Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Please be Reasonable with computers

Dear world, yes, I understand you want privacy and you don't want to feel trespassed, and regarding some things I feel the same way, but please be reasonable. Yes, bank accounts, social security numbers, and personal information you don't want to share isn't public unless if you choose. But for the love of GOD you have absolutely no reasonable right to privacy when you are in public places or in view of the street, are we all supposed to put our eyes to the ground while you walk around downtown Miami in a bikini so you don't feel "exposed"? because that is how I feel about this needless obsession with privacy regarding Google Street View and other extraordinarily useful technologies. Be reasonable please, it's a real drag when it is taken to the unreasonable extreme. Taken to the extreme it just is a drag to everyone because privacy is the most popular myth in the world, and if your relative with you in your will who you haven't talked to for a while has money for you, do you want to lose out on a nice sized paycheck? It happens. Thank you.

 If I am going to travel to a new city and I am going to need to find my way around I want to know what my destination looks like so that I won't get lost as easily, or if the voters of a region don't want my tourist money they always have that right. If they want me to be lost in a new city then I guess they don't want my business. Just be reasonable.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

To politicize or not to politicize, that is the question

I just heard about the massacre in Connecticut (though if it happened in many countries it would be a non-event, in America over 20 people being killed at once is such an outlier it counts as a massacre.) that happened just today, and felt sad of course, because no one has the right to take another person's life and no one has the right to expect that that could happen to them, and of course I want a solution. I saw a friend on facebook saying we should not politicize the issue, which struck me as funny, and I wondered, what are the leading causes of death in America? Another acquaintance posted a quote claiming that we don't need to ban guns but just need to pray and turn to God. This was from a father of a son who was killed at Columbine, and can be read here: http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bldarrellscott.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_03.pdf gives data for the deaths of Americans 2009, the top Google result.

12 of which are related to health care (heart disease and cancer are the top two), accidents comes in number five, suicide is comes in number 10 (which could be argued is a health care issue when it comes to mental health),  and assault is number 15 with almost 17,000 deaths, drugs also made the list (but for some reason aren't listed in the top 15) with almost 40,000 deaths in 2009. Almost 25,000 people had alcohol as part of the problem for their death in 2009. The top causes of death related to health care totaled over half of all deaths.

Now, the most obvious solution to bring down our death rate would first be to use universal single-payer health care and finance health research to decrease the death rate among the 12 health-care related causes of death, and this is what liberal Democrats (not the centrist leadership, but real left-of-center people like my self) have been pushing for 80 years to do and the Republicans and DINOs will do everything in their power to stop.

Suicide is a health care issue, and the best solution would be to provide the mental health services necessary for people to go back to being productive happy members of society. It is the greater good.

Compared to other developed nations, the United States is not an outlier in the death rate category, but we can still do better. (I compared our death rate and median age to countries in Europe and we are not doing badly compared to them, we're actually doing a little better, but we can still do better. We should be the best.)

The three worst school shootings of all history (as of today) have all been American, and they all involved guns, the worst involved an automatic rifle. Shootings are the one category where a lot of progress can easily be made. The victims are always innocent and we have a duty as a people to do whatever we can to protect those who are most vulnerable, our children.

There is no reason that in the United States people should have any reason to fear going outside, going to the store, or going to school. If there are background checks for welfare there should be background checks and licenses required to buy guns. The constitution states "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." and we are not following the first part, because we are not safe when people can get guns at gun shows without identification. Who knows who is getting them, murderers? Rapists? Drug Dealers? Almost certainly. There need to be protocols that prevent people from getting guns that will probably use them inappropriately, and if there is going to be a gun show everyone admitted needs to have a license to have a gun, you would never sell a car to someone without a license and insurance policy, and the same should be for guns.

I do not support banning all guns and weapons. Some people carry pepper spray with them for defense, I have friends and family that do this and I have comfort knowing that they will not be attacked. For people who are smaller, especially young small pretty women, carrying pepper spray is a good defense if the woman is attacked. However, it is not acceptable that large guns can be easily acquired. Arizona is a massive gun dealer point and the reason Fast and Furious was done in Arizona was to track the purchases of cartels in Arizona. To have no regulation of guns clearly brings anarchy because those who are unscrupulous in nature and dangerous will buy the most powerful guns that puts everyone at risk. This is not appropriate or acceptable for any civilized nation. It risks lives. However, I do understand why having guns available can be a good thing. Our founding fathers gave many good reasons why people should have guns. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

One only has to look at the gun violence in this country to see what the cost of this "freedom" is. I just want to point out that the party that is so supportive of this "freedom" to own guns passed and still support restrictions on the freedom of speech to "protect" people. Words have never killed people. Words are blunt, they can only cause damage through action. However, a gun is a weapon, a gun can kill people and a gun can kill innocent children like happened this past week in Connecticut. There is absolutely no reason people in a civilized nation should ever have the reasonable expectation that they might be shot by a mentally disturbed person in a school in any free nation, and there is a reasonable expectation that could happen right now, right here in the United States.

We need a balanced approach. To own a car (which has a useful purpose) requires a license, because if driven dangerously can cause damage and needs education to know how to use. Should we ban cars because it is one of the leading causes of death? No, of course not. Cars are useful and as long as our mass transit system in this country is weak we will need them. Guns are the same story. There are only three reasons to own a gun, to hunt for food, to defend oneself by injuring another being, or to kill another being. That is all guns can do. You can not get to work with a gun. You can only kill or injure another being. With such a powerful weapon it is prudent that we protect ourselves from the mentally ill and instate laws so that they can not hurt others. We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our children, we owe it to our country. Guns can be useful, if you are camping in the woods for a long time they can provide food, or if you just enjoy hunting. But with their use comes a massive dark side which must be contained, that of death if used by the wrong person. There is some truth to the saying that guns don't kill people, people do. So we need to make sure that in order to have a gun you must be deemed sane. My only proposition is that the requirements to own a gun should be no more lax than the requirements to own a car, as they currently are, f you don't know how to use it and you are not deemed sane by the licensing through a background check you have no right to own one because the need (of safety) of the many will always outweigh the desire (to own an item) of the one.

It comes down to the old debate regarding guns of freedom vs. safety. Is it more important to be able to own a gun, or is it more important to be safe from the mentally disturbed who currently can get hold of guns? That is our choice. A balanced approach can fulfill this.

