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Where The American Politician And Average American Citizen Stand On The Major Issues

7 October 2008 4 Comments

On Free Markets

American Politician: Free markets are important and crucial to the long term economic health of our country; unless, of course, our economy is in a correction as a result of over-leveraging, over-spending, or an unbalance of risk and debt. I would sacrifice the long term health of our economy for a short term increase in jobs, because I realize if people have jobs, I will get re-elected. If more jobs six months from now means a huge increase in debt for future Americans to pay off, a move closer to socialism, or America losing its long term competitive advantage in the global marketplace, so be it.

Average American Citizen: Free markets are fantastic when they allow me to have a job and to buy houses that I wouldn’t normally afford. I also love being able to cash out my equity that I have earned due to a housing bubble so that I can buy more stuff like boats and cars and iPhones. When the housing bubble collapses and I owe more than my house is worth, then I hate free markets and I demand more regulation! Wall St. greed and corruption is at fault for duping me into high levels of debt. I want more regulation from Washington, less pay for CEOs, and money from the government to pay off my debt!

On Taxes

American Politician: Taxes are my number one tool to get re-elected. I oppose any comprehensive reform such as a FairTax or a flat tax, because each election cycle I can promise to lower taxes. If we move to a simple system, then I can’t offer to lower the tax burden to my constituents! My decisions on taxing Americans has nothing to do with what is needed to fund government or stimulate the economy, but is completely based on the latest poll and latest economic condition. I will leverage our tax system and use words and phrases such as ‘Fairness’ or ‘Tax cuts for the rich’ or ‘Stimulate the economy’ to maximize the opportunity for me to get re-elected.

Average American Citizen: I want more money in my pocket. If that means lowering my taxes and raising someone else’s taxes, that is acceptable. If it means taking money from someone more successful than me, then that is also acceptable. If it means putting people out on the streets so I can have more money, again, very acceptable. Most of the issues in my life that I face, especially financially, aren’t my fault; therefore, I deserve more money from government.

On Helping The Poor

American Politician: I really don’t care about the poor. If it will help me get re-elected, then I will spout out some political rhetoric about helping those who need it, but if I passed a poor person on the street and nobody else was around, I wouldn’t think twice to give anything to someone in need.

Average American Citizen: For the most part, I don’t care about the poor. i have enough issues of my own; for example, I can’t even pay my mortgage! So what if I bought a $600,000 house a few years ago? Why should I help somebody out who isn’t as fortunate as me? That guy over there has more than me… ask him to do it.

On War

American Politician: War is ugly, but necessary… when it is politically popular. It makes no difference if I voted for the war a few years ago, if the political popularity of the war becomes weak, I will change my view to oppose to war for political gain. When we are attacked, and the public rallies against our enemies, I will authorize the use of war to protect the American people!

Average American Citizen: War is terrible but necessary in a world that has enemies seeking to kill America and Americans.

On Accountability

American Politician: I will seek to prevent the use of accountability in the political system by adding hundreds of individual items to each piece of legislation so that there is no real voting record to be accountable for. If we accomplish such a system, every politician can accuse another politician, of at one time, voting to raise taxes or increase spending; no matter what their political stance on either.

Average American Citizen: I demand accountability when I lose money. If things are good and my family and I are well off, then please forget the idea of accountability. If and when I begin to get screwed, I am not to be held accountable because it is never my fault. Instead if is the fault of either Wall St. or the current political party in power.

On Energy

American Politician: Energy independence is an issue of the utmost importance… when gas prices are high. When gas prices are high, we demand cleaner and alternative energy sources so that we will be able to alleviate the average American who is getting killed at the pump. I do not want to endorse or discourage any plan such as the Picken’s Plan that is too comprehensive because then would I be forced to go on record in support of something that could prove to be controversial. When gas prices are low, I no longer care about the environment, creating jobs domestically or the idea of funding terrorism with money that purchases oil. If oil prices are high, then it is because oil companies are manipulating and gouging average Americans. I promise to penalize them for making too much money. If oil prices plummet and oil companies begin to lose money, so be it.

Average American Citizen: I demand cheap gas for my car. I have no interest in understanding large scale energy issues such as supply and demand. I want to drive an SUV and pay between $2 – $3 for each gallon of gas. When gas costs more than $3, it is because Exxon Mobile is price gouging me. I demand money from the oil companies to compensate for the high cost of gas for my car. I support Al Gore and alternative energy when “going green” is trendy and cool; however, if gas prices go down, I probably won’t care much about going green.

A Culture Of Personal Gain

To sum up the stances above, it can be said that each person, whether an average citizen or a politician leading this county, aims to increase his or her own wealth, power or success. While we may care about some issues, the importance of these issues rapidly decreases when my own personal well being is at risk.

For the most part, politicians already have the wealth. They want power and when they get it, they want to hold on to it. Re-election is the emphasis over everything else.

For the average American, it all comes down to the pocket book. We want lower taxes, cheap gas, a nice job and a progressively bigger house. If we get in trouble, we look to government to bail us out because it simply wouldn’t be fair to let me fail.

I hope that other 20-somethings wish to change this culture. I hope my generation seeks to embrace personal responsibility and accountability for one’s successes and failures. I hope my generation pushes energy independence regardless of how much it costs to fill up one’s tank. I hope we embrace free markets during the good times and the bad times; if it means some short term pain, then we grit our teeth and get through it instead of doing everything possible to keep home prices high, jobs in abundance, and stock prices shooting higher, no matter what the dangerous ramifications are down the road.

Last point… since when was it the main job of government officials and representatives to ensure stock prices don’t go lower? Hey idiots, stop watching the Dow and address the fundamental issues with our economy. When the appropriate measures have been taken, get out of the way of the economy, sit back and watch the stock market.

4 Comments »

  • j said:

    well thought out post, shows how short term everybody truly thinks…

  • hank said:

    I’ve actually watched quite a bit of scuttlebutt lately in regards to the feds getting into the mix with bailouts and the likes. I can see how the domino effect may happen, but we have a lot of big fish in the pond right now that need change and I, as well as a handful of others watching the election, am certainly interested in how the candidates plan on intervening in the years to come…

  • torbjorn rive said:

    without dissecting too much the details, i really liked this post. it is my opinion that some people aren’t angry enough. attitude is the basis for change, and so many (even young bloggers on Brazen) are becoming complacent and thinking change will just OCCUR.

    besides slight stock losses i’ve been largely unaffected by bank closures and such but am close to someone who was (but still not devastating). and to think that people will still vote republican and/or democrat?! nothing will change without major change.

    that’s why i’m voting Green up here in Canada. Liberal or Conservatives will have minor differences – but either one will NOT drastically change much, especially their stance on the enviro. Even if Green does not win, which they won’t – it’ll show significant improvement and prove that they’re a party worth voting for in the long run.

    re Stocks – what a fuckin shitshow market, eh?! i should have followed my own advice when I said one should buy TWM when it’s below 70…if this rally actually occurs I’m in for 3g – swear to god. AND Oil/Gas: a worthy blogger thinks oil may go to 50 or 60 within months – there is a good chance there’s still money to be made with DUG. I’ll send you a note when/if I actually go DUG.

    GOod luck, and stay calm.

  • kevin duffey said:

    I agree.. it’s hard to get real change w/ the 2 party process. I’m conservative but fed up with the Republicans who it seems are trying their best to not be conservative. Maybe when they get pummeled in the upcoming election, it will cause them to regroup and actually get back to being conservative.

    I’ll do my best to continue to spread the outrage 🙂