# What will determine your voting decisions?

The hard part of voting in California are the state propositions. They are almost never what they seem to be from just reading the descriptions in the voter guide. The system was originally started in the Progressive era to inject some direct democracy into the process, but it's just been subverted by big money. Usually I read the party sites -- Democratic, Green, and Republican -- and sometimes the League of Women Voters for their analysis or to see what they are endorsing. The Greens often have the most useful analyses of the propositions (though I never vote Green).

The next hardest part are all the little local positions that even the party locals fails to give an endorsement for. Sometimes I'll just leave those blank.

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Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
LURCH said:
Michigan...an economy that is already 2nd to last in the nation...
Just curious how this is quantified. Anyone?

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
The issues:

War in Iraq

National Security

Veterans (benefits and support) - they earned it!

Energy & Environment - need programs which are consistent with sustainability and less pollution

Social Security - I can forgo SS. I won't need it and I'll probably be overseas (roaming the world) by the time I qualify, that is until I find a quiet spot in a cabin (with my books) beside a stream with a garden and orchard.

Health Care & Prescription Drugs - someone has to pay for it. Members of the administration, congress and courts (i.e. federal officials and employees) all get access to relatively generous health care plans - so why some deny it to the general population?

Education - we really need to improved the system.

Labor - fair labor practices with liveable wages

Ethics & Lobbying Reform - is that even possible in Washington DC? Why can't they "Just say NO!" to influence peddlers.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Gokul43201 said:
Just curious how this is quantified. Anyone?

My guess would be on a per capita basis of some indicator such as income or production.

BobG
Homework Helper
Astronuc said:
The issues:

War in Iraq

National Security

Veterans (benefits and support) - they earned it!

Energy & Environment - need programs which are consistent with sustainability and less pollution

Social Security - I can forgo SS. I won't need it and I'll probably be overseas (roaming the world) by the time I qualify, that is until I find a quiet spot in a cabin (with my books) beside a stream with a garden and orchard.

Health Care & Prescription Drugs - someone has to pay for it. Members of the administration, congress and courts (i.e. federal officials and employees) all get access to relatively generous health care plans - so why some deny it to the general population?

Education - we really need to improved the system.

Labor - fair labor practices with liveable wages

Ethics & Lobbying Reform - is that even possible in Washington DC? Why can't they "Just say NO!" to influence peddlers.
Your opinion about Social Security is very generous. Considering how well a lot of people manage their finances, Social Security is the only income they're likely to have in their old age. That doesn't mean the retirement age can't be raised, but it does mean the only way it can be abolished completely is to decide it's acceptable for old folks to starve to death - that's not gonna happen even if some might feel that's a deserved result for the way they lived their younger years. Still, even if it's a rip-off if you take the 'promise' of SS literally, higher and middle income people are going to have to take a big hit on benefits - and that's not gonna happen since the number of older voters is increasing, not decreasing.

Someone does pay for health care and prescription benefits. Right now, they pay via higher insurance rates. Either hospitals and medical facilities go bankrupt and cease to exist or somebody pays for the care given. The higher the number of medical bills that don't get paid, the higher the charges for all medical care to cover the loss. I think I could accept a solution that increased preventative care as opposed to having to pay for emergency room visits. Overall, it would be the cheaper option (technically, I have incredibly cheap medical insurance as a military retiree, but even the low rates I currently pay for the 'free lifetime medical benefits' advertised when I joined are going up).