The other opinion, that the problem is in our hearts, has some truth to it, however, we will never be able to make everyone safe to hold a gun as not regulating guns like cars has shown. We can pray as much as we want, these children will not come back to life. We can pray as much as we want and the evil and crazy people in this country who currently have access to guns will not listen. They don't care how much you pray to your God, they will continue to murder. Sorry, that's life. The current movement to legalize concealed weapons for people who have permits (which is the way it is going, as can be seen in Michigan http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/12/sweeping_changes_in_michigans.html) is the wrong direction and bad for America, we need to protect our children, our seniors, our weakest, and if you are a Christian (as 70% of Americans are), I recommend you read the Four Gospels again because I just finished them and that message to take care of your weakest was one of the most clear. Jesus never condemned gays, (which many seem to believe) but he was extremely clear that we are supposed to take care of our weakest. We have failed America. 27 dead bodies from gun violence, 20 of them children, counts as a failure to protect our most vulnerable in the one place they should be 100% confident that they should be safe, which is school. By allowing people to carry concealed weapons, there is no where in America where anyone can reasonably feel safe. Sorry that is my opinion on the common belief that guns make people safe, because 20 dead children being shot in their classroom sure doesn't make me feel very safe! It is a cultural failure. Britain when they had one massacre when only 17 deaths (ten fewer than the one that happened Friday) back in 1996 increased restrictions on guns and that is still their worst record. We have had two that have exceeded that body count since 1996, Virginia Tech and the massacre on Friday. This cannot be considered a success, the only thing this can be considered is a complete utter failure of our government to protect its people and a failure of the American people to protect their weakest.

But in the end, this entire debate comes down to a very simple debate between two values, individual liberty vs. communal safety. I choose communal safety. The needs of the many will always outweigh the desire of the one.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Speaking about the Laffer (think Laugher) Curve

So, the Laugher curve is one of the most cited and least understood principles of economics. The Laugher curve is the theory that there is a hypothetical point of where the optimal tax rate is where revenue is at its maximum and that if you increase taxes beyond that point you will have a net loss in economic output. This is heavily cited by conservatives, and is a hypothesis. It is not a theory. The reason I say that is because I can't find anyone who has graphed real-world changes in tax-rates and has come out with the Laugher curve. However, there is a graph on wikipedia that is from economicdynamics.org which cites the National Bureau of Economic Research as the institute who does the research that tried to prove the Laugher curve.


If you just want the graph, here it is on Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Top_tax_rates_and_average_growth_1975-2008_v3.jpg

Oops, not information found to prove, but a good amount to disprove from a valiant effort.

If the laugher curver was real, the chart above would be a quadratic equation, which is not true, it is a flat line with a statistical outlier of Ireland, which because it is so unusual is probably due to other factors.

So, here you are. Real absolute proof that despite having wildly varied differences in their tax changes over 30 years there was no considerable difference in their economic growth. Spain and Switzerland kept about the same tax rates and they had very different economic growth rates. The United States had a substantial difference in their top marginal tax rate, yet had about the same level of growth as Germany that barely changed its top rate.

Of course, the Neocons will ignore this survey as propaganda, without presenting any evidence of their own demonstrating their Laugher curve as reality.

Because when you get down to it, there is no evidence for Reaganomics ever doing anything good for the world, as we saw with President Herbert Hoover, who was an absolutely perfect president when it comes to his religious observance of laissez-faire, Reaganomics, or Austerity, whatever you want to call it. With the longest economic downturn in American history lasting four years with absolutely no movement from the free market to move it up he is rightfully ranked as one of our worst presidents.

Of course, the Neocons will ignore this because it conflicts with their view of how the world should be.

This leads to my number one wish for economists. GROW. UP. Economics should not be as controversial as it is today. In every other branch of science if you make a claim you need to present some level of evidence that your claim is real. Economics is a science. If a pseudo-biologist walked into a conference and denied evolution, the first thing the biologists would ask him is for some proof for his claim, because he made the claim he has the burden of proof. He would of course be unable to present any evidence to contradict the DNA, fossil record, geological record, and short-term mutations in bacterial genomes that have all been observed that prove evolution beyond a reasonable doubt and he would be embarrassed and leave the conference a fool never to be invited to another conference again.

In economics, people routinely deny things that have been observed, e.g. that cutting jobs raises unemployment, unemployment hurts the economy, the government can create jobs, there are two sides to the economics equation supply and demand, and they never raise their burden of proof expecting themselves to be believed on faith alone. This is immature, and no one is special enough for such treatment.

Denying facts does not make you cool. Denying facts does not make you smart, it makes you look like an idiot. Adults don't say things without backing up their claims. Adults don't expect people to believe them on faith alone. Children expect people to believe their claims without backing it up, which is exactly what people like Laffer behaves like, and every Neo-conservative economist I have ever read expects to be believed not on their proof but because they sound good.

Don't believe anyone on faith alone. Trust statistics which are measured from reality and use the statistics to formulate your viewpoint, and if the statistics don't fit your preconceived notion do not twist the facts, do not deny the facts, and do not claim the facts which are empirically measured are wrong just because they don't fit your previous beliefs. Real economists use real facts to back up their claims, real historical events, and look for other possible explanations for why things may happen, and before they even publish their paper on their claim will try to refute it using hypothesis testing. Before publishing that the Laffer curve is real Laffer should have included another hypothesis, which is that he was wrong and try to disprove it. Every economist needs to do this, otherwise we get bogus pseudo-economics that don't fit what has been empirically observed, like the laffer curve.

I am right here going to say I read only two economists, Robert Reich, and Paul Krugman. I don't agree with them on everything (and I have a previous post about how I disagreed with their original analysis on Europe's austerity crisis) but I read everything they post. I don't do this because I already agree with most of their viewpoints, because Robert Reich is a Keynesian economist, Democrat, and former secretary, and Paul Krugman is another Keynesian Democrat economist, and certainly not because he is a Nobel Laureate, but because of how they formulate their viewpoints. They use real facts and source where they get it from. This is the only reason I trust them.

"Conservative" economists need to stop calling themselves conservative and call them what they are, Mercantilist. They aren't interested in increasing economic growth, they are only interested in improving their own wealth. They are only interested in reducing costs to their corporations, padding their pockets, and they don't care about the rest of us. We are collateral damage and they don't care.

Please economists, if you are going to claim a new theory, provide data and evidence to back up your plan before putting it into force. Don't expect to be treated differently because people already agree with you.

The same message for political theorists.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Our new Secretary of State


Now, I am going out on a limb here and my preference almost certainly won't be selected, but that doesn't matter, what matters is that my choice is I believe the most qualified candidate to be our next Secretary of State.

I choose Keith Ellison. The link at the top lists potential nominees for the Secretary of State's office. Here is why.

He is in favor of Israel's existence, and is in favor of more rights for the Palestinian people. After that last Gaza War last month it is clear to people across the world that there needs to be a solution. This is why the Palestinian Authority now has some representation at the United Nations. Unfortunately the US opposes their joining the UN as a recognized state which is why I do not want Susan Rice to be Secretary of State. Keith Ellison has the drive to bring a real solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict which when a solution is found will save thousands of lives and free up millions of American tax-payer dollars to do something useful.

He has criticized China for their harsh policies in Tibet.

Most other potential candidates for Secretary of State don't have the enthusiasm or values of Keith Ellison. Most politicians blindly do whatever Israel's government requests, regardless of their party affiliation, Keith Ellison is a man of the future where values matter.

As a freshman senator he visited Iraq and stressed that leaders need to understand what situations the soldiers are really in. This makes me want him to be Secretary of State even more.

As a 49 year old I expect a lot from him, and I hope President Obama nominates him as Secretary of State.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

One Canadian reason for Instant Runoff Voting, or at least Single Transferable Vote

I am looking at the last elections in Canada, which were in 2011 and they use First past the Post voting. Now, Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister, the Conservative Party's leader, and in the election he received 53.9% of the seats. The New Democrats under the late Jack Layton and the Liberals under Ignatieff both pulled the majority of the rest of the seats creating spoilers for each other across the country.

