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Nukatha August 7th, 2016 09:02 PM

Decision 2016
 
Us Americans have an election coming up in November, and I was looking for a place to hold a civilized discussion on the matter.

Personally, I've always voted Republican in past elections, as they were in general the party of smaller government. I can say that throughout the whole Republican primary season, I told myself that I would vote for the Republican, as long as it wasn't Donald Trump. I see Trump and Hillary as two sides of the biggest problem in American politics: Cronyism.
Hillary gets boatloads of money from God knows who, and Trump loves supplying politicians with funds if it means his business ventures come out ahead.

As it stands, I'm planning on voting for Gary Johnson.

So, if anyone wants to have a nice name-calling free discussion on our options this time around, let's have at it!

ollie August 7th, 2016 09:46 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nukatha (Post 2104873)
... nice name-calling free discussion...

I love both careful hyphen use and nice free discussions, you numpty. :p

(I won't be eligible to vote this November, but I might in 2020. Look for Vermont to swing ever-so-slightly leftwards then, for all the difference it will make on the national stage.)

Joseph Sweeney August 7th, 2016 10:20 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
A fish fact I bet you all didn't know is that I happen to like every fish I have eaten thus far. Curious, yet not so well known fact, if you ask me. :p

~JS

Joseph Sweeney August 7th, 2016 10:27 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
This is the wrong thread...

~JS, move along

Arch-vile August 7th, 2016 10:52 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I've planned on doing a careful analysis of the third party candidates myself. I'm not happy with either of the main nominees, and I think it would send an important message if a third party candidate(s) gets a good percentage of the votes. What I really want to see is the implementing of multiple votes - as in, I don't just vote for Trump, or Hillary. I vote saying "I'd be okay with any of the following individuals for president: Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, etc. I think that would be a good way to eliminate the extreme power of the two-party system without abolishing or replacing them with other parties as has happened in history.

lefton4ya August 8th, 2016 01:22 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
In the original constitution before the 12 amendment had the person with the top vote be president and the person with the 2nd highest vote be vice-president. I think we should repeal the 12th amendment or make a new amendment that goes back to this - as ridiculous as it sounds it would be good for America if for Hilary and Trump one was president and one was vice-president as their infighting would force congress to make a more decisive roll on bills on its own without presidential involvement (the original intent of the executive-legislative balance). On those lines, I have decided to pay attention to the senatorial and house of representative races, and which ever party I think will have the majority of representatives in congress, I will vote for the opposite as president. The whole purpose of this is to prevent filibusters and attempt to encourage more cooperation in congress when creating bills, knowing that you would need 2/3 or more of congress to pass something to override a presidential veto. However, I may have a tough time deciding a president if I think the congressional seats will be close.

Nukatha August 8th, 2016 09:55 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I think there is a very real possibility this time around of enough people voting for the Libertarian that Johnson could receive a handful (somewhere between 1 and 20) electoral votes. If Clinton and Trump split the rest of the vote almost evenly, it is entirely possible that no one candidate wins outright, which would send the top 3 presidential candidates to the House of Representatives, and the top 2 VPs to the Senate.

Now that would be fun.

wriggz August 8th, 2016 10:42 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
It is unfortunate that the deck is very much stacked against change. Gerrymandering, lax campaign funding rules, a two party national debate system, and First past the post voting, all encourage the status quo.

I'm afraid it will just be another "The King is dead, all hail the King (or Queen)" situation.

Dad_Scaper August 8th, 2016 02:56 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
There are reasonable criticisms to be made of Clinton, and I've made some of them. At the time we voted in Maryland, she and Sanders were both choices a reasonable person might make. He, a populist firebrand from Vermont, without much practical experience, particularly in foreign policy. A lifetime of devotion to civil service. In Europe, he would be a moderate; by American standards, he is on the left.

Clinton, on the other hand, has a lifetime of experience. There has never been, in my lifetime and perhaps the lifetime of anyone now breathing, someone who had a better breadth of experience than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States. She has relevant experience from the legislative and executive branches and from service at the state level as well. There was not a person in either party's primary season who could match her experience, nor - as Obama said at the convention - has there been an actual President who was more qualified than she. Certainly not himself, having served only as a Senator, nor any of his predecessors, who had served (FTMP) as governors in the recent few decades.

Her policy positions seem to be somewhat to the right of Sanders, but not much. She has been somewhat more hawkish than he, and I expect that to continue. The many, many criticisms of her have been mostly baseless witch hunts: Benghazi, TravelGate, and so on. You could, for each, find something done during the W. administration that was similar or far more dramatic, that did not lead to similar outrage then. You didn't like TravelGate? Where was your outrage when the US Attorneys were let go? You don't like deleted emails (which the FBI found was blameless), where were you when tens of thousands of emails were mysteriously deleted during an active investigation under W.? You don't like that an American diplomat died in a hostile country during the Obama administration? Where were you when American diplomats died other times?

I'm not saying she was blameless for each of those things - though I do believe she was, w/r/t Benghazi - an investigation costing the United States millions and millions of dollars, with no reasonable likelihood of discovering anything new and useful, and which did not discover anything new and useful - nor am I saying she was not. I am just observing that the *number* of scandals surrounding her is irrelevant to me, because most of those "scandals" have zero weight. It's math: 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 1 = 1. I'll give you 1 for the recent email thing, but only one. It's barely a blip.

Anyway. She skews slightly to the right of Sanders, and in another country would also be considered a moderate. She is not as charismatic as Sanders, nor does she make solutions to our problems sound simple. But perhaps that's because solutions to complex problems are not simple, and that distinction might be why she has tended to come out slightly more truthful than he is when Politifact compares them side-by-side.
Not that Sanders is still in it, but he's a useful benchmark for a discussion of Clinton, because he recently competed against her and it's fresh in people's minds.

