Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Worth it?

  1. Worth It.

    4 vote(s)
    19.0%
  2. Not worth it.

    11 vote(s)
    52.4%
  3. I'm not a Democrat/American, but.....

    6 vote(s)
    28.6%
  1. May 7, 2008 #1

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    We've alluded to this question in a few threads, but I would like a poll specifically about the pointed question itself.

    Background:
    I think most people would agree (but feel free to disagree...) that a serious recession, complete with two quarters of negative gdp growth, a muddling stock market, and a 2% spike in unemployment would be good for the Democrats' prospects in November. What I'd like to know is:

    Do you, as a Democrat, think it would be worth it to see a deep, but self-contained (ie, not extending past the end of the year) recession instead of the predicted mild recession, if it means getting a Democrat in the White House next year?
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2008 #2
    I classify myself as an Independant, so I don't know how relevant you'll think this is, but I'll say it anyway.

    Although I think John McCain will continue to rape this country through his utter incompetence just like the last president, it's still not right to stage conditions necessary for victory in order to overturn it. What I mean is, the ends do NOT justify the means. If the people elect McCain and he screws up, they need to learn to research deeper into their candidates or possibly re-evaluate what are and are not important issues for them.

    Moreover, it could happen that McCain does something good for a change. He does switch his mind at the drop of a hat, so he'd be swayed by the public more, which is ultimately the goal of the president -- to listen to the people.

    Lastly, it would be a total flop to ruin the country, even if temporarily, in order to get a Democrat into office just to find out that he or she sucks and ends up screwing it up even worse.
     
  4. May 7, 2008 #3

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm not sure you got what I was going for here. I'm not talking about anyone doing any sabbotaging or even any lying about the current economic climate. How bad the current funk will be is still an open question - all I'm asking is if people would be willilng to accept a bigger, naturally occurring (ie, Bush's fault), funk if it meant ensuring a democratic victory.

    I'm also not really arguing about people's perceptions of the candiates. I presume someone who is going to vote for McCain would think he'd run the economy best and someone who is going to vote for Obama would think he'd run the economy best. Of course, either (or both) could be wrong, but the only way to find out is for one's preferred choice to be elected - and that's what the question is asking. How bad do democrats want a democrat?
     
  5. May 7, 2008 #4
    I reject the premise that we can't have both a good economy and a Democrat president. The performance of the economy will have a bigger impact on what sort of policy mandates the Democratic Congress ends up with. I.e., if things are going poorly, they'll have an easier time with their budgetary/fiscal agendas, whereas if the economy is doing well, people won't be as supportive of departures from the policies of the past 8 years.
     
  6. May 7, 2008 #5

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I guess we'll see who wins, but I expect the economy to have a major impact on the campaign and I also expect McCain is going to win the general election. I understand if democrats are as confident of a democratic victory as I am about a republican one (I don't think that's realistic, but ok). All I'm asking is for you to consider the possibility that it will be a tight race and consider the effect of the economy on the race, then decide if 6 more months of "bad" economic times would be worth the trade for a democratic president and a 6+ years of economic expansion with him.
     
  7. May 7, 2008 #6

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    With all due respect, I don't think that the question "Is a deeper downturn/recession worth it if it results in a Democratic President?" is the right one to ask.

    Consider that the election during the first week of November is a third of the way through the 4th quarter. So for the next two quarters, we won't know who will be the next president, but unfortunately there will be a lot of hysteria and speculation (what if) and pre-judgement.

    The question really should be - what will be the impact of any of the three candidates. For now, we can only speculate.


    There are significant economic issues, and right now the Fed has the most significant influence.


    It's not only the president - but it will be the VP, and cabinet members, and the Congress, and the lobbyists, and the American Banking Association, and whoever gets to influence Congress who makes the laws, as well as the President who issues signing statements.


    What we need is a fair and just system. Is it too much to ask for honesty and integrity?
     
  8. May 7, 2008 #7

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I'm an independent and a fiscal conservative. The alleged "conservatism" of Reagan/Bush/Bush has been a blatant lie in every administration. Their corporate welfare policies have damaged our country's economy as much or more than NAFTA, IMO. Their policies amount to theft of the country's wealth, and the transfer of such to large corporations and financial entities that seemingly have no responsibility for their actions. Companies that move US jobs to other countries should be penalized. Investment firms (like BSC) that leverage themselves 30:1 and can't pay up should be allowed to fail. It's time to have some re-regulation under which companies that benefit from US policies face some penalties for acting against the interests of the US economy.

