity and
12) Global warming—fact or fiction?
I’m not totally convinced that the global warming
debate is all that important. The Earth has been here
for billions of years, and it has undergone changes in
cycles. We don’t know if global warming is a new
phenomenon or just another climatic cycle that the
Earth has undergone before. It’s true that this year
has seen many record setting temperatures throughout
the nation. I venture to say that you’ve set some
records there in South Carolina. In many cases these
records are breaking the previous records set fifty or
sixty years ago or even longer in some cases. I would
think that, if the global warming philosophy were
correct, we would see records set every year.
But whether or not global warming is a natural
phenomenon or attributable to human activity is not
really the issue. We can’t fight Mother Nature. If
Mother Nature wishes to wipe us out and let the Earth
regenerate, there is nothing we can do to stop it.
What we should be focused on is the human acts that
the proponents of global warming allege are creating
the problem—-greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, etc.
I believe that we should support reductions in
greenhouse gas emissions and pollution not because it
is causing global warming but rather because it is the
right thing to do to protect our environment. A move
towards renewable energy sources and alternative fuels
will help to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and
promote a cleaner environment. Dumping pollutants in
our rivers, streams, oceans, and the ground is wrong.
It is not in our best interests as stewards of this
planet. Let’s focus on preserving and protecting our
environment in an economically responsible way.
Let’s look to Theodore Roosevelt as a model leader in
this area. He was a great conservationist, and his
initiatives have protected millions of acres of
beautiful natural resources in America. Let’s take
things one step further and commit ourselves to
reducing greenhouse gas emissions through alternative
fuels and a carbon trading scheme much like than in
Europe and California. If we raze a thousand acres
for development, let’s take the steps necessary to
give back to the Earth. But we must make sure that
our actions are not overly economically onerous on
business and industry lest we risk economic
advancement in the name of environmentalism.


13) Iran and North Korea both have nuclear programmes.
Will diplomacy solve these issues long-term?
I would like to believe that diplomacy could solve
these two very difficult geopolitical situations.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure that diplomacy is going to
be successful in dealing with the Iranian and North
Korean nuclear programmes long-term. Are both of
these regimes a threat to the United States and the
West? Yes! Are they part of an axis of evil?
Absolutely. Either of these regimes would sell their
nuclear technologies to the highest bidder or give
them to a terrorist organization to use against us and
our allies.
We probably have a better chance of negotiating with
North Korea, but as we have found out already, Kim
Jong-Il is not a man of his word. He has gone back on
the promises he made with the Clinton administration,
and he has not exactly negotiated in good faith during
the six or eight rounds of multi-lateral talks over
the last several years. I am not convinced at all
that he will honour his agreements made earlier in the
year with the negotiating team. I believe he is an
opportunist who will use his nuclear ambitions again
in the future to blackmail the United States and the
West into making concessions that keep him in power,
keep his regime safe and wealthy, and the people
impoverished. Presuming he is not taken out or dies
prematurely of natural causes, we may be dealing with
Kim Jong-Il for a few more decades. And, once he is
gone, we are likely to be dealing with another despot
who may be even more dangerous that this one.
Iran is a much different scenario. I don’t believe
that they are trying to blackmail the United States or
the West. This is an ideological struggle between
radical Islam and democracy as we know it. This isn’t
a popular thing to say in the mainstream media
nowadays. It seems like the media wants to try to
sugarcoat this issue and convince the American people
that Iran and their brand of radical Islam is not much
of a threat. They’re doing a great disservice to the
people of this great nation, but that’s another debate
for another time.
Unlike political enemies whose political ideologies
are different such as the United States and the Soviet
Union during the Cold War, there is no reasoning with
religious fanatics that characterize radical Islam and
the Iranian leadership. These people believe that
their God wants them to kill all of us infidels and
that as a reward they will enjoy all these virgins in
their heaven. Sounds pretty extreme to me. This is a
fundamental difference that I don’t think we can
overcome with diplomacy. There is no doubt in my mind
that Iran would use its nuclear programme to develop
nuclear weapons and that they would then use these
nuclear weapons on their neighbours in the Middle East
and on the United States and other western countries
to bring about our complete and total destruction.
