TV News Political Slant

We all have political opinions and those opinions help decide how we vote, the causes we support and even the activism many of us get involved in, but what shapes the opinions themselves? Mostly it’s what we learn about the world we live in and what’s going on in it, and for a lot of people – especially in the USA – our major source for that information is the TV news. Of course that opens up a disturbing possibility; if we develop our opinions from what we see on the news, can those opinions be influenced by the way the news is presented? It seems obvious that the way a news item is presented can seriously affect our perception of events. Don’t believe that? How about a tagline that reads “Surgeon performs successful transplant”? That’s likely to give you a positive feeling, but would you feel so good about it if it was rephrased as “Knifeman cuts out woman’s liver”? Both are technically true, but one is worded to create a very different impression.

A major concern among political analysts is that TV news programs apply a more subtle bias to their reporting, in a way that influences how viewers perceive what’s going on. Both sides have worries about this; the political right believe most of the broadcast media have a “liberal bias” whereas the left see certain channels as having a disproportionate right-wing influence. The situation in the USA is different to many other countries. For example in the UK both sides of the political spectrum regularly accuse the BBC of being biased against them, which tends to suggest that the BBC is playing it reasonably straight. You won’t often hear a US Republican complain that Fox leans left, though, or a Democrat protesting about MSNBC’s GOP propaganda.

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Libertarians Plotting to “Leave You Alone”

Libertarianism is a modern political view which includes a set of political philosophies that promote freedom as the highest political end. This includes political freedom, individual freedom and liberty of voluntary association. This political current is the exact opposite of authoritarianism.

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Different schools of libertarianism promote a plethora of ideas and concepts that are similar until a certain point. For instance, anarchists fight for a complete elimination of the political system, while minarchists declare that the state should only act in order to prevent theft, aggression or fraud. Either way, libertarianism is becoming increasingly popular in the US, especially among corporate owners and influential people.

Libertarianism in America – On the Rise

According to the annual American Value Survey conducted last year, libertarians are only 7 percent of adults in the US. Even if an additional 15 percept of US citizens lean toward libertarian views – economically conservative but socially liberal – most Americans are somehow in the middle, holding a mixture of views. However, politically speaking, libertarians are considered extremely powerful.

Since 1993, CNN and ABC have tried to discover how US citizens envision the political and economical changes that are taking place in our country. While many people think that the government is trying to control too many things and aspects of our private lives, others believe that the government is not doing enough to solve American’s most daunting problems. According to a regular libertarian, the government is at its best when it governs the least.

Obviously, tolerance for governmental intervention spiked up post September 11, 2001. According to the social libertarian viewpoint, our country’s government should not favor any set of values. However, when it comes to external threats, over 80% of Americans, regardless of their political view, agree that terrorist countries should be punished.

The Trend Continues

As many political analysts have already noted, the millennial generation is more progressive or libertarian that the previous generation. This progressive surge might be driven by liberals’ disappointment with Obama in the same way conservative were taken aback by the Bush administration, who was more inclined to wage wars against other nations than to invest in his country. By 2020, it is predicted that the millennials will amount to 200 millions, which is almost 70% of the population. This means that the trend will more than likely continue – the number of people with libertarian political views in the US will be growing.

Because of this on growing trend and because the number of libertarians and progressives in Congress has dramatically increased, 2013 has seen a number of policy reforms that made democrats and republicans work side by side.

First of all, the Obama administration has seek Congressional approval for a military action in Syria. The potential invasion of Syria has been put on hold, as it has become crystal clear that most Congress members would not approve such an intervention in Middle East. Hence, the Obama administration has recourse to more diplomatic measures. This trend that promotes war-awareness is mainly promoted by people who have libertarian political views.

Another so-called benefit of the surge of libertarianism in America is an increased respect for civil liberties. With Edward Snowden’s revelations on NSA spying both internal and external agencies, the war on our civil liberties has finally reached the Congress. Most pro-civil liberty democrats that supported the Bush administration have soon joined the libertarian republican members of the congress. This new movement was aimed to stop NSA from collecting further data. You can see the whole amendment here.

In addition to Colorado and Washington fully legalizing the adult use of marijuana a couple of years ago, more and more states are coming to adopt a more “liberal” policy when it comes to recreational use of drugs. Stoners from all over the country will soon enjoy total freedom. Look for more changes on this matter in the future, as libertarians and progressives agreed that the War on Drugs was a big failure.

