What 'Can't be Avoided' Must Be Welcomed

Dems may take the House, maybe even the Senate. I was looking for a silver lining and I found one. New Dems will be a lot more conservative than those we now have. Several are former Republicans. Others are retired military or businessmen. We have a guy running on “family, faith and freedom,” who opposes abortion, gun control and gay marriage. There are pro-life Dems, anti-tax Dems and even a former Reagan official.

The national Dems are gleefully throwing Ned Lamont overboard and preparing to embrace Joe Lieberman. We are hearing a lot less about precipitously getting out of Iraq. Eyes right.

Maybe we can get better bipartisan cooperation on Iraq & the war on terrorism. I am not "blaming" only the Dems for the earlier lackluster cooperation, BTW. In the real world, power matters. In 2004, the Dems brought little to the table. After Tuesday maybe they can. Let's not bicker and argue about who screwed whom.

I read an interesting article about possible post-election scenarios. If the conservative Dems push their colleagues to the right, we might get a good outcome. Dems may trade the pleasure of punishing the President for the satisfaction of improving their country’s prospects.

I would prefer - and still hope for - a Republican victory on Tuesday. Next best is a moderation of the Democratic Party. In the long run, that might even be the optimal outcome if it drains some of the vitriol out of politics.

I have always admired Roosevelt, Truman & Kennedy. Dems used to be strong. They can be again. I remain an optimist, even about Dems.

Posted by Jack at November 5, 2006 11:30 PM
Comments
Comment #193528

Thanks for pointing this out Jack, I was wondering when it would be brought up. To win elections Dems must go to the right which is actually a good thing for conservatives. Now the kicker is to see if these new Dems. actually vote right, or are they just lying to get elected.
Another fact I found is that a 6th year party loses an average of 44 house seats and 7 senate seats. So how can Dems. picking up 15-20 seats be seen as any kind of victory, espeacilly a 6th year war time president. Whatever makes the Bush haters happy I guess, as long as they keep moving to the right.

Posted by: andy at November 6, 2006 12:35 AM
Comment #193539

Jack, there is only going to be one guiding principle behind Democrat’s actions in Congress for the next 2 years - electing a Democratic President in ‘08. ALL other issues will take a back seat to that one. That is not to say, Democrats won’t address many other legislative issues, but, how they respond and act on those issues will be shaped and molded by the ‘08 election.

In this regard, there is not difference between the GOP and Democratic Parties - they both put power acquisition and maintaining power before the needs of the nation, her people, and their constituents.

That is why their registered voter numbers are shrinking while Independent voter numbers are growing, as well as those of the Libertarian Party, (not sure about the Green Party, but, I don’t think so).

This power before the health and needs of the nation agenda by the DNC and RNC, is why the anti-incumbent movement in this country must grow if Americans are to salvage their government and nation from the destructive priority of the Republocrats.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 6, 2006 4:02 AM
Comment #193547

Andy,

The reason that a 15-20 seat pickup will be a victory is twofold:

1) The historical figures you point out where before jerimandering was as such a barrier to entry for the party out of power.

2) The dems will gain control of the house. This will give them the ability to investigate, check the power, and allocate money to the executive branch.

Posted by: dcc at November 6, 2006 8:15 AM
Comment #193551

We’ve seen enough divide and conquer politics.
1) We need to unite and work side by side to repair damage done by this administration. This administration should be held accountable and those who have constantly failed to do their job should be removed.

2)We need wholesale changes to the election process, especially campaign finance reform.

3) We need open government and accountability. We should not have to rely on leaks and whistleblowers for us to be informed.

4)We need more than 2 party options when we vote. We are not getting the best and brightest, we’re getting the best connected candidates who’s loyalties are to those same connections, not the voters.

5) Show the world that we have not completely abandoned diplomacy, G.W. just made it look that way.

6)Get to know our enemies and better utilize our friends.

7)Maintain checks and balances.

8) We must not allow ourselves to be ruled by fear and isolationism again.

9)We need to lose the “red”, “blue” mentality and think of ourselves as Americans again. We don’t have to think alike. We can still respect each other and work together.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 6, 2006 8:39 AM
Comment #193552

Jack

I believe what you are referring to could be categorized as centrist or moderate dems. And yes there are a lot of us out here.

I have to say I am a bit shocked to see such a realization from a supporter of either party now days. Of course not all voters are hard left or hard right as are not all representatives. Probably the biggest problem today in politics is the inability to compromise and negotiate between the two parties to come to sensible aggreements that will best suit the needs of ALL americans regardless of beliefs.

The whole voting environment nowdays seems more like a sporting event than a statement on the state of our nation. I am inclined to believe that more people vote out of hatred of one party or the other rather than sensibility. It is no wonder all we have are do nothing congresses anymore.

Posted by: Ric at November 6, 2006 8:41 AM
Comment #193554

A lot of Republicans feel the best thing that could happen for their party is a Democrat victory. I agree.

Posted by: Max at November 6, 2006 8:46 AM
Comment #193556

dcc:

Just a clarification: Its ‘gerrymandering’, named after Eldridge Gerry, who was at one point Vice President under James Madison. According to Wikipedia, it is ideally pronounced with a hard “G” sound, but nowadays the “J” sound is acceptable as well. Its a combination of the name ‘Gerry’ and the word salamander, since Gerry had worked a voting district into the semblance of a salamander in order to secure a win for his party.

Gerrymandering, in my opinion, is the biggest problem we have, since it allows votes to be wasted. Incumbents have such a heavy advantage that they rarely lose. I don’t believe VOID can truly be effective unless the gerrymandering issue is addressed.

Your point about history is a good one.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at November 6, 2006 8:50 AM
Comment #193557

I hear more conservative insurgents are rising in Iraq. Is this a new victory in Iraq?

I find it interesting that redefining victory is something that the GOP is engaging in.

Don’t like reality? Redefine it. Problem solved.

Posted by: gergle at November 6, 2006 8:54 AM
Comment #193559

Speaking of reality I came across this article this morning.

I’m wondering if this is true or internet legend?
If true, welcome to 1984 and the SovietUSA.

Posted by: gergle at November 6, 2006 9:09 AM
Comment #193560

Gergle

That article is nearly pure BS. American citizens always have the right to enter the U.S. If they do not have the funds to get back, the USG will even lend them the money to get back to the nearest port of entry.

There is no mechanism in place that would even make what the article is saying possible.

If I were you, I would stay away from websites like that. It is like reading the “National Enquirer.” If you read it long enough, you really believe in alien abductions. But even those abducted by aliens could return to the U.S. if they were citizens.

Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 9:20 AM
Comment #193566


Jack: What does nearly pure BS mean? Is there a little truth in the article?

As long as the corporations and the Chamber of Commerce have control of our government it matters not who we elect.

Posted by: jlw at November 6, 2006 10:09 AM
Comment #193567

Everything (even Alien abduction) can be seen to have some truth. That is what I mean. If you want, I can say it is completely false in every practical way. It violates 200+ years of American law, practice and custom. It could not be done administratively and I doubt members of our diplomatic service would enforce it.

It also, BTW, would be a much bigger story than some entry on an obscure webpage.

Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 10:38 AM
Comment #193571

Jack,

You are really undermining the GOP spin here. You are supposed to claim that Democratic Hous would impeach Bush, surrender to Bin Laden, and enact mandatory gay marriage for all.

But you are right of course. Unless the Dems really get a massive victory, they are going to have to adopt a moderate agenda or do nothing substantial. My idea of moderate agenda is passing a minimum wage increase, negotiating better drug prices, etc.

