Gun Buyback Program Advocates Use Faulty Statistics

Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

In the wake of the Virginia Beach Shooting, we once again see calls for change in the world of guns. Why that never happens is a different story, but we once again hear a ruckus in favor of adopting the ‘Australian Model.’ It seems to be a tried and true example of mass gun reform that has concrete results, right?

Well, not exactly. The facts tend to be skewed around this method of gun reform, and whenever that happens it poses a threat to constructive discussion. To find out what to do about the Australian model of gun reform, we should first see what it actually was, see what the results are, and lastly figure out if it would work in the United States.

Read moreGun Buyback Program Advocates Use Faulty Statistics

The Australian Buyback Has Nothing to Offer Us

Australian buyback actual effect new zealand
Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

In the wake of the Christchurch massacre, we once again see calls for change in the world of guns. We also once again hear a ruckus in favor of adopting the ‘Australian Model’ or Australian buyback system. It seems to be a tried and true example of mass gun reform that has concrete results, right?

Well, not exactly. The facts tend to be inaccurate around this method of gun reform. Whenever that happens, it poses a threat to constructive discussion. To find out what to do about the Australian model of gun reform, we should first see what it actually was, see what the results are, and lastly figure out if it would work in the United States.

Read moreThe Australian Buyback Has Nothing to Offer Us

Trump’s Withdrawal from the TPP Hurts our Economy

In the fast-paced news cycle, there is a tendency to forget about news stories as they age. However, this does not mean they forget about us, and sometimes, they come back to haunt us. Just over a year ago, President Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Essentially, this move ceded leadership on trade to other participating nations, which will produce real consequences for the American economy.

Where We Stand

Currently, the 11 participating TPP nations are working to open the marketplace, eliminating many tariffs in a $14 trillion market. However, as President Trump removed the U.S. from this agreement, they will not directly benefit from it. On the contrary, after much deliberation, Canada has decided that inclusion in the partnership will bolster their economy. Naturally, the ten other member countries agree as well. It is true that the United States, through trade with Canada via the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), will still benefit to some degree, but these slim figures will pale in comparison to the growth that they could have seen through continued membership in the agreement.

Can Anything be Done?

Despite a poor outlook, it appears that leaders will not finalize the agreement until the end of the summer. Due to this, it is both possible and ideal that the more market-oriented members of Trump’s cabinet may persuade him to rejoin the agreement. Unfortunately, however, the president’s tough view on trade makes this re-entry appear unlikely.

Though Trump vehemently opposes the deal, he often forgets the massive benefits of free trade agreements, such as NAFTA. In the two decades following this deal, cross-border investment surged from $290 billion in 1993 to $1.1 Trillion in 2016. Member states of the TPP will likely see a similar surge due to the deal. Despite the existence of obvious benefits, our anti-trade president makes it highly unlikely that the U.S. will see them.

(Image courtesy of tpp.guide)

The USA is not the Best Country in the World

By James Sweet III | USA

US News & World Report has released its rankings of the best countries in the world, and the results may or may not shock you. Economic influence, citizenship, and quality of life were found among the 65 factors that were taken into consideration for this list. 21,000 men and women were asked to rank 80 countries based off of these factors. Surely, from what the American populace has been told, the United States would be number one. To the surprise of some, this is simply not true. In fact, the USA is not even in the top five. So, who placed where?

10. The Netherlands

Men and women selected the Netherlands as the tenth best country overall. Also, it was a top ten finisher in the following categories: most business-friendly, most modern, entrepreneurship, quality of life, best countries to headquarter a corporation, raising kids, travel alone, most transparent countries, green living, and women. Clearly, the Dutch nation, though small, seems to be very mighty.

9. France

France, though recently ravaged by terrorist attacks and political conflicts, ranked ninth overall. The culturally rich nation ranked in the top ten for the following factors: cultural influence, power, heritage & richest traditions, most influential, education, and starting a career. However, this shouldn’t come as a shock to many. The Eiffel Tower and many other pieces of French art and culture are renowned around the world.

8. The United States of America

Come on, America. Can’t you do better? After all, we are the land of the free and the home of the brave! Well, at least we ranked in the top ten for cultural influence, entrepreneurship, power, most forward-looking, most influential, and education. Some may disagree with this, but it seems that is how civilization sees the USA.

7. Australia

Our friends down under seemed to edge above us this time. Although they lost the Emu War, they won when it came to this list. Ranking top ten in cultural influence, most modern, quality of life, most-forward looking, best countries to headquarter a corporation, raising kids, traveling alone, green living, investing in, education, retiring comfortably, and women, it seems the Australians are having a fun time outback.

6. Sweden

Sweden, despite conflicts due to mass migration, once again finished with a spot in the top ten. The Scandinavian nation ranked highly in: most business-friendly, cultural influence, most modern, entrepreneurship, quality of life, best countries to headquarter a corporation, raising kids, transparency, green living, education, retiring comfortably, and women.

5. Japan

This shouldn’t come as a shock, considering that Japan is a peaceful, extravagant, culturally influential nation. This can be contrasted to the high levels of tension in much of Eastern Asia. Placing in the top ten for cultural influence, entrepreneurship, power, up & coming economies, most-forward looking, most influential, green living, and education, the island nation of Japan seems to have a bright future ahead of them.

4. The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island once used to rule the waves. Now, they rule the rankings. The former British Empire placed in the top ten for cultural influence, entrepreneurship, power, starting a business, most forward-looking, most influential, transparency, education, and starting a career. Despite a lack of unification within the nation, the UK finished with an impressive showing.

3. Germany

From Holy Roman Empire to Federal Republic, the nation of Germany has risen and fallen. Today, Germany is once again a leader of European and world politics. They placed in the top ten for: being the most modern, entrepreneurship, quality of life, power, most forward-looking, headquartering a corporation, most influential, transparency, green living, education, and women. Where’s the ranking for best bratwurst?

2. Canada

The culturally diverse nation of Canada finished as number two on this list. It’s always nice to see another North American nation on this list. #Represent. They were in the top ten for most business-friendly, most modern, entrepreneurship, quality of life, starting a business, most forward-looking countries, headquartering a corporation, raising kids, transparency, green living, education, retiring comfortably, and women.

1. Switzerland

Finally, the glorious Swiss Republic, known for its armed neutrality and semi-direct democracy, finished in first for the second year in a row. Unsurprisingly, they were ranked in the top ten for a number of categories. These include the most business-friendly, cultural influence, most modern, entrepreneurship, quality of life, starting a business, most forward-looking countries, headquartering a corporation, raising kids, transparency, green living, education, retiring comfortably and women.

If Switzerland’s name wasn’t there, many Americans would likely believe the USA was actually number one in the world.  Yet, we have seen that the USA only ranked as the eighth best country. Perhaps, the government should take some notes from the Swiss.

(Image courtesy of www.wonderfulengineering.com)