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B ecause we want our family to have a long history, too.

A t pfizer, we've cared for generations. Since 1849. we've refused to believe that the ills of the world can't be cured. We're determined to find cures for the diseases that touch all our famities. We search day in, day out, year in, year out

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looking for treatments for diabetes. for the cure for cancer, for new antibiotics to tight deadly new strains of bacteria. We've worked with a passion for over a century and a half.

:z:

This year we're devoting $5 billion to research. Why do we work so hard?

Because families are depending on us.

Life ;s ollr life'S work. www.pfi zer.com

I

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THE

RIpON ]FORUM Contents Publif;her

The Ripon Society

VOLUME 37 ' NUMBER I ' WINTER 2002

A Man for All Seasons .... .................................. .. ......................... . 5 David Wimtoll

Prnidml Hon. Bill Fren;eel

Executive Direclor

lAIri Halju

The TauziniDingell Bill ............................................... ......... ....... 6 IMllter B. M cCor1llick, 1r. alld 101m D. Willdhawen

ComnamicationI DiRaor, Editor

Scot Chri5lenson

Det.ignlrut Din:CI>on Christina F'. Valis

Production

CCI www.cci-serviccl .com

The Selective Service System ........................................................ 8 Scot Christenson

Welfare Reform: A M other's Work .............................................. 11 Rim H askills

A Ripon Interview with Shelley Moore Capito C 2002 by The Ripon Society All Rights Reserved One Year Subtaiplion: 125.00 individum 510.00 litudcnts Periodicals poStage p.ud

Winning West Virginia .......... ....... ........... .............. ..................... 13 Scot Christenson

Environmental Politics vs. Environmental Policy .. .. ..................... 16 l talia Federici

at Washington. D .C. and additional mailing offices. Postmaster. send address changel to: The Ripon Forum

Fortress North America .... ... ............................... ......................... 20 Scot ChristC11S01l

501 Capitol Court. NE Suile 300 Wu}Ungton, D.C 20002

The /Upon Forum (lSN 0035-5516) is published quarterlybyThe Ripon Society. The Ripon Society iii a resclrch and policyorpniution. II is headquartered in \Vuhington, D. C .. with National Associate members throughout the United States. Ripon is supported by chapter dues, individual contributions. and re\'Cnues from its publications. Comments,opinion editorials and letters to the magaune should be addressed to: The Ripon Forum, 501 Capitol Court. NE Suitt 300, \Vashington, D.C. 20002 or may be !r:lnsmilltd electronically to: ICllcrs@ripon5<X.org

Ripon forum â&#x20AC;˘ Winter 2002

)


Check out the Ripon Society website at www.riponsoc.org for the latest press releases, schedules of events, membership information and more! We value your opin-

ions and would like to hear from you. Email us at letters@riponsoc.orgormailyour comments, questions and concerns to:

Letters to the Editor 501 Capitol Court NE Suite 300 Washington, D.C. 20002 Gam NdJoI, 0" oIunuue tklq,otejrom Nt'W}~ rolks 'Xir" Omgrwitmol M;isQry B()iJrd mtmlxn Snw(Jr" SMSO" CdIiIlS (R·,\1oi~) a..d C""~_,, }'''''ifer Vf"''' (R-lIash.) QJ rht Z()(}() &{JI'Nica" Naritmol Cr"Mi~"tw".

T he annual Rough Riders Award D inner will be held May 8, 2002 at the JW Marriott hotel in Washingron, D.C. In 2001, Ripon was proud to award the Teddy Roosevelt Rough Rider saber to Senator Don Nickles, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, Congressman Michael G. Oxley and Congresswoman Nan cy J ohnson for their achievements in public service.

Co"zmsmo" Cloy Show (R·F!o.) shorn highlighfJjrom the Rip"" ~ Ih1pI" RIal Progrrss" wir" Rip"" mlmHn.

Snuuor ChlKJ Hagtl (R.Nrh) discl#Jafortign policy ""ojth form" FVprt.sn.Jative o..d RifJO'l Socitry l~j"tHt Bill Fmr.•tL

~Rlol

~.I·.ponSOC.OI·g


AMan for All Seasons Why George W Bush Will Not Suffer the Fate of Winston Churchill and George H. Bush by navid Winston n the late spring of 1940 as France

Now, political observers in some quar-

cation reform connected \vith voters who

crumbled under the jackboots of Nazi

ters are beginning to speculate on the post-

relegated foreign policy experience, as they

war furure of George W . Bush. The central

usually do, to the political backwater of sec-

ques tion:

ondary issues.

troops, Britai n's Conservative Part)' faced a grim reality: Neville Chambe rl ain, a peace tim e prime minister if ever there was one, was clearly the wrong man in the wrongjob at the wrong time. Britain despera tely needed a prime

of foreign policy?

minister to wage war not sue for peace. \"'isely if reluctantly, the party rumed to Winston Churchill wOOsc brilliance and ~ over the next five years

Clear~'. all three share a common and awesome responsibiliry---leading in a time of

cally, like Churchill and his father, Bush's

war. and they share common characteristics:

defined by his performance as a wartim(:

Will he find himself, like

Churchill and his father before him, victo-

D uri ng the 2000 campaign, the per-

rious in war but done in by the public's naru-

ceived strengths of George H erbert W alker

ral tendency to put domestic priorities ahead

Bus h and Winston Churchill were the perceived weaknesses of George W. lroniflf~t

year and likely his presidency will be

leader. But those pundits

provided the leadership crucial to \vinning what

pondering Bush's iXllitical

demise should rcmeml:x.'f" one key difference. Un-

becune a 'Yarorsurvival. Ycr,just months af-

like hi s fa the r and

ter Churchill's glorious

Churrhill whore dom,,-

victory. the Bri ti sh people unceremoniously booted their ~conquer­

tic policies cost them their

ing

hero~

positions, Bush's first year

has seen the centerpieces

out on his ear

of his campaign's domes-

as pomvar social change replaced the defense of the realm as the

candor, integrity,courage, and intelligence. But

tic proposals--education refonn and tax cuts--both become law.

country's most important political issue.

before we rush to commit Gcorgt! W. Bush to

Bush has proven himself an able diplo-

ingratirudc, hO\vcver, is certainly not a trait pecu1iarto the British. George H erbert

the fute of his predecessors, it's important ro remember one kt:y difference bcnvccn them:

mat and an inspiring commandcr-in-chief, but he also hasn't forgonen the ~horse he rode in