It still looks like the Senate is really balanced on a razor’s edge. A few thousand voters in Missouri and Virginia will probably make the difference. (Hmm, you live in Virginia… anything you can think of to do tomorrow that is more exciting than voting?)

Posted by: Woody Mena at November 6, 2006 10:51 AM
Comment #193576

Woody

My wife, son, daughter and I will cast our votes for Republicans. We can do nothing else.

Minimum wage means litte to us around here. Most of the fast food places start at $7-8 an hour. Minimum wage is a feel good issue for liberals. It lets them give away someone else’s money and sit on what they think is the moral high ground. If you want to help the working poor, expand the earned income tax credit and increase the deductions for children. I would support you and that would actually do some good for the poor.

The drug prices is kind of a bogus issue too. The Feds cannot negotiate, but it is paid by insurance firms that CAN. We are effectively relying on big insurance firms to act in their self interest rather than let the bureaucrats seek their organizational imperatives. In the long run, I go with the firms.


Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 11:24 AM
Comment #193584

You are such an optimist that you regard living wages for the poor and fixing health care as bogus issues.

Posted by: Max at November 6, 2006 11:50 AM
Comment #193589

Jack-
I think the marvellous thing about what you’re writing is that you’re no longer taking a political position from the fear of a loss of power.

To keep power in a Democracy, one needs to convince people of the quality of one’s governance. The strategy of some has been to use a more purely rhetorical, image-based approach in place of the discipline of good policy. The advantage of such politics is that narratives can be shaped, with sufficient effort, in almost any direction one wants, so long as one hits the right bases on plausibility.

It’s not unlike the kids playing guns and one of the kids declaring him or herself invincible. If it’s all just a game, then ultimately, the fiction becomes reality.

That is, as long as your influence remains the dominant factor. If real world events dominate, then it’s like claiming invincibility while playing paintball, or while playing guns for real. The real world has a way of being meaningful to people without even trying. Political spin can smooth over speed bumps, but it can’t bridge chasms of cognitive dissonance, at least not without making things worse.

The real problem comes when policy becomes warped by politics to the extent that the policy becomes counterproductive in reality. It becomes a vicious cycle of spin and rationalization that gets worse the more victories it attains. It’s like borrowing money to pay of your credit cards.

Do this long enough, and you’re facing bigger challenges down the road, until things like the upcoming election occur. Perhaps Republican optimism is correct, and the losses won’t be so great, but the likelihood is, the focus on maintaining power through focus on political rhetoric and tricks (dirty or not), will have cost the Republicans at least the majority in the House.

As long as people felt that they could live their lives without much concern to the issues, the Republican’s approach, while yielding diminishing returns, worked. The problem came when the issues started to matter again, and the Republicans started choices which highlighted the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. Bush and others, in being so aggressive in their berating and criticism of the opposition set the stage for an assertive backlash. Coupled with those whose criticism came of less partisan origins, the Republicans have ended up being seen as fundamentally incorrect on critical issues.

The Republicans have the same opportunity now that the Democrats had after their defeats in 1994: Change.

As for us? I think we’re doing exactly what we should have. I can perhaps say I saw it coming more than a year ago.

Here are some selections from what I wrote:

the tighter a political community becomes, the more likely it is that it’s activists are preaching to the choir, rather than gaining converts.

The GOP has run right into this, creating echo chambers of vast proportions, where likeminded folks bounce the same notions back and forth. It has become harder for them to break out, to get people outside of their political domain to take what they say at face value.
The world of the GOP has become steadily more esoteric from the outside world. The GOP leadership maintains and encourage this tendency. It’s convenient for those who want to avoid accountability by creating a siege mentality. It’s convenient for those who want greater control over the ideology of the party members, and a better ability to enforce purity in the ideology. This, taken far enough, though, eventually creates an isolated party core as those with weaker connections to the center of the party splinter off in other direction. Ultimately, the road of orthodoxy is the road of fracture and schism, as small disagreements about interests become intensified into breaking points.
There are those who have looked on admiringly at the GOP political machine, with its ability to motivate followers and get candidates into offices both elected and appointed. Unfortunately for them, they have failed to count the cost of such a machine to policy and political stability within the party. Some measure the health of a party with it’s ability to take firm stances on issues, but the fact is, being able to accommodate a certain range of views is in fact healthier.
The NRA, Club For Growth, Cato Institute, Neocons and other groups may enjoy the perpetual hardline stances on their issues that the leaders have taken up, but the rest of us, including many Republicans are beginning to feel that these issues have been taken too far. Republican politicians are beginning to take the heat on this, and are breaking with their leadership on important issues. They are beginning to see the limits of their power, and the hardline institutions that have backed the Republican Revolution are beginning to work at cross purposes. Frustrated at what should be the height of their power, they’re kicking at the windows, breaking them out, the rigidity of the power structure poorly absorbing the stresses that the different parts of the Right Wing are putting on the Republican party.
The Democrats can take advantage of this in the years to come, but first, they have to stop treating the Republican Revolution as if it were a permanent reality. If we are to win as a party, we must exploit the strength of weak connections to an greater extent.
By weak connections, I do not mean issues people don’t feel all that excited about, or even issues we don’t have much in common about. No, what I’m talking about here are the ranges and minor commonalities of our political relationships with those to our right and our left. Weak means distant rather than lacking in power.

I go on to write at length about a strategy aimed toward moderation, towards firm, principled stands that have common themes rather than unified talking points.

The article itself was inspired by a book by Mark Buchanan, who wrote of the way Small Worlds networks connected people who really wouldn’t consider themselves connected under normal circumstances. Six Degrees of separation, in short, but not as some vague connectedness, but as a result of the fact that our circle of friends are not the only people we interact with.

Good politics has to appeal to folks outside the party faithful, or else the party shrinks down to just those people. It also has to deal with the realities and deal with them well because reality changes the meaning of things in people’s lives much faster than philosophy or rhetoric does. The Democrats spoke for years about the dangers of the Republican’s laissez faire attitude towards government. Katrina, though, gave Democrats an object lesson, a teachable moment for the nation about those dangers. People drowned, in short over government corruption and incompetence. Bush didn’t bring the storm, but we could argue quite well he screwed up in managing the crisis it left behind.

Politics is about more than just arguments, rhetoric, image management and damage control. It’s about how people get things done, necessary and not so necessary, amidst the cross-currents of differing interests. The more we stay focused on pretense and appearances, the more unstable our nation and our position in the world will become.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 6, 2006 12:13 PM
Comment #193590

Jack,

I was just wondering if anyone had seen a more legitimate posting of this. I’m not ikely to start believing tabloids or rumours at my age. I would not be surprised at the erosion of rights, given this administratons past performance, however.

I linked to it off a Dutch site that posts interesting web stuff. It’s filed under entertainment on my boomarks.

Posted by: gergle at November 6, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #193594

Max

I regard the minimum wage as a bogus issue. Look into it. The earned income credit & child credits will do a lot more for the working poor. Even under today’s rules, a low income worker with kids can get back around $4400. If you do the math (2000 working hours a year), that would be a raise of around $2.20 an hour. AND it is better targeted to the poor, instead of some kid working at McDonalds to buy Slayer CDs.

I advocate raising this and the child credit. It is elegant in that it creates no additional bureaucray, rules or enforcement mechanism and it works. Sorry if it is not PC enough for you.

