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Could Credible Cryptocurrencies Silently Take Over the U.S Financial System?

Cryptocurrency is considered by many to be yet another esoteric fad reserved for a select group of people. Like the dot-com bubble of the 1990’s, many expect cryptocurrency’s time in the spotlight to end and for tech risk-takers to lose their wealth as quickly as they amassed it. The shiny array of buzzwords such as “Web3”, “NFT”, “Bitcoin”, “Dogecoin”, “Blockchain”, “Ethereum”, and countless others clog news hea...
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The Crypto Conundrum and the Need for a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, an anonymous entity under the alias “Satoshi Nakomoto” authored and developed a cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin. Bitcoin became the first decentralized digital currency – free from government regulation, and manipulation. Since the creation of Bitcoin over a decade ago, a staggering 10,000 different cryptocurrencies have been created over, with a total market cap of over $3 trillion . However, what began as a fringe, anti-government mon...
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The Texas Abortion Ban and its Far-Reaching Implications

On September 1st, the Texas law prohibiting most abortions after six weeks went into effect following the Supreme Court’s second consecutive refusal to block it. Despite Chief Justice Roberts’ dissenting opinion, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority allowed for a 5 to 4 vote in favor of upholding the fairly recent Texas law.    The law, also known as Senate Bill 8, is the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation.  It marks Texas lawmakers’ aim...
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Opinion: Ditch the Cuba Embargo

<p>The United States embargo on Cuba turned sixty years old last month . Despite this milestone, there is no major push in Congress to end the decades-long policy. There absolutely should be.&nbsp;</p> <p>It is important to understand the rationale behind the embargo. On February 2nd, 2022, the National Security Archives declassified documents relating to the early stages of the embargo . The failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion caused President John F. Kennedy to impose ...
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Modern Day Slavery: Why Prison Labor Should Be Reformed

The prison labor system has been a significant yet controversial contributor to the United States economy since the post-slavery late 19th century. Prison labor refers to the jobs carried out by prison inmates during the period of their sentencing. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, all inmates are required to perform penal labor if they are able-bodied . This labor constitutes two primary areas, in-prison duties and industrial production duties. In-prison duties include on-site jobs to...
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Indigenous Activism is at the Forefront of Modern Environmental Advocacy

<p>In much of the modern discourse surrounding climate change, particularly in discussions about the reduction of carbon emissions or the use of fossil fuels, there exists a fundamental belief in the power of large-scale, regulatory legislation. Such legislation often seeks to transform the economy, incentivize other forms of clean energy use, and disincentivize companies&rsquo; use of fossil fuels. Bills like the Green New Deal or policies like the CEPP , which calls on the federal g...
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Inflation Games

Inflation is a larger problem than the Federal Reserve would like to admit. Recent data showcase a dire economic situation: inflation is now rising at an annualized rate of roughly 5.4%, and monthly inflation data indicates it’s not slowing anytime soon . Joe Biden has called this inflation “transitory”, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell echoed the President in saying that it would soon pass. However, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently provided a contradictory statement and con...
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Ending Federal Incarceration for Lower Level/Nonviolent Drug Crimes

Mass incarceration has been a central issue for political parties in the United States since around the 1970s. Today, the US makes up approximately 25% of the world’s prison population. This high-imprisonment rate can be traced to the war on drugs, a policymaking campaign that promotes harsh drug laws and sentencing that disproportionately impacts people of color and people of lower socioeconomic standing. Mass incarceration is a particularly threatening societal issue because it continues...
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Opinion: The Foster Care System Feeds the Opioid Crisis

The United States is failing one of its most vulnerable populations—orphans. Thousands of children enter the U. S. Foster Care System in hopes of a better future and receive little more than trauma. Kids shuffle from house to house, never experiencing a consistent home or long-term reliable parental care. Much less, love. Children enter the foster care system for a variety of reasons—from parental abuse and neglect, to incarceration or death of their parents. Over the past five years...
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An Autopsy of America’s Longest War

On August 30, 2021, the last U.S. plane fled Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan after twenty years of war in the country. They left amidst chaos: in the days preceding that last flight from Kabul, a man fell to his death after clinging to a U.S. military aircraft with the hopes of escaping the collapsing country, and a suicide bombing by the Islamic State in Khorasan killed thirteen U.S. service members while they defended the perimeter of the airport, the first U.S. service members kill...
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A Roadmap for *Affordably* Housing All Californians

California is unaffordable for working families. As of May 2021, the average California home sells for over $800,000. Assuming that a buyer puts down a 20% down payment, they will need to make roughly $150,000 to afford the principal, mortgage, and interest on the average home . But not many Californians make $150,000 per year, as this falls in the 76th percentile for median household income and the 91st percentile for median individual income . California is the only state in which the average ...
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A Brief Explanation of Critical Race Theory and how its Opponents Embody Modern Anti-Intellectualism

Critical Race Theory has caused a whirlwind of debates both in the educational world and the legal sector with rumors of the qualm making its way all the way to the highest court.    Even though Critical Race Theory has gained steam in recent years, the coining of the term traces back to the late 1970s and early 1980s when Kimberle Crenshaw, Derrick Bell, Richard Delgado, and others first started their trailblazing venture to give this legal approach standing and credibility . Cr...
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Excluding 12 Weeks of Paid Parental Leave from the New Democratic Spending Framework Threatens American Nuclear Family

The American public is well-versed in the struggles of being a working parent. When it comes to family welfare policy in the US, however, the government fails to provide any significant aid. In an attempt to rectify the severe lack of family welfare security, Democrats proposed to include paid parental leave in their initial $3.5 trillion spending bill first put forth in the Senate in early August of 2021 . This framework could have secured up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave and/or caretaker ...
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Fiscal Conservatism: A Republican Mirage?

