Saturday, October 4, 2008

Rethinking Sarah Palin and everyday commonsense

While watching the vice presidential debate on Thursday, I was struck by a few things.
The fact that Sarah Palin seems like a completely "normal" red-blooded American who will be a heartbeat away from the presidency if McCain wins is refreshing to me. I found her nervousness and lack of specifics about things she knows nothing about to be a fresh perspective to the know-it-alls like Joe Biden who are constantly doing one thing, saying another, and then lecturing the rest of us about what is best [McCain is guilty of this too, note the pork-filled bailout bill he just voted for ...].
Everyday commonsense is everyday commonsense, for lack of a better term and I think we need a bit more of this. We need, at least on the economic level, more localism, more Bailey Building & Loan banks, etc., and less of what both parties have been giving us. Neither political party will deliver what we need now more than ever. Look at what they are doing with the bailout? Sweetheart deals for the affluent, a bunch of pork and tax breaks to get the votes, no real proof this will fix one single thing. It's crazy.
Can McCain-Palin deliver that compared to Obama-Biden? No. But the Palins are middle class. According to the Wall Street Journal today, Sarah's husband earned about $46,000 last year. She earned more than $100k as governor. But if she weren't governor, they would be back down to middle class. Hence that is why she considers herself middle class. The Bidens earned about $250,000, the next lowest on the chart, and many of those people consider themselves middle class.
Admittedly, despite Palin's seemingly ordinariness, I won't vote for the ticket because I don't agree with them on much. I'm unlikely to vote for Obama-Biden at this point either. Biden is part of the problem. In addition, Obama has surrounded himself with some of the Clintonistas who helped to start this economic mess.
But it would truly be really nice if regular folks - Joe Six Pack, lunch bucket Dems, whatever you want to call them [us?] - got some access to power so we can bring some everyday commonsense back into the equation of how our government runs, how our economy functions, etc.
We have all seen what the educated and investor classes - the supposed "smart" people - have done to the nation, with the help of both political parties and their insatiable lust for power and greed at our expense and our children's expense. Again, look around you. Would anyone trust a word an Ivy League-educated economist, business major, etc., says at this point when you consider that hell they have put us "regular" folks through? Nope, sorry.
Those smart people at the fed caused the subprime debacle. Most folks were doing just fine paying off their ARM mortgages in a shaky economy until the fed started raising rates in late 2004 to 2005. The rate went from 1 percent to 5.25 percent in a little more than a year in a effort to "curb" nonexistent inflation. In reaction, the banks jacked up the rate of the ARMs and put a ton of folks into foreclosure. Those people could afford 5 or 6 percent; they couldn't afford 9 or 12 percent. We were all reading about it in the Wall Street Journal as far back as the first quarter of 2006 when the housing started slowing down and the gas prices started rising. Many of these people were conned, sure. But many people would have been just fine had the fed not intervened and allowed the economy to grow instead of tinkering. Their tinkering collapsed the economy.
Republicans did try to rein Freddie and Fannie but not for the right reasons it would seem. Democrats saw them as a way of expanding affordable housing. But both parties raved about how great home ownership was and what the statistics seemed to say at the time. In addition, it was Clinton's Robert Rubin who was the one who regulated most of these banks. Note: He's at Citibank now and Obama is in his pocket.
Everyone though can thank Ralph Nader who has been complaining about all of this stuff for years and years. He is growing in the polls, because people are clearly frustrated. But it probably won't be enough for victory, unfortunately.
Despite what some people think, the subprime mortgage mess is only a small symptom to the current economic disaster. The larger problem of free trade ... brought to us by all those smart economists who somehow don't know how to subtract ... dwarfs the loan problem.
Clinton, and the Democrats and Republicans in Congress, brought on the free trade pacts which have put millions of people out of work and sent trillions of dollars in wealth overseas based on a fraudulent economic concept. Our country's economy was put in direct competition with people who make pennies on the dollar.
As a subset, the services sector never grew to compensate the lost manufacturing. For every manufacturing job, another seven jobs are created around that job. In the services sector, it is two for every one. So, you can see, by simple addition and subtraction, how those things happened.
Every time Toyota opens a plant in the U.S. and hires 5,000 people, another 35,000 people are hired around those jobs: The insurance people, HR, food and restaurants, etc. So, when those 5,000 jobs are lost, the other jobs connected to those jobs are also lost.
Since 2001, the annual trade deficit has increased more than $300 billion annually and 3.8 million manufacturing jobs have been lost, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. That's not the total deficit, that's just the last seven years!
How much is $300 billion? Well, just 12 million modestly-priced $250,000 homes. And that's just the deficit - the negative difference between imports and exports. Never mind the actual imports, things that could be made here or at the very least, taxed with a tariff to raise revenue instead of nailing us with income taxes all the time.
Record trade deficits have made the overall U.S. economy about $1.5 trillion smaller than it should be right now, according to some of the experts. Using their own figures, the potential net job loss since 2001? 27 million. Since 1993 when NAFTA was passed? Who knows.
It is estimated by one of the elite think tanks, I forget which one, that 30 percent of the country is either unemployed, underemployed, or fallen off the rolls. The 6 percent figure is a fallacy and everyone knows it. This would back up the other figures.
Lastly, most everything that I have discussed, beyond some people being conned and wanting a piece of the American dream, was brought on by the educated and investor classes. They have clearly shown themselves to be clueless and lacking commonsense. Again, it is a good time to start taking a different approach.