As you can see from the above chart, Donald Trump has been scored as a person responsible for many falsehoods. Similar charts comparing him to other Republican candidates, earlier in the primary season, showed him as a purveyor of more falsehoods than Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson, to name just two. He does not tell the truth. His manner of persuading the American people to vote for him involves belittling people with nicknames - Crooked Hillary, Little Marco, etc. - and re-tweeting things that appeal to him, without regard for their provenance or their truth.

His policy positions appear to range from impractical and unfeasible (building a wall across the border with Mexico) to outright un-American (banning Muslims from entering the United States). He pulls and reuses campaign material from known hate groups, and endorses violence at his rallies. He does not appear to be able to let go of criticism, allowing even minor distractions - a crying baby at a campaign event, a 10-minute speech from a civilian at the Democratic National Convention - to push him to responses that do not appear to be thoughtful, respectful, compassionate, or polite. As Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake recently said, in response to Trump referring to her as a "joke," "if he can't take criticism from 'a joke,' what's he gonna do when somebody real comes for him?"

If the "real somebody" is reasonably adept at manipulating a person like Trump, then Trump may very well play into his hands.

It is also publicly verifiable that Trump's campaign has already left behind a trail of unpaid vendors and service providers, and in his business affairs he has decades of history of fraud, bankruptcy, and abandonment of his debts and his associates. As Michael Bloomberg (billionaire, and former mayor of New York) said, in his endorsement - remember, as an Independent - of Clinton: "Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's run his business. God help us."

Quoting the Houston Chronicle, which has a decades-long, almost unbroken string of endorsements for Republican candidates for President, which has *already* endorsed Clinton: "These are unsettling times, even if they're not the dark, dystopian end times that Trump lays out. They require a steady hand. That's not Donald Trump."

For myself, I absolutely reject the false narrative that these are two sides of the same coin. You may not like Clinton as a candidate, but the fact is she is qualified for the office, just as Obama - a former Senator - and Bush - a former Governor - were qualified. She is, in fact, more qualified than both. All three said or did things during the campaign season or earlier in their lives that might cause a reasonable person to hesitate before pushing the button bearing his or her name on election day.

She might not be your preferred choice, but she can be trusted to be an experienced person trying to do a good job as President of the United States. You can say she favors moneyed interests, and there may be some truth to that, but she has fought for civil rights, access to health care, and other middle-class issues over the years, and there's no reason to think she will stop doing so. She is a qualified candidate. I can extoll her virtues at great length, and acknowledge that she has some drawbacks.

There's no reason to think that Trump is even aware of how little relevant experience he has. Consider that he recently assembled a team of economic advisors to help him put together an economic policy, and only three of the thirteen members have actual experience in economics. He does not have relevant experience in government administration, and he does not appear to be interested in addressing the fact that he has no relevant experience. That is dangerous, and it is coupled with his temperament, which I discussed above.

His decision not to release his own tax returns stands in intriguing contrast to his unprecedented demand that President Obama release his birth certificate, though there was no credible reason why Obama should, and in fact he already had (IIRC, Trump was demanding the "long form," when Obama had already release the short form, though the Governor or Secretary of State or whatever of Hawaii had already vouched for it, and there had never been credible evidence that Obama had been born anywhere else). A tax return would be particularly important for a self-proclaimed businessman with ties to foreign banks and foreign powers and private businesses, but the American people are denied the opportunity to see it, notwithstanding Trump's own unsupportable demand to see the current President's birth certificate.

I can have this discussion as either "vote for Clinton because she will be a fine President, she is qualified for the job, and the criticisms of her are either completely or almost completely unfounded," or as "vote for Clinton because she is at least competent, and her opponent is a danger to the nation, and she is not. A drowning man may prefer a motorboat, but he would certainly be content with a life preserver." Either way, I'm arriving at the same clear choice.

My :2cents:, without name-calling.

vegietarian18 August 8th, 2016 04:15 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
This is the first election that I get to vote in. I was a big Obama fan in 2008, since he was from my home state, and liked him in 2012 too. I'm a lot less of a Clinton fan, especially in the current political climate, but that's okay since my vote will not really matter for electoral college purposes. Fivethirtyeight has Illinois at a 98.4% chance to go to Clinton, behind only California and New York.

I'm not really a third party fan though either this year. Gary Johnson is at least a reasonable libertarian but their party ideals are way far from mine. Jill Stein is the opposite, where I like the party ideals, but the implementation and current platform is pretty poor (opposition to nuclear energy when it's the most cost-effective way to preserve energy for the future).

And Trump is Trump, as D_S laid out above.

So, I mean, I guess I don't have to vote but that seems like a waste. At least there is a few more months, and my vote is for principle rather than outcome anyway. I just don't really feel engaged since IMO this election is being fought over irrelevant issues.

Rich10 August 8th, 2016 04:42 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Sorry DS, I see a lot that I don't like with Hillary.

I think that the Clintons have shown remarkably bad taste for people who are very politically ambitious. After Hillary became Secretary of State, Bill Clinton's speaking fees increased dramatically. Also, Bill received fees from groups with matters before the state department. It wasn't illegal, but it just shows incredibly poor judgment.
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/bill-...ry?id=30522705

The Clinton Foundation has received contributions from a variety of sources. From the Washington Post (not exactly a right leaning publication), "And many of the foundation’s biggest donors are foreigners who are legally barred from giving to U.S. political candidates. A third of foundation donors who have given more than $1 million are foreign governments or other entities based outside the United States, and foreign donors make up more than half of those who have given more than $5 million." and "The role of interests located in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Argentina may spur questions about the independence of a potential commander in chief who has solicited money from foreign donors with a stake in the actions of the U.S. government." The percentage of funds that go to charity has been estimated at between 6% and 94% in various sources. I have no idea which is more correct. I'm sure this isn't illegal, but again it shows very questionable judgment.

When I have emails in my job, I have to use work issued equipment (and I don't do government work). I can lose my job if I don't. With government secrets at stake, Clinton used poor judgment (at best).

