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Gibbs, 11 Bob September 16 2011, Bob Gibbs is the U.S. Representative for the Eighteenth District of Ohio and was sworn into
office January 5, 2011. Congressman Gibbs sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Agriculture Committee. Gibbs was chosen to chair the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, a subcommittee of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that conducts oversight of the federal regulation of clean water, “hearing on the economic importance and financial challenges of recapitalizing the Nation’s inland transportation waterway system”,
Inland Waterways not sustainable in the status quo- process and funding
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-112hhrg68481/pdf/CHRG-112hhrg68481.pdf Challenges to maintaining the inland waterway system can be associated with both process and funding. In recent decades, it has become increasingly difficult to get projects through the congressional and Corps of Engineer process as well increasingly difficult to maintain a level of funding to keep up with repair and replacement needs. Those inland
waterway system projects authorized in the Water Development Act of 1896 were completed within an average of 6 years. However,
projects authorized since 1986 have on average taken twenty years to complete and cost more than twice the authorized amount. As an example, the recently completed McAlpine Locks and Dam near
Lousiville, Kentucky, took 10 years to complete in 1961. This difference reveals the difficulty in developing accuriate capital planning forecasts and demonstrates a multitude of issus surrounding the project delivery process. More alarming is the Olmsted Locks and Dam project on the Ohio River between Illinois and Kentucky. As authorized in 1988, the $775 million project was designed to replace two aging locks completed in 1929. The project broke ground in 1992 and was expected to be completed no later than 2005, today the project remains incomplete and the cost estimates have been revised upwards to approximately $2.124 billion and the expected completion date (barring additional factors or complications) is 2018. Many factors contribute to this scenario at Olmsted.
The cost escalation can be linked to factors such as design and scope changes, differing site conditions, reprogramming funds to other projects, and omissions, some factors which are within the control of the Corps of Engineers, while others can be attributed to insufficient funding and factors outside of the purview of the Corps of Engineers. These cost overruns have contributed greatly in the spending down of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. While the economic benefits of this project outweigh the costs, frustration of the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Inland Waterway Users Board continues to mount. This has caused ripple effects throughout the entire Inland Waterways Transportation System. Because it is so costly, until the project at Olmsted is complete, it is difficult to initiate, much less complete, other projects on the Inland Waterways Transportation System. The Congress has been
appropriating $170 million per year on average for the Inland Waterway Transportation System. Compare this to the estimate that it will require $3.8 Billion to complete projects already under construction and there is another $4.3 billion of authorized projects for which construction has not started. To
completely modernize the system with new construction and rehabilitation of old structures would require an estimated $18 billion. That is what would be
required to fully realize the economice benefits of the Inland Waterways Transportation System. The system is falling apart faster than we are replacing. This
condition is not sustainable.
Absent improvements, delays and closures inevitable IWUB ‘10
http://www.waterwayscouncil.org/WCIExtras/IMTS_IWUB_Report.pdf, “Inland Marine Transportation Systems (IMTS) Capital Projects Business Model”, Final Report Revision 1, April 13, 2010 Given the issues with the current business model described in Chapter 1 and the need to improve the process so that the IMTS remains reliable and resilient for the foreseeable
future, change to the model is essential. The economic service life of locks and dams is 50 years, but currently 54 percent of the locks and dams in the IMTS are more than 50 years old and 36 percent are more than 70 years old. Without a comprehensive plan to ensure timely replacement and rehabilitation of deteriorating system components, unscheduled closures will become commonplace and a reliable system cannot be guaranteed to the waterways industry and the shippers who use it. At the same time that system components are deteriorating, the MARAD is predicting a dramatic growth in domestic freight volume. Since other surface modes of transportation (rail and truck) face capacity constraints during normal economic circumstances, many see the inland waterways, which do not suffer systemic capacity constraints, as part of the solution to the nation’s future freight transportation needs. Yet, increases in movement of the bulk commodities historically moved by water and new intermodal cargoes shifted to water from other modes could, without a sound program to maintain and, where appropriate, enhance our inland waterways infrastructure, lead to congestion within the waterways, higher risks for systems to be damaged, and expedited needs for repair. If more users come to rely on the waterways, especially for time-sensitive cargoes such as intermodal containers, maintaining system reliability becomes even more important. Without reliable waterways, not only will we lose the opportunity to take the strain off of other modes through increases in waterways transportation, we will risk shifting the vast quantities of cargo currently moved by water to truck and rail, further exacerbating congestion in these modes and increasing the costs of maintaining those systems.
Ill. Paul. That will make products more expensive as businesses pay more for shipping or maneuver around roadblocks. Highways are too narrow.. reporter at USA Today. Ms." says Dan Murray. vice president of the American Transportation Research Institute. For example.8 – significantly larger than any other type of fiscal spending Xue Han ’12 ( Luxembourg Garden Visiting Scholar. She has also worked as a project manager for Belmark Associates. which began last July and is expected to end in August. Congress set aside $775 million to replace it and another nearby lock in 1988. Prior to joining Global Infrastructure. and the new lock won't be ready until 2020 or later."The ancient lock-and-dam system is perhaps the most egregious example of aging or congested transportation systems that are being outstripped by demand. we expect congestion to skyrocket. Feb 2012. costing the economy billions of dollars.globalinfrastructurellc. As the economy picks up. “USA’s creaking infrastructure holds back economy”. Prior to this. Han worked with KPMG China on audit projects for Sinopec's branches in Shanghai. But Meanwhile. a second reason is its relatively investment‘s larger multiplier effects on the overall economy compared to other types of investment of the same amount. seaports can't accommodate larger container ships. Ms.com/money/economy/story/2012-05-20/creaking-infrastructure/55096396/1 Locks and dams raise or lower barges from one water level to the next. He is a prolific writer and has actively intervened in important debates on economic policy (natural resources. The multiplier effect refers to the dollar amount impact on the economy. that each dollar of spending could generate. Ky. in part because of engineering modifications intended to save $60 million.5 million as the utility ferries coal and other supplies along the river for itself and other businesses. Maneuvering 15-barge tows into a much smaller backup chamber has increased the average delay at the lock from 40 minutes to 20 hours.international monetary system. Han worked with Artio Global Investors providing industry and fundamental analyses on industries and companies for the High Yield Group. Fourteen locks are expected to fail by 2020. four times more than in fiscal 2000. Bridges are inadequate investment led to nearly 80.000 hours of lock outages in fiscal 2010. the nation's creaking infrastructure will increasingly struggle to handle the load. for example. iron ore to steel mills and grain to export terminals. Ms. developing countries' debt) from a position that is very critical of mainstream economics. and it will cause the nation to lose exports to other countries — both of which are expected to hamper the recovery.html) Besides its improving effects on productive capacity as the major reason for the infrastructure contribution to the economic growth. will cost American Electric Power and its customers $5. the economy is turning. but breakdowns are frequent. ‘12. the cost has ballooned to $3.Contention 2 is the economy Inland waterways are the quiet underbelly of the economy. Inland waterways.usatoday. overtaxed. http://www. says AEP senior manager Marty Hettel. Davisdon. May 5. Global Infrastructure Asset Management. Infrastructure spending can solve the economy with a multiplier effect of 2. since the effect of each dollar of spending is usually beyond . http://www. including waiting time. carry coal to power plants. is being fixed.. The project began in 1993 and was scheduled to be finished by 2000 but still isn't complete. the main chamber at a lock on the Ohio River near Warsaw. "The good news is. Han holds a Bachelors degree in Mathematics and Economics from Beloit College. measured as GDP. She specializes in applying quantitative analysis to unique investment opportunities.com/Leadership. Most of the nation's 200 or so locks are past their 50-year design life. A prime example is an 83-year-old lock on the Ohio River near Olmsted. Now. "The bad news is. future congestion and waterway dilapidation risks losing exports and billions of dollars. a marketing research firm. slowing exports and imports. Shandong and Heilongjiang. The outage. an American macroeconomist who has been one of the leading spokesmen of the American branch of thePost Keynesian school in economics.1 billion.
“transportation and infrastructure committee” http://www. and thus an infrastructure multiplier.e. According to their research. The assumption made by Romer and Bernstein and also agreed by Heintz. the 0. There is more than one kind of multiplier effect based on different investments. for each $1 billion spending on infrastructure. Head chair of the transportation and infrastructure committee in the House of Representatives.8 billion in GDP.8 billion in GDP can be observed.26 million. the theoretical reasons behind are quite easy to understand. this article pertains to The Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee. with the interest rate at the zero lower bound taken into account in illustrations of a series of Keynesian models. investment and net exports.gov/News/PRArticle.8. Pollin and Peltier is that employment will rise by 0. As of December 2010. but in most studies and ours as well. indirect and induced effects. that is the dollar amount impact on the economy for each dollar of government spending. As discussed in details in a previous research of mine on the subject of the Automatic Budget Enforcement Procedures. we are specifically interested in and refer to the fiscal multiplier. the larger multiplier such investments have is a strong enough reason to call for more spending.681 jobs will be created in core economic infrastructure through direct. Therefore.88 for all types of investments as estimated in previous study. This well established larger multiplier effects of infrastructure investments become particularly important due to the slow economic recovery we have faced since the crisis. From there. With a GDP of $14. an increase of approximately $2.S. was 130.transportation. which translates an increase of 18. larger than 1 – due to its stimulating effects on other components of the GDP.S.itself – i. much larger than the average size of 1. giving multiple people’s insight on the issue. the total employment in the U.house.0143% increase in employment generated per $1 billion infrastructure investment can be translated as a 0. Even without the more influential and fundamental effects of infrastructure investments on productivity improvement. In order to estimate the size of multiplier specifically for infrastructure investments. such as consumption. the size of the multiplier under current circumstances is estimated to be 1.0191% increase in GDP. And it is critical to all sectors of the economy and it is reverse causal: laundry list Mica 12. That said.0143%.aspx?NewsID=1609 . such percentage increase is equivalent to a dollar amount increase of 19 $2.681 jobs into a percentage increase of 0. on infrastructure projects.88. John L. head by Bob Gibbs. it is often referred to as the multiplier effects. meaning that the multiplier for infrastructure investments specifically is about 2. an average of 18. The two major reasons infrastructure spending are: (1) less leakage to imports and (2) stronger stimulus in consumption compared to other types of spending such as tax cuts. for each $1 billion infrastructure investment made. based on the solid basic assumption on the relationship between employment and GDP increases that was used by Romer and Bernstein in their paper The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Romer and Bernstein. Pollin and Peltier. Economy: Employment. or at least less cuts. we utilize the employment effects estimated using the Input-Output Model in the research How Infrastructure Investments Support the U. Productivity and Growth (Heintz. the conclusion is that. 2009). 2009).2 billion in 2010.75% for every 1% increase in GDP.660. where a higher proportion of the additional money is saved or spent on imported goods and services. With regards to the fact that multiplier specifically for infrastructure investments is larger than other types of investments and thus the general average fiscal multiplier. we can trace back to a reliable estimate of GDP increase in dollar amount for each $1 billion investments in infrastructure.
