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Dr. McNinja

The official Barack Obama/John McCain/Bob Barr '08 election thread

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Poneill - for generations people ahve struggled and suceeded in providing those things you write of for their families. I agree that people should eat, but I'm not sure why I have to feed them....Rather than pay taxes, I'd like to give my money to a charity that will then do those thigns - I think, for instance, that Habitat for Humanity is brilliant - they help people, they give people shelter - but they make people EARN it by working on their houses - I think HH is a great program - that is how charity would exist in my world - in Hyland's universe, you'd have your healthcare, your housing, our food - nothing fancy, just basic stuff - but you'd be earning it through your work - I don't mind government programs like the parts of the WPA that my great-uncles went through in the 30's, the ones where you went off to the forest or wherever to carve out roads, or build stuff - they were cared for, given food and shelter, but they worked their rears off . My parents, growing up, and then after they died, my guardians, always insisted that I work "bad" jobs - while other kids were getting jobs at the movies, or the mall, I was working as a janitor in an office building, as a aluminium products gatherer at a recycling plant (you started at 6am, and walked around the yard where the products came in, filled up a huge container with cans, and then ran them to the crusher - you ended your shift at 2:30, you got a half hour for lunch, and you made $3.25 an hour), and as a security guard at a parking garage (3 to 11 - had a half hour to change from the one job and head to the other). Heck, the "nicest" job I ever had was working as a ride operator at an amusement park, and that was 6 days a week 9am to 11pm for $4.25 an hour, with a quarter bonus for every hour worked if you stayed past Labor Day.

 

Those jobs were hard..they weren't easy. They involved lots of physical labor, long hours, and low pay. They taught me the value of an education, and they taught be to be extremely nice and respectful to all service people (I can't even enjoy an amusement park today because I spend all my time thinking about how hard the people are working there.) Perhpaps if more people had had my experiences, there wouldn't be 60 Minutes reports on parents calling the work place because Johnny didn't get the raise, or Suzy got yelled at by the boss. I'd like to think so, anyways.

 

I think - the more I think about it - that the difference between my generation and yours, is that I represent some of the last people, under 40, to be raised by at least one parent, who lived in the Great Depression (my father, and then after my parents died, my grandparents) - that puts a whole new perspective on life - try explaining why you "need" an X-Box to someone who worked 12 hours a day, for a quarter an hour, in a steel mill..........

 

 

Good for you. You were able to earn your money. Go watch Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days episode where he lives on minimum wage. Two people working as many jobs as they can on minimum wage barely are able to come out even after a month. That doesn't include taxes, and they were able to get an apartment near a bunch of facilities that are helping the poor.

 

Minimum wage is not a living wage. Not in today's world. We need to be able to make sure everyone is able to live healthy and with a home. The government's job is to protect the people. Otherwise, why do we give up rights to live in society? This goes beyond just national security and domestic policing, but also ensuring that citizens can be a viable part of our society.

 

Despite what you may think, the founding fathers, particularly Jefferson were not anti-establishment nutjobs. They drew up the structure for our nation from the works of the Enlightenment philosophers, more specifically Locke. Lockean/Jeffersonian/American Democracy does not rest on the idea that the government is bad, but rather, the government's duty is to serve the people. A government that is no longer acting to serve its citizens is an unjust government, not a government that has broad reaching power.

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Why, retired? Because I actually believe in hard work, self reliance, and making your own way in the world? It might be a lonely life, but I can look at everything I own and say "that's mine, I earned it." H.

 

no, because you spend all your time telling kids how hard you think you had it, or your father had it, or your grandfath... im falling asleep already.

 

go tell the young republicans - they might be interested in grandpa's story about how much nintendo cost in 1985.

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As technology advances, pressure to work is replaced by pressure to learn...Until we develop a collective knowledge technology (which would be a bad idea, as many-a-scifi novels, TV shows, and movies have shown us), this is a fact of life. Accept it.