Wikipedia has really good information about the results in Canada in 2011, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_by_riding_of_the_Canadian_federal_election,_2011 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_of_the_Canadian_federal_election,_2011 and I recommend looking at the elections where no party received over 50% of the vote. Here is a summary table of the votes received in each of the provinces from there to see the clear change in representation with FPP as opposed to what the people want. I understand this isn't as detailed, but the link above gives detailed information, this is meant as a quick overview.

Across Canada, the Conservative Party received 39.6% of the vote, yet they received 53.9% of the seats.

Province Conservative NDP/Liberal/Green Conservative Seats NLG seats
Alberta 66.8 33.2 96 4
British Columbia 45.5 54.5 58 42
Manitoba 53.5 46.5 79 21
New Brunswick 43.9 56.1 80 20
Newfoundland 28.4 71.6 14 86
Northwest Territories 32.1 67.9 0 100
Nova Scotia 36.7 63.3 36 64
Nunavut 49.9 50.1 100 0
Ontario 44.4 55.6 69 31
Prince Edward Island 41.2 58.8 25 75
Quebec 16.5 43.5 7 93
Saskatchewan 56.3 43.7 93 7
Yukon 33.8 66.2 100 0
All of these are percentages from the links above.

Looking at a lot of ridings we get a similar picture on a fine scale. The majority of Canadians voted for either the Liberals or the New Democrats, but since they could choose only one candidate their votes were split and Canadians are stuck with Stephen Harper, even though 60.4% of Canadians voted for left-wing parties. The American election that just happened saw a similar result where 51% of Americans voted for their Democratic Representative candidate yet the Republicans are in full control of the House of Representatives due to Gerrymandering. In Britain which also uses FPP the Conservative Party received only 36.05% of the vote but received 47.08% of the seats. The list of British elections that year again shows a large number of seats with the majority of voters voting for either the Liberal Democrats or Labour but still the Conservative gets elected, in many cases the winner won less than 40% of the vote, with the majority going liberal. In the cases where the Liberal Democrats or Labour won, or the one case where the Green candidate was elected if there was redistribution with IRV nothing would change because they would receive the votes from the other left-wing party which means that there would probably be no difference in victor assuming people vote for the same first choice and fill their ballots out correctly which is usually not a problem in the democracies that use proportional representation.

This is an inherent flaw with First Past the Post Voting. It does not represent the majority. America, Canada, and Britain need to adopt Instant Runoff Voting or Single Transferable Vote for our elections so that we can have an accurate representation of what the people want in our democracies and see third party participation with neglected issues rise to give Democracy back to the people! A better choice would be to choose Single Transferable Vote though, which would make it so that third parties would more likely be represented which would increase the possibility that minority views could be heard in our legislatures. This is why even though there should be 17 or 18 Greens in Australia's parliament despite using the alternative vote there is only one Green in parliament. By making large districts with multiple winners as Fairvote proposes we could have third parties represented and vote for the candidates we want without having either a) a very long ballot or b) vote for the party instead of the individual which locks voters into boxes for which party they prefer regardless of candidate.

This is not just western nations too. Malaysia in 2008 saw again the same pattern of a large difference between the votes received and the seats attained between their two large coalitions in 2008 where the right wing got 50% of the vote but 63% of the seats and they also use FPP. India saw their largest coalition receive 37% of the vote and 48% of the seats, and their third largest coalition received 21% of the vote but only 7% of their seats still with the same system. In my opinion a difference over 10% between votes and representation represents a system failure. In the United States in 2012 the Republicans received 48% of the vote and 54% of the seats, while not as extreme as these other countries is also worth noting because it is across the 50% mark.

But is it really that much better with ranked voting? The data says yes. In 2010 the Labor Party received 50% of the vote and 55% of the seats in Australia. In 2009 in Germany the CDU received 33% of the vote and received 40% of the seats while competing against 4 other major parties all of whom received seats. In 2010 in Sweden the Social Democrats received 30.7% of the vote and received 32% of the seats. Australia, Germany and Sweden are just three examples of the larger trend where proportional representation more accurately represents the views of the People and are much better systems. This is why I think we need to move to Fairvote's plan after looking at how India, Malaysia, Britain and Canada's elections reflect our own so much in minority rule with the same inherently broken election system while Australia, Germany, and Sweden have very accurate representation of what the people ask for in their parliaments. To quote CGPGrey from youtube, would anyone accept a sport where there was a 10% chance that the loser could win? Of course not, and we shouldn't accept it in our elections.

Learn more at www.fairvote.org and CGPGrey's channel on youtube.
Here is a map of where different systems are used: http://www.idea.int/esd/upload/ESD%20map-english.pdf

Monday, November 12, 2012

A summary of issues everyone in America can agree on

In this era of absolute political discord, we should not forget there are still a few issues that most Americans (and, frankly, most people in the world) regardless of political sway can agree on:
  • North Korea is a dangerous country that needs to be countered so that they can be reunified with South Korea. Foreigners have a responsibility to move the world to a point so the concentration camps can be closed.
  • China needs democracy.
  • Women's rights in the Middle East need to improve.
  • Turkey is a valuable ally to all freedom loving people.
  • There have been no wars in the European Union since its foundation.
  • Good things are happening in Scandinavia, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • The drug war has caused too much violence in Latin America. A solution is needed. (even though we might disagree on what should be done)
  • The budget should be balanced, though this is one of the most contentious subjects.
  • When surveyed, most Americans agree that we should have a more equal distribution of wealth and most don't fully comprehend the difference between the super rich and super poor. http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/08/inequality
  • Most Americans want at least a public option for health insurance. http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/12/03/healthcare-usa-poll-idUSN0210977220091203
  • Most Americans want less foreign involvement in the Middle East. Except big oil. http://articles.latimes.com/2012/oct/25/nation/la-na-foreign-policy-isolation-20121025

We aren't as divided as we think we are

Oh, apparantly according the IMF I was right about the Austerity crisis


Would you look at that, the IMF releases a report saying exactly what I posted here: http://stidmatt-views.blogspot.com/2012/07/greece-majoritys-story-and-real-story.html way back in July.

I like being right. Now stop firing Greeks, stop firing Spaniards, and embrace economics. Just as I said, and just as the IMF agrees with me, not these far-right conservatives that think firing people will improve the economy.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Two-faced billionaires

I was just looking at opensecrets' information on individual donors and decided to look for Bill Gates, why not?

Here is how to get the information, search "gates" in the search box on www.opensecrets.org and press enter. Click on individual donors.