Labor - I still think a person sells their services for what it's worth. If you artificially push their wages higher, you're really pushing their jobs overseas to someone else. Of course, that means improving education is even more important. Where I live, there's an interesting debate about current residents having to pay for improvements to infrastructure required by an expanding population. Some argue that the alternative to current residents paying for it is to price the children of current residents out of the housing market. That's a good argument. Yet, most overlook another important point. Colorado is near the top in the percentage of the population with college degrees - they're near the bottom in percentage of high school students that go on to college. In other words, Colorado schools provide the uneducated labor that serves the educated people that move here from out of state to enjoy a low cost of living. As one of the out-of-staters, that probably shouldn't bother me or at least it should seem kind of hypocritical to say the influx should suddenly stop now, but it does seem like a big disconnect in logic. Attracting higher paying jobs to an area doesn't help current residents if current residents aren't qualified to fill those jobs.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
I still think a person sells their services for what it's worth. If you artificially push their wages higher, you're really pushing their jobs overseas to someone else. Of course, that means improving education is even more important.
I personally believe that most corporate managers, particularly upper management and CEO's are overly/excessively compensated. Most of what is accomplished in an organization is by virtue of the direct work of salary/wage earners, and not the work of management and CEO's.

I have no problem with a CEO, board member or manager who 'invests' his/her capital, which they put at risk, and if the company is successful, they are reasonably compensated. But I strongly object to the likes of Lay, Ebbers, and others who use (put at risk) other peoples' money (not their own) and then compensate themselves as though they used their own. I worked with two managers who made in excess of $100,000, and when the company had difficulty, they whined about how they 'had never asked to be' VP/Pres, and so on - yet they were quite satisfied to accept the significant compensation. I expect and demand fairness in the workplace. As for corporate taxes, one possible solution would be to tie corporate tax rates to the ratio of the highest salary to the lowest wage. The motivation would be to reduce CEO/management compensation and raise the lowest wages. I firmly believe in 'sweat equity'. McGyver Strategy for Voting After many years of voting, I believe the best approach to voting in these contemporary times is to vote for thoughtful and accountable leadership. I believe the "Peter Principle" applies to politics too - and that Washington needs a wake up call - courtesy of a new JOB! Because of the high degree of ambiguousness involving Iraq, terrorism, 911, privacy, health care, taxes, and the economy, plus a Congress apparently unwilling to challenge this White House, simply one House change in Democrat control I feel would improve federal oversight and decision-making. Competition is a good thing. Seems the Dems would prefer to control the Senate. I'll take either one. As for states, my State of California has gone too far to the left, as was revealed when the assembly and LA mayor endorsed demonstrations (that shunt down freeways) for and by illegal immigrant amnesty. Additionally, the SF mayor too eagerly overstepped his bounds in granting marriage licenses to gay couples. As for state propositions, you really have to read through the language, but can get a sense also for who endores each. My best to all on this special election day for a more united America. turbo Gold Member My wife and I have already voted, and though both of us are fiercely independent, we both voted straight party-line tickets for Democrats. The do-nothing Congress has abysmally failed in its oversight of the Administration and has engaged in greasing lobbyists clients to a degree that they should be prosecuted for bribery. I don't pretend that the Democrats are a bit better. In this 2-party system, the major difference between them hinges on who they want to give all my tax money to. The reason that we voted the way we did is to help drive a wave of wake-up-call voting that shows both parties that the US public will turn them out if they don't clean up. We need open elections with standardized paper ballots that can be scanned, and rescanned if the need for a recount arises. We also need strict limits to campaign donations, and I believe that ONLY individuals should be able to contribute, and only to a financial cap that will not disenfranchise the middle class. Obviously, most of us cannot afford to give$1000 each to our choice for Senator, House Representative, etc. Failing that, we should have publicly-funded elections at all levels. If a candidate can file petitions with enough signatures, they are on the ballot. This would somewhat dilute the power of the two political parties, that are in my opinion about as different as Coke vs Pepsi, Time vs Newsweek, or the choice between being hanged or shot.

Please vote tomorrow, and vote for effect. I don't appeal to you all to do what my wife and I did - you all have your own motivations and your own candidates - but PLEASE vote. Make your voice heard so that citizens can regain some sort of importance in the eyes of our "rulers" (they pretend to serve us, but serve K street and special interests for the most part.)

LURCH