There’s no brinkmanship here like in the Cold War.
The Soviet Union knew we would destroy them if they
attacked us and vice versa. These Islamic radicals
just don’t care if we kill them. If they die fighting
the infidels they’re rewarded in heaven. It’s pretty
frightening if you ask me. Further, I have no doubt
that they would give nuclear weapons to the terrorists
that they are known to support. This is just an
unacceptable risk to be taking.
The EU3 (Great Britain, France, and Germany) tried to
use diplomacy with Iran, but that failed miserably.
It was a total waste of time. Iran still claims that
its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes. If
that were the case, why did the Iranians reject
proposals to import fuel for energy from other
countries and process nuclear fuel in Russia?
Clearly, the preponderance of the evidence points to a
clandestine nuclear weapons programme. I don’t think
that anyone doubts that at this point. So, the EU3
failed in their diplomatic efforts, the Iranian regime
remains defiant, and the United Nations appears to
have been castrated. Will diplomacy solve the impasse
with Iran? I highly doubt it, and I think any
additional diplomatic efforts would just be a waste of
14) What are the prospects for alternative energy?
The prospects for alternative energy look good, but
until they become economically viable, I’m not sure
that we will see much progress in wide-spread use.
Ethanol is a great alternative to petroleum products—
it comes from renewable resources such as sugarcane
and corn, and it is cleaner burning than fossil fuels.
Unfortnately, we do not have sufficient refining
capacity here in America to produce enough ethanol
fuel to displace gasoline for automobiles. I suspect
it is going to be a long time before we get to the
point where ethanol displaces petroleum. Getting to
that point will take a massive capital investment with
little upfront return until such as time as ethanol
becomes the primary mode of fueling automobiles.
The same could be said of other sources of renewable
energy such as solar, wind, and water power or even
nuclear power for that matter. All of these other
sources of energy require substantial capital
investment. This is far greater than the financial
cost of using oil and gas in the short-term. But this
doesn’t consider the non-financial costs, such as the
cost of our dependence on foreign oil, pollution, etc.
It is encouraging, however, to see a trend towards
more “green” projects. If memory serves, Beach
First’s headquarters in Myrtle Beach is one of the
first “green” buildings in the state of South
Carolina. I think that the people and businesses are
starting to take a more pragmatic approach to the
issue of protecting our environment and conservation
of our resources. Changing people’s hearts and minds
is an important first step in adopting more green
This is particularly important as we consider the
future of our power grid here in America. I think
this is a gravely important issue that has been
overlooked, in general, and that should get our
immediate attention. In the past decade we have seen
blackouts throughout the western part of the United
States, namely California, and tremendous increases in
the price of power in some areas of the country. And
we are seeing more and more demand on our power grid
as development has boomed in the last few years. This
development has become particularly strenuous on the
aging power grid that we have here in America. We
know that the demand on the power supplies will
continue to increase, but it doesn’t seem like we are
ahead of the curve. All of the upgrades to the power
grid have been aimed at catching us up with where we
need to be. We just haven’t gotten ahead yet.
I believe that alternative energy supplies could help
in this realm. Solar and wind power would be
environmentally friendly ways of boosting power
production. Nuclear energy could also help
tremendously, though this does pose some serious
environmental hazards. But again, this is going to
take a massive capital investment in these projects
which many business leaders are reluctant to undertake
if the short-term gains are not tangible.

Undoubtedly, we need to get on top of this issue and
get our hands around it before it’s too late. We can
bite the bullet now and get it done at a high cost or
we can wait until later when it absolutely must be
done (that’s when it’s too late) at a much higher cost
to all parties and stakeholders involved.
15) Should we give debt relief to HIPCs (Highly Indebted
Poor Countries)?