Raymond said...

It sounds like its time to hit the job boards while there are still great jobs. (professional networking) (aggregated job listings) (matches you to jobs)

Good luck to those looking.

Anonymous said...

YES! Her unbiased judgement will be good.

Somehow, a narcissistic black man who hates his own mother because she is white and who is controlled by Soros and Brzezinski scares me far too much NOT to vote for Sarah.

philanoia said...

"I found her nervousness and lack of specifics about things she knows nothing about to be a fresh perspective..."

You're kidding, right? What you're saying is that you find her lack of knowledge about things that a VICE PRESIDENT SHOULD KNOW to be a 'fresh perspective'? Yeah, to heck with all those smarty-pants book-learners. Hell, let's just pick presidents and VPs out of a hat using only those names of people who are middle class joe-six-packs. And while we're at it, let's look into whether a whole bunch of other jobs which were thought to require book-learnin' smarts could just as well be performed by, well, anybody. I don't want to hear some know-it-all blather on and on about foreign policy, economics, etc., when I could hear (for example) my neighbor's opinion. He's a regular guy! What a fresh perspective.

Anonymous said...

Before blaming Clinton it might be worth your time looking up Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and who repealed it in 1999. See what everyone forgets is rethuglicans were in control of congress through most of the Clinton administrations so, who was actually approving all these lending law changes? Yep, you guessed it people like John McCain and his Keating 5 friends.

Tony said...

Hey philanoia: No, I'm not kidding. That was my initial reaction to her debate performance.
In addition, I don't think the vice president needs to know every little thing about everything. And, I would trade one candidate who reportedly knows every little thing about everything with someone who has some everyday commonsense, any day of the week.
Amazingly, your class bigotry shines right through. Heaven forbid the people who build, serve, and clean this country have any access to power.

Anon957: Technically, I blame both political parties. There is enough blame to go around but the fact is that both political parties have brought our country to the brink of bankruptcy.
If you want to be true about it, you can look at Reagan and the Democrats in Congress who first started all this stuff. Bush 41, Clinton, and Bush 43 continued it. And when the Democrats swept into office, they didn't do a thing. They hemmed and hawed around and continued funding the worst of the Bush policies. It's pathetic.

Anonymous said...

tony good point! i agree. both sides play games at our expense. i am beginning to wonder if they hatch plans together to play both sides of the coin; each side profiting from different angles.


Tony said...

Anon957: I seriously doubt that they hatch their plans together but so long as they are screwing things up, who knows. Whenever you see "bipartisanship" on anything, run, run, run the other way! It is almost always going to be a disaster for regular folks!

philanoia said...

Having 'access to power' is a bit different than being Vice President, wouldn't you say? Sure, I want the people who "build, serve and clean" the country to have access to power, but I don't want them to be the Veep unless they also have considerable political experience. Call me a class bigot, I don't care, but I truly believe that the idea that just about anybody can be a national representative is dangerous. I admit that insider-ism (for lack of a better word) presents its own set of problems, but at the end of the day I do, in fact, want someone with formalized training being my Veep, senator, etc. Perhaps this is a very important, fundamental point of disagreement in America. And my opinion - which is clearly shared by a vast majority of Americans - is that Palin simply isn't qualified. I can't believe that some people believe otherwise.

Tony said...

Hi Philanoia: Thanks for reading and responding again.

So I guess you aren't voting for Barack Obama then, right, since his experience is as limited as her experience?

In measuring real life experience, Sarah Palin has as much diversity of experience as he has had. The difference is that she isn't at the top of the ticket and he is. She is a small business owner, has been a mayor and governor. Unlike Obama, she has an understanding of what it is like to deal with a payroll. Unlike Obama, who was a state Senator and U.S. Senator, Palin has actually had to physically balance budgets, over and over again. She was on ethics and oversight boards, exposed corruption in her own party, and was a working journalist which easily compares to his experience as a law student and community activist. Her diversity of experience compared to his is actually pretty amazing when you think about the office of vice president - whose only Constitutional requirement is to cast tie-breaking votes in the Senate.

While they are both parents, Palin has actually physically reared children, which I think, at least on a mental level, is a bit higher life experience.

Look, I don't agree with a lot of Palin's politics at all. I'm not voting for McCain-Palin. But my opinion of her is not blinded by partisan politics, rhetoric, or class bigotry. The fact that a relatively obscure governor, a normal person like Sarah Palin, is plucked out of nowhere to be a heartbeat away from the presidency [assuming McCain-Palin win, which looks unlikely] is a great thing for our country. Not taking what is perceived to be the traditional path - go to an ivy league school, get educated by elitists who have never had real day jobs and no nothing about what is really going on, listening to their schemes and theories which have wrecked the country, etc. - is refreshing. She got their from hard work, perseverance, and yeah, admittedly, good looks.

Lastly, as I have said before, I will take everyday commonsense over some of the things a supposedly educated Joe Biden has done - bad trade deals, media consolidation, a horrible bankruptcy bill and being in the pocket of the banks and credit card industry for his entire career. Biden isn't "change we can believe in" and Obama's agenda is like putting a Band-Aid on brain surgery. It's just not good enough and I'm not wasting my vote on them.

Anonymous said...

Ronald Reagan was responsible for all of this mess. Just ask him.