    I do not want our country to suffer a recession, nor to experience economic pain in order to elect a Democrat. Democrats are (in general) identical to the Republicans they seek to replace - greedy, self-serving leeches who will do the bidding of the wealthy and the privileged who help to put them in power. There is as much difference between Dems and Republicans as there is between Coke and Pepsi or Time and Newsweek. If there is a difference, it is probably confined to who they will give my money to after they rob me.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2008
  9. May 7, 2008 #8
    Well, your evaluation of McCain's prospects doesn't seem to be shared by many people. And I'm speaking here as an independent who would prefer McCain over a certain Democratic contender...
     
  10. May 8, 2008 #9

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Turbo -

    see figure 2 for average tax burdens compared by country:
    http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/library/PRBpubs/prb05107-e.htm

    The US is pretty far down the ladder.

    Maine is a poor state. Right across the river in CA things are far better economically.
    But their tax burden is higher. They have the same climate, soils, etc. So what is the problem? Are the feds giving Maine the shaft? No. Maine gets more than it's fair share of federal dollars (see the column 'Return on Federal Tax Dollars'):
    http://www.nemw.org/taxburd.htm

    Maine ranks 35th on per capita income for 2007:
    http://www.unm.edu/~bber/econ/us-pci.htm

    So then what is the difference, why can't Maine get its act together? Are Mainers complainers - no way! So, you get to tell me why things are so bad before you complain about robbery - and Note: I live in NM which is FAR worse in terms of income and - see those same charts - people here pay taxes just like they do in Maine and don't say stuff like that.

    And to the point of the thread -
    1. no party is worth economic degradation. So NO! we don't want no stinkin' recesssion even if it means we do not have the wherewithal to get out of a war that 70% of the people disagee with.

    2. The US elections, while ostensibly free, have results on the National level that often respresent minority views. Why is that? - maybe you can start with the Electoral College, and as Turbo says, two parties that represent big donors. Not small people.
     
  11. May 8, 2008 #10

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Except for the populous southern tip of the state, Maine is a VERY rural state with mostly low-income jobs. I'm not sure where that federal return of ~1.4 comes from, but it's likely due to the construction of guided missile frigates at the Bath shipyard plus maintenance and improvements on the very long stretch of I-95 that spans the state.

    Because the state is very rural, the administration and distribution of services (including maintaining our infrastructure) is expensive and state taxes are high as a result. We are 2nd in the nation in local tax burden and 10th in the nation for local and federal tax burden combined. In contrast, NM is 40th and 45th in those measures. I'd gladly swap those rankings with you.

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/335.html

    The robbery of which I spoke is the diversion of tax dollars to corporate welfare to giant agri-businesses, banks, and other corporations while letting education, infrastructure and REAL security measures slide. I do not object to paying taxes to support projects that add to our health, security, quality of life, education, etc. I object to watching my tax burden increase while businesses enjoy government largess.
     
  12. May 8, 2008 #11

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The question is a loaded one. No, I don't want the economy to get worse, but if it helps to elect a democrat, as it will, then so be it.

    It's not just the economy: The price of fuel has a direct effect on the results of elections. On this issue I do wish to see the prices high; not because of the election, but because it is the only way that we will end the addiction to oil and the resulting threat to our national security and the enviroment.

    Barring some unforseen disaster for the dems, McCain will lose by 60/40. Just wait; he is going to completely blow it and show his true nature - a hot head.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2008
  13. May 8, 2008 #12

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Agreement with Ivan here. While I hate to see any country's economy in trouble, anything is worth it to get a Democrat into the Presidency. (Bush's record alone should ensure that, but it didn't the last time. Go figure. :rolleyes:)
     
  14. May 8, 2008 #13

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Apparently the damage done by Bush didn't sink in quickly enough. But most people have finally figured out the Saddam didn't attack New York... the other 30 million people are still listening to talk radio.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2008
  15. May 8, 2008 #14
    As I am not a Democrat, I can't answer the OP's question. However, I would be willing to endure a strong economy, but only if it means getting McCain elected.
     
