Picture courtesy of history.com

 2016 is likely to be viewed as a watershed year because of the forthcoming US Presidential election.  A watershed year marks a turning point in history. 

While the election is not until November, people are already concerned about the quality of the candidates. 

The next president will need to deal with a range of emerging issues that will challenge even the best leaders and visionaries. The situation in the Middle East is growing less stable with each passing month. The growing hostilities have already dragged in Russia and threaten to draw in others, dare I say China. What will happen then?

The world economy is looking tired and worn. China has huge internal issues with its markets. The west is only seeing the tip of the iceberg. When China stops, the rest of the world crashes. Europe is a basket case propped up by German goodwill. There does not appear any way forward other than divisive austerity. Is there another way? How long can the Germans hold back the dyke?

In the US, things are superficially okay but any close examination will reveal a gaping divide between rich and poor. The gap between the haves and have-nots grows with each passing year. The country is on edge because of the terrorist threat. A trillion dollars is spent each year on defence and border control. Gun violence is on the increase. Those opposing gun control seem to have an insuperable task. Local tensions are likely to result in greater violence as the people of the US come to a landing on this issue. A bad decision by the people at the election may plunge the country into chaos. 

But I am hopeful. There is an alternative for the US. In finding that solution I take you back to FDR. Roosevelt is one of my favourite presidents having lifted his country out of the depression and set them onto the path to prosperity. In 1944, his State of the Union speech addressed the issues of the US at war and post war recovery. At the end of the speech he set out a bill of economic rights. 

The speech is largely forgotten even though the bill of economic rights should be pinned to every politician’s wall. Read and be impressed. 

http://www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/archives/address_text.html
More to come.

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