Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
 
Not a political blog

I do have opinions on world politics. That includes opinions on US politics, and the US presidential election. Given that the US president has the power to declare war on my country or put me into a jail without a trial (which, admittedly, he is unlikely to do in my case, but has done to others), it would be strange for me to *not* have an opinion on that. So it would be easy for me write more about politics, do a funny political blog. It would be easy to blog about how it takes $150,000 worth of lipstick to turn a pitbull into a vice president, or how children know best what is really scary this Halloween. But the problem with that kind of post is that they are completely irrelevant, even if that is what people like to read in political blogs.

Yeah, it's easy to make fun of some of the stranger aspects of presidential elections. But how much Sarah Palin spends on her wardrobe, or whether she looks better on a bike than Obama really shouldn't affect people's votes. The thing is that if McCain is elected, he'll be the oldest first term president ever. That means that there is a chance that he could die in the next 4 years, in which case Sarah Palin would become president of the United States of America. And what people should do is seriously consider whether she has the qualification for that. As they should judge the qualifications of the two presidential candidates and the other vice presidential candidate. And they should ask themselves whether they would like the kind of politics that these candidates would try to introduce.

And these real subjects aren't funny at all. Abortion rights aren't funny, neither pro nor contra. Universal health care isn't funny. Finding the right moment to get out of Iraq isn't funny. So a lot of this circus that the presidential campaigns have turned into, the bad jokes, the mud-slinging, the accusations of who has ever sat next to which shady character during a political dinner, the "I'm more American than you are" posing, is just deplorable.

I can't vote myself, and I can't tell you how to vote if you are American. But I would like to ask you to ignore the circus, and try to imagine how the US and the world would look like with whatever candidate you like. And then please don't stay at home, but go out and vote. The current French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been elected with 85% of the eligible voters having cast their vote. US presidential elections usually just have around 60% turnout. You don't want the French surrender monkeys beat you, do you?
Comments:
Surrender monkeys. Haha, you sound like an American!

Ultimately, Americans are the Romans. Study history, this little charade has replayed itself countless times the last few millenia. The US is an empire although most Americans cower at the world. Empires are basically powerful countries because the citizens are more wealthy than most other world citizens, and as long as they get all the fun stuff, they let their politicians play politics.

If you let an entire class of politicians play politics how they like, you have the citizens/populace misled as to what is important, and focused onto unimportant and irrelevant things so that the politicians can accomplish what they want without having to actually tell the citizens/populace what it is they are going to do.

Look at American Idol or the other horrible "reality" television shows that are on. My neighbors call in and vote for their favorite actor...I mean reality television contestant...to win these actor competitions...I mean reality television scenarios. And they do this regularly. Whereas when it comes time to vote, they don't have the time.

Americans are silently persuaded not to vote, not to care, to just work, watch television, and slowly grow old and die. While I agree with ya Tobold, and have actually worked as a poll worker where I live in Ohio, there are so many different laws and regulations created specifically to stop or dissuade people from voting.

Voting is on a Tuesday, from 6am to 6pm...which is usually when most people are at work, waking up for work, or just getting off of work. Some states, like Ohio, are starting to offer early voting, but the standards between states are not the same, and even here in Ohio, there is controversy related to early voting. Just think, the US has about 300 MILLION citizens, and every 4 years, they are given about 12 hours to get to the polls to vote. Not very voter friendly. While I don't have knowledge about other countries around the world and their voting times, it seems absurd to me that the third most populated country in the world expects its citizens to vote on 1 day, in the space of 12 hours...on a workday.

Second, the electoral college is a relic that is past-due, but still influences how our President is elected...a relic of North v. South from the founding. I live in Ohio, so my vote actually "counts". But for Republicans in California and Democrats in Alabama, their votes are virtually ignored. In a real democracy, it should be the number of votes a candidate gets. Here in the US, each state has a number of electoral votes it can cast for a candidate, based on the popular vote. I did the math a few years back, and if the top 13 states voted for a candidate with just 50.01% of the vote, and the other 37 states voted against the candidate with 100% of the vote, the top 13 states could elect the president of the US, regardless of the popular vote. Hypothetical, yes. Absurd...also yes.

Because of the above, our Presidential election is somewhat of a farce, at least in my eyes. Ultimately, each candidate is attempting to scare voters into believing that if the "other guy" is elected, they will be poor and the country will be ruined. Each year it seems to get worse and worse. Both sides do it. Which brings up my last point.

Only having a choice between 2 parties is sad. We are basically offered 2 sides of a piece of bread and asked which we prefer. Third parties in the US have almost no chance of being elected to anything above and beyond a state position. Jeffords of Vermont was elected a Republican and switched to Independent. Lieberman was a Democrat until he wasn't nominated by the Democrats, and is now serving as an Independent. Besides these 2, there are no other parties in the Senate or House. It is almost a precipitating cause that allows side A to scare voters into believing side B will do something drastic and horrible if elected.

Trust me, there are many people who ignore the freak show the media craps all over us every 4 years. Unfortunately, enough people aren't ignoring it, and in fact believe the reflections they see in the funhouse mirrors as reality.
 
It's clear you would not vote for McCain and that's fine, same here, but what I don't like are these "OK, Americans, this time it's serious" lectures that always drift across the Atlantic every four years.
 
Way to get the vote out, man. The fact that so few determine so much should be scary to everyone. Regardless of your political affiliation - vote - even if the thought of both parties leaves a sour spot in your stomach. It's easy to take the responsibility for granted when you're stuck with only 2 parties and sometimes feel that your vote doesn't count. Find what's important to you - find the candidates (or the party) that seems best aligned and then do some research. Most Americans seem to feel that they shouldn't have to do their own research in order to vote and prefer to let paid campaign ads and special interest groups do their work for them.

Don't let the bastards (and they're all bastards) pull the wool over your eyes. Do research - make the best decision you can - and then put them to task from the moment they're elected to the moment they step out of office. If you're not willing to make a fight of it through the entire process - you're not getting your moneys worth in this democracy.
 
Interesting post from n1ck there. I've of course known about the voting system, electorial system is it? I didn't know though that you can only vote during the 12 hours when people usually work. That's really stupid.
 
When making your decision, be informed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iivL4c_3pck
"And that hasn’t shifted, and one of the, I think, the tragedies of the civil-rights movement was because the civil-rights movement became so court-focused, uh, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. And in some ways we still suffer from that." - Obama 2001

http://www.bookwormroom.com/2008/10/16/why-obamas-share-the-wealth-argument-should-hurt-him/
“When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” - Obama 2008

