# News The next president will probably be at least as bad as Bush (believe it or not)

1. Nov 8, 2007

### fourier jr

I honestly don't know why people even bother to talk about Democrats & Republicans, as if there's really a difference. It's a very sad & hopeless situation for the US, no doubt about it, especially because Americans are in denial about it. Giuliani says stuff in here that you'd expect to hear from a "typical American right-winger" but the Democrats, who are supposed to be the opposition, almost outdo him.

http://www.macleans.ca/world/usa/article.jsp?content=200701031_16428_16428 [Broken]

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2. Nov 9, 2007

### ShawnD

True, but this isn't really news. When is the last time the US had a candidate you could really agree with and say "this guy reflects everything I believe". There's probably a guy like that from each party, but they lose the election for leadership of that party, which funnels the vote down to 2 retards that nobody wants.

The only candidate this time around that I saw any real support for was Ron Paul, but the people supporting him are so small that the numbers fall within the margin of error. Everybody else is trying to vote for the person most likely to win (Hillary), so you end up with somebody likely to win who was really your second or third choice overall.

3. Nov 9, 2007

### fourier jr

no wonder....

http://exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=13684

4. Nov 9, 2007

### Economist

Yep, politicians suck in general.

5. Nov 9, 2007

### wildman

The next president doesn't have a chance. Bush has made a huge mess and it will be impossible for any of the intellectual midgets running today to clean it up. Things will probably just get worse whether a Democrat or Republican wins

6. Nov 10, 2007

### ShawnD

"Just as the Market should be left to decide the cost of wheat, so should the Market decide best how to rid the world of all this ethnic cleansing."

Why does Ron Paul capitalize the word Market all the time? It's kinda creepy, like when fanatic christians capitalize Him and His. It mUst Be fuN T rAndOmLy CAPitAlIZe sTUFf.

7. Nov 10, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

That's the beauty of the American system. It is the worst except for all the others. People expend such enormous emotional energy over things that in the long run are relatively trivial. What do most Americans really have to complain about right now? Their low unemployment rate? Their high incomes? Their freedom?

American "hopelessness" is a position few countries in the world have been able to achieve, but most aspire to.

8. Nov 10, 2007

### ShawnD

Lack of democracy for starters. The president is elected based on electoral votes rather than votes cast by the citizens. A guy who wins 51% of votes can still theoretically lose the election (this has happened 4 times in US history).
edit: Refer to this diagram to see how this works.

edit: Canada has a similar fake-democracy, but ours is called "http://www.canadian-politics.com/elections/elections_fptp.shtml [Broken]"

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9. Nov 10, 2007

### BobG

Yet, this is in spite of the US being more democratic than when the Constitution was first appoved. Originally, voters didn't even vote directly for Senators - the state legislatures picked them.

There was a fear that the common citizen might be a bit too common and lack the education and judgement to be given too much power in politics. That might be a bit harsh, but transitioning from completely uneducated to a truly educated voting public has to bridge that dangerous half-educated region where voters have just enough knowledge to make dangerous (and sometimes bizarre) decisions.

What qualifications did people like Jesse Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenagger, and Clint Eastwood have for public office? (At least Fred Thompson had a career in politics before he went into acting, even if most of his support is probably because voters confuse Fred Thompson with the character he plays on TV).

I sometimes wonder how any government governing any population larger than a small city can function (and sometimes wonder about city government as well).

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10. Nov 10, 2007

### fourier jr

That's the denial I referred to. The US economy is in shambles, at least if a recent economic update by Canada's Ministry of Finance is anything to go by. That's one reason Canada is making a huge effort to do business with other Pacific-Rim countries & Canada's international trade minister is leading a trade mission to the Middle East soon also. Like Noam Chomsky has said, the Bush government has even managed to alienate Canada, which is one of their most truly impressive "acheivements."

11. Nov 10, 2007

### turbo

The "high incomes" and "low unemployment rate" presently being "enjoyed" by the US citizenry is a fiction. When people have been unemployed for so long that they are no longer eligible to apply for unemployment benefits, they are dropped from the tally. They are still unemployed, (or under-employed if they can manage to pick up some seasonal or part-time work to keep their noses above water), but they are no longer counted as unemployed. Unemployment here in Maine is very high - much higher than the official figures. The high price of gasoline and the poor snowfall the last few years has killed our winter tourism, and has hobbled summer tourism, as well. People who switch-hit from running chair lifts in the winter to guiding rafting trips in the summer, and acting as fishing/hunting guides in the fall and cutting firewood in the spring are self-employed in the off-seasons and rarely work for one employer long enough in any year to qualify for unemployment benefits. Their employers can often keep their weekly hours under 40 hours/wk, so even if they work enough weeks, they are considered part-time employees and cannot qualify for unemployment.