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LOL..so, retired, you maintain that there is no value in historical examples? Hmmm.

 

I maintain you're a self-righteous jackass.

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blah blah blah...

 

I'll summarize since this is rather lengthy.

 

hylanddd: Back in my day kids weren't so damn lazy. We feared what our elders told us to fear and, goddamnit, we enjoyed it at much as eating vegetables. Kids these days don't work hard and demand X-boxes.

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LOL..so, retired, you maintain that there is no value in historical examples? Hmmm.

 

You're one to talk, I've basically shown you how your fears have been empirically denied by nations/groups that actually COULD wipe us out, and you just keep rambling on about how it's a brand new thing when it isn't. Terrorists, as in, Arabs that travel around the globe attempting to cause havoc, have been around basically for the past millenium. They're called pirates, go do some research

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Why, retired? Because I actually believe in hard work, self reliance, and making your own way in the world? It might be a lonely life, but I can look at everything I own and say "that's mine, I earned it." H.

 

H.,

 

But you didn't, right? That is I am sure a needlessly provocative way to begin my response, though I don't mean it that way. Let me begin again, I'm a communist. You and I probably share very little in the way of a worldview, and more fundamentally, very little in what we valorize.

I don't feel better because I earned it, but because I am a part of something. I valorize helping each other, and developing links and ties. I valorize the ways in which working together we are often able to so much more. I valorize friendships, families, collectivity, and community. I know I am smart, but it's certainly not an intelligence that is "mine." My ideas are connected to the teachers I've had, my parents and family, the ideas of my friends. The work of others that I read and work with. This isn't to say that I don't have individual, unique, contributions. But it is say I can't look at something and feel, "I earned that." I can earn things only and always in conjunction with others. I think that simple sentence is very evocative, the way you connect loneliness with this sense of looking at something and feeling you earned it. But of course, the communist would say. We only get where we are because of our relationships with others, because of the way the world works, because of sociality.

 

But let's bracket this discussion (if just for a moment) about the different things we valorize. Because partially we are talking about the democratic party, who are anything but communists, and the republican party, who are anything but libertarians. You brought up the issue of age, and I think it does somewhat matter. I think most of us come from one of the first generations to see economic mobility stagnate and decline heavily in this country. http://www.economicmobility.org/assets/pdfs/EMP%20American%20Dream%20Report.pdf

 

It'd make a lot of sense, under that model, to assume that people of my generation prefer a large social safety net in which to help with problems but also in order to increase the likelihood of taking chances economically. Also that we would prefer a simplified and increasingly progressive tax code.

 

And while this post is several years old, I think that it's still mostly correct:

 

May 15, 2005

INCOME MOBILITY....David Brooks writes about income mobility today:

The big difference between poor Republicans and poor Democrats is that the former believe that individuals can make it on their own with hard work and good character. According to the Pew study, 76 percent of poor Republicans believe most people can get ahead with hard work. Only 14 percent of poor Democrats believe that.

Elsewhere in the New York Times we learn who's right:

New research on mobility, the movement of families up and down the economic ladder, shows there is far less of it than economists once thought and less than most people believe. In fact, mobility, which once buoyed the working lives of Americans as it rose in the decades after World War II, has lately flattened out or possibly even declined, many researchers say.

The incomes of brothers born around 1960 have followed a more similar path than the incomes of brothers born in the late 1940's, researchers at the Chicago Federal Reserve and the University of California, Berkeley, have found. Whatever children inherit from their parents — habits, skills, genes, contacts, money — seems to matter more today.

The Times has more graphical detail here.

Ever since World War II, the United States has done a phenomenal job of sorting people by talent. Not a perfect job, but an astonishingly good one nonetheless. All four of my grandparents, for example, would almost certainly have gone to college if they had turned 18 in the 1960s, but that just wasn't in the cards for any of them a century ago. Today, though, as a matter of deliberate policy, the vast majority of people who have the talent to succeed in college get the chance to try. As a result, they moved upward into the middle and upper classes decades ago, and their children have followed them.

