Monday, November 10, 2008

Oh Yeah, The Election

I haven't felt like writing much lately and have been pretty busy so it's been a while since I posted. Sorry for being boring.

Here's my synopsis of the presidential election. The majority of voters decided to vote against a washed-up 'moderate' old fart who swung to the right to appease his party base and was successfully portrayed as George Bush the third (if you're keeping count) and in favor of an admitted Socialist so that they could get their greedy hands in the grab bag of government that was promised to them. Those voters wanted free healthcare, money stolen from the rich and corporations, and an immediate end to the Iraq war so genocide can take place there, among other things.

Now look, don't take the word 'Socialist' as an insult, those of you who voted for him. That's not a dirty word as far as I'm concerned. It's a neutral description of the philosophy of a centrally-controlled economy and with the goal being redistribution of wealth. In several instances Obama, the big winner, said he believed in those ideals. I don't hold that against anyone, it's a legitimate belief, just one that I think is horribly flawed and illogical. But class warfare rhetoric sells socialism pretty well to casual TV watchers ignorant of both history and economics.

Hey, that's fine, give the other guys a shot a running the show. Bush certainly had his disappointments to me. It's not the end of the world and there will be another election in 4 years. Here's what I think will happen between now and then.

The Big Bail-Out Culture that has been created as the result of Carter-era (big-D) Democratic ideas which created a market for mortgages for people who can't pay for them, will continue to grow. Right now the automakers are getting $25b and are asking for another $50b. AIG, the insurance company, is now on the hook for $150b. This doesn't even get to the $750b in the main bail-out legistlation that passed a little while back that puts the government in the banking and mortgage business. So we're already at at least $1 trillion and we will continue to see more and more demands from industries far and wide. Whoever has made the most contributions to congress will continue to win. The numerous special powers given to the Treasury Secretary will not expire in 2009 as the law was written. That's a power grab that's never going to be returned to the people.

In the meantime, Obama and Congress will let the Bush and Reagan tax cuts expire in 2009 and 2010, triggering the largest income tax increase in our history. This idea will be sold as the rich finally paying their share. This is despite the fact that the top 50% of income earners in this country have paid 90-some% of the income tax for a long time. The majority of voters will essentially be voting to take money from the minority.

This tactic will provide more revenue to the Federal government for a year or two, then revenue will drop from the stifling effect of the tax burden on our economy. Capital gains and corporate taxes will also go up and the same class warfare will be used to sell this idea. Despite the fact that most Americans have stocks in their retirement funds, buy goods from corporations, and are employed by corporations they will happily vote themselves into slow or no growth in those 401ks, higher priced goods, and a higher unemployment rate than we currently have. But they sure will be sticking it to the evil rich people and the corporations. Towards the end of Obama's term those voters will be wondering why GDP has been flat or receding for so many years despite all this government spending.

While they're in there, the strong Democratic majority will attempt to implement some form of government supplied healthcare or insurance, ignoring the many problems with the V.A. hospital system and the shortage of beds and doctors in Canada with their system, which largely survives because our imperfect but still world-class system is available right across the border. A lot of doctors will retire rather than deal with the huge beauracracy. Many worthy students won't bother going to medical school. This will be because the government will control how much those doctors' services are worth and it will be necessarily low if history is any indicator. In the meantime those doctor's liabilities will continue to increase, raising the cost of malpractice insurance. The combination of these factors will mean it's not worth it to rack up a those 6-figure school loans for a decade and a half of hard studying.

I could go into the Iraq war but this is already getting long enough. I would hope that Obama's administration would learn from the first time we left Iraq when tens or hundreds of thousands of Shittes and Kurds were killed. If not then the 5k soldiers lives lost so far will be in vain and another dictatorship will pop up. Syrian and Iranian Ba'athists will continue to pour across the border. Iran's supreme leader will thank us for the gift.

So really, I think we're looking at Carter Part Two in 4 years and the Republicans need to nominate an actual conservative who can enthusiastically contrast their ideals. Enough of the voters will tire of a failing economy and probably multiple international bungles and the pendulum will swing fiercely to the other side where Reagan II will take over. For some, it will be the first time that message has been heard, which tells you something.

To my leftists buddies, don't take this as some attempt to get in your face an argue. I'm not about that. That tactic doesn't convince anyone of anything anytime. That's not what this is. It's just a blogger's take on what we're in for. Congratulations on your guy getting the job. Have fun with it. If I'm wrong 4 years from now you let me know.


Matt said...

remember, "nothing is as permanent as a temporary government program."

can't remember where i read it, but thought it was especially poignant.