There are a few different Gates profiles. First of all, there is his wife, Melinda, donating to the Democrats. Then a few of Bill Gates III, his wife Melinda Gates, and his father Bill Gates Senior donating to Democrats. Here are the people these three people donated at least $1,000 to:
  • $73,700 to the DNC Services Corp
  • $17,000 for Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
  • $12,000 for Democrat Suzan Del Bene who ran in their Washington district
  • $10,000 for President Barack Obama
  • $5,000 to Republican Representative Lindsey Graham of South Carolina from their Kirkland address.
  • $5,000 A donation to the Business Software Alliance
  • $5,000 to Republican PAC "The Freedom Project" http://freedomproject.org/
  • $5,000 for Republican Lindsey Graham
  • $3,750 for Democrat Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington
  • $3,500 for Democratic Representative Jim McDermott of Western Washington
  • $2,500 for Republican Dave Reichert who is running against Del Bene in their district
  • $2,500 for Republican Dean Heller
  • $2,500 for the "Every Republican is Crucial" PAC
  • $2,500 for Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota
  • $2,000 for Republican Richard Lugar of Indiana
  • $2,000 for Republican Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Eastern Washington
  • $2,000 for Democrat Representative Adam Smith of Western Washington
  • $1,500 for Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
  • $1,250 for Republican Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri
  • $1,250 for Republican Representative Mark Crapo of Idaho
  • $1,000 for Democrat Senator Patty Murray of Washington
  • $1,000 for Democrat Representative Norm Dicks of Washington
  • $1,000 for Democrat Representative-elect Derek Kilmer of Washington
  • $1,000 for Democratic Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland
  • $1,000 for Democratic Minority leader Nancy Pelosi of California
  • $1,000 for Democratic Representative Rick Larsen of Washington
  • $1,000 for Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida

That is a grand total of $352,900 excluding donations under $1000 only including those that are on Opensecrets.org, have been disclosed, and are clearly from one of their addresses. There is also a $650 donation to Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts below that is not included in the total I give since it doesn't meet thethreshold I made.

Microsoft Inc sent $2,299,132 to Congress, split with about 2/3 going to Democrats and 1/3 going to Republicans. Whoever won would have listened to Microsoft to keep getting their support.

With $128,950 going to Democrats, and $223,950 going to Republicans it is clear who Bill Gates supports. I am more proud to say I use Ubuntu today than ever before!

Overturn Citizens United. Make publically run, publically financed, and publically accountable elections now!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Election Analysis, 2012

A successful election for the Democrats, and I am glad that Obama won by a huge margin and didn't need Ohio, Florida, or Virginia. I hope this will be his chance to really push to fix a lot of problems personally.
From a historical perspective this is an anomaly for several reasons. Many people looking back will study this past election. It is the first election without a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. It is the first election where there are two Catholics, and the first Mormon. It has changed the dynamics of how our politics looks, at least as of the Friday following, with recently unprecedented speeches from the leaders of both major parties calling for compromise following two years of butting heads. Obama being elected as the economy is growing slower than we would like is a remarkable achievement.

With the last election being preceded by the taking over of the house it would have been very reasonable to expect Romney to win based just on this fact. That happened prior to Franklin Roosevelt being elected where the Democrats took over Congress 2 years prior to Roosevelt being elected after Republican domination, and two years prior to Harding being election in 1918-1920. It more resembles 1994-1996 when the Republicans took over Congress, but did not succeed in taking over the Presidency. Hopefully Obama will work better with Congress, because everyone remembers how Clinton and the Republicans got along (not).

Washington, Maryland, and Maine have approved gay marriage, and Minnesota has not made gay marriage unconstitutional. This is will become a trend and I am fully convinced gay marriage will be fully legal within 20 years.

More importantly on the House elections is that although a majority of voters voted for their Democratic candidates, the Republicans continue to control the house. This is a symptom of gerrymandering. With the Democrats increasing their share in the house the 2014 elections will be absolutely critical to Obama potentially fulfilling more of his goals.

On foreign policy, I don't expect many changes because their is consensus about Israel, the Arab Spring, China, Russia, Latin America, and other potential issues. There is disagreement about Iran, but I don't expect any action because of their ties with Russia. The Republicans talk a lot but with the nuclear weapons that Russia has and their vast resources, I don't expect any changes in their policy. With the relationship Russia and North Korea have, I don't expect to be saving the North Koreans any time soon. Everything depends on how the governments of China acts. If there is a Chinese Spring and their politics becomes democratic and the Republic of China comes back to Beijing in the next four years everything about global politics will change. We will gain a valuable ally and Russia will be left alone. North Korea will be in trouble (the people jubilant) and the economy of Vietnam and Laos will be in question. Tibet and Xianjiang will become independent which will change the geopolitics of the entire continent of Asia. If the Russian people say they want real democracy, not the pseudo-democracy they currently have, than again, the entire geopolitical world will be changed and North Korea, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Iran, and Syria will be left without friends. If both Russia and China move towards democracy everything in the world will be different with the governments of those five countries with close ties to Russia without foreign support. I expect we will leave Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires, and the entire relationship Pakistan has with us and India will continue to be extraordinarily complicated.

The fiscal cliff will be conquered I am sure because both Democrats and Republicans know the American people want them to fix the issues. If we fix the budget issue we will have a lot more money in 30 years once all the debt is paid to either diminish taxes, spend more on infrastructure, education, and health care, or both. The American people want a solution, our elected officials know this. The question is how fast will they find a solution to the problem, and if they postpone increasing the debt, how far in the future will that be? How will this effect the 2014 elections? All of that is uncertain. But one thing is certain, if the Republicans want to keep their jobs, they will need to compromise.

How will the referenda on no health care legislation play out in the courts? That is a blatant obstinate refusal to follow Federal law, and thanks to the 10th Amendment there is no way to know if they will stay in force and how they will effect Obamacare.

With unemployment falling and the stock market growing on average, there is no doubt the economy is improving, although not as fast as we would like without a doubt. Whether our government will find real solutions to this is another big question. The economy is getting better, the stock market is still a buyer's market and after the budget deal it will be even more so.

Democrats continue to lead Washington (my home state) and have taken over the legislature in Oregon, which is very important. The possibility of some liberal constitutional amendments is rising.

I am optimistic about the future, this election is one of the most fascinating in all of history. It will be used by people like myself to argue for election reform so that it is less likely that a party can win a majority of the people's vote but not get a majority of the seats in the House. Turnout was high, so the votes are valid for the opinions of the American people. Hopefully we can see reform sooner than later. Hopefully minor parties will work on this and get some seats in state legislatures to push for real reform in two years.