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Share_Our_Wealth
"...the Share Our Wealth Society, dedicated to the redistribution of the nation's wealth..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism
"All socialists advocate the creation of an egalitarian society, in which wealth and power are distributed more evenly, although there is considerable disagreement among socialists over how, and to what extent this could be achieved"

http://www.cpusa.org/article/view/975/
"A broad multiclass, multiracial movement is converging around Obama’s “Hope, change and unity” campaign because they see in it the thrilling opportunity to end 30 years of ultra-right rule and move our nation forward with a broadly progressive agenda. " - Communist Party 2008

http://www.cpusa.org/index.php/article/articleview/927/1/3/
"The grand coalition of the AFL-CIO and Change to Win along with National Council of La Raza, Women’s Vote, ACORN, MoveOn and Rock the Vote has launched the biggest ever independent voter mobilization, which is at the heart of winning a massive turnout on election day and after. " - Communist Party 2008

http://cpusa.org/article/static/13/
"We say that it may be possible in the U.S. to bring socialism through peaceful means. Perhaps through the ballot box. "

http://www.politicalaffairs.net/index.php/article/view/7008/1/353/
"The capitalist system is therefore narrow and ultimately weak." - Marxist Thought Online 2008

http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/articleview/7537/
"But in the end, as leftists, we don’t really have a choice, do we? We must support Obama. " - Marxist Thought Online 2008

http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/static/17/1/3/
While we are partisan, Marxism is not the private property of any person or group. We print a wide variety of views in our quest for truth." - Marxist Thought Online 2008

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxism
"A number of states have declared an allegiance to the principles of Marxism and have been ruled by self-described Communist Parties, either as a single-party state or a single list, which includes formally several parties, as was the case in the German Democratic Republic. Due to the dominance of the Communist Party in their governments, these states are often called "communist states" by Western political scientists. However, they have described themselves as "socialist", reserving the term "communism" for a future classless society, in which the state would no longer be necessary (on this understanding of communism, "communist state" would be an oxymoron) – for instance, the USSR was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Marxists contend that, historically, there has never been any communist country."
 
Here In Germany it's usually a whole Sunday. Seems to make more sense, indeed.
On the other hand, I have to disagree with how bad the voting system is ín the USA. It works. That is all that is nessecary. A few million other voting systems can be imagined - the majority would seem 'better'. But the most important thing is, still, that a system works. The rest are luxury problems.
 
@Anonymous

Many links to Socialism...

Another brainwashed poster...cool!
 
Im European, and really hate it when-know-it-all better non-Americans (usually Europeans) give advice on who to vote on in an election that has worldwide implications but still is a domestic issue primarily. So none of that from me:) I always follow the US elections, seems this time its not going to be a exciting, close run though. Btw: If Americans would watch Dutch tv they would probably be shocked: its an all-out 'Obama is JC incarnate & the savior of the known universe' show...so for somewhat objective info i have to look elsewhere.
 
While I agree with a lot of what n1ck says, I do feel like there is an intense campaign to get young people (not so much for the older crowd) to vote in the US. Rockthevote.com for one. On the campus of my university, they set up booths to get people to register to vote. It's just like other facets of our life; it takes responsibility from the person to go out and do it. I believe most don't vote, because they don't believe their vote counts. For example, the electoral college system where the majority wins each state. In our 2000 election, the result would have been far different it came down to the popular vote, which is what I favor.

My state, Tennessee, has had early voting from October 15th through October 30th where you can go vote before Election Day, which is on November 4th. I don't know if all states do this, but voters are given ample time to go cast their vote in my state.

Two political parties just allows people to draw lines in the dirt and stand on one side. Personally, I vote for whoever supports my ideas. I would like to do away with dependence on oil (crazy thought) and I feel one candidate is going to put more effort into doing so.
 
@Anonymous

And how many Banks have the greatest Capitalist country in the world (under a republican government)nationalised?
If actions speak loader than words....think on that...

As Nils said : Another brainwashed poster...cool!
 
“When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” - Obama 2008

So funny that somebody posted this to discredit Obama. He only discredits himself. The whole idea of wester econimical systems is to produce as much as possible to then share it with everybody. The problem is that every try to 'spread the wealth' usually leads to less goods being produced. Hence all economies that tried to spread it too much, failed.

USA has a negative income tax and things like that to SPREAD the wealth.
Of course, every attempt to discredit somebody by making him look like a communist is just silly in 2008. Next, you should probably try to tell everybody that Obama is a barbarian. Some 2000 years ago *THAT* would have been the way to win the haerts of the voting crowds, I guess.

In my opinion, there is not much difference between the candidates. A few minor things, yes. Nothing substancial. Obama, however, is better at presentimg himself. For what it's worth - go - elect him. Politics are not made by the president, but by his advisers.
 
Since America has such power over the rest of the world (eg: economic crisis) then I reckon the rest of the world should at least be allowed to vote as well since the implications of a new American president is not a national thing, it effects the whole world.

I'm Australian and from what I can tell, the next US president will be the one with the most money to throw at their campaign, and once they're in power, they'll spend the rest of their term paying back the big corporations that funded their campaign. Is that how it is or am I wrong here?
 
Unfortunately you are not 100% wrong - only 90%.
Unless you want to give the richer guy an unfair advantage, you need a limit on how much money a candidate is allowed to spend in a campaign.

Americas influence in the world is, btw, more limited than you might think.
If Chinas economy went down or Japans or that of any G8 country, we had the same problems. If the European Union decided to spend some 100 billions for building carriers it could. We are just happy that we don't have to. Making peace by miliary means is very hard and *extremely* expensive (although certainly possible and sometimes the right thing to do). We'd rather spend this kind of money into health insurance - quite selfish, I absolutely agree.
 
@Nils

I don't support either major party candidate, but the people around Obama truly scare me with their intentions.

You said, "Politics are not made by the president, but by his advisers."

This is precisely the problem. McCain's side isn't much better, but look at the people influencing Obama and the top of the democratic party right now. Explain to me how that will be beneficial to our country and not lead to even more ridiculous government spending and control than we've had while Bush has been in office.
 
Neither of the leading US Presidential Candidates are willing to do enough to get the country back on track, and even worse, they fear to even suggest what truly needs to be done.
 
Good Lord...America was established because a group of people wanted to get away from Europe. It's supposed to be different. The fact that the US has been so much more successful than Old Europe should tell you something.

And you really should do your homework on the election if you are going to make a post about it. Obama spent 5 million dollars on his Greek temple for one night during their convention. He has a brother in poverty in Africa that lives on a few dollars per year. Before you criticize the RNC for spending money on their campaign, perhaps you should look at the whole picture. And he's given a lot more than 150k to Acorn to help steal this election as well. His ignorance of world affairs surpasses Jimmy Carter and it's likely that nativity will get a lot of people killed before it's all over.

Please don't comment anymore on American politics. You are ignorant of the issues and the European viewpoint is not the American viewpoint...thank goodness.
 
Actually this election, while being labeled as the most important ever, it really isn't. Every election gets labeled as "important". They want you to get out there and vote. Why is election not important what so ever? The canidates. They are both very very similar. While they may have slightly different views on abortion, or how to leave Iraq, these slight differences will not really change anything. Everyone knows we have to leave Iraq, but make my words on this. Whoever is elected will not be pulling our troops anytime soon, and they won't be pulling all of troops either.

America wants change? We aren't going to get it. Fixing our problems would require a lot of sacrafice that people aren't willing to make. Pulling all of our troops out of Iraq right away is change. Disolving the Federal Reserve is change. Backing U.S dollars by gold again is change. RESTORING THE CONSTITUTION is change.

I'm 27, I've been through 4 presidents in my life, and 7 elections. Incase no one was paying attention every election always has the following debate points: Energy, Health, Economy, Domestic & foreign policy. Our ONE party system shoots two candiates out there and they make minor changes on the above topics. This makes the average american feel like they have a choice. It doesn't matter anyway because Amercian voters are the most ridiculously stupid people ever. A lot of americans have the mind set where they want to route for winner, like this is a freakin' sporting event. It is a farse.
 
http://hotair.com/

Here you go, Tobold....your first step in education. Keep an open mind.