As for high wages, wages in this state are stagnant and are rapidly being eroded by rising prices for gas, diesel, heating oil, clothing, durable goods, and food. Except for food (much of which is exempt from sales tax), every increase in prices means that the taxes increase, as well, since they are charged as a percent of the value of the product purchased. Since we don't have universal health care coverage, service industries like Wal-Mart are sucking off us taxpayers by exposing our health-care providers to the uninsured, forcing the cost of their care onto us.

12. Nov 11, 2007

### ShawnD

turbo, where you at? Most recent data I can find is on this page:
http://www.maine.gov/spo/economics/economics/medianinc.php

Highest town is "Dennistown plantation" at $85,889 median. Lowest is "Houlton Maliseet Trust Land" at$13,036.
Augusta (the capital) is $29,921. Seems like Maine might be one of the have-not states since the overall USA median is http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html [Broken] Don't feel too bad. It's probably true in most countries, that the bulk of the money is made in a relatively small area. Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017 13. Nov 11, 2007 ### Gokul43201 Staff Emeritus As far as incomes go, there has been no real improvement over the last 7 years. Median income levels of the bottom 3 quintiles are lower today than (and have been lower every year since) 2000 (inflation adjusted). The median income of the 4th quintile has been stagnant, while that of the highest quintile has gone up by a couple or so points. 14. Nov 11, 2007 ### turbo I'm in Solon, ME -$27,266. Maine is very rural and spread-out, with no public transportation outside a couple of the cities, so driving is a must. We also have a long, cold heating season compared to the rest of the country, and we cannot easily escape these costs so Bush's friends are plunging many families into hard times with these rising energy costs.

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15. Nov 11, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

That's a component of our Constitution that exists for a specific and correct reason. And people tend to complain about it mostly when the candidate they voted for loses because of it.

No. That's not a "lack of democracy" and it isn't something bad about the US.

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16. Nov 11, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

Could you link the report (or at least provide some data that supports your point) instead of just making a baseless claim? You are aware of the unemployment rate and economic growth numbers for the US, right?

17. Nov 11, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

Two things:

1. Those people do, of course, affect household income numbers, so your reasoning is wrong on income.
2. That aspect of the unemployment statistic is nothing new and the unemployment rate cyclical curve looks no different today than it has in the past, so you would need to provide some good evidence to support your assertion that unemployment is worse now than it has been in the past.

18. Nov 11, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

"No real improvement over the last 7 years" is basically true but misleading considering that there is an economic cycle and you aren't covering an entire one. You picked the previous peak to compare to the current position (not yet at the next peak). It is, however, true that the down par of the current cycle went longer than the previous.

A year ago in that other bash-the-US's-economy thread, I correctly predicted that the 2006 income numbers would show an across the board improvement despite howls of protest from the pessimists, liberals, foreigners, et al. It isn't rocket science. Economic growth was high and unemployment low. So unless the bottom drops out of the economy in the next month, we are almost certain to see another year (this year, I mean) of income growth in the stats that unfortunately won't come out until next August. Unemployment ticked-up slightly, but is still low and economic growth was good.

There is a caveat to all this, of course, and that is the the big drop in incomes and jump in unemployment in the last recession ("big" is relative - this ain't France even in the worst of times) came after an unusually large and overblown economic boom. The slow recovery in both incomes and the stock market is a result of that. But the lack of a big recession in 2000-2002, when there really should have been one, is a testament to the fundamental strength of the economy. That's the reason I don't think a recession is likely when the economy invitably does slow down sometime in the next few years.

Last edited: Nov 11, 2007
19. Nov 11, 2007

### fourier jr

it's worth mentioning that the current Conservative government is usually called "right wing" & "US-friendly":
http://www.fin.gc.ca/ec2007/ec/ecc1e.html [Broken]

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20. Nov 11, 2007

### turbo

Mainers' incomes are often marginal, and rely on cobbling together seasonal and/or part-time jobs with work-at-home crafting, etc, off-season firewood businesses, and day-laboring on short notice (often for cash). As I pointed out in previous posts, the upsurge in petroleum-based energy products is hitting our state very hard, and this winter could be a nail-biter for lots of low-income families. It will also be a depressing season for those of us who have to pay for the social services to keep these families fed and "reasonably" warm this winter. With the explosion of big-box stores in this state and the resultant explosion of young families running to these low-wage jobs with no health/investment benefits, the economic tide in Maine's towns is turning against the older home-owners. The new families are renting trailers and have to buy kerosene instead of #2 fuel oil that gels in our winter temps, and they have lots of kids clogging our school systems, which are almost entirely supported by property taxes. Older folks on relatively fixed incomes who see their municipal property taxes and state taxes go up year after year to provide subsidies to Wal-Mart and their ilk are being harmed.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071111/ap_on_bi_ge/heating_oil;_ylt=Al58z9qjoLq_KoO3EYwfsmCs0NUE [Broken]

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