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Emerging countries in Asia lead new E-Commerce peak – How This Will Impact the Canadian Economy

The online forecast site eMarketer released its new study on the subject of digital distribution of retail, travel and service products this week. eMarketer already made very clear at the beginning of the study that especially the Asian-Pacific region is the fastest-growing region in this respect and is consequently become the new capital. This led […]

Benefits of Public Infrastructure Projects

Freight TrainsPublic infrastructure can take many different forms from building roads and bridges, to water and sewer systems, to public wifi access. While there is definitely a financial cost to these projects the benefit to society as a whole is almost immeasurable. Imagine a world where streets are only paved in areas where people can afford it, where access to clean drinking water is not guaranteed, or public housing is non-existent. That Canada would look much different than the one we have today and would not only hinder societal growth but would retard economic progress. Continue Reading

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Bringing Government Services Online

Canadian ComputerIn this day and age it seems like we can do everything from the comfort of our home. As long as we have access to an internet connection the world is our oyster. That is unless you’re trying to sign up for government services. More and more government is falling behind the private sector when it comes to online access to services which is making it tougher for people to get the help they need, file for permits, or get copies of certified documents. Whether you need temporary food assistance, a building permit, or want to file a complaint chances are you have to do it in person.

To help bring government into the 21st century, the following services must be brought online as soon as possible: Continue Reading

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Community Issues We All Face Every Day – Ways to Help The Homeless

homelessnessEvery day in our community, there are problems that we face that affect us all. One of the biggest issues we have to deal with is the fact that there are other people in our community do not have a place to live, and who literally live on the streets or in alleys in cardboard boxes. Typically, people see these poor unfortunate souls and offer them some money (or none at all). While that money is good, there are more things that we in the community can do to try and help those that call the streets their home.

Education About Any Issue Is Always the First Step

When people have an interest in something, they want to learn all there is about it. An example of learning about a hobby is a teenage boy who has a strong interest in cars. That boy may seek out books in the library that talk about things like engines, transmissions, factory wheels, and other parts of a car. By the time that young man goes to high school, he will definitely learn more about how cars run, how to fix the cars, and even doing things like restoring old classic cars with things like their original factory rims and nice paint jobs. This all comes from first hand experience.

After graduation, that young man may go on to a business school where he will learn all about cars from their bumpers to their wheels, and may even earn a living running a global car company. But without education, his dreams may not come to fruition. When it comes to social issues like homelessness, education is the best place to start, so people of all ages will understand what opportunities there are for homeless youth.

Open Up Homeless Shelters

The biggest problem that homeless people have is that they have no place to rest, eat properly, and try and change their situation. We of the community can take any abandoned buildings around town, and find out what it would take to turn it into a homeless shelter. With a shelter, people can have a safe place to sleep, and also it will give them hope and show them that we community residents do care and want them to succeed and get off of the streets.

Donate Items To Local Shelters

Even with a brand new homeless shelter, homeless individuals may not be able to get back on their feet. People can take old clothes, blankets, sheets, or even just call the shelter itself and ask what they will take for donations. Some homeless shelters also take food donations, so if families want to clean out their pantries and donate the food they do not need, that will help just as much as household and clothing. Donating items will help the shelter take care of the homeless people that live there, and their kindness will be rewarded in this life or another.

All of our communities have problems, but a problem like homelessness can be helped if we all work together and do what we can to help those in need.

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Can You Legislate Being Healthy?

healthyRecently, there has been a lot of press about regulating unhealthy foods, sugary drinks, and other junk foods. This has been met with both praise and criticism. Yet the real question remains. Can you legislate people into being healthy? Also, by trying to legislate healthy habits, how does it affect local economies?

If we look at studies on cigarette use, we see that raising taxes on them, decreasing their ability to be advertised, and stricter overall regulations does not truly deter people from smoking. Just in the same way, when the government started restricting fitness supplements. They went after some of the best pre workout supplements and outstanding tasting protein powders but yet it did not nor does it deter many a workout enthusiast from purchasing and preferring them. Many have even accused governments of taxing cigarettes as being a tax on the poor, as the majority of cigarette smokers are below the poverty line, in turn making their money problems worse. So if it doesn’t work when we tax cigarettes, then will it work when we increase the taxes on junk foods? Early polling and data leads us to believe that it will not.

