2017 SOTU Backdrop Part III – Congressional Stalemate & U.S. Debt Limit

Purpose of this item is to provide researchers the ability to evaluate activities of the administration and congress in relationship to 1) external governance, global issues which are addressed in Part I and Part II; and 2) internal governance issues.

Congressional stalemate or gridlock in politics refers to a situation when there is difficulty passing laws that satisfy the needs of the people. A government is gridlocked when the ratio between bills passed and the agenda of the legislature decreases. Reference for the Federal Government of the United States. (Wikipedia)

External and Internal Governance:

President of the United States: Directs the foreign (external) and domestic (internal) policy of the United States. Since the office of President was established in 1789, its power has grown substantially, as has the power of the Federal Government as a whole. The Cabinet of the United States includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments, and supports the nations objectives while performing their responsibilities under the direction of president.

External Governance:

The Administration and Congress have agreed to external monitoring and control of the business of the citizens of the United States via the New World Order. The term New World Order prior to agreements leading up-to establishment of global, external governance, was considered a conspiracy theory. Today, it is an acknowledged and accepted term used in reference to the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), and their monitoring and governance organizations consisting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, World Trade Organization (WTO), and "Open Borders.”

Internal Governance:

United States Congress: Consists of two chambers, the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. The references give a broad overview of their purpose, functions and powers.

114th United States Congress: A standard format and accessible reference documenting major events and legislation, constitutional amendments, states, party summaries, leadership and members, committees, employees and additional information is provided on Wikipedia. Coverage begins with the 1st United States Congress in 1789 and continues to the current congress. External links to each of the postings is located in the footer. The 115th United States Congress posting provides the current status after the election.

Government Stalemate and Gridlock Examples:

Supreme Court wades into immigration reform and gridlock. Democrats and Republicans have been in a protracted battle over immigration reform for years.

How concerning is U.S. political gridlock? Questions about the health of America’s political institutions and the future of its global leadership have become rampant, with some citing partisan gridlock as evidence of America’s decline.

U.S. trade policy gridlock. The success of international trade negotiations is in doubt. Under our Constitution’s Commerce Clause, Congress has ultimate responsibility to regulate domestic and foreign commerce. However, in recent decades Congress has generally granted the President Trade Promotion Authority.

Budget gridlock could derail B-21 bomber. Faced with the prospect that Congress will once again fail to pass a budget on time this year, the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force is warning that long-term budget gridlock could derail the next-generation B-21 bomber. ...

Congressional Budget Office (CBO), indicates the 2017 budget deficit will exceed $559 billion.
US Debt Clock provides a good snapshot of data on wide range of economic issues.

The budget for fiscal year 2017 has been passed and the economy is rebounding, creating 14 million jobs. The unemployment rate is below five percent for the first time in almost eight years, and deficits have been cut setting the Nation on a more sustainable fiscal path. What does the GAO have to say?

Fiscal Outlook and Debt: Action is needed to address the federal government’s fiscal future.

Congress and the new administration face serious economic, security, and social challenges that will require difficult policy choices in the short term about the level of federal spending and investments as well as ways to obtain needed resources.

Decisions to enhance economic growth and address national policies need to be accompanied by a fiscal plan to put the government on a path that is more sustainable over the long term.

This report is intended to illuminate the need for a long-term fiscal plan and answer key questions about:

Significant changes to the government’s fiscal condition in fiscal year 2016.

Long-term fiscal projections that show the federal government is on an unsustainable path.

Fiscal risks that are placing additional pressure on the federal budget.

Opportunities for executive agencies to contribute to fiscal sustainability.

2017 SOTU Backdrop Part II – New World Order & International Trade

New World Order: This term was previously considered a conspiracy theory, and has become an acceptable term for international political efforts. The League of Nations, Bretton Woods System, United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), European Parliament, and Open Borders. (Wikipedia)

The New World Order ultimately leads to individual member nations surrendering, or subjugating, their individual national authority to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, World Trade Organization (WTO), European Union (EU), United Nations (UN) and “Open Borders.” The New World Order is essentially an initial attempt to bring about common results for citizens of the world. Member nations may have decisions by the EU and UN enacted and enforced within their own borders without their agreement. Recently, the previous administration allowed the Anti-Israel UN Resolution Against Settlements to pass by abstaining.