Oh, look...

"Sarkozy: Obama an empty suit on foreign policy"

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/10/28/sarkozy-obama-an-empty-suit-on-foreign-policy/
 
At the end of the day, the president isn't nearly the most important figure in our government. He's just the voice of the decisions being made behind the scenes. When it's time to vote for a new prez, everyone MUST VOTE OMGBBQ - but what percent of Americans know who their senators are?
 
"The fact that the US has been so much more successful than Old Europe should tell you something."

Where is USA more successful than europe?
 
Might I suggest you keep your blogs to gaming?
 
@anonymous - why is it ok to spread the wealth to the top 1% (who, under Bush, now have more combined wealth than the entire bottom 90% of the population) and not ok to spread the wealth the other way around?

Damn that math when it works against your idiot-ology, huh?
 
I think the best thing for people to do is get their news from a variety of sources, even sources that disagree with you. Not hatemongers like O'Reilly, Maher, Olbermann, etc. And not one sided "news" like FOX or NPR.

I am more worried about voter fraud, and always amazed at the people who think it's only one party that does it. Or only one party that tries to suppress votes.
 
"Given that the US president has the power to declare war on my country or put me into a jail without a trial"

Guess what? Your country could declare war on the US too... also your government would have to give you up, so go talk to them.

I always enjoy polls/opinions from foreign nations. They want what is in their best interest, which is not necessarily what is in America's best interest. I really hope no one takes their opinions as valid.
 
As Cinderella (the 80's rock band, who rocks) once said, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." The only different is media penetration in our lives. This political crap has been going on forever and will likely continue from both sides of the aisle.
 
@ Preston

What could possibly make you think dissolving the Federal Reserve and placing the dollar back on the Gold Standard would be a good thing? Really, I'd enjoy reading that rationale. You are right that that would require a sacrifice I'm not willing to make. In general, most HUMANS would be opposed to a retreat to the barter system and a bank panic roughly every 20 years like we had from 1873 until the Federal Reserve Act.
 
Clearly Blizzard needs to offer some sort of non-combat pet or a vanity mount to players that vote. I am thinking it will be either a donkey or an elephant depending on who wins.

For your reading enjoyment here is how America sees the world:

http://frostbite.no/blog/wp-content/usa.jpg
 
"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

This is actually an old quote from Alphonse in 1839 "Plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose."

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphonse_Karr
 
Actually every American, I know, is quite ok.
On the other hand, I fear that there is a selection process at work, determining who I get to know ;)
 
Shawno: Good to know, THANKS :)
 
oh boy politics!
 
Actually, Obama has a HALF-brother in Africa that lives in poverty.  Speaking from experience (I have a half-brother), I've seen this guy probably 10-15 times in my whole life.  He is a complete stranger to me even though we have the same father, and I wouldn't give him any money.  If my half-brother expects money from me, because I become famous and rich, then thats called entitlement.  It leads to corruption.

And the problem with ACORN was mentioned in the debate.  Employees of ACORN duplicated records to put more money in their pocket.  I've worked at several places and the people in charge of entire operations never know what happens at the bottom of the ladder.  Its called shrinkage.
No one mentioned John McCain's involvement in the Keating Scandal when Savings and Loans businessess were deregulated.  How many billions of dollars didn't President Bush spend to fix that problem? Over 100 billion.

Obama's economic advisor is Warren Buffet. John McCain's economic advisor is Phil Gramm. Don't know anything about these two characters? Go read.
 
Some economists believe that the 1999 legislation spearheaded by Gramm and signed into law by President Clinton -- the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act -- was partially to blame for leading to the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis and 2008 global economic crisis.[10]. The Act is most well-known for repealing much of the Glass-Steagall Act, which had regulated the financial services industry. Gramm responded to such criticism by stating that he saw "no evidence whatsoever" that the subprime mortgage crisis was caused in any way "by allowing banks and securities companies and insurance companies to compete against each other."[11]

The Washington Post in 2008 named Gramm one of seven "key players" responsible for winning a 1998-1999 fight against regulation of derivatives trading. [12] Gramm was later critical to passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which kept derivatives transactions, including those involving credit default swaps, free of government regulation.[13] On October 14, 2008, CNN ranked Gramm number seven in its list of the 10 individuals most responsible for the current economic crisis.[14]

;)
 
Rome fell. The sun DID set on the British Empire. And we here in the U.S. are next, unfortunately (or fortunately?)

The great tragedy here is, our presidential elections tend to come down to voting for the lesser of two evils and I think this election is no different. Whichever corporate stooge wins the popularity contest, the U.S. will continue to be sold piecemeal to the human rights-violating China and oil-rich Middle Eastern countries. Just take a look at what companies were integral in the recent financial bailouts. The war on terror is a joke. Countries like Saudi Arabia continue to be the big money bankrolling terror with our mighty oil dollars, but they're our "good buddies."

I've already picked my "lesser of two evils" for November 4. And it certainly isn't gonna be some yahoo who wants to treat the presidency like a John Wayne movie. We've already had that for 8 long years, and guess what? Not only did it not work, our kids will be digging out of the shitstorm we've created for decades to come.

Tirade over. Time to plug my brain back into my computer and be an ambivalent zombie.
 
N1CK didn't mention that Ohio has Early Voting this year.

I just looked it up for my county, and this is what I found online:
---
Your Early Vote Location
Stark County Board Of Elections
201 3rd Street Northeast
Canton OH 44702

Hours: From September 30 through November 3, open Monday thru Friday 8:30am-4:30pm and Saturday November 1 8:30am-12pm.

Early Vote has started in Ohio and runs through Monday, November 3.

---

I plan to vote this Saturday morning since I will be driving an hour (both ways) on the 4th to go to Cleveland (from Canton) for work and will be hard pressed to make it to the regularly scheduled voting hours.
 
Repeal of Glass-Steagall is THE #1 factor in our current financial mess. It is far from the only factor, but Sen. Gramm was absolutely the leader of that movement. I like how Gramm phrased his quote about Insurance Companies, Banks and Investment firms competing. Technically, them competing isn't what caused this problem, it was the fact that they let them join into mega-financial institutions with conflicting value sets. Investment firms are by their nature creatures of risk, while Banks are by nature creatures of security.

Banks supported the deregulation because they coveted the higher profit margins the Investment firms could achieve. The Investment firms supported the deregulation because they viewed banking deposits as a steady source of capital to fund their investment portfolios. Banks lowered loan standards or ignored the law altogether in order to bring in cash for investments, and the Investment branches took our riskier loans and bundled them, hid the risk and sold them to other entities. Neither opportunity existed prior to the repeal of Glass-Steagall.
 
"Officially", Phil 'Nation of Whiners' Gramm isn't an advisor to McCain since July, although he certainly has shaped McCain's economic philosophies.

No, now he has people like:

Donald 'Fundamentals of the Economy are strong' Luskin - go check his article in the Washington Post, published just before the current crash. Oops!

Carly 'Neither of the Candidates could be a CEO' Fiorina - nice job she did with Hewlett Packard. Doh!

