This is non-partisan, too close to reality for comfort, and funny and sad at the same time.
Its like two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner/dont waste your time voting!
Does it really matter? Neither candidate will save the economy. It's funny how people think that either candidate can generate jobs growth of the "middle class variety", when neither can staunch the decline. One will accelerate the decline. The other will only be able to make token attempts to slow the progress.
There are six major issues worth noting:
1. Offshoring. 'Nuff said. When a college graduate in China makes $2.50 per hour while a high schoool graduate in America makes $10 per hour, you've got a problem. Any job that can be offshored will be offshored. India's handling accounting, law, programming, engineering. China's handling manufacturing at all levels. Farm workers in Mexico have managed to bring cheaper produce into our grocery stores than farms in the U.S. can. Not to mention textile mills in India, clothing manufacturing in El Salvador, etc. And our workers? Only 80% of our high school students even bother to graduate on time, and even of the graduates aren't worth their diplomas when you consider that over 60% of college freshmen need remedial classes. Add teen pregnancy and incarceration rates, and we see that a significant proportion of our youth are going to cost a lot of money even after the over-$100k in money spent on providing each of them with a public school education.
2. Technology. It creates jobs, but eliminates more. Manufacturing productivity has stayed the same or risen from 2000 to 2010, but manufacturing employment dropped by 17 million to 12 million in the same period. Lawyers who do the drudge work of document review at $25 to $30 per hour are finding out that computer document review is faster, can cover a million documents easily, AND is more accurate. I personally know of a company in New England that has remote users connect from China to do accounting data entry - easily done with Microsoft Windows Terminal Server and a fast Internet connection. So why hire an American high school graduate or provide expensive office space, right? Multiply these technologically-enabled cost advantages (or exploits), and you see why it becomes the default choice.
3. Glut of Labor. More people competing for the dwindling number of jobs: Young people coming onto the market (often with degrees that aren't that much more economically valuable than what they graduated high school with - like the 127,000 psychology majors who graduate with a bachelor's degree from U.S. colleges each year - and yet the government lends anyone money to go to college with, regardless of grades, academic performance, or major selected.) It's the same as when you go to the farmer's market and everyone is selling tomatoes. Prices drop and a lot of tomatoes go unsold. And the tomatoes that go unsold for a while, they rot and no one will want to buy them. Despite the costly, debt-ridden "tomatoes problem", we import millions of immigrants (legally and illegally) each year. Neither candidate is serious about the issue, or we would see Swiss-style and Australian-style immigration policies instead.
4. Peak Cheap Oil. We all know this one. Ten years ago, oil was $25 per barrel. Now it's $85 to $110 - even in the midst of a global recession.The easy to extract stuff is depleting and new sources like the Canadian oil sands are only profitable at around $60 to $80 per barrel, while countries like Iran, Mexico, and and Venezuela need at least $75/barrel prices in order to cover government spending on food and fuel subsidies for the poor. This massive spending on food and fuel cramps consumer spending on everything else.
5. Demographics. The Boomers are exiting their peak earning and spending years, and are now hunkering down for retirement. They will increasingly draw on Social Security and Medicare in order to stay alive, rather than in order to buy more things or to invest money productively. They will draw more than they ever put into the system, meaning government will have to borrow to make up the different in promised benefits, debase the currency, reduce benefits by artificially suppressing inflation adjustments, etc. And they will vote to cannibalize/sacrifice the young and the productive in order to remain fed and housed and medicated.
6. Downward Spiral In Consumer Spending. All of the above leads to declining consumer spending, which lowers demand for goods and services, and therefore the jobs that supply the demand.
What Else Will Remain The Same? There is nothing Romney or Obama or Congress will do, except to continue to borrow over $1 trillion per year to spend into the $15 trillion GDP - because of special interest, and because to stop that would be to kill 8% of the economy and cause official unemployment to rise to 15% - and likely more due to outright fear-based contraction. The banks and corporations will be fine. The banks are protected by a Federal Reserve chair who lends them money at near zero interest rates so they can park it at 3% interest rates. They get bailed out when they get in trouble. The corporations do all sorts of things to gain market and cost advantages, effect regulatory capture, and pay effective tax rates in the low single digits while complaining about the official 35% corporate income tax that only small corporations end up paying. The politicians enable this.
So Why Vote? Really, this is what you have left: 1. Who will at least try to apply some grease to ease the plowing the middle class and poor classes get as conditions deteriorate, and who would apply sand to intensify the experience instead. And 2. Which candidate's social issues policy do you want to force onto the other half of this nation that does not want it?
“If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.”
Thanks Ao. This really says it all.
Capital Account will be hosting alternative parties just before the elections.