What are the costs by nation of peacekeeping operations? The chart for 2016-2018 indicates the U.S contribution to be 28.36 Billion of an overall total of 53.03 Billion for the entire UN. (United Nations General Assembly)

Yoshihiro Fukuyama discusses in his paper on The End of History, what is written and intended, is frequently interpreted and enacted differently between nations, as a result of differing political and religious belief systems, and languages. Fukuyama points out significant efforts can take centuries, and most possibly fail. The New World Order is such an effort, attempting to bring about common results for citizens of the world. (Wikipedia)

Status of Nations:

World Economic Situation and Prospects: Joint product report of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA) and seven additional UN and external organizations. The report is lengthy and extensive. The Executive Summary states more than seven years after the global financial crisis, policymakers around the world still face enormous challenges in stimulating investment and reviving global growth.

The world economy has been held back by several major headwinds: persistent macroeconomic uncertainties and volatility; low commodity prices and declining trade flows; rising volatility in exchange rates and capital flows; stagnant investment and diminishing productivity growth; and a continued disconnect between finance and real sector activities. This comment is supported by the upcoming item on U.S. International Trade.

Global Peace Index 2016: The report is published by The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) which is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace as a positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human well-being and progress.

World's most and least peaceful countries in 2016. Currently, violence costs 13.3% of the Worlds GDP annually, or 13 trillion, 300 billion dollars. This equates to 5$ per person daily, and $1,876 annually. Since 2008, there has been a 286% increase in deaths from violence. Possibly as expected, Syria was the least peaceful country in 2016, and by far had the most refugees fleeing to find refuge. (Forbes)

The discussion of international trade deserves significant study. Impact of initiatives implemented by members of the New World Order as identified in Part I, have created an imbalance in economic activity of member nations. In Part I, the paper published by Francis Fukuyama, "The End of History," provides a good view of how the enlightened can be rather superficial, unable to recognize the underlying currents and rebirth of a new era of conflict. The point is made that theory expressed regarding proposed outcomes prior to the attempt to engage in, or change course from one political system to another, is rarely experienced as expected. Overall, movement over time, tends to strive for liberalism. Excessive liberalism can overburden political and economic systems resulting in collapsing a liberal government. (repeated from Part I)

Economic, political, religious, and religious-political systems propose lofty worldwide efforts and coordination in achieving equality. However, after establishing and implementing policy, return to their home nation internal issues. Organizations established and implemented by the New World Order are left to staffs and working committees such as the Group of Eight, including definition of the Group of 20, and the Group of Seven which meet at established intervals. (Wikipedia)

Narrowing the focus from international to national, the United States, to evaluate past and current outcomes of international trade and the long-term effects. The following data provide some insight into national economies with the worst trade account balances, the result of improperly managed New World Order initiatives, in this case, the World Trade Organization (WTO).

U.S. Exports vs: Imports 1992-2016

Consider this, when produced domestically, instead of imported, the ($9,975,399) net export loss [that is 9 trillion, 975 billion and 399 million] at the minimal case MMF of 250% would have exceeded over . . . $24,938,498 [24 trillion, 938 billion and 498 million] more dollars of domestic GDP in production and spending, and . . . $12,469,248 [12 trillion, 468 billion and 248 million] more dollars in taxes and fee revenue, and a heck of a lot more jobs. But the truth is it would have been much higher than that given annual compounding. Keep in mind this is minimal and reflects a factor based on 1992-1995, before congress began subjugation of the economy to the WTO under the New World Order.

Additional effects of imbalance in World Trade result in transfer of ownership interests in raw materials, finance, and distribution systems. The World Bank provides a significant resource for review in this regard. Essentially, raw materials ownership and finance realign with the production factor. And, outcome of the production factor align with the shipment of new products. In this regard, China has expanded greatly in the ownership and operations of these assets.