Debt relief to highly indebted poor countries is one
of these “feel good” issues. It makes us all feel
good to think that we are helping these impoverished
countries and it makes America, the most powerful and
richest nation in the world, look good and
compassionate. Unfortunately, we’re not really
helping them solve the fundamental problems that
plague them and keep them in poverty. There’s an old
Chinese adage about give a man a fish and feed him for
a day but teach a man to fish and feed him for a
lifetime. That’s what we need to focus on with these
poor countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the
Middle East. Debt relief does not achieve this. We
give them debt relief now, and these nations will
simply rack up more debt and keep their hands out for
more foreign aid. I would rather keep the debt on the
books as interest free until repaid so long as said
debt is repaid by the end of the term originally set
forth by the creditors.
Having said this, I don’t object to private charitable
contributions to these nations to help build schools
and hospitals, to provide food and medical assistance,
or to help with clothing and housing. I have a
problem when our government pledges billions of
dollars each year in foreign aid to nations throughout
the world, some of which hate us with a passion and
some of which are run by corrupt officials. I don’t
think this was something envisioned by the framers of
our Constitution. I would rather see this money
diverted to take care of Americans here at home.
There are plenty of worthwhile endeavours here to help
Americans who live in poverty. Granted even the poor
here have a standard of living that is an order of
magnitude greater than that of those in impoverished
You know, I don’t want people to think that I am an
ogre or that I don’t have a heart. The poverty in
which these people live is terrible, and my heart does
go out to them. Some of these countries in Africa
have been impoverished for all of known history. I
don’t think we’re going to change that. So why throw
money down a black hole when it can be doing good for
the people here in America who have sacrificed and
worked hard for our nation? I think many tax payers
would resent the fact that they are being taxed for
working hard only for that money to be given away to
other nations who can’t help themselves, particularly
when we have appalling statistics on the number of
children and elderly who go to bed hungry each day
here in America. Let’s make America and its citizens
16) Does the concentration of power by Russian president
Vladimir Putin give cause for concern?
It concerns me insofar as that Russia appears to be
heading towards a new freeze in relations with the
West, particularly the United States. I think the
world had high hopes for Russia under President Putin,
but in the last few years it seems as though democracy
has crumbled in favour of an oligarchy whereby you
have a few high net worth industrialists who are close
to President Putin all calling the shots. This has
created a greater disparity between those at the top,
the haves, and those at the bottom, the have nots.
There’s probably scant hope for real democracy in
Russia for the foreseeable future.
What concerns me is the relationships that Russia has
been forming with other nations in the recent past.
They seem to be growing closer to China, Iran, and
Venezuela but growing farther apart from the United
States and the West. It almost seems as if they are
teaming up with some nations who are hostile towards
the West, particularly the United States. I get quite
uncomfortable to think that some nations who aren’t
exactly our friends start ganging up. Their
motivations are still somewhat of a mystery; it could
be economic or militarily oriented or they could be
looking to establish relationships that benefit them
by way of energy. I believe we’ll likely see a new
age of a diplomatic or economic proxy war between
Russia and the United States whereby Russia uses some
of these third world nations to do their bidding. That
certainly is not an optimal geopolitical situation.
17) Is Osama bin Laden dead or alive?
Personally, I think bin Laden is dead. I think we
killed him in the early bombing campaigns in
Afghanistan in October 2001. Even if he were in a
bunker in the mountains, I think the odds of him
surviving bombings with ten thousand pound daisycutter
bombs that bore into the ground before
detonating are remote. Besides, he was not in the
best of health back then with the dialysis and all.
If we were able to find Saddam Hussein in a spider
hole in the middle of Iraq, are we to believe that we
have not been able to find bin Laden traveling around
with a dialysis machine? No, I think that he’s dead
and that all of the videos we have seen were pre-made
by him and his band of misfit terrorists. They
planned out the entire 9/11 attacks, so I’m sure they
were resourceful enough to produce enough ambiguous
videos to keep up appearances if he were killed.
