Monday, October 13, 2008

Voting Choices

I posted recently about some of my views in this election season. I had lamented the seeming hatred of all things Republican and Palin. As one registered as such, I am sure that I’m not Persona Non Grata in the ‘sphere…I hope, that is. I’ll state a couple of personal facts here, with my point to be made after these:
1) Patti and I are close to broke. We are both working part-time jobs, and not by choice. That’s the way things go, and I assess no blame.
2) I am disabled, with MD, and use a power wheelchair for ambulation. Again, this is the way things are. So no complaints (well….not most of the time!).
I state these facts not for sympathy or empathy, but to make an observation: If I hadn’t noted how I’m voting for President, would I be considered a very likely voter for the Democratic candidate? Among many disabled voters (and social services people ) I know, I would be considered to be enigmatic by not doing so.
And of course, race is not the reason. Like most other disabled persons, discrimination exists, especially in the areas of employment and insurance availability. I feel that society tends to devalue / marginalize certain groups. I do not know racial discrimination, yet I do feel discrimination... My reasons for my vote are mostly economic. Of course, classical economics is the study of behavior, and I have fears of complete control of the Democratic party (and I’m assuming the loss of a GOP filibuster in the senate here). I’ll give three reasons here:
- With a serious recession, raising taxes will be a problem as this additional money will be taken from the economy as a whole, which will magnify the contraction in the economy. Remember, it was not the stock crash in 1929 that created the Great Depression, in part it was Hoover’s massive tax increases in 1932 and the Smoot-Hawley tariffs in 1930 that turned the recession into a depression.
- If the ‘card-check’ for union representation is made law (remember, no Senate filibuster here) new jobs will never be created in great numbers! This will be so as unionized labor costs will rise so much that employers will not hire absolutely more workers than needed. An example is in countries like Germany and France. The costs of hiring is so great (6 weeks vacation, unemployment benefits of 75% of pay for 2 years, etc), they don’t hire extra workers. Their structural unemployment is around 10%. I’d hate to see that rate in the US.
- I hate the argument for “fairness”, as If all his hopes for spending is realized here, it is perfectly clear that the middle class will have higher taxes in the end, as there is not enough revenue available by ‘the rich’ to pay for it all.
I want a great economic future for our kids, but I believe that opportunities for them may be diminished by what I have noted. I’d like to engage in more discussion with any thoughtful blogger. Should I reconsider voting differently? And if so, why? I like people to have a passion for their own points of view. And I certainly don’t mind if someone disagrees with me. I think the democrats will win this year, although I’d rather be proven wrong...


Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

oh my gosh ralph, you make so much sense here. i have a friend in west palm beach that is disabled, no matter that he was a heroin addict that caused his strokes, but nonetheless he had them, and he says if it were not for the republicans he never would have gotten his disability. the democrats talked the game but never did a thing. i'll send sarge over when he gets out of the shower.

keep your chin up. i have hopes that at the last minute they will come to their senses and do the right thing...

smiles, bee

Ralph said...

Thank you, Bee.

Sarge Charlie said...

I do not know how I can improve on what you said. You are dead on spot with your analysis of the situation. I fear a veto proof Senate is going to be a reality. The speaker is nearly as far to the left as Obama, with him as president we are in for 4 years of tax and spend probably driving to another great depression. Any new taxes in time of recession will deepen the effect.
I am also disabled, fortunately through the VA which provides some income. The fellow Miss Bee was talking about is also a Ralph, we are good friends. Hang tough my friend, you sound like you have got it together.

Ralph said...

Thanks Sarge! I don't want to hear negatives about my choices if they won't give plausible reasons for their choices. We ought to agree: believe in your candidates but don't put down my choices. I can give reasons why I will I vote as I do. How about the haters?

I appreciate your comment. Well put!

Leora said...

I wish McCain were better at economics, but on the other hand, the scenario you paint, with the current Democrats at the helm, is far worse.

Another point: if taxes are raised on businesses, businesses pass that tax unto the customer. They can hire fewer people. The people they do have must work much harder, too much. In other words, it just doesn't work.

I wish people like yourself could get the help you need, but I fear giving the government more control.
Perhaps more private charity is an answer, I don't know.

Linda said...

I will be the first one to admit that I don't know that much about politics nor do I enjoy talking politics if it can be avoided as people just seem to get so mule-headed about the whole thing it's ridiculous. I don't think there's much else that can cause the flare-ups of anger like politics and negative politics is what we have been dealing with now for way, way too long.

I wish that people would wake up to th fact that ONE man in an office (the President) has little to no power without having Congress and the Senate behind him to back him up. There is a series of checks and balances in place that keeps one person from having too much power so both Obama and McCain can talk until the cows come home about what they're going to do to change this country and it won't mean a darned thing unless they have the backing of our other elected officials who are the ones to blame for getting us into this mess - not just the actions of one lone George W. Bush.

It's so easy for people to forget that our current economic problems started during the Clinton Administration and blame it all on the guy currently in office because you've got to blame someone, right? this particular ball started rolling a very, very long time ago and no matter who gets in office, it isn't going to start rolling the other way for a very long time now.

The big question is - who is the best candidate to not only stop the rolling but to point the ball back in the right direction? Personally I don't think I'm seeing one this election and that's what makes it even more frustrating to have had to listen to the hate and discontent of the past several years.