Kevin 'Dow 36000' Hassett - good thing he made his money writing a book rather than 'investing' $$ on the DOW.

Meanwhile, Obama, in addition to listening to Buffet, has also been getting advice from Paul Volcker, who helped Reagan get out of the mess that Carter put the economy in, back in the 70/80's.
 
Stay out of politics.

It's your blog, but you don't know what you are talking about. If you only hear Big Media, then of course you will come to the same conclusions you have come to, but that only shows your ignorance.

I stopped reading when you said "And what people should do is seriously consider whether she has the qualification for that." She has more experience than Obama. He's been in politics, what, 2 years? All of that has been gunning for the presidency? She's been around for 12 years, and that was running one of the biggest and most important States in our union, energy wise for sure. She knows more about energy, which is our biggest crisis, I think, than Obama knows about the Constitution.

Well, that's not really fair. He knows our Constitution, he just hates it.

Do you want a Communist country down here? That's what you'll get. Yeah, we'll get weaker, but did you ever stop to think that the reason no one messes with Canada, or Mexico for that matter, was because there is an 800 lb gorilla in the same yard?

You don't want Obama, either. Trust that. At least Palin knows national defense. Look at where Alaska is, and think of where ALL the missiles are... Hmm... She's been in defense meetings since Obama was 'managing a community'.

THINK about it. Don't listen to big media.
 
Im with George Carlin when it comes to voting.
 
Not a political blog, but some of us find your point of view interesting on any subject - if we agree with it or not.

A thoughtful post Tobold, keep it up and don't be afraid to comment on current events. MMO's are impacted by real world events as well: I first heard that Princess Di had passed away while on the 3D Graphical MUD, Meridian 59.
 
The next one who uses the words "communism" or "socialism" in connection with America 2008 will be added to my ignore list !! Unbelievable, this is. I always thought it's a joke. But, indeed: There are people here who are afrain of communism..

You probably also are afraid of the sky, falling on your head, are you ?
 
Wow - that's quite a lot of excitement you generated with this post!

I just came back from voting (Arkansas, so my presidential vote most likely will not matter, due to the fact that each state votes separately, and Arkansas is a very Republican state). Even with the early voting schemes, polls are often open primarily during business hours, i.e. when most people are working. But we're getting there.

As you say, for too many reasons to go into, these elections matter, even to people who aren't allowed to vote. So if you can't vote, but you know someone who can, call 'em up and tell 'em to get off their tail and get voting!
 
@ Chris
Maybe Preston wants to abolish the Fed because abolishing the Federal Reserve will allow Congress to reassert its constitutional authority over monetary policy. The United States Constitution grants to Congress the authority to coin money and regulate the value of the currency. The Constitution does not give Congress the authority to delegate control over monetary policy to a central bank. Furthermore, the Constitution certainly does not empower the federal government to erode the American standard of living via an inflationary monetary policy. Maybe he wants to put an end to the manipulation of the money supply which erodes Americans' standard of living, enlarges big government, and enriches well-connected elite. Gold and freedom go together. Gold money is both the result of freedom and its leading protector. When money is as good as gold, the government cannot manipulate the supply for its own purposes.

Even Greenspan himself admits this! In 1967, Alan Greenspan once wrote an article called Gold and Economic Freedom. He wrote:
"An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense--perhaps more clearly and subtly than many consistent defenders of laissez-faire--that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument of laissez-faire and that each implies and requires the other. . . . This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights."

Under the gold standard, the supply of money regulated itself. The government kept within limits. Banks were more cautious. Savings were high because credit was tight and saving was rewarded. This approach to economics is the foundation of a sustainable prosperity.

Is a gold standard feasible again? Of course. The dollar could be redefined in terms of gold. Interest rates would reflect the real supply and demand for credit. We could shut down the Fed and we would never need to worry again what the chairman of the Fed wanted. There was a time when Greenspan was nostalgic for such a system. Investors of the world have come to embrace this view even as Greenspan has completely abandoned it. What keeps the gold standard from becoming a reality again is the love of big government and war. If we ever fall in love with freedom again, the gold standard will once more become a hot issue in public debate.
 
"Look at where Alaska is, and think of where ALL the missiles are."
Underwater?
 
Choosing the lesser of evils is still choosing evil.

Voting carries with it a responsibility to research and to choose who you think will do the best job, not just someone who isn't as bad as the other guy. If you honestly think that one of the media/party anointed frontrunners is the best person for the job, vote for them. If you think someone else (anyone else) can do a better job, vote for them. Anything less is abdicating the right and responsibility to have your voice heard as something positive, rather than capitulation to the false choice of evil vs. evil. There are other options. Trying to "pick the winner" like it's some sort of horse race (elephant, donkey, whatever) or American Presidential Idol show is foolish. It truly is "wasting your vote" if you're not casting it honestly from a position of objective education. (Regardless of who you are voting for, by the way.)

As for the Fed and the gold standard, the issue is honesty and transparency. Fractional reserve lending and the Fed (with fiat money) create an environment where production and services cannot be valued fairly because the "standards" fluctuate without regard for actual supply and demand. A gold standard (or some other standard, it need not be gold, just something with intrinsic value) puts limits on credit and leverage because of the supply/demand mechanics.

Credit (actually debt) and leverage are twin causes of the current economic meltdown; banks don't lend to each other because they can't trust in the numbers that they are showing to each other. A gold standard would give a metric to judge value by, and would allow stable businesses to keep running (and bad ones to go under instead of stringing the system along).

Fiat money doesn't have to conform to reality, and often distorts markets because it's not founded in market fundamentals. A gold standard wouldn't be the solution to everything, no, but it's a cog in a system to keep markets honest. It's a bit like playing a sport; there have to be rules that stay consistent for the game to function. Unless you play Calvinball, of course.
 
If Obama wins Blizzard should implement his economic philosophy across all US servers. I would propose the following:

1. All players are able to keep 100% of gold and reputation for the first 10 daily quests that they complete each day. The 11-16th quests only reward 75% gold and reputation for that player with the other 25% going into a server wide pool. The 17th-25th daily quest completed will only reward 50% of gold and reputation gained to that player with the other 50% going into the server pool.

Players who complete no daily quests that day can talk to an NPC who will award them a given amount of the reputation and gold earned by the players that are completing the dailys. The system will be setup to insure that alts of players completing daily quests are not able to take advantage of the system.


2. Instead of three tier tokens dropping per raid boss the bosses will be changed back to only dropping two. A computer program will identify PVE challenged individuals on the server in need of free tier 6. They will find a tier piece for their class mailed to them should they be selected as the most gimp player of that class on the server at that time.


3. Honor will no longer be rewarded directly for player participation in PVP either in battle grounds or in the open world. Instead as players defeat enemy players a large server pool of honor points is compiled. At the end of the week all players on the server of that faction are given a set percentage of the honor points based on time spent online, whether they participated in PVP or not.

Steps will be taken to make sure that someone who spent two times as much time online does not get two times the honor as the disadvantaged player that was not online as much. Top players for the week should expect to recieve at most 50% more honor points than minimum earners.

4. The Barrens zone is no longer under Horde control. Through skillful diplomacy it was decided that the entire area should be turned back over to the native Centaurs. Players are now able to complete quests for the new owners of the land and there is even indication of the first casino being placed there in an upcoming patch.

