Thursday, May 7, 2015

Combat Income Inequality by not talking about Income

Combat Income Inequality by not talking about Income.

In America today being employed in anything over a minimum wage job, almost requires a car. Most cities do not have reliable public transportation, and even those that do, cannot provide personalized routes just for a few people. The result is that many who would be otherwise qualified to be productive cannot. Many people do not have access to cars, due to this they are unable to acquire employment that requires reliable transportation, therefore the government should allow autonomous cars on public roads, this would allow more people to afford access to a car, as well as allow access to those who cannot drive, due to disability or legal impediment.
    Not only are cars expensive, but there are a multitude of reasons a person may not be able to drive. Many people are unable to drive due to disability, so even if they were able to afford a car, they are still left without access; others do not have the privilege to drive, often courts will strip someone of their ability to drive as punishment for a violation of state traffic laws. One of the laws that results in an automatic revocation of someones driver's licence is allowing insurance to expire, even if the only reason that it did so was for lack of funds to pay for it. The costs of owning a car quickly add up, especially for low income workers. With minimum wage being $7.25 an hour, the hundreds of dollars a month that is required to maintain a car, can take weeks to earn enough to cover. Paying for insurance, tags, inspection, fuel, and general maintenance, leaves little left for other bills, but these costs do not even include the acquisition cost of the car, which even for a used car may be many months of salary.
There is a technologically feasible solution to these problems, and other driving ills, autonomous cars. Autonomous cars would allow for cheaper travel as they would not require a driver, so hired cars would be cheaper, but private cars could also be shared more easily. People with disabilities would not be barred form using their own car, people with legal troubles would not be forbidden from driving. Along with the simple fact that without drivers, many of those legal troubles would no longer occur. Finally, since autonomous cars are much more efficient than human driven ones, the actual costs of maintenance, fuel and insurance would be lower, further lowering the bar of access.
The largest hurdle for the widespread adoption of autonomous cars is regulatory. With most States forbidding such cars from the roads, the public has very little access to them. However, if the states were to adopt a regulatory programme that allows for "driverless" cars, the benefits to the populace would be almost incalculable. The current estimates say that if only ten percent of cars were driverless, then deaths from car accidents would drop by ninety percent. With billions of dollars saved from not paying for accidents, the economy would have a massive resource to put to other uses.
It is important for the economy that people work. It is imperative for most jobs that people have access to cars. But many people are blocked from access to cars by either financial, legal or physical disabilities. These people would be allowed to fully integrate into the modern US economy if states would allow autonomous cars. Therefore, without delay, states should adopt laws allowing for the presence of autonomous cars on public roadways.​

Robert W. T. Short, Sr. is a civil libertarian, and a veterans rights advocate, who served two tours in Iraq. He is a political consultant by choice, an accountant by trade and a chaplain for numerous groups by calling. Him, his wife and their three children, two dogs and five cats live in Lynchburg, Virginia. He can be reached on facebook and twitter at and @RobertShortSr, respectively.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Injustice Tarnishes all it Touches

Injustice Tarnishes all it Touches
Injustice is all around us, in small ways, in large ways, it permeates our world. It exists in the jerk who cuts you off in traffic and in the child abused for someone’s pleasure. Injustice is like darkness or coldness, it is not something itself, but the absence of something. Injustice is the word we use to describe the lack of justice, the hole ripped in our moral worldview that occurs when someone takes something that they had no right to. They exist in the overt and in the anonymity of the commonplace.
When someone’s actions forces another person to expend resources to mitigate the harm to themselves, that is injustice. When the expenditure is minimal, the inefficiency that is caused by having to tap your brakes, or the moments wasted in line when someone cuts in front, we call those injustices, rudeness. We trivialize them, we dare not call them evil, or even remark on them as unjust. If one defy our culturally imposed line, they risk being demonized as petty and self centered. Yet is the drive to commit these acts of rudeness any different than the drive to commit any other act of injustice? Does not the base urge come from the same fundamental human failing, namely, we view our own pleasure as outweighing the pain we cause others. In this light can we any longer excuse the injustice we cause in the world, just because we see it as minor?
So then how shall we live in the knowledge that any injustice, no matter how small, we create only perpetuates the suffering of others? As a follower of the Way, I am commanded to serve all my fellow men, and to show them the love I show myself. This strikes right at the heart of the problem, by forcing us to place regard for the well being of others on the same level as we regard our own well being, we have to choose between being just or harming ourselves with sin.
But how can we know what being just looks like? It is often said ‘the Bible doesn’t speak on this or that topic.’ But is that really true? The Bible is very clear that God looks at the heart, not the exact actions. Jesus said in Matt. 5:28 “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (NIV) He was not speaking there only about adultery (he goes on to say hate is the same as murder), but rather that indulging in our unjust desires taints us with the sin. Even before we harm anyone else, we harm ourselves. Is there any question then that hitting someone with a club and taking their goods is stealing? Then likewise is there any question that emailing an old lady claiming to be a “Nigerian Prince” is stealing as well?
    We get so caught up in how great we are, we have instant communication, non perishable food, and shoes made by slave labour. We think that the old problems do not affect us anymore. But as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes (1:9 and many times after that) “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (NIV) How can this be, unless he was speaking of our hearts? Yes, the tools change, and praise God for it, but the intentions of those who use the tools do not. Honestly, are we any better now that we use the internet to bring us lust, facebook to hide the suffering outside our door or a computer virus to steal money, than the Pharisees lusting after a servant girl, the rich ruler ignoring the beggar at his gate, or the thieves conspiring to rob the widow? I say not.
    But I say we can be. If we wake up each morning looking for the injustices we cause, eliminating them, work towards a state of being in which our actions do not harm anyone else. Is that standard actually obtainable? No, but if enough people began to eliminate the injustice in their lives, the culture would change. Studies have shown that when presented with peers doing small unjust acts, people are many times more likely to do larger unjust acts. So by changing our culture in small ways, we can stop larger injustices from happening. How can the world change, if we do not become that change?

Robert W. T. Short, Sr. is a civil libertarian, and a veterans rights advocate, who served two tours in Iraq. He is a political consultant by choice, an accountant by trade and a chaplain for numerous groups by calling. Him, his wife and their three children, two dogs and five cats live in Lynchburg, Virginia. He can be reached on facebook and twitter at and @RobertShortSr, respectively.

Monday, February 9, 2015

First Edition will be released on May 7, 2015

The Independence Rock Review 
will be released on May 7, 2015. 
"Concept of Justice"

Sunday, January 4, 2015