Walker Bush met a similar fate just two years

this president came to povv'er as a "domestic

on." He has rom an uncanny ability to lead

after America's spectacular defeat ofSaddam

candidate,~

not just on maners of war but on important

not a "wartime lcader.~

Hussein in the GulfWar. Bush's election in

H is political credentials did not rely on

1988 assured the continuation of Rcagan's successful strategy to end the Cold War and Bush's international experience proved in-

the kind of military and diplomatic experience that defined ChurchiU and his f.'\ther's

domestic issues ofpeace and prosperity as well. It is that dual leadership that sets him apart. In May 194O, British Economic Mjn-

national political personas. Q lite the con-

ister Hugh Dalton called C hurchill "The

valuable during the delicate post- \var period.

trary. Bush, the ),ounger, came to the presi-

man and the only man we have, for this

D uring the Gulf War the foUowing

dency after raking a quite different path. H e

hour." Given his extraordinarypcrformance.

year, Bush's job approval numbers topped

staked his claim to the Oval Offiee on his

one could say the same of this presi-

90 percent, but it was a sluggish economy, not the "sheik of Baghdad," that foiled the

successful record as governor of one of the

dent.

41 n president's reelection bid.

passionate conselVatism, tax cuts, and edu-

Ripon FOI'um â&#x20AC;˘ Winter 1001

nation's largest states. Bush's caU for comDavid WillS/on iJ president of77lc Wilwon Grollp.

,


The TauzinlDingell The Stimulus Package That D oesn't Cost the

us. Treasury a D ime

By Waltef" B. MCCOI"Rlick, Jt-. tcendy, members of the U.S. H ouse of Representatives had the opportuni ty to vo te on

companies -

hardware manufacturers,

companies the mass market they need to

software makers and content providers-

get our infonnation economy growing again.

do not have the mass consumer audience

Given all that's going on in our world

crucial legislation that affects all

they need to drive sales of their next-gen-

today,you might ask why this legislation de-

Am e r icans. T his bi ll could

eration products and services. Without this

serves Congress' immediate attention. The

ultimately inject up to 5500 billion a year

mass market, many of the companies that

into our struggling economy and revitalize

fueled the U.S. economic boom of the 1990s

answer is simple: For America to heal, our ea::momy must heal For Americans to go back

our nation's hard-hit tdecem and hightech sectors. Best of all, it would not cost

will continue to struggle.

to

American taxpayers a dime.

This legislation is not the much-de-

What can get high-tech growing again? From prominent economists at the

,vork, our infonnarion economy must get back on a grmvth track. These things can only Iupp<n ifCong<= w<guank th< powotfuI

Brookings Institute to leaders of the infor-

cycles ofhigh-tcchgro.vth and inn0-

bated economic stimulus package. Rather

mation revolution , there is widespread

vation thatcan onlycome from

it is theTauzin-Dingcll lntemet Freedomand

agreement that the massive, nationwide

f.Ur competition. If we

B.",n"oo Doploym<nl Aa. Through thi, bill, Congress can help spur billions of dollars in in\'esnnent in our nation's lnremct back-

availability of high-speed Internet access

frec-up invest-

services is the spark that can jump-stan re-

bone; help spark renewed gro.vth in the U.S. infonnation economy and put more Americans back to work.

newed growth. This is precisely what the Tauzin-Dingell bill would do Opponents of this bill have made many desperate charges to defend their interests.

When Congressmen Billy Tauzin and

They claim, for instance, that a level play-

John Dingell introduced this legislation early

ing field would lead to a telecom monopoly

last year, there was a clear need for regula-

of high-speed Internet access. This claim is

tory fairness among the nation's providers

preposterous considering that the nation is

of high-speed Internet access services. fu

well on its way to a cable ffiOOOJXlly of the

the rules stand today, companies that de-

same market today. That won't change until

liver high-speed Internet access services over

Congress makes a stand for basic regulatory

cable lines operate in a deregulated environment, while companies that deliver the ex-

equity: that all wmpanies prwiding the same service should play by the same rules - no matter ifthat service is delivered via cable, telephone or satellite broadband facilities. Fair competition would eliminate the

act same services over a telephone line face heavy regulation. fu a result, cable modems control 70% of the high-speed Internet ac-

disi ncentive to invest that has held back the

ment in high speed access to the Internet, we free U.S. companies to begin the process of

With the U.S. economy struggling, the

widespread availab il ity of high-speed I nternet access services. Instead, it

need for greater investment in more broad-

would ensure rules that encourage,

cess market, while investment in broadband via telephone lines has all but dried up.

band Internet access has only grown more

rathe r than discourage, the invest-

urgent. Today, a mere 8% of Americans

ments nece ssary to see these se rvices

renewal With one vote from Congress, and not a dime from the U.s. Treasury, we r.'I can begin to grow again. ...

have high-speed Internet access service.

reach all America n s, giving consumers a

Halter B. MCC"'lIIick, Jt: is Prtsidmt and CEO

A s a result, the whole range of high- tech

choice of providers and giving high-tech

oft/Jt U.S. 1H«om AsiocialiQII.

Ripon ForLim • Winltr 2002


11~-gniO\ni u8T ~dT

- - --- -

Promoting Monopolies Will Stifle Economic Growth Ill' John O. Windhauscn n the early 1970's, Congress and the F CC allowed competition for telephone equipment, long distance service, cellular and other mobile services, infonnation services and satcl~te services. Each time, the growth of competition brought about lower prices for consumers, greater technological innovation, and economic growth.

the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which promOtes competition for local telephone services. Since then, h undreds of new com panies raised bi llions of dol lars in invesunenl capi tal to compete against the incumbent Bell Companies. These new companies, known as Competitiv e Local E xch ange Ca rri e rs Ri pon FOf'um â&#x20AC;˘

Wlnt~r

2002

(CLECs), have deployed state-or-the art technologies, such as high-speed OSLofiber optic cables, and next generatio n switches. De spit e this enormous progress,

casters, just as the RBOCs carry the signals of the CLECs. I f the Bells are deregulated, and the CLECs eliminated, each market will have only twO companies - the Bell Company