Players will have to first grind reputation with the Centaurs in order to gain access to the casino and the various quests there. Reputation is gained by typing /apologize and target every Centaur that you can find.

Additionally the gathering quests that were so popular with the launch of AQ have been brought back. These items can now be turned into the Centaur NPCs in the various cities. Players will earn reparation tokens which can be turned in to purchase various reputation based rewards or for credit at the Centaur Casino opening in 2009.
 
"The fact that the US has been so much more successful than Old Europe should tell you something."

Can you find "Old Europe" on a world map, and do you know that Hitler is not at power anymore?
 
Do you know why Hitler isn't in power anymore? I hope you enjoy not having to do the goose step march on your way to work. And that you don't have to learn Russian to file your yearly federal taxes.

You're welcome Europe.
 
@ Trippin Ninja, Thank you :P that is basically what I don't like about the Fed.

@ Chris, see post above by Trippin Ninja. I'd also like to add that the Fed is a central bank that isn't in OUR best interest. The Fed is lending us money, money that the Fed is able to conjour up out of air. These loans are not free, loans are lent to us with interest. We are stuck in cycle we were need to continue borrowing money to keep up our current economic system. I could go on forever with this, but there is plenty of information on the internets.
 
Tobold - I don't really need this on an MMO blog. Between this and the Uzi story, there is a smell coming from your otherwise truly excellent website.

I don't make posts about England when some guy urinates on a dying woman in the street, or whichever European country (Austria? I forget) in which that father built that evil room in his basement. There's no point, because they are isolated, insane incidents that don't reflect on the society as a whole.

At the same time, I don't need to come here and read you campaigning for Obama not on the strength of anything in his platform, but on your own dislike for Sarah Palin and McCain's age. Frankly, this isn't the place - it's the equivalent of a blogging bait and switch.

If you absolutely must get political, the manner in which you have is pretty disappointing. You have truly keen insight and continually make great observations about MMOs. Why not explain to us why income redistribution is a good thing? Why not extol the virtues of at least one of Obama's policies? The lack of this makes it appear that you, like everyone else, have looked only at Obama's style and never at his substance. Coming from you, that's a surprise.

But really, I would prefer not to see it here at all. I read political news every day and stay very informed, but when I'm here, I'm here for MMO discussion, which is where your strength lies.
 
There are disadvantages to a gold standard. May I suggest the newest innovation of good old europe ?
Just introduce an independent institution (ECB), that's main purpose is to maintain price stability.
Of course there might be a problem in the good new world that the governments over there don't stick to the rules they make. Things like a constitution and Guantanamo...

Once again from Wikipedia:
-------------
Gold does not have inherent value/energy so exchange value has to be negotiated during each transaction. During times of scarcities like famine, exchange value of gold goes down drastically.

The total amount of gold that has ever been mined has been estimated at around 142,000 tons.[7] Assuming a gold price of US$1,000 per ounce, or $32,500 per kilogram, the total value of all the gold ever mined would be around $4.5 trillion. This is less than the value of circulating money in the U.S. alone, where more than $7.6 trillion is in circulation or in deposit (although international banking currently practices fractional reserves).[8] Therefore, a return to the gold standard would result in a significant increase in the current value of gold, which may limit its use in current applications.[9] For example, instead of using the ratio of $1,000 per ounce, the ratio can be defined as $2,000 per ounce (or $1,000 per 1/2 ounce) effectively raising the value of gold to $8 trillion. Gold standard advocates consider this to be an acceptable and necessary risk. [10]

Fluctuations in the amount of gold that is mined could cause inflation, if there is an increase, or deflation if there is a decrease.[11][12] Some hold the view that this contributed to the Great Depression.[13][9]

It is difficult to manipulate a gold standard to tailor to an economy’s demand for money, giving central banks fewer options to respond to economic crises.[14]
Some have contended that the gold standard may be susceptible to speculative attacks when a government's financial position appears weak. For example, some believe the United States was forced to raise its interest rates in the middle of the Great Depression to defend the credibility of its currency.[13]
If a country wanted to devalue their currency, it would produce sharper changes than the smooth declines seen in fiat currencies.[15]
-------------

------------
The ECB is designed to be independent of political intervention, both from EU institutions and from member states. It also has financial independence by virtue of its having its own budget, separate from the EU budget, sourced from the NCBs.[14] Its political independence was an attribute taken from the bank it was modelled after, the German Bundesbank[9], due to a consensus amongst economists that an independent central bank is the best way to avoid manipulation of the macroeconomy for political purposes.[15] Furthermore, not only must the bank not seek influence, but EU institutions and national governments are bound by the treaties to respect this principle by not themselves seeking to influence the decision-making bodies of the ECB.[14]
------------
 
"He is a complete stranger to me even though we have the same father, and I wouldn't give him any money. If my half-brother expects money from me, because I become famous and rich, then thats called entitlement. It leads to corruption."

And that's different than socialism how?
 
Wow Tobold, you are a very brave man. And have very smrt readers. I have made two posts on politics on my 'gaming' blog, both in fear of content you have received here, although both completely harmless.

The problem is you can't get relevant information. News sources are slanted Donkey/Elephant, "analysts" are slanted Donkey/Elephant, and the fear mongerers are slanted Donkey/Elephant. Both sides spend more time trying to cloud the issues and the relevance of their candidates (and their platforms) than properly inform Americans what they are voting for. It can be worse than American Idol, only with less voters.

There is no spoon.
 
"@Anonymous

Many links to Socialism...

Another brainwashed poster...cool!"

If that were a brainwashed post, then all of the links would be right wing sites that espoused various degrees of brainwashing.

Instead, they were mostly links to wikipedia and direct source links (like the the communist party site) where available.

How about reading the content referenced, figuring out what's being suggested and determine if the content and implication is valid.
 
Regarding the ACORN hysteria - Voter Registration Fraud isn't nearly as harmful as actual Vote Fraud. Or are you so caught up drinking your kool aid that you don't want to see the difference?
 
Some of these posts make me sick.

Though I wish the ignorant could get what they wish for, I don't want also suffer the consequences.

Fear, Ignorance and falacies in the last stage of this national election are making the U.S. situation worse than it already is.

I no longer associate with a guy who was a friend of mine because he believes whole-heartedly that Obama is a muslim who associates with terrorists, and nothing can convince him otherwise, yet reluctantly admitted he liked Obama back when it was just him and Hilary competing in the primary. He has told me Obama is dangerous and will destroy the United States. His wife said he never liked Rush Limbaugh before this summer, but he now swears upon Rush and the truth Rush spouts regarding how the Big Media is trying to hide information about Obama from the voters of America...
 
Anyone who thinks that somebody else should not have or not voice an opinion about politics obviously hasn't understood the fundamentals of politics. Of course the only people who try to silence someone like that are those who disagree with him. Even worse, some people even try to prevent those people from voting who they suspect would vote against them. By gerrymandering for example.

And honestly, if everyone who thinks that I should not have an opinion on US politics, or that I am much less well informed than the average American, would leave this blog and never return, they couldn't possibly make me any happier. I am quite open to any sort of discussion, but I absolutely can't stand censorship.
 
Interestingly, I didn't read any official endorsement of Obama in the OP. I just saw some valid concerns voiced about the vapid silliness of current American politics and politicians.