Must-see video of Romney and Obama duking it out in a fighting game. If you've ever played any of the iterations of Mortal Combat or Street Fighter, you'll know what this is about. Their signature moves are hilarious!
You even get to choose the winner! Or see other videos where Romney fights Ron Paul, etc.
I am so afraid you are right but I am going to vote. I am going to hold my nose and vote for Mitt. I can't vote for Obama - I believe in freedom. Obama's activities go against everything I believe in. On the other hand, Mitt does not bring much hope either. I do not believe that Mitt is some beacon of light in the darkness. I do not believe that Mitt can save America from itself. I think he probably would like to but the actions required would require enormus political will and I just don't think he is up for it. I don't think congress is up for it either. When I ask Obama voters why they want to vote for Obama they don't really know or they quote mainstream media garbage about how he is going to save the middle class or what a nice guy he is. It is so sad. We have fallen so far as a nation. While I do believe that Mitt and Obama are different and have different visions for the future of America, I do not believe either one can save America from itself. America will get the government it deserves.
Not quite what you might think, however...
A Battle For America's Soul (November 4, 2012)
"Whichever America wins on Tuesday the losers will not happily tread the path chosen by the other America."http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20184109
would vote against the encumbent in EVERY election it would get some attention. Popular term limits?
As many have said, neither one of these mainstream money dominated candidates are going to save the US economy, and both parties are corrupt.
Anyone who's not wealthy who believes that Romney is going to put policies in place that favor them and their families, or even a well-regulated free market, is living in an illusion, as far as I'm concerned - and simply not paying attention to his repeated statements on and off the record. They're overlooking his statement that he doesn't care about 47% of the country which include vets and the retired - a brief moment of honesty. Many may think that Robert Reich mistates Romney's philosophy, but I there's much truth in his description: http://robertreich.org/
I'm mad at Obama, who I think has been too young, too naive, and too corrupted by power to lead, stand up and take on the real power at work in this country. He didn't deliver on his claim to change Washington. He failed to take down Wall Street when he had the chance, and hired the same corrupt fools - Larry Summers and Tim Geithner, Goldman Sachs operatives, and others - that helped create the giant pump and dump ripoff of the last 10 years, beginning under Clinton and continued under Bush.
But I'm voting for Obama nonetheless. The next president is extremely likely to face deep crises once again. Values of how to treat people who don't have a lot - that's the vast majority of the US population now - will be key in emergency decisions that will be made one after another before long. Romney is a silver spoon in the mouth venture capital rich boy with zero integrity, as anyone with eyes and ears can see and hear, as far as I'm concerned. I was amazed when I was 20 years old that no one saw Nixon's character before he was elected - the smallness of his character and its crookedness, inherent in the way he talked and what he said. I am amazed today that so many now don't see the tremendous lack of character of Mitt Romney, his opposition to almost any regulation that would inhibit a Wall Street do-over ripoff or protect our environment, the basis of health and wealth, his stupidity on climate change and what his policies and his presidency would mean for the general public, just as the stupidity of Bush's non-regulatory policies on those issues ended in disaster for the US middle class, and the unexpected and mishandled natural disaster with Katrina. When the troubles hit, the worldviews of neither the repubs nor dems will work, but better to have the big boat boys and girls in charge in this time of transition and disaster, as Governor Christie and many in the northeast have found out in the last couple of weeks.
Based on current polls, it's almost certain that either Obama will win, or that there will be a giant legal battle over voter fraud and the results, since state polls have historically been highly reliable and now project a solid Obama win.
If that happens, I'm not going to have a big celebration or figure that anything's solved. I'll just be thankful that a much bigger fool hasn't been put in charge of what remains of national power.
Better, one day, to have a real choice. For me, that would move us down the path to renewing a real reordering of power in the US. A first step is to get unrestrained money out of politics, as is the practice in most civilized countries.
So many people talk about the corruption and problems with both parties but then say they will support one of them. Why?
I don't think it really matters which of the two main parties gets elected. There is so little difference between them and neither will make a bit of difference, nothing but sound bites. Hell, if I was going to vote for either of them I would at least pick Romney since we don't know how bad he will be and we have seen how bad Obama has been. If Obama hadn't continued our waring ways, signed the NDAA, continued the patriot act and continued to trample civil liberties then I would have said he was the lesser of two evils.
Nope, I will vote for Gary Johnson. He's honest, he did a great job in NM, and is shooting to get 5% so that next election they can get the Federal matching funds and at least have a chance to break the two party system we have now.
I will at least be voting for what I believe in and not continue my support for the corrupt 2 party system we have now.