S. the unreliability of the aging locks and dams on the System is making waterways a less attractive means of transportation. and exports with a total coal demand staying above the 1 billion tons per year level for the next 50 years. on the systemic level. we remain anemic in investing in ours.S.” Major General John Peabody. making U. Alternatively. Legal and Political Perspectives. costs go up and American products become less competitive in the global marketplace. testified: “Catastrophic failure of a lock or dam at a high-volume point along one of the major waterways would have significant economic consequences because other transportation modes generally lack the capacity to either quickly or fully accommodate the large volume of cargo moved on the inland waterways. . U. Economic Signaling and the Problem of Economic Crises. And that means lost jobs. p. Leonardo Technologies Inc. As such. It can be accurately stated that the U. cost and congestion of other modes (mostly rail) could be greatly affected and some cargoes may be delayed for extended periods. Political science literature has contributed a moderate degree of attention to the impact of economic Less intuitive is how decline and the security and defence behaviour of interdependent stales. while Brazil and other countries are aggressively investing in their infrastructure. But. 2010. 213-215) periods of economic decline may increase the likelihood of external conflict. 19SJ) that leads to uncertainty about power balances. Pollins (20081 advances Modclski and Thompson's (1996) work on leadership cycle theory.” Robert Dolence. Economic Integration. farmers and manufacturers.050 large trucks. Goldsmith and Brauer. (LTI). industrial and commercial use. in Economics of War and Peace: Economic. waterway transportation becomes an even more viable alternative for shippers.” Mike Steenhoek. “Transportation savings are a key factor in economic growth. Executive Director. testified: “Unfortunately. LTI concludes the Ohio River Navigation System is a vital component to ensuring safe. 1999). However. increasing the risk of miscalculation (Fcaron. A high percentage of taxpayer dollars are used to meet immediate wants and needs. in other work by LTI. and moving cargo from waterways to rail or truck would produce significant national economic impacts. the Corps extended a planned 18 day closure at Greenup Locks in 2006 when extensive deterioration of the miter gates was discovered. it has been forecasted that even with sustained low natural gas prices (maintaining less than $4/MMBTU natural gas cost levels for 50 plus years) coal maintains a significant role in electric power generation.S. even a relatively certain redistribution of power could lead to a permissive environment for conflict as a rising power may seek to challenge a declining power (Werner. rather than providing dividends to future generations. domestic energy – including electricity – to our country. Several notable contributions follow. Director of Cooperative Threat Reduction at the U. “Letting the inland waterway system decline further would be an economic disaster to add to the Nation’s already significant fiscal problems. added: “It is also interesting to note.The Inland Waterways System provides a cost-effective and energy efficient alternative to truck and rail transportation and is also important to State and local economies and job creation efforts. 1995). not an investing nation. One 15-barge tow on a river can carry as much cargo as 216 rail cars or 1. “As fuel prices continue to escalate. an unreliable transportation system will inject uncertainty into decisions made by U. exogenous shocks such as economic crises could usher in a redistribution of relative power (see also Gilpin.” said Chairman Gibbs. First.” Gibbs continued. reliable. Vice President. unplanned delay cost shippers over $40 million and several utilities came within days of having to shut down due to exhausted supplies of coal. Mississippi River Valley Division. multiple warrants and studies Royal 10 (Jedediah. Department of Defense. Therefore. Based on the combined detailed modeling performed.S. This lengthy. Army Corps of Engineers. “Having an inland waterways system that is a viable alternative will keep costs down among all modes of transport. is more a spending nation. low cost. dyadic and national levels.S. ed. If you take inland waterways out of the mix in terms of transportation options.” Economic decline causes war. Research in this vein has been considered at systemic. products uncompetitive in world markets. finding that rhythms in the global economy are associated with the rise and fall of a pre-eminent power and the often bloody transition from one pre-eminent leader to the next. Soy Transportation Coalition. For example.
crises and armed conflict has not featured prominently in the economic-security debate and deserves more attention. Pollins (1996) also shows that global trigger for decreased trade expectations either on its own or because it triggers protectionist moves by interdependent states. sitting governments have increased incentives to fabricate external military conflicts to create a 'rally around the flag' effect. "Diversionary theory" suggests that. Gelpi (1997). 2(102. Wang (1996). and Blombcrg. due to the fact that democratic leaders are generally more susceptible to being removed from office due periods of weak economic performance in the United States. Mom berg and Hess (2002) find a strong correlation between internal conflict and external conflict. on a dyadic level. Second. and Thacker (2006) find supporting evidence periods of economic downturn. Copeland's (1996. . and thus weak Presidential popularity. when facing unpopularity arising from economic decline. Hess. the presence of a recession tends to amplify the extent to which international and external conflicts self-reinforce each other (Hlomhen? & Hess. 2004). Hess. He argues that interdependent states are likely to gain pacific benefits from trade so long as they have an optimistic view of future trade relations. Miller (1999). recent economic scholarship positively correlates economic integration with an increase in the frequency of economic crises. In summary. Furthermore. p.economic cycles combined with parallel leadership cycles impact the likelihood of conflict among major. However.' to lack of domestic support. whereas political science scholarship links economic decline with external conflict al systemic. showing that economic decline and use of force are at least indirecti) correlated. are statistically linked to an increase in the use of force. & Wee ra pan a. medium and small powers. others have considered the link between economic decline and external armed conflict at a national level. which in turn returns the favour. particularly for difficult to replace items such as energy resources. dyadic and national levels. if the expectations of future trade decline. Moreover. and Kisangani and Pickering (2009) suggest that Ihe tendency towards diversionary tactics arc greater for democratic states than autocratic states. Crises could potentially be the Separately. DcRoucn (1995). crises generally reduce the popularity of a sitting government. as states will be inclined to use force to gain access to those resources. between internal and external conflict and prosperity are strong and mutually reinforcing. particularly during The linkage. the likelihood for conflict increases. although he suggests that the causes and connections between global economic conditions and security conditions remain unknown. DeRouen (2000) has provided evidence showing that This implied connection between integration. which has the capacity to spill across borders and lead to external tensions. They write. X9> Economic decline has also been linked with an increase in the likelihood of terrorism (Blombcrg. 2000) theory of trade expectations suggests that 'future expectation of trade' is a significant variable in understanding economic conditions and security behaviour of states. Economic conflict lends to spawn internal conflict.4 Third.
6% of U.S. The danger here is not merely economic. http://www. But this time the war would be waged with mass destruction weapons and the United States would be blamed because it is the center of global capitalism.Nuclear power wars Nyquist 5 (J. Russia and China. But interviews with shippers and logistics companies show delays are starting to lengthen along with the moderately growing economy. The withdrawal of the United States from the Middle East. we can expect to see policies of appeasement and unilateral disarmament enacted. Chamber of Commerce. the Far East and Europe would catastrophically impact an international system that presently allows 6 billion people to live on the earth's surface in relative peace. It is easy to see. "We drank the poison and now we must die.S. A future financial crash. therefore. will have serious political consequences for the Republican Party (to the benefit of the Democrats). would exploit this admission to justify aggressive wars. May 5. . Should anti-capitalist dogmas overwhelm the global market and trading system that evolved under American leadership. He is a prolific writer and has actively intervened in important debates on economic policy (natural resources. an American macroeconomist who has been one of the leading spokesmen of the American branch of thePost Keynesian school in economics. the American people will likely support politicians who advocate further restrictions and controls on our market economy – guaranteeing its strangulation and the steady pauperization of the country. Edward Kennedy supports nearly all the economic dogmas listed above.." 24. in this context. or 1. Author and Geopolitical Columnist – Financial Sense Online. “USA’s creaking infrastructure holds back economy”. ‘12. "I call this a stealth attack on our economy. Furthermore. that the coming economic contraction. developing countries' debt) from a position that is very critical of mainstream economics. Freight congestion tanks the economy Davisdon.com/money/economy/story/2012-05-20/creaking-infrastructure/55096396/1 The shortcomings were partly masked during the recession as fewer Americans worked and less freight was shipped.html) Should the United States experience a severe economic contraction during the second term of President Bush. "It's not like an immediate crisis.R. http://www. executive director of transportation and infrastructure for the U. Paul. an economic contraction will encourage the formation of anti-capitalist majorities and a turning away from the free market system.usatoday. must be prevented at all costs. if the anti-capitalist party gains power in Washington. reporter at USA Today. But we cannot do this. would once again bring war to Asia and Europe.com/stormwatch/geo/pastanalysis/2005/0204. The political left openly favors the collapse of America's strategic position abroad.financialsense. In Congress today. above all. American appeasement and disarmament. easing traffic on transportation corridors.international monetary system. the planet's economy would contract and untold millions would die of starvation.. would be an admission of guilt before the court of world opinion. invasions and mass destruction attacks. It's something that's sneaking up on us. therefore." says Janet Kavinoky." Freight bottlenecks and other congestion cost about $200 billion a year. Sen." Specifically. fueled by a politics of blame. "The Political Consequences of a Financial Crash. Furthermore. Nationalistic totalitarianism. due in part to a policy of massive credit expansion. As one observer recently lamented.