Health care (re drug price) is a similar concern.

With many issues, there is the high profile feel good approach, usually favored by the Dems, and the one that really works.

Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #193600

Gergle

I have not seen it anywhere else. I know something about consular procedures and rules. What the articles says is just impossible. I am trying to think of exceptions or how this rumor could start. All I can think of is the case of fraudulent naturalizations. For example, if someone lies about his past on his citizenship application. The most famous cases are Nazi camp guards, but you could envision a case where someone becomes a citizen and then never actually lives in the U.S., maybe works with some illegal operation. I think that person could be stripped of citizenship and deported.

But I can think of no scenario where an ordinary American citizen could suffer this fate. It would make no sense for the USG to do it either. There would be no possible gain.

Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #193607
Andre M. Hernandez wrote: We’ve seen enough divide and conquer politics.

AHHHhhhh h h h … . But that is the very goal of irresponsible incumbent politicians in BOTH parties.
They absolutely love to fuel the divisive, distracting, circular, seductive partisan warfare, and many voters love to wallow in it.
And, it will continue until voters remember the one simple, common-sense, non-partisan, peaceful, and responsible thing that voters were supposed to be doing all along. Stop re-electing them.

Andre M. Hernandez wrote: 1) We need to unite and work side by side to repair damage done by this administration. This administration should be held accountable and those who have constantly failed to do their job should be removed. 2)We need wholesale changes to the election process, especially campaign finance reform.
Yes, but that WE must first come from the voters. Irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians will not pass any reforms that may even remotely reduce the incumbents’ power, their opportunities for self-gain, or the security of their cu$hy, coveted incumbency. Thus, they’ll never pass campaign finance reform. That is why 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more in 2002) come from ONLY a very tiny 0.15% of ALL 200 million eligible U.S. voters. What chance does the remaining 99.85% of all U.S. voters have against that? The only chance that the majority of voters has is to simply stop re-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians. Government will not reform itself. In a voting nation, an educated electorate is paramount. That is why voters must learn to stop blindly pulling the party-lever (i.e. straight-ticket).
Andre M. Hernandez wrote: 3) We need open government and accountability. We should not have to rely on leaks and whistleblowers for us to be informed.
True. Transparency and Accountability is extremely important.
  • Education = an understanding of the importance of: Education, Transparency, Accountability, Power, Responsibility, Corruption, and the fundamental human desire to seek security and prosperity with the least effort and pain, and that some will resort to dishonest, unethical, or illegal methods to obtain it;
  • Transparency = visibility and simplification of cleverly over-complicated processes to reveal and identify abusers, create outrage, reduce opportunities for abuse, and discourage abuse and dishonesty;
  • Accountability = consequences needed to encourage law enforcement, encourage ethical behavior, and discourage abuse and dishonesty;
  • Power = force required to enforce the laws, discontinue abuse, ensure consequences, punish abusers, and discourage abuse and dishonesty; but unchecked Power without sufficient Education, Transparency, and Accountability breeds Corruption.
________________
  • Responsibility = Power + Conscience + Education + Transparency + Accountability
  • Corruption = Power - Conscience - Education - Transparency - Accountability
Andre M. Hernandez wrote: 4)We need more than 2 party options when we vote. We are not getting the best and brightest, we’re getting the best connected candidates who’s loyalties are to those same connections, not the voters.
True. And that will happen as voters become more educated about the stranglehold of the two-party system, and the way BOTH have perverted things to help preserve their power, their opportunities for self-gain, and the security of their cu$hy, coveted incumbency.
Andre M. Hernandez wrote: 5) Show the world that we have not completely abandoned diplomacy, G.W. just made it look that way.
No doubt about it. Bush’s go-it-alone, cowboy, stay-the-course, “crusade” (as he himself called it) damaged the nation. Not to mention “No WMD”, and the numerous blunders in Iraq and Afghanistan, trying to fight the war on-the-cheap, and misusing the military.
Andre M. Hernandez wrote: 6)Get to know our enemies and better utilize our friends.
Yes. Better intelligence. But, we need a government that pays attention-to and heeds the intelligence. The CIA World Fact Book essentially (in year 2000) predicts the probable outcome we have already seen (i.e. civil war in Iraq). And, only now, the administration is acknowledging a change is needed.
Andre M. Hernandez wrote: 7)Maintain checks and balances. 8) We must not allow ourselves to be ruled by fear and isolationism again.
True. A lot of the talk about terrorism is over-stated. No doubt there are already some terrorists already in the U.S. We could do common-sense things to make that more difficult. Not just getting in, but coming and going. But, also, the U.S. must get control of its ports and borders, because massive, uncotrolled illegal immigration is not only an exploitation of illegal aliens, but it is also an exploitation of existing U.S. citizens who are having the costs shifted onto them, their schools, ERs, hospitals, law enforcement, prisons, healthcare, voting, Medicaid, and welfare systems. It is not an issue of race, color, ethnicity, or nationality. It is simply that uncontrolled illegal immigration is bad because it creates chaos, and societal disorder. Without a completely economically homogeneous world and some control of borders, millions of people will always move from places where things are not as good to places where things are better, resulting in both being ruined. It’s just plain common sense. The long term goal of economic homogeneousness is good, but not with wide-open border and no restrictions of who quailifies for tax-payer services and privileges.
Andre M. Hernandez wrote: 9)We need to lose the “red”, “blue” mentality and think of ourselves as Americans again. We don’t have to think alike. We can still respect each other and work together.
Absolutely. The partisan warfare is mostly a tool used by irresponsible incumbent politicians to trick voters into pulling the party-lever (i.e. straight ticket), to demonize the OTHER party, and wallow in the petty partisan warfare while this nations’ pressing problems grow in number and severity.

At any rate, in a voting nation, an educated electorate is paramount.

And, we will get that education.

But, the question is, will it be:

It’s up to voters, and most voters will be the ones that experience the consequences.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 6, 2006 1:08 PM
Comment #193608

Jack,

The minimum wage used to be a living wage. People making minimum wage today cannot support themselves on it, much less children.

So if by electing Democrats you are going to get moderates, what do you call the people in office now? ;-)

Posted by: Max at November 6, 2006 1:11 PM
Comment #193613

Jack,

Minimum wage is a feel good issue for liberals. It lets them give away someone else’s money and sit on what they think is the moral high ground. If you want to help the working poor, expand the earned income tax credit and increase the deductions for children.

If you don’t want to give away someone else’s money, then why do you support the EITC? You are a taxpayer, right?

I don’t see why the minimum wage is any more of a feel good issue than any other policy. It has a very direct impact on people’s pocketbooks. And the bureaucracy is already in place. The cost will be spread around all of customers of businesses that pay minimum wage, which is basically all of us.

Posted by: Woody Mena at November 6, 2006 1:29 PM
Comment #193614

And what about the people who get minimum wage and don’t have children? They are just as poor.

Posted by: womanmarine at November 6, 2006 1:33 PM
Comment #193616
Jack wrote: My wife, son, daughter and I will cast our votes for Republicans. We can do nothing else.
My wife, son, myself, mother, father, several friends and neighbors, and relatives (once, all long-time Republicans; I was a Republican for 30 years; up until about 2 years ago) already voted early and voted for non-incumbents, and the others are vowing to do the same tomorrow.

