Mailbag: Tax Cuts and the GOP, Facebook Privacy, Kim Jong-Un 180, North Korean Prisoners

Charles from Kansas City, Missouri

Do you think the tax cuts legislation will be enough for the GOP to run on and galvanize their base supports this November?

Tax Cuts. Man, what an interesting topic. I tell you what, a little relief has been nice, but how long will that even last? That's beside the point and not your question. Check back later, I want to dive deeper into that topic.

As far as November goes, I do think the huge Tax Cut Legislation will play a huge role in how voters turn out and vote. Even if you don't want to admit it, money talks. This was a huge win for the GOP. Think about it like this, if I am someone who saw in the news a Republican President bragging about a huge Tax Cut and then the next day saw an increased paycheck, that would make me feel really good. If the Republicans are helping me this much, why not keep them in office and see what else they can do? Will it be enough? Time will tell. I think a lot is riding on President Trump and how he acts over these next couple of months. Nothing will get done because legislators are now focused on the elections and preparing their campaigns, so the President will determine a lot.

Keep an eye on the daily Trump News! 

 

Charles from Kanas City, Missouri

Do you think Facebook willingness to better protect users privacy is genuine? Given the fact that their entire business model is selling users information to advertisers.

I don't know where I stand on this issue. I find myself going back and forth all the time on how I feel about users privacy and data. It's unbelievable that, as we speak, private data is being sold on some deep market to be used however the highest bidder sees fit. That's scary. However, I also feel like users should know that anything they post on the internet is public, in some way. As my dad always told me, why worry if you have nothing to hide? Even though your profile may be set to private, you still have friends that can use the things you post however they want to. 

To answer your question, after watching Mark Zuckerberg testify a couple weeks ago, I do think his answers were genuine. I do think Facebook will do everything they can to work with legislators in whatever way necessary. I also think legislation that keeps companies like Facebook honest is a really good idea. For example, if they are made aware of a data breach, they should by law be forced to let their users know what happened and what personal information could have been compromised. Let's stop pressuring them and put it into law. Beyond that, however, I think government needs to stay out of it. The more we regulate our social media, the more we lose our Freedom of Speech. 

 

Mark from Bloomington, Indiana 

Kim Jong Un has really seemed to do a "complete 180" in policy in recent weeks. Why do you think that is?

My opinion is that Kim Jong-Un has a much better understanding of reality than his father. 

Kim Jong-il saw his Country suffer through an awful famine that killed millions upon millions of innocent people. Despite this, he continued leading his Country in the way he always had. 

Kim Jong-Un, who was educated abroad and grew up in the age of the internet, is aware that outside influences are leaking into his Country at a significantly higher rate than his predecessors had to deal with. 

Between economic sanctions choking his nation's finances, and a growing sense of reality within his populace, I think Kim Jong-Un realizes that if he wants to remain in power, or even alive, that he needs to begin bending to the demands of outside influence. 

I personally believe that Kim Jong-Un recognizes these facts and is willing to make certain sacrifices to keep his control on the nation. No one likes to give up power, and the threat of him being humiliated as the leader that loses the favor of his nation's only ally, China, combined with the threat of Western Powers might be enough to force his hand. 

 

Lisa from Akron, Ohio

What do you think Kim Jong-Un will do about his political prisoners? All those camps? Do you think America will just sweep it under the rug?

Unfortunately, this is exactly what I think will happen. 

I think that, in the name of diplomacy, the US and other nations will ignore many of the inexcusable acts of the Kim dynasty for now. If the US and Co. (China, the West, South Korea, Japan, etc.) can ensure that North Korea will no longer be a nuclear threat, I think they will ignore some of the more intricate problems. 

For now. 

Unfortunately for all of those suffering, I agree that this is the right move to make at this time. 

North Korea is a legitimate threat to world stability now that they have nuclear capabilities. If the world can ensure that they are no longer a threat, then they can begin to focus on things like prisoner camps and the other human rights crises of the nation. 

My hope is that this summit goes well, Kim is sincere about denuclearization, and things settle down. Then perhaps next year, or at least before the next administration change in the US, we can begin focusing on these other issues. For now, the focus has to be world stability and a denuclearized Peninsula. 

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From the Contributor (Jake Gavin):

Obviously, the situation in North Korea has dominated the news cycle on and off for decades. I really hope we are finally coming to a solution here in 2018.

It upsets me that the atrocities committed in North Korea are just accepted as reality, if not straight up ignored. I have nothing that ties me directly to the people of North Korea, but I truly feel for them and wish nothing but the best for my fellow human. 

One quote has always stuck out to me and continues to motivate me when it comes to these issues:

"We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented...Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil." - Elie Wiesel 

Elie Wiesel is the famous holocaust survivor and the author of Night. Whenever I see situations like those suffering in North Korea, or Myanmar, or Syria, I always think of this quote. Hopefully the people of North Korea won't be suffering much longer and the next generation of North Koreans can truly enjoy happieness and comfort. 

Jake GavinComment