Melanie-Pearl said...

isn't it horrible to hope against your own heart that you voted wrong and that millions of Americans were right?

even if our ideas about big gov't are proved to be true, thanks for pointing out that there's still hope.

Anonymous said...

"...redistribution of wealth" ..."it's a legitimate belief, just one that I think is horribly flawed and illogical."

Interesting. I thought Jesus Christ talked about redistribution of wealth (as well as relocation and reconciliation) on a pretty regular basis in the bible and that the church as described in Acts 2 could also be described as "socialistic" in the purest form. Would you continue to hold to the belief that Christ & the Church are horribly flawed and illogical?

Heather said...

A few things:

1. Socialism is not about the redistribution of wealth, stealing from the rich, over absorbtion of others problems, etc. An aspect of Socialism advocated for it, but nothing is black and white, and all of us Democratic Socialists out here realize this. Please read MODERN Socialist Phiolsophy before presenting something as fact, when you do not have an accurate understanding of the current idealogical perception and movement. It is not the early 20th century anymore...we have modernized and so have our ideas and beliefs.
For that matter, Barack Obama is NOT a socialist...I only wish he were, but he is so much more economically conservative than I am, and I am an outright Democratic Socialist. In fact, Hillary Clinton was much more "socialist" than he is, and no one said anything about her.

Aside from that, Socialism should not be thrown around like a dirty and horrible thing. If it were not for the Socialist movement we would not have things like a 40 hour work week, child labor laws, overtime protection, equal and fair pay, employee benefits, decent working conditions, etc. If you want to see what capitalism could do in a place without a little bit of human conscience, and a fighting working class, look at the US "territories" where we have our local Sweatshops, where all of the "Made in the USA" stuff is produced.

2. You say:
"But class warfare rhetoric sells socialism pretty well to casual TV watchers ignorant of both history and economics."

Thanks for condecending all of us who fight for your rights every day. No matter, I still believe in your right to fair pay, etc. But I would like to reiterate that those of us who believe in Socialism do so because it is just...and we have spent hours, days, weeks, and even years studying economics and politics. Being something no one else is is not a fun choiice, but it's one I strongly believe in.

3. The Bush tax cuts will not expire. That is on the record. If they do go back on their word well, then I am sorry...but at least Obama won't take away all of our rights with additional restrictions as Bush & Co. decided to with the Patriot Act(s).

4. I had been without health insurance for, um...we'll lets put it this way, out of the 28 years I have been alive, I have had health insurance for 3 years intermittantly. Also, I am a Type 1 diabetic...that's the auto-immune disorder folks, not the crappy eating habits kind. I have had it since a child. I could go on about this subject for some time, but I'll do it in my own blog. The Healthcare point is this: Many of us have life threatening diseases. I HAVE TO TAKE INSULIN OR I WILL DIE. Many times in the past I had to lobby friends or employers for a loan to buy my medicine so that I could live. I am not the only one doing this, and you forget that the Pharm Co's are robbing the healthcare consumers of health and money. If you are to read his original proposal, and the ones amended by the Hillary factor, you will notice that the program Obama has in mind IS NOT Socialized Medicine. He knows better & we know better.
Don't get me started on the VA, thats a whole different subject all together.

5. I am not arguing. This stuff is true.
Thanks to one of your friends for sending me a link to your blog, you actually have the most well thought out argument on the subject I've seen thus far...but it's just not that accurate.

GreenMonkey said...

What I find most fascinating is that Republicans insist that the current economic crisis is due to Carter's affordable housing policy, completely ignoring the fact that while it is true that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made a significant amount of loans to people who could not afford them, the vast majority of these "subprime" mortgages were given out by companies who were not covered by the affordable housing act.

I would instead argue that what we are seeing in terms of this economic collapse is largely due to Reagan's "trickle down economics" theory, which even Bush Sr. referred to as "voodoo economics." The past four presidents (including Clinton) implemented policies that acted to consolidate wealth in the hands of a very small percentage of people. None of that has trickled down.

As a result, we have people with less fluid income, less benefits, pretty much less of everything, who, as a result, are borrowing more and are going into debt more. People don't stop getting sick just because they are poor. If their car breaks down, they still need another one (since public transit is not an option in most cities). And, yes, people raising families generally want to be in a home in order to do it.

I don't, frankly, see why any Republican would have supported McCain, and I don't see how any Republican could have anything good to say about this Bush presidency. Matt there said "nothing is as permanent as a temporary government program." Well, thanks to this administration, we have the Patriot Act, and we also have the largest SOCIALIST bail-out of private corporations in United States history.

So much for private enterprise, letting people rise and fall by their own actions, being against welfare, and putting our faith in capitalism. I guess those principles only apply to individual human suffering, not to corporations.