Symposium 2015: Federal and state governments are rife with fraud and waste. How do we combat this? Is there any way to stop this?

Cartwright—My friend here is exactly right that we need to shrink the size and scope of the federal government, and for that matter, all levels of government.  There was a bit of an uproar a couple years back when you had the picture of the guy from the GSA sitting in a bathtub at some Las Vegas Hotel; there were some resignation and righteous indignation from the left and the right, but at the end of the day, a few top people were sacrificed and nothing more happened.  The federal government is rife with wasteful and fraudulent spending just like this and everyone knows it but no one has the willpower to tackle the issue.  Billions of dollars are wasted with Social Security and Medicare fraud each year, but we let it happen and we will continue to let it happen.  Continue reading

Symposium 2015: Do video games contribute to youth violence?

Cartwright—I’m not sure that video games directly cause youth violence, but I think it may bring out aggression and exacerbate mental disorders in some people.  Youth that go and do something violent already have something wrong with them.  They don’t sit and play a video game and then decide to have a sandwich before carjacking someone.  Those who do something violent are either influenced by their environments or they have a screw loose somewhere along the line. Continue reading

Symposium 2015: Should members of the Congress be allowed to gain financially from their positions? What should we do about this, if anything?

Cartwright-No, politicians should not be allowed to profit from public service, but the reality is that they do.  The statistics on the wealth in the Congress is staggering.  The median net worth is over $1 million.  You have people in the Congress worth $400-$500 million dollars, and you have only a handful who are of very modest net worth.  The reality is that the Congress is full of a bunch of high net worth individuals making decisions that benefit themselves more than anyone.  They’re out of touch with every day Americans, and they can’t relate to every day Americans from their ivory towers in the insulated world of Washington, D.C. Continue reading

Symposium 2015: Do drones present a threat to individuals’ privacy and security?

Cartwright—The answer to the question is an unequivocal, “Yes.”  I love the idea of having drones used for police surveillance on criminals.  Hell, I even like having them armed to catch people who speed or run red lights and give them a ticket.  I certainly don’t favor drones in the hands of private citizens who want to invade their neighbors’ privacy.  This is one thing that needs to be stopped quickly and resolutely.  Local governments need to ban these just like they banned laser pointers.  No good will come from people having drones.  Ban them now.

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Symposium 2015: The last two presidential elections were rife with known voter fraud. How do we ensure that our elections remain open, free, and fair?

Cartwright—The instances of voter fraud in the last couple of elections is indisputable.  We had the whole Dallas Cowboys football vote in Ohio, even though I don’t think any of them were residents of Ohio.  Half of the Walt Disney character roster voted.  We have precincts where move votes were cast than there were registered voters.  And I was here in central Florida for the 2012 election.  We had a judge keep the polls open past established hours so that people could vote.  They were still voting the next day and the election was over.  All of this was fraud, but no has seemed to have an interest in investigating it and prosecuting the perpetrators.  Continue reading

Symposium 2015: Should the United States return to the gold standard or a similar standard?

Cartwright—Great concept, but this is not going to happen. It would be nearly impossible to return to the gold standard at this point without severely disrupting financial markets.  The dollar is strong right now against other currencies and inflation is relatively low.  Go back to World War I.  The US had double digit inflation for a couple years.  Same thing during World War II.  It’s nice to say that the gold standard would eliminate inflation but that’s not the case.  Economic history over the last hundred years or so doesn’t bear that out here.  Continue reading

Symposium 2015: How do we more effectively promote the use of alternative energy?

Cartwright—I’m all for the promotion of alternative energies, but this boils down to two things—economics and changing consumer behaviors in the form of incentives or disincentives.  I go back to my fuel surcharge and using part of the funds raised by that to invest in and promote alternative energies.  I think we should go off of the coast of just about every state and construct windmill.  Anyone who lives on the coast knows that those windmills would be turning all the time.  The government never does anything cheap or efficiently, so perhaps they offer up the opportunity to private industry with some sort of subsidy or tax credit funded by the fuel surcharge to build offshore windmills for energy purposes.  Do the same thing for businesses who are willing to build solar fields.  Continue reading