I hope that our two parties can work together, I hope they will look at the exit polls and take it into their political analysis. I also hope that the Democrats (who share most but not all of my viewpoints) will use any potential blockading by Republicans against them in 2014. Preferably though I would like to see them get along. A lot of people have talked about the hispanic vote and how that impact will be felt in the near future. Hopefully this can turn some solid Republican seats in the Southwest to solid Democrat seats in 2 years.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How to Kill America

I am absolutely 100% convinced America will not be destroyed by China, gay marriage, alcohol, marijuana, hemp, meth, heroin, Communism, socialism, or terrorism. America will not be destroyed by Irish, German, Chinese, Japanese, or Mexican immigrants. America can only be destroyed by the American people. America will be destroyed when there is so much voter apathy towards the government that no one will vote, no one will care, no one will look at the issues, and all the major media outlets will be owned by private organizations that don't have the country's issues at heart. America will be destroyed when protest funded by billionaires are deemed "patriotic" and truly populist protests are shot at and not enough people care to shut down the system. America will die when the quest to find a balanced news source that gives the opinions of both parties all the time on contentious issues is so rare that it will be deemed impossible. America will be destroyed when science is ignored and religious extremism is considered factual. America will be destroyed when funding terrorist states is considered necessary but repairing aging infrastructure that is falling from age is not mentioned. America will be destroyed when the bill of rights (except the second half of the second amendment, none of this socialist free state nonsense, and the God ordained state rights, like Jim Crow, are followed) and habeus corpus is ignored and indefinite detention is the norm. America will only fail when the People don't care enough that they have lost their rights in endless shopping malls, more inefficient cars, dirt wages, and the freedom to work for whichever Fortune 500 company's affiliate you want (except of course owning your own business) is guaranteed, but their is no right to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. That is how to kill America.
This is why the Tea Party won in the house.
This is why African Americans and Hispanics usually turn out less.
This is why we have a split government.
This is why our disparity of wealth is the fourth most unequal in the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_distribution_of_wealth

This is why while nation which have far lower GDPs and far lower GDP per capitas are building far more infrastructure and their economies are growing much faster.
That is why our economic growth rate is below where it has to be.
This is why most government contractors have gigantic  swarms of lobbyists who give campaign contributions in exchange for the People's tax dollars and get away with it.

This is why we ignored the Kurdish genocide, Darfur genocide, Holocaust, Great Purge, and Japanese Interment Camps, and supported Apartheid.

This is my biggest fear.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

After the Election

As I write this on November 3rd it is clear Obama is going to win according to most polls. It is also likely that the Senate will lean Democrat. Beyond this, the probability is that the House will lean Democrat. Here is my list of what I hope President Obama and the Democrats will do. http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/ and http://www.realclearpolitics.com/?state=nwa

Push harder for light rail investment in America. We have the rail lines, we don't use them efficiently. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_efficiency_in_transportation gives information on the cost-benefit of doing efficient rail transportation as opposed to other methods. We also need to improve the nationwide AMTRAK system and cover more cities. There is no reason Las Vegas, Nashville, Boise, and Columbus should not have AMTRAK. WE CAN DO BETTER! We need to expand to these cities that already have rail lines according to Google Earth and make it so people can efficiently get around the country. We are America, and Obama needs to be our next Roosevelt more than he already has been.

Obama needs to push for comprehensive immigration reform. Detainees should not be kept without due process and habeus corpus which currently happens. We need to fix the way that people become immigrants to make it faster, safer, less expensive, and easier. We need to bring back farm work visas that were repealed in the beginning of Bush II's term. That is the reason illegal immigration is even an issue. http://reason.com/assets/db/07cf533ddb1d06350cf1ddb5942ef5ad.jpg is an excellent graphic on why we need to reform immigration.

We need to push for renewable energy. We need to move to a hydrogen based economy. This needs to be the third highest priority for the next two years under this congress is setting out an outline on how to set up a domestic renewable economy for transportation, which can be done. http://newenergy.is/?lang=en and http://www.hydrogenhighway.ca.gov/

We need to harness our renewable energy sources here in America of wind, solar, geothermal, wave power, and others. This is energy independence. This is what will power our hydrogen economy.

We need to fulfill our pulling out of Afghanistan to save a hundred billion a year. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Terrorism This needs to be then invested in the three development goals outlined above.

We need to reform our elections to make it so that our next elections can accurately reflect what Americans want. This will eliminate the spoiler effect and give third parties the chance to vote. A vote for president in California should have as much weight as a vote in Wyoming. www.fairvote.org and http://www.youtube.com/user/CGPGrey have the best information.

The Defense of Marriage must be struck down by the Supreme Court as soon as Obama gets his next appointment.

The tax code needs to be reformed to be progressive, tax capital gains as regular income. They don't deserve a 50% tax cut. People who make less than the cost of living should not pay income tax. People should get deductions for health care and education, until they become publically financed. This will stimulate the economy by increasing consumer spending from the middle class.

We need to expand access to 90 days visa free to more countries. Particularly citizens of Brazil, South Africa, Poland, Turkey, Georgia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Croatia, Bahamas, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, British Overseas Citizens, and allow Cubans to visit the United States and Americans to visit Cuba. If Puerto Rico votes to become independent on Tuesday we need to make sure they can visit America visa-free. Visa waiver countries should not need pre-border clearance.

We need to push Europe towards abandoning Austerity and adopting Keynesian economics before the election next year.

Unemployment will continue to drop, by reforming the tax code it will probably go below 5%. All this needs to happen. Most of these will happen eventually. We need to start now.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A New Tax Code

A New Tax Code for the United States

  1. Preamble
  2. Income Tax
    1. Determinants
    2. Margins
    3. Deductions
  3. Sales Tax
    1. Amounts
    2. Exemptions
  4. Process for Receiving Taxes
  5. Process for Making Tax laws
  6. Punishments for tax fraud
  7. Where the Money Goes

The tax code is long, onerous, and complicated, this will be a simplified version for the United States of America no longer than 15 minutes long to raise the amount of revenue necessary for government functionality. It will prevent the amount of loopholes in the tax code which are used by corporations to rip off the American People. This means that at a reading rate of 100 words per minute, this tax code, including the preamble, is limited to 1500 words.

Income Tax

Filing statuses
  • Individual File - An individual may file individually.
  • Family - A married couple can file with their minor children on the same tax form.

Income tax will be determined by the sum of income from wages, stocks, bonds, interest, dividends, gambling, game show winnings, rental income, and tips, before tax breaks. This includes all domestic and foreign income under these expenses. Short-selling stocks does not get a deduction. Taxes.

  1. People will pay no income taxes on income up to the cost of living in their state.
  2. People will pay 5% on all income from 100% up to 150% of the cost of living.
  3. People will pay 10% on all income from 150% up to 500% of the cost of living.
  4. People will pay 15% on all income from 500% up to 1000% of the cost of living.
  5. People will pay 20% on all income from 1000% up to 1500% of the cost of living.
  6. People will pay 25% on all income from 1500% up to 2000% of the cost of living.
  7. People will pay 30% on all income from 2000% up to 3000% of the cost of living.
  8. People will pay 35% on all income from 3000% up to 4000% of the cost of living.
  9. People will pay 40% on all income from 4000% up to 5000% of the cost of living.
  10. People will pay 45% on all income from 5000% up to 6000% of the cost of living.
  11. People will pay 50% on all income from 6000% to 7000% of the cost of living.
  12. People will pay 55% on all income from 7000% to 8000% of the cost of living.
  13. People will pay 60% on all income from 8000% to 9000% of the cost of living.
  14. People will pay 65% on all income from 9000% to 10000% of the cost of living.
  15. People will pay 70% on all income equal to and above 10000% of the cost of living.
  16. The cost of living will be determined by the cost of transportation, food, utilities, and housing for different family sizes. Utilities is defined as average cost of water, electricity, and internet. This will be determined by the Bureau of the Census annually for every state and region. People’s cost of living will be determined by their region that the Bureau of the Census will determine. Each region needs to have a similar cost of living and economy. The cost of living paid for each household will be determined by the head of household, spouse, and number of minors residing in the same place.

