SOTU 2023: Domestic Issues

Observations of past and present long-term issues. Narratives are not intended to indicate an order of significance. Depending on the individual reviewer or organization, summaries may have a different order of importance. In time each of the items below will be expanded.

(a). Border Security: Homeland Security’s mission is to protect U.S. borders from the illegal movement of weapons, drugs, contraband, and people, while promoting lawful entry and exit. Key findings about U.S. immigrants are rapidly becoming outdated. Immigration appears to be used as a political issue by all sides without any indication of rectification.

The failure of economic science is a main contributor to the problem. To be addressed under the Issue Summary for the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

(b). FBI Cyber Strategy: Security is a complex and rapidly changing subject. In essence, it is a fulltime 7/24 function to safeguard citizens, businesses and government from becoming victims. Consult their website for current information and how to report cyber-crime. Additionally, the link Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency is applicable. Cyber Crime – Credit Cards and Fraud.

(c). Bureau of Economic Analysis; BEA provides current data on the status of the economy, which may seem to the general reader, to be an obscure mystery of how the economy functions. Economics is a highly complex issue. There are thousands of economists at work in government, business and academia. The following is a very limited explanation of the topic.

Fundamentally, economists look for, and recommend, the least cost approach to producing products and providing services. In that regard, automation and robotics have proven to be more efficient than labor. That may appear to provide least cost, and therefore lower prices for the consumer, be they individuals, organizations or the government.

The least product and service cost approach is a fallacy and has led to a negative trade balance with more dollar value of products and services imported than exported. The negative trade balance is over $17 Trillion and is a main cost driver of the higher national debt. It does not consider cost impacts to the environment, lost labor income, taxes and fees not paid as a result of automation.

The loss of taxes and fees also drive the need to borrow to upgrade the infrastructure (roads, railroads, waterways, bridges, airports . . . etc.). It has been suggested that automation in the form of robotics should be taxed to partially make up for the loss of taxes and fees.

In reality, the efficiencies of automation create a REAL excess in the labor market. This excess can be expressed in terms of lower income service sector jobs.

Still, the open border concept is importing millions of lower skilled workers. The result of this combination of automation, lower skilled and lower paying service jobs, and increase in availably of workers as a result of excessive immigration, is leading to increased homeless and immigrants seeking government support, and eventually higher taxes to the citizens.

The real picture of unbalanced trade with foreign markets will, over time, result in imported products and services to effectively be more expensive than domestic production.

Profiteering by members of congress, business and finance markets indicate the driver of these issues may be acts performed for the benefit of self-proclaimed adversaries of the United States. In that event, they may have unintentionally acted as agents on behalf of an enemy state.

However, the result of highly unbalanced international trade is a complex issue which appears to be deeply rooted and leading to aggression toward the United States and other democratic nations via profits earned through excessive exports to these markets.

(d). Education – The Nation’s Report Card Data indicate outcomes in mathematics and reading for grades 4 and 8 continues to decrease. Although assessment of effectiveness of distance education ranked high, it reflects teacher confidence in their mastery of the process, not student outcomes.

U.S. Department of Education USA Facts must be evaluated carefully. Student-to-teacher ratios have decreased from 26.89 students per teacher in 1956, to 15.9 students per teacher in 2020. However, mathematics and reading scores are lower in 2020 than they were in 1956, averaging around 40 percent of expected outcomes. This situation existed prior to COVID-19.

Comparison of U.S. students to international outcomes places U.S. students in the middle-of-the-pack, nearly thirty (30) points behind Chinese students which rank highest on test outcomes. Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Day: Global Lessons for the U.S. Education System and Economy: Published on Dec 8, 2018.

It appears that with offshoring of manufacturing, the U.S. has become a consumer-focused, service sector market, while China is a design, engineering and manufacturing environment.

(e). Law and Order – U.S. Department of Justice. The average citizen and many in government are unaware of the responsibilities of the department. The organization structure is quite cumbersome. The expectation created is that the Attorney General is knowledgeable of everything that takes place, whenever and wherever it occurs.

The legal system has ridged procedures when it comes to decisions and following actions. It seems somehow unusual that institutions of higher learning considered dropping courses on the constitution or dropping the subject to the status of an elective course.

As a result, high school and college students increasingly demonstrate failure to adhere to the rule of law. The point is that the intensity of criminal activity of every definition is increasing. As before, the data require close scrutiny. When group violence of all kinds is ignored, the data in the above references are not included that data. Effectiveness of the legal system reflects the failure of the education system. Accountability appears to be too difficult to address. FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting System (UCR).

Posted in War and Terrorism.