That question was raised at a 'meetup' of Monitor writers and readers last week. The answers were surprising.
The Proposition 23 ballot initiative in California is a chance for a grass-roots expression on climate change -- and to send a signal to a stymied Congress.
President Obama offered $2 billion in military aid to Pakistan this week. It's an incentive for it to more aggressively fight Afghan Taliban and Al Qaeda. But bigger factors -- such as India -- make Pakistan hesitate.
Human rights and democracy abuses have worsened in Russia. Despite a smoother relationship from the diplomatic 'reset' between Washington and Moscow, the US should more forcefully pressure Russia for progress on rights, especially as elections loom.
Only time will show whether severe budget cuts in Britain are too deep for that fragile economy to sustain. Even so, the political will to cut spending and the readiness to sacrifice sacred cows stand out as examples for America.
The Obama administration challenged China's support of its solar, wind, battery, and electric-car industries. Such disputes can be avoided with clear global rules on government aid to these necessary energy technologies.
German leader Angela Merkel bluntly says the 40-year experiment to integrate Turks and Germans has failed. But she's not abandoning the idea of assimilating immigrants in Germany. And neither should other countries, including the United States.
Tight state budgets prompt some politicians, such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, to cancel or put off infrastructure investments in tunnels, roads, and rail. That's shortsighted.
Proposition 19 would make California the first state to fully legalize marijuana. Supporters sound persuasive with talk about weakening Mexican drug cartels and helping state revenues with taxes on pot. But their arguments don't hold up.
From the resilience and courage of the miners to the remarkable rescue effort 2,000 feet above them, the miner rescue proves that ingenuity and determination can triumph over a huge challenge.
French strikes in 1995 caused Paris to back off of pension reform. Now the French government is trying again, and it is again being met by massive strikes. Delay, however, only makes pension reform more costly.
The timing was perfect for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The Communist Party meets next week and Obama will be in Asia next month. The prize gives oomph to talk of political reform.
The US Department of Education proposes stiff rules on the for-profit schools of higher education while largely ignoring similar problems in traditional colleges and universities. An equal hand is needed.
The Karzai government is talking to the Taliban in hopes of ending the war. But the outlook for these talks is as cold as an Afghanistan winter.
A tax on vehicle miles traveled (VMT) was shot down last year by President Obama. But a new study by respected transportation experts – and a successful pilot program in Oregon – should revive the idea.
Special interest groups are spending five times as much on this year's midterm elections as compared to 2006. Many of their donors can't be traced. Congress must require disclosure.
China's provocation of Japan over the Senkaku Islands shows a need for Obama to be ready for a crisis in Asia. He must buck up Japan and send a clear signal to Bejing.
The NATO helicopter strike on Pakistan on Thursday is worse than the controversy over drone attacks. One hopes that Washington and Islamabad can move past this by talking specifics as well as common interests.
Using trade as a tool for market advantage or as a substitute for war has its limits. China went too far in cutting exports of rare-earth minerals to Japan. Will the US go too far in punishing China on currency manipulation?
Next week, the White House hosts a summit on community colleges. The schools, so vital to training and job skills, need support from all sectors of society.