Letter to a US Citizen on the eve of your historic election

Dear Friend,

Tomorrow you are going to vote in a historic US election to continue the great tradition of Democracy.

Any way you vote, you are going to make history. Either by electing a woman to vice-presidency or by electing a black man to presidency.

As you vote in the next US election, remember you are still part of a bigger neighbourhood.

Today more than ever, we are tied closer together in everything we do.

Your child plays with a toy made by a young girl in China. Sugar on your table came from cane cut by a young man in Brazil.

Your car is powered by oil dug out from a well in Saudi Arabia by a middle-aged man from Indonesia.

You work for a European company that makes electronics that go into
Korean phones sold in India – and that pays for your bills for gasoline, sugar and toys.

When your city (No! our city) was burning after 9/11, we all watched in
horror and cried with you. We all joined you and went to war against terrorists.

When your soldiers treated prisoners in Abu Ghraib, Iraq filthily, we
all watched in shame and cursed you. We all tried to stay away from you.

When your hero (No! our hero) Phelps won 8 gold medals, we all watched
in awe and cheered with you. We all joined in the Olympic celebrations.

So, when you vote tomorrow, remember that we are all watching anxiously, just like you.

We share your concerns about our interdependent future – about the
slowing global economy, about global warming, about world peace – about
the only Earth we all have to share.

So, when you vote tomorrow, ignore petty politics about pigs and lipstick.

We all know you can rise beyond prejudices and narrow fundamentalist beliefs. Think
about the bigger issues that will affect your grandchildren – and ours.

Any way you vote, you are going to make history !!

But if you vote for party politics and “USA-alone-matters” politicians, we will be quite sorry for you.

Vote for a stronger and stable economy. Vote for a just and peaceful world. And we will cheer for you.

May God bless the world and everyone in it !

Your loving neighbour.

Would a Universal currency bring us closer together ?

I just saw Sarkozy’s comment today that the strong Euro is causing economic problems in France. We’ve also been hearing about the weak dollar affecting the US. Brazil and India are also complaining about the weak dollar.

Here is a naive question I had posted earlier on Yahoo Questions:

Why can’t we use a Universal Currency ? Who will gain or lose with such a transition ?

Here are some problems that I see with the current multi-currency (Dollar, Euro, Pound, Yen, Rupee..) system:

1) Currency conversions are unnecessary expenses that have to be borne by individuals and businesses.

2) Currency fluctuations are usually due to macroeconomic factors and can affect businesses adversely. Since businesses usually dont have any control over such factors, currency changes always come as a surprise to businesses (and individuals) disturbing careful financial planning.

3) In an increasingly global environment, different currencies make it harder for businesses to react quickly to business needs.
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Lets call our Universal Currency as “Money” or “Monies” !! Apart from solving the above problems, a truly Universal Currency can have another key benefit

*** Bring people together***. As a role model, Euro has already done this to some extent in Europe.

Leaving aside political hurdles, What are the potential drawbacks with this idea ?

 

I do understand that there are many political & economical issues before we can align everyone towards a single Universal currency. But Europe has done it successfully and many proud countries had given up their popular currencies like the Franc, Deutsch (?) Mark, etc. Here is a nice writeup on the advantages & disadvantages of a single currency – http://www.gocurrency.com/articles/universal-currency.htm.

My interest in a common currency is due to two reasons:

1) Remove wasted costs in conversions, unproductive currency speculation.

2) Psychologically it can be a huge factor in helping people feel united.

Next phase in Indian Politics…

The next phase in Indian Politics is going to see the entry of young, educated, middle class Indians entering active politics. This is different from before.

Either the very richest “dynasties” came to power because of their connections or their privilege to focus on social problems as opposed to being bothered by the daily chores of life. Examples include the Gandhis, Scindias, Chidambaram, etc.

On the other hand, the “lowest class” (economically) of people came to power because they were oppressed for long periods of time and they struggled against this oppression. Capturing political power was a great way to improve their lot. Examples include Karunanidhi, Laloo Prasad Yadav, etc.

But going forward, young, educated, middle class is going to be the face of Indian Politics. Why ? Because the middle class is numerous in number and is becoming a strong political force, though they dont see themselves as such at present. At present, they are quite apathetic about politics instead focusing on their normal lives, savings, childrens education, future planning, etc. But a reasonable number of them are going past those issues already and are beginning to think of the environment or situation around them and about improving them.

They are going global and are able to see how their country could ideally be and are beginning to form a vision… This vision will translate to action. And political action is going to be one of the forces that will make this happen. Some examples of this are already visible – read about Lok Paritran, Lok Satta, etc.

It is going to be interesting…