However, even though bin Laden is probably dead, what
he represents is still alive and well. Radical Islam
or Islamic extremism, whatever you want to call it, is
still strong throughout the Middle East and other
parts of the world. You can kill a man, but you can’t
kill an ideology. And as we have seen, other members
of the al-Qaida organization have come to the
forefront in recent years. We’ve gotten some of them
as well, but others are still at large. And, sadly,
there are others waiting in the wings to take their
place when we take these guys out.

This struggle against terrorism is an ongoing
struggle. Radical Islam promotes hate towards the
United States, the West, and all that we represent.
This is going to be a multi-generational struggle for
us. It’s going to be quite some time before we
eliminate all of the terrorists, because this
situation, unlike that in Northern Ireland, cannot be
solved through diplomacy or negotiating with the
18) What is your assessment of the Bush Administration?
President Bush and his administration are quite an
emotional topic for most people. Unfortunately, I
think he’s a president that you either really like or
really dislike. I fall into the category of people
who really like President Bush. I believe he has been
a good leader that has accomplished a number of good
things during his two terms in the White House.
He worked together with Democrats in the Congress to
pass sweeping tax cuts that stimulated the economy and
helped avert a potentially deep and prolonged
recession in 2001 and 2002. Tens of millions of
Americans received tax relief as a result. He worked
with Democrats like Teddy Kennedy to pass a large
education bill, the No Child Left Behind Act. Now,
this wasn’t necessarily the most ideal educational
bill, but it was a good step and it showed his ability
to work with both parties to accomplish goods things
for the people of America. He and the Congress
crafted a prescription drug plan for seniors, which
means many seniors will not have to choose between
groceries and their medicine. True, it was not the
most financially sound initiative, but the intention
was noble.
He has been a good leader in defending America in
response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our country.
The creation of the Department of Homeland Security
and reorganisation of intelligence gathering has been
instrumental in preventing further terrorist attacks
and keeping America safer in the global war against
Of course, the war in Iraq has been the most
controversial and most divisive issue that we’ve faced
in a long time. Whilst I’m not going to debate this
whole issue, I would only offer a few points. First,
prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, all the major
intelligence agencies throughout the world—-the CIA,
NSA, MI6, French intelligence, Italian intelligence,
and Russian intelligence—-believed that Saddam Hussein
had a covert weapons of mass destruction programme.
Even the United Nations believed this. Everyone had
and saw the same intelligence information that
President Bush saw. In addition, Saddam Hussein
offered to go into exile prior to our invasion if he
could take one billion dollars and all of his weapons
technology. If he didn’t have an illicit weapons
programme, why would he make this offer that was
ultimately rejected by all parties.
Beyond this, does anyone really believe that the world
would be a better place if Saddam Hussein were still
in power? We’ve seen the torture chambers, we know of
his atrocities, and yet people still think that
deposing him was the wrong thing to do.
All the claims that President Bush misled the public
and manipulated the information on Iraq is just a
feeble attempt by certain Democrats to try to gain
political advantage by impugning the President and his
credibility. All of this stems from public
disenfranchisement resulting from the lack of progress
in Iraq following the war.
You know, keeping the peace is almost always harder
than winning the war. I will admit that members of
the Administration underestimated the difficulty in
maintaining peace following Saddam being deposed and
in creating a functioning democracy in a country that
has historically been ruled by strong-armed leaders.
There should have been much more post-war contingency
planning for the fallout that we have experienced.

But to demonize the President for all that is wrong in
the world is unfair. He has admitted to the mistakes
made by members of the Administration, and instead of
accepting this and working together, the members of
the Congress, both Democrat and Republican, have
turned on the President and sought to engage in petty
bickering to advance their own political agendas as
opposed to doing the work that is in the best
interests of the people of America.
19) What do you perceive to be the biggest threat to the
U.S. economy—inflation, interest rates, oil prices,
Right now I believe the greatest risk to the economy
is a condition called stagflation whereby we have low
economic growth but higher inflationary pressures.
