Back in March of 2007, I wrote a list of nine areas that are critical to the future national security of the United States.
Now is the time to revisit the list, shown in order with the biggest threat listed first.
1. Political corruption - the government of the USA is corrupt. The legislative system requires that candidates raise money from rich interests to be elected; then the elected legislators grant favors to their campaign contributors.
The national security suffers when only money interests receive favorable laws.
2. Military/Industrial Complex - Contractors receive money from providing products and services to the armed forces. With that money they influence policy to encourage wars.
Our national security is damaged by public wars for private gain. Our military is corrupted when wars are started or encouraged by companies who profit from a war.
3. Energy - Oil interests damage the national security by promoting our dependence on oil.
We simply must reduce our oil dependence - there is no alternative.
A bill was proposed in 2007 in the House of Representatives to fund searches for oil alternatives. This is a good idea.
Here's another: let's treat oil like a public utility. After all, everyone needs it, just like water and electricity. So let's create a national oil commission that will plan for energy alternatives and regulate the price of oil so that oil companies can earn a reasonable rate of return but not any excessive profits.
Failure to deal with our energy problem will damage our future security.
4. Labor and Consumer Unions - Corruption favors business interests over workers and consumers. It is time to restore a more equal balance between labor and business and consumers.
Continued weakening of labor and consumer power will damage the working family, the backbone of America.
A case can be made that all the laws which favor capital creation should be weakened and all the laws which promote higher wages and more jobs should be made stronger. Our national security depends on a strong economy and the economy depends on consumers having enough income to buy products.
5. Income and wealth Disparity - we are becoming a two tier country; the middle class is becoming weaker.
Our idea has been that Americans are mostly middle class. Losing the middle class will damage our long term security.
6. Elections - The foundation of the American idea is that voters can change the government if it is unresponsive. But, if the voting process is manipulated for partisan purposes or private gain, our security is damaged.
7. Judicial Independence - Judges must be above politics to protect our values.
8. [Was 9] Financial Regulation [was Usury]
Unregulated banks have caused the current mess. We cannot tolerate cowboy capitalism.
9. [was 8] Trade Deficits - trade deficits reflect an economic imbalance that will eventually damage the American way of life.
A word about climate change - it is a global problem, not just a US problem, so is not listed here.