  1. The value of money spent on post-secondary education will be fully deducted from the income tax until no tax is owed. Money used for sending out scholarships that are dispersed will also be fully deducted until no income tax is owed. Schools that this money can be spent on must have a transfer/graduation rate equal to or greater than 50% and 50% or more graduates should be employed at least part-time by one year after graduation. The Department of Education will monitor schools that fit these requirements.
  2. The value of money you spent on health care will be fully deducted, and money can be earned through this credit if the value of health care exceeds the taxes owed before exemptions. Expenses on vitamins or vacations do not count. You can include any medical expense you pay for any person. Life insurance, baby sitting, maternity clothes, nutritional supplements unless prescribed by a doctor, cosmetic surgery, toothpaste, teeth whitening, food, and weight-loss expenses are not deductable.
  3. There will be a deduction equal to State Income taxes. You cannot get money back for this.

Sales Tax
There will be a sales tax in the United States in the following margins. It will function as an income tax on businesses which is forwarded to customers in slightly higher rates.
  1. A 2% tax will be charged on the gross profit in America on every business with operations in the United States.
  2. A 50% tax will be charged on the net profit of every business whose CEO is an American citizen. The net profit will be determined by the cost of wages, rent, and business supplies. There will be a $100 break for every American employee who worked over 1500 hours in a calendar year until there is no net income tax owed.
  3. A 10% tax will be charged on the sales of cigarettes and cigars along with the 2% general sales tax.
  4. A 2.5% tax will be charged on the sale of alcohol along with the 2% general sales tax.
  5. A 20% tax will be charged on the sale of firearms along with the 2% general sales tax.
  6. A 10% tax will be charged on the sale of ammunition for firearms along with the 2% general sales tax.
  7. A 10% tax will be charged on the services of tanning salons.
  8. A 20% tax will be charged on the sale of any vehicle having less than 10 miles per gallon on the highway along with the 2% general sales tax.
  9. A 15% tax will be charged on the sale of any vehicle having between 10 and 15 miles per gallon on the highway along with the 2% general sales tax.
  10. A 12.5% tax will be charged on the sale of any vehicle having between 15.1 and 20 miles per gallon along with the 2% general sales tax.
  11. A 10% tax will be charged on the sale of any vehicle having between 20.1 and 30 miles per gallon on the highway along with the 2% general sales tax.
  12. A 5% tax will be charged on the sale of any vehicle having above 30.1 miles per gallon along with the 2% general sales tax.
  13. $5.00 per ton will be taxed on every amount of coal mined.
  14. 10% of the price of electricity coming from a coal plant will be charged by the federal government.
  15. There will be a $0.05 tax on every gallon of gas sold.
  16. There will be a $0.10 tax on every gallon of diesel sold.
  17. There will be a $0.10 tax on every gallon of Jet fuel sold.
  18. There will be a $0.10 tax on every gallon of aviation gasoline sold.
  19. There will be a $0.05 tax on every gallon of aviation karosene sold.
  20. The sale of hydrogen for a fuel cell car will not be taxed.
  21. The sale of cars that use fuel cells as their primary source of power will not be taxed.
  22. Anything sold at a college store will not be taxed.
  23. Any organization registered as a charity or religion, being that their goal is to make no profit, and give over 75% of their earnings to people in need will not be taxed. All organizations will be required to present their budget to the IRS.
  24. Non-corporate organizations whose primary purpose is to preserve environmental and/or historical treasures in America or internationally or are based to help education and give over 75% of their earnings to their cause will not be taxed. All organizations will be required to present their budget to the IRS.
  25. Organizations that are religious and have not donated any money to a political movement will not be taxed. All organizations will be required to present their budget to the IRS. Religious organizations that donate to political campaigns will be treated as businesses.

There will be no Corporate Income Tax.

Where the Money Goes

  1. 1% of all revenue of the Government of the United States will go into a fund for spending in years where a deficit is run. This will be held by the Federal Reserve for future use. This fund may not be tapped without an Executive Order when spending is greater than income. This money may not be used in any year where Spending is equal to or less than revenue.

Process for Making Tax Laws
The Process for making a tax law code change lies in the power of Congress. The Internal Revenue Service, Courts, and President may make no change without the approval of a simple majority of both houses of Congress.

Punishments for Tax Fraud
Any American citizen convicted of lying the IRS on their income will have committed a felony and lose the right to vote for the rest of their life. They will lose the right to run for office. They will be incarcerated for 10 years in a Federal Prison with no bail and charged ten times the amount that they owed and didn’t pay. People have one year to correct mistakes.

A business that cheats on taxes will be fined one hundred times the amount of taxes owed from previous years. Companies have one year to correct mistakes.

In case of a balanced budget
If the Budget receives a surplus, the lowest tax bracket will be removed.

Tax code Restrictions
The entire tax code will not be more than 1500 words long.

A note:
Combined with the rest of the Utilitarian Party Platform there is no need for any more deductions for income tax. Education and Health Care will be provided like they are in every other first world measure. People will have enough money to have a house, as they do now, and public transportation will return to America.

In the case of a surplus the money will first pay off the debt early, if there is no debt, it will be sent back to the people.

Contract From America, a critique

I was accused today of being someone who could join the tea party and that I didn't know what it stood for, so I decided to learn what it is for, and here is what I found on the Contract from America:
  1. Identify constitutionality of every new law: Require each bill to identify the specific provision of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to do what the bill does.
  2. Reject emissions trading: Stop the "cap and trade" administrative approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants.
  3. Demand a balanced federal budget: Begin the Constitutional amendment process to require a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax modification.
  4. Simplify the tax system: Adopt a simple and fair single-rate tax system by scrapping the internal revenue code and replacing it with one that is no longer than 4,543 words – the length of the original Constitution.
  5. Audit federal government agencies for constitutionality: Create a Blue Ribbon taskforce that engages in an audit of federal agencies and programs, assessing their Constitutionality, and identifying duplication, waste, ineffectiveness, and agencies and programs better left for the states or local authorities.
  6. Limit annual growth in federal spending: Impose a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth.
  7. Repeal the health care legislation passed on March 23, 2010: Defund, repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
  8. Pass an 'All-of-the-Above' Energy Policy: Authorize the exploration of additional energy reserves to reduce American dependence on foreign energy sources and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation.
  9. Reduce Earmarks: Place a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget is balanced, and then require a 2/3 majority to pass any earmark.
  10. Reduce Taxes: Permanently repeal all recent tax increases, and extend permanently the George W. Bush temporary reductions in income tax, capital gains tax and estate taxes, currently scheduled to end in 2011.
The first part is already done by the Supreme Court, 5 of 9 have been appointed by Republicans.
I am going to ask the conflict theorists question for the second point: Who benefits from no restrictions on oil emissions? Oil companies.
I agree with balancing the Federal budget, but I have looked at it and except for massive cuts from the Department of Defense, it can't be done. This is something Republicans have never been behind for the past 30 years.
Simplifying the tax system. First of all, my economics textbook (written by Bush advisor Gregory Mankiw) claims that flat taxes (what they are calling for) is by its nature a regressive tax. I would prefer a progressive tax structure based on the cost of living with rates from 0% to 50% where 99% of Americans will pay less than 15% and it will be modified by states' cost of living, and capital gains will b one taxed as regular income. That will balance the budget. The Tea Party doesn't support that, it says so in the Contract from America.
5. Every department (except for the Department of Defense) is already audited. This is a moot point. Why haven't the Tea Party members of Congress (a majority in the house) proposed a bill to do this? Curious...
6. Limit the growth of federal spending, does this take into account potential disasters? If we limited ourselves from growing our services in the face of disaster, how would the government cope?
7. According to the World Health Organization, The United States pays an average of $8361 per capita on health care in 2010. Norway and Switzerland were about the same. Canada paid $5222 in 2010. Our health statistics, birth mortality, life expectancy, and others according to the CIA don't show an increase over other nations. The statistics show that our current private health care system doesn't benefit the average American. Our current system only benefits the insurance industry. They don't specify what they would replace Obamacare with.
8. If we generated our fuels domestically, they will be the same companies that drill abroad. Nothing will really change there. It will still be the same companies, and our domestic oil production is at an all time high right now. Houston Chronicle
9. Reduce earmarks. If the tea party is so against earmarks, why haven't they done anything about it? This is not the real goal of the tea party. http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/earmarks.php
10. Reducing taxes. I agree and disagree here. In order to do some things efficiently, we need to do them as a country, and that means we need the government to raise money. Most of these Bush tax increases go to the rich. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1811 This is not going to benefit most tea party people.