Oil prices are probably going to reach ninety dollars
per barrel by the end of the year which could fuel
further inflationary pressures and slow economic
growth. If the FOMC cuts interest rates at its
upcoming meeting, as the futures are predicting, this
could further stoke inflation without boosting
economic growth. Of course, geopolitical tensions
factor into this with respect to the price of oil, and
uncertainty surrounding the 2008 presidential election
(yes, people are already worrying about that) may
contribute to a reluctance of investors and businesses
alike to take a wait-and-see approach to making
significant investments.
20) General Pervez Musharraf—friend or foe?
He’s certainly not a foe of the United States, but I
would venture to guess that we have a rather agnostic
view towards him. I like to believe that he is
someone that we can count as a friend. General
Musharraf has been a valuable ally in the global war
on terror in the last six years, but he could
certainly have done more during this time to help
track down and bring terrorists to justice (or take
justice to them). To be sure, he has done his part in
this struggle, as the terrorists are just as much a
threat to him as they are to the United States and the
rest of the world.
We have a very unique situation with Pakistan.
General Musharraf is not very popular on the world
stage in that he is a military dictator, and it is
quite strange that we are supporting his regime
despite our efforts to promote democracy abroad.
Prior to General Musharraf’s coup, however, Pakistan
was plagued by corruption at the highest levels; both
Benazhir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif were plagued by
corruption scandals whilst they were prime minister,
which ultimately resulted in their going into exile.
And the former regimes did little to stop terror
networks from training there. I think it would be
difficult to consider the former regimes in Pakistan
our friends.
General Musharraf definitely brings stability to a
country that could very easily go the way of Iraq and
collapse from bitter infighting and internal strife.
We certainly don’t want that to happen, especially
since Pakistan has nuclear weapons. But Pakistan
remains a hotbed where anything can happen
politically. General Musharraf has certainly made
some questionable decisions, such as removing the
supreme court justices, but things there remain
relatively stable. I think the real test for Pakistan
is how the pending return of Benazhir Bhutto and Nawaz
Sharif will impact October’s general election. I
suspect that General Musharraf will be returned to
power amid accusations of rigged elections aimed at
tainting his ability to govern or to force him to give
up his post as the commander of the military in order
to remain as president.
21) Do you support universal healthcare?
I don’t believe in universal healthcare that is paid
for by the federal government, but I do believe that
all Americans should have access to affordable
healthcare. The framers of our Constitution did not
have universal healthcare in mind when founding our
nation and setting forth the responsibilities of the
federal government. Socialized medicine or universal
healthcare, call it what you will, is an expensive
endeavour for any government to undertake. Medicare
is already bankrupt and will require substantial
financial assistance to remain solvent. Adding
universal healthcare to the budget of the government
would literally bankrupt America. Our level of income
and payroll taxes would have to rise by so much to pay
for such a program that working Americans would see a
majority, let me emphasize a majority, of their
paychecks go to the federal government. This would
kill the competitiveness of the American economy,
place a tremendous financial burden on the generations
to come, and drag down our economy to depths that this
generation has never seen.
As I said, I do believe that every American should
have access to affordable healthcare. There are over
forty-three million Americans who do not have any
healthcare coverage right now. Many of these people
have been turned down by the insurance companies due
to preexisting conditions or merely labeled as high
risk. Many others simply cannot afford the exorbitant
premiums demanded by the insurance carriers for
coverage. This, of course, beckons the question as to
why are insurance premiums so high?
Well, we have higher claims because Americans don’t
really take care of themselves. We’ve become a fat,
gluttonous nation with many problems related to people
who are overweight. Most Americans don’t diet and
exercise, both of which contribute to better overall
health. Diet and exercise are two of the most
effective means of preventative healthcare. We have
illegal aliens who are using our hospital emergency
rooms for primary care. If they aren’t able to pay,
someone has to subsidize it. Any guesses who that
would be?