Congress is considering legislatio n that will reverse the pro-competitive provisions

and the cable company. D uopolies generally do not compete - they divide up the market between them. The CLECs have invested eno rmous

of the 1996 Telecom Act and put most of these innovative C LECs out of business. Why? The Bell s argue that their highspeed services should be exe mpted from competition in order to e ncourage them to deploy these services more quickly. But the Bells have never followed

through on their past promises to deploy advanced networks in return fo r deregu lation. The Bells have been given the right to price cap regulation, information services, cable se rvices, but did not deploy the promised new technologies. T he Bells only de ployed DSL, a technology they invented in the late 1980's, when faced with competition from CLECs in the last fou r years. The Bells complain that the prices they can charge the C LECs for leasing portions of their network are too low. But the statute and the FCC's rules guarantee that the prices must allow the Bells to earn profit. The Bells simply want a higher profit. The Bell s further maintain that they should be deregulated to compete with the cable companies' high-speed Internet services. But t he Bell Companies and cable companie s are alre ady regulated simi larly. The cable companies must carry thc sig nal s of the broad-

sums of money O'>'tt the past 5 years to build advanced, high-speed local net\'IIOrks - CNer 556 Billion. These networks already carry 60% of the local, high-speed I nternet traffic around the country. Perhaps more imponant, these co mpetitive local networks fue led our nation's tremendous economic growth through the late 1990's. Japan's economic stagnation teaches us the dangt:rs of relying on large conglomerates p ro tected from competition. By contrast, our country's reliance on competition has made us the strongest economy in the world. Let's not take a giant step bacbvards and puU the rug out from under these new entrepreneurs. Congress should stop the Tauzin- Dingell bill in its tracks and renew its suppon for competition fo r all local telecom services. Jolm A. Wintlha/JS(n is presidl!1lt o/the As.roeiati()n 0/ Lrxa/ 7(/uOln IllUn iear;ons Sero;us.

On February 27, the House passed the Tauz;n ~ D;ngell Internet Freedom and Broad~ band Deployment Act (HR. 1541) on a 171¡158 vote. The bill now faces an uphill battle;n the Senate. 7


The Selective Service System I nsurance Policy or Cold l%r Artifact? By Scot CIIJ"istenson

he firs t war of the 21" Century is also one of the most unconventional conflicts the United States has bee n involved with since fighting the Barbary Pirates in 1805. Instead of engaging in battle against a defined and central ized enemy. the U.S. has declared war on a movement that transcends borders and nationalities. T his will not be a war where teeming armies clash on the battlefield and massive ships attempt to outmaneuver onc another on the high seas. It will be a war where proficient high-tech intelligence

,

gathering will assist specially trained teams to ferret out terrorists and liquidate them. Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues as it has fo r decades to gather and process the names of all able-bodied young men in the event that a draft is needed to supply the military with additional manpower. Every male in the United States is required to register with Selective Service within 30 days of his 18'" birthday or risk being denied college loans, federal job training and govemment employments. Violators may also be fined 5250,000 and! or be sentenced up to 5 years in jail. The purpose of the registration requirement is to give the United States an insurance policy against any unforeseen threat agai nst national security. But in an era when even the Pentagon states that a draft is ~highly unlikell. many fee l that Selective Service's S25 m illion annual budget is too high a prem ium to pay. Congressma n Ron Paul (R-T X) has introduced a bilJ to terminate Selective Service, and he is not alone in his be lief that the age ncy has outlived its purpose. Congressman Mark Foley (R- FL) stated in a 1995 House debate "The Selective Service, as we know it today, was created by President Carter to respond to fea rs that Ripon Forum ¡ Win ter 2002


regional confli cts of the Soviet Union would

grow and lead to a supe rpower showdown. The national defense structure at that time had been gutted and allowed the volunteer Armed Forces to fall to dangerously low levels ... that is not the case today. This Con -

gress has made a commi tment to a strong national defense. We intend to keep mi litary personnel equipped and ready to fight .. .I n almost 10 years of the Vietnam war,jus[ under 2.5 million Americans we re sent to the combat area; one of every four of those young Americans were drafted. In 10 years we did not send the number of volunteers that can be deployed from ou r shores today... [Ending Selective Service] will not leave the U.S. defense vulnerable. We have 3 million vo lunteers ready to fig ht. Critics of Selective Service believe that there is little need for draftees in IOday's military. Modern warfare has become increasingly reliant on technology and specialized personnel to defend U.S. interests. Gone are the days when a recruit could be given a gun, grenade, and a few months of instruction before being sent into battle. Today's military consists primarily of professionals who have gone through years of extensive training to handle advanced computerized weapons and machinery. In addition, the Gulf War demonstrated that fore ign powers could now be neutralized through the usc of missiles and airpower with minimal face- to-face confrontation benveen soldiers. AJso at issue is the f.,ct that women are currently exempt from the registmtion requirement, a policy that has caused resentment among young men who stand to lose important benft

ally less capable than men. The topic was initially discussed when a shortage of nurses du ring the Second World War led the government to contemplate drafting women to flU vacancies in the medical field. A surge in volunteerism made the drafting of medical personnel irrelevant and the issue was dropped. M ore recently, President Clinton reviewed the exempt starus of women and concluded that there was no need fo r Congress to amend the draft law because women have not yet been put in combat roles by the U.S. military and the current system was enough to meet the nation's security needs. Pposition to the draft is nothing new. T he fact of the matter is that the draft has never really been popular. Early attempts at conscription during the C ivil War resulted in four days of rioting because the draft laws aIlowed men to avoid service by paying 5300, an amount most working men could not afford. Activist during the First World War argued that the draft violated the liberty of Americans by removing their freedom to choose whether to fight or not . Over 250,000 eligible men failed to register as required. In 1940, Afte r ca mpaigni ng on a platform of isolationism, Franklin Roosevelt alarmed the American public when he established the Selective Service and began the first peacetime draft as the conflict in Europe was escalating. Conscription was briefly suspended at [he end of the Second World War, but millions of young men were drafted between 1948 and 1973 to keep the nation at a state of readi ness to combat communism. Following the war in Korea, the Vietnam conflict saw the most active, prolonged opposi tion to the draft, prom pting the US to end the registration re-

O

The purpose of the registration requirement is to give the United States an insurance policy against any unforeseen threat against national security. efit s for failing to comply. As women play an ever- increasing role in the all volunteer military, some question the fairness of the draft when on ly women arc given the option of serving. Some women have even expressed co ncerns that the registration exe mption reinforces the stereotype that they are generRi pon Forum â&#x20AC;˘ Winttr 2002

â&#x20AC;˘


quirement in 1975. Because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the suspension was short-lived and Preside nt Carter reinstated the registration requirement in 1980 amid much controversy. The system has been in place ever since and has so far survived several attempts to dismantle it. However, Selective Service is not without its supporte rs. Former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry recommended to Congress in August 1995 that the Selective Service be funded adequate ly. "This small, but important agen cy,~ he wrote, "should be maintained in its current State of readiness, and its peacetime registration program involving America's young men should be preserved to help ensure that any future draft, if needed, would be fair and equitable." roponents of the Selective Service point out that regardless of the nature of recent co nflicts, the sys tem offers protection against an unforeseen cri sis. Even with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States still has to be prepa red to defend its global commitments in potentially explosive regions such as Asia . By maintaining the system in peacetime, it has been estimated that the country will save 810 days in the process for drafting and training troops in the event of an emergency where additional manpower is necessary. Being able to reinforce battle-weary troops a week earlier could mean the difference between victory and defeat.