3 trillion federal deficit. This alone damages US economic competitiveness Strauss.2 trillion that it should over a five-year period to repair and expand overburdened infrastructure. IHS Global Insight expects such outlays to drop 4. international competitors. with the government and a 20-cent-a-gallon tax on tow operators each funding half. there's little prospect for more infrastructure investment as a divided Congress battles about how to cut the $1. The cost overrun leaves little money for other projects. economy. Toohey says $385 million a year is required to fund all the work. The economic cost of traffic congestion alone in wasted time and fuel was estimated at $101 billion. the country’s economic growth would have been 0. according to a report last year by Building America's Future Educational Fund. Many freight rail lines crisscross at the same grade as other trains and cars — a tangle that forces interminable waits. is spending about half of the $2. for example. in 2010. A generation of U. “Road to Nowhere: Federal Transportation Infrastructure Policy”. Moving people and goods efficiently matters for the U. But inadequate investment led to nearly 80. four times more than in fiscal 2000. About $8 billion is needed to replace 25 locks and dams in the next 20 years. A third of the nation's freight volume goes through the city as 500 freight trains jostle daily for space with 800 passenger trains and street traffic. bridges. Inland waterways.economic output.associate director of Renewing America Publications at the Council on Foreign Relations (Rebecca. he says. a bipartisan coalition of elected officials.S. particularly China. iron ore to steel mills and grain to export terminals. says Andrew Herrmann. and new construction has not kept pace with population growth. Shipping containers typically languish in rail yards several days before they can be loaded onto trains.cfr. The biggest railroad bottleneck is in Chicago. infrastructure built fifty years ago is reaching the end of its lifecycle. president of the Waterways Council. "We're the silent industry" because waterways are less visible.1 billion. and state and local governments face their own budget shortfalls. A prime example is an 83-year-old lock on the Ohio River near Olmsted.S. carry coal to power plants. and the new lock won't be ready until 2020 or later. in part because of engineering modifications intended to save $60 million. by 2020 the drag on growth could be 1. Government investment in highways. water systems. The chamber of commerce estimates such costs are as high as $1 trillion annually. Ill.2 percentage points higher in 2011 if necessary transportation infrastructure maintenance and improvements had been made.2 percentage points. Most of the nation's 200 or so locks are past their 50-year design life. But Congress allocates only about $170 million a year. It takes an average freight train about 35 hours to crawl through the city. The project began in 1993 and was scheduled to be finished by 2000 but still isn't complete. or $713 per commuter. or 7% of the economy.2 If current spending levels persist. president of the American Society of Civil Engineers. http://www.org/united-states/road-nowhere-federal-transportationinfrastructure-policy/p28419)//DH Concerns over the state of U.S. are making massive investments in state-of-the-art transportation systems.4% this year and 3% in 2013. With interest rates remaining at historic lows and unemployment near double-digit highs. Now. Meanwhile. June. schools and other projects has fallen each year since 2008. Congress set aside $775 million to replace it and another nearby lock in 1988. says Michael Toohey.1 According to one estimate. transportation infrastructure are higher on the federal policy agenda than at any time since President Dwight D. Eisenhower championed the creation of the interstate highway system in the 1950s. Yet.000 hours of lock outages in fiscal 2010. an opportunity exists to marry shorter-term job creation . The U. 12 . an advocacy group.S. the cost has ballooned to $3.
and undercut our will to preclude or respond to international crises because of the higher risk of escalation. and sometimes through trial and error. These trends could in the long term produce a multi-polar world. demographic trends are healthier than those of any other developed country. Americans have responded pragmatically. A culture of innovation. Asia in particular is likely to emerge as a zone of great-power competition. India. and Southeast Asian states. The stakes are high. Tom J. economy still accounts for over 20 percent of the world’s GDP. China’s strategic modernization is aimed. hostile states would be emboldened to make aggressive moves in their regions.S. 2-8-11. American institutions — particularly those providing enforceable rule of law — set it apart from all the rising powers.html) . By contrast. http://www.. and economic problems. Ph. and relations with South Korea. in seeking to accommodate the stronger powers. MSc. 11 former United States ambassador to Afghanistan. and a vital sector of small and medium-sized enterprises propel the U.com/articles/print/259024]bg as China. it is not a question of whether but when a new international order will emerge. Head of Geophysics Research. and anti-satellite capabilities. As rival powers rise. ultimately. Either way. American retrenchment could have devastating consequences. to work our way through the kind of crisis that we face today. long-range stealth aircraft. excellent institutions of higher education. The closing of the gap between the United States and its rivals could intensify geopolitical competition among major powers.S. there would be a heightened possibility of arms races. policymakers fail to act and other powers continue to grow. the United States must focus on restoring its economic and fiscal condition while checking and managing the rise of potential adversarial regional powers such as China. increase incentives for local powers to play major powers against one another. social. or other crises spiraling into all-out conflict. cruise. Beijing’s economic rise has enabled a dramatic military buildup focused on acquisitions of naval.D. Historically. Social cohesion underwrites political stability. multi-polar systems have been unstable. demographic..com/neutron_bomb.S. India. and Brazil have profound political. leadership.. Alternatively.S. “Can a Neutron Bomb Accelerate Global Volcanic Activity?” http://sci-e-research.nationalreview. the U.with investments that will pay longer-term benefits to U. miscalculation. Still. Failures of multi-polar international systems produced both world wars. China’s expansive territorial claims — and provocative statements and actions following crises in Korea and incidents at sea — have roiled its United States is the most significant barrier facing Chinese hegemony and aggression.S. regional powers could rearm in an attempt to balance against emerging threats. Khalilzad. Scientific E Research P/L. If U. economic competitiveness. the ballistic missiles. Without an American security blanket. Even though countries such are growing faster than ours. and this could alter the global distribution of power. and the United Nations and the director of policy planning at the Defense Department from 1990 to 1992. Even as cooperative economic ties in the region have grown. Iraq. U. with their competitive dynamics resulting in frequent crises and major wars among the great powers. And Competitiveness is key to prevent nuclear power wars. And Nuclear wars cause the earth to explode CHALKO 2003 (Dr. their economies We face this domestic challenge while other major powers are experiencing rapid economic growth. economy in ways difficult to quantify. Japan. Given the risks. “ The Economy and National Security”.S. In modern history. 11 [Zalmay Khalilzad was. weaker powers may shift their geopolitical posture away from the United States. at denying the United States access to the seas around China. Under this scenario. While we face significant challenges. the longest period of peace among the great powers has been the era of U.
com/news/2012-10-24/soybeans-rise-on-global-demand-for-u-s-supplies-corn-drops.1 percent to close at $15.Consequences of using modern nuclear weapons can be far more serious than previously imagined. after reaching $15. Corn declined. Contention 3 is Soybeans Soybean prices steady now Wilson 10/24/12. Analyst for Bloomberg. U. Corn futures for December delivery declined 0. the highest since Oct. “There appears to be no slowdown in Chinese demand. the U. Accelerated decay of unstable radioactive isotopes already present in the planetary interior provides the necessary energy.” Soybean futures for January delivery gained 1.000 . said in a telephone interview.000 hours to 80. “Export business continues to be very good for soybeans.90 for 2. However. because lethal neutron radiation can peneterate even the largest and deepest bunkers. The entire process causes increased nuclear heat generation in the planetary interior.2 percent to $481.S. simply because it is believed that there is no theoretical basis for such an association. Jeff Wilson. in Chicago. This disintegration in turn. government figures show.77. shipments almost four times higher than a year earlier.” Greg Grow. the smallest reserves since 1966. 18. may even cause the entire planet to explode. 1.S.day gain since July 20. the world’s largest grower last year. Corn Drops”. These consequences relate to the fact that most of the heat generated in the planetary interior is a result of nuclear decay. 1 are 35 percent higher than at the same time a year earlier. The price has tumbled 11 percent from a record $8. valued at $76.html Soybeans rose to a three-week high on signs of improving demand for supplies from the U.000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery before Aug. Due to this variable delay. http://www. the director of agribusiness for Archer Financial Services Inc. however. in extreme circumstances. 31 is forecast to drop to 4.S. Military are very keen to use neutron bombs in combat. capping the first six.545 a bushel on the CBOT. the military seem to ignore the fact that a neutron radiation is capable to reach significant depths in the planetary interior. The price touched $14.unitedsoybean. the lowest since July 3.S. http://www.8575 on Oct. the world’s biggest buyer. Supplies. crop.org/media-center/releases/crumbling-inland-waterway-system-putsfarmers-consumers-at-risk/ Just on the Ohio River alone. This observable fact CANNOT be explained by direct energy of the explosion. the Customs Administration reported today. 31 to unknown destinations. nuclear tests are not currently associated with seismic/volcanic activity. 89% of soybeans travel through inland waterways—lock closure would cause spikes in price USB 12 Crumbling Inland Waterway System Puts Farmers. a neutron beam stimulates nuclei of radioactive isotopes naturally present inside the planet to disintegrate. These bombs are designed to emit intensive neutron radiation while creating relatively little local mechanical damage.m. U.S. U. boosted imports by 20 percent in September from a year earlier with U.bloomberg. as demand slowed and overseas buyers shifted to cheaper grain from other suppliers. the USDA said Oct. Corn is the biggest U. U. The process of accelerating volcanic activity is nuclear in essence.4 percent of domestic use and exports. global volcanic activity and.49 on Aug. 2012 Soybean checkoff study finds that United States could lose global competitiveness. The TRUE danger of modern nuclear weaponry is that their neutron radiation is capable to induce global overheating of the planetary interior.S. generates more neutron and other radiation. exporters sold 105. the accumulated shipping delays at broken-down locks has more than tripled since 2000. followed by soybeans at $35. the third straight drop.5 billion in 2011. production was estimated by the government at the lowest since 2008 after the worst drought since 1956 reduced Midwest yields.. Jan 24. Department of Agriculture said today. export sales for delivery in the marketing year that began Sept. In the process of passing through the planet and losing its intensity. all superpowers have been developing so-called "neutron bombs". is a VERY PLAUSIBLE and realistic explanation. China. Over the last few decades. on the Chicago Board of Trade.2 percent to $7. rising from 25. The mechanism of neutron radiation accelerating decay of radioactive isotopes in the planetary interior. Perhaps you heard that after every major series of nuclear test there is always a period of increased seismic activity in some part of the world. 15. supply on Aug. "Soybeans Rise on Global Demand for U. 10.S. It typically takes many days or even weeks for this extra heat to conduct/convect to the surface of the planet and cause increased seismic/volcanic activity.7225 a bushel at 2 p.000 pounds on the CBOT. Consumers at Risk. Soybeanmeal futures for December delivery rose 1.S.8 billion.S. far greater than the initial energy of the bomb.
