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If you really wanted to change the world for the better - what would you do?

The following are a few of my thoughts.
What would YOU do?


Military spending

The United States would spend about $800bn less per year on the military.
(It would still be spending about 5 times more than China.)
It would have lower taxes for most people (start by cutting taxes for those at the bottom - e.g. raise tax thresh holds).
Consumers would consume more - they would have more money to spend on consumer goods.
There would be more jobs in the US.
There would be less unemployment in the US.
There would be less spending on welfare.
There would be more jobs in the rest of the world.
Everybody would enjoy a higher standard of living.

US military spending - $1,219bn in 2012.
Global military spending
Military spending in general and it's detrimental effects on people's standard of living.

The UK would spend about $50bn less per year on the military.
EVERYBODY would be better off - see above.

France would spend about $50bn less per year on the military.
EVERYBODY would be better off - see above.

Saudi Arabia would spend about $35bn less per year on the military.
They could put that money to work to grow their domestic economy.
There would be more jobs in Saudi Arabia.
There would be fewer unemployed or poverty stricken young males to turn into religious extremists.
EVERYBODY would be better of.

etc. etc. etc.

You would reduce the food tariffs currently applied to exports from Africa to the US and Europe.
You would reduce these down to zero in a few years.
Currently it is uneconomic in the vast majority of cases to grow food in Africa for consumption in the US and Europe because of trade tariffs and taxpayer subsidies given to US and European farmers.
Large parts of Africa could make a living exporting food to the West.
At the moment, it is often the case that they don't even grow enough food to feed themselves.
There would be less malnutrition and people starving in Africa.
There would be fewer humanitarian crises.
The price of food generally would go DOWN.
There would be fewer conflicts in Africa - people who have the basic necessities of life and are economically stable have less propensity to join up for wars.
There would start to be better governance in Africa.
EVERYBODY would be much better off.
(You would also reduce the taxpayer subsidies currently given to American and European farmers.)

Philanthropy in Africa would be used for useful things, like paying for education and clean water supplies.
Not as a means of controlling Africa's population and making them dependent on the West - like the Bill Gates Foundation currently mostly does.

Internet markets in Africa would be greatly expanded so that African producers could get the best prices for their goods - across the entire globe.
In the few areas in Africa where this has been tried so far, an economic boom has transpired.

There would be NO government controlled schools anywhere in the world.
(Starting with the West.)
95% plus of people would have a far higher standard of education.
Education would also become slightly cheaper.
A better educated population is the most important thing a country can do to improve the living standards of it's people. (After the basic economic needs of food, warmth, clothes and shelter to sustain life are met.)
EVERYBODY would be much better off.
How to do this.

The Western focus on college education for subjects that don't need them, would cease.
College education is required for the sciences, engineering and doctors.
It is NOT needed for the vast majority of other jobs / careers.
It would be much better to go back to on the job training and work experience for all these other jobs.
Young people would cease to start out in life weighed down by $10,000's of debts.
There would be less demand for colleges and college education in general would become cheaper for those that did want it / benefit from it.
Prices ALWAYS fall, when there is a reduction in demand. It is a basic market principle.

Western support for Israel would cease.
Israel has a population of less than 8 million people, but it's capacity to stir up global conflict, wars, terrorism, arms spending, hatred and bigotry is hugely disproportionate to it's tiny population.
Israel operates much like Apartheid South Africa with it's treatment of the Palestinians.
Social pressure should be brought to bear on Israel to encourage better treatment of the Palestinians and eventually a peaceful solution.
E.G. by the exclusion of Israel from all social events - like the Eurovision song contest, the Olympics, the World Cup (soccer). Very similar to that which was done to marginalise South Africa's Apartheid regime.

I am against trade sanctions as a means of persuasion because it only affects the poor - who die and suffer because of disease, lack of medical supplies, inflation etc.
The rich who control the regimes upon which sanctions are applied do not suffer.

(Israeli athletes would not be too badly discriminated against - they would apply for dual citizenship in another country - much like South African cricketers moved to England during Apartheid.)
Western foreign "aid" to Israel would entirely cease. This is mostly used by Israel to buy Western arms to terrorize the Palestinians.

There would be far less conflict generally in the Middle East and there would be far fewer Islamic Extremists in the world, if the West got tough on Israel and held them accountable for their appalling behavior.

Other countries would spend less on arms.
EVERYBODY would be better off - including the vast majority of Israeli's.

N.B. there are large numbers of Jews that do not support zionism and there are many more christian zionists than there are jewish ones.

For hundreds of years the Muslims and the Jews got along / muddled through in the Middle East.
The Arabs treated the Jews much better than the christians did in the Middle Ages (and up until Western attitudes towards the Jews started changing for the better in the 1800's).

