Who are you going to vote for President? My father tends to vote according to his wallet. My mother veers toward the religious issues, abortion rights chief among them.
It seems that your Presidential vote in November 2008 will be influenced by your personal agenda and then perhaps by your social standing. In other words, if you’re wealthy or a business owner, you may vote according to taxation ideology. If you’re Hispanic, African American or a woman, you may vote according to health insurance or taxation ideology. If you’re vote is influenced by religion, you may vote according to tenets outlined in your particular religious constitution, i.e., Bible, Koran, Torah, etc: chiefly abortion rights and same sex partnerships.
When Ronald Reagan, our 41st U.S. President who served from 1981 – 1989, ran for re-election, he asked if we were better off than we were 4 years earlier. In other words, did we have more money? Were we making more money? Did we have a good or better job? Did we feel good about our country? The populace seemed to get the point, agreed that they were better off, and elected him to a 2nd term overwhelming over Walter Mondale. I’m not a Reagan apologist. Many things did not go as planned. What I liked about him was that he had charisma, made us feel really good about being Americans, was able to criticize without extracting pounds of flesh (Berlin Wall speech comes to mind). Supply side economics (aka trickle down economics) didn’t work out the way he planned but his plan was new and revolutionary. Many benefited from his economic policies. Many didn’t. But, he tried. He believed in being a good person to his spouse, to his friends, to his colleagues in power. He was decent. He believed in wealth, did not punish those for being rich and tried to legislate a trickle down effect where millions of others could get rich also.
I am neither a conservative nor liberal. I believe in some ideologies promoted by both Republicans and Democrats. I also disagree with some ideologies promoted by both Parties.
- I am a business owner.
- I believe in helping people.
- I don’t believe in Imperialism.
- I do believe in maintaining a prepared self-defense system, i.e., military.
- I believe, from experience, that we need health insurance reform but think it’s necessary that it not be taken over by the State.
- I don’t think there should be a wide divide between rich and poor, at least between those that are rich and those that want to be rich. To those that want a monthly paycheck without working for it, well, I don’t want to pay for you.
- However, if you want to work but can’t, we’ll find a way to take care of you.
- If you’re a veteran and are handicapped mentally, physically or emotionally, my country should support you, reward you and thank you.
- I believe that smoking is not healthy but it doesn’t mean I advocate going into Tobacco Road in South Carolina and immediately eliminating 1,000’s of farming, infrastructure, and managerial jobs as well as family structures. Let’s create a plan to grow something else or retrain the affected population so that they can continue to work and live a meaningful, contributory life.
- I don’t believe in building walls to prevent people from entering our country especially after the symbol of our country in the 80’s – Reagan – sat atop the Berlin Wall and raged against that “communist symbol”.
- I also believe that emigration to the United States is a privilege and a right. Hispanics must promote, nurture and preserve their culture – continue to speak Spanish – but they must also learn to speak English like the Italian immigrants did in 1880-1920 when millions of them entered the United States to escape injustices, poverty and disease in Italy. Same should be said of Asians, Filipinos, Russians – all ethnic groups emigrating to the U.S. Preserve your traditions but help build a unified America. Sure, monitor emigration. Repel those that seek to hurt America. But, make a plan for those that can and want to contribute. Retrain immigrants like you would retrain workers on Tobacco Road.
- How about the War in Iraq? Not sure I was a proponent of the war in Iraq. But since we’re in there, why would we leave a political vacuum and potential unrest in a region uniformly known for 1,000’s of years of turmoil and unrest? Don’t you think that Obama or Clinton would immediately gain the advice of their military chiefs and, after say, 10 minutes, decide that we had to stay in after all? I’m not opponents of Clinton or Obama – I just don’t trust them on this issue. Obama could be naïve; Clinton’s been there. She knows better.
- And my last point: why must every Democrat seek to punish the rich? What is wrong with getting rich, being rich and staying rich? There are bad rich people and there are bad poor people. Sure, there are company executives that steal and cheat. There are still those executives that do everything legally yet everything immorally – accepting huge stock payoffs while 2,000 employees are laid off. Wrong message to send. But, what? We’re going to legislate against it? The media pick up on it and skewer these people anyway. They really don’t ever get away with it and they represent such a minor percentage of wealthy people anyway. Millions of people that are rich today didn’t begin life as wealthy people. However, they did see an America that allowed them to get rich. So, why should someone that risks everything, works tirelessly for 18 hours a day, pays taxes and employs people be punished because someday that risk pays off in the form of a lot of money? The stock market is famous for promoting the phrase “high risk, high reward”. If you risk your time and energy, social relationships, deferment of a home so you can pay an employee’s salary and oil bills, why would you not deserve to be wealthy? Do you know why Michael Jordan made $30 million in the last year of his contract with the Chicago Bulls? Because he made his owner 10x (guess) that amount throughout his playing days. Heck, his visits to the arenas of opponents were typically sold out events – how much money did he make for them? How much did he make for the entire NBA during his playing tenure? The $30m was a thank you note for all that he had done. He deserved it.
Do you know what millions of people with money do – including the rich, wealthy and upper middle class? They own businesses that employ millions of people. When interest rates are stable (and low enough) they build real estate, they add onto their plants, they buy machinery, they buy office supplies, they entertain at restaurants that employ cooks and waiters, they buy nice cars sold by car salesmen, take their cars to gas stations to buy gas from gas station owners. Their employees buy homes which have to be built by construction companies or financed by bankers or mortgage brokers. Finished raw materials for home construction must be purchased from lumber yards. Their employees get married and have kids. Kids eat a lot so there are many supermarket visits where a lot of fruits and vegetables are purchased. Fruits and vegetables are picked by farmers. Kids go to schools (and daycare) that employ teachers. The point is that there is a trickle down effect here. People make money in our capitalist system because others can afford to SPEND it.
Rich people, or let’s just say people with expendable income, also donate time and money to charities. I’m not naïve: many would not donate if the tax code did not provide incentive but… I’m also not naïve: many still would give to charities despite the tax law. Charities employ administrators who, in turn, designate donations to needy people.
So, again, I ask the question: why must there be advocates of increasing the taxes for rich people? Why not decrease taxes for the rich and middle class? Right, you ask, where’s the money going to come from?
We spend, what, a half billion dollars a day in Iraq? There is money in the budget to address social and financial disadvantage and misfortune. The problem is that the lobbies for the military are stronger than the homeless lobby. We just need, as a country, to get smart about keeping the dream alive for everyone that wants to participate in the dream.
In short, we are only as good as our weakest links: racial divides, class divides, laziness, obesity, imperialism, know-it-all-ism, homelessness, intolerance et al. Let’s get with it
So, who will you vote for? I’m thinking McClintama!