: )

Jack wrote: We can do nothing else.
  • Why not?
  • Why keep doing the same thing?
  • Is it working?
  • Are we better off NOW than we were in year 2000?
  • Is this economy really “rosy”, “good”, or “very good”, or is it merely being deceptively funded by massive debt, borrowing, spending, and irresponsible money-printing?
  • Why not try what we were supposed to be doing all along?
  • Ironically, Democrats won’t get back so many seats because they won or are much better, but it will be mostly because Republicans lost it.
    Now, we’ll have grid-lock for a couple of years, and voters’ education will proceed, and they will (hopefully) learn (by 2008) that too many politicians in BOTH parties are irresponsible and need to be replaced.

  • Posted by: d.a.n at November 6, 2006 1:36 PM
    Comment #193618

    Jack,

    Oh yes and the drug prices. I was referring to Medicare Part D. The government should be able to negotiate lower prices. This isn’t price fixing, because the government is the customer. It works in other countries.

    Posted by: Woody Mena at November 6, 2006 1:40 PM
    Comment #193621

    Re: the minimum wage. two thoughts.
    All higher wages to minimum and near minimum wage workers go right back into the economy.
    Business’s in the United States have to meet many thresholds in order to be qualified to do business here: worker safety, consumer safety, environmental safety. I don’t find it at all inappropriate to include a minimum wage as one of those thresholds.

    Posted by: Charles Ross at November 6, 2006 1:51 PM
    Comment #193626
    Jack wrote: I remain an optimist, even about Dems.

    Me too.
    Democrats will gain seats, which is not the ideal solution, and we will have grid-lock for a few years.
    Unfortunately grid-lock will allow problems to continue to grow in number and severity, but that grid-lock will hopefully help educate more voters to simply stop re-electing those very same irresponsible incumbents politicians.

    The system is somewhat self-correcting.
    The pain and misery that voters bring upon themselves will eventually give them the motivation to start doing their part to make government more responsible too!

    The only danger is that voters wait too long, and allow the debt to grow ever larger, and allow the decline of the nation to continue. It is not out of the realm of possibility.

    In a voting nation, education is paramount, and the voters’ education is on the way. The only unknown is whether it will come sooner than later, when it will be more painful?

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 6, 2006 2:20 PM
    Comment #193629

    Re minimum wage

    We are talking difference in methods in helping the poor. Mine is more direct and focused. It also can deliver more to the particular poor person without as much collateral damage to the functioning of our economy. If your goal is alleviating poverty, you should want to deliver the most help to the person who needs it. That is not always the primary goal of those preaching higher minimum wages.

    Woody

    I am a taxpayer. I think it is good public policy to ensure that the poor are able to get the help provided by the earned income credit and child credit. I prefer this to interfering in the function of other people’s business. As I wrote, over the course of a years work, the credits could amount to as much as $2.10 and hour. I would support raising that. If we as a people believe we should do it, we the people should be willing to pay for it.

    The minimum wage is a much blunter instrument. As I noted, where I live we already pay MORE than minimum wage to most workers. It would do out local workers no good. There are places where cost of living is lower. You would be raising those wages unnaturally higer. You also would be raising the wages of people who may not be working to support themselves, such as kids earning a little extra money. This is not a bad thing, but certainly not a moral imperative and maybe not good policy.

    Womanmarine

    Earned income credit applies to anyone who earns money. You get more if you have kids. Presumably because you need more. Kids cost money.

    BTW - If you are earning minimum and do not have dependents, you can probably live off that. You will be poor and maybe you should consider upgrading your skills or relocating.

    Woody

    You are talking re the prescription drugs. The system relies on competition among insurance companies to hold down prices instead of government controls. It is a difference of philosophy. Government might be able to dictate lower prices. While this sounds good to many people and may be a short term value, in the longer run it amounts to price controls, which have a very bad history, if not forever, at least since the time of the Emperor Diocletian, when he ruined the Roman economy by doing that.

    It works in other countries, BTW, because they are free riders on U.S. paid for innovation. That is something we probably need to address in international fora. Our prices are higher so theirs can be lower.

    Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 2:34 PM
    Comment #193633


    I am wondering who is financing the anti-stem cell research propoganda? Does anyone know of a web site that would have this information? Could the drug companies be the chief funders?

    Posted by: jlw at November 6, 2006 2:47 PM
    Comment #193634

    Jack, where exactly, in the United States, would raising the minimum wage from its current $5.15 and hour produce wages that are “unnaturally high”? Regards

    Posted by: Charles Ross at November 6, 2006 2:51 PM
    Comment #193635

    I’m not so sure we will see a big change in the make-up of government. Moderate and left-wing Republicans have been ousted by right wing Republicans. Moderate and left-wing Republicans will be ousted by moderate Democrats. Polls are showing that many Republicans who were planning to vote Democrat have changed their minds because they can’t find a reason to vote FOR Democrats. Many independents who were planning to vote Democrat are falling off the bandwagon the closer we come to the election. There is a growing dissatisfaction with the Democrat party in general by the independent voters, precisely for the reasons I gave the other day. They see that the Democrats have given voters no reason to vote FOR them. The Dems have not won the minds or hearts of the independent voters.

    My prediction is that the increase of Democrats will be enough to win majority in the House (but only a small majority) and that they will not win majority in the Senate.

    Posted by: Don at November 6, 2006 2:56 PM
    Comment #193642

    Jack-
    The key is to get people to earn more. I think the Minimum wage should be set so that full-time income is superior to that of welfare or any other government program for the poor. If you want to wean people off of dependence on the government, there’s got to be an incentive, and low minimum wages only provide incentives to remain locked in the status quo.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 6, 2006 3:26 PM
    Comment #193643

    Don-
    The estimates are at least thirty house seats will change hands for the Democrats. That is not an insubstantial difference in who the independents and the Republicans vote for.

    Also, we haven’t seen the results in the election yet, so we don’t know the exact shape of what’s going on.

    I’m not making any hard predictions. But I can tell you who I’m voting for and why. People want change, and they know the Republicans will not give it to them.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 6, 2006 3:29 PM
    Comment #193648
    Don wrote: I’m not so sure we will see a big change in the make-up of government …
    HHHMMMmmm m m m … That’s not what the polls I’m seeing say. You forgot one thing. Many Republicans are going to bother to vote.
    Don wrote: They see that the Democrats have given voters no reason to vote FOR them.
    True. The choices stink. That’s why voters should consider other candidates. Not just this election, but always. Voters are NOT restricted to vote ONLY for incumbents, or one party or the other.
    Don wrote: The Dems have not won the minds or hearts of the independent voters.
    No, but the Republicans have turned off many of their voters. Many that were previously long-time Republicans. Many will not even bother to vote, because many still won’t vote for a Democrat.
    Don wrote: My prediction is that the increase of Democrats will be enough to win majority in the House (but only a small majority) and that they will not win majority in the Senate.
    Maybe. Maybe not. Unfortunately, it is a recipe for grid-lock until 2008. Then, I expect anti-incumbent sentiment to grow stronger as the nation’s pressing problems are irresponsible allowed to grow in number and severity. Perhaps, by then, voters will be a little more educated, which is very important in a voting nation such as ours. Voters will learn one way or the other, provided they don’t wait too long and let things deteriorate too far.
  • Posted by: d.a.n at November 6, 2006 3:43 PM
    Comment #193649

    CORRECTION: Many Republicans are NOT going to bother to vote.

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 6, 2006 3:45 PM
    Comment #193655

    Max:

    The minimum wage used to be a living wage. People making minimum wage today cannot support themselves on it, much less children.