Finally, we are a litigious society whose courts are
backlogged with frivolous lawsuits, many of them
relating to medical malpractice. Whilst there are
many legitimate claims, there are many, many cases
that do not have any merit but that get their day in
court. These cases have helped to drive up medical
malpractice insurance rates for doctors, which in turn
drives up the cost of healthcare in general.
If we could get a handle on some of these issues,
healthcare costs would likely fall, which could lead
to a fall in insurance premiums. I am very reluctant
to suggest that the federal government intervene with
rate caps or price setting or even offering
initiatives to increase competition in the insurance
markets, but something ultimately has to give in order
for the average, hardworking American to have access
to affordable health insurance.
But one positive trend that I see is the growing
popularity of retail medical care. Companies such as
Wal-Mart and a couple of drug store chains are now
offering customers in-house doctors/nurse
practitioners to provide very affordable healthcare.
Obviously, this only applies for minor illnesses, but
this could go a very long way in providing access to
affordable healthcare and in driving down insurance
premiums. We are probably going to see more and more
of these set-ups in the next few years.
22) Do we attack Iran if the regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
does not abandon its nuclear weapons programme?
We’re going to have to make some very difficult
decisions regarding Iran. The United Nations and the
rest of the world do not have the resolve to impose
and enforce strict sanctions that deprive the regime
of outside resources. Other nations point out that
sanctions against the Iranian regime would hurt the
ordinary Iranian. Too bad. If the people of Iran
don’t like the mess their leaders have gotten them
into, institute change. Let’s not forget that the
people of Iran elected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as their
president. They obviously support his policies and
his leadership. If the sanctions are bad enough and
the people hurt enough, perhaps they will seek change
on their own. That would be the optimal solution. In
the process, of course, it will engender hate and
resentment towards the United States, the Great Satan
as they perceive us. So, we’re damned if we do and
damned if we don’t. The overriding concern, in my
opinion, is that Iran will embargo oil sales to other
nations, driving up the price of oil and plunging the
world economy into a deep recession. That is a
legitimate concern, and there is no doubt that the
Iranian regime will use an embargo as a form of
economic terrorism.
We know that Iran is not going to end its nuclear
weapons programme. They want nuclear weapons so that
they can control the Middle East, wipe out Israel, and
destroy the United States. They believe that they
have a religious mandate to do this. That is what
makes them so dangerous to the rest of the world. We
simply cannot let them acquire nuclear weapons
technology. If the United Nations and the rest of the
world will not act, we must destroy their nuclear
weapons programme through tactical airstrikes against
their facilities. We have a presence in Iraq, and we
can certainly launch airstrikes from there. An
intense bombing campaign against strategic targets in
Iran could help to weaken the regime enough for
internal forces to bring about change. Certainly, we
don’t need to put any troops on the ground there.
Let’s just bomb them into submission. The bombing
campaign against Libya in the 1980s helped to bring
Muammar Gaddafi around; he learned not to mess with
the United States. And though it took a while, he
eventually renounced pursuit of weapons of mass
Unfortunately, if we do launch airstrikes against
Iran’s nuclear facilities, they will probably
institute an embargo of oil and drive up the prices.
And we’ll probably see emboldened terrorists and
increased violence in Iraq where we’re fighting a
proxy war against Iranian backed fighters. But are
the risks of this greater than the risks of Iran
actually obtaining nuclear weapons? In my estimation,
they are not, and we must prevent Iran from its
pursuit of weapons of mass destruction at almost all
23) Is formal inflation targeting by the Federal Reserve
an effective means of achieving price stability?
I belong to the school of thought that is against
publishing formal inflation targets for the Federal
Reserve. Chairman Bernanke, however, seems to be a
proponent of this initiative. I’m glad that he and
the European Central Bank like that initiative, but I
don’t. Formal inflation targeting would seem to put
the Federal Reserve policymakers in a difficult
position of placing more emphasis on the price
stability aspect of its dual mandate as opposed to
maximum sustainable employment. If they have to worry
about keeping inflation in a certain range, I venture
to say that they may miss the bigger picture.