http://blogs. China's Food Security and Its Global Implications China: An International Journal.annually. and could reach record levels later in the year. the soybean harvest in Latin America has been badly hit by La Niña caused droughts. Up to 89 percent of soybeans exported through the lower Mississippi ports.5 million tons of oilseeds and grain. and this year’s spike in soy prices is made worse by rising prices for other edible oils.S. This study shows that a three-month lock closure would increase the cost of transporting 5. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion.The study. “It is important that we have a robust transportation system. This is particularly bad news in China. That doesn’t just mean a sharp increase in edamame prices at the local sushi spot and a sharp spike in tofu down at Whole Foods. China’s soybean market can be singled out as the only case where imports have substituted for domestic production. such as the Port of New Orleans. arrive at those ports in barges that must transit multiple locks for the trip downstream. Soybeans play a . only a quarter of which were produced domestically. USB made public and private investment in transportation infrastructure one of its top two priority issues. National University of Singapore and Yanjie Huang (eaihuan@nus. by $71. The study also calculated the economic impact of specific lock failures on districts within states. is Professorial Fellow at the East Asian Institute. which is made up of USB. industrial utilization. pp.The US Department of Agriculture believes that soybean production is headed for its biggest global drop ever — or at least since 1965 which is when the US started tracking global soybean production. The U. which also depend on upstream river barge shipping. conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University. Middle class Americans grumble when prices go up at the supermarket ($5 bucks for a box of cornflakes? Are these people insane?) but for billions of people all over the world rising food prices can mean the difference between happy kids and hungry ones. Apparently. For much of the world. Food Security is integral to Chinese and Middle East diets and thus their stability American Interest 4/29 2012.6 million. an over-reliance on imported soybeans does “violate” the principle of self-sufficiency and pose some challenges to food security. Soybean is also an important source of cooking oil in baked goods (like bread). human utilization. market access and supply. Research and Consumer Information Act. the American Soybean Association and 11 state soybean checkoff boards.” adds Foell.edu. soybeans. rail system and truck system can we continue to move our products in a manner that will help us feed the world. Wong and Dr. Illinois River and Ohio River. showing the effect on agricultural commodity prices—and on fertilizer and coal prices. Uh Oh: World Food Prices Spike As Soy Harvest Collapses. Prices are now higher than they have been in four years. soybean farmers. Soybeans are the only internal link to Chinese food insecurity Dr. USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U. A failure at any of the locks examined by the study could cost U. industry relations.com/wrm/2012/04/29/uh-oh-world-food-prices-spike-as-soy-harvest-collapses/ Among the things we watch here at Via Meadia are trends in world food prices. The country consumed 60 million tons of soybeans in 2009. And that gets expensive. between having a little money for extras at the end of the week and skipping meals. where food inflation already worries a government facing social unrest and economic instability.S. examined the condition of locks on the Upper Mississippi River. Number 1.S. soybeans are a primary source of protein and because they are used to feed animals. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff. “Only by using a combination of the lock and dam system. Volume 10. Yanjie Huang. March 2012. inland waterways represent key infrastructure for transporting U. National University of Singapore. Huang .the-americaninterest. 113-124 (Article). This begs the question whether soaring soybean imports will pose a threat to China’s grain security. soybean price increases affect many other foods. the average shipped by barge during that period. The news on that front is suddenly not good: as the FT reports. plan to examine new and different ways to fund lock and dam and other rural transportation infrastructure improvements.S.sg) is Research Assistant at the East Asian Institute. March 12 John Wong.” The USB GO program and STC. farmers up to $45 million in lost revenue.
official who worked on containing these threats (seeGSN.major role in the Chinese diet.” Mahley said Libya “doesn't know exactly which [political] faction is going to come out on top” following the ouster and death of longtime dictator Muammar Qadhafi. Question and Answer interviews for top websites.into nervous breakdowns. and some of them will be hungry. Award-winning journalist and writer. and British inspectors to cover all of Libya’s WMD programs on the ground. Writing. North Africa. His comments toGlobal Security Newswire come amid the Assad regime’s continued struggle to stay in power in Syria and recent revelations about undeclared chemical weapons in Libya (see GSN. and interviewer. The team had no “mandate” or “resources” to make random. June 28. That’s why wise policy encourages Chinese stability. Nonprofit/NGO writing and editing. 2003. Dec. Meanwhile. Near East. Expertise in foreign policy writing/editing/analysis. books and magazines. publications. foundations. Asked about Syria’s potential use of chemical weapons.” said Donald Mahley. Decades of worldwide experience as a top writer. analyst. Grant analysis. without neo-conservative or Central Intelligence Agency prompting. corporations. analysis. Syria’s extensive chemical arsenal is believed to comprise hundreds of tons of nerve and blister agents. “That's a part of the world in which all kinds of things can happen. some in Japan might lick their lips at the prospect of of World War II revisited and look to annex a slice of China. He said. homeland security writing/editing/analysis. Latin America. Katz 11. But it also suggests trouble across the Middle East and southern Europe. A massive flood of refugees would head for Indonesia and other places with poor border controls. surprise inspections that could have discovered the undeclared chemical weapons.on its own. Mideast. India might make a grab for Tibet. publications writing/editing.once occupied by Japan. Although he was in charge of U. Mahley noted. special negotiator for chemical and biological arms control issues. newsletter writing/editing.” Mahley noted that numerous Mideast nations are not bound by the Biological and Chemical weapons conventions. A lot of people are going to be hurting. Official Says” http://www. Mahley replied. print writing/editing. though.org/gsn/article/middle-east-instability-increases-proliferation-threat-former-us-officialsays/ WASHINGTON -- Expanding instability in the Middle East is a matter “we ought to be watching with some concern” for the possible proliferation of biological or chemical weapons. 5). 2012 could be even more… interesting than we thought. an arms control veteran who served as U. Chinese instability will trigger world war iii THE STRAITS TIMES 03. business writing/editing/analysis. 15). interviewing. Nov. Then you can say hello to World War III.S. where economic unrest has shaken governments from Portugal to Pakistan. The team’s transportation was provided by the Libyan regime. Mahley revealed that he only had a dozen U.S. Furthered Middle Eastern instability greatly increases risk of bioterror. that the transitional government was cooperative in reporting newly discovered chemical weapons stockpiles. Asia style. “With all of the Middle Eastern countries. chemical and biological ambitions. “some with … zealotry that defies all logic. from serving as a nuclear weapons officer in the Army to being a key U. according to a former top U.editor. which don’t’ want them and cant handle them. author. Former U. security and economic growth – the very direction the White House now seems to prefer.editing/analysis. Web writing/editing. editing. national security writing. Lee Michael December 23.nti. online But imagine a China disintegrating. There have been concerns from outside that the ongoing internal strife in the nation might open the door for those materials to be put to use or acquired by violent extremists. That would send Singapore and Malaysia. “Middle East Instability Increases Proliferation Threat. Mahley was never told of these chemical weapons in the aftermath of Qadhafi’s seeming decision the previous year to give up all of his nuclear. The regime in Tripoli at that time declared only roughly 25 metric tons of mustard blister agent and a large stock of precursor materials. much less outright military invasion because the economy (against all predictions) suddenly collapses. Europe.S. you have a lot of irrational programs that have gone on for a long time. and Pakistan for Kashmir. Mahley has long experience in dealing with weapons of mass destruction. p.S. That would knock Asia into chaos.S. figure in establishing the Chemical Weapons .S. efforts to dismantle Libya’s WMD programs in 2004.
