Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Social Media Tantrum

Mr. Rick Santorum: “I don’t want to give Black people somebody else’s money, I want them to go out and earn their own money”.

This is the kind of discussion I have been seeing on my news feed. To quote a believed friend, "Guess I should go to work today, so you can pay for that iPhone." There is a baseless, fact-less belief among Republican supporters where welfare recipient voters and their sympathizers are a reason why democrats get elected. Yes today I am talking about entitlement programs. 

Mention “welfare” and immediately people have an opinion, but it is based on their one experience or on media-driven stereotypes. Furthermore Social Security - an entitlement program, and let's face it people use "entitlement" like it's the scarlet letter - is one of the largest entitlement programs. So I wanted to look at some of the demographics of states. What I found was quite interesting.

Mississippi's total population that was black in 2010 was 38%. Mississippi led the nation in this category followed by Louisiana (33 percent), Georgia (32 percent), Maryland (31 percent), South Carolina (29 percent) and Alabama (27 percent).
Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama are all states that have been firmly in the Republicans' electoral college for over 30 years. For example, one time in 30 years has Georgia's 16 electoral votes been counted for a Democratic presidential nominee; that was in 1992 for Clinton's first term.
In 2010, Georgia had 590,000 households, 1.4 million people on food stamps. Fourteen percent of its population on food stamps; even assuming that all 14% is black - which is ridiculous and racist - mean over half of the black population, is not on food stamps. 
Stop assuming that black people are on entitlement programs, it's not true. Stop believing that democrats want to give black people your money, it's not true. Stop throwing a tantrum. It's the only way we are going to achieve progress on welfare reform( which you apparently desperately seek), continue to build on the success of the past year of economic recovery, and re-evolve into a country that once again leads by example, helps our neighbor, and seeks to eradicate injustice wherever it appears.
Americans have spoken, we believe in the path we are on and the time for tantrums and partisan bickering has passed. You are now honored with the task to unite this nation and create moderate policies that serve the interests of all.    

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Environment is not a Punchline

Every day there is new study - I'm talking a real sample of data collected over years- which enforces that the planet's climate is changing. Whether we caused it or not isn't the issue. Whether we are going to establish policies and preventative measures to ensure the safety of our cities, natural resources, water supplies, and air is what we need to discuss now.

It is perhaps more real now with the northeastern Unites States trying to collect itself after days of heavy rain caused devastating floods. Imagine that same storm but with a sea level almost a foot higher as its normal. That is what faces the east cost according to the article cited below.

How are we going to protect the industries that thrive and operate in this region? I can tell you that joking about slowing the rise of the oceans is not something a potential commander in chief should be taking about.

Mitt Romney and his republican colleagues still are sticking to their guns (no pun intended, it is just a saying); still saying that climate change is a scientific fabrication of the environmentally minded democrats. The climate is changing. Are humans to blame? I am unsure. Do we have an obligation to protect our infrastructure and the future of the planet from rising sea levels and gross pollution of our planet? Ask a New York resident. I think that after a week without power or heat and seeing their home being destroyed by flood waters, they'd say yes we need to make a solid stand to address environmental issues.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Language that your mother wouldn't have approved of

Is it me or is Democrat the longest 4 letter word?

I can say that I do not think this is a biased opinion; I with certainty say I do not have a passionate disdain for Republicans. Yet I know so many who really, I mean really, loathe Democrats.

What alarms me most is their campaign literature is so segregating. Since my house mate is listed as independent, we've received a variety of Republican Party literature. I am not talking specific candidates, but rather mailers that say "We can stop the Democrats".

It makes me feel as though the inefficiency that they preach about is a direct response to their inability to work with Democrats.

They want voters to stop the Democrats...? Well I think they have done a fine job themselves thus far. What the American population really wants is for you all to work together so that there is a balanced approach to governing.

Most Americans are moderates, sampling ideas from both parties. Maybe it is time stop calling me a D E M O C R A T ( spelling so the children in the room don't hear the forbidden word) and start understanding that disagreeing about an issue doesn't mean we can't find middle ground.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It was my pleasure

Having worked as an intern for a political campaign office during the 2008 primary election, I greatly appreciate anyone who is willing to do the work of a organizing or volunteering. So this week I was startled when a knock came to my door.

I've had a few knocks and am always courteous. Despite the candidate you are committed to, if you are willing to give your time to canvas(door knock) I will give you a few seconds of my time. Especially being a member of this community/region for just over a year, local candidates are greatly unknown to me.

This gentleman was a little nervous when we opened the door; as he started through the script, a huge smile spread across my face and his eyes lit up. I had to stop him. I said "thank you so much for what you do, you can stop reading the script. I early voted for everyone on your list" and with great pride he could mark us down as check marks in all the boxes.

When you feel like you are loosing the battle for what you believe, it only takes one person to remind you hat you are not alone and it is all worth it. To any grassroots organizers and volunteers, carry on!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Relationships, Essential to a 21st World

America has been using the "Speak softly, carry a big stick" policy for much of the 20th century. This worked well for many years; able to leverage our economic and military power on those who either do ourselves or our allies harm.

But pivot to a 21st century, we now can transmit communications quicker than we can think. People can simultaneously participate in conversations from any place with an Internet connection. Social media has given voice to oppressed and allowed them to join in cause to defeat their oppressors.