Actually, Tobold, this sort of thing can be a good launchpad for jumping into a discussion of game economies and/or politics, especially guild politics. I'd probably lean more to the economic study, but really, these political things that affect the real world affect MMOs not only through direct policies but through emulation and player demographics and psychology. MMOs are ostensibly "virtual worlds", and since real people drive the things, it can be enlightening to look at how things work in the real world.

Looking at the McCain/Palin thing, we see how populist moves and "maverickism" (for want of a better term) can affect a person who wants attention. Looking at Obama, we can see some interesting "cult of personality" effects, and the Democratic race was a great study on race/gender and how they affect politicking. Racism is alive and kicking here in the "land of the free", and though it's taboo to talk about, it can have some very real effects. On a larger scale, speaking of divisiveness, one can look at how the two party monster that we have here stifles meaningful debate by polarizing opinions into "us vs. them", especially by focusing on superficial topics rather than universal concerns. (Or how "debates" aren't usually anything of the sort.)

Even the Dem. vs. Rep. schtick can parallel Horde vs. Alliance (or whichever way you want to parallel that). WoW lore was built on the bitter fight between the two, but as the lore has mutated, there aren't really any "bad guys" and "good guys", just misunderstood greenskins and grumpy Humans. There's much fuss about "standing by our party" or "For the Horde!", but at the end of the day, the similarities are stronger than the differences.

...and then there's that crazy Zombie Party...
 
I'd say that the parties are just about to 'optimise the fun out of' politics ;)
 
"I no longer associate with a guy who was a friend of mine because he believes whole-heartedly that Obama..."

Wow... just wow.
 
Interestingly, I didn't read any official endorsement of Obama in the OP. I just saw some valid concerns voiced about the vapid silliness of current American politics and politicians.

Yeah, I don't endorse either candidate. But of course if I point out the flaws in both sides, the fans of each side only see me criticizing *their* candidate, and promptly start foaming out of their mouths. As we recently discussed, the art of discussion is dying, and nowhere is that more true than in politics. Just look at many of the comments on this page: Most of them are just plain untrue, scaremongering propaganda. For example instead of discussing whether universal healthcare is a good idea or not, opponents just call it "socialism", and that ends the debate. Which somehow fails to consider that Bismarck, who introduced universal healthcare in Germany in 1881 was an ultra-conservative, and that most European countries who have universal healthcare are far from "socialist".

The people attacking McCain aren't any better by the way. Few discuss politics, most just resort to mudslinging and unfounded allegations of connections to corruption. And in all that false reporting, which is fuelled very much by various mass media, not just idiots posting on the internet, the real politics of either side get totally lost. Everyone knows how much Sarah Palin spent on her wardrobe, nobody knows what the position of Obama and McCain towards North Korea is, or how they think about the alternative minimum tax. Personality cult and its opposite are no replacement for an informed decision.
 
@ Andrew.

Yes, I did mention that Ohio has early voting. I also mentioned that there is a lot of controversy around the state about allowing it.

Second, Tobold can bring up whatever he wants in his blog. If you don't like it, don't respond. Or better yet, go away and don't read it.

Third, you can agree or disagree about which candidate is better or worse. But if you want to bring up "Socialism" as a derogatory economic system, realize that its everywhere, in every country, city, town, etc. Does your town/city/state/government have a police force? If so, who pays for it? Fire departments? Schooling? As a practicing Libertarian, I can see how Communism cannot work out in the long run. But socialism? Make sure you know the definition of the word before you throw it around like a live grenade.

There are socialist *programs* everywhere. The places where you see it the most...Europe, Japan, US, etc..."Western Nations"...are also the richest and often have the best healthcare, education, life expectancies, etc. Probably just a crazy coincidence.

Everytime I hear someone crying about Socialism I have to wonder...would you prefer to live in a third world country? "Socialism" is everywhere, the mere mention of the word is a scare tactic and is a telegraph of the person's political bent. Everything else that follows is just more of the same...an attempt to scare you.
 
Socialism:

"social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but live in cooperation with one another. Furthermore, everything that people produce is in some sense a social product, and everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Society as a whole, therefore, should own or at least control property for the benefit of all its members.

This conviction puts socialism in opposition to capitalism, which is based on private ownership of the means of production and allows individual choices in a free market to determine how goods and services are distributed. Socialists complain that capitalism necessarily leads to unfair and exploitative concentrations of wealth and power in the hands of the relative few who emerge victorious from free-market competition—people who then use their wealth and power to reinforce their dominance in society. Because such people are rich, they may choose where and how to live, and their choices in turn limit the options of the poor. As a result, terms such as individual freedom and equality of opportunity may be meaningful for capitalists but can only ring hollow for working people, who must do the capitalists’ bidding if they are to survive. As socialists see it, true freedom and true equality require social control of the resources that provide the basis for prosperity in any society. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels made this point in Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) when they proclaimed that in a socialist society “the condition for the free development of each is the free development of all.”"

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/551569/socialism
 
"The places where you see it the most...Europe, Japan, US, etc..."Western Nations"...are also the richest and often have the best healthcare, education, life expectancies, etc. Probably just a crazy coincidence."

It's not all roses and buckets...

"The [Japanese Health Care] system has been troubled with excessive paperwork, assembly-line care for out-patients (because few facilities made appointments), over medication, and abuse of the system because of low out-of-pocket costs to patients.[citation needed] Another problem is an uneven distribution of health personnel, with rural areas favored over cities.[2]"

"Japan's suicide rate is extremely high; the Yomiuri Shinbun reported in June 2008 that more than 30,000 people had killed themselves every year for the past decade. A study published in 2006, suspects that health problems were a factor in almost 50 percent of the Japan's suicides in 2006.[3] However the Yomiuri's 2007 figures show 274 school children were among those who took their own lives."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Japan

"Money, in other words, buys good health—on both sides of the Atlantic. "
http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/jun2007/gb20070613_921562_page_2.htm
 
I wonder how many of those crying out against "spreading the wealth around" have ever taken a basic economics course. It's a fact that the poor and middle classes all have a higher marginal propensity to consume than the wealthy. At least on some levels, a redistribution of wealth away from the wealthy increases aggregate demand and thus improves the economy as a whole. As long as the decrease in investment doesn't overwhelm the increase in consumption, which is doubtful since consumption makes up over 2/3rds of aggregate demand.
 
Its not all roses and buckets, nor did I say it was.

So Japan isn't perfect? Or the US? Really, you jest...

Compare Japan, the US, Europe, etc, to any average third world country in a lot of stats, and I have a bet you'd rather live among the "evils" of Socialism in the Western world, than in abject poverty. Unless of course you are rich, than it doesn't matter.

As you've said, money buys good health. If you don't live in the Western world...you better have money. How comforting.
 
Tobold - stick to MMO's. Your political commentary is just so much effete European posing. When you're ready to carry your share of the world's problems give us a call...
 
Tobold,

I respect your right to have any political opinion that you care to hold. But your efforts with these types of posts will only cost you loyal readers in the long run. If you feel the need to be vocal about political issues, then why not create a seperate blog to "keep it all in one place", as the saying goes? I can only speak for myself regarding this, and I feel that you have a gift of seeing things that designers refuse to see, or often overlook as part of the bigger picture of game design. Take comfort in knowing that some of us actually care about your opinions regarding MMO's. Politics, however, not so much.
 
