Kerry choice for technology-minded
The one major campaign issue that is overlooked is how each candidate plans on advancing technology and making America more competitive in the world. Graduating from one of the highest ranking engineering and computer science schools in the nation entails electing a government that will promote your school and your career goals. A CMU student should consider how each candidate plans to tackle making education more affordable, making a high-tech career more obtainable, and promoting a society with the highest quality of life.
Bush?s administration issued a report praising outsourcing as a factor that will provide long-term benefits to the U.S. economy. In the face of dismal job recovery since the recession, Bush has had difficulty articulating a credible policy promising job growth. During the third Presidential debate, Bush could only suggest that voters who have difficulty finding work try to obtain a college degree. Ironically, public and private colleges have raised tuition by over 10 and 5 percent, respectively, every year under Bush. Meanwhile, Bush has frozen the level of Pell grants and the Federal Work Study Program three years in a row. He wants to cut other grants and low-interest federal loans, while increasing subsidies to banks to provide higher interest loans. Kerry has focused on closing the loopholes towards bank subsidies, which would help fund aid for college students. Kerry would offer state budgets a billion dollars in reserves to help contain tuition. He wants to offer a more expansive tax credit for college students to use for all four years of college. Furthermore, he wants to look into offering civil or volunteer work to pay for college.
Bush?s proposed fiscal year 2005 budget projects cuts for the Department of Energy and Department of Commerce. This would kill several grant initiatives, such as the Advanced Technology Program, which funds research in information technology and developing software that allows manufacturing plants to retool and reconfigure quickly. The University of Alaska will lose its ability to research electronic cataloging and distance learning technologies, which could bridge the technology gap between rural and urban communities. These cuts would burden efforts to upgrade our national labs and government technology infrastructure that, as seen from the widespread power outage in the northeast during the summer of 2003, is long outdated. According to the Economist, America has slipped several spots in broadband technology and ?e-readiness? since 2001. John Kerry understands that technological advancement requires leadership willing to provide active promotion and funding for these initiatives in the same spirit as John F. Kennedy did with the aerospace industry.
Currently, Bush is unwilling to produce an energy policy beyond drilling into the Alaskan emergency oil reserves. Not addressing a future energy crisis based on oil dependence is huge risk to America. Kerry has the most ambitious plan to modernize our energy policy of any recent presidential candidate. In 2002, Kerry co-sponsored a bill to pressure the automobile industry to finally raise fuel economy standards again. Kerry currently offers a tax incentive to companies that produce electric hybrid cars to offset expenses in exploring alternative energy. Kerry also promises to fund utilization and research of ethanol, a measure that has shown results and provide a huge boost to the agricultural industry. The best means of raising energy efficiency is to offer decent competition to the dominating oil industry.
Forty-eight Nobel prize-winning scientists have enthusiastically endorsed John Kerry because they know Kerry will base public policy on scientific discoveries, not political ideologues. More than five thousand scientists, including former Bush employees, have charged the current administration with manipulating, censoring, and abusing the process of scientific inquiry, especially within the scope of environment, public health, technology, and energy exploration. Kerry will bring all parties to the tab le and acknowledge their opinions before making decisions, as opposed to the current president who has ignored, withdrawn from, or dismantled advisory councils or international treaties that arrive at conclusions that disagree with a political agenda. America needs a government that will make the most infor med decision to improve our quality of life, not to cater to a radical or lobbying minority.
You and I have a vested interest in this school, which contributes heavily to the high-tech industry. It is simply no contest on which candidate will be more focused enabling more growth and economic opportunity in this field. America needs a president like John Kerry who will take risks and look into more innovative energy policies, will make informed decisions, and will invest the most in technology.