The agency has also developed a series of reforms to correct problems with the system since the Vietnam War to ensure fairness. Like the C ivil War, Vietnam was seen as a rich man's war where those who had the money could buy their way out and the poor were left to do the fIghting. College students could avoid service if they remained in school and were making progress tOwards a degree. No more. If drafted, a college student would have to report for service at the end of the semeste r and a college senior would have until the end of the academic year. Special effort has also been put into forming draft boards to bette r represent the communities in which they serve. The exemption of women will be less of an issue if the Health Care Personnel Delivery System is implemented. Proposed in 1989, the plan calls for medical specialists to be registered and available for a draft in the event of an emergency mobilization. Since the

The draft has never really been popular. Early attempts at conscription during the Civil War resulted in four days of rioting because the draft laws allowed men to avoid service by paying $300, an amount most working men could not afford.

P

10

medical speciali sts wou ld not be servi ng in a combat role, women would be expected to serve. Although nOt perfect, Selective Service does perhaps offer the country an affordable safety net. The S25 million budget is a relatively cheap insurance policy when considering that it is less than the cost ofa single F-16 fighter. When it comes to defending the coun try, what would make Americans feel more secure - having an extra fighter patrolling the skies, or having a sys tem in place that has rhe ability to call upon the 13.5 million men that are currently draft eligible? The majority of Americans would probably feel safer with the latter. SCO/

Christenson iJ the iditol' olne Ripoll rort/m Ripon forum ' Wintn lool


Welfare Reform: A Mother~s Work oy lion Ilaskins

the 1996 welfare reform Congress, there were numerous predictions from scho lars, editorial page writers and politicians that a welfare system that demanded work, imposed sanctions and operated under time limits would result in huge declines in family income and increases in poverty and homelessness. Now comes the U.S. Census Bureau with its data on family income and poverty for 2000, thereby permitting informed judgments about whether welfare reform is driving poor families into the Grate Society. For the seventh year in a row, poverty was down. Further, black and H ispanic households had their lowest poverty rates ever, and the overall child poverty rate was lower than in any year since 1976. Similarly, black and H ispanic households both set records for all-time high incomes. How is the nation making such remarkable progress against poverty and low income? T he Census Bureau report shows that an important part of the answer is that welfare reform has led to huge increases Ripon forum â&#x20AC;˘ Winter 2002

in work and earnings by single mothers and a revolution in how government helps the poor. No longer does government help the poor primarily by giving them welfare benefi ts. The new ap proach is to encourage, cajole and, if necessary, force poor and able-bodied parents to take jobs. T hen, once they arc employed, government provides hel p through a system of work supports that includes cash earn ings subs idies, pr ima rily through the Earned I ncome Tax Credit (EITC), medical

insurance, food subsidies, child care and housing.

"


rily because so many more single mothers boosted their income through earnings. The most important conclusion to draw from these remarkable numbers is that the performance of low-income mothers in leaving welfare and entering employment is a great success story. Aided by a strong economy, not only have they rescued their children from poverty but many have told researchers and reponers that their children arc proud of them and they arc proud of themselves. T hese mothers have changed the very reputation of welfare, something that no amount of rhetoric from policymakers could have achieved. nde r the o ld welfare system , government simply gave benefits to the poor, thereby trapping many of them in a system of learned helplessness. Under the new system, the poor are expected, required, or forced to work. And even in low-income jobs they are much better off financially than under welfare, because government generously subsidizes their income. T hus a job that provides 510,000 a year in earnings is converted by government, primarily through the EIT C and food stamps, into a job that provides S16,000 a year in f."Ul1ily income. In addition, nearly all these families are eligible for government health insurance, and many rece ive the child tax credit, child care subsidies, school lunch and other in-kind benefits. The deadline for reauthorizing the welfare reform legislation is next October. Although improvements are possib le and desi rable , especially to help patents who lose their jobs because of the slowing economy, Congress would be wise to preserve the basic featu res of the new welfare system based on work.

U

T he Census Bureau data show how this new approach works. Consider the group of about 2 million families headed by mothers with incomes under 513,000. In 1993 this group earned on averagc only Sl,400 and had welfare benefits (primarily cash and food stamps) of S4,400 (all figures are adjusted for inflation). By 2000, their earnings had increased by 130 percent, to S3, 100, and their welf.'lre benefits had declined by a quarter to S3,300. In addition, they enjoyed a 300 percent increase in EITC income. T he nct effect was that total income for these mothers and children rose by a quarter, to S8,600. Now consider the group of 2 million mothers with incomes between 513,000 and S21,000, a group that includes many mothers leaving welfare. Earnings in creased from S4,900 in 1993 to 511,700 in 2000. Similarly, EITC income increased by nearly 200 percent. Although the wel farc income of mothers in this group fell by nearly 60 percent, their total income increased by more than S4,000, to S17,600. Progress against poverty over the 1993-2000 period is equally remarkable. 12

Child poverty declined by nearly a third to 16.2 percent, its lowest level since 1976. Moreover, for three of the past five years, poverty among black children declined more than in any year before 1995 and has now reached its all-time low. Deep poverty, defined as income at half the poverty level (about 57,000) or less by the Census Bureau, has also declined sharply and is now well below its previous historical low. The Census Bureau reports additional data that are even more encouraging. The official poverty index does not include income from the EITC and a few other programs, notably food stamps, that provide non-cash benefits to low-income families. But in recent years the Census Bureau has been calculating an CJ;:perimental poverty measure based on a more comprehensive definition of income that includes these benefits. Using this broader measure, child poverty is actually around 10 percent, rather than the official measure of 16.2 percent. Even more important, child poverty declined more than twice as much during the economic recovery of the 1990s as it did during the recovery of the 19805, prima-

[J

Ron Haskins is a SCI/ior Fdlow of Economic Studies ami Co- Dirt(/ot" of ItHfare I&fonn & BC)'Qnd fot" /he Brookings lnuilulion. Ripon Forllm â&#x20AC;˘ Wintt r 2002


Winning West Virginia A Ripon Interview with

u.s. Representative Shelley M oore Capito

he 2000 praidtll/iol race willjore"Uer IK "111,,,,,,",d tJJ the (ltC/ion in which tilt outcome W(lJ 'aided by one

be argued tlm/lhe d«iding

SIdle

Jlalt. j ·/ rr.J.ltwr, jf can

was IIhl I'irginin, 7101 flQrida.

