Monday, July 14, 2008

Vote for Sale


Max Sanders, a student at the University of Minnesota, is charged under an 1893 law for putting his vote for president up for bidding on ebay. Sanders said it was a joke and nobody bid on his vote.

As of now, my vote is for sale. No, not for money, goods, or services... I seek the currency of information and the theatre of persuasive debate. I have said in weeks' past that I feel that Obama and McCain are both solid and genuine candidates that would satisfactorily fulfill the role of president. So, I would like you to persuade me toward one side or the other... but if you deign to using ridiculous arguments or take the approach of dissuading me one candidate instead of being a proponent for your candidate, my response will be blunt while my tongue is sharp.

Here is some stuff about me:
I was a registered Republican until I renewed my driver's license and switched to independent
I voted for George Bush in '04.
I am pro-choice.
I am pro-gun.
I am for free-trade.
I am for privatization of social security.
I think the war in Iraq was an incorrect avenue to pursue... but I see how the decision was not incorrect at the time.
I think a withdraw at any cost policy is destructive.
I have no allegiance to Israel.
I want fewer government programs. That being said, I can support universal health care, but a lot of junk needs to be axed to pay for it.
I am in favor of a flat tax.
I am against simply raising the tax rate on the highest earners.
I am against the suspension of the gas tax.
I am against the inheritance tax.
I am against windfall profits taxes.
I am in favor of solar, wind, and nuclear energy.
I do not have a problem with immigrants, be they legal or be they not.
I am in favor of gay marriages.
I am pro-environment.
I am skeptical, not of global warming, per se... but of the cumulative effect and scale of that warming.
I am in favor of being able to send your kids to whatever school you want...
I am in favor of having a more educated citizenry... from vocational training to liberal arts.
I do not own a flag pin.

Feel free to submit your argument to this blog... or email me at thegreatellipses@gmail.com

-ellipses... info whore

9 Comments:

Blogger PRIguy said...

I can't help you, ellipses. You described me to a T except for two things: I'm still a registered republican although libertarian looks appealing (as it always does to me in an election year), and while I have no problem with immigrants, I do have a problem with immigrants here illegally. Otherwise, you've summed up pretty much all that I'm about as well.

I should note that I hate the ACLU with a fiery passion and I think political correctness will eventually lead to the demise of this great nation.

July 14, 2008 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

On illegal immigrants...

This is how I arrive at my position:

Is it inherently "right" that they are here? No

Are we going to deport 12 million people? No

If I were a poor mexican, in mexico, would I beg, borrow, and STEAL to get to america if not only for sake of my children? Yes

Therefore, they are here... they will remain here... there is no point in bitching about it.

Here is another bullet point on my list:

Should we do something to prevent 12 million MORE illegal immigrants from coming into the country? Yes.

-ellipses

July 14, 2008 at 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Captain said...

E;

Funny how you describe more than one person plus yourself. Priguy added some good point re: ACLU and immigrants. I am not sure how badly the immigration is back home in WASHPA but here in Phoenix its impact is full tilt and seems to nearly never end. Although I only know some spanish, how funny is it to sit and listen to a spanish conversation and know they are talking about you (specific or generally) then say something to them to make then choose their words more carefully. My point is the immigrant labor is important (in the SW for sure) and although I agree with you I would have to wonder why we as Americans do not insist that those coming into this country speak our language first? I am sure my great grandparents spoke their German/Italian/Irish(English) but also spoke English in order to get by and become accepted. The difference is the hidden culture. Hidden because they are here ILLEGALLY. Our forefathers came here through the processes and lost their nationality/namesake per se in having their names changed because there were too many illiterates or lazys in their own rights operating Ellis Island. I am not saying that should happen but you (immigrants) need to assimilate yourselves into our culture. Not make your culture ours. Our ancestors did not require Italian/German to be spoken or written in our schools. They might have been thrown out of the country. Speak whatever you want in your own home but dont force me to learn if i choose not to. I did not move to a Spanish speaking country last I checked. Or did I?