As for all of the other "scandals" that she finds herself in, I don't know if this is just smoke and mirrors of if she is untrustworthy. But she does seem willing to tell any lie if it benefits her in any way. Remember the "sniper fire" in Bosnia that turned out to be a small girl giving her a kiss? Unfortunately for her, she's not nearly as good a liar as Bill.

Finally, my taxes usually go up under a Democratic party president. I'm guessing that Hillary will not be an exception to this.

So, a vote for the Republican candidate would seem easy if only Donald Trump wasn't a walking disaster area. Lets see now:
  • A ban on Muslims entering the country
  • A fight with the parents of a soldier who died fighting for our country
  • Having seemingly no knowledge of current event
  • Threatening to abandon NATO allies
  • His statement that Russia won't go into Ukraine
  • Asking Russia to spy on Hillary Clinton
  • Calling for the torture of ISIS members, carpet bombing of civilians and the killing of ISIS members families
  • Did he really ask repeatedly why we couldn't use nuclear weapons?
  • Jail for women who have had an abortion
That's off the top of my head. I'm sure that I've missed a few other boneheaded statements.

Despite what the left tries to say about Trump's business acumen, he runs a successful company. I'll grant him that. But he doesn't seem to know the facts, seems to say a lot of very stupid things, and is seemingly so thin-skinned that he can't let anything go. I just can't vote for Trump.

Who's that libertarian candidate again???

Dad_Scaper August 8th, 2016 04:53 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I am aware of the speaking fees and the Clinton foundation. It's one of the demerits on her slate, and one of the reasons I thought Sanders was appealing.

As for taxes, I read recently that traditionally "blue" states tend to have (1) higher taxes and (2) higher standards of living. Or something like that. I don't need lower taxes, I need the taxes I pay to *do* something. I want the police to come when I call; I want my children and my neighbors' children to be taught by competent teachers. I want the Office of the Attorney General to have an effective Consumer Protection Division; I want public health services to combat infection. All those things contribute to my standard of living, and if my taxes are higher than those in Tennessee, I'm ok with that. I don't want to live in Tennessee.

(edit: Or, for instance, Missouri. Local municipalities, unable to raise enough money through taxes, apparently fill their coffers by imprisoning poor automobile drivers and holding them & their licenses ransom. Let's not pretend that taxes are the only way that money goes from people & businesses to the government, or that the government does nothing with it. For instance, your federal government has spent untold millions wasting time on attempting to repeal the ACA and investigating Benghazi in the House. And investigating Planned Parenthood. You think all that is free? And North Carolina has invested money & time into gathering its legislature to protect the state's bathrooms from undocumented & imaginary horrors. None of that is free! Don't tell yourself the lie that Republicans are more responsible with your money than Democrats. Both are capable of wastefulness; give me someone who has administrative experience & a good head for management.)

Regardless of those speaking fees and the Clinton foundation, I believe that her career as a public servant indicates an intent to continue as a servant of the public.

And I didn't say that Trump does not have "business acumen." He does run a successful business. However, you can't do with the American government what he does with a business: bankruptcy, betrayal, racism, fraud. That's his legacy as a businessman, though if you're counting dollars you may still call it "successful." You can't, for instance, willy-nilly abandon your treaty partners, or insist minorities conform to your prejudices, as the Chief Executive of the company that is the United States of America.

Rich10 August 8th, 2016 05:31 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper (Post 2104973)
I am aware of the speaking fees and the Clinton foundation. It's one of the demerits on her slate, and one of the reasons I thought Sanders was appealing.

I was responding to your comment: 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 1 = 1
My math brings me higher than 1. ;)


Quote:

Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper (Post 2104973)
As for taxes, I read recently that traditionally "blue" states tend to have (1) higher taxes and (2) higher standards of living. Or something like that. I don't need lower taxes, I need the taxes I pay to *do* something. I want the police to come when I call; I want my children and my neighbors' children to be taught by competent teachers. I want the Office of the Attorney General to have an effective Consumer Protection Division; I want public health services to combat infection. All those things contribute to my standard of living, and if my taxes are higher than those in Tennessee, I'm ok with that. I don't want to live in Tennessee.

I don't need lower taxes, I just don't want them to go higher. I've never been worried that the police would come, and really haven't thought of the Attorney General or public health services.
In my experience, Democrats seem to make my taxes go higher.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper (Post 2104973)
Regardless of those speaking fees and the Clinton foundation, I believe that her career as a public servant indicates an intent to continue as a servant of the public.

I don't know what Hillary is thinking. I believe she shows poor judgment. I do agree that her judgment lapses are trivial compared with Trump's.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper (Post 2104973)
And I didn't say that Trump does not have "business acumen." He does run a successful business. However, you can't do with the American government what he does with a business: bankruptcy, betrayal, racism, fraud. That's his legacy as a businessman, though if you're counting dollars you may still call it "successful." You can't, for instance, willy-nilly abandon your treaty partners, or insist minorities conform to your prejudices, as the Chief Executive of the company that is the United States of America.

Trump's business acumen is what he is running on. He has no other record. He has used bankruptcy. I'm not sure about betrayal, racism and fraud.

Trump's big problem is that he says so many stupid things and really doesn't seem to know the basics of current events. Even with my dislike of Clinton, I can't vote for Trump.

wriggz August 8th, 2016 06:11 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
As far as taxes go, it goes hand in hand with in equality.

Imagine you lived in a Anytown USA that has a population of 100 people. Now if one guy makes 34% of all the money, and the then 4 other guys make another 27%. This leaves 55 people to share 38%. Finally there are 40 people sharing less than 1%.

Lets ignore the terrible situations those last 40% are living in, We can call them lazy or useless or something. Instead lets focus on 55 who are doing okay. Now they are all working away, jobs and wealth distribution that is based on a more even distribuiton. Since those top 5 guys now only pay 30% instead of 70% taxes there is less money to pay for 2 Police officers, 4 street cleaners, and 2 teachers. The mayor being good friends with those 5 top guys doesn't raise taxes but instead cuts out the "waste".