Additionally, as a nation pursues imports vice previously produced products and services, the infrastructure that had existed to support them, and provided taxes and fees to develop and maintain them, diminish. Therefore, previously existing infrastructure become underfunded, and the call is frequently for government funding to maintain and develop infrastructure.

Savings from the imbalance of imports are overrated. To arrive at the true cost, the cost of maintaining the infrastructure abandoned, unemployment insurance payments, food stamps, medical care provided and other welfare costs associated with the loss of employment are in fact a cost that should be added to the price of imported goods and services.

The world's 10 biggest ports. Seven of the 10 biggest ports in the world by cargo volume are in China. The remaining three are in Singapore, the Netherlands and South Korea. The world's leading import countries.

2017 SOTU Backdrop Part I – Prolog

Backdrop for the stage of the Address by President Trump will be set in the minds of the audience based on their knowledge, experience, interpretations of current issues, and expectations for the future.

Each viewer will paint a mental picture of the setting, as if to form an impressionist canvas depicting objects of the issues and their relationships as understood by them.

Coit Tower Murals: The frescoes of the interior of Coit Tower depict the rise of the proletarian movement and with it the trend of social realism in art. The proletariat is a term for the class of wage-earners (especially industrial workers), in a capitalist society, whose only possession of significant material value is their labor-power (their ability to work); a member of such a class is a proletarian. (Wikipedia)

Viewers will represent every income and experience level; labor, farming, clerical, law enforcement, military, industrial, education, financial, government, health, sales, construction, technology and more. They will represent native Americans, immigrants, employees of foreign countries and companies, visitors, the entire membership of the United Nations countries and their many differing political and religious systems and beliefs.

They will have personal experience with, although may not have heard of, or understand, the international systems created by the Bretton Woods System in July of 1944. This system ultimately led to the creation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the European Union (EU), and “Open Borders” between many European nations. A system frequently referred to as “The New World Order.” (Wikipedia)

The industrial robots industry are keen investors in robotics. Automation and wireless digital communications coupled together via mobile devices provide the ability to design and manufacture products and provide services on a worldwide basis. Technology transfer has resulted in many viewers, national and international, both gaining and losing jobs and careers because of automation. (International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development)

Viewers will also represent areas of political conflict and open warfare, many of whom will be current immigrants to European countries and the U.S., whether participants in the strife, or refugees from it. Most will have personally lost family, homes and businesses.

The long-term conflict in the Middle East is grounded in religious-political belief systems. And, under current, extremely deteriorated conditions, appears unsolvable, resulting in a middle east pullback by the U.S. (Foreign Affairs The Magazine)

"The End of History" published by Francis Fukuyama in The National Interest, Summer 1989. The paper predates current events in the Middle East, and mentions that many writers were predicting that “peace” seemed to be breaking out in many regions of the world. It marked the end of the Cold War Era, and essentially the “End of History” in that all would be stable going forward. Fukuyama's paper addresses many concepts of government.

The paper provides a good view of how the enlightened can be rather superficial, unable to recognize the underlying currents and rebirth of a new era of conflict. The point is made that theory expressed regarding proposed outcomes prior to the attempt to engage in, or change course from one political system to another, is rarely experienced as expected. Overall, movement over time, tends to strive for liberalism. Excessive liberalism can overburden political and economic systems resulting in collapsing a liberal government.

It could be postulated that the Bretton Woods System set in place just that possibility. Brexit could be the first breakaway from the European Union, and international systems put in place by it. These systems are currently the foundation of global turmoil in financial and international trade relations.

Given the national and international backdrop, the following review items should be addressed annually by the President in the State Of The Union (SOTU) Address.