So if the increased taxes on these foods don’t truly deter people from consuming these foods, then what affect will it then have on the local economies? The sad truth is that if a city increases the tax on these foods then people will just travel to another area to get what they want, taking their business and money elsewhere and improving a neighboring economy. This happens a lot at places that share state lines and business who are subjected to increased tax burdens.

Although the reasoning may be to help people live healthier lives, the results simply show that these policies don’t work and they harm local economies. Many have speculated that the better solution is simply educating people about nutrition. If we look at the reason that smoking is down among younger generations today than in previous generations, we can see how educating our children about the dangers of smoking has worked. Therefore, if we begin to educate our children about healthy food choices, we would then start to see younger generations leading healthier lifestyles.

If we look at this from an economics standpoint, we see the benefit as well. Instead of suddenly business going elsewhere due to increased legislation, we would slowly see spending habits change, like from spending on junk food to perhaps personal training services or other healthier lifestyle options. This means that the money stays in the local economy and also urges businesses that currently serve unhealthy options to perhaps change and start serving healthier ones, letting the market dictate and not the government.

As with most things in life, the ultimate answer is not easy, nor is it usually swift. True change takes time. If we begin today to educate people (children and adults), then we will start to see habits change and healthier options will increase as well. We must stop trying to legislate changes in personal behavior because that’s not what a free market economy does and it simply does not work. By teaching people, we help enrich their lives and also positively affect our local economies over the years as well.

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Government Expenditure: The Case of Pizza Promotion

The government’s interest in the pizza industry is not a recent thing. For a while now, the growing pizza industry has received tremendous support from the government. Growing pizza chains are a testimony of the growing support that the government has granted to the pizza industry. The income generated from pizza consumption is one of the reasons why the government and substitute organizations have taken interest in pizza. In the food industry, pizza is the one kind of food that Americans are consuming in plenty. Almost 20% of the income in the food industry comes from pizza consumption. This means that a growing part of the national income is actually directed towards pizza.

More than a decade ago, dairy products such as milk and pizza were not bringing in as much profits to the farmers as expected. The government, with growing concern realized that majority of the small dairy farms were nearing extinction as consumption of the dairy products was becoming quite low. In an ingenious plan developed by USDA, the government substituted the purchase price of milk and cheese. The result was twofold: first the farmers themselves were at least able to sell their products and generate sustainable income, and second, pizza makers found the raw materials more affordable. The price of pizza went down and the taste due to high quality of raw materials went up. Today, pizza makers take up at least one quarter of the cheese market. They are the biggest consumers of American cheese, a number that is growing daily.

Even as technology advances in the pizza making business, it has become obvious that consumers are now faced with a wide variety of choice. Majority of the pizza consumers eat pizza because of the taste. The American pizza industry has perfected the art of making pizza using the traditional old stone oven pizza stones. The result is that big chains such as dominoes are hard to compete with, and some have even patented their recipes and process of making pizzas. As we advance in terms of technology, scientists and researchers, with the help of food gurus and renowned chefs are continuously making changes to the staple pizza. The changes are designed at increasing production without diminishing the authentic pizza taste. Fresh, hot from the oven pizza are unequaled in terms of taste and quality, and this is what food chains are working towards, making the best pizza.

The American pizza industry has advanced from the traditional family owned and operated restaurants using a small pizza stone for grill, to large business chains. The business is now cut throat, full of competition and opportunities. The American government is determined to continue growing the pizza business for many reasons. One of them is that the income from the business is today; profits to the farmers and the restaurants as well, which in turn increase the national income. Secondly, pizza calories are much lower than those of other fast foods. Furthermore increased consumption of pizza means more employment opportunities for a large percentage of unemployed, unskilled and untrained Americans.

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The Economic Costs of Musculoskeletal Problems

Musculoskeletal problems are more common than many people may realize. It doesn’t matter what a person’s age or lifestyle is, musculoskeletal problems can occur at any time. What exactly are musculoskeletal problems? The musculoskeletal system consists of the bones, joints, muscles and other body parts involved in the movement of the body. Problems with this major body system include arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint pain, TMJ, among some others. This means that problems with the musculoskeletal system can cause chronic, widespread pain, which can lead to major economic costs.