/ lad George IV 8um "01 pul/d off a crucial upset we/Dry in lite

AfOUl/lain SIal(, N Gon tool/ld haw 11M (Mugh ,!t:cloraI1XJltJ /0 e'IItll tl.!lihoul florida, making 'lit tIIlire I"tCOlftl/ f= By kroll/illl tile fin! lIon-inrumkm &pllblicflll pruidemial caH<iida/e /o corry lib/Virginia sillu 1928, 81m, dm;td Cort lhe[roed«/oral 'IXJIlS tlJaI sepamud him from tlJt (J'tl(li offiu as FlO/ida hllllg ill {he balnnet. After wttits 0/agO/shillg /ilignl;oll, 811Sl1 offici"lIy /oo/: Flollda and finis/ltd willi 271 e/WOI"II/ voles /0 Core:r 266. m·1t Virginia's frw '!.lOW had prrmt'l

win lht pmidency 1I11Il«lS.J(/ry.

to be the dijJrrl"/u. 17" GOP} jol1lllllS in Il bl I'irginia did 1101 t:nd wilh Bwlli surprise ~.Mlory.

Sllllley Aloore Capilokcall/e tile first IUpllhlican rircud totllll·101m

siner /980. Tile Ripon rom", Sal down with Rtpmrntaliw Capiro 10 discuss rlu (hanging priilital dill/au rif llhl Virginia alit! wnal In~ flllllre lzQ/ds for IllI! statr.

RF: Both you and President Bush shocked the D N P by winning in \ <\fest Virginia. To what do you attribute the recent GOP success in the traditionally D emocrat state? R~p. Capiro: I think there were a few factors. First of aU, the messages President Bush and I were both keying on rang true with most West Virginians. VVe stressed educa[ion and the importance of leaving no child behind. We also assured the people that we would keep West Virginia working by protecting the manufacturing and mining industry, giving people confidence that they would be able to retain their jobs. Ripon Forum • Winter 1001

Gmgraswoman Capito talKS with RF Editor ScOi ChrisJe/lJQn.

Another factor was that we both worked hard at the grassroots level. Of course I paid close attention to \-Vest Virginia, but President Bush took special care to come talk to West Virginians during the campaign on several occasions, which was very impornnt considering the stare is often passed over in presidentiaJ races and the candidates rarely visit. It made a huge impression. AI Gore thought he had the state wrapped up and did not visit until just prior to the election, and by then it was too late. But uhimatcly it can down to being a factor of trust. Our messages wefC sincere and West Virginians came to trust George W. Bush to be the President, and t.rust me to be their representative in \<\fashington. Il


strong grass roots base by going out and delivering my message in a personal way.

RF: \ÂĽhat lessons can the GOP take from your upset victory in WV and apply to other regions of the US? R~p.

RF; A1though the Democrats reclaimed the governor's office from Republican Cecil Underwood, the GOP can only be encouraged by the recent elections. When do you believe that there will be GOP candidates who can realistically challenge the seats held by ScnalOr Byrd and Senator RockcfcUer, as well as Reps. Mollahan and Rahall, both of whom ran unopposed in the last election.

Rrp. Capito: We are so far in the minority in West Virginia - in the state house we only have 25 out of 100 delegates, and in the state senate only 5 out of 34 are Republicans - that we don't yet have the party infrastructure to recruit candidates at the local level and encourage them to run for higher office. We need to foUow rhe lead ofVllginia and some of the other Southern states that were in a similar position, but generated their strength from the bottom up rather thcn of the top down. It 's going to take some time, but we need to find some people that arc \villing to stick their necks out and maybe have to run more than once. And then of course we need to make sure that everyone is weU funded.

Capito: I think the best lesson to rake away from 2000, if you look at my race, is that you can beat the odds with a weU-managed campaign. You can beat the money, you can beat the registration numbers, and you can beat the tradition of electing the same party if you truly listen to what your constituency is sayi ng and craft your message to address their concems while staying truthful. I also never tried to be anything more than I am and people realized that I was a real person with real problems, which helped )>eople to relate to me. I think this helped instill a sense of truSt. But again, it must be remembered that nothing is impossible and it can be done. no matter the odds. RF: H ow would you descri be your constituency? R~p.

Capito; I have a very diverse constituency. First of aU, mOSt people are su rprised to learn that West Virginia has the oldest average age in the United States, older than Florida, so I have a lot of mature adults. And then within my twenty counties, I

Because I served in the in the West Virginia State Legislature, people knew I had experience, which is very helpful for any candidate. I also try to be as upfront and candid as possible, which people seem to appreciate.

RF: \\fhat strategies did you employ to defeat your opponent, Jim Humphreys, who spent five times as much moneyon his campaign? R~p.

Capito: He did spend a lot of money, SO I tried to put together an effective three-pronged media attack with television, radio and direct-mail, and coupled that with a good team that worked hard to deliver the message that West Virginia needed a seat at the other side of the table to offer diversiry in our delegation in Washington. I also spent a lot of energy bui lding a

"

have four counties that have some of the lowest unemployment in West Virginia, and at the same time, ' also have four counties that have some of the highest unemployment. I have the challenge to tailor my agenda to meet the needs ofboth ends of the spectrum. So there is real diversity in my district and I think that characterizes West Virginia. Plus West Virginians in general are very proud, independent people.

RF: Which of your attributes carried the most weight with them? R~p.

Capito: Because I served in the in the West Virginia State LegislatuTC, people knew I had experience, which is very helpful for any candidate. I also try to be as upfront and candid as posRipon For ... m â&#x20AC;˘ Wintt r 1002


sible, which people seem to appreciate. I have talked a lot about bringing up the next generation, and being a mother with two children, my sincerity comes through. But o nce again, it goes back to trust. I asked them to trust me, and they believed that they could. I wont disappoint them.

West Virginians in general are very proud, independent people.

current economy to a faster-paced, more technologically driven economy. The problem has alv...ays been that West Virginia's economy runs so close to the edge that it is difficult to get a toehold in something new that may take us to the next level. I think education will be key in helping the state grow from its reliance on the manufilcturing industry. I think we need to be aggressive in our education system and get our youth going in a different direction than follo\ving their families into the coal mincs. vVe need to advance people into college, improve workforce training, and strengthen skill development.

RF:O n to another subject, how do )'o u th.ink the GO P haschangcd to reflect the increased involvement of women in the party? RF: The Democrats desperately want your seat back and believe that a moderate like Martha Walker can defeat you in 2002. What is it going to take to avoid being a o ne- term wonder?

