November 2nd 2008

The Lilith eZine Sunday Edition

Letter from the Editor

In two days Americans vote on the future of the world.

That is just how powerful the United States presidency is. Regardless of the advances of China's economy, the USA still has the most influential economy and the current economic slowdown in America is effecting markets around the world.

Americans have to make a choice: Do they want change or more of the same. If they do vote for change it will send a fundamental message to the world that America is turning a new page in its history books, that the Bush era is coming to an end and the philosophy of "attack first, ask questions later" will be over.

That isn't to say Barack Obama won't lead America into war. This is the United States we're talking about. They average a major military engagement every 4 years. Every president since the birth of the United States has been involved in some kind of military incursion. What will change is the reasoning behind how Americans go to war, if and when they go to war.

When the United States went into Afghanistan it made sense to remove the Taliban from power and hunt down Al-Qaeda members. But when the Bush Administration went into Iraq it was based on phony charges of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Behind that the belief that Iraq would somehow be better off without Saddam Hussein, who had brutally stamped out religious violence between the Sunni and Shia sects. With Hussein's authority gone and the USA's authority tarnished that violence has returned.

What will also change is the idea that America's economy can just rumble on without regulation or supervision. Bush has been so focused on his war on terrorism that he has virtually ignored the failing American economy, an economy that is like a central cog to the world economy and when it slows down the whole world slows down. Bush's approach to economics has been to do nothing. Just let the market regulate itself.

And so it has, with disastrous results. Banks gave out too many sub-prime mortgages, the economy faltered, houses lost their value, people defaulted on the mortgages and the banks ended up owning properties they couldn't sell because the housing market had collapsed. So now the banks own a lot of land they paid too much for and don't have the money to pay for other investment opportunities. Hence the current credit crisis.

A president who had paid attention to the economy could have spotted the warning signs and pushed for changes to the banking/mortgage industry, could have stimulated and boosted the economy and staved off a housing market collapse.

So the question for Americans on Tuesday is: Who do you think will keep a watchful eye on the economy? John McCain or Barack Obama? The world awaits your answer.

Suzanne MacNevin
Editor of the Lilith eZine

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