Ineffective treatments

Many people with musculoskeletal problems will also have neck and back pain, and seek the assistance of a doctor after realizing that over-the-counter treatments are ineffective. Doctors treat this type of pain using different methods. The treatment plan will usually depend on the person and their specific pain as well as background. Often even treatments prescribed by doctors and pain clinics are unable to completely relieve a patient’s pain, and this can lead to major economic problems if the person decides to self-medicate. People from all socioeconomic statuses choose to self-medicate with illegal drugs all the time. Marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and many other drugs are purchased on a daily basis by people looking to escape their chronic pain.

Pain medicine addiction

There are some individuals who don’t necessarily use illegal drugs, but they seek out narcotics when they have taken all their prescribed medications. In such cases, individuals addicted to their prescription pain medications like hydrocodone will do whatever they need to do in order to obtain more of the drug. The doctor treating their condition will only give them a certain amount of the medication, which is supposed to last for a certain period of time. Those who have become addicted to their medication will run out much sooner and many resort to stealing, seeking prescriptions from out-of-town doctors and even purchasing it off the street.

Lack of medical insurance

Some people with fibromyalgia, lupus and other serious musculoskeletal conditions experience so much pain in addition to other symptoms that they are unable to work, and need help with their neck or back pain. And many people who are unable to work are not covered under an insurance plan. This can lead to serious economic problems, because every time someone without insurance seeks medical treatment, whether through the emergency room or their regular doctor, they rack up medical bills that they are unable to pay. Hospitals and doctors will then lose much-needed money, as a result.

Many people fail to realize the economic repercussions of musculoskeletal problems. Of course a person can’t prevent lupus or similar conditions from developing, but in many cases arthritis can be delayed or even prevented. In younger people, arthritis is often diagnosed as a result of obesity as well as overuse of certain joints. By eating healthily, refraining from becoming overweight and be more physically active, most people can possibly eliminate or at least delay the onset of musculoskeletal issues, therefore lessening the impact this condition has on the economy.

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Amazing Differences Between One Nation and Another

The war on terror is certainly a valid and needed way. However, there are so many other tragic occurrences that are happening all around us that it can be easy to lose track of what matters most in our lives. For example, while one nation may be out fighting against another nation – they can be and often are fighting with themselves and creating a worse life for each other.

If you take the war on nutrition and food then you can see that the world we live in is certainly not in a good place. While there is plenty of food on the earth to feed every living soul, there are many, many children starving that don’t have to be. And then on the other hand, there are nations that are so overweight and addicted to food that obesity is becoming the number one cause of death.

In America there are becoming increasingly more and more doctors and physicians focused solely on helping individuals lose weight because so many Americans are at a crisis level of obesity or at least on the verge. In a fairly new exercise program called Metabolic Aftershock, Dr. Jade Teta focuses on helping overweight and unhealthy people get their metabolism working right again. You see, with the overindulgence of food and the increasingly high number of processed foods in many’s diets, people’s metabolisms are actually shutting down and not working correctly anymore.

But then again there are others in different parts of the world were simply getting enough food is a problem. One doctor reported on the problem:

“I had a 2-year-old patient just a few days ago, and she was diagnosed with a life threatening condition and when her father found out he said ‘OK. I will take her home to die.’ Just like that — without hesitation. He said ‘What am I to do? There is no food and no medicine”

With these two very different problems at hand it is no wonder that different nations don’t see eye to eye on certain matters. However, when you find nations fighting against themselves and their own people it makes you wonder. Not that war of any type should be smiled upon or even advocated, but when you see different people come together and they clash so much in the way they were raised it at least makes some kind of sense. Although we are truly all brothers and sisters and war should not happen, you can see how very different people might have opposing opinions on certain matters. But when you come from the same place and are subjected to the same things in life it is curious how you can not see eye-to-eye at lest on some of the more important matters in life.

Either way though, when you see governments put undo restrictions on farmers, and that in turn puts the hurt on everyday people it makes you wonder why the farmers and governments can’t work out their issues for the good of everybody else, not that they don’t try but it just goes to show you just how far off the world is from perfect harmony.