The level of debt in the United States is reaching unprecedented territory with a current estimation of $28 trillion. While this number is definitely large, it is important to use relative values since inflation can significantly skew these numbers.   A standard metric that is used to convey the value of debt against inflation is the debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, with GDP representing the total value of goods in the economy. The U.S. debt to GDP ratio reached its highest...
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Are Democrats Making the Same Mistakes? The Similarities Between The Recent Infrastructure Debate and the Formation of the ACA in 2009-10

The Congressional stage is set. A historic electoral mandate has won President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party a supermajority of 60 seats in the Senate and a majority in the House with 257 seats. Fresh on the legislative table is healthcare reform, and President Obama insists on the creation of what is now known as Obamacare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The process needs committees, debate, amendments, public hearings, markups, and negotiations.   The Con...
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The Price of Being a Moderate, as Told by the Downsized Infrastructure Bill

It is no secret that the United States has strayed far from the united republic that its forefathers envisioned. As the pandemic took over our lives, political polarization and party division became even more conspicuous in everyday life. In the year 2020, something as mundane as a trip to the grocery store became a revelation of who in your town was a Conservative (no mask) or Liberal (mask). While such conclusions are never based on more than a guess, research confirms general assumptions such...
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Policing From the Streets and Into Californian Classrooms: Fueling the School to Prison Pipeline

Since the infamous Columbine High School massacre of 1999, school board members and anxiety-ridden parents have sought to prevent such an atrocious act of violence from recurring. Consequently, in succeeding years the number of school resource officers (SROs) have skyrocketed across the nation in hopes of deterring an unhinged student from becoming every parent’s worst nightmare: a school shooter. Despite data that shows a lack of disparity between gun access and bullying rates among ethni...
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Do-Nothing Congress: How We Got Here and How We Fix It

Millions of anxious Americans sat in their homes glued to their televisions on January 5th, 2021 watching the results of a special Senate election in the state of Georgia that would determine the fate of the newly elected president’s agenda. Georgia flipped blue in a presidential election for the first time since 1992 when Bill Clinton carried the state to defeat incumbent president George H.W. Bush. It became the centerpiece of national controversy as two Senate races would decide whether...
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Jesse Baker Headlines First Bruin Political Review Speaker Series

The Bruin Political Review was honoured to host Jesse Baker at our first Bruin Political Review Speaker Series event this Fall.  Jesse Baker is the Special Agent in Charge of the Secret Service Los Angeles Field Office.  During his career, he has worked on the president’s protective detail, was a liaison in Congress for law enforcement agencies, and served as the security coordinator for the Rose Bowl and upcoming Super Bowl in LA.  Jesse is in the process of getting his EMB...
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The Yazidi Genocide: Will the International Community Ever Take Action?

Introduction On August 3rd, 2014, 200,000 Yazidis clamor over rocks to escape a genocide beginning at the base of a mountain. Within days, this ethnoreligious minority group will be nonexistent from the villages they have occupied for generations. International headlines will momentarily spotlight these atrocities before expectedly switching gears to resume discussions of domestic affairs. Though the attacks and headlines lasted only several days, the homicide continues and must now face reso...
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One Size Does Not Fit All: The Case for School Choice

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the closure of schools was one of the largest challenges to American families with children. Many parents were forced to assume the role of teacher, and many students were left wondering when they’d return to the classroom. As phased re-openings dragged on, parents grew increasingly anxious. The collective frustration surrounding the delayed re-openings galvanized a new, yet familiar debate on education.          ...
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Why SCOTUS Term Limits are Necessary

In an 1855 speech, Republican Senator William Seward called on his Northern supporters to elect antislavery candidates who represented their true interests. His rationale was eerily reminiscent of today’s rhetoric; only about 1% of the nation owned slaves, he told the crowd, though slave owners were at the helm of every branch of government. “The people of the United States do not prefer the wealth of the few to the liberty of the many,” Seward declared . Sure enough, a decade ...
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The Biden Administration Must Make Cyber Security a Top Priority

On May 3, 2021, former President Donald Trump released a statement. He said, “The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020, will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!” . This sentiment captures the spirit of all the election challenges that have occurred, and the narrative propagated by Trump allies which hinges on conspiracy theories surrounding Dominion Voting Systems. Trump’s people have claimed that these voting machines were somehow compromised or that they were e...
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Religious Freedom is Where the Roberts Court Will Make its Impact

