This will be a shorter entry about these topics than I normally write for a variety of reasons, the largest of which is because people better qualified than I are speaking to these issues and probably have more intellectual street cred.

First, I think everyone can agree that there are some serious flaws in our government systems.  Yes it’s relatively stable, but it can be inefficient, grid-locked, and maddeningly nonprogressive.  Perhaps that’s better than revolutions, revolts, or even changing parliamentary coalitions, but that’s not my point today.

The United States is in the midst of an economic crisis—and I use that word quite deliberately.  We have issues we need to address and they go far beyond the quagmire of partisan politics we see and hear every day.  Both sides are to blame, despite their hyperbolic claims.

This article is written by an economic expert who has covered national finances for 20 years whose main point is that political groups are putting their interests above the greater good of the country and are weakening the nation as a result.

George Friedman has been in the intelligence business for some 20 years and is an expert on geopolitics—the forces that govern our interconnected world.  His article compares three economic crises (the US, Europe, and China) and the political antecedents and reactions to these crises.  He warns that politics and the economy are intimately linked, and can feed each other into a viscous cycle until one of them breaks.

Warren Buffet is the third richest person in the world ($50+ billion) and he argues that Congress should stop coddling the rich.  If he sees the sense in increased revenue sources for the government, maybe we should listen to him.

Not the all corporations are the boogey man, but something needs to be done about their influence and power in controlling the nation’s interest.  Not only did the Supreme Court equate corporations to people (and granting them the protections and privileges that that entails), but, in the same ruling (Citizens United v. FEC), the Court also ruled to remove limitations on “soft” money from political campaigns (soft money is a loop hole allowing massive contributions to support federal candidates in a slightly round-about way).  By the way, the cost of the 2012 presidential election is expected to reach $1 billion.  And for all you parents out there, this article describes the detrimental effects corporations have on our children, from targeted advertising to toxic contamination.

Finally, if we can get past our partisan politics, Mickey Edwards, a former member of Congress, describes how we can all get back on the bandwagon to fixing our country in 6 manageable steps.  Since he’s been there and seen the problems, again, we might want to listen to him.

I hope you take the time to read these articles and think about these issues. The country’s fate is in our hands because we, the people, elect those who represent us and make the decisions that will put the United States on the road to recovery, or keep it on the tracks to a fading world power.