Conclusion

Libertarian political views in the US are becoming increasingly powerful, as more and more influential people belonging to the new generation are beginning to see the importance of freedom in every aspect of one’s life. Of course, the government is still and will be considered the supreme authority, but people want to have more liberties and want to have a say in their future.

Ron Pauls Libertarian Views

Ron Paul has been long known to oppose a society that’s webbed by control schemes and a government that wages war against other nations while pursuing shady interests. Because of that, his political views have been dismissed as being too crude or even utopian at times.

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Ron Paul’s libertarian political views have been a subject of debate on many political TV shows, especially when it comes to his opinion about the troops overseas, more specifically those in Afghanistan. Ron Paul has made it clear that the over $1 trillion that is spent every year for sending troops overseas can be very well invested in education and other branches that would help speed up the financial recovery and create more jobs for the unemployed.

Financial Stance

The Federal Reserve and Inflation The role of the Federal Reserve has been questioned by many analysts for many years and one of its biggest opposers has to be former Congressman Ron Paul. He argued that the Fed is only enslaving the US economy and taking control of the financial system for its own gains and shady purposes. The former politician has also spoken with former Chairman Ben Bernanke in an official debate about missing funds that amount to more than half a trillion dollars. He made it clear to the American people that the Federal Reserve has spent a lot of money in ways that cannot be accounted for. Many of Ron’s colleagues in the Congress are not too eager though to abolish the central bank and that is because it helps fund a lot of government activities. Paul condemns the FR and its role in the state, especially when it comes to creating monetary inflation. Because the Federal Reserve has a massive influence on the financial system, the former politician has attempted many times (without success) to introduce the Board Abolition Act which would allow the US to return to its original monetary system that the Founding Fathers have envisioned. Of course, that system would tie money to commodities, such as gold and silver.

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Social Media – Mainstream Media?

It used to be that the US mainstream media was the only source of information. That is not the case anymore. Social media platforms have led to the rise of the briefcase journalists who makes use of their mobile devices to capture the news, as it happens. However, that does not mean that the mainstream media has lost all influence on the way people see things. It is just that now, they have to work together with social media to do so, in a way that is still balanced and fair.

The fact is that somewhere down the line, mainstream media lost the ability to connect with people on the ground by themselves, which is why social media is so important to them. However, because social media and the rise in internet based journalism has brought the news to the masses, media companies have to work harder to convince the people that what they have to say is true and genuine. There has been a significant loss of trust, as mainstream media companies continue to take sides in the local US politics divide. Seldom has a nation been so divided along political and religious lines.

The smaller news media companies have had to sell out to the bigger ones. With a lot of money in advertisements moving online, it makes no sense to struggle against the inevitable. Because of this shift, the smaller and more independent media companies are becoming outdated. This leaves behind a few media giants to fight for the narrowing market. That is why the US mainstream media uses social media, to try to win back followers. After all, they have to send traffic to their online sites, which they need to have in order to have any chance in the news business at all.

While some people feel that mainstream media is dead, the fact is that it is still alive and well in the US. A few news companies, after all, control access to almost all sources of news and information available via TV and radio. What that also means is that dealing with these companies can be quite hectic, because they yield the power. They can make or break your reputation, and you would do well to remember that.

http://ivn.us/2014/01/11/myth-mainstream-media/

http://www.nieman.harvard.edu/reports/article/101897/Why-the-News-Media-Became-IrrelevantAnd-How-Social-Media-Can-Help.aspx

How to Deal With the Media Today

Members of the media yield the power not just over your reputation but also your emotions. If you come within their field of sight for any reason, then it is in your best interest to know how to deal with them.

· It is not personal. How many times have you ever heard people say that? While that may seem cliché, when it comes to the media, do apply that statement to your own life. If the media talks about you, then do not take it personally, especially if it is true. They are in the business of news making, which means that anyone of interest is game, within reason off course. Learn to develop a tough skin when they criticize you and you will do just fine.

· The media is regulated but not under your control. Unless you are a media-owning tycoon, then you cannot control what people say about your life if it is true. The US takes very seriously, the rights of journalists to print and say what they need to within reason. Just because you do not want to be a subject of expose, does not mean that you will get your wish. Considering how other countries are faring, when it comes to the rights of journalists, you should be proud of the US media policies even when you resent the heck out of them. That freedom that guarantees them the right to ask you awkward questions also enables you to access fairly truthful news

· Be polite, even if it kills you. You need to avoid being rude to the media. Give them something and they will soon enough, leave you alone. Being rude and shifty will only make the journalists suspicious and more stubborn. They will continue digging, until they find some dirt on you.