    Oh, Max…of course they can live on that wage…you can actually minimally break the poverty line and support 2 adults & 2 kids on minimum wage if you want to work 150 hours a week…I’ll be Republicans don’t see anything wrong with that…besides, you’d still have 18 hours to sleep each week (oh, forgot time to get oneself to and from work…never mind…forget sleep!).


    Posted by: Lynne at November 6, 2006 4:03 PM
    Comment #193656


    The greatest mystery in this election is not who will control Congress. The greatest mystery is where is Osama? Why hasn’t he come to the Presidents rescue like he did in 02 and 04? He must really be dead or comatose.

    Posted by: jlw at November 6, 2006 4:07 PM
    Comment #193658


    The best results for the Democrats in the Senate is a 50/50 stalemate. I want the VP to break a lot of ties. Nothing could possibly be better for the Dems in 2008.

    Lieberman: The one state where all the republicans but 2 are going to vote for Lieberman. I wonder how they will feel when he rejoins the Democrats in the Senate.

    Posted by: jlw at November 6, 2006 4:20 PM
    Comment #193659

    Jack, if you desire an improvement in the country’s prospects, why are you still hoping for a Republican victory?

    And… I understand not wanting to talk about who screwed who. Let’s see, your party went after a popular president for non-existent financial shenanegans and ended up impeaching him for trying to hide a personal flaw which was totally legal, though morally wrong.

    You know in your heart that if the position was reversed, your party would go after a president who has flat out broken the letter and spirit of the law regarding privacy rights, has abused the power of his office to take the country to war, etc. as soon as they were in power.

    Finally, if the Democrats didn’t bring anything to the table in the past few years, it is because the Republicans have shut them out of the process and rendered them totally powerless and ineffective. Why should Democrats posit a solution when they are just going to be used as a punching bag for the attempt?

    I’m not worried about this any more. I’ve given up on the American population making rational and educated choices. If the Republicans maintain control of the government… well, the people get what they deserve. I’ve tried to educate and inform my Rush/Neocon/Ultraconservative family. They are feeling the pinch (this liberal family earns more than most of them) with corporate downsizings, high healthcare costs (they howled at the Clinton’s attempt to stifle rising costs a decade ago and now look!), stagnant earnings, and high energy prices. Now they are wondering how this could happen? They refuse to educate themselves… let them ask Rush what to do. Rational and caring people will just have to count on the Republican efforts to shove the economy in the direction of the wealthy and figure out ways to earn money with that trend taking place. We’ll figure out how to help our country after we survive to fight another day.

    Posted by: LibRick at November 6, 2006 4:27 PM
    Comment #193661
    The system relies on competition among insurance companies to hold down prices instead of government controls.

    If our current healthcare crisis proves anything, it is that private insurance companies do NOT hold down prices.

    It baffles me how getting dozens (hundreds?) of insurance plans involved with Medicare Part D helps bring down prices. The best way to bring down prices is for the government to use its negotiating power with the pharma companies. That is how Walmart is so successful — it is 800 pound gorilla that gets whatever it wants. Try going to the Walmart board of directors and say, “I want to help you bring down your prices. Instead of negotiating directly with your suppliers, have hundreds of other little companies negotiate on your behalf. They will compete to get you the best prices.” That should get a good laugh.

    Face it. The reason the GOP likes the current system is because it DOESN’T bring down prices, which is good for their contributors in the pharma industry.

    Posted by: Woody Mena at November 6, 2006 4:46 PM
    Comment #193663

    Charles

    It would cut the differentials between low and high cost regions and low and less low producing people. Where I live, people are making $7-8 already. Where I own my farm 150 miles south they are making around the minimum. There is a reason for this. Things are much cheaper down there. The wages in both place make sense. If you raise the wages to $6.50, the people near my house will still be making the same, but you will have closed the gap between them those living in the low cost area. Why? You will merely drive up labor costs in a low cost area.

    Some of the people making minimum wage ARE poor. Others are not. Many are young people who live with their parents and may enjoy very high household incomes.

    Why do you want to raise the wage? I think it is to help the poor. Raising the wage is not a good way to do that. The raise the wages of everybody making minimum, only some of whom are poor, and you raise the costs for everybody. The higher costs impact the poor more.

    The tax credit targets the really poor. It works better.

    Stephen

    I agree with your goal, but not your method. Please see above. The minimum wage increase rewards many who are living in high income households. The earned tax credit specifically targets the poor and rewards work.

    Max

    The minimum wage is the wrong way to achieve your goal.

    Libric

    I prefer market forces to government fiat. I do not mind if people get rich, in fact I respect those who create wealth much more than those who stay poor. I do not favor artificial attempts to create equality. I like traditional American values and I support a robust national defense. I believe in privatizing pensions (including large chunks of SS). I believe in individual not group rights for people and I oppose rights for animals altogether.I believe in the wise use of our natural resources. The best president of my lifetime was Ronald Reagan and I still think George Bush is doing a good job. That is why I am a Republican. Do you really want me in your party?

    Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 4:51 PM
    Comment #193665

    Woody

    Walmart is a private firm that does not have the power of government coercion. I am happy if they can do that. I prefer that the same guys who control the army and police, who can tax and who write the laws not be the negotiation opponent for private firms.

    Liberal should come to love Walmart. They would be singing its praises if only it would unionize. Of course, then it would not be Walmart.

    Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 4:56 PM
    Comment #193676

    Jack-
    The unfortunate truth is we are paying more for the medicare drug benefit, since the government is explicitly forbidden from bargaining for lower prices. That’s right, the government can’t bargain for it.

    The Donut Hole makes it even worse, an arbitrary limit on drug expenditures which leaves people with large holes in their drug coverage.

    As much as I like the idea of a Medicare Drug Benefit, as it is, people would be better off without it. It’s a boondoggle.

    As for minimum wage? The thing is, here, that those who are forced to work minimum wage are also forced in many circumstances to enroll themselves on state assistance. Additionally, the EITC, well intentioned as it is, gets paid for by other taxpayers.

    I would rather have people working than remaining on welfare, earning the money to pay for bills than having to seek assistance from the government for it. The minimum wage shifts the burden for paying those people’s bills from the government to them and their employers. If you want to make Americans minimally dependent on public assistance, raise the minimum wage. You might as well pay for it now, rather than get it extracted through taxes.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 6, 2006 5:29 PM
    Comment #193681

    Stepen

    The earned income tax credit is not welfare. It rewards work. The minimum wage just mandates that somebody else pay someone more. It lead to marginalized workers. Some people are not worth more than $5.50 an hour or at that price you might replace them with a machine.

    Go into McDonalds and look at the shake machine. When I working there years ago I used to make shakes. Nobody does now. He cost too much. Go into that same McDonalds and get a coke. You fill it yourself. Coke costs almost nothing in bulk so it is cheaper just to let you do it. When I worked at McDonalds, we had a guy filling coke cups. He cost too much. He is gone.

    I would gladly get rid of those gardeners with leaf blowers even if they were free, but the point is that people are paid LESS than the value they are adding. That is the nature of an employee. If you push the price of the employee up to the value added, his job is gone.

    You are mistaking paying higher minimum with helping poor people. Most people who make minimum wage are not supporting even themselves. A third are teenagers and half are under 25. These are first jobs.

    Help the poor. Use the tax credit. I am glad if my kids can make more money, but frankly we do not need it. Most people making minimum do not need it.

    Help those who do. The tax credit is the least intrusive way to help the working poor. And since when do democrats care about if a social program is paid for by other taxpayers?

    Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 5:49 PM
    Comment #193687
    LibRick wrote: I’ve given up on the American population making rational and educated choices. If the Republicans maintain control of the government… well, the people get what they deserve.

    LibRick,

    There’s a better way.
    None of us know the future, so trying is better than giving up.
    There’s still hope.
    There’s no guarantees, but things are usually more like 2 steps forward, and 1.999 steps backward.
    Things take a long time.

    In a voting nation, an educated electorate is extremely important.
    It is extremely important to over-come the extremely effective partisan brainwashing.

    There is one simple solution right there under all of our very own noses.

    It is the one simple, common-sense, logical, non-partisan, peaceful, honest, and responsible thing that voters were supposed to be doing all along. ALWAYS.

    • Stop Repeat Offenders.
    • Don’t Re-Elect Irresponsible, Bought-and-Paid-for, look-the-other-way, Incumbent Politicians !

    Do that, and politicians WILL get the message.
    The system is somewhat self-correcting.
    The pain and misery that voters bring upon themselves WILL eventually give those voters the much-needed motivation to start doing their duty to make government more responsible too!

    And, it’s possible that voters may wait too long, and allow the debt and government grow much too large, and cause the continued decline of the nation. It is not that far-fetched. Not with our massive debt, borrowing, spending, money-printing, and general fiscal and moral bankruptcy.

    In a voting nation, education is paramount, so education is the key, and rest assured; the voters’ education IS on the way. The only unknown is whether it will come sooner than later. Will it be the smart, less painful way, or the hard and painful way (again)?

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 6, 2006 6:22 PM
    Comment #193693

    Jack

    Here in PA we have a Dem Gov who proudly claims to have created hundreds of thousands of new jobs due to his leadership??(Republicans control the majority in both house & senate). On the other hand we have a Dem running for US Senate against Republican Rick Santorum who decries the loss of hundreds of thousands of PA jobs because of the evil Neo Con Republicans. This is the party that wants to lead the country? They can’t even get their stories straight when it comes to who to blame or praise for an economy that is, A: bad for Dem Bob Casey or B: great for Dem Ed Rendell. Yeah, the country does need a new direction, directly opposite from whatever Dems say they stand for.

    Minimum wage:
    Lets take two stores, the ubiquitous Dollar store and a new store, the Dollar Ninty Five store. Same location, same merchandise, same hours of operation, same number of employees. Which will be in business this time next year? Which will still be employing the same number of people or increasing it’s hires because of expanding sales? Which will be ordering more merchandise, further stimulating the economy? Which will have to decide where to cut - it’s prices, merchandise or it’s workforce - in order to stay competitive? Which one? You don’t have to answer Jack, but Dems sure do.

    Posted by: JR at November 6, 2006 7:16 PM
    Comment #193695
    Since the introduction of a national minimum wage in the UK in 1999, its effects on employment were subject to extensive research and observation by the Low Pay Commission. The bottom line there is, employment has not been reduced, productivity has increased in affected companies (especially service companies),[20] and neither trade unions nor employer organisations contest the minimum wage, although especially the latter had done so heavily until 1999.

    This piece of work is controversial to US economists, but most economists agree that wages would have to increase by 10% (a lot) to affect employment. Anyway, I believe the results from England are accurate.

    You must live in a Blue state, since only Blue states generally pay more than the Federal minimum wage. Caring about this issue means more than caring about what your local teens are going to make at the hamburger shack, by the way.

    Remember when Bush asked that woman at his town hall if she had a job and she replied “three”. He was shocked, but had to act like that was a great thing. It’s not a great thing that in the richest nation in the world a woman has to have three jobs to support herself. It’s not a great thing when people who actually get a job at Walmart are told how to apply for Welfare during job training, because Walmart keeps people’s hours low specifically to subsidize their pay with our taxes (handouts). It’s demeaning.

    Posted by: Max at November 6, 2006 7:27 PM
    Comment #193710
    New Dems will be a lot more conservative than those we now have.

    Yes. Just like those Republicans in 1994 were much more liberal than their counterparts.

    Let’s not bicker and argue about who screwed whom.

    Spoken like someone who has been screwing others over for many years.

    Dems may trade the pleasure of punishing the President for the satisfaction of improving their country’s prospects.

    Why can’t we do both?

    Posted by: Burt at November 6, 2006 8:53 PM
    Comment #193711

    andy, I still have to compare the Dims to the scorpion and the turtle. They get into office and do what is their nature to do. They will start a path of killing our future of peace here in the states by capitualting to the terrorist, after all they are the party of jihad as the jihadist told their people here to vote dim.

    Now I have a question, did America allow the open ememies of wwI and WWII openly live and prosper in our society and determine the outcome of an election? That seems a little to unreal for me and I hope we do not have to welcome them dims. I still think the dims will be doing some slow walking and sad singing come Wednesday.

    A Republican turned dim only confirms my statement about the DNC. Solid as a soup sandwich and bright as North Korea on a clear night.

    Posted by: lm at November 6, 2006 8:56 PM
    Comment #193712

    Max,

    Excellent points.

    What you are pointing out is something that is on the rise (corpocrisy, corporatism, and selling out Americans), as median income continues to fall since 1999, foreclosures continue to rise, jobs continue to disappear, politicians continue to undermine American workers, and this so-called “good” economy is an illusion funded by massive borrowing, debt ($3 trillion more just since year 2000), rampant government spending (which even Jack agrees is excessive), too much money-printing, and in general, extreme fiscal and moral bankruptcy, and corruption. All while this nation’s pressing problems continue to grow in number and severity.

    But, if WE keep re-electing them, then (as LibRick wrote above) WE only have ourselves to thank for it.

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 6, 2006 9:00 PM
    Comment #193713

    Max

    Does Walmat pay minimum wage?

    If you apply to the Arby’s or McDonald’s near my red state home you will get at least $7. My son got $8 an hour at Arby’s when at the age of 16 he got his first job. We do not have a law about it, however.

    I really do not understand why so many liberals oppose the earned income credit. It actually helps the poor, encourages work and takes account of additional need (children).

    All you good liberals evidently prefer to subsidize my son’s (and other suburban rich kids) buying Slayer CDs and subsidizing his “warcraft” hobby at the expense of some poor guy who might waste the money on things like food and shelter.


    Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 9:05 PM
    Comment #193715

    Burt

    And I will be able to continue my lifestyle no matter who gets in.

    If Dems try to punish the president, they will not have time to do much good for themselves or the nation. From a partisan point of view, it would be good. As the Republicans did in the late 1990s, the Dems would spend their power in that way. I almost think Clinton picked the fight. It kept his popularity high.

    Posted by: Jack at November 6, 2006 9:10 PM
    Comment #193729

    Jack, I don’t mind you being in our party. In fact, I think you and I think more alike than not. However, we probably split on our definition of ‘creating’ wealth. I don’t think it is in the best interest of the country to grow huge corporations and conglomerates that wield enough power and clout to tilt regulations and tax laws in their favor, locking out the small entrepeneurs. The era of free land and homesteading is gone. The average Joe is in a decidedly tougher spot to leverage his expertise into economic power than he was 100 years ago. The days of reaping a reward through hard work alone are coming to a close. Too often now, one must understand how to ‘work the system’. Take the average American farmer. They depend on government interference in market forces for a large percentage of their income. What doctor could charge their patients enough to make a living without insurance, both government payments and private? The largest American corporations take in billions of government money. They know how to play the system as much as they use their creativity to invent products and services.