I disagree with all ten at some extent. I wish to offer counter-proposals (that I wish Occupy would have embraced) on the same topics that are actually at issue. I have also addressed a few corruption issues that the Tea Party fails to addre
  1. Move off of fossil fuels and embrace Hydrogen fuel cells as a mode for fueling transportation. They are competitive, and fulfill Adam Smith's requirement that there be competition in a market for supply and demand to work. This will drive down the cost of transportation. They also are 100% domestic.
  2. Demand a balanced federal budget. Cut subsidies to lobbyists and make a strong simple and progressive tax code.
  3. Simplify the tax system. Make a tax system ranging from 0% to 75% of income (most Americans won't see their tax rates go up, down probably) and put in two deductions, one for all education expenses, and one for all health care expenses. As the budget is balanced, put the lowest rates into the 0% category to encourage growth from the bottom of the income ladder. Short-selling stocks will not make your taxes go down!
  4. Expand Medicare to cover all Americans. This will bring down our cost of health care by providing primary care for people who need it so that instead of going to the emergency room they can get early treatment which is less expensive. After doing this, Medicaid and Tricare will be fully abolished.
  5. Audit the Department of Defense.
  6. Reduce earmarks by making all elections publicly run, publicly financed, and outlawing lobbying through money in Congress. The Tea Party has not embraced this. http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/earmarks.php
  7. Abolish the federal handouts to the Real Estate industry by abolishing the mortgage tax deduction to raise revenue, or decrease taxes.
  8. Stop sending money to nations that abuse human rights like Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and historically the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq. Only send developmental aid that builds the nations capacity to grow and gets average people to be economically sustainable.
  9. Elect the President through Instant Runoff Voting. Elect Congress by the Single Transferable Vote using the Gregory Method. Abolish the Senate which was only created to preserve the interests of the politically established. Increase Congress to 750 members in the one remaining house.
  10. To save money, legalize marijuana. Legalize LSD. Legalize ecstasy. Increase taxes on cigarettes. http://www.mjlegal.org/cost.html This will save money and generate revenue.
Those will actually balance the budget. Most people will see their taxes decrease, the only people who will see more taxes are the ones who are paying 15% on million of dollars of income. The Tea Party doesn't support this, but it is the only honest way to balance the budget without cutting military spending.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dear Green Party,

Dear Green Party,

I like your platform. I think you should have seats in Congress and should make your proposals in Congress. I think Jill Stein would be a decent President, but there is one thing that keeps me from voting for you.

I didn't see a single Green Party candidate running for office in the primary elections in Washington State. You could have won seats into our legislature and start making real changes. You could do the same thing in Oregon and California, the ballot access laws aren't that restrictive. You have a lot of good ideas regarding domestic economics and you should move your party to getting seats in Congress to make a real difference in this country.

My impression is that you don't understand how our system works. Even in the unlikely instance where your Presidential candidate was elected President, you would not have support from Congress, because you don't run candidates for Congressional elections. I would like a third party, I would like it to be the Green Party, but I can't vote for you if you don't run for office!

I will be voting for Barack Obama this year, I have seen a real campaign from him, and he has made real progress. I have seen signs and campaigning by the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, and I have seen no advertising from the Green Party, and I live in one of the most progressive parts of the entire country. Please campaign harder.

Please run for as many state legislature seats as you can. If you can get seats in state legislatures you can start pushing for your reforms in the halls of power. Or at least propose initiatives to get the ranked voting option on the ballot in several states. I would love to see ranked voting for all elections someday.

Once you file candidates for state level positions, you will very probably get my vote, but by running a Presidential candidate who doesn't campaign a lot and acts as a spoiler to the Democratic Party with the way our election currently is, I cannot vote for you if you will not try to get seats in Congress.

Forgo the Presidential race in 2016 and focus on getting seats in State legislatures for the next few years, you will very probably get my vote. Until then you are no more than a fringe, like Occupy that did the same mistake. The Tea Party had a plan and ran candidates and unfortunately made progress on the corporate agenda. Please be like the Tea Party in strategy and get things done, don't be like Occupy who are no closer to actually overturning Citizens United then they were a year ago on October 15, 2011.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Only one thing can kill America

There is a lot of talk about America being on decline since 2008, since Obama was elected. We blame immigration, a growing economy in China, American-owned companies that build things in China exporting crap here, how the government isn't making the price of oil drop (a call to socialism), and other poppycock excuses for why "America is in decline". This cannot kill America. None of these can. However, i have the plan for anyone who wants to kill America, a simple plan, and something that is already in progress.

Pessimism, nihilism, the world is doomed, there is nothing we can do about it, and every growth in America's infrastructure is impractical. Nationwide calls for doomsday. This takes a number of forms. Here are a few of the most dangerous:

  • While we reward the military industrial complex with $100 billion dollars of welfare annually, and hundreds of billions of unaccounted dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy through a very low capital gains tax, and send $10 billion a year to Israel to bomb Palestine, and in the past have sent money to Saudi Arabia, the Muhjadeen, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and other nations we are allies with, we cannot afford to build our infrastructure because it is "too expensive". To build something in this country that would stimulate our economy for less than hundreds of billions in corporate welfare and rewards to lobbyists annually, we cannot afford to build a first world train system, and we cannot afford universal health care, and we need to cut money to education. Because God Forbid we might actually give our own people the skills they need to succeed in a global economy, that's what the Chinese do!
  • America is generally in decline. Things are worse than they were before. This is depsite the NYSE being at an all-time high, our GDP at an all-time high, our GDP per capita being one of the highest in the world, and other general non-biased marks that show things really are not nearly as bad as people seem to believe. I have yet to find a marker that actually shows America is in decline relative to ourselves, even though there a lot of markers that show the formerly undeveloped world is developing rapidly.
  • Corruption isn't as big an issue if you talk about it with regards to lobbyists, but Obama is a Muslim! (just quoting the conservatives I know)
  • We can't do anything to build our nation. We are doomed.
This will kill America. Immigration has been happening for 400 years and it has yet to kill our country, other nations have developed before, alongside, and after us and that has never once truly hurt our economy. Our debt per GDP has been higher than before, and there is no correlation between debt and economic vitality. I made a previous post showing how this correlation is false. Corruption can do it, but it relies on a people that is unwilling to make a difference.