If you want to know about Gary Johnson, check out his website or watch the 3rd party debate tonight between him and Jill Stein of the Green Party:
...for Gary Johnson. My thoughts are along the lines of rhares.
Gary Johnson is the Libertarian candidate for president, and former governor of New Mexico.
Whether or not you completely support Gary Johnson's views, you probably live in a state (like I do) where it is almost a foregone conclusion who your state will vote for. Since that is the case, I'm not going to throw my vote away on an inevitable result. Instead, I'm going to use my vote to ensure that we have real debate of the issues in future years.
If he can achieve 5% of the popular vote then, as rhare said "next election they can get the Federal matching funds and at least have a chance to break the two party system."
I believe that a vigorous debate is very healthy. Right now our "two-party" system provides very little real debate on most important issues, and a strong third voice would at the very least least force these real debates to happen.
Giving Gary Johnson five percent of the popular vote will help to make this happen.
for Pres. Well thats what the teens say @Bluestemfarms. We AREN'T voting for any incumbents. I believe my kids are for legal weed. go figure robie
Well spoken kelvinator as usual, lots of other good comments as well. I have been debating whether to vote for Obama or third party if they are on the ballet in CT, greens or libertarian. I am not a lesser of two evils kind of guy and have not voted for a republicrat in years as other have said as well. The thing that really scares me about Romney is that he may be more agressive about starting a war with Iran leading to WW3, end of humanity type event. The Joint Chiefs wanted to do a nuclear strike on Russia during the Cuban missile crisis, if Kennedy had not set them back, most of us would likely not be here to have this discussion right now.
I don't know whether Obama is just weak (in relative terms, being president is not for the faint of heart) or a willing tool of special interests, military industrial congressional complex, etc. Very hard to say. Maybe Obama would not have the strength to stand up to those driving us to war with Iran anyway. Sometimes seems like prayer is your best option these days. We've got to go beyond 1 day every two years democracy. If we don't start raising cain on a regular basis, our days may be numbered.
Anybody else worried about an insane Iranian invasion?
That was really funny.
Yeah. The only candidate who was a veteran. The only one who wanted to close all those military bases. Someone who is against going massively into debt, who is for a more limited government... But most of all, being someone of principle who doesn't flip-flop and blatantly lie repeatedly.
So I wrote in Ron Paul.
As a big believer in "Change You Can Believe In" four years ago I have been incredibly saddened by the lack of change since then. There was a big debate around our dinner table about voting for the lesser of two evils vs. throwing away your vote on a third party but my personal final decision was that we will never break out of a two party system (that's really not two different choices anyway) until other parties get enough votes to be legitimized in the public eye. I don't expect my third party candidate to win but it is a (naive maybe) vote for a change I want to believe in.
We'll see.... Chip
It basically goes over how there is no difference between the two major candidates:
Election 2012 - How the Winner Will Destroy America
I watched the first episode of the new Bill Moyers show in PBS this weekend and he interviewed a guy who wrote a book called Winner Take All Politics. I would put an Amazon link but getting to Amazon from work has been a problem lately.
He goes over the fact that the top 0.1% (i.e. 1 out of 1000) people have been getting all of the wealth increase in the past 30 years and coincidentally are making all the political rules.
I have long felt that there was no meaningful difference between the two major parties, just cosmetic differences to create the illusion of differences on meaningless items while they make hay on the items that matter. On those items there is no difference between the two parties (and those probably controlling them from behind the curtains.).
I have not read the book, but the interview was interesting. Moyers' next two episodes will continue this topic.
Another great blog entry on the "Question Everything" site...
I can tell you who has already lost. The citizens of the US (and the world). The global ecosystem. Future generations. Countless species.
Wouldn't it be nice to be able to do a real scientific experiment. We need three earths, all starting from the same state as of today. On one earth we elect Romney. On one we elect Obama. And on the third we elect a completely random person (a kind of control!) Now we observe the evolution of the planets over the next four years. What would you hypothesize the outcomes?
Many people are voting for Obama as the least worst - do the least damage - candidate. Many are voting for Romney as the least likely to go socialist candidate who will restore America to her exceptionalist roots. All of these voters have very different visions about how things will unfold under the two different scenarios (no on thinks about the third). But all of those "hypotheses" are based on completely incorrect assumptions about the state of the world and what is "possible" in the future....
more here... http://questioneverything.typepad.com/
rhare, jrf29, et al; thanks for the info re Gary Johnson. I had not been aware of him, and was glad for a meaningful option to add my voice to others voting aganst the status quo.
I had had it in the back of my mind to vote for Ron Paul (same reason). But I wasn't sure how rapidly write-ins could get processed, and liked the idea of adding my vote to those of others seeking to send some immediate, hopefully noticeable feedback.
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