But there's only a moderate amount of sorting left to be done. Random chance, both in nature and nurture, will always play a role in life outcomes, but that role has gotten smaller and smaller as the sorting has progressed. The result is that life roles have become more hardened. While incomes of the well-off have skyrocketed over the past 30 years, working and middle class incomes have stagnated. At the same time, the incomes — and jobs — they do have are far more unstable than they were a few decades ago. And as recent research indicates, most of them are increasingly stuck in these grim circumstances: every decade, fewer and fewer of them — and fewer and fewer of their children — have any realistic chance of moving up the income ladder.

In the face of this, Brooksian paeans to the hardworking Republican poor are little less than appalling. Clap your hands and you can be rich!

What this faux optimism masks is the astonshing real-life pessimism of modern conservatism. Among advanced economies, the United States is by far the richest, youngest, and fastest growing country in the world. By far. And yet, we're supposed to believe that an increase in Social Security costs from 4% of GDP to 6% over the next 50 years is cause for panic. We're supposed to believe national healthcare would bankrupt us — never mind that our current dysfunctional system is the most expensive and most unfair on the planet. We're supposed to believe that broader unionization would ruin American industry, home of the highest profits and most highly paid executives in the world. We're supposed to believe that the nation's millionaires, having already had their tax rates slashed by a third over the past two decades, are still being bled to the bone by federal taxes.

It's a grim view. But then, modern conservatives are grim people, with little hope that things can ever be made better than they are today. I guess that's why I'm a liberal.

Brad DeLong has some additional thoughts on this.

Kevin Drum 4:47 PM Permalink

Edited by TheScuSpeaks
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The latest polls:

 

Obama over McCain in Florida (4%) - AP

Obama over McCain in Ohio (6%) - AP

Obama over McCain in Pennsylvania (12%) - Quinnipiac

Obama over McCain in the General Election (5%) - Reuters

Obama over McCain in Virginia (2%) - PPP and (.5%) - RCP Poll of Polls

Obama over McCain in Missouri (1%) - Rasmussen

Obama over McCain in Michigan (3%) - Rasmussen

Obama over McCain in Wisconsin (8%) - RCP Poll of Polls

McCain over Obama in Georgia (12%) - RCP

Obama over McCain in Minnesota (9%) - RCP

McCain over Obama in Mississippi (6%) - Rasmussen

McCain over Obama in Louisiana (9%) - Rasmussen

McCain over Obama in North Carolina (4%) - RCP

McCain over Obama in Texas (14%) - RCP

Obama over McCain in Oregon (9%) - RCP

Obama over McCain in Washington (18%) - Rasmussen

Electoral Count: Obama 258, McCain 190 - RCP

 

The most interesting thing about the Electoral count is McCain needs to win Michigan, North Carolina, and Virginia by this count to win. Obama ties with a victory in Indiana or Missouri, and wins with a victory in Colorado and another state.

 

Electoral Map without Toss ups: Obama 285, McCain 253

 

Of the southern states, McCain is only comfortably ahead in Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and west Virginia.

 

The map also assumes McCain wins Florida, but the only poll this month has Obama up.

 

As I read these polls, McCain seems to be ahead only in one not-so-coveted demographic: The Jefferson Davis vote. :)

 

P.S. The last GOP candidate with these kinds of numbers was also a Senator from Arizona; however, Senator Goldwater was a politically-courageous former General who I would have been proud to salute as my Commander in Chief. Senator McStrain? Not so much.