America is only in decline if its people let it. I do not accept the following myths:
  • Our size prevents us from building a world-class mass transit system. Tell that to Stalin. This is poppycock. We send enough money abroad to build the world's best high-speed rail system. We need to sort out our priorities. What do we really get by arming Israel's military? The old fashioned term is false friends. America does a terrible job at choosing allies, like the Muhjadeen.
  • Debt is killing our economy. Tell that to Japan and the UK, two of the largest economies in the world that are still growing relative to population growth.
  • The Military Industrial Complex is a necessity, tell that to General Dwight David Eisenhower who uncovered Auschwitz.
  • People who are poor are lazy. There is no evidence for this.
  • America's deficit is growing under Obama. Reality is quite the opposite in fact. I've blogged about this, the CBO has a different story to tell.
In a perfect world we would try Rupert Murdoch for slander by convincing so many Americans that their votes don't count, and his network telling downright lies on a daily basis. The bullshit this network tells has moved even to what was once considered "left-wing media". How often does the media talk about local government? How often does the media cover legislation in Congress? How often does the media take a really hard look at the budget and what the President proposes, as Presidents have done since Washington?

America is only in decline if we let it. I choose to instead of firing Americans, to increase unemployment to stimulate our economy, to provide jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. Bridges in Minneapolis should not collapse for no reason... BUT IT DID! We need to rebuild America.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fact-Checking the Presidential Debate

Question 1: College tuition
Romney's Response:

Obama's Response

Question 2: Can the Government lower the price of gas? What is the Department of Energy doing?
First of all, the government does not set the price of oil, that would be a communist system of government and our energy production is a truly free market.
Obama: By increasing efficiency we will cut the demand for oil and we are going to start doing more renewable energy to cut the costs.
Romney: Obama cut in half the number of oil permits on Federal land. Says he believes in renewable energy. Says we don't need the President blocking progress. "virtually impossible to build a coal plant" says we need to take advantage of all energy sources, including coal. "North America" energy independence. Our energy is "low cost". More drilling, more licenses, bring in the pipeline from Canada.
Obama: Romney's claims are not true. We have increased energy production. Calls out Romney for being against coal as a governor and now being in favor of it.

It all comes back to except for the government setting the price of oil by setting a cap on gasoline, the only thing the government

Question 3:
Romney: Will reduce taxes on the middle class and cut the deficit.

Obama: Wants to give middle class and poor families tax relief.

Romney: Bring down corporate tax rates so they can hire more people. Jobs are leaving because of Obama. (not true)

Obama: Cutting taxes for everyone and eliminating the estate tax and corporate tax code changes will cost $5 trillion. Romney wants additional $2 trillion for the military. He wants to continue Bush Tax cuts, $1 trillion. That is a total of $8 trillion, he also wants to cut the deficit, and not raise taxes on the middle class.  We haven't heard from Romney what he wants to do to pay for the tax cuts.

Romney: "Of course they add up" I balanced the budget as governor. I ran business. $4 trillion of deficits, $5 trillion in deficits. 4 consec

Question 4: How are you (Romney) different from President Bush?
Romney: I don't believe Washington, DC can determine who can have contraception. These are different times. It wasn't possible to get all of our energy during Bush's time from America. I will crack down on China. I will expand Free Trade with Latin America. I will get us to a balance budget. I understand how hard it is to start a small business. I want to keep taxes down on small business. I want regulators to see their job as encouraging small business. I find Obamacare troubling because it keeps small businesses from starting.

Obama: We have seen 31 consecutive months of job growth. I will create even more through my plan. His plans are the same sorts of things that got us into debt, and don't remember Romney invested in companies that invested in China and is invested in companies that are building surveillance equipment in China. We have signed 3 trade deals, and a task force for trade that goes after anyone practicing unfair trade and have done far more. We have won every case. When I said that we need to go down onto bad tires from China, Romney said we were being protectionist. Bush called for immigration reform. Bush never suggested we eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood, but they are on social policy.

Question 5: Mr. President, what have you done to earn my vote?
Obama: We have gone through a tough 4 years. I said I would cut taxes for middle class families, small businesses, end the Iraq War, and go after the people who attacked us, put in health care reform to protect Americans from insurance companies, that we would rein in the excesses of Wall Street, and I have done all of that, we have created 5 million jobs, we have saved the auto industry. That is why my programs are focused on putting people back to work, so we are controlling our own energy of today and the future, the point is I have kept most of them, and the others are not for lack of trying. I suspect Romney will keep his promises. When Congress signed a no tax pledge, Romney said me too. When Congress said we will cut Planned Parenthood, and end Obamacare, Romney said me too even though Obamacare is like Romneycare. This election is about whose promises will allow your family to go to college and that the government will be there for you.

Romney: I think you know the past four years haven't been that good and the next four years are like the past four years. He said by now we would have unemployment do 5.4% by now. He said that by now he would reform Social Security and he hasn't even made a proposal. He said he would file an immigration bill but he hasn't. He said he will cut in half the deficit and he hasn't, he has doubled it (bullshit). He said that health care would decrease but it has increased and Obamacare will raise the health care premiums. The unemployment has not been reduced. 23 million people. (bullshit) The economy is growing more slowly this year than in the past two years. Reagan created twice as many jobs. The only reason the unemployment seems a little lower (bullshit) is because people have dropped out of the work force. We have a record to look at.

At this point I stopped watching because I can't stand how many lies Romney is telling.

Romney hasn't said one thing in the first hour of the debate, as he is saying about the increase in unemployment, the deficit, and all that, I am looking it up with the Bureau of Labor Statistics and all of his unemployment claims are wrong. As I am looking at the budgets the President has proposed for the past four years, the deficit has gone from $1.5 trillion to $1.3 trillion, to $1.1 trillion (even though Congress planned for $1.3 trillion), and is planned to be $0.9 trillion next year. If the current trend of a $200 billion deficit reduction continues we should balance the budget by FY 2017. Don't take my word for it... here is the Wikipedia on this year's budget which has links to the original sources for all the budgets back to the early 90s by following the links on the bottom: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_United_States_federal_budget

Vote for Obama if you value honesty. Vote for Romney if you.... I really don't know why you would vote for Romney. He is definitely the most dishonest major candidate in all of American history. Vote for Obama.