Soraya Beheshti, 16 years
If I Could...
If I could do anything without failing, I would become President of the United States. It is something that I have always wished I could pursue, but I obviously cannot as I am not a resident of the United States. There are so many things that need fixing, both inside and outside of the US. However, as a realist, I understand that a President actually has very limited power â€“ the real power lies with Congress, the Senate and the Supreme Court.
I would focus on improving relations with the Middle East and Cuba and try to increase prosperity amongst American citizens.
I am about as far left-wing-democrat as a person can be. That being said, I am a realist and pragmatist. I understand that one cannot simply pull America - a country whose economy thrives on the manufacturing of armaments - out of a war without considering the implications. It is a long process that requires a lot of thought and strategy. The first step is to increase jobs within the United States, whilst slowly reducing production of arms. The manufacturing of organic chemicals, for instance, attracts an annual revenue of $125bn per year. The annual growth rate is at 4.3%, and yet the growth rate of imports in this industry is 23.5% - costing the US $57bn per year. More manufacturing sites in Southeastern area of the US would benefit the incoming revenue due to its strategically advantageous position near international ports. I would also encourage research on producing 1,2-propanediol from natural sources, such as sugar, as both coal and petroleum are finite sources of energy. This would lead to a stable and renewable industry that would both cut spending on imports and provide jobs within the United States.
Secondly, I would increase regulations and restrictions on cartels and monopolies, which exclusively benefit the exceptionally well off. Market monopolies have the power to exploit the poor by increasing prices, lowering quantities and using exclusivity as a weapon. By establishing new companies and markets, not only would the unemployment rate rise significantly, but increased competition would invite lower prices and consequently increase consumer spending. Another major industry that I would transform would be the pharmaceutical industry. The US consumption in 2009 was $300b â€“ $81b of which were imports. With the recent wave of patent expirations, new pharmaceutical companies would again mean lower prices due to increased competition. For example, the cost of the most widely used pharmaceutical in the US, lipita, in a generic form, will drop from $3 - $1 (average per day per user). Moreover, this would also assist the healthcare problem as drugs will become more easily accessible and affordable to the public.
The US also spends approximately $5b annually on importing sugar (up 89.2 %). Lifting the embargo on Cuba would benefit both the US and Cuba â€“ prohibiting trade between two countries so close in proximity is both ridiculous and irrational when cooperation would attract countless advantages. Purchasing sugar from Cuba would increase prosperity in Cuba, and thus will see an increase demand in goods which can be purchased from the US. Additionally, with the recent discovery of oil near Cubaâ€™s coast it seems ludicrous to sustain a policy that has cost US manufacturers billions in potential exports and is maintained solely by of a senseless fear of Communism and the minority of Anti-Castro Cubans living in America â€“ after all, a thriving economy has no reason to turn to Communism in the first place.
Finally, I would increase power in Arab lobbies in the US. I would negotiate a treaty between Netanyahu and the Arab states, promising peace between Israel and Palestine. This would help with diplomatic cooperation with Iran, thus helping to stabilize the whole Middle Eastern region. The existing components of the Arab Lobby, such as the Palestinian Lobby, wield no considerable power and are ill-funded and because of this they have no chance against the lobbying power of their adversaries. As a result, they have seen little in the way of resolving issues with US foreign policy or the Israel issue. The Arab states that have â€˜swaying-powerâ€™ are too occupied with furthering their own interests to disrupt the existing dynamic by supporting the freedom of smaller states. This is a topic dear to my heart, being of Iranian heritage myself. However, I am lucky enough to receive an education that enlightens the modern world before me. Many women around the world have not had this privilege. I have personally met and talked to women who have been brutal victims of the harsh and repressive Iranian regime â€“ women who have been jailed and beaten for Western liberties â€“ things which forty years ago may have even been tolerated in Iran.
I only wish that I could help bring peace to the world, clichÃ© as it sounds. Philosophy tells us that peace is born of strife, and vice versa â€“ but what if we could break the cycle? By increasing prosperity in America through lowered tax on domestic products, demand would rise simultaneously with jobs, leading to a lowered rate of unemployment. Increased independency within the US would mean that high-powered armament producers could be slowly filtered out, resulting in an effective economy that is not reliant on war to sustain itself. A settlement between Netanyahu and the smaller Arab states would help not only the Israel-Palestine situation, but would help bring stability to the whole region â€“ especially Iran. These are all the things that I would do if I were could do anything without failing.