I've noticed that a lot of the comments are saying "stick to MMO's". Frankly, the only thing I don't like about your political posts is not that I disagree with your opinion (I ignore most people's opinions pretty much constantly), it is that instead of a political post, I WOULD RATHER BE READING AN MMO POST. I come to your blog to satisfy my MMO curiosity, so I would hope that if you do post something political there is a completely unrelated MMO post to accompany it, which I can focus all of my attention on. I think you did a great job of that today, posting about your early morning WoW excursion before moving on to politics.

No foul in my book.
 
If you don't like Tobold posting his opinion on off topic subjects on his own blog, then you can just ignore it, can't you? Unless you have autism, you can, like, look at something else, can't you? It's not like Tobold is Voldemort and has you under the imperius curse and is making you read his wall of text or something, right?

Just to be clear, it's his blog, his thoughts, his opinions, you do not have to read it, EVER
 
I'm not criticizing any particular side or point of view, I'm criticizing the way the discussion is held. Yes, it is totally valid to be either for or against universal healthcare. And yes, universal healthcare would move the United States a tiny bit more to the left. And a good discussion could be held on whether that is a good idea or not. But that discussion isn't taking place!

Sorry, but if you think that Obama is a socialist, or that he, if elected, turn the United States into a socialist country, you are simply an idiot. I don't believe you are an idiot. So, unfortunately, you are something worse: You deliberately spread misinformation about the opposition to discredit it.
 
"Sorry, but if you think that Obama is a socialist, or that he, if elected, turn the United States into a socialist country, you are simply an idiot."

Tobold, I think you are being a bit harsh here. After all, many otherwise intelligent people were fooled by Nazi and Stalinist propaganda. By European standards, the bulk of the US media are right wing (despite the US right's claims of liberal bias). Over time, this affects your view of the world. When you never see a news story about another country that doesn't have a "US angle", it's hard to imagine that your country could possibly work differently. Whilst stuck in a US hotel once, I watched an hour of what was laughably called "CNN World News". In all that time it had one story about another country, and that was coverage of the US president's visit to it.

When you're constantly told that liberals, socialists and communists are the same thing, it grinds you down after a while. As Goebbels said, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

There are plenty of good reasons to vote for John McCain - he's a brave, decent and honorable man who's not afraid of making enemies in his own party if he believes in something. It will be a shame if people support him because of all the silly "Obama is a terrorist/socialist" nonsense.
 
"Sorry, but if you think that Obama is a socialist, or that he, if elected, turn the United States into a socialist country, you are simply an idiot. I don't believe you are an idiot. So, unfortunately, you are something worse: You deliberately spread misinformation about the opposition to discredit it."

Interesting that you've reduced your response to attaching the person, instead of the idea. Here's some information on that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

And here's some words from Senator Obama that may hide some inner turmoil around racism toward whites as well as socialistic roots in chosen influences:

"To avoid being mistaken for a white sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets." - from "Dreams from My Father." by Barack Obama

Does that mean Senator Obama wants to turn the US into a socialist country?

Not in and of itself, but he did say in 2001 that legislative action was the right way to achieve redistribution and we aren't far enough in that, he did say in 2008 that spreading the wealth around was good for everyone and he is working on making taxes more progressive and socializing medicine (which hasn't been a necessarily better thing elsewhere). Add to that his explicit choice of focusing on making friends specifically with Marxist professors in college, you have a pattern of words, activities and intended actions that spans his entire adult life.

On the other hand, you can just stick your head in the sand on the opposite side of the pond and call everyone that disagrees with you an idiot. And that I think is deplorable.
 
Well, I could use other words, but the idea that Obama is a socialist / marxist remains laughable. If he would be elected president and would get all the laws he wanted through legislation, America would still remain a country well to the right of nearly every European country. If you listen to the campaigning, apparently American voters get the choice between either a Marxist, or a Nazi. But if you consider the positions of the two candidates carefully, you'll see that they are actually not so very far apart. America under president McCain would only differ slightly from America under president Obama. Their small difference are blown out of proportion. You hear that Obama would get the troops out of Iraq tomorrow, while McCain would leave them there for 100 years. But if you look closer you'll see that their proposed plans for extracting America from Iraq only differ by months and some details.
 
Since we are on the topic of socialism. If you think that Republicans, particularly George W. Bush, already have not implemented socialism in a big way in America, then you really don't understand the term. Let's examine the top-ten ways in which Bush and his predecessors already have (and McCain wants to continue to) "spread the wealth" of America:

1. Our jobs have been spread to Asia, Indonesia, India and Mexico.

2. Our taxes, along with the blood of our children, have been spread on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan.

3. Our wages have been spread overseas with our jobs, and domestically to millions of illegal immigrants who drag down the prevailing wage by working for peanuts.

4. Our savings and retirement accounts have been decimated and spread to the usual suspects on Wall Street, who shorted the market on the basis of inside information provided by their cohorts on the Plunge-Protection Team.

5. Our taxes continue to be spread to other countries in the form of "Foreign Aid," particularly to that most nettlesome of nations: Israel.

6. Our health care has been priced beyond our ability to pay, spread to millions of the undeserving - primarily illegal immigrants.

7. Our income has been spread to oil companies, who have reported record profits again and again, in the form of higher gasoline prices and the increasingly burdensome cost of heating our homes during the winter.

8. Our children's financial future has been mortgaged and the proceeds spread to the already-fat cats and inefficient organizations through the current incredible corporate and banking bailouts. Note that these bailouts result in the government acquisition of a controlling interest in much of America's formerly privately-held corporations, the very definition of Socialism. Note well that the architect of these bailouts is Treasury Secretary Henry Paulsen, who just a couple of years ago was "earning" $37 million per year as the head of Goldman, Sachs, a prime recipient of all that bailout money.

9. Our money is diluted daily by the massive creation of dollars from nothing by the Federal Reserve Bank, a private organization owned by foreigners, resulting in a spreading of our wealth to the recipients of all the foregoing government largesse and excess.

10. Because new money is created as the result of new debt owed to the foreigners who own the Federal Reserve Bank, our future wealth is spread to those foreign fat cat central bankers in the form of ever-increasing interest payments.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. America already has become a socialist nation. Like the proverbial frog in the slowly-heated pot, you likely never noticed.
 