Edited by topspeaker70
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As I read these polls, McCain seems to be ahead only in one not-so-covetted demographic: The Jefferson Davis vote. :)

 

True. The fact that Texas is with 15 points, and LA and GA are under 10 is a good sign. I think McCain's gonna be in for a rough couple of months unless to oh so famous GOP smear machine is able to destroy Obama

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... unless to oh so famous GOP smear machine is able to destroy Obama

 

 

Don't underestimate it. Created by FDR-haters, body by Joe McCarthy, weapons designed by the House of Nixon, and packing all the Atwater-Rove bells & whistles, it is a juggernaut. If Obama does as well this year as JFK did in 1960, he (and IMHO America) will be damn lucky.

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That's a matter of opinion....I think I'll changed "lucky" to "doomed" but then I feel that way about both candidates, so its not just related to Obama.

Edited by hylanddd
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Don't underestimate it. Created by FDR-haters, body by Joe McCarthy, weapons designed by the House of Nixon, and packing all the Atwater-Rove bells & whistles, it is a juggernaut. If Obama does as well this year as JFK did in 1960, he (and IMHO America) will be damn lucky.

 

It's all about reaction. Obama needs to be able to "turn" the smear ads against mccain. He needs to avoid being like John Kerry and not play pure defense against the GOP machine. If he can avoid that, imo, he'll be safe.

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That's a matter of opinion....I think I'll changed "lucky" to "doomed" but then I feel that way about both candidates, so its not just related to Obama.

 

Could I inquire as to what specific policies of Obama (or McCain for that matter, but I'm more interested in Obama) would 'doom' us all?

 

I've seen you make numerous claims about how Obama will kill us all, but I havn't seen a single warrent yet.

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Could I inquire as to what specific policies of Obama (or McCain for that matter, but I'm more interested in Obama) would 'doom' us all?

 

I've seen you make numerous claims about how Obama will kill us all, but I havn't seen a single warrent yet.

 

expect something nonsensical.

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Hmm... I think the term 'doomed' would be better to describe our situation concerning global warming, or nuclear weapons proliferation, or the deteriorating health care system. It seems like Obama and McCain would attempt to address some of these issues. Anyone here believe society is worse off because of the existence of our government?

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im not sure what you mean by society. as much as i love this country for what it has done, and what it can be, i cant sit here and tell you i believe this country has not fucked up a lot of things and a lot of people.

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Could I inquire as to what specific policies of Obama (or McCain for that matter, but I'm more interested in Obama) would 'doom' us all?

 

I've seen you make numerous claims about how Obama will kill us all, but I havn't seen a single warrent yet.

 

 

(1) As for McCain (and the whole GOP establishment) I'm concerned that this group seems to believe that (and, more importantly, they govern as if) the material wealth of the average American (indeed, for some GOP-types, average American = average American millionaire) is more important than the survival of the biosphere and every person within it.

 

And yes, I'm talking about American energy policy, food policy, and tax policy.

 

(2) I'm concerned about a foreign policy based upon the idea that every nation must embrace "Basic American Values," or be prepared for isolation and/or war.

 

McCain's foreign policy can be defined in three words:

 

White.Man's.Burden.

 

 

If that makes me a "one-worlder," I plead guilty as charged.

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lolz

from a discussion board in a facebook group:

Don't forget that Barack Obama is also a continuation of Bush's policies.

 

They both support the patriot act.

They both like the war. (Obama just has better rhetoric. He said he won't promise to have our troops out of Iraq by 2013.)

They both want war with Iran. (Once again, Obama just has better rhetoric.)

They both support the war on drugs.

Neither support gay marriage.

Neither support a single payer, not for profit health care system.

Neither want to get rid of the federal reserve. (the main reason our economy is being destroyed)

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im not sure what you mean by society. as much as i love this country for what it has done, and what it can be, i cant sit here and tell you i believe this country has not fucked up a lot of things and a lot of people.

 

The question is has society - meaning the people living collectively in the geographical boundaries of the United States - net gained or net lost quality of life as a result of the existence of the Federal Government.

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It was a rhetorical question. The point was that we are not anymore 'doomed' if McCain or Obama wins the presidency.

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