    I’m not advocating socialism, but where is the advantage to creating an environment where ultimately a few ultra-rich families or corporations control the economy of the US? Have the ‘private businesses’ touted by the conservatives been the answer to our problems in healthcare (particularly of the elderly and the blue collar class), disaster insurance, energy, housing, and lately the military and military support services in Iraq? There are plenty of areas where government does a better job, because business is there for a profit and not necessarily for a long term profit, either. Consider the situations in Iraq and the private contractors stealing the treasury blind; in New Orleans and the Mississippi coast where insurance companies deny coverage by claiming water damage instead of wind damage when both are clearly the result of a hurricane. Consider why insurance companies would ever insure the elderly or any high risk individuals for health care coverage.

    No, we probably wouldn’t agree on what ‘creation of wealth’ ultimately means.

    Posted by: LibRick at November 6, 2006 9:59 PM
    Comment #193735

    A final comment regarding the prospect of Democrats taking control of the House and/or Senate. I’m not wild about the idea. In order to be responsible and turn our country’s prospects toward brighter horizons, the Democrats will have to make some difficult choices regarding both the economy (taxes) and foreign policy (in places like Iraq.) The Democrats will be attacked relentlessly by Republicans for their attempts to resolve the mess we are currently in. Even though the Republicans led Americans into this fiasco in Iraq (finally, Bush admits it was all for the oil - why the press couldn’t read the PNAC papers, I don’t know), the Dems will take a big hit for attempting to find reasonable solutions to America’s misguided involvement.

    Personally, I’d rather keep the House, the Senate, AND the Whitehouse in Republican control so that the inevitable tax increases, military withdrawal, and negotiations are done by the myopic group who got us into this crap.

    Posted by: LibRick at November 6, 2006 10:11 PM
    Comment #193751
    And I will be able to continue my lifestyle no matter who gets in.

    Really? Even with the outrageous tax increases and influx of terrorists the red column assures us will happen with a Democratic victory on Tuesday?

    If Dems try to punish the president, they will not have time to do much good for themselves or the nation.

    Jack, there are actually a large number of people who can walk and chew gum at the same time. Not this President. But a large number of other people. Frankly, exposing the crap this administration has gotten itself into shouldn’t take much time.

    From a partisan point of view, it would be good. As the Republicans did in the late 1990s, the Dems would spend their power in that way. I almost think Clinton picked the fight. It kept his popularity high.

    Yes, it would be nice to think that a Whitehouse sex scandal is what kept Clinton’s popularity high, not the years of peace and record prosperity. What I mean to say is, it would be nice to think that if you are living in the dream world of the red column.

    Posted by: Burt at November 6, 2006 11:01 PM
    Comment #193761

    I don’t believe for a minute the new Dems will be more conservative. The Clintons were the new Dems of the nineties, remember? Why is it that in order for Dems to get people excited about them, they have to call themselves new? Before the elections of Clinton, G. H. Bush was said to have the worst economy in thirty years. The day after the election Clinton had the best economy in thirty years. If the Dems take the House and Senate, you won’t have to worry about Dems getting tagged by Republicans for everything they do. Everything in Iraq will be miraculously healed and nothing but good stories will begin to flow through the AP, just like in the good old days of Clinton! The American people will then be lulled to sleep by the ignoring of terrorist bombings of our embassies and battleships, just like in the good old days of Clinton, and everyone will be happy and gay once again. That is, until we let down our guard and another 9/11 occurs! Oh well, that’s politics.

    JD

    Posted by: JD at November 6, 2006 11:49 PM
    Comment #193768

    Jack,

    You say you’ve always admired Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy.
    For what did you admire Kennedy? He was not in office long enough to pass any major legislative agendas. I would certainly not consider him a strong Democrat. He was all Hollywood, much like Clinton! Kennedy’s agendas were not passed until LBJ enacted them after his death, with the help of a huge majority caused by an American sympathy vote. Admiration for Kennedy is equivalent to admiration for Lyndon Johnson. Can you really stomach that, considering Vietnam and the massive debts the Johnson era giveaways bestowed upon us for the last fifty years? Johnson himself refused to run for re-election. If you are going to tout hope for the Democratic Party, how many strong Dems have you seen, with any really good ideas, in the last fifty years?

    JD

    Posted by: JD at November 7, 2006 12:39 AM
    Comment #193782

    Regarding Walmart:

    Sam Walton had a great idea. Increase effieciency, lower prices. When Walmart became larger, he negotiated prices from wholesalers down. He made many of his associates rich with stock options.

    Later, Walmart became famous for the use of child labor in China and elswhere, as well as sponging off the US Welfare system to keep it’s wages down. The effiency has been squeezed out of the operation, now it’s just using it’s size to monopolize markets, poor employee compensation, and political tampering to enrich a few executives and stockholders (well not even them, lately).

    There are two Walmarts being discussed here.

    Posted by: gergle at November 7, 2006 8:29 AM
    Comment #193784

    Jack,

    The reason you do not understand why minimum wage is important is that you do work for it, or live in a part of the country that uses it widely.

    Your arrogance is evident. Maybe that explains your party affiliation. I moved to Texas because I could not find livable wages in Ohio years ago.

    Not everyone has that option. While I may think it is irresponsible to have children without a salary that can support them, many factory workers find themselves unemployed with children to feed, and few options available.

    Small business is a great part of our economy, but it shouldn’t be born on the abuse of the poor. If you can’t pay a living wage to employees, perhaps you don’t have a workable business plan, but rather a plan to take advantage of others, sort of like hiring illegal aliens or selling drugs to kids.

    Posted by: gergle at November 7, 2006 8:41 AM
    Comment #193785

    err, that should have been “do not work for it”

    Posted by: gergle at November 7, 2006 8:44 AM
    Comment #193790

    Burt

    The news media and the people watching respond to races and conflict. If the Dems go after President Bush, we will have exactly that. The President has lots of venues for counter attack. The Dems until now have not presented a real target. If they come out and attack him, they will break their cover. It is not really about ideology here. I am merely referring to a successful tactic. Clinton used it well. You may think Bush is stupid, but do not underestimate his team.

    Re lifestyle.

    I believe the Dems will be moderate. If they are liberal, indeed the country will begin to decline. If we have significant tax increases or if the Dems cripple things like the financial and wiretapping programs, we will get more terrorism. It will be a lag time of months of years. I do not think a Dem victory is a good thing, but you mentioned MY lifestyle. I am well insulated from the vicissitudes of fortune. I support Republicans because I think it best for my country, not out for personal profit. Actually, I think that I personally do better under Dems, since they favor the types of skills I have to sell.

    JD

    We do not know what Kennedy would have done had he lived. He might have fallen into the Great Society/Vietnam trap. In fact, I think it likely he would have done just that. But he didn’t. So what we have is the soaring speeches and the promise unfulfilled. We do not get much of that these days. I savor it, even if I know it was an illusion.

    Gergle

    You are arguing against a point I am not making. I am in favor of helping the poor. The minimum wage is not the best way to do it. The earned income and child credit is much better. My program helps the poor and the children you are talking about. Yours helps rich teenagers and maybe even hurts the poor. A fast food place would probably prefer to hire a 20-year-old college student than some poor HS drop out. If you entice the college student into that job, you ace the poor guy out.

    You do not get to be champion of the poor by supporting minimum wages. It is a bogus issue. You are champion of the poor when your policy actually helps them. For this, the income and child credit does the job. Perhaps we should raise it. I think Dems do not like it because it looks like a type of tax cut.