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What is government debt and what does it mean for us?

We hear about government debt a lot, we know that most governments around the world are struggling, constantly trying to find money, save money and pay off their debts. What exactly does government debt mean, and what does it mean for us?

I am about to explain.

Government debt is also known as national or public debt. It is debt that is owned by central government. The annual government deficit refers to the difference between the money that the government receives, e.g. what they make from taxes, for example, to how much that they spend each year.

Operations in countries are financed by government debt, although this is not the only method. Governments can also create money to monetize their debts, therefore getting themselves out of having to pay the interest. This however, does not get them out of any of the debt!

Governments will usually borrow their money from bonds or securities, or most commonly, the World Band or other financial institutions.

Where does the government make it’s income then?
The government’s income comes from various places. Much of the population obviously contribute towards the income, through paying their taxes. Government debt can be categorized as internal debt and external debt. Sovereign debt usually means a government dent that has been issued in another currency.
There is also such thing as long and short term debt. Short term debt is generally considered to be for one year or less, long term is for more than ten years. A medium term debt falls in between these two boundaries.

Sovereigns and bonds
A government bond is a bond that is issued by a national government. These bonds are given in the currency of the governments that are giving them away. In most developed countries, governments are prohibited by law from printing money directly by their central banks.
Sovereign bonds are bonds that are issued by national governments in foreign currencies. Investors in these bonds denominated in foreign currency have to face the additional risk that the issuer may be unable to obtain foreign currency to redeem the bonds. In the 2010 Greek debt crisis, for example the debt remained in Euros, and the proposed solution was to change it to its original drachma.

Implicit debt
Government implicit debt is the promise by a government of future payments from the state. This will usually be of long term payments such as pensions and health expenditure; not education or defence though.

Ok, all the technical stuff has been explained, so what does the debt mean for us?
The national debt obviously has an impact on the residents of every country. The cost of living is bound to rise along with the debt. Housing becomes more expensive and so do our food bills increase.

This therefore means that more people begin to struggle with the debt that they are in, taking out credit to pay off credit, and it becomes a mean and vicious cycle. Governments put up their council tax and begin charging more for prescriptions, increasing the cost of living even more. It is a grim reality but something we have to deal with in this day and age.

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Great Florida Coral Reef Track: Effects on the Economy

Known as the third largest in the world, the Florida Coral Reef Barrier is the only one found on the North American continent. It begins near Fowey Rocks just south of Cape Coral in Florida and extends south to Solider Key in the Biscayne National Park. It is 170 miles long and parallels the Florida Keys. The reef also encompasses the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary which is the largest of its kind in the United States. How is this coral reef barrier important for the economy in the state of Florida?

Coral reefs are made from calcium extracted from living coral. The calcium makes unique structures that are able to support marine life and colonies of coral in the warm tropical waters. These reefs are often called the “forests of the sea” and are able to sustain a large area of marine habitat that can sometimes be more diverse than our own habitat. It is a huge part of the environment and needs to be protected.

The local economy in Florida relies on coral reefs to supply the fishing and seafood market. These are year round markets that needs the ecosystem created by the reefs to stay afloat. Tourism from scuba divers, snorkelers and sit on top kayak paddlers is also a big part of the economy in Florida.

The ecosystem formed by the Great Florida Coral Reef Track is very fragile and has suffered damage due to carelessness, negligence, over-fishing, high water temperatures, climatic change and storms. This damage can be detrimental and irreversible. It can take coral decades to repair itself but human made coral farms could help the reefs grow back faster. The manmade coral reefs are often overseen by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. One of the healthiest coral reefs managed by the FDEP is the John Pennekamp Coral Reef and State Park located just north of the Florida Keys.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef contains 70 square nautical miles of coral reefs and is a huge tourist attraction. The tourists that visit come to see the wonder of modern nature by scuba diving and snorkeling through the reefs. The coral reefs are a popular attraction for people of all ages, genders and nationalities. The state park is open 365 days a year and costs $8 per vehicle. The money made by tourists renting fishing kayaks, canoes, paddles, life jackets, scuba equipment and snorkeling equipment is a large part of the economy in the area. If the coral reefs were to be destroyed or severely damaged, much of the economy in South Florida would be devastated. This is why it is important to protect the reef and the marine life that live there.