We have to heal existing bonds with our allies and build new bonds with the emerging democracies. It has been clearly shown that we cannot force or spend our way into victory in the Middle East. It is through relationships and building up the people that we can find success.

We stand by democracy and show those that if they are hungry for change we are there to support them. It is through trust and respect that we can hopefully maintain the strides already made and help be a voice of change; marching and shouting with the people, not for them.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chasm of the Classes

Chrystia Freeland has spent years reporting on the people who've reached the pinnacle of the business world. Freeland says that many of today's richest individuals gained their fortunes not from inheritance, but from actual work.

“It is a sense of, you know, 'I deserve this,' “she says.”I do think that there is both a very powerful sense of entitlement and a kind of bubble of wealth which makes it hard for the people at the very top to understand the travails of the middle class."

For there being so much conversation about the sense of entitlement among Americans, specifically lower to middle class people, I found this statement really gave me an "aha moment". I have tried to reason why people who have so much as so unwilling to give up even 1% of their income to help balance the budget or improve schools. Until now, I didn't really have an answer. I didn't have a real reason why I believed in Keynesian economics vs trickle down economics.

In theory, trickle down economics (Reaganomics, laissez-faire, or supply-side) should work. If successful businesses and owners are given a tax break, they should reinvest in their business giving them the potential for more growth and wealth. However, the tax cuts given during President George W. Bush’s two terms did not encourage growth. I think what Freeland discovered during her research and interviews were why we didn't see growth from the Bush Tax Cuts. 

There is a sense of entitlement among the wealthy to their money. No one really likes to have money taken from their salary/wage, but a huge majority know how wonderful that little bit we contribute is; that it goes to regulating food, improving roads, providing a first class military, educating the children, and investing in good ideas/business that need a little help getting started. Yes everyone wants a smarted government that wastes less, but that doesn't mean we cut revenue(taxes) and cuts spending. It means no more special interests, it means no more partisanship, and it means tackling/reforming the tough topics like education, immigration, welfare. 

As the top 1% you persuade yourself that, things like spending on education, which is what created that social mobility in the first place, need to be cut so that the deficit will shrink, so that your tax bill doesn't go up. They have forgotten that even though they worked hard and are talented, there were tools and steps for them to go upward. 

This books (which i plan to read) I would recommend to any college economics or gender studies class.

Chrystia Freeland: Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else

Democratic/ Keynesian Polices do Create More Jobs

Clinton pointed out that under Democratic presidents since 1961, the economy has added 42 million private-sector jobs, while under Republicans it has added just 24 million. This should be a huge red flag that trickle down economics just does not work in a society that has grown so large and so wealthy. 

So I did some digging to see if someone had really looked into what these numbers mean. You know as well as I do that just pulling a number doesn't tell the story. For example 47%, that may in fact be the number of people who do not pay income tax; what the figure doesn't tell you is that a majority of those in this "47%" do pay a large portion of their incomes in the form of pay roll taxes or that this "47%" is also comprised of retired seniors and veterans.  

"I crunched the numbers a few different ways to see if Clinton was cherry-picking the best numbers. His figures measure job gains from the month a president took office until the month he left. Since it takes a year or so for any president's policies to go into effect, I also measured job gains from one year after each president took office till one year after he left. Here's the score by that measure: Democrats: 38 million new jobs, Republicans, 27 million.

The S&P 500 stock index, for example, has risen 12.1 percent per year under Democratic presidents since 1900, and just 5.1 percent under Republicans. Since 1949, GDP has grown 4.2 percent per year under Democrats and 2.6 percent per year under Republicans. The same trend extends to corporate profits, which have grown 10.5 percent under Dems and 8.9 percent under Republicans."

Job Creation Research

Friday, October 12, 2012

IMF Warns About Effects of Large Cuts to US Spending

Recently the IMF warned that due to a recently stalled European and Chinese economy, large cuts to US government spending may result in a regression back into recession. The Romney/Ryan budget disproportionally cuts government spending compared to increases in revenue. Think about those repercussions...think about how the free market of supply and demand works.

The responsible way to transition the economy would be to modestly cut spending from areas that can survive it, and to allow the middle class(spending class) tax cuts to remain as it and to slightly (a few percent) increase among those making more than $250,000. This should avoid the fall out of this fiscal cliff while allowing the government budget to begin it's shift to a balanced budget. (This is similar to the Obama fiscal plan)

IMF October Discussions

A Conversation About Records

The 2012 vice presidential debate has been declared a draw. However it is not always about winning, it is often about speaking the truth. You can sell(convince at the expense of the truth) someone a lemon but when they start driving the car and realize it is not what they were convinced they were buying; you are going to have a lot of angry customers.

I feel as though this shift to be "moderate" of the Romney/Ryan is not truthful. Every other time asked, candidate Romney changes his answer depending on the audience. This is not truthful and Vice President Biden called the opposing ticket on it. There are documented interviews of candidate Romney in the past couple weeks where he says one thing and later says another; for example Libya. He said during a CBS interview that he would put troops In Libya but congressman Ryan said "no one is talking about putting troops in Libya". One of the many changes in position depending on the audience and the day.

Fact Check 2012 VP Debate
Minute by Minute Fact Check 2012 VP Debate