and Environment Act of 2012 (H. Bioterrorism is extinction Kellman 2008. The notion that no one will ever commit catastrophic bioviolence is simply untenable. ) For people who seek to rattle the pillars of modern civilization and perhaps cause it to collapse. instantly became a historical marker dividing strategic perspectives before from after.S. consensus package of recommendations to improve the continued vitality of this critical system.S. Deliver 25 modernization projects and $8 billion of job creation. In the edited excerpts below. competitiveness in the world market. “Support WAVE 4: Waterways are Vital for the Economy.S. Kirby corp is the leading operator of inland barges. representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons from 1997 to 2002 and as deputy assistant secretary of State for threat reduction. effective use of disease would set in motion political. and matt was selected to be on a special interst group for wave4 with the army corp of engineers heads. consensus among experts. Efficiency. 2012) will: Prioritize the completion of navigation projects across the entire system.pdf America’s inland waterways are a precious resource. In an attack's wake. bioviolence is the way to go. Army Corps of Engineers worked together for 18 months to develop a comprehensive. and included in the WAVE 4 bill (introduced March 30. Energy. Mahley discussed the ability of North Korea and many other nations to produce biological weapons. no one would know when it is over. to the sustainment of well-paying American jobs and to congestion relief. and quality of life.R. Barry “Bioviolence: A Growing Threat “The Futurist 42 no3 25-30 My/Je (director of the International Weapons Control Center at the DePaul University . export controls and negotiations from 2004 until his retirement in 2008. Just as planes flying into the Twin Towers on September 11. Also privates can’t solve Woodruff 12. and the envy of the world because of the natural “water highway” the waterways system provides for commerce. there should be no doubt that we are vulnerable to a rupture. Improve the Corps of Engineers’ project management and processes to deliver projects on time and on budget. and no government could credibly tell an anxious population where and when it is safe to resume normal life. http://www. If you want to stop modern civilization in its tracks. the Chemical Weapons Convention and the new challenges facing its enforcement body. Recommend an affordable user fee funding mechanism to meet the system’s needs. environment. The Capital Development Plan. Reform project cost allocations. 5-9-12. matt. Modern lock and dam infrastructure is critical to U. who emphasized he is only expressing his personal views. and is essential to our nation’s economy. also spoke of how easily terrorists could make biological weapons. the day that disease is effectively used as an instrument of hate will profoundly change everything.Convention. to energy efficiency.org/index/capitalplansupport. to environmental protection. Plan: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment through the Wave 4 act and investment strategy. A Consensus Plan to Improve Inland Waterways Navigation Infrastructure Business leaders and the U. works for the Kirby Corporation for government affairs. 4342) This bill incorporates the elements of the Inland Waterways Capital Development Plan Invest in America’s Inland Waterways Transportation System”. director of the waterways council inc. Professor of Law. unanimously endorsed by the congressionally established Inland Waterways Users Board.waterwayscouncil. and health consequences so severe as to call into question the ability of existing governments to maintain their citizens' security. While it is difficult to specify when this danger will strike. only 50 were allowed total. and Realize a sustainable annual appropriation of $380 . 2001. In the lengthy interview. Inland waterways transportation is a key component of the intermodal transportation network. His diplomatic roles have included serving as U. Mahley. economic. We will Clarify Contention 4 is solvency Wave4 is the only way to ensure that inland waterways are viable.
and suggests a revenue enhancement – a 30 to 45% increase in the existing diesel fuel user fee the navigation industry pays – to fund vital infrastructure investments that return so much to the American economy and to consumers.S. and energy security. National Policy Should Include Capital Investment for Inland Waterways Infrastructure” September 26. VA – Waterways Council. Duncan. Sewell and Carnahan for their strong leadership in addressing the critical needs of the inland waterways system. Adjust the current model to provide 100% federal funding for dam construction and major rehabilitation and smaller lock rehabilitation projects. president and chief executive of Waterways Council Inc. Costello. Johnson. Applaudes Move”. Recommended Reforms The proposal would: Preserve the existing 50% industry/50% federal cost-sharing formula for new lock construction and major lock rehabilitation projects costing $100 million or more. our economy. John Duncan (R-TN). The bill will address the critical needs of the inland waterways system. economic competitiveness. Tim Johnson (R-IL). our environment. http://www. The Plan represents a new approach to meet the longstanding need for efficient delivery and timely completion of critical projects and sustainable funding for the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. our energy sector. This will strengthen the ability of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund to fund more priority projects in the pipeline. and Environment Act of 2012” — or WAVE4.R. The proposed new funding parameters will necessitate a 30% to 45% increase (between 6 and 9 cents per gallon) in the existing fuel tax of 20-cents-per-gallon that is paid by the barge and towing industry. along with co-sponsors Rep. create American jobs. moving some 60 percent of the nation’s grain to the world market. 12 (3/30/2012. and all the beneficiaries of the waterways system. 2011 Michael J. Alderholt. Energy. the only users of the system who currently are taxed. Ed Whitfield and Co-Sponsors Introduce Wave4 Inland Waterways Infrastructure Investment Bill. The Capital Development Plan applies objective criteria to prioritize essential construction and major rehabilitation projects. along with many other vital commodities.” said WCI President/CEO Michael J. Journal of Commerce Online. The present business model for modernizing our lock and dam infrastructure is broken. “Rep. the recommended reforms to the Corps of Engineers’ project management and delivery process would ensure that these additional resources are spent wisely. but without this critically important mode. and 20 percent of the coal used in our nation’s electric power generation.million.it’s key to jobs.. Va. with too few lock and dam projects being built on time and on budget. enable growth in U. exports and spur the economy JOC. “We thank Congressmen Whitfield. www.S. Robert Alderholt (R-AL). this legislation incorporates the elements of the Inland Waterways Capital Development Plan. this WAVE4 legislation will modernize our essential inland navigation infrastructure and in so doing will benefit the U.org America’s inland waterways system is the silent workhorse of our export market. “JOC TENS: U. air pollution and emissions. Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Rep. Toohey. revises current beneficiaries’ cost-sharing for these projects. Rep. (WCI) applauds Congressman Ed Whitfield of Kentucky (R-KY). Jerry Costello (D-IL). Toohey. our nation’s roadways would . Known as “Waterways are Vital for the Economy. Rep. Waterways Council. U. exports. Include a cost share cap on new lock construction projects to incentivize keeping projects on budget and prevent shippers from bearing the burden of paying for unreasonable cost overruns. Investment prevents congestion.joc. At the same time. and continue to fuel multiple economic benefits that our waterways generate. Rep. Toohey.waterwayscouncil.S. This segment of the transportation network is often out of sight. Efficiency. recognizing the value derived by other beneficiaries from dams and the pools created by dams. Waterways Council Inc. and starvation. agricultural sector.S. Recognizing the failings in the current system.com/press-release/rep-ed-whitfield-andco-sponsors-introduce-wave4-inland-waterways-infrastructure-inves) Arlington. Inc. Russ Carnahan (D-MO) for their vision and leadership in introducing a bill (H. Wave4 will boost jobs. The nation’s transportation system and taxpayers would benefit from the completion of essential navigation infrastructure and the containment of cost overruns. Rep. out of mind. reforms the Corps of Engineers’ internal project delivery process. This system also transports 22 percent of our domestic petroleum and petroleum products. 4342) to modernize the lock and dam infrastructure on the inland waterways system. in Arlington. Inc. our construction industry.
"The Economic Importance and Financial Challenges of Recapitalizing the Nation's Inland Waterways Transportation System. yes. n21 Unimpeded. Safest mode: Our fundamental goal is to return our workers safely home to their families. Within economics. Knoxville (9/21/2011.. or five different rail carriers or rail carrier combinations.” Factiva.imposes obligations on government planners and decision makers Bray. through the development of a competing navigation network is impossible.clog and crumble from the weight of those commodity movements. it is still common to find two or more competing railroads running side-by-side.S. This is not true of the inland navigation system. there is generally railroad competition. Unlike the truck or rail industries. The United States needs a national policy that includes the waterways and its infrastructure. containers on barge. products: President Obama has called for the doubling of our nation’s exports over the next five years. there is only one waterway route between any origin-destination pair and little or no opportunity to create competing routes. Safety-related statistics for all modes of freight transportation show one injury in the inland marine sector for every 125. 8. A noble goal that will increase our country’s prosperity. hydropower and flood control.S. inland waterways transportation boasts the lowest injury and fatality rates compared to rail or truck. Fresher air: The inland waterways transportation sector has a lower carbon footprint because it generates fewer carbon dioxide emissions than rail or truck for each ton of cargo compared to transporting that same cargo by these other modes. and helps put Americans back to work at the same time. 11 --. Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! The most important advantage our waterways can bring to America is family wage jobs. 9. Energy efficiency: Barges on our inland system can move one ton of cargo 576 miles on one gallon of fuel — more the 100 miles more than rail transport and 400 miles more than truck transport. Thus.2 in the rail sector and 2. four. our air quality would be reduced from increased emissions. And more than $9 is returned to the nation in transportation cost savings for every $1 that is invested in a navigation project. University of Tennessee. Exports for U. Literally hundreds of thousands of US city pairs are linked by two. we can accommodate the Panama Canal expansion.000 miles of commercially navigable channels and around 240 lock sites. JMP) Does Economic Theory Support a Federal Role in the Creation of Renewed Inland Navigation Capacity and. 3. Again. or another 216 railcars rolling through our communities. If So.5 in the highway sector. In most cases. What is the Proper Course? Even after decades of mergers. 2. Moreover. and the increased exports that will help feed the world’s inhabitants. this will not be an achievable goal. 6. 5.S. These inland marine highways transport commodities to and from 38 states throughout the nation’s heartland and the Pacific Northwest. municipal and industrial water supply.7 in rail and 155 in highway. our waterways keep America moving today and will do so tomorrow as well. Capacity to feed the world: Our capital development plan for the United States’ navigable waterways system is building for the future. this outcome is referred to as a natural monopoly. Traffic congestion relief: One 15-barge tow of dry bulk cargo keeps 1. they serve industrial and agricultural centers. 7. Larry G. Let us invest in our nation’s lock and dam system today for a more prosperous tomorrow. Just like Lewis and Clark’s discovery expedition to find new trade routes for a young America. even when one rail route is not visible from the tracks of another. This matters now more than ever as we seek ways to be less dependent on foreign oil. Bolstering our economy: 624 million tons of cargo moves annually on the inland waterways. and private property owners enjoy higher property values because of the steady pools of water created by locks and dams on our inland waterways. our economic competitiveness in the world market would erode. workers back on the job. and facilitate imports and exports at gateway ports along the Gulf Coast.171. Congressional Documents and Publications. and our quality of life would be affected. for example. our consumption of and cost for energy would go up significantly. Multibeneficiaries: The inland waterways system benefits many Americans. Connecting the country: Our inland waterways system includes 12. equaling around $70 billion that goes back into the U. There are currently more than 20 navigation projects authorized by Congress that could begin putting U. including those who use it for recreation.Center for Transportation Research. A federal investment strategy is key to effectively expand inland waterways --. expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050. House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Hearing . With waterway network links. but without an efficient waterways infrastructure to move increased volumes of grain. If there is any lack of competition at all it is generally over the last few miles over which railroad customers connect to the greater railroad network. Here are 10 ways why: 1. economy. Thus. Many communities along our inland waterways benefit from economic development opportunities. 10. and one fatality in the inland marine sector for every 22. three. 4. competition.050 trucks off our nation’s already overly congested highways. it could lease control of the inland navigation system to one or more franchise holders and carefully . the only few exceptions there are not duplicate federal government is faced with only two choices. any single firm that controlled the waterway network (or any of its component parts) could impose monopoly prices.