1. Our jobs have been spread to Asia, Indonesia, India and Mexico.
- an attribute of capitalism, not socialism

2. Our taxes, along with the blood of our children, have been spread on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- both socialist and capitalist countries do this, so again not a sign of the USA becoming socialist

3. Our wages have been spread overseas with our jobs, and domestically to millions of illegal immigrants who drag down the prevailing wage by working for peanuts.
- an attribute of capitalism, not socialism

4. Our savings and retirement accounts have been decimated and spread to the usual suspects on Wall Street, who shorted the market on the basis of inside information provided by their cohorts on the Plunge-Protection Team.
- an attribute of capitalism, not socialism

5. Our taxes continue to be spread to other countries in the form of "Foreign Aid," particularly to that most nettlesome of nations: Israel.
- done by both captalist and socialist countries

6. Our health care has been priced beyond our ability to pay, spread to millions of the undeserving - primarily illegal immigrants.
- socialism would subsidise healthcare by taxing the rich - what you have there is a sign of a free market capitalist health care system

7. Our income has been spread to oil companies, who have reported record profits again and again, in the form of higher gasoline prices and the increasingly burdensome cost of heating our homes during the winter.
- an attribute of capitalism, not socialism

8. Our children's financial future has been mortgaged and the proceeds spread to the already-fat cats and inefficient organizations through the current incredible corporate and banking bailouts. Note that these bailouts result in the government acquisition of a controlling interest in much of America's formerly privately-held corporations, the very definition of Socialism. Note well that the architect of these bailouts is Treasury Secretary Henry Paulsen, who just a couple of years ago was "earning" $37 million per year as the head of Goldman, Sachs, a prime recipient of all that bailout money.
- an attribute of capitalism, not socialism

9. Our money is diluted daily by the massive creation of dollars from nothing by the Federal Reserve Bank, a private organization owned by foreigners, resulting in a spreading of our wealth to the recipients of all the foregoing government largesse and excess.
10. Because new money is created as the result of new debt owed to the foreigners who own the Federal Reserve Bank, our future wealth is spread to those foreign fat cat central bankers in the form of ever-increasing interest payments
- socialists believe in taking major enterprises under state (and hence democratic) control, so this is the opposite of socialism

By all means complain about these things, but describing them as signs of socialism is mistaken. I can't escape the feeling that you are equating "socialist" with "bad", so if bad things happen they must be signs of socialism.
 
I'm always much happier when the party that controls Congress is not the same that holds the White House. Historically, this situation tends to lead to better economic times like during Regan and Clinton's term. The one exception seems to be this last Bush term where there was almost no show of bi-partisan effort between the White House and Congress.

Anyways I personally want to avoid any situations that leads to any more "social" programs being passed like Social Security. Every month a decent portion of my pay goes to these programs and I know that I'm young enough that I either won't see any of it returned to me or I won't see it until I'm almost dead. I'd much rather plan for my own retirement using a 401K or IRA. Even with the recent huge market losses these programs still offer more value. This is more in line with what McCain believes.
 
"4. Our savings and retirement accounts have been decimated and spread to the usual suspects on Wall Street, who shorted the market on the basis of inside information provided by their cohorts on the Plunge-Protection Team.
- an attribute of capitalism, not socialism"

That's an attribute of government interference with capitalism actually...

"But if you consider the positions of the two candidates carefully, you'll see that they are actually not so very far apart. America under president McCain would only differ slightly from America under president Obama."

If that's true, then it makes only a slight difference who one votes for which reduces significance of the discussion.... significantly.

And in that perspective, I think it would be more prudent to vote for someone who doesn't want to raise any taxes, rather than someone who wants to raise some taxes. At the end of the day, taxes take opportunistic money out of the pocket of organizations and people who will do one of the following:

1) Save it (improves banking health)
2) Invest it (helps the investees)
3) Hire with it (increases jobs)
4) Buys something with it (increases commerce)

All of which directly improves economic growth.

Sending it to the government doesn't have nearly as positive of an effect.
 
I like your political posts Tobold, they are the only way I can find out what real americans think about the upcoming election, and now socialism and lipstick and ect ect. I figure if they read your blog like I do, they must share at least some of my interests. It also shows me that typical nerd rage the MMO players suffer from, flaming left right and centre, riding about on their donkey/elephant mounts. Not reading the quest description...

Keep up the good work Tobold, I would contribute to the dicussion, but I'm an Australian, so it doesn't count.
 
I'm an Australian too! We have universal health care! Higher taxes for those who earn more! Our government supports those with lower incomes! Wow, we're living in a socialist country!
 
That's an attribute of government interference with capitalism actually..."
Strictly speaking, you're right. It's true that the inside information in the scenario described came from a government source, but insider trading, Wall Street etc are all instruments of capitalism. With a socialist state controlled banking system it wouldn't occur. Now there are many things wrong with socialism as an ideology, such as the risks of corruption, producer capture and the sheer impossibility of a centralised planning system making good plans in a complex modern economy, but this isn't one of them. If there had been no government regulation they'd have got their insider information even more easily.
 
"But if you consider the positions of the two candidates carefully..."

And that right there is the root of the problem. It's not TWO candidates, there's actually SIX candidates on the Ballot. Unfortunately most people let themselves be convinced that a vote for anyone but one of the two evils is a wasted vote, so they either don't bother voting at all, or they choose the lesser of the two evils. And that is truly a wasted vote.

Also on the card is Congressman Bob Barr, Pastor Chuck Baldwin, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, and Ralph Nader.
 
@N1CK

(See the original quote by N1CK in italics below.)

First, there is no reason to get defensive about my reference to early voting in Ohio even if I didn't realize you had made reference to early voting in your first post.

Second, the posts I refered to that "made me sick" were the replies on this thread. I have no issue with anything Tobold has written. I wish I had been more clear about that.

Third, I never mentioned the word socialism or anything having to do with socialism. Please reread my posts.


N1CK Said...

@ Andrew.

Yes, I did mention that Ohio has early voting. I also mentioned that there is a lot of controversy around the state about allowing it.

Second, Tobold can bring up whatever he wants in his blog. If you don't like it, don't respond. Or better yet, go away and don't read it.

Third, you can agree or disagree about which candidate is better or worse. But if you want to bring up "Socialism" as a derogatory economic system, realize that its everywhere, in every country, city, town, etc. Does your town/city/state/government have a police force? If so, who pays for it? Fire departments? Schooling? As a practicing Libertarian, I can see how Communism cannot work out in the long run. But socialism? Make sure you know the definition of the word before you throw it around like a live grenade.

There are socialist *programs* everywhere. The places where you see it the most...Europe, Japan, US, etc..."Western Nations"...are also the richest and often have the best healthcare, education, life expectancies, etc. Probably just a crazy coincidence.

Everytime I hear someone crying about Socialism I have to wonder...would you prefer to live in a third world country? "Socialism" is everywhere, the mere mention of the word is a scare tactic and is a telegraph of the person's political bent. Everything else that follows is just more of the same...an attempt to scare you.


 
Regarding the silliness of trying to label Obama a socialist, McCain admitted last night on CNN that Obama isn't a socialist. Go watch the vid, and see him say it.
 
"Unfortunately most people let themselves be convinced that a vote for anyone but one of the two evils is a wasted vote, so they either don't bother voting at all, or they choose the lesser of the two evils. And that is truly a wasted vote."
Voting in a democracy is always a tricky business. For well understood reasons, the optimum tactic for major parties is to sit closely together in the centre of a country's politics (see http://ingrimayne.com/econ/International/Hotelling.html for a simple explanation). This leaves those whose politics are far from the centre in a tricky position. Their views aren't popular enough amongst the population at large to win a majority, so they have to either:
a) Vote for the nearer of the two main parties for a high probability of achieving a small step in the direction they want
b) Vote for a small party that best represents their views, for a low probability of a big step in the direction they want
c) Not vote, giving zero probability of moving the country in the direction they want.
Choice a) isn't a "wasted vote" - it's just a low-risk, low-gain strategy.
 
True to stereotype. "I won't say anything, it's not my place, me being smart and European, but vote socialist."

Stick to your fries with mayonnaise. We'll stick to ours.
 
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