Now you have only 2 street cleaners and 1 teacher, Lets also reduce the pay for those street cleaners or only make them part time. The streets are still clean, so what does it matter? The Mayor tells the old street cleaners, since the Rich guys have more money they will invest in them so they can open their own business's now that they have lots of free time. Now for some reason one of the rich guys decides to loan some money. Not sure why he would do this, I guess interest on the loan so he can make more money? Any way for my story he loans out some of the money, Now i doubt it is the 40% savings he got as a tax break, but I don't make the rules.

Anyhow the former street cleaner opens a business washing pets. Not a terrible idea, since everyone has a dirty dog. Now she does not make as much as she did as a street cleaner, but at least she has a dog. The problem is since everyone has been making less money (except those top 5 guys) they have less money to spend on extras like washing their dogs. At this point since so much money is tied up with those top 5 guys, there really aren't many customers for anything anymore.

Unfortunately there is no way to get that 50% of the money back into the economy since those 5 guys simply can't spend it fast enough (not that they seem to want to spend much of it anyway, and just end up giving most of it to their kids). If there was only a way for the government to create more Consumers for people who wash dogs. Oh, right there are those 40 people doing nothing since there are no jobs. Perhaps if the government started to make more jobs so there could be more consumers.

Or we could all gang up on those 5 guys and take their stuff and spread it around.

Dysole August 8th, 2016 09:04 PM

Mostly Writing This So I Can Get Notified To Lurk
 
My vote is not going to any of the candidates mentioned here but the reasons why are largely personal and I would likely be voting pragmatically for Clinton otherwise. (I was a Sanders fan)

I certainly don't fault anyone for wishing to vote third party, but I have yet to see a poll anywhere that makes me think Johnson or Stein has a prayer of winning electoral votes.

I have more opinions but I'm going to figure out how many of them are worth unpacking.

~Dysole, who really hated how early in the process it felt like her decision was basically decided for her

ollie August 8th, 2016 09:50 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I think a big thing for everyone disillusioned with the names at the top of the tickets is to make sure to get involved and vote for the candidates you want in the positions other than president. I'm with those who are hoping for a different system to emerge that means it's possible (or easier) to vote to get people whose values you share into office---one way to get closer to this is in future and is often possible now is down the ticket, where candidates often have even more direct power to affect your life in any case.

I don't know if tomorrow is a big day nationwide for state elections, or if it's just VT, but if it is then please do some research (quickly!) and get out there. Also, things are getting fruity here (I love that one of the candidates is commenting to accept blame for some aspects of what he said and double down on others; it only reinforces my belief that local politics is so much more accessible and an important step to the national stage).

Rich10 August 9th, 2016 10:21 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wriggz (Post 2104984)
Unfortunately there is no way to get that 50% of the money back into the economy since those 5 guys simply can't spend it fast enough (not that they seem to want to spend much of it anyway, and just end up giving most of it to their kids). If there was only a way for the government to create more Consumers for people who wash dogs. Oh, right there are those 40 people doing nothing since there are no jobs. Perhaps if the government started to make more jobs so there could be more consumers.

Will the top 5 guys "spend" this extra money? Probably not, but they will invest the money in new businesses that need employees who then become consumers. They aren't going to bury it in the ground. I'm not saying that the government can't spend the money to make new jobs, but the government doesn't seem to be particularly efficient in job creation. I would rather invest my money with people that have a profit incentive or the money can easily be wasted.


Quote:

Originally Posted by wriggz (Post 2104984)
Or we could all gang up on those 5 guys and take their stuff and spread it around.

Which has been done in Marxist forms of governments. The end result seems to be that some corrupt government officials end up with more and most of the people are no better off than before.

Dad_Scaper August 9th, 2016 10:34 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rich10 (Post 2105083)
Will the top 5 guys "spend" this extra money? Probably not, but they will invest the money in new businesses that need employees who then become consumers.

Ah, yes. As the first President Bush called it, voodoo economics. Why would they invest money in new businesses, when they could protect their wealth better by collecting and storing valuable pieces of art, or investing in businesses and governments far away, likely in other countries? Money does not know borders; there is no reason to think that a member of the .1% will invest in anything other than the accretion of his or her own wealth.

I did not read Wriggz' post to be advocating taking resources from the 5. I thought that line was tongue-in-cheek.

Regardless, I'm not advocating for higher taxes. I'm just pointing out that (1) some government services are *good* things, and need to be financed, and (2) irresponsible use of government money does not know party, and in fact appears to be the norm for the current, conservative U.S. House of Representatives.

Rich10 August 9th, 2016 12:25 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper (Post 2105086)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rich10 (Post 2105083)
Will the top 5 guys "spend" this extra money? Probably not, but they will invest the money in new businesses that need employees who then become consumers.

Ah, yes. As the first President Bush called it, voodoo economics. Why would they invest money in new businesses, when they could protect their wealth better by collecting and storing valuable pieces of art, or investing in businesses and governments far away, likely in other countries? Money does not know borders; there is no reason to think that a member of the .1% will invest in anything other than the accretion of his or her own wealth.

I did not read Wriggz' post to be advocating taking resources from the 5. I thought that line was tongue-in-cheek.

Regardless, I'm not advocating for higher taxes. I'm just pointing out that (1) some government services are *good* things, and need to be financed, and (2) irresponsible use of government money does not know party, and in fact appears to be the norm for the current, conservative U.S. House of Representatives.

What you (or President Bush) call "Voodoo Economics", I call capitalism. Capitalism isn't perfect and as Winston Churchill said, "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."

Investing in art is typically for ego purposes, not for a reliable gain.

As you point out, money can leave the US. Lawyers have proven adept at skirting laws that try to limit companies and investments from leaving the US. I would prefer a lower (and simpler) corporate rate to limit this, even if it requires higher personal tax rates. It is in our best interests to limit jobs leaving the US and to keep investment here.