· Do you know who I am? Never ask that kind of question to the media. They do not care how rich you are or how powerful. Trying to intimidate or bully them is likely to get you into more problems. A lawsuit against you will be coming along shortly!

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/susan-milligan/2014/01/30/the-michael-grimm-guide-on-how-not-to-deal-with-the-media

The Bottom Line

The mainstream media is where it is today because its owners have learned to survive in the business. If you do the right things, and keep your head, you should have no problems dealing with its members.

The US National Debt Explained

The United States National Debt can be considered the sum of total debt owed by the U.S Federal Government. The US National Debt surpassed the $17 trillion mark on 17th October, 2013. According to statistics, the United States debt is currently the largest deficit for a single country in the world. In fact, it runs quite close to the debt which is owed by the European Union. The latter is a union of 28 different countries.

It is worth mentioning that even before getting hit by recession in 2008, the United States debt had raised over 50% from the period between 2000 and 2007. It substantially increased from $6 to $9 trillion. Reaching December 2008, the $700 billion bailout allowed the US debt to rise above $10 trillion. The US National Debt is tracked by the NDC or National Debt Clock.

It is important to understand that about two-thirds of the United States National Debt is owed to the public (owed to the people), business organizations, and foreign country Governments who bought treasury notes, bonds and bills. The other part of the debt is simply owed by the Federal Government to itself. It is held in the form of Government Account Securities.

Most of this amount has come from Social Security, and many other trust funds running surpluses. The Government Account Securities are considered to be a promise to completely repay the funds when valid Baby Boomers retire in the next 20 years.

How did the United States Debt become Large?

The Federal debt is considered to be an accumulation of Government budget deficits. Thus, while analysing how the debt became large, it is better to make a comparison between the budget deficits and the different Presidents. The largest contributor to the debt has been current President Obama. The deficits can be attributed to the tax cuts, economic stimulus package and about $800 billion per year military spending.

The next major contributor is the last President Bush. His deficits were caused by the EGTRRA, the JGTRRA, War on Terror and Bank Bailout. The next in line is President Reagan. He expanded medicare, increased rapid defense spending and even cut taxes. All these Presidents suffered from a common problem – lower tax receipts because of recession.

However, the United States Government couldn’t keep running these deficits with high interest rates. Thus, there’s a simple reason why interest rates have remained low. Foreign Governments who purchased the treasury bills still expect that the United States will pay back the amount. For many foreign investors like Japan and China, the United States is a large customer. These countries have allowed to run credits to make sure the US keeps buying their exports.

In addition to this, countries like Japan and China maintain very large holdings of U.S treasuries to keep the currencies lower than the dollar. Although China warns the United States to lower the debt, it still keeps buying a lot more treasuries. Moreover, during the recession, many foreign countries increase holdings of U.S treasury bonds. This kept the United States interest rates low.

How the US National Debt can Affect the Economy?

The voters and economy benefit from huge deficit spending in the short term. However, in the future, an increasing Federal debt can make the growth process slower. It can substantially slow down the United States economy.

The primary reason is that debt holders always want large interest payments. This is meant to compensate the increasing risk of non-payment. This additional interest expense can force the United States Government to keep its debt within some limits.

Fortunately, the United States hasn’t yet faced any higher interest rates. Moreover, the Congress also realizes that the United States is facing a major debt crisis. It is worth mentioning that over the next few years, the SSTF or Social-Security Trust Fund won’t have sufficient amounts to cover various retirement benefits which have been promised to numerous Baby Boomers.

In simple terms, this would lead higher taxes. The high United States debt will rule out any further loans from foreign countries. It is very likely that such benefits will not be given, either to retirees who have a higher income or who’re younger than 70. It is worth mentioning that the United States has been receiving benefits from some unusual factors.

Resources

http://useconomy.about.com/od/fiscalpolicy/p/US_Debt.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/us-national-debt/

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/10/09/5-facts-about-the-national-debt-what-you-should-know/

Conclusion

The Social-Security Trust Fund received more revenue through various payroll taxes levied on numerous Baby Boomers than it actually needed. According to economists, this amount should have been properly invested in funds for the time when these Baby Boomers retire. However, this amount was once again loaned to the Federal Government to finance even more deficit spending.

With this interest-free loan, the interest rates regarding Treasury Bonds could be kept low. In order to decrease the US National Debt, the Federal Government needs to take some serious steps to control deficit spending, and provide a safe future for the citizens.