Rtp. Cllpito:The GOP has realized that women vote in large numbers and eare very deeply about many issues beyond the traditional family issues. The party defi nitely has become better at communi-

R~p.

Capito: Conti nuing my hard work at the grass roots b¡d, good constituency service, and proving myself to be a good Congresswoman. I'll need to be preparc.-d to defend my voting record. so I very carefully consider every vote that I take. I'll also have to be ready to keep my confidence up because everyday someone will be trying to knock me down, but I'm up fo r the challenge.

RF: West Virgi nia is one of me most beautiful states in the union. How will you help protect the en\;ronment while not damaging the coal and steel ind ustry? R~p.

Capito: T hat is something we have struggled with over the last several years. West Virginia absolutely is the most beautiful state and its appeal to tOurists has created a very strong travel industry, so the environment is definitely tied to our economy on many different levels. I agree with Christine Todd W hitman who came to West Virginia and talked a lot :\bout striking a balance between protecting the environment while supplying the resources that the nation needs such as coal, natural gas. and timber. It will be difficult, but I think we can, and will, achieve this balance.

RF: Eventually, th e coal will be mined out and there is already a stro ng movement to develop alternative energy. What is the outlook for WV when the coal ind ust ry has accounted for the livelihood of so many fo r so long?

cating in the tenns that women are listening, but we still need to do more to raise the visibility of our women leaders and highlight their accomplishments. I think women want and need to see that.

RE: As a freshman represen tative, what have you fou nd to be the g reatest challenge in moving to D C ?

Capito:T hat's a great question. I think we need to be aggressive in our education system and get our youth going in a different direction Ihan following their families into the coal mines. We need to advance people into college, improve workforce training, and strengthen skill development. T hat's why I think Presi-

Rep. Capito: The logistic of settling into a new town with a new st:\ff and a nt.'\'\1 lifestyle. It's just so overwhelming in the beginning. It has also been a difficult transition because 1 still have children home in West Virginia, but of course now they're at the age where they ask "When arc you leaving?~ instead of "\ ,yhen are you coming home?". But 1 think I have adjusted to the pace of DC and r.'I have become quite comfortable. W

dent Bush's education reform program is going to be so important because it is going to give us the fl exibility to transition our

Scot C/l1is/(m(m is flit tdifor ofThr Ripon Nmlln.

R~p.

Ripon Forum â&#x20AC;˘ Winter 2002

15


system, acre s presen'es. signed Water Act , and <n'ÂŤ ,","" Act into law, and


national marine sanctuaries. And so it goes on and on. The first Republicanled congress in decades - the 1041h_ pas se d fourteen major pieces of environmental legislation bet\veen 1995 and 1996. That 's more than the previous four Democrat-led Congresses combined. So why doesn't the American public know the truth about the GOP's environmental legacy? he answer is simpler than we might want to acknowledge; we have allowed ourselves to be defined by our opponents. We are not getting our message out. I am frequently asked by reporters and others to name CREA's D emocratic counterpart. It is surprising for people to learn there isn't one. I simply point out that it is unnecessary for D emocrats to form an environmental organization to express their viewpoints and make recommendations to opinion leaders, the public, and the press. Two major national organizat ions already provide that se rvice for Democrats. Those organizations are the League of Conse rvation Voters (LCV) and the Sierra C lub. Unlike the Sierra Club, the League of Conservat ion Voters (LCV ) acknowledges that their agenda is entirely election focused. The LCV produces an

T

Unfortunately this claim is not validated by their endorsements or donation patterns. For the past three election cycles, the LCV has give n 83% of their endo rsements Dem ocrats (86.5% in '96; 82.4% IIo/UIIUersjrom Dewn ÂŁmrgy Clff/J'Jrafion construct fran 'W()t~r ponds will, in '98; and 80.5% in mllurio! Mnoud by th~ ,onl{1(1/I), j"dudjllg windmills to pump frah wour, on 2000). For their SUndOWII Island Bird Sanctuary. PAC contribution s in 1994 LCV gave 99.95% of their nato key vote; The Safe Water D rinking tional PAC money and 100% of their Act, The National Marine Sanctuaries Prese rvation Act, The African and state PAC funds to Democrats. In 1996 they gave 80% of their national PAC Asian Elephant Conservation Acts, The money and 100% of their state money Tropical Forest Re storation Act, T he Estuaries and Clean '-Vaters Act, creto Democrats. Again, in 1998,80% of the LCV's PAC money and 100% of ation of Black Canyon National Park, their state disbursements went to the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto MounDemocratic races. By contrast, 90% of tains National Monument Act, Th e their targeted attacks have been aimed NOAA Chesapeake Bay Reauthorizaat Republicans (91.7% in '96; 86.4% in tion Act, and dozens of others like these. '98; and 91.6% in 2000). Instead. in their spring 2002 scorecard, LCV scored votes on such issues as inThe LCV claims that this slanted track record is caused by Republican international family planning, regulatory reform, the nominations of two memdifference to the environment. They point to their own "educational bers of the Bush administration, and scorecard" as proof of their un-biased even campaign finance reform. methodology. But their scorecard The Sierra Club isn't much better when it comes to putting the environment before partisan politics. In the 2000 elections, the Sierra Club gave only 8, or 5% of their endorsements to Republicans. That same election cycle they gave 132 endorsemenrs to D emocrats, or 95%. In an effort to justify this obvious bias, doesn't stand up to scrutiny. The LCV the Sierra Club issued its own scorecard - with only four votes being selected actually states in the introduction to to sum up an elected official's entire vottheir scorecard that "consensus action" is excluded. In other words, the LCV ing record. And again, major bipartisan intentionally highlights partisan issues. accomplishments were excluded. H ere are a few of the non- partisan, or Of course, RepUblicans and Demo"consensus," actions the LCV chose not crats do sometimes disagree about envi-

So why doesn't the American public know the truth about the GOP's environmental legacy? We have allowed ourselves to be defined by our opponents. environmental scorec ard that rate s members of Congress, has a political action committee, runs political advertisements and endorses candidates. The Sierra Club also engages in everyone of these activities. Both the Sierra Club an d LCV claim t o be non-partisan. Ripon FOf'um â&#x20AC;˘ Winter 1001