    Posted by: Jack at November 7, 2006 9:09 AM
    Comment #193798

    “You see, if we lose, we win!” What you observe is that the other guys actually serve a diverse constituency (that’s called a “big tent”, something the Repubs claimed but never really had). Say whatever you will, but this change in leadership, should it come to pass, will be a round denunciation of all the Republican nonsense of the last six years. On the other hand, if it doesn’t by some sleight-of-Rove’s-hand, then we will have lost democracy. It truly will be the Democrats against the Anti-democrats.

    Posted by: Mental Wimp at November 7, 2006 10:43 AM
    Comment #193835

    Jack said:

    If we have significant tax increases or if the Dems cripple things like the financial and wiretapping programs, we will get more terrorism.

    Kinda speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

    Jack also said:

    American citizens always have the right to enter the U.S. If they do not have the funds to get back, the USG will even lend them the money to get back to the nearest port of entry.

    There is no mechanism in place that would even make what the article is saying possible.

    Perhaps you’ve forgotten this article from August. US Citizens are already being refused reentry into the US unless they agree to undergo interrogation and a polygraph test.

    Posted by: Jarin at November 7, 2006 3:00 PM
    Comment #193840

    How can Democrats raise taxes when George Bush can veto it?

    Posted by: d.a.n at November 7, 2006 4:07 PM
    Comment #193849

    Jarin

    With all due respect, you are out of your depth re citizenship law. This is the form you use for repatriation. That is the mechanism. Just because you do not know about it, does not mean it is not possible.

    Re not being let in, I mentioned above the possible case of fraudulent naturization. It sounds like your Pakistani example might be just that. It is nearly impossible for an American citizen to lose his citizenship involuntarily.

    And yes, what I wrote does speak for itself.

    Posted by: Jack at November 7, 2006 5:20 PM
    Comment #193858

    Jack,

    your concern about the poor remains, as always, false. Is the earned income tax credit a wash with the minimum wage increase?

    I don’t think so, but that is not the real issue.

    The real issue is that the current earned income tax credit (and child care tax credit) replaced:

    -continued support for Head Start,
    -most federal child care assistance,
    -most federal heating and housing assistance, -led to cuts in Social Security benefits for children of working parents who die or are disabled.

    Net effect of the above - working families with children lost $5 in aid and were given $0.70 in tax credits in their place - all thanks to this administration and the rubber stamp congress you don’t want to bicker about.

    Here is what is ASTOUNDING about all of this:

    It’s that you, Jack, with unfailing glibness, continue to argue and post as if there is anyone left among the working poor who trust Republicans to help them.

    Stop drinking the Kool Aid, Jack. Only right wing pundits and their sycophants believe ANYTHING Republicans say when discussing the middle class or the poor.

    Don’t believe me?

    Read the paper tomorrow.

    NEVER have you posted in favor of bipartisanship, except now, when defeat is but hours away.

    I am shocked you are not embarrassed.

    Posted by: CPAdams at November 7, 2006 6:36 PM
    Comment #193861

    CPAdams

    Here are three just quick off the mark.
    To the supporters of Bush/Kerry
    Democrats Go Home
    A Great Statesman

    I am partisan. That is why I write on this side, but I really doubt you will be able to find anybody on the blue side more fair and balanced than I am toward the other party.

    Besides, even in the worst case Republican scenario, we are pretty much talking about a loss that is well in line with what usually happens to the president’s party a six years.

    If you win as much as I think you will, you will STILL not be as far ahead as the Republicans have been for the last six years.

    I do not feel embarrassed. Do you?

    You probably have a point about the poor, but not all of them. I am sure those who are going to stay poor favor Dems. I suspect those with more ambition lean Republican. I did when I was poor and that is one reason I am poor no longer.

    Posted by: Jack at November 7, 2006 7:06 PM
    Comment #193863
    Jarin

    With all due respect, you are out of your depth re citizenship law. This is the form you use for repatriation. That is the mechanism. Just because you do not know about it, does not mean it is not possible.

    Jack, with all due respect you appear out of your depth in this debate. You point to the existence of a document applying for a loan and repatriation as “proof” that there is no way deny a US citizen entry to the country, in the face of actual evidence that US citizens HAVE been denied entry? The document does not prove that. In fact, the existence of an application requiring approval suggests that applicants can be denied. You claim that the only reason for denying this application would be because of fraudulent naturalization, but you fail to provide any sources in support of this. The existence of the document itself is supposed to be proof enough of your claims. It is not. The fact of the matter is that there are mechanisms in place for keeping US citizens out of the country. They have been used. In the Ismail case, they were exiled for fully half a year. It could easily have been longer.

    Re not being let in, I mentioned above the possible case of fraudulent naturization. It sounds like your Pakistani example might be just that. It is nearly impossible for an American citizen to lose his citizenship involuntarily.

    Jack, one of the two men being denied entry to the country was born here, and neither of the men’s citizenship was being questioned. What was being demanded by the FBI was the opportunity to interrogate and polygraph them in Pakistan, because Jaber Ismail (a US-born citizen) was one of several people named by his cousin, Hayat, during the FBI interrogation that led to Hayat’s arrest. In Hayat’s own words, from the SFGate article used as a source in the article I linked to:

    When agents asked him who else had gone to training camps, Hayat said, “I can’t say 100 percent, but I have a lot of, you know, names in my head,” according to a transcript of the interview.

    Hayat said Jaber Ismail “went, like, two years ago.” Asked if his cousin had gone to the same camp he had attended, Hayat said, “I’m not sure, but I’ll say he went to a camp.”

    Hayat later said that Ismail and another relative “didn’t talk to me about going to camps or anything. But you know I’m sure they went to the camp … ‘cause they memorize the Holy Quran.”

    Moreover, once this case became public knowledge and the ACLU became involved, the Department of Homeland Security gave in and allowed these men to come home. You will likely suggest that the fact these men were allowed to come home indicates you are correct and that no mechanism exists to deny US citizens entrance, that it was a mere error that has now been corrected. But the facts of the case suggest that US citizens presently stand at the mercy of the FBI and DHS when they wish to return to this nation. The Ismails got lucky, they were allowed back after only six months in exile. But they were allowed in only at the discretion of the DHS. And the next person to lose their citizenship rights may not be so lucky.

    Posted by: Jarin at November 7, 2006 7:13 PM
    Comment #194205

    Jack, I keep hearing that raising minimum wages will entice college kids rather than the old and poor. Huh?

    Young college kids have youth on the old and both are generally poor. I wasn’t rich in college. The rich kids didn’t have real jobs, like I did. I worked for minimum wage then. The wealthy kids worked in family businesses or got cushy jobs through family connections. My nephew and neice have only getting grades as their jobs. I worked because I had to. If I hire college kids, it’s because I want youth, or someone expendable. My job will only pay what will make me a profit and lure the staff I desire. What class he’s from doesn’t enter into it.

    Minimum wage is simply a common agreement on what is abusive employment, Jack. You know, slave labor. Maybe if you set up a company store and pay in script you can hire all the poor. I think we’ve moved past the 19th century.

    I have yet to see one job lost by raising the minimum wage. Do you have evidence of this? If Virginia is paying $7-8 for menial jobs, then why would you think raising the mininumum wage would effect anything in that market?

    You keep barking idealogy, how about some common sense?

    Posted by: gergle at November 9, 2006 12:55 AM
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