Apply the Rule of Law in the West
The Rule of Law no longer applies to large corporations.
They have enough money to bribe politicians and judges to get away with most things.
Occasionally a government will give a large corporation a slap on the wrist as a PR exercise to persuade the people that the government is working for them and not the large corporations.
Prosecute the large corporations with the full rigor of the Law and apply deterrent penalties to stop bad behavior.
Jailing the CEO's of JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs for 20+ years hard labor would do wonders to clean up Wall Street and the Financial industry.
(After a fair trial for their white collar crimes of fraud etc. that they have committed - there is plenty of evidence to charge them with multiple crimes.)

Even in the very rare cases that the rich are prosecuted they only get a slap on the wrist.
Conrad Black got sentenced to 4 years in a white collar jail, but he is out after a year. Conrad Black does not think that this is any deterrence from his recent comments.
Give the rich hard labor in blue collar jails and give them meaningful sentences like 20 years actually spent in jail.

Reinstate ACCOUNTABILITY in the West.
The abuses of power are legion in the West and there are widespread abuses of power and corruption.
From GW Bush's lies to sell the invasion of Iraq, Barack Obama's hundreds of Executive Orders to increase the power of the Presidency, politicians selling their souls to corporate interests on Capitol Hill, Westminster, Paris and Rome.
To TSA abuses, routine cops on the streets abusing their power and all levels in between none go punished to deter the abuses.
Make the people who are supposed to serve the people ACCOUNTABLE for their actions.
Boot the corrupt politicians out of office don't vote them back in.
95%+ of politicians on Capitol Hill are deeply corrupt - quite a lot of it to raise the money to get re-elected and keep their personal gravy train rolling.
Things are not much better in London, Rome, Paris, Berlin, Brussels or Tokyo.
Jail public servants who abuse their powers - at the moment it is likely to be the victim that goes to jail or suffers some form of penalty - not the perpetrator.

Stop the abuses of interest rate and money supply manipulation.
There was a widespread outcry over the recent LIBOR interest rate fixing.
But this is what the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and the ECB do every day.
Reinstate market interest rates so that better decisions are made for investment in the future, instead of the current preponderance of short term speculation.

Stop the massive increases in the money supply that causes inflation.
It looks like the Federal Reserve is still trying to inflate but has been pushing on a string since 2008.

Stop the system that allows the National Debt to massively increase.
It is now at $16.2tn and rising rapidly.
Neither Mitt Romney or Barack Obama have any plans to address it - both plan to run well over $1tn deficits ad infinitum.
There is always a price to pay for increasing the National Debt too much.
Either the country defaults on it's debts or it has to pay them off eventually.

US National Debt

The ECB is still trying to inflate the money supply.
It is doomed to failure - the eurozone's problems are not just due to a shortage of money - the far bigger problem is a structural one of the reletive competive difference between Germany and most of the rest of the Eurozone.

Prices ALWAYS go up when there is more money to buy limited resources and resources are ALWAYS
limited in some form or another.

Stop the system that allows governments to massively borrow to pay for wasteful things like war, or government corruption or inflated public servant wages or benefits (like pensions).
There is no such thing as an economic free lunch, there is always a price to pay eventually - look at what has happened to Greece.

Stop the system that creates financial crises that are FAR LARGER in magnitude and occur FAR
MORE frequently than they used to be prior to 1913.
Get the politicians and the bankers to read a book and learn from it.
This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff.

Stop the system whereby the taxpayers pay a private company to print money and for that private company to charge interest on the money they create out of thin air.
Stop the system where a private company can just lose $9tn of taxpayer money (as they admitted on a fairly recent questioning session).

It is time that the world was not held to ransom by private bankers.
It is time to end the Federal Reserve system which controls and manipulates the money supply and interest rates throughout the globe.

Stop the so called "War on Terror"

Since GW Bush initiated his so called "war on terror" in 2001 there are many more Islamic Extremists in many more countries and more countries have governments that are controlled or are heavily influenced by Islamic Extremists,

Obama's drone warfare and double tap drone strikes in Pakistan and cluster bombing and drone strikes in Yemen are counter productive due to the very large number of innocent civilians that are killed.
It only serves to radicalize the local (and Middle Eastern) populations and recruit more Jihadists.
Ageing Islamic Extremist leaders are killed off; only to be replaced with younger, more energetic, more vengeful, more hateful and more extreme leaders.

How to end the "Age of Terror"

Drones in general

Stop the so called "War on Drugs"

Prohibition did not work in the US for alcohol in the 1920's and it patently does not work for frugs prohibition now.
The so called war on drugs merely achieves the following main things :-
It costs US taxpayers $200bn per year.
It MASSIVELY increases corruption and criminality (like alcohol prohibition did in the 1920's) and destabilises large areas of the world.