11


ronmental issues. Then again, Mem~ bers of Congress, Governors, appointees and other opinion leaders continu ally debate the best resolution for every i s~ sue: education reform, defense spend~ ing, social iss ues, taxes, etc. A nd djs~ agree ments don't only occu r between colleagues from differe nt politi cal par~ tics; they occur between members of the same party. Why is this important? Because it is the duty of elected leaders to question, probe, and debate. It is through this process th at legislation improves and compromises are reached. By ignoring "consensus" action , and validating only the most partisan results, the LCV and the Sierra Club are missing the point. They are serving to dumb down the debate by declaring one party victoriou s over another before the discussion eve n begi ns. By leve ling the playing field and correcting the misperception that Democrats overwhelmingly care mo re than Republi ca ns about the environment, the debate will become more meaningful and the end result more legitimate. T here arc some important areas where th e environmen t would benefit from more meaningful debate. En e rgy po licy, environmental perfor-

,

mance indicators, and private sector contrib uti ons to the enviro nment are a few of th ese issues. Th e Bush administration has taken on one of the most neglected issues of the past de-

The Sierra Club isn't much better when it comes to putting the environment before partisan politics. In the 2000 elections, the Sierra Club gave only 8 - or 5% - of their endorsements to Republicans. cade : comprehensive ene rgy policy. M any took for granted that co nventional sources of oil would always be availab le to us from overseas. I n aJuly 2001 interview on HBO, Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra C lub, criticized the administ ration for proposing domestic e nergy exp lora ti on options and ex pressed the following sent iment: ~ You can get oil [for a reaso nab le pr ice], it's all sitting under Saudi Arabia. It 's always goi ng to be there.~ Two short months later we were forced to acknowledge that domestic energy needs are best secured from domestic energy sources. And if we are truly to ~think globaJly and act lo call y", th e n think about this ... the United States has the mo st s trin gent environ m e nt al laws in the world and no country on earth has moved past the need for conve ntional sources of w u: a key Slopping point Jvr energy. ~ To force

1

This manma& islaM offof Pon O'Connor, UXaI. has m migratory birds. 18

development (of resources to ot he r countries) is to accept the inevitability of less rigorous environmental oversight." 1n other words, we are harming th e planet as a whole by advocating a

piecemeal approach to meeting our own energy needs. any environ mentalists also refuse to acknowledge that e ve r y en vironmenta l challenge does not require a gove rn men t mandated solution. The role the private secto r voluntari ly p lay s in en vironmental protection is alm ost completely overloo k ed by the media a nd conservation community. While compan ies are frequently cited in the press as bad environmental actors, they are rarely th anked for their environmental contributions. These contributions are not uncommon a nd will become increasingly important as our national focus is pulled to othe r more pressing endeavors. Unlike the national trend with regard t o environm ental issues, when individuals and their em ployers become involved in conservation projects, the focus tends to be both lo ca l and results orien t ed: cleaning a beach, raising funds to purchase and prese rve open sp ace, monitoring the number of wild life within a habitat and working to increase that number. There is a definable goal and the com munity can see tangib le results. The projects that Devon Energy Corporation in itiated at Su nd own

M

Ripon Forum â&#x20AC;˘ Winter 1001


(

I sland are marquee examples afhow the private sector can play an important role in the protection of our natural treasures. H owever, in order for this model to wor k on a larger sca le , professional environmentalists and their fundraisers are going to have to acknowledge that e n vironmental contributions from corporate America aren't limited to the role they playas the "bad guy" in environmental organization's fund raising letters. The use of volunteers, and the dedication and resources they commit, should also be encouraged whereve r possible in e nvironmental prorcuion efforts. Another area of d isagreement is with envi ronmental performance indicators an d performance standard s in general. There are those who view any change in enviro nmental policy or law as a negative change. Yet, there are rules and regulations that aren't fulfIlling their environmental mission. Shou ld those

ronmental con sequences. At issue is language that leaves open to interpretation exactly when a company's ac tio n changes the legal status under w h ich they operated at the creation of the NSR rule. Rather than deal with t his ca n ten tiou s issue at the out-

CQmpJelioll ofthe pond ami Ik subsequell/ plantillg of tJeg(/alirm provi<k all imporralll siop-U'.,"/orwildlifi¡

se t, the Cli nton administration waited until the second half of their second term to change the long-standing inte rpre tation of what it means for a co mpany to make a "major modi fi cati on .~ T he end resu lt of this ambigu ity is that many co mpanies a re not maki ng upgrade s to cleaner, newer,

Unlike the national trend with regard to environmental issues, when individuals and their employers become involved in conservation projects, the focus tends to be both local and results oriented. policies rema in in place and divert resources from other potentially benefi cial proposals? Adherence to a performance standard can help weed ou t func t ional policies from Jaws and regulations that exist to se rve no en vi ronmenral benefit . One rule that would benefit from adherence to such a performance sta ndard is new so urce review (NS R). NS R has given way t o numerous lawsuits and has resulted in detrimental, albeit unintended, envi Ri pon Forum' Wintt r 2002

more efficient equipment in an effort to remain essentially stati c. Byallowing a great deal of time to elapse be fore addressi ng t his issue, the Clinton administration avoided dealing with the ramification s of their own flawed addition to an already challengi ng ru le. T he Bush admini st ration ha s two cho ices: ignore the problems that are inherent in NSR and the nega tive environmental consequences that accompany them, or act to make t he

necessary d istinctions and encounter the negative press that is inevitable where changes in environmental policy are concerned. The Bush ad minis t rati on has decided to act to make the se impo r tant distinct ions clear and their effo rt s will no doubt result in both environmental benefits and fewer lawsuits. he GO P 's environmental legacy will co ntinue to be dete rmined by our actions and, ju s t a s imponan t ly, by ou r ability to communicate the se actio ns to others . We will do a great service by winning over those who believe that partisanship plays a role in environmental prmection . Funding and time are sc arce to any cau se. T he less time and money spent playing political ~got c ha~, the more of both will be available to do the actual work of conserving the environment for ourselves and future generations.