Thank you, Ralph, for stating your position in an adult, intelligent manner and for inviting intelligent and civilized debate to counter your position.

Maybe if we could all learn how to communicate like mature adults this country would be in a much better position than it is now.

the teach said...

Ralph, I'm sorry to say this but have you (and Sarge and Bee) forgotten the last 8 years of the spending frenzy of George W. Bush? Have you forgotten the surplus at the end of the Clinton administration? There will be nothing for domestic spending (i.e. services for disabled persons) now or in the future if John McCain gets his way. You know Bush ran as a compassionate Conservative and he's been nothing but non-compassionate. With the Democrats in the White House I hope we'll get out of the war in Iraq (the outlandish spending for which the economy is going down the tubes)and make sure there is unemployment pay and health care and monies for people who are struggling. You will never have to pay tax increases. You and Patti are not the people who will have your taxes raised. But people with money, real money, will have their taxes raised so the government can help people who need it. Such is the mark of a real civilization. We don't want to let anyone suffer. All of us take care of all of us!

the teach said...

I hope things will be better under Obama! That there will more jobs so you and Patti can take care of yourselves and your children. The 90s were a boom time and we'll have good economic times again. I believe that!

Jim said...

Back again, Ralph. I agree with your last line. The rest? I am undecided but will probably vote green again this year.

A single vote doesn't count in Texas as we are a solid red state. (The carpet baggers finally won out when G.H.W.B. came to Texas and politicked.)

Lynn said...

I couldn't have said it any better:)

Carletta said...

I'm enjoying reading the comments and will come back to see where it keeps going.

the teach said...

Ralph, here is a link that I think you might find interesting: Krugman wins Nobel in Economics I heard him talk this morning on Squawkbox...

Gattina said...

You can't compare social laws of France and Germany to the non existing in the States ! Vacation (not 6 weeks but 4, only for public employes 6 and not all of them either) and unemployment is not 10 %. Everybody pays taxes on his salary to get payed vacation and also get payed when one loose his job. Included is also legal health insurance. So of your gross salary there is at least 30 % - 40 % taken off or even more ! It depends on the countries. (In Belgium up to 50 % taxes !) We have good to very good social laws but we also pay for it ! Nothing is free in life and no government can perform miracles !

Dianne said...

I have known about discrimination most of my life Ralph - first as the son of a black child in the 70s. I am sad to say that the current state of discourse in this country feels much like a giant leap back to those days. And I blame much of that on McCain - Palin really but I am sure she says nothing without his blessing. She riles up crowds with her folksy innuendo and winking and eye rolling. I believe McCain was shocked at how vehement the crowds were becoming and tried (too little/too late) to reign it back in. I'm sick of having to preface any criticism of McCain with stating my respect for his service. I dedicate a huge amount of my time to "my VFW buddies" :) and resent having my patriotism questioned by the Republican party. I once respected McCain for more than his service - I can't any longer.

My most recent touch with hardship and discrimination is similar to yours. Given my current disability I am seeing first hand how invisible disabled and elderly folks are. My business has dropped off significantly and I have almost always worked a 2nd PT job. If I show up limping with a cane I immediately see their faces change.

I was absolutely in better shape years ago when Clinton was in charge. I am also in better shape because I live in a state run by Dems. I believe that and always will.

I try very hard to be fair BUT my feelings about the Republican party as a whole are entirely negative. With the exception of a few none of them spoke out as Bush destroyed this country. And even fewer speak out now as McCain puts us all in danger by choosing Palin as his VP.

I pray Obama wins and I pray even harder that the fringes of the Republican party and the crazy citizens they enflame do not kill him.

We are very much alike Ralph in terms of our struggles and our family values and our patriotism. What is heartbreaking to me is that your party does not see me as an American they care about or respect.

Peace Ralph.

Raven said...

Hi Ralph,

Sorry to hear about your struggles and your vote. I think you are more apt to get what you really want under an Obama administration. I think whoever takes office following the multiple devastations of the Bush years has a job ahead of him. I think trickle-down economics has proven over and over to be an invalid theory which the poor and the middle class suffer from.

I also think that the whole no taxes ploy is something of a sleight of hand trick. Taxes have a purpose. The Republican model gives huge breaks to those who control most of the wealth and contrary to rumor the rest of us not only don't get trickled down upon, we pay for those cuts at the state and local level and in unpaved roads, bridges and dykes that collapse and a variety of other ways. The cost of those tax breaks is huge. As gattina said - we can't get something for nothing.

I disagree with McCain and I don't like the ugly way in which he has waged his run for the presidency. I used to respect him but I no longer do. I find the idea that someone as educationally and experientially and temperamentally unqualified as Sarah Palin might be in charge at some point terrifying. She may be a charming hockey mom, but her ethics seem to me to be very challenged - from the lie about the bridge to nowhere, to her inflammatory and dishonest hate speech, to her disingenuous response to being found guilty of "unlawful abuse" of her office as Governor. Her choice as a running mate says something to me about Mr. McCain's judgment.

But I'm partisan. I hope I'm being polite. That's my intention. The gift of a free country is that we can disagree and cast our votes as we see fit. (But please change your mind...???... and thank you for posting a thoughtful discussion of why you are voting as you are.)