  16. May 8, 2008 #15

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You can answer, Jimmy; that's what the last category is for. Being neither a Yank nor a Democrat, that should technically allow me 2 votes :biggrin:.
    I just spent a couple of hours on 'How Stuff Works' reading up on the Yank electoral process, which I've never paid attention to before. It's freakin' scary!
    Up here, the parties elect their leaders, and independents can join in, then when election day comes around, it's one person/one vote. The Yankee system seems to be specifically designed to remove the power from the people (despite what is worded in the Constitution). The whole idea of the 'Electoral College' and 'Superdelegates' is reprehensible.
     
  17. May 8, 2008 #16

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re Danger: I'm not a Democrat either.

    Both the Electoral College and the superdelegates, which are really just unpledged delegates [their vote counts no more than any other delegate], are designed to protect the system from freak swings. The winner-take-all system is designed to give the small States more influence. The same is true for the Senate, which has two Senators from each State, as opposed to the House of Reps, where the representation for each State is based on population. But many Americans would like to eliminate the Electoral College and unpledged delegates.

    Ultimately the Constitution is a counter-revolutionary document. But many people believe that the right to own weapons was intended to provide balance since an armed citizenry is [or was] a militia capable of overthrowing a corrupt system.
     
  18. May 8, 2008 #17

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What bugs me about the whole system is the separate party primary system for choosing candidates. You can easily wind up with two candidates in the main election who are only supported by a small minority of the entire population with the majority (even a super-majority...>2/3s) of the population opposed to each candidate forced to choose the lesser of two evils. In case that's not clear, for the sake of argument, let's just assume the country is half Democrat and half Republican (it's not quite, but close enough for this argument to work). A candidate for each party only needs to get a majority of their party's votes. Let's say they get 60% of the vote for their party...a little more than a simple majority, a bit less than a super majority...but enough to win the delegates. Now these people go to the general election with the support of 60% of their party, potentially none of the opposing party (yes, I'm exaggerating, but the system would allow this to happen as it is set up). So, you wind up with two candidates, each supported by only 30% of the total population (and not supported by 70%), and 40% of the population scratching their heads wondering why they are stuck with these two candidates.

    Not having a declared party, and living in states with late primaries, I often find myself in that 40% category. More and more states allow independents to vote in primaries for one party, but you still have to choose just one. Even so, candidates represent only one party, not the general population. Relatively few people really have political beliefs/viewpoints that follow straight down the party line, but the people we have to choose between to represent us do.

    I know I'm getting off-topic a bit, but I can't really answer the original question, because I'm not a Democrat, and it seems to me like a very loaded question with no way to answer that doesn't sound negative. I'd just like to see the economy bounce back, regardless of which party is able to accomplish it.
     
  19. May 8, 2008 #18

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I don't care what party, if any, you are affliated with, Ivan; you're a reasonable man with great insights (and even better taste in women).
    All of the stuff that you posted, as far as explanation goes, only highlights why your system sucks. Wild swings are part of a proper election; they show that the process is working. What's wrong with the way we do it here, where every single person's vote is tallied? Doesn't it seem a bit weird that the individuals elect a representative who can turn around and not represent them in the final vote?

    edit: Sorry, Moonbear, for appearing to ignore your post. I had a client come in while I was composing this post, and didn't realize that you had already responded.

    2nd edit: In case this is a factor, poll results in Canada can't be released until the last voting station is closed, so as not to influence anyone.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2008
  20. May 8, 2008 #19
    No one really wants honesty deep down. The whole political system would collapse if they really started being honest about things.
     
  21. May 8, 2008 #20

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I was just making the point that it is not only democrats who reeeeeeally want a democrat to win.

    Yes, and that is the main objection had by most Americans who object, which I suspect is a majority! But, BUT, consider this: How would you like to see someone more extreme than Bush in office? That is the sort of wild swing we are trying to avoid by design. Hitler is usually used as the example, but Bush has been scary enough and hopefully the limit of what's possible in swings to the right. And rarely if ever do the delegates fail to vote according to the popular vote - it is intended as a failsafe.

    Edit: Actually, Bush isn't really a conservative, and he's certainly not a liberal, so I guess we have to include a second axis: Bush has been scary enough and hopefully the limit of what's possible in swings down. [We'll call that the citizen/corporate control axis :biggrin:]
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2008
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Worth it?
  1. Was WWII Worth It? (Replies: 39)

Loading...