T

ltalia Fed erici is president of CREA. CREA's Board of Advisors is comprised

0/

cllrrent and fo rmer chairmen,presidents, directors and trllHen from America's leading ellvironmenlai organizations. For more in/ormafioll about CREA's mission and Board of Advisors, please v isit www.creaonline.org. 19


(>

Securing the US-Canada Perimeter

has been many years since the United States has felt that a threat to national security could penetrate its borders. Indeed, t

except fo r the War of 1812 and the raiding of Columbus, New M exico by Pancho Villa in 1916. generations of

By Scot Ch"istenson

Americans have enjoyed the luxury of living without a real concern of being invaded by enemy forces. Jean Jules Jusscrand, French Ambassador to the United States in the early Twentieth C enrury, once remarked with much envy that America had an advantage over European nations: "On the nanh, she has a weak neighbor; on the south, another weak neighbor; on the east, fish; n on the west, fish ,

The evcnts of September 11 have shattered the notion that the United States is all but impervious to external danger. Soldiers of O sam a bin Laden managed to enter the country and kill thousands of Americans while causing billions of dollars in dam age. America's borders suddenly seemed all too vulnerable. The U.S. Justice Department maintains that at least a few of the participants in the terrorist attacks entered the country from Canada, a charge that does not sit well with Canadians. Prime M inister Jean C hretien was quick to dismiss any allegations that there was a Canadian connection. However, it would not be the first time individuals residing north of the border were involved with acts of terror against the United States. 20

Ripon forum â&#x20AC;˘ Winter 1001


Ahmed Ressam, a foUO\ver of bin Laden based in Montreal, was apprehended in 1999 while trying to smuggle 130 pounds of aplosives across the border at Port Angeles, Washington. His intentions were to destroy the Los Angeles airport while Americans were celebrating the new millennium. H ani Abd Rahim Al-Sayegh, suspected of participating in the bombing of the U.S. military barracks in Saudi Arabia, was caught while trying to assimilate with the community in Ottawa. It is known that dozens of organizations have been operating within Canada to promote the jihad and raise funds to finance bin Laden's network. It is possible that these individuals and their support organizations have found that Canada makes a convenient base to wage their war on the United States. With fairly liberal immigration and political asylum laws and an ineffectively protected border ,'Vith the United States, Canada makes an attractive staging ground for terrorist groups to relocate. Canada accepts nearly 30,000 foreigners seeking refuge status annually; most of who can remain in the country for years while their cases are heard in court. Even after being rejected, many manage to hide within the system. Over the past 5 years, Canada has issued thousands of deporTation warrants for people whose whereabouts are unknown. The United States has a legitimate concern that at least a few ofrhese unaccounted for people are moving within terrorist circles.

Ripon Forum â&#x20AC;˘ Winler 2002

A

hhough many of the terrorist groups found in Canada also exist in the United States, the soft approach towards combating terrorism that Canada has displayed in recent years has naturally become quite discomforting to Americans. Canada has admirably held true to its values of isolationism and pacifism, but it is time fot the Canadian government to become as tough as it was during the early 19705 when separatist extremists in {hiebec were conducting a bombing campaign. Then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau authorized the tracking, arrest, and detention ofall suspected terrorists. Harsh by Canadian standards, the action was successful and the movement ,vas thwarted. With an apparently porous USCanada border, this kind of thoroughness is needed now because it seems American security is only as good as Canadian security. Without fu ll Canadian cooperation in curtailing potential enemies from entering the country, the United States would have to consider substantially increasing security along the border and strictly enforcing screening procedures at checkpoints. Such a move would be a financial burden for the US in staffing and implementation costs, but devastating to the Canadian economy. 85% of Canadian exports flow south to America and a third of all Canadian jobs depends on this commerce. Any interruption or slow-down in trade would have serious repercussions. It is fairly safe to say that Canada's economic survival depends on the free movement ofgoods between the countries. To be fair, Canada has gone Ihrough great lengths to meet American border concerns since September 11. On December 12, 2001, H omeland Security Director Tom Ridge and Canadian Foreign Min ister John Manley signed an agreement that contains several innovative 11


measures designed to create a balance between security and flow of trade. H owever, any tightening of the shared border cannot help but have some impact on movement between the two countries, and ultimately the economy. To avoid a financial nightmare and keep terrorists as far from the border as possible, an option would be for the US and C2nada to act jointly in fomt ing a perimeter that seals the North American continent. In an idea that dates back to the 19'" Century, the agreement would call for the two countries to adapt identical immigration and refugee policies and visa requirements. The military of both nations would also work more closely in safeguarding the skies and waters, sharing intelligence and form ing special units to track all incoming aircraft and vessels. In doing so, the threat of incursion by extremists would be greatly reduced and the border can be opened further to facilitate the speed and convenience of trade. Although a joint command of a continental defense may be ideal, the US would more than likely have to dictate policy for such a plan to work. The thought of sacrificing any control to the US might chafe some Canadians, but the fact of the matter is that Canada has no outspoken enemies and it is America that is at threat. In retrospect, the US has actually been calling the shots in the defense of North America for quite some time. At the outbreak ofWorid War Two, Canada immediately joined the allies only to be relegated to a non-leadership role two years later when the US entered the conilict. From then on the US took command of continental defense and all but left Canada out of the strategic planning for the defeat of the Axis. With the rise of the Cold War, the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) was established and American nuclear weapons were ostensible available to protect Canadian interests from the Red Anny, but it was always Americans that had their fingers on the button. I n some ways, the US-Canada border has already lost much of its relevance. The line has been blurred by the frequency of interaction through commerce and mass media. Canadians have a distinct accent and vocabulary, but their speech and language is closer to that of America than their Commonwealth mother, G reat 21

Britain. Canadians and Americans breath the same air, drink the same water, and cheer for professional sports in leagues that have teams representing cities in both countries. Of course, Canadian sensitivities about sovereignty have to be respected. Canadians are understandable protective of their culture and fear losing their identity to America. They also have a fair amount of disdain for the majority of Americans who seem to be apa~ thetic and lacking in respect towards their northerly neighbors. President Bush referring to Great Britain as America's "truest friend" and his assertion that no relationship is more important to the United States that that with Mexico follO\ving a meeting ,vith Mexican President Vicente Fox probably stung Canadians. H owever, the Eu ropean Union has demonstrated that independent nations can open their borders ,vithout sacrificing their identity. No one has had a problem of confusing France \vith Germany. An open US-Canada border would also pose a few other problems that would have to be worked out. US imposed sanctions prevent trave] and trade \vith Cuba, while Canada has a more open relationship. Conversely, concerns over the availability ofguns in the United States and the ease of their transportation into tightly regulated Canada would have to be addressed. nother pitfall of developing an integrated continent would be within the legal systems. I mplementing identical immigration policies is one thing, but prosecution of violators would be another. Canada is opposed to capital punishment and may be reluctant to extradite a suspect wanted by the United States if that person was to fa ce the death penalty. These obstacles aside, the forming of a North American perimeter should be strongly considered. Most Americans feel more secure than they did in the days following 9/ 11 , but few feel that the US is immune from another attack. If the US does nOt feel comfortable with Canada's security and immigration policies, the US will have to enact their own along the shared border. It is in Canada's best interest to be inside the perimeter, not outside of it.

A

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Scot CllriJWlSOIJ ;J tile editor of nit Rip4n Fort/tn. Ripon Forum â&#x20AC;˘ Wintu 2002


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