Fees faced by each group of users should (at least) reflect any costs that are directly incremental to that group's use.. adding an extra $1. The unusual display of harmony. If our children don't understand this concept. a proxy fight over which party was best helping voters muddle through the economic downturn. service levels. Had the measure failed.com/2012/06/29/transportation-bill-student-loans_n_1638116. in a bitterly partisan year. The Democratic-led Senate sent the measure to Obama by a 74-19 vote. the only groups to benefit from the required investment are waterborne carriers and their customers. We have very wisely chosen the latter course. be built out to the point where further The implications of this common sense (or if you prefer.. John Mica. projects that would have expired Saturday without congressional action. D-Calif. signaled lawmakers' eagerness to claim credit for providing transportation jobs. Instead. it should investment seems silly. It also ends a bare-knuckle political battle over student loans that raged since spring. inland navigation system need not be the biggest. However. http://www. "We have a bill that will boost this economy. to avert higher costs for students and their families and to avoid being embarrassed had the effort run aground.if you cause us to buy it and we can demonstrate that connection.regulate their activities (pricing. Contention 5: Pre-Empts The Transportation bill would have triggered the link Fram and Lowy 6/29.S. theoretically sound) prescription for renewed investment in inland waterway capacity are simple. The cost of actually constructing. operating. interest rates would have mushroomed to 6." said Sen. The bill sent for President Barack Obama's signature enables just over $100 billion to be spent on highway. Obama signed a one-week temporary measure Friday evening.huffingtonpost. if you conclude as I have. operating. then the full burden of new investment should rest with them. and maintaining the resulting system must then be recovered through fees charged to those who benefit from the waterway's use. Writers of the Huffington Post just stating fact. etc. then the burden must be spread equitably across this broader array of beneficiaries. a chief House author of the transportation measure. interest rates of 3. just minutes after the Republican-run House approved it 373-52.html Congress emphatically approved legislation Friday preserving jobs on transportation projects from coast to coast and avoiding interest rate increases on new loans to millions of college students. Building. those who benefit must be made to "contribute" toward this end. a sponsor who said . then you pay for it.4 percent for subsidized Stafford loans for undergraduates will continue for another year.4 million students expected to get the loans over the coming year.) or it must retain control of the system and operate it equitably to the benefit of all waterway users. If.000 to the average cost of each loan and antagonizing students – and their parents – four months from Election Day. simpler language can convey similar notions without a catastrophic loss of precision. it is providing factual information. and maintaining such a system requires money. not just talk about problems we have but to get things done. Alternatively. although lawmakers have enacted bills retaining the Social Security payroll tax cut for a year and renewing a government agency that promotes U. I dare you to question the source of this card. n22 I've chosen these words very carefully so that they conform to my discipline's practice. mass transit and other transportation programs over the next two years. Thus. exports. instead of doubling for new loans beginning on Sunday as scheduled by a law passed five years ago to save money. R-Fla. as some maintain. The most extensive system possible. This year has seen the two parties mostly drive each other's plans for tax breaks and economic revival into a stalemate. They must design a network sufficient in extent and capacity to ensure that any further expansion would impose incremental costs that are greater than corresponding additional benefits. our parents surely did. "It's important for Congress to act. Under the bill." said Rep. Barbara Boxer. permitting the highway and loan programs to continue until the full legislation reaches his desk. that a much broader set of Americans will benefit from this assured navigation capacity.8 percent for 7. Differences in who pays which share of the bill depend on whether or not it's possible to assign specific costs to distinct subsets of users . The efficient federal control of the inland waterway network imposes obligations on government planners and decision makers that are relatively easy to describe. network access. giving lawmakers campaign-season bragging rights on what may be their biggest economic achievement before the November elections.
Some of these theories are little more than vague hypotheses about what will happen if we act in a certain way in a certain situation and what we might expect from others. the measure became a catch-all for other unrelated provisions.. was the result of previous theoretical changes. R-Ind. let companies apportion less money for their pensions and to provide less year-to-year variation in those amounts. Even routine short-term predictions in politics—election outcomes as a prime example—are hard to forecast with unqualified confidence. And the longer term as an imponderable. But many of the theories we hold are more complex and express our understandings of. For elections eight or ten years down the wad. The money would have otherwise gone to federal coffers. let alone which of them will win. a journal for social justice: “On the Perils of Applying Theory to Practice” http://www.uwindsor. To be human is to search for meaning.4 cents for diesel and now fall well short of fully financing highway programs. D. The measure also steers 80 percent out of billions in Clean Water Act penalties paid by BP and others for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion to the five Gulf states whose beaches and waters were soiled by the disaster. than a flawed. Predicting the Future. And it makes advocates of bike and pedestrian paths compete for money with other transportation projects. how organisations work. p.6 million households and businesses were extended. It also contains an array of safety initiatives including requirements aimed at enhancing bus safety. Dan Coats. which devour other species. In return. The compromise ended up sprinkled with unrelated nuggets dealing with Asian carp. which become transferred to universal truths. but the Senate turned their objections aside. In this sense theories are generalisations about what exists in the world and .4 cents a gallon for gasoline and 24. unchanged for nearly two decades. About $20 billion would be raised over the next decade by reducing tax deductions for companies' pension contributions and increasing the fees they pay to federally insure their pension plans. Most of the overall measure was financed by extending federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel for two more years. while other funds would be steered to rural school districts.ca/criticalsocialwork/on-the-perils-of-applying-theory-to-practice ) What we call 'theory' can be understood as a form of social action that gives direction and meaning to what we do. the government will start charging interest on subsidized Stafford loans no more than six years after undergraduates begin their studies. it's better to live with uncertainty. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the administration was glad Congress acted "before middle class families pay the price for inaction. To think that we shall ever be in a position reliably to forecast next year’s is pie in the sky. To raise other revenue. fractured epistemology Penna 2004 (Sue. I think this is a great day.8 million jobs." He said Obama will keep pressing for approval of more of his job-creating proposals from last year. Even in the most orderly of nations. Some federal workers would be allowed to work part-time as they gradually retire. police officers and firefighters and for tax credits to companies that hire new workers. saving the government money because the workers would receive only partial salaries and retirement annuities. But it contains curbs on environmental reviews of transportation projects. The change is expected to raise nearly $100 million. The bill consolidates federal transportation programs and gives states more flexibility in spending money from Washington. This leads to universal failure in praxis—the subject of criticism now. Today no interest is charged until after graduation. As often happens with bills that are certain to win the president's signature. no matter how long that takes. Ph.. or why the distribution of resources is as it is. which they were designed to do. and all of us hold theories about how and why particular things happen or do not happen. Political prediction is impossible Nicholas Rescher.S. politics is too volatile and chancy a process for confident prediction. Those levies.the measure would create or save 2. a loophole was tightened to make it harder for businesses with roll-your-own cigarette machines to classify the tobacco they sell as pipe tobacco – which is taxed at a lower rate than cigarette tobacco. The bill also eases restrictions that force most American food aid to be shipped abroad on U. we cannot say who the candidates will be. allowing higher premiums and limiting subsidies for vacation homes to help address a shortfall in the program caused by claims from 2005's Hurricane Katrina. 1998. of how people become offenders. The final transportation measure dropped a provision – which had drawn an Obama veto threat – that would have forced government approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Texas coast. But its most significant provisions dealt with transportation and student aid. to hire teachers. One would order the government to accelerate work on a plan for preventing Asian carp. roll-your-own tobacco and federal timber aid. Lecturer in the Applied Social Theory department of Applied Social Science at Lancaster University. are 18. In addition. It drew opposition from Sen. Federal flood insurance programs that protect 5. writing for Critical Social Work. for example. Federal timber subsidies worth $346 million would be distributed for another year to rural counties. progressives and moderates. and some other lawmakers arguing that blocking the fish could interfere with shipping. "We have a bill that is supported by conservatives and liberals." All the no votes were cast by Republicans. from entering the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River. a formula was changed to. in effect. Professor of Philosophy at Pitt.-flagged vessels. We cannot hope to predict what the United States of the year 3000 will be like: indeed we cannot even claim with confident assurance that it will exist Criticism is based on generalizations. It would be a foolhardy thing to place much reliance on the declarations of a seer who claimed to be able to forecast political developments in national or international affairs— newspaper headlines though given the numerousness of those who try it is unsurprising that here or there some came to look competent with the wisdom of hindsight. Republicans sought those curbs in hopes of cutting construction time almost in half. 201 Political prediction.