For example, let’s assume that the Fed published a
formal inflation target of 2%-2½% for the core price
index measure. Let’s say that core inflation for the
two months prior to its meeting was 3%. Does this
mean that the FOMC has to raise rates to try to get
inflation back down to 2½% or lower? What if the
prior quarter’s change in real GDP was only 1% at an
annual basis? Raising rates may choke off the
inflation but also result in lower economic growth.
If the FOMC decided to take no action, they would then
have to always justify and explain to the markets
their decisions. You would have rules, but then there
would be exceptions to the rule and exceptions to the
exceptions. This would insert more uncertainty into
the markets, and analysts, economists, academics, and
investors would try to read into the FOMC’s decisions
even more so than they do now. Additional risk
premiums in the markets due to this uncertainty would
have adverse economic consequences.
In the final analysis, inflation targeting just makes
the already difficult job of the Federal Reserve even
more difficult whilst placing constraints on the
decision making process. The manner in which the
Federal Reserve currently makes policy works, and
there’s no apparent benefit to changing it in my

24) What does the future look like for Cuba?
The world has wondered for years now, ever since the
collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the
Berlin Wall, what would happen in Cuba when Fidel
Castro dies. Practically, he is dead at this point.
His frail health forced him to turn over power to his
brother Raul last year, and since then, he hasn’t been
a very large force in Cuba except in name only. The
big question now is what happens when Raul dies or
steps down due to his own age. The communist
apparatik or party politik still has its grip on the
government and the people of Cuba. So, it’s likely
that even if Raul Castro dies or steps down he will be
replaced by some other communist dictator in the party
echelon, and we have no idea what we’ll get then.
There’s something to be said for the old saying about
better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.
What we don’t want to happen is for Cuba to fall under
the influence of someone like Hugo Chavez in
Venezuela. Outside of Iran and North Korea, he is
probably the biggest threat that we face. He’s a
loose cannon, and his attempts to influence other
nations’ foreign policy against the United States are
dangerous. To allow Cuba to fall under his auspices
is to doom them to the same fate they suffered as one
of the Soviet Union’s proxy states.
What I think we will see is a gradual decline in
communism in Cuba. I don’t really foresee a
revolution that overthrows the government to install a
democracy. It would be ideal if the people of Cuba
could accomplish this without violence and bloodshed,
but I don’t think that’s possible or likely. We may
well see something similar to the trend in China where
the communists still control the government but where
the economy is trending towards a free-market based
system and where gains are being made in the realm of
property rights and civil liberties. I suspect that
if this happens we’ll see a thaw in relations between
the United States and Cuba in coming years.

About Mr. Cartwright—Digger Cartwright is the author
of several mystery stories, teleplays, and novels. He is
the author of The Versailles Conspiracy, a modern day
political thriller, and Murder at the Ocean Forest, a
traditional mystery novel set in Myrtle Beach, South
Carolina in the 1940s. Mr. Cartwright is also a noted
industrialist, investor, and director of several private
companies. In the business realm, he has contributed to a
number of articles on a wide range of financial, strategic
planning, and policy topics and is the contributing author
of several finance/economic books. He divides his time
between Washington, D.C., South Carolina, and Florida.


More information on Mr. Cartwright is available on his
website, His most recent novel,
Murder at the Ocean Forest, is available in hardback and
paperback on his website and through online book retailers.


About Thinking Outside the Boxe—Thinking Outside the
Boxe is a private, nonpartisan think tank that is dedicated
to providing a wide variety of perspectives on issues that
are of interest to the general public. The views that are
expressed in Thinking Outside the Boxe’s commentaries and
research are often times uncommon, provocative, and
controversial. Thinking Outside the Boxe’s mission is to
formulate and promote positions and to provide research,
independently, that would otherwise be deprived of an
outlet in the mainstream media. Thinking Outside the
Boxe’s commentators and researchers seek to broaden the
parameters of public knowledge by addressing issues in such
a fashion as to provoke thought and debate on some of the
most pressing issues of our day.

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