I'm not a laissez-faire capitalist. I want there to be a social safety net to help people when they fall, but I don't want people to live their lives in this safety net. I want a government that encourages jobs so that people can be gainfully employed.

Dad_Scaper August 9th, 2016 12:37 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I knew I should have provided a link to that:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/ar...ence.html?_r=0

There must be taxes. The manner in which those taxes are structured will have a social impact. Reducing taxes in some ways encourages the growth of the middle class; in other ways it encourages the growth of the top 5, 1, or .1 percent. It's all "wealth redistribution," it's just a question of which direction. Me, I like the kind of tax system that favors a healthy middle class. I think that's good for the country.

wriggz August 9th, 2016 12:37 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I love how @Dad_Scaper puts it... It is what you are willing to pay for.

As a Canadian I know my taxes are higher than most (all?) of the US. However, I'm willing to pay them rather than moving since I feel I get a reasonable deal. I get Police protection, products I eat and use are tested for safety, I have Medical coverage, my election system is protected from government intervention, My mother-in-law can collect disability, my son will have a good school and my wife gets a year of maternity leave at 50% her normal pay.

What if I was unhappy? I only have two options: Move (expensive and maybe not feasible) or Vote for Change (limited options, no guarantees). I get why people hate all the government options, it is like cable companies or airline food - simply no real choice.

This is where your local government becomes important. If Americans (well any country really) invested the same time and effort into politics as they do to sports there might be a reason for change. Think of how we ring out Errors in sports, keep track of historical stats, and all around keep an eye on ever aspect of everything. I don't simply mean watching the three-ring circus that happens every 4 years, but in-depth participation that happens at every level.


Oh and about everyone showing up at that top 1% Houses and demand their share... your right there is always a "Cheater" waiting in the wings to snag more than their share, and really it would only likely lead to inflation.


Here's to hoping that the better angels of our nature one day rule our decisions.

Rich10 August 9th, 2016 01:28 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper (Post 2105107)
I knew I should have provided a link to that:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/ar...ence.html?_r=0

There must be taxes. The manner in which those taxes are structured will have a social impact. Reducing taxes in some ways encourages the growth of the middle class; in other ways it encourages the growth of the top 5, 1, or .1 percent. It's all "wealth redistribution," it's just a question of which direction. Me, I like the kind of tax system that favors a healthy middle class. I think that's good for the country.

Very interesting article. I wonder how much money is tied up in art held in ports?

There are deductions that target the middle class (mortgage, IRA/401K, dependents, EITC, etc.). I still think that jobs are the key to helping the middle class.

I have talked to a number of unskilled workers who support Trump on the basis of his immigration policies. While I'm not going to support a ban on Muslims, I understand their concern about illegal immigrants taking jobs.

Dad_Scaper August 9th, 2016 01:37 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
My point with the reference to art - and with the link to the article - is that there is no reason to think that the money spent by the wealthiest of the wealthy inures to the benefit of anyone but themselves.

Is there a rational connection between Trump's immigration policies and employment in this country? I certainly wouldn't assume that the answer to that question is "yes," or that the people with whom you've spoken are competent to analyze it. Employment has risen steadily under Obama; I don't know why that wouldn't continue under Clinton.

wriggz August 9th, 2016 01:55 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I would love to see two things:

1. Corporate taxes tied to the number of Middle Class Jobs you provide.
2. More money spent on infrastructure to get people working.

Oddly enough the solution is not to offer tax breaks to the middle class, the key is to raise up the lower class. You want a country where "Unskilled works" are rare due to robust training, apprenticeship (not internship) and education programs.

I don't know about you but I don't want the jobs that typically go to Illegal Immigrants. Instead of worrying about illegals I would focus on wage reduction, part-time, disappearance of benefits and outsourcing.

vegietarian18 August 9th, 2016 05:03 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wriggz (Post 2105114)
I don't know about you but I don't want the jobs that typically go to Illegal Immigrants.

I am not a fan of this argument. I don't want those jobs either, and it's because they are in the the country illegally that illegal immigrants are paid such ridiculously low wages for such hard work.

We need to make it easier for people to come to the country legally and then enforce those laws precisely to prevent these things. Illegal immigration should not be tolerated just because it gives employees for jobs no one wants to do, it just perpetuates both the poverty of current and future illegal immigrants and their children.

Rich10 August 9th, 2016 05:14 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper (Post 2105113)
My point with the reference to art - and with the link to the article - is that there is no reason to think that the money spent by the wealthiest of the wealthy inures to the benefit of anyone but themselves.

We'll just have to disagree on this. Bill Gates (I think he's still the wealthiest man in the world) was partly responsible for making a company that employs many people. He has a foundation that does good deeds. Even if you go back to the "robber barons" such as Vanderbilt, Carnegie, and Rockefeller, they made large corporations that employed many people to middle class and above careers. They helped to build the USA. Certainly, they personally benefitted from their efforts, but I think that their wealth also inures to the benefit of society.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper (Post 2105113)
Is there a rational connection between Trump's immigration policies and employment in this country? I certainly wouldn't assume that the answer to that question is "yes," or that the people with whom you've spoken are competent to analyze it. Employment has risen steadily under Obama; I don't know why that wouldn't continue under Clinton.

I don't know the answer, and I'm sure that better informed people on both sides could make a stronger argument than I. My personal work skill is in an arcane area of finance and accounting so illegal immigration doesn't affect me personally. But if 11 million (I don't know the latest estimate of illegal immigrants) people entered the country with skills in finance and accounting, I would be worried. Similarly, if I was in competition from illegal immigrants with limited ability to negotiate for better compensation, I would be worried.

While the unemployment rate has dropped under President Obama, I hear that this is due to lower paying service jobs like Walmart greeters. I'm not an economist and don't know how to judge this, but this is something that I hear frequently. The median household income in the US has decreased during the past 15 years or so.
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?id=MEHOINUSA672N

wriggz, I don't want to compete for jobs against illegal immigrants either. But, there are many legal residents of the US who are.