Back to ACLU - agreed being PC has its place but I think it has passed its prime just like unions which were created to make a better life for the workers and not be mistreated as slave like labor and have companies garner higher profits. That was fair to both parties. The ACLU had its time and I feel they should be trimmed down of their poitical power inherited or given. How did they ever rise to such powerful heights?

12 million? I bet there are over 1.5 Million in the surrouding counties here in AZ alone. That would leave 11 million plus in 47 other states (assuming AK and HI have very few) if my THS math still holds true. I would suspect the truer number is 20 million or more here illegally. Hows that grab your tatas? If you and I went to Mexico illegally -- why would we do such a thing? We would be immiediately placed in jail and probably die in there from assorted events or occurrences. Finding a better life for yourself and family is wonderful and I cherish the hard work, loyalty and quality of persons I have met from Latin America. The fact remains, they choose to come and go as often as they like and nothing is done about it....too bad this country is going to implode upon itself at the rate we are falling. We cannot support ourselves and the rest of the worlds poorest and insanely criminalistic.

One difference however, i believe in making taxes much higher for all of us.....just kidding if the flat tax or flat sales tax variation does not pass then the rich should pay a much higher tax rate. Face it, they got it and the middle class dont. And we been paying it for alot longer than they even had the money. Time to belly up to the bar as they say and ease our collective burden if only for awhile.

July 15, 2008 at 3:06 AM  
Blogger Roger said...

Captain said, ...

then the rich should pay a much higher tax rate. Face it, they got it and the middle class dont.

...

Yes, they may have it, but they are also the ones with the capital to fund business startups, expansion, venture capital funds, etc. Without startups, expansion, venture capital, the rate of new employment opportunities drops. Who has the means to get business moving, the one making $500K, or the one making $40K? The second case is struggling to make ends meet, let alone have money to create opportunities for others to work. The notion of the "rich need to pay, because they have it," only goes so far. Soaking their money through higher taxation is money taken out of circulation that can provide employment for others -- and the cycle continues.

The same argument applies to estate taxes. Money taken by the government for estate taxes is money not available for economic development through business expansion, startup, and so forth. Once the money is in the hands of the government, it will have a lesser chance of helping to promote employment (read: more tax money coming in the long run) for others.

July 15, 2008 at 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Captain said...

Roger;

Although I would agree with you that their monies are not put back into redevelopment startup etc -- and thank you for reminding me of that which I already knew. That does not mean the rich should be the only recipients of tax breaks, inheritances protection, enormous tax shelters, large grants, and contracts etc. The rise in any possible tax on the rich will not harm them in the long run with all the special interest supports , lobbyist and other shlters created by them for themsleves. But it will ease the pain the middle class has felt for centuries and allow some of those monies be put forth in smaller, unique, viable opportunities.

As for the middle class starting up companies and creating wealth I would wholeheartedly disagree. There are many of us in this group who have great ideas, energy and abilities to progress but without the capital it is tough, of that i do agree with you. But then those with monetary clout get grants, loans, and/or government contracts often after stealing or buying the trademarks, patents etc that go with the originators. And the credit goes to the rich not the one who actually originated the ides.

Bottom line here is we agree in many aspects but disagree in others. If I had the money to pursue the businesses I own to the same degree, I would make a much better living for my family, be able to gainfully employ more than I currently do. But the financial aspect is tough to hurdle in most instances. It seems the less money you need to start the fewer investors are available or interested.

Thank you for your perspectives

July 15, 2008 at 4:52 PM  
Blogger Roger said...

Captian, I think we agree on some points, but disagree on others (as you point out).

Your statement about rise in taxes will not hurt them in the long run. I am doubtful about that statement. I think that if the Democrats control both the Executive and Legislative branch in Washington, changes will happen. Unless I read the campaign wrong, the tax structures will change significantly. New income taxes, rise in capital gains, and resetting the estate taxes -- all of these will cause those of means to take evasive measures.

Apparently, you are a business owner, as I am, albeit small. If the picture I painted above happens, I am doubtful that I will remain in business. The profits made in my business will be further eaten away by new taxes. I feel too strongly about the money made in business to be paid out in new taxes. It is time to withdraw, attempting to protect what is left.

