By reading newspapers, magazines, blogs, online news and talking to people, the two most used words nowadays are war and peace. War in Iraq, Gaza, Libya, Ukraine; war of oil and gas; war of powers; always war, even third world war.
One out of every 7 dollars spent in the U.S. is spent containing violence. Is this really how we want to measure America's success, how we want to develop as a society, and how we want to leave the world for our children and our children's children?
while President Barack Obama has mentioned that assault weapons belong in the hands of US soldiers and not on the streets of America, he has left it to Congress to move forward on an assault weapons ban. That's too bad because Congress isn't remotely close to doing anything.
The U.S. Peace Index is based on analysis of homicide, violent crime, policing, incarceration rates and availability of small arms data. With improvements in all five of these indicators from the 2011 to the 2012 USPI, the U.S. was found to be more peaceful than at any time since 1991.
Politicians need to realize that in the pursuit of available funds, there are untapped dividends available where they may least suspect it. Increasing the peace not only improves quality of life but the economy as well.
As the Republican candidates leave Nevada, one topic seems to have escaped their attention entirely: a credible economic cure for what ails the states where they're waging their campaigns for president.
We need more of this kind of innovativeness and initiative. The climate isn't cooling anytime soon and it's clear that climate talks will continue to be inconclusive. So companies and consumers, the ball is in your court.
I'm talking about the majority of businesses that perform better when poverty and violence is not prevalent. If financial incentives motivate politicos, then put some numbers on those dividends available from reducing violence.
Despite overwhelming data, policymakers are not in hot pursuit of the very policies that would increase the peacefulness, improve economic productivity, and cut costs across the board as we concurrently cut violence levels in this country.
America's tendency is to pursue policies that react primarily to violence, not aim to prevent it. As a result, not only is America less economically prosperous, it is less peaceful. The way forward, then, is to learn from what the index is telling us.
Realizing that every moment must be used to leave the world a better place, River's activism in social justice, animal rights, environment and peace causes inspired what has become the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding.
Is the National Transitional Council a legitimate, representative body? When will elections be held? Is the new Libya going to be run by Islamists? Certainly these are important issues. Just as important, however, is the Libyan economy and how to get Libyans back to work.
The fact that companies are paying no taxes when America's working families are still struggling to winter what Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke continues to recognize as a failed or failing recovery is a prime example of what is exacerbating income inequality in America.