Dad_Scaper August 9th, 2016 06:05 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I stand by everything I've written so far, including my favorable comments about Clinton and her worthiness as a candidate. But I don't really care to go on pretending this is a contest between two worthy (or similar) nominees:
Quote:

Originally Posted by CNN
"Hillary wants to abolish -- essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don't know," Trump said.

Enough already. The prospect of a Trump presidency should be so frightening to every rational American that he or she should not exercise the luxury of cynically staying home or voting for some third party candidate, which is an equally empty gesture. You want to improve the system, improve it a step at a time. Making it worse by allowing this would-be demagogue (sorry for the name-calling) to open the door to the White House and struggle to find the light switch would make nothing better. Only worse.

LINK

Nukatha August 9th, 2016 06:22 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
But I also cannot vote for an individual who treats national security so wantonly by throwing classified information around to and from a personal computer. Whether intentional or not, that is extreme carelessness.

I cannot vote for an individual who immediately hired another person who resigned earlier that day for collusion against another member of her own party. (Debbie Wasserman Shultz)
I cannot vote for someone who claimed that an terrorist attack against the US consulate in Libya was motivated by some random online video, despite knowing full well that was not the case.
I cannot vote for an individual whose 'charity' bearing her family's name continues to have shady dealings worldwide, with 'coincidental' political decisions (that strongly benefit a specific individual or organization) appearing days or weeks after a Clinton gives a speech for a huge sum of money to said organization. (I strongly recommend watching Clinton Cash on Youtube, then fact-checking everything yourself. I'm a huge fan of 'trust, but verify')

Therefore, I shall vote, but I shall not vote for either of them.

This would be a slam-dunk election for the Democrats if they had nominated, say, Joe Biden instead of Clinton, or would be a grand-slam for the Republicans if literally any other primary candidate had been chosen.

dok August 9th, 2016 06:58 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Arch-vile (Post 2104887)
What I really want to see is the implementing of multiple votes - as in, I don't just vote for Trump, or Hillary. I vote saying "I'd be okay with any of the following individuals for president: Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, etc. I think that would be a good way to eliminate the extreme power of the two-party system without abolishing or replacing them with other parties as has happened in history.

This is typically called "approval voting" and it is, indeed, a very good system.

Another system you hear about a lot is "Instant Runoff Voting". This uses a ranked ballot and essentially runs, as it says, a series of runoff elections using the ranked preferences of the voters. While IRV has some serious flaws in the case where there are multiple viable candidates, it actually does a quite good job of preventing the "spoiler effect" of third party candidates.

My personal favorite alternative voting system is some variant of Condorcet voting, using a graded ballot.

Anyway, the upshot of all of this is that, if you really want viable third party candidates, you should be working for alternative voting methods. In our current voting system, votes for third party candidates have nearly the opposite effect of what those voters usually want.

In the mean time, I usually tell people to be tactical. Vote for the lesser of two evils, and support the down-ballot candidates you care about.

Nukatha August 9th, 2016 07:34 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

In the mean time, I usually tell people to be tactical. Vote for the lesser of two evils, and support the down-ballot candidates you care about.
In general, I agree with you there, but this time I don't know who the lesser of two evils is.
So, I'm taking the advice of the one US President who became president without a majority of the electoral vote, John Quincy Adams: "Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost"

Honestly, if more states split their electoral votes proportionally (or by district), then House decisions among the top three could be far more common.

Completely off topic, here's an election-related musing: What happens if a presidential candidate is incapacitated between the general election and the electoral college members submitting their ballots. Technically, the electors are supposed to vote their conscience, (unless a state law says otherwise). Would they cast their presidential votes for the otherwise VP candidate, and someone new for the VP slot?

Rich10 August 11th, 2016 11:51 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I thought this was a good article that expresses why I just can't vote for Donald Trump.
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed...nap-story.html

"Trump’s blathering about international affairs seems rooted in ignorance rather than ideology. He quite simply doesn’t have a clue about foreign policy. He has no advisors of stature, military or diplomatic — no one who can rein in his “bromance” with Russian leader Vladimir Putin or explain to him why we must honor our commitments to NATO."

"You can believe — as I do — that Clinton has a problem with the truth, but must also acknowledge — as I must — that in that regard she doesn’t hold a candle to Trump’s prevarications. Simply put, as the old adage goes, “How can you tell when Trump is lying? Answer: When he is moving his lips.” You really can’t predict what he will say from one day to the next, or if he will say the same thing again the following day. He is an unstable egomaniac who is unfit for public office, any office."

keglo August 11th, 2016 12:52 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Well I would have to disagree with that article on at least one thing. In a contest of liars Hillary would win hands down. And if I had only two choices, either Clinton or Trump, I would vote Trump. I dislike the man immensely, but not nearly as much as I loathe and distrust Hillary.

It is a very sad day in America when these two are our only realistic options for President.

I will be following the lead of @Nukatha and John Quincy Adams, and I will vote for principle. My vote will go for neither of these two idiots.

ollie August 11th, 2016 02:55 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by keglo (Post 2105285)
Well I would have to disagree with that article on at least one thing. In a contest of liars Hillary would win hands down.

I find this fascinating. I am genuinely interested in how you came to this conclusion. What evidence are you looking at?

Increasingly we all live in media bubbles where our own views can get more easily reinforced, but I don't think I'm being too old-fashioned in holding that there is some sort of objective answer to the question of whether Trump or Clinton is being more dishonest. I also don't see any way that the answer isn't Trump by a bajillion miles. Is that my media bubble? What are you seeing that makes you think differently?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Donald Trump, yesterday
ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS. He is the founder of ISIS, okay? He is the founder. He founded ISIS. And I would say the cofounder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.