Needless to say. homosexual and heterosexual. the widespread use in the mid-twentieth century of lobotomies in treating people with mental health problems and.how the components of that world fit together into patterns. The second tragedy was the application of theory to practice by Germany’s Nazi leadership. on the search for one theory that could explain the social world and hence provide a guide to action . rather than as products of divine creation. were considered ‘deviant’ and sent for ‘retraining’ in labour camps when they were not killed. In short. whilst their practical circumstances – victims of domestic violence. Eighteenth and nineteenth century social thought was focused. as the twentieth century developed. as well as their later implementation. inform policy and practice frameworks so that the frameworks that legally bound social work. This use of theory in the ways described above developed from the intellectual sea-change of the eighteenth century European Enlightenment. differ substantially from country to country. so that the cosmic transcendence of religious thought was replaced by the universalism of philosophy. Yet when many thousands of individuals failed to conform. following particular strands of Marxist theory. We have seen the eugenics movement in the early twentieth century whose influence contributed to the institutionalisation (and worse) of people with learning difficulties. A senior social worker specialized in dealing with depressed female lone-parents. what motivates behaviour and how behaviour should be understood. problems in the natural and social worlds. Reading through dozens of case-notes (meant to aid my practice) I was struck by the way that these women’s depression was attributed to various failures in their early psycho-sexual development. This historical period . lack of money – were completely ignored. As the mass exterminations. where service-users failed to fulfil predicted outcomes derived from particular theoretical paradigms. it was their behaviour that came under scrutiny. and this attack is one which has many implications for the use of theory in social work education and practice. theories about what motivates individual behaviour. but the point to note here is that this failure was not attributed to the faulty premises of the theory and the way in which it was being applied. Prior to the Enlightenment. Some Problems With Theory Several events in Europe contributed to a questioning of the application of theory to practice. In this sense also theories are 'abstractions' in as much as they generalise across actual situations our expectations and suppositions about the reasons why certain patterns exist (O'Brien and Penna. As O'Brien and Penna (1998) point out. In this intellectual movement. whilst the underlying problems of the theory itself left unexamined. men and women. In the same way that we use theory in our everyday lives. Those individuals who did not fit the predictions of theory. and hence solve. The communist leadership. poor housing. theories about the validity of data and research procedures. and the methods and principles of the natural sciences. and government of the population justified largely according to divine right and religious edict: the Sovereign ruled over a subject population because he or she was divinely ordained to so. .The Enlightenment – marks a time when people start to be understood as self-creating. but the history of social welfare is littered with more mundane examples that nevertheless cause great misery to those subject to theory application. the use of psychodynamic and behaviour modification theory in practice. The endless compulsory ‘selfcriticism’ that members of various Marxist groups carried out was aimed at making individual behaviour conform to the tenets of theory. An objection could be made here that these examples merely demonstrate atypical historical circumstances or incompetent practitioners. whole social groups. Those children who did not respond to ‘positive reinforcement’ (the majority) were labelled and punished. imposed upon populations conditions which. theories about what will happen if we intervene in particular situations in x way rather than y way. resulting in tragedy for thousands. in the social sciences. questioning theological understandings of the human world and establishing the legitimacy of scientific explanations of the natural world. social organisation was understood through theological worldviews. The establishment of a communist society based upon the premises of Marxist theory was one such event. so understandings of the ‘social’ dimension of social work are also built upon different theoretical foundations. results eventually in a humanist understanding of social organization. economic and criminal justice policies developed. abuses of power and repressions of the communist state came to widespread notice. Theories about the proper relationship between the individual and the state. I observed the use of psychodynamic theory in practice in the social work department of an acute unit in a psychiatric hospital. we also draw upon various theories as part of the ways we act in the world. new ways of thinking overlay those they were in the process of replacing. the logics of action and the structures of provision on which they focus are not proven. In this way theories make up the premises and assumptions that guide the formulation of particular policies and practices in the first place. However. definite realities. A philosophical shift. as well as practice priorities and interventions. rather than the premises and assumptions of the theory. The Enlightenment sees the establishment of new philosophical systems for understanding both the natural and human worlds and the development of rational responses to social problems. the response displayed a notably similar characteristic as in the examples from totalitarian societies – the users were pathologised. My second example is taken from two years in a residential home for children with learning disabilities. and is invariably embedded in the social programs that ensue from them. but to the women’s innate psychopathology.a theory that could be used in practice – famously captured by the term praxis. so did the rationales underlying them. were necessary for the development of a communist society. from the middle of the seventeenth century onwards a shift in intellectual thinking occurred which was to have major implications for the development of European societies. These two examples provide perhaps the most extreme illustrations of the application of theory to practice. 1998). Such premises are essentially theoretical: they are 'imaginary' in the sense that the conditions they describe. Here a behaviour modification regime was implemented by management with no critical appreciation of debates in psychology about what it means to be human. to take two examples from this author’s practice career. whether at the level of whole societies. rather than theoretical premises examined. However. this conception of theory came under increasing attack. However. in theory. these women failed to improve. Theory about social life is either used or promoted in particular policy and welfare frameworks in order to make them more ‘effective' or 'appropriate'. It was assumed that a theory could be developed that would substitute for the truth of religion. The Enlightenment promises progress and represents a faith in science as a progressive force which can understand. or questioned the premises upon which action was based. in both these cases. implemented and managed by different social groups. become embedded in social.
82 (Jonathan. At the same time. I believe. In the current examination of Enlightenment thought. we inherit from the past generations. on the other hand. in legal and organisational structures. can be similarly achieved in relation to gendered and sexualized categories. however.f. 1996/7). the widespread development of ‘rightsbased ’ and user movements. through examinations of historical understandings of punishment and sexuality. showing how accounts of human knowledge depended on the use of key textual devices for obscuring problematic philosophical categories. for a long tradition of hermeneutic and phenomenological thought had posed alternative understandings of human and social action. on the other. as though in making our decision about ex. 9). evaluation and so on. and a general rejection in many disciplines of overarching.. 2001). the last three decades or so has seen a particularly sustained interrogation of the status of Enlightenment theory. Not only can the ‘social’ upon which we work not be known in its entirety. Lemert. does that leave theory in social work. but it does not go far enough to point out this superior importance. In social theory. where exploitation and oppression operate through complex and unstable socio-economic mechanisms (O’Brien and Penna.or numerous disparate individuals. Goldberg’s (1993. Parton (2000:452) hits the nail on the head in claiming that we need to learn to live with ‘uncertainty. our lack of response-to the predicament. and a suspicion of ‘expert’ practice and bureaucracies. I have pointed out that our species is the most important of all the things that. has mounted a comprehensive and thorough critique of the epistemological basis of structuralism and realism.. and finally. as a cultural product. if we accept this position? I want to turn briefly. 'difference' and postmodernism. Foucault. liberty. (c. This leads us to a situation in which theory itself can be understood as a key resource in forging a ‘modern’ consciousness. including: the overthrow of communism in the Soviet Union. grand theory (Leonard. The Fate of the Earth. but appreciating the role of theory as cultural artefact. to some suggestions of the use of theory in social work education. ‘true’ account. confusion and doubt’. Foucault’s contribution to the unpicking of this position was to show. two of the major props of Enlightenment theory. The construction of any text lends itself to several meanings and interpretations. 1993: 12. 1993: 8). This is not to say such challenges to Enlightenment theory did not exist before. Enlightenment philosophy suggests that what occurs in the world is subject to entirely knowable and explainable laws that can be discovered and used in the progress of human society and human mastery over the natural and social world.f. as inhabitants of a common world. social assumptions of normativity and relations of domination and subordination. The permeation of these critiques is perhaps most evident in mainstream emphases on ‘difference’ and social constructivism. 1993). but theory production has arguably been a contributory mechanism in the creation of precisely many of those socially problematic circumstances that social work sets out to address. 1996). Here attention shifts to the assumptions embedded in theory and the way in which these assumptions become embedded in projects of nation-building. into the very heart of our response-or. examined the epistemology underpinning the Enlightenment belief in the replacement of an institutionalised theological belief system with one which emphasised Reason and the limitless capacity of human knowledge. so that what may be ‘true’ at one historical moment is rendered false later. and reproducing. For the species not only overarches but contains all . 1997). for example. pointing to a normalization of ‘Whiteness’ in the construction of conceptual and political subjects. In short. Roediger (1994) examines a similar process in American history and nation-building.f. Under the impact of post-structuralism. and in policy initiatives. that there are other ways of understanding this history which suggest a very different interpretation of the Enlightenment and its effects on social life. the critical interrogation of ‘totalising’ discourses. Even where the foundations of poststructuralist epistemology are rejected there is a much greater appreciation of the problems associated with universalism and linear structures. Where then. or for revealing and endorsing particular interpretations and meanings of social and political progress.tinction we were being asked to choose between. hierarchical political movements. This legacy enters social work in various ways (see Taylor. an unpackaging of the assumptions and premises of theory construction has severely undermined the ‘theory as truth and guide to practice’ position. not be predicted.. a backlash against the conjoining of knowledge and power has been manifest in many locations. The pervasiveness of this discourse entrenches and normalizes symbolic representations and values both culturally and materially within the institutions of modern life (c. such that it is impossible to arrive at any one fixed. and socio-political spheres shot through with asymmetries of power (Penna and O’Brien. rather. Goldberg. the decline in membership of organised. The social sciences are ‘deeply implicated’ in the building of a racist culture and in the ‘hegemony of symbolic violence’ underpinning social systems (Goldberg. produced in. critiques which have resulted in major debates over how we can know our world and what valid knowledge claims can be made (c.Briskman. on the one hand. Professor at Wesleyan University. science constantly shifts its parameters. and the survival of the species. for it leads. say. This brief outline cannot do justice to the sophistication and breadth of the critique of Enlightenment theory. pages 136-137) Implicit in everything that I have said so far about the nuclear predicament there has been a perplexity that I would now like to take up explicitly. and demonstrate that many truths and experiences of social life coexist that make it impossible to provide an overarching account that explains everything. 1999). not be subject to fool-proof risk assessment. particularly that associated with Foucault and Derrida . Derrida 'deconstructed' major traditions in western social thought. Post-structuralism. Extinction outweighs ethics Schell. 2002) work on ‘race’ and racialization traces this process of embedding through an examination of the ways in which Enlightenment thought depended upon a racialized subject of social action and object of social theory.