At a larger scale, I believe I would not be alone. Not only will individuals make changes, but business owners will make changes as well. And, I think those changes will be selfish, again not wanting to put more money into the government coffers.

In a recent LA Times story regarding the financial stability of California, one statistic really stood out. The top 1% of the taxpayers are paying 48% of the tax money. If some of those folks should choose to make significant changes in their situation, that will mean a huge tax bite from government accounts. There is a risk in alienating the base of financial support of government programs. The question is where is the line between taking more money, and seeing the source dry up because of changes in how people manage their finances?

July 16, 2008 at 7:12 AM  
Anonymous Captain said...

Roger;

You do bring up a great point about those of us who own a business would make changes. The fact driven home the past few days directly. No details to give on my end -- lets just say it hurt alot.

To your other points, we are obligated are we not to continue to drive the economy in any way possible? Should we give up our businesses and family responsibility because its getting too expensive? If that be the case, most of us would have already packed it in or will be as you alluded. Great point!

As for the 1% and 48% -- you know all too well the numbers can be "massaged" -- if you look a bit deeper could it not be the disparity is due to the enormous number of million dare i say billionaires or near billionaires in the state? And I am not talking only individuals. How many near billionaires are in PA for example? The % is not even close to that of California and I would say thats an abhorration -- California!!! So i would and do take a block of salt with that statistic. However, if you feel the statistic is true then why are so many people still moving to California? Granted, equal numbers or greater are also leaving. It is still our most populated state! One other point to consider would be the overwhelming number of illegals helping to drive that separation wedge as well. Now that I would agree with you (presuming you feel same) is a major problem in all states/this nation. But the Southwest more so due to the recent boom (15+ years) in construction/semi-skilled labor and proximity to their homeland(s) and an easy route to and from.

I am not turning this into an immigration issue but until we can determine a manner to which they (illegals) pay their share of "taxes" those numbers may climb/separate. It is still better to come here and work for $7-8/hour then for $5/day in most parts of Mexico not Mexico City. While here, up to 16 often live in 3-4 bedroom apts and send 80% of their money home via wire. As a possible solution to this issue would be "assorted flat taxes" which cannot be massaged due to marital status, head of household, and for this point specifically number of children. I like the flat sales tax but it wont cover the money being sent to Mexico. And consider this -- illegals have to buy everyday items just as you and i do -- in fact i often see things better suited for a different blog topic -- lets say they as easily bilk the system as any other person of any color does in PA -- maybe better. Working in Arizona, the recent referendums have caused great ripples throughtout the state economy and local politics. Illegals have left to go to other states not requiring legal status to work. How is that possible -- illegal means you get the job? Or are in general whites and blacks too lazy to work in such environments? And, as having worked in the construction indistry, I can tell you that until recently, many Spanish speaking laborers would often put up to 8 kids as dependents thereby milking the cow every week...ridiculous but true.

So if we could make those changes you indicated (albeit selfish), what would be best for you the employer, those you support, the employees and their familes, and the business you help to support by your purchases and those who ultimately purchase from you and the rest of the nation? Alot of responsibility, agreed? I agree we must protect our own pockets always. I Like your inquiry...when is too much too much? Perhaps the time was yesterday but we are still here working away.

So, inevitably, we agree and disagree as you pointed out. Thats what makes this country so great. It is legal to disagree. Good thing!!! Now if the politicians would simply stay on point with separate issues then perhaps we could get solid, sensible, economics passed and approved and not muddy up the waters with indiscriminate pet projects and lobbyist laden BS attachments -- we might be able to get things righted for all of us. (I know i broke point too to some degree here in my blog) Enjoy your day.

I would like to see a discussion on illegal immigration on some of the points dicussed here....perhaps thats forthcoming?

July 17, 2008 at 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When we can't afford to air condition our omes, what happens to the Southwest?

July 17, 2008 at 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

Do you see anything in there like except Mexicans and Cubans and slant-eyes and turban heads?

July 17, 2008 at 2:23 PM  

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