Many people come back to explore the reefs year after year. It is a popular spot among tourists who enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. Even if you don’t know how to scuba or snorkel, you can still enjoy the reef through glass bottom boats. Help support the economy of South Florida by visiting the Great Florida Coral Reef Track and experience a whole new world!

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Government Grant Money and Its Effects on the Economy

Government grants have been in place for a very long time and have been used as a means to get through rough economic downturns in the past. The economy works in a cycle and it is important to keep these grants in place to minimize how long the nation remains on the downswing. These grants serve multiple purposes and are routinely handed out by the government to recipients who deserve it.

However, there are other types of grants that are on offer in the market and each one has its own intricacies that have to be taken into account. There are legitimate grants that can help you attend school or go into business for yourself. But you should be aware there are many “free grant money” online scams there that uses true and false claims in their advertising to entice you.

Let’s take a glance at the various types of grants and their effect on the economy.

Purpose of Government Grants

Before moving forward and looking at the different types of grants, it is pertinent to have a look at what purpose they service for the state. What is the point of giving out free money to recipients instead of having them earn it? What if they are unable to return it in terms of quality economic value?

These are the risks associated with government grants, but the benefits tend to far outweigh negatives. The entire purpose of giving these grants has to do with encouraging development. It is imperative to find a way to help the average citizen into moving towards a brighter future and giving them the opportunity to not only see personal gains, but help the state at the same time.

This is why government grants are routinely handed out to qualified recipients. When the economy is on the downturn, most individuals will start to save money and this can worsen the situation and bring it to a standstill or worse into a rapid decline.

With grants, there is money to spend again and the recipient can start to carve out a way to get out of this economic downturn without putting their own life at risk.

Types of Government Grants

There are a number of different government grants out there that are available to those interested in getting a little bit of funding for their own project/business.

Each grant has its own criteria that have to be followed in order to be approved by the officials that are responsible for passing on the grants.

The types of grants that are out there at the moment include things such as research grants, resource grants, career development awards, project grants, and training grants. Each one has its own purpose and is able to reward growth and prosperity through funding.

These grants can help those who are trying to move further in life and make a major difference, but just require a little bit of financial assistance.

Of course, there are many requirements that have to be fulfilled in order to see the grant coming in. These requirements can include things such as having a full-fledged business plan in place, personal education, personal financial status, and various other factors. All of them have to be in the prospective recipients favor in order to be approved for the grant that has been applied for.

Effects on the Economy

What is the point of a government grant beyond just helping out the individual? Surely, it must serve a greater purpose that pushes the government to spend so much money on resource grants and research grants?

It has to do with the economy and the effects these grants can have on the establishment. It encourages development and new research opportunities that might not have been on offer otherwise.

Imagine having a great idea that could revolutionize the economy and the world, but you are unable to get the initial step going. All of these ideas require funding in the modern age and most institutions are not able to provide it. This is where the government can come in and assess the situation and the opportunity to help push it forward.

It is all an investment in the right direction for all parties involved. The economy has a better chance of recovering and developing, if these grants are in place and are regularly being offered.

It provides hope and will also encourage more spending on the part of citizens who know there are grants in place that will help them in their time of need. It acts as a safety net of sorts.

Government grant money is an excellent choice for those who are looking to progress their research opportunity and make a difference both in the short and long-run. There are a range of types when it comes to grant opportunities and what they have to offer the recipients that have applied and been approved. The benefits that are received from these grants are multi-faceted for both parties involved. These grants are an excellent way to stimulate the economy and spark a change in the right direction.

 

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Bitcoin and the US Government – time for regulation

Bitcoin is a digital form of currency that is designed to bring anonymity to the transfer of funds. The Bitcoin was first introduced in 2009 and has gained exposure and buzz in recent years. There is a lot of curiosity surrounding this type of digital currency, because it is not regulated by any government or tied to any country. No bank or middle man is used when Bitcoins are transferred or purchased. However, this lack of regulation has made the United States government react. Many regulators in the US are pushing for more control over this form of digital currency.