though death were a thing situated some. poverty. it seems to offer the mind nothing to take hold of. Provoked by the academic manifestations of this problem Di Leonardo (1990) echoes Merod and laments: Has there ever been a historical era characterized by as little radical analysis or activism and as much radical-chic writing as ours? Maundering on about Otherness: phallocentrism or Eurocentric tropes has become a lazy academic substitute for actual engagement with the detailed histories and contemporary realities of Western racial minorities. in a way. If the worst terror we can envisage is the threat not to be allowed to speak. the situation and its consequences are not overlooked by scholars from marginalized groups. He notes that academic lip service to the oppositional is underscored by the absence of focused collective or politically active intellectual communities. Unlike postmodern “textual radicals” who Rabinow (1986) acknowledges are “fuzzy about power and the realities of socioeconomic constraints” (p. v.” unsupported by substantial analysis of the concrete contexts of subjects. concrete situation” (p. despite their adversarial posture and talk of opposition. as Clarke (1991) asserts. and injustice. Although the material conditions that create the situation of marginality escape the purview of the postmodernist. Journal. 2-27) The realm of the discursive is derived from the requisites for human life. and transportation. Ph. racism. or to kill someone to improve his character. those who have limited access to good jobs. but even to point out this absurdity fails to take the full measure of the peril of extinction. 170). will. as well as to the media that depict them. because . rather. In short. One even feels it inappropriate. “Other Ways” Southern Comm.the benefits of life in the common world. it is through the coercion that threatens speech that we enter the “realm of terror” and society falls apart. Professor of Speech at Central Michigan University. as if one were to burn down a house in an attempt to redecorate the living room. as a fundamental element of our being. 299). in turn. how. 255). not just textual” (p. and this. without whom everything there is loses its value. Robinson (1990) for example. but its projection onto the rest of the world would be calamitous….where outside us and available for objective inspection. Only through concrete action can we hope to bring about change of any sort—scholars from marginalized groups agree Taft-Kaufman 95 (Jill. it is we ourselves. The political sympathies of the new cultural critics. and. It would be more appropriate. and to speak of sacrificing the species for the sake of one of these benefits involves one in the absurdity of wanting to destroy something in order to preserve one of its parts. It may be the intellectual’s conception of terror (what else do we do but speak?). as. housing. postmodern emphasis on new subjects conceals the old subjects." in Dostoevski's phrase-is that. we are appallingly ignorant of terror in its elaborate contemporary forms. Iss. white women.ever. Death. Clarke replies: I can think of few more striking indicators of the political and intellectual impoverishment of a view of society that can only recognize the discursive. perhaps. indeed. Postmodern emphasis on the discursive without an accompanying analysis of how the discursive emerges from material circumstances hides the complex task of envisioning and working towards concrete social goals (Merod. West (1988) asserts that borrowing French post-structuralist discourses about “Otherness” blinds us to realities of American difference going on in front of us (p.” and “difference. precisely because it removes the person himself rather than something in his life. from UC Berkeley. for mankind is not some invaluable object that lies outside us and that we must protect so that we can go on benefiting from it. 60. (p. 530) Clarke’s assessment of the postmodern elevation of language to the “sine qua non” of critical discussion is an even stronger indictment against the trend. 3) The postmodern passwords of “polyvocality. with their ostensible concern for the lack of power experienced by marginalized people.acteristics of death-"tomorrow's zero. One of-the confounding char. 571). Merod (1987) decries this situation as one which leaves no vision. argues that “the justice that working people deserve is economic. Lopez (1992) states that “the starting point for organizing the program content of education or political action must be the present existential. food. rather than in a world of ideas or symbols. their discourses on intertextuality and inter-referentiality isolate them from and ignore the conditions that have produced leftist politics—conflict. Hey Race Teams! No Link of Omission Here: Raising discursive analysis above concrete action obscures ways for us to fight against social oppression and serves to only further silence oppressed peoples. Yet. People whose lives form the material for postmodern counter-hegemonic discourse do not share the optimism over the new recognition of their discursive subjectivities. which are in the physical world.(pp. "thinks" in us and through us about whatever we think about. or any Third World population.” “Otherness. health care. coloring our thoughts and moods with its presence throughout our lives. aligns them with the political left. To this assertion. 1987). to say that death. shelter. most writers from marginalized groups are clear about how discourse interweaves with the concrete circumstances that create lived experience. and protection are basic human needs that require collective activity for their fulfillment. to try to speak "about" death at all. Spring. places the mind in a quandary.D. To say this is another way of saying that extinction is unique not because it destroys mankind as an object but because it destroys mankind as the source of all possible human subjects. creates a solipsistic quagmire.(4) Nutrition. for one's own individual death is the end not of any object in life but of the subject that experiences all objects. therefore. is another way of saying that extinction is a second death. Clarke examines Lyotard’s (1984) The Postmodern Condition in which Lyotard maintains that virtually all social relations are linguistic. or commitment to activism. an essential part of what we are. when the fact is that it is within us-is.
Diligent reporters may turn to political scientists for a useful primer on a new beat. Jeff Zeleny of The New York Times is hardly averse to political science—he studied it as an undergraduate. suggests that the occupant of the Oval Office is. simple explanations are often married to an almost monastic skepticism of narratives that can’t be substantiated. that might involve “testing and perhaps contesting propositions from journalists or commentators. while not questioning that a president’s effectiveness matters. and can list the names of academics he’s relied on. You can’t go into abstract theories. either. public opinion and voter behavior. Ezra Klein. a professor of political science at George Washington University and a contributor to the early group blog Crooked Timber. But they’re not often looking to it for inspiration. and to provide commentary on current political events—a task. most journalists aren’t looking to start a fight with political science. In June 2007. In press accounts. coupled with instant speculation about their meaning— that has become a staple of modern political reporting? Indeed. while economists had colonized the wonkier regions of the blogosphere in the same way they’d taken over many D. The need to look beyond texts to the perception and attainment of concrete social goals keeps writers from marginalized groups ever-mindful of the specifics of how power works through political agendas. or that are based in data—like voter’s accounts of their own thinking about politics—that are unreliable. 2010) While Bai’s tone verged on the scornful. in many ways. In November 2007. and the budgets that fuel them. Political Scientist. “The reality is. there have been signs that views are shifting. These powerful. That perspective differs from the standard journalistic point of view in emphasizing structural.cjr. Or consider the president. Ideas have consequences. The post. And his ability to move Congress. sexism. or the public. The Monkey Cage—the name comes from an H. But perhaps The Monkey Cage’s greatest influence has been in fostering a nascent poli-sci blogosphere. lazy ones know how to use the field’s “quote machines” to pad a story. in the press. Sides presciently acknowledged in a mission statement. Farrell says. and in making the field’s insights accessible to a small but influential set of journalists and other commentators who have the inclination—and the opportunity—to approach politics from a different perspective. His agenda lives or dies on Capitol Hill. who’d been tinkering with the idea of a blog devoted to expanding the field’s audience. policy shops. his stock fluctuating almost daily depending on his ability to “connect” with voters. explanations for political outcomes. and the challenge to journalists becomes obvious: If much of what’s important about politics is either stable and predictable or unknowable.such an acknowledgment does not address sufficiently their collective historical and current struggles against racism. agencies. while not nonexistent. homophobia.000 unique visitors in peak months. sharply constrained. institutions.C. And it has attracted a respectable audience as a niche blog.” The site quickly established credibility among political scientists. made it “very clear that there was a demand out there for political science”—and he encouraged his GW colleague John Sides. legislative deal-making and money-grubbing—the relevance of a field in which an idea might gestate for two years before seeing print to a news cycle that turns over three times a day is not always obvious. editor of the Columbia Journalism Review. But when it comes to daily coverage of the core subjects of political life—elections and campaigns. and economic injustice. “Embrace the Wonk” http://www. His approval ratings—and re-election prospects—rise and fall with the economy.php?page=2 June 10th. But political-science research.” In recent years. he comes across as alternately a tragic or a heroic figure.” The call yielded almost no response—evidence that. he says. it’s a newspaper story or a Web story. The rise of partisan polarization in Congress is often explained. But Klein’s item caught the eye of Henry Farrell. from the perspective of political science. They do not appreciate being told they are living in a world in which there are no more real subjects. But there are reasons for it—such as the increasing ideological coherence of the two parties. to meet it. much of the media criticism on The Monkey Cage is directed at narratives that. put out a request for links to bloggers “who aggregate and keep track of political science research. Think about that for a moment. As journalists go. Emphasizing the discursive self when a person is hungry and homeless represents both a cultural and humane failure. rather than personalitybased. But for most of what he writes. with a good speech or a savvy messaging strategy is. It had two central goals: to publicize political science research. as a consequence of a decline in civility. what’s the value of the sort of news—a hyperactive chronicle of the day’s events. and procedural changes that create new incentives to band together—that have nothing to do with manners. are either irrelevant . L. then an associate editor for the liberal journal The American Prospect. Journalists can’t understand—political science shows most political journalism to be widely inaccurate Marx 2010 (Greg Marx. though. political scientists had largely ceded the terrain.org/feature/embrace_the_wonk_1. a prisoner of circumstance. drawing more than 30. Mencken line about the nature of democracy—was launched.
I know political science is a buzzkill.” This is the sort of thing that John Balz—the son of veteran Washington Post political reporter Dan Balz. “And no one gets paid to say ‘We don’t and can’t know. Sides wrote numerous posts noting the weakness of the data about voter opinion there and faulting journalistic efforts to divine the meaning of Scott Brown’s victory. unhelpful answers. In the wake of the special election in Massachusetts. “Yes. “from a journalistic perspective.” . student in political science at the University of Chicago—might be referring to when he says the field produces what are.D. and a Ph.or unverifiable.” he wrote in one.’ But that’s what we should be saying.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?