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Why do people vote against their own self-interest?


Fri, Oct 17th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

In 2004, Thomas Frank published "What's the Matter with Kansas". It was an attempt to explain why Kansas, once a bastion of cultural liberalism has become a fortress of conservatism, both culturally and economically. Reading the book, one can't help but wonder why people so often vote against their own self interest.

Much has been made of the Democrats inability to connect and convince "white working class male" voters this election cycle. This is despite a $1,000 drop in the median income since 2000 impacting mostly those who pick up a lunch bucket and go to work every day. The average income rose substantially because those in the top income brackets rose more than substantially. This is a direct effect of the Bush tax cuts and financial policies that Republicans wish to continue.

John McCain is on record many times with support for privatizing social security, at least partially. This scorched earth financial fix we find ourselves in should make everyone reconsider placing fiscally unsophisticated people in a position to be relying on the stock market for the base of their old age and retirement. Yet, McCain does better among voters as they age.

Those old folks who find Obama scary should think about how their social security would look if privatization had occurred when first proposed. If half of their social security payments and benefits were invested in the stock market today half of their social security income would be reduced by 35%.

Privatization is being sold as an opportunity to be rich in retirement by the miracle of compounding stock in small amounts over long periods of time. In the past three weeks, retirement 401k's saw $2 trillion disappear from those plans.

The Center for Retirement Research of Boston College found the median 401k contained only 35,000 dollars and for those nearing retirement (55-64) only 60,000. Carefully husbanded, this might give an income of about $400 per month. Losing 30% of this will impoverish more retirees.

We continue to see ads for McCain/Palin apparently from veterans. McCain has voted consistently and often to limit veterans benefits. He voted against educational benefits unless the vets were essentially lifers. He voted against Veteran Hospital funds to improve facilities and reduce waiting times. He voted against equal benefits for reservists and national guardsmen. His campaign mantra - that Obama voted against funding for the troops - is more than misl .....
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So, you're a Maverick

Fri, Oct 10th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

As we know all too well, Senator McCain and Governor Palin like to characterize themselves as mavericks. And, as many of you know, the first definition of a maverick is a calf that has strayed from its' herd. In other words, some poor little creatur ..... 
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People need to take responsibility for their actions

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

On my walk to the Post Office and back each day, I glance at the sidewalks, gutters, window sills, and planters along those three blocks. I pick up and discard cans, bottles, cigarette packs, and candy wrappers. Yesterday, I picked up three cans wit ..... 
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Embarrassed and unfortunate

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Embarrassed

Well, after the party comes the hangover. The Sarah Palin rise to political stardom - beauty queeen, hockey mom, bear shootin', corruption fighting governor - is grinding back to an ugly reality; as vice-president in waiting she's ..... 
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Going back in time

Fri, Sep 26th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Sarah Palin? Really? I get a regular side dish of news from Colbert Report and Jon Stewart because a little bit of humor makes the nonsense go down so I thought this idea was perhaps a new South Park pilot or something but it seems the GOP means it. ..... 
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Politics and prejudice

Fri, Sep 19th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

After watching the Democratic and Republican conventions, I realized that the word impartial does not apply to me. I watched the Democrats with what I hoped was a critical eye and liked what I heard and saw. I watched the Republicans with an attempt ..... 
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It's the economy, stupid

Fri, Sep 19th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

There are four months to go in the George Bush debacle, perhaps the worst presidency in the history of our country. At this writing, investment bank Lehman Brothers has filed for bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch has been taken over by Bank of America at di ..... 
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You might as well tell the truth

Fri, Sep 19th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Well before the two major political parties held their coronations each party put out ads on radio and television touting their candidates' positions and simultaneously offering information about their opponents' positions and programs. Most of us w ..... 
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Is she really the next best?

Fri, Sep 12th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The selection of Sarah Palin for McCain's running mate was a surprise to almost all the pundits and most of the politicians. Her introduction to the country at the Republican convention was a smashing success according to the media. She did a good j ..... 
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