Bitcoin Rules

Many are looking for Bitcoin to be under US regulation, including a number of bitcoin entrepreneurs. However, it was created and designed to be a type of cryptocurrency that is totally anonymous and does not require government regulation. This has resulted into a bit of a war between Bitcoin and US regulators looking to gain more control. There have been plenty of hearings that have taken place to gain a better understanding of Bitcoin, but no real headway has been made in regards to a regulatory compromise. Some states are even putting into place Bitcoin regulation proposals, but only the framework has been laid at this point. It is assumed that many states will soon follow.

Illicit Activities

Many regulators within the US government think that Bitcoin is used solely for illicit purposes. This hasn’t been helped by lurid headlines for illegal drugs websites and FBI take-downs of sites such as the Silk Road.

This reputation is now being challenged. Many of the venture capital investors now providing money to bitcoin start ups have previously invested in the likes of Twitter. A consortium of Wall Street investors aim to restore the failed Mt Gox website, previously the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Many within the government feel that rules must be in place to ensure that is functions properly and acts similar to a bank. However, bitcoins are not in need of banks and require no middle man. The complexity of Bitcoin has only led to more confusion in regards for the need of regulation.

To add to this there’s the status of non-monetary versions of the bitcoin network that allow the exchange of assets, again anonymously and without the need of a middleman. These transactions are global, but face the same concerns over illicit use as did the cryptocurrency. However, they’re just as in need of regulation, and just as problematic when trying to retrofit existing national laws to regulate an entirely international structure.

Government Concerns

The United States government is looking to keep track of Bitcoin to make sure that it is not being used for illicit purposes, but without regulations in place it is nearly impossible. Since it is an anonymous transaction this raises many red flags for government officials. All the details of Bitcoin regulation must be worked out before it becomes a popular form of currency. Right now it is still in the infancy stages of relevance. However, it will gain traction and the US government will be watching.

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Of Pocket Knives and Controversies

Lately, there has been a lot of controversies concerning weapons and how they are connected to a number of violent crimes in the U.S. Usually, when one talks about weapons, the first thing that comes to mind is a gun or some type of firearm. However, other items such as knives, baseball bats and forks can also be considered “potential” weapons, although they have other “non-violent” uses unlike guns. For example, baseball bats are used for playing baseball and knives and forks are used in the kitchen and in other different situations.

One recent event that merits attention is how the U.S Customs and Border Protection agency decided to reverse one of its long-standing regulations by classifying all types of “assisted opening” knives or folding knives as switchblades. Now, I fully support laws and policies especially if they are for the greater good but I feel that this move is a futile attempt to provide a solution to a problem that is non-existent. Why are pocket knives getting so much flak from lawmakers?

Although pocket knives are considered handy tools, we cannot ignore the fact that it can be dangerous if used incorrectly. But, that is exactly the point here—pocket knives are ONLY DANGEROUS IF USED INCORRECTLY. Pocket knives obviously have more practical and safe uses compared to weapons such as guns. For those of you who love to go camping too, you’d agree when I say a good knife can be pretty handy to have around especially if you’re out in the wild. A good knife can help you get food and can be used to cut down small branches to help you start a fire.

Pocket knives are very useful tools. As a matter of fact I own a couple of pocket knives myself (mine are mtech knives which are really good quality) which I use for different purposes. These knives are even called “rescue knives” and are considered an essential part of one’s survival kit. This is why I strongly react against the policy to classify pocket knives as switchblades as this will not only outlaw the use of assisted opening knives, but all one-handed opening knives and pocket knives as well!

There are thousands, if not millions, of pocket knives in the market today and most of these are made domestically. Here in the U.S, Oregon is known for being the biggest knife manufacturing state bringing in a couple of billions of dollars to the U.S Economy every year. More than half a dozen knife manufacturing companies, including Mtech Xtreme USA, are located in Oregon alone. The recent regulation change will not only threaten but can potentially crush the knife manufacturing business and severely impact Oregon’s economy.

Knives are definitely dangerous if not used properly so they should be held to the same personal safety standards as guns. However, they are far more useful compared to guns so there is no reason to criminalize this type of knife which is used and owned by more than 30 million U.S Citizens. After all, there has never been any evidence that pocket knives were ever involved in a crime spree.

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