Is American Society Over Medicating In General?

Myrtle Beach, SC, Orlando, FL, February 27, 2015

Asheville, NC Correspondent-In 1900, the three leading causes of death in America were pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gastrointestinal infection. Today, these diseases don’t even crack the top ten. The reason for this advancement? Perhaps the greatest invention in history: antibiotics. Many diseases which were once grave threats to life now pose no more than a mild inconvenience for healthy adults. Continue reading

2014 Symposium: How can we hold parents accountable for their children?

Myrtle Beach: This is a fully loaded question. Let me begin with saying I am not a parent so my opinion is formed based on what I see from friends, family, and the news; so take it with a grain of salt. There is undeniably a problem in our society with our youth. Where does the problem lie? It is so simple for parents to say “I can’t watch my kid 24-7”. While, this statement may be true, I think a “good” parent shouldn’t have to! Continue reading

2014 Symposium: Is political correctness infringing our freedom of religion (if you’re a Christian)?

Asheville: For all the derisive ways in which “political correctness” is discussed, at its core, it is about a simple concept: courtesy. We call others by the names they choose. It is no inconvenience to us, and it is a great service to them. We expand shared space to make room for the customs and traditions of others. Continue reading

2014 Symposium: Is it time to re-think a space program?

Raleigh: Since the times of Cold War when the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. have engaged into fierce military and non-military competition, the development of space programs was crucial for both of these countries. Consequently, both countries (and later some other countries) have devoted significant financial and human resources to developing space programs. For the United States, the Apollo landing has proved to be a crowning moment and since then, the country has allocated a lot of money for its space program. For example, federal budget granted to NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) totaled 526.18 billion dollars in the period from 1958 to 2011. Most recently, NASA has requested 17.5 billion dollars from the federal budget for its 2015 program which will be largely devoted to major astrophysics and planetary exploration programs. Continue reading

2014 Symposium: Is it time to audit lottery monies used for state programs?

Asheville: On paper, lotteries sound like a dream come true for states struggling with budget problems. They raise considerable revenue, which can be used to fund education, health care, and other budget priorities. They are funded voluntarily by people who choose to gamble, which means they avoid the political pitfalls of increased taxation. They’re popular, they’re fun, and they’re easy. Nothing could go wrong. Continue reading

2014 Symposium: Should we re-negotiate student debt? If so, why? Does this create a moral hazard?

Raleigh: It is well-known that getting college education in the U.S.A. is an expensive endeavor. While most people strive to get college education because it opens many more doors for them in the future and potentially allows to earn more money compared to counterparts without college education, the very cost of college education is becoming prohibitive. According to the College Board, college cost for an in-state public college for the 2013–2014 academic year was about $22,826, while average yearly cost for a private college was about $44,750. Add to that the cost of living, and the sum can truly be too high to carry for vast majority of American families. Continue reading

2014 Symposium: How do we stop the flow of illegal immigrants through our borders?

Asheville: Illegal immigrants are a vital resource for the economy. The depressed wages in the agricultural sector make it possible for many families to put food on the table. Housekeeping and janitorial services provided at sub-minimum wage costs represent a tremendous subsidy for businesses of all kinds. Immigrants who come to America seeking a better life represent the lifeblood of several important industries. Rather than asking what we can do to stop the flow of illegal immigration, we should be asking what we can do to encourage it. Continue reading

2014 Symposium: Should pet owners be able to deduct a portion of their pet care?

Myrtle Beach: As the proud parent of a rescued dog of course my answer is yes! However, despite my obvious bias I do believe there is honest merit to this question. In many states overpopulation in shelters is a very big problem. This is another topic all together. But adoption is the main way to control this overpopulation. Continue reading

2014 Symposium: Should the government be allowed to terminate trademark rights for material some may deem “offensive” (Washington Redskins controversy)?

Raleigh: Current times are times of political correctness. It is quite dangerous to say or write something which does not agree with popular opinion without subjecting oneself to onslaught of public scorn. As such, many high-profile cases come into public attention when they deem to be politically incorrect. One of these is the case of Washington Redskins football team name which many Native Americans feel is derogative and a racial slur against them. Should the government be involved into such cases and rule the change of trademark rights to go along with current political culture? Continue reading

2014 Symposium: Should the government be involved in the politics of sports (LA Clippers, Ray Rice, and Washington Redskins)?

Asheville, NC: Government is actively involved in the regulation of sports. Legal monopolies are granted to the MLB, the NBA, and the NFL. All three organizations are also granted tax-exempt status despite their enormous profitability. Professional sports organizations receive billions in bonds, tax deferral, and civic money for the construction of new stadiums and other facilities. The degree of co-mingling between government and sports organizations is already quite dramatic. Continue reading