A detailed analysis of the effects of the war on drugs can be found here.

Stop the myth that there is a global energy shortage.
This myth is propagated by oil companies to raise the oil price and by arms companies and governments to increase military and arms spending and to persuade public opinion that intervention in oil producing areas is necessary.

The US became nett energy neutral in 2011.
It will have a surplus of energy as things like the North Dakota shale gas fields are developed.
There are many trillions of dollars available from fracking in the US and Europe just from the very small amount of exploration that has been done so far.
(N.B. any damage to the environment from things like fracking should be paid for by the energy companies that cause it. Bad behavior should be punished, with penalties that deter - not slap on the wrist penalties like BP got from Alaskan pollution or Deepwater Horizon.)

Encourage more research into potential alternative energy sources like cold fusion.
The oil companies, arms companies and governments do not like research into these fields - see above.

N.B. If the world was really serious about renewable energy, it would build 100 sq mile solar farms in the middle of the Sahara desert, Central Spain and Southern California, Texas, Nevada, Arizona etc.
But Western governments play with the green lobby and raise energy costs for everybody by subsidizing small renewable energy schemes that are uneconomic.

Climate Change
Stop the anthropological climate change myth.
The Earth has been warming up and cooling down for hundreds of thousands of years, the evidence is all in the ice cores.
The Earth was much warmer in the Middle Ages than it is now.
It would seem the most likely explanation for climate change are natural variations in the strength and polarity of the Sun's magnetic field. This causes variations in the amount of cloud cover and hence variations in the amount of the Sun's energy that is reflected back into space before reaching Earth.
The Earth too has a natural variation of it's magnetic field. It's polarity switches suddenly every 10,000 years or so - North becomes South and vice versa.

N.B. pollution is a bad thing and the appropriate measures should be taken to stop it.
Nobody wants to go back to the London smogs or acid rain in Europe.

Media Propaganda
The media is almost entirely owned by 6 large corporations in the US.
It is the messages that these corporations want to put out and the message of their large corporate advertisers that are broadcast to millions of Americans every day.
Anything that threatens the power of the corporations is suppresed.

It is a similar story in Europe, Canada and Australia - but there it is a mixture of government and corporate controlled TV channels and corporate owned papers.
But since the politicians have been bought by large corporations, it makes little difference whether a TV channel is government or corporate run.
Anyone who thinks the BBC for example is an independent news source and not controled by corporate interests should look again.

The only way to diminish this media propaganda and almost total control is to stop buying the products of the large news organizations and the products of their large corporate advertisers and to go and get your news from truly independent media - the internet.

How Western consumers became willing victims of Corporate Greed.

The Middle East and the Islamic world

The overwhelming majority of Muslims are decent, law abiding and moderate people.
Their main wish (like Westerners) is for a better life for themselves and their children.

However (just as in the West) the general population is manipulated by leaders who are in power or who seek power or wish to pursue a radical political agenda, to gradually radicalize the population to recruit more Islamic Extremists or Jihadists.

In this the Islamic Extremists are greatly assisted by current Western government policy and the current support for Israel's abuse of the Palestinians.

If left to their own devices support for Islamic Extremism and the Islamic regimes would wither and die (just like it almost died with the defeat of the Islamic radicals in the Algerian civil war of 1995).

A Global Caliphate or Islamic Extremist model is a far inferior economic model to that of the West (or China) and would die a natural death, just as the USSR's, so called communist, system was an inferior economic model to that of the West.
The USSR was not defeated by invasions or by dropping bombs or firing bullets - it was defeated ECONOMICALLY.

The US and the West should stop interfering in the Middle East.
It is counter productive.

The list of US accomplishments since 1992
Current US and Western policy should be turned around 180 degrees in order to improve the living standards of their populations.

Just a few of my thoughts of what should be done if you really wanted to change the world for the better.
I might have some more later.

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Interesting thoughts, but I thought you were asking a question

The title says "If you..." so I thought you were asking what others thought. Then the article keeps telling me what I would do.... these kinds of things rub me the wrong way. Your thoughts are very good, but they are not mine. From title on, your essay really ought to have been "What I would do...." and I hope you find the magic wand that enables you to do all those things. They really are good points you make, I just don't see anything that an individual can sink their teeth into and get started on.
As for me, I am a simple granny with no desire to be king of the world, just queen of my world.
I would get into aquaponics and teach others about it.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

I want other people to share their thoughts as well

I have changed the header to come across as less bombastic

"In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all -- security, comfort, and freedom. When ... the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

Bookmarked and bumped

Thank you for sharing your perspective with us and I will study this further after breakfast.

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."