(source)



Separately, the question of minor-party voting in a first-past-the-post system is an interesting one, and one I've thought a good amount about on and off over the years (albeit mostly in the context of the UK's differently structured first-past-the-post system). I'm increasingly convinced of the value of minor-candidate votes, albeit with some caveats.

First is the fundamental reason for voting. On one side there is the keglo/Nukatha/JQA opinion that a vote is an expression of your political principles and to do anything other than voting for the candidate that best reflects them is morally wrong. That's a perfectly sound position.

The other side is that a vote is an action that has consequences and you should cast your vote in the way that leads to the consequences you most desire. This is usually brought up to convince you to vote for one of the two main candidates, and I think this is probably the right thing to do in a state where the race between them is close. If you're in Ohio (is Ohio close again this year? way to early for even a moderate poll nerd like me to be paying close attention) then your choice of vote might affect the overall winner, which is presumably what you care most about, and so therefore you vote for whichever of Trump and Clinton you prefer.

However, a big fraction of races are not close (Vermont, for one, and also all three of the different voting districts I lived in in England). Most of the votes in a one-sided state are as "wasted" (both votes for the winning and for the losing candidate) as a minor-candidate one

Even here there's an argument for voting Clinton/Trump even if that's not your ideal---for example, although it doesn't count for anything officially whether a candidate wins a majority of votes nationwide (or the size of that majority) has a bearing on the mandate the winner is considered to have.

On the minor-candidate side though, it's important to remember there is more to the race than winning: increased legitimacy to push for a different system; reaching minimum levels to be included on ballots, in debates, etc.; and again that soft power that comes from having your positions recognised as ones that resonate with (some) voters.

It's even plausible that you could value these minor-candidate advantages as more important that who wins overall if you live in a battleground state and do not have a strong preference between the two main candidates.

wriggz August 11th, 2016 03:24 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
It is funny that seemingly to be Smarmy but saying your aren't (Clinton) is worse than being Smarmy and revealing in it (Trump).

I suppose there is value in being honestly dishonest instead of being Dishonestly (Dis?)honest.


As far as voting your conscious, that is a tricky and increasing pointless action. The really scary thing about gerrymandering is that the lines are not drawn to exclude all other candidates, but rather to keep things status quo. 3rd part enclaves are eaten up by the other parties.


Here are some of the worst offenders:
https://philebersole.files.wordpress...mander0675.png
Those are honest to goodness territories. That is how you keep the status quo. That coupled with Millions of dollars in advertising to convince people who generally don't care very much, don't have much time, and are just getting by to vote. Also there are no rules for Truth in Election adds in the same way there is for Cars and Pills.

ollie August 11th, 2016 04:00 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
As I understand it, that gerrymandering is to the benefit of one of the two parties at the expense of the other (and it varies which party is which from instance to instance). The idea is to clump the votes of the opposing party into a smaller number of regions that they'll win overwhelmingly in those while you take narrower victories in a larger number of regions.

A third party that is up even as high as 20% of support will get no seats regardless of gerrymandering without some sort of proportional representation system.

vegietarian18 August 11th, 2016 04:19 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I am not of the opinion that Trump is completely ignorant and just spouting random racist comments. I think the comments like "there has to be some sort of punishment", "he is the founder of ISIS", "they're sending their rapists" are heavily calculated words that he's using to:

1. gain free publicity
2. gain support from the Barrack HUSSEIN Obama crowd
3. rile up his normal supporters into thinking media is twisting his words

I think he's playing himself as the anti-establishment candidate, and would have had a similar strategy but with democratic ideals if he ran in 2008. He is not running with a goal of implementing any policies, just with the goal of winning the election and technically being president.

I actually think when he started he didn't have the goal of winning, just the goal of stopping Jeb Bush. He just didn't expect the strategy of railing on Jeb Bush in every debate to actually be a path to the nomination, and once it actually was, he decided to stick with it.

Regardless of what you think of Trump, he has definitely changed campaigns forever and it's been completely strategy rather than personality or policy. He's not an ignorant person.

keglo August 11th, 2016 05:47 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ollie (Post 2105304)
I find this fascinating. I am genuinely interested in how you came to this conclusion. What evidence are you looking at?

Increasingly we all live in media bubbles where our own views can get more easily reinforced, but I don't think I'm being too old-fashioned in holding that there is some sort of objective answer to the question of whether Trump or Clinton is being more dishonest. I also don't see any way that the answer isn't Trump by a bajillion miles. Is that my media bubble? What are you seeing that makes you think differently?

Well I don't know what to tell you. I can only rely on one form of media or another for my information. I have watched countless interviews, press conferences, speeches, etc., where Clinton just flat out lies about one subject after another. I see it with my own eyes and hear it with my own ears. The way you feel about Trump, I feel about Hillary. Concerning who the biggest liar is, I can’t see any way that it isn’t Clinton by a bajillion miles. Maybe even a gazillion.

And yes we do live in media bubbles and I am sure that I am influenced to some degree.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wriggz (Post 2105307)
As far as voting your conscious, that is a tricky and increasing pointless action.

Pointless? Maybe not. At least I’ll sleep better at night.

Dad_Scaper August 11th, 2016 07:59 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
It is disingenuous to treat the media issue as two equally isolated "bubbles." The fact is that there is a group of one particular sociopolitical persuasion that will, apparently, believe any kind of nonsense, evidence notwithstanding, provided it is consistent with their world view.

wriggz August 11th, 2016 08:06 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by keglo (Post 2105318)

Quote:

Originally Posted by wriggz (Post 2105307)
As far as voting your conscious, that is a tricky and increasing pointless action.

Pointless? Maybe not. At least I’ll sleep better at night.

Sorry my comment was not one of surrender but a call to arms. I once had a class in Utopias and Dystopias in University (ah the Joys of a liberal arts degree). Any how, the one thing I learned is that by the time people are in-sighted into action they have no power left. It is a very sobering thought.