Throughout his presidency, Donald Trump fashioned a substantial conservative Supreme Court majority and a potential line of defense in the form of justices. Trump himself appointed three justices, Niel Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, but also arguably had ideological support from three other justices, Thomas Clarence, Samuel Alito, and Chief Justice John Roberts-- all of whom were appointed by former Republican presidents (1).  Going into  2020 , some political comm...
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Why Class-Based Affirmative Action Works

Affirmative action policies in the United States have long been controversial, where neither side of the debate can agree on an effectively equitable solution. Many Americans recognize the egregious history of racial discrimination in the United States that needs to be addressed, and that we all benefit when we interact with a diverse group of people. Yet, many are also uncomfortable with the idea that an applicant’s race has a huge impact on his or her chances of admission. They worry tha...
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How Originalism Validates America’s Ugly Past of Racially-Motivated Gun Violence

Five months into the new year, and the United States has already witnessed a total of 194 mass shootings with at least 4 dead and/or injured . The recent spike in mass shootings, especially the spa shootings in Atlanta, jolted the American public, reigniting online discourse around the nation’s long-standing gun problem and shameful history of hate crimes.    Because the distribution and use of firearms has always been a big topic of contention between political groups with...
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Packing the Supreme Court

The death of feminist and legal champion Ruth Bader Ginsberg only 47 days before election day incited  a storm of debates surrounding the procedures and makeup of the Supreme Court.   The controversy began with concerns over President Trump’s rapid replacement of the esteemed justice. Democrats were quick to point out that in 2016 Mitch McConnel, the Senate Majority Leader at the time, blocked any sort of hearing for Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee, Merrick Garland, fol...
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Opinion: Medicare for All Is Inevitable

One of the most polarizing debates regarding the future of healthcare in the U.S is  whether or not to replace the current system of privatized healthcare with a universal, federally-funded system  called Medicare for All.  This idea of implementing such a system gained traction due to both the charismatic persona of advocate Senator Bernie Sanders and a growing majority of Americans being dissatisfied with the healthcare system. Implementing the idea is not so much a question of ...
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How Zoning Laws Create the Foundations of Racial Segregation in America

It is undeniable that in the past year, racial tensions have been surging across the country. On the surface it may seem like this development was due to a series of racially charged events consisting of police brutality, among other topics, that gained national attention and escalated along strands of ineffective and at times brutal governance. But a deeper analysis reveals a far more ingrained system of inequality than news headlines illuminate. Even more remarkable is that this concept, which...
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Tackling the Digital Divide in the Age of Coronavirus

Before the closure of schools and many businesses in March 2020, most Americans had probably never heard of Zoom. The video conferencing app soared into prominence as a result of “Safer at Home” orders, which transitioned many face-to-face activities into an online format. As a result of this paradigm shift from the real world to cyberspace, our invariably plugged-in society became even more virtually connected. One group of Americans was disproportionately impacted by this trend: th...
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How the Capital Riots Represent Social Media's Constitutional Dilemma

On January 8th, former President Donald Trump joined an exclusive list of people.  Among them: George Zimmerman, the man charged for the murder of Trayvon Martin; Milo Yiannopoulous, an alt-right political commentator; David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan; the American Nazi Party; and the now-former President of the United States, Donald Trump , whom Twitter suspended after he encouraged supporters to violently storm the Capitol on January 6th — an action which resu...
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Facebook’s Antitrust Case is Only The Beginning

On April 10, 2018, in the most apologetic way the somewhat colorless and fairly robotic sounding mega billionaire could offer his admissions, he stared into the eyes of the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and stated: “We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. And it was my mistake, and I'm sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I'm responsible for what happens here." Mark Zuckerburg was forced to testify in the h...
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Political Expression Should Be Covered in Anti-Discrimination Law

Political polarization- the gap between conservatives and liberals, has surged in recent years. According to Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans who express consistently liberal or conservative views has doubled since 1994, from 10% to 21%. Essentially, more Americans have moved to the right or left side of the political spectrum, with fewer Americans holding shared, overlapping beliefs. The percentage of Americans holding "mixed" ideological beliefs dropped from 49% in 2004, to 39%...
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Opinion: For Democrat’s Climate Proposals to Succeed, Partisan Aspirations Must Be Ditched

For too long, the ultimate consequences of climate change have been softened. Its ramifications have been dictated in digestible terminology and scenarios: sad polar bears, coral reef bleaching, and extra tropical storms. Even some climate activists today pontificate its implications in relatively palatable ways, usually something akin to "cities will flood, droughts and fires will be more prevalent, think of your grandchildren". It's easy to see why the misery humanity is on sc...
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DACA Failed, But Must Be Fixed

One of the biggest issues on the minds of voters during every election cycle in recent years has been illegal immigration. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 52% of registered voters say immigration is "very important" to their vote in the 2020 election . Despite the high level of importance voters place on addressing this issue, the country is polarized on how to solve the immigration crisis. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, more commonly referred to as ...