1. Prolog. (Part I)
2. New World Order and Status of Nations. (Part II)
3. International Trade. (Part II)
4. Congressional Stalemate. (Part III)
5. U.S. Debt Limit (Part III)
6. National Defense and Security. (Part IV)
7. Immigration. (Part IV)
8. Unemployment and Underemployment. (Part V)
9. Government Agencies and Regulation. (Part VI)
10. Affordable Healthcare. (Part VII)
11. Education. (Part VIII)

The items listed above represent a review of legislative and fiscal health at the national level. Reviews are based on available federal data, and information published based on the data. National defense and security are addressed in relationship to congress and the administration regarding external and internal responsibilities. Items not included in this review are the financial community, military, and more which may be added.

Complex Ordered Issues and Systems Model

COMPLEX can range from very limited number of interacting parts OR components, as in a pair of glasses, to very large number of interacting parts AND components, as in the space station.

In each case, we are dealing with the knowable, using defined and rigorous processes, consisting of proven science and strategic management techniques.

Each case, glasses and the space station, are treated and experienced as “evolving” over time. True, they represent the physical world in their initial and final design. However, the science and processes used in their initial development evolve, providing the foundation to improve the initial design, production, maintenance and dispositions via in-service changes.

Included in any development project, there will be unknowns. However, that should be an expectation, and it is understood that there is a process in place to resolve them to satisfaction.

There are environmental, and human-object interface issues. These are also included expectations in the hypothesis, and have rigorous scientific approaches to resolution with the physical.

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Success with Complex Issues and Systems

There is a tested and proven, logical hierarchy, to the development of, and resolution of, problems, within complex issues and systems.

Complex Issues and Systems Examples:

Climate Change - Financial Crisis - Cause of Poverty - Telecommunications Systems - Transportation Systems - Operating Rooms - Space Vehicles

Analysis and Resolution Techniques: Issues and systems are sets of interconnected things, or parts, forming a complex whole. A set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method. Designing and developing services and products with the application of flow charts, algorithms, statistics, failure mode effects and criticallity analysis (FMECA), fault tree analysis (FTA), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML)

The Scientific Method:

At first blush (as a first impression), the scientific method may seem a little over the top for some issues and systems development activities. However, this method has ordered procedures, which ultimately lead to successful completion in the shortest time, with the least cost in terms of time and money. And, is equally adaptable to issues and systems.

Further Elaboration:

Complex defines issues and systems consisting of many different and connected parts. Complex is synonymous with terms: compound, composite and multiplex.

Complex issues and systems have “Objectives” which have well defined qualities and outcomes, in that they are NOT influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

Complex objectives are well-defined, planned and coordinated activities in issues and systems development, support, management and use. The supporting foundation of complex issues and systems are professional fields of study, including biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, psychology, physics, human and tectological interface . . . and more.

Whatever the issues or systems under consideration are, they are managed by a hierarchy referred to as the Strategic Management System. Government and education are external influences acting on the process and can either support or distract from successful completion of the process.

Complicated also defines issues and systems consisting of many different parts that may or may not be connected in a logical sequence. Complicated can be synonymous with terms: complex, intricate, involved, convoluted, tangled, impenetrable, tricky, bewildering, perplexing.

Complicated issues and systems are frequently “Subjective” in that they are based on personal feelings, tastes and opinions. Complicated issues and systems have multiple parts or groups of varied professional fields, which MAY influence one another without well-defined, planned and coordinated activities.

Confusion is a state of uncertainty generally caused by “Middle” participants in a connected or disconnected system. Confusion can be synonymous with terms: mix up, confused, muddled, messed up, and snarled

Summary:

Successful completion of objectives is best accomplished by applying well-defined, planned and coordinated activities.

The Scientific Method is adaptable to both complex and complicated issues and systems.

Caution:

Confusion occurs when multiple groups are tasked with working on the same issue or design and development activities, and NOT using a coordinated process.

Confusion can also result when pursuing personal career objectives. Inability to acquire timely, relevant and accurate information can result in indecision and procrastination.

Confusion results in halted or reversed progress.

Recommendation:

Ensure complex issues and systems activities have clear, well-defined objectives, are planned and coordinated between all participating groups throughout the systems development, support, management and use cycle.

This applies equally, to pursuit of small to large complex issues and systems, and personal career objectives.