Right now Americans still have power over their government (At least I believe it to be so, although the Power of Media, Money and Lobbying may suggest otherwise). Now is the time for the common person to get involved in local government and push for change.

I hope the change we all seek, which seems to be a a swift reduction in corruption can still happen.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dad_Scaper (Post 2105336)
It is disingenuous to treat the media issue as two equally isolated "bubbles." The fact is that there is a group of one particular sociopolitical persuasion that will, apparently, believe any kind of nonsense, evidence notwithstanding, provided it is consistent with their world view.

Having lived through a female prime minster, and following the media, I think the distrust that is brewing around Clinton is at least partially fueled by her gender. It is never overtly stated, but you can feel the Zeitgeist of "distrust women in power" that lurks in the background. Oddly this tactic works on women as well as men as we have built eon of culture that imply women are not to be trusted with big decisions, and a woman who wants power is just pretending to be a man.

Dad_Scaper August 11th, 2016 08:10 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wriggz (Post 2105337)
Now is the time for the common person to get involved in local government and push for change.

I hope the change we all seek, which seems to be a a swift reduction in corruption can still happen.

I have a friend on the Baltimore City Council. He's a good guy, trying to be a force for good.

Doesn't matter. Most people who don't actually know him or the work he does seem to think that, because he's in politics, he must be corrupt. I know lots of good people in law enforcement, who get similar treatment.

Cynicism is a bigger danger than anything. The choice to believe "they're all corrupt," or "the media are all lying to us," or "my vote doesn't matter." It's the cynicism that's the real danger.

Tornado August 11th, 2016 08:15 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Scary true DS.

What scares me more is that you are in the system and I believe your words.

So much ignorance. So much life that exists in your hand. What are we becoming?

keglo August 11th, 2016 08:35 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
I can honestly say that my dislike for Hillary, and my earnest desire for her to lose this election, has nothing to do with her gender. Just as my dislike for Obama has nothing to do with his race. And remember that there is a fair number of people out there that are willing to vote for Hillary simply because she is a woman.

ollie August 11th, 2016 08:41 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Good timing keglo. I was just thinking about a general post, but I can make what I want to say specific to your post now.

I agree with D_S that there are not two equal and separate bubbles. Trump is an out-and-out liar. Clinton lies about as much as is usual for a politician (including those who you think of as "good" politicians, whatever your political persuasion) which can easily be interpreted as the necessary political games that need to be played (again, this probably applies to whatever politician you think of as most honest).

I see you've moved the charge from dishonesty to dislike. Whichever you'd prefer to address, I am still genuinely and non-snarkily interested in how you reached that opinion, what evidence you used, and what evidence you're looking for between now and November.

wriggz August 11th, 2016 09:02 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
D_S did clearly outline his reasons based on experience.

You may or may not recall Rob Ford the cracks smoking Chris Farleyesque Mayor of Toronto. He was so bad he became an international embarrassment. Even Rob Ford had years of council experience before going for mayor.

Trump is like voting a hotel manager as your head chef. sure he is a leader and some skills transfer, but I would not try the soup.

Remember corporations goal is to make money first and for most (maybe even legally bound) whereas government goal is to promote the health and wellbeing of all citizens.

Rich10 August 12th, 2016 05:57 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wriggz (Post 2105337)
Having lived through a female prime minster, and following the media, I think the distrust that is brewing around Clinton is at least partially fueled by her gender. It is never overtly stated, but you can feel the Zeitgeist of "distrust women in power" that lurks in the background. Oddly this tactic works on women as well as men as we have built eon of culture that imply women are not to be trusted with big decisions, and a woman who wants power is just pretending to be a man.

Sorry, but I think the distrust of Clinton is fueled by her actions. IMHO, the Clintons act as if the rules that apply to the rest of us, don't apply to them. I don't think that she's blatantly broken the law to where she would be prosecuted, but I've pointed to a number of times where her actions are ethically challenged. Just this week, we see a contributor to the Clinton foundation get treated preferentially. Hillary has done plenty to give people reason to question her honesty, integrity, ethics, judgement ...

Republicans don't like Obama anymore than Hillary, but the Obama's didn't get involved in all of the shady and questionable things the Clintons find themselves in. I'm willing to bet that Barack didn't feel the need to circumvent government email servers. To my knowledge, Michelle Obama isn't giving million dollar speeches to foreign banks.

Speaking of our president, I remember when I first heard his name as a presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama. My first thought was to wonder how the US would react to an African American presidential candidate named Barack Hussein Obama. To my surprise, race wasn't a significant issue. I bring this up to suggest that Americans are better when it comes to treating people fairly than we give them credit for.

Tornado August 13th, 2016 10:14 AM

Re: Decision 2016
 
The rules do not apply to the Clintons. They have reached that level of power. Is that right? Probably not but it is a result of the system.

Using politics to make money is nothing new and has been going on forever.
LBJ was a master of this.
PBS has a great feature on him.

To a paraphrase Mal from Firefly
"Anyone who has ever had a statue of them erected, was some sort of SoB."

The_X_Marker August 13th, 2016 03:12 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wriggz (Post 2105337)
Having lived through a female prime minster, and following the media, I think the distrust that is brewing around Clinton is at least partially fueled by her gender.

She isn't helping this matter. While it would be refreshing to have a woman with her experience in power (and she is far more experienced than almost any previous president, it would appear), she is also trying to push the "First Female President" angle too far, in my opinion. That seems like something she should let her supporters and the media roll with, instead of pushing it herself because it feels like it is part of the basis for her running, when her expertise should be the whole reason she is running.

I don't plan to vote, though. Not registered and I don't care much for the candidates. At the worst, I give up my right to complain about the winner ;)

Dad_Scaper August 13th, 2016 03:33 PM

Re: Decision 2016
 
No, at the worst, your indifference and that of others like you - or, perhaps, your cynicism and that of others like you - will be calamitous for our nation. :shrug:


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