Economic Series Part 1: To Raise or not to Raise the Minimum Wage?

Welcome to the first part of my three topic series on Economics. If you haven’t read this blog before then you should check out my last two posts that explain exactly what this series will be about. One post is here, and the introduction to this series is here. I would also suggest reading some of my previous posts, many of which cover this very topic of Minimum Wage. In particular, this post and this post among others. I have already prefaced this topic on multiple occasions so in this post, I will dive straight into the question that I want to present both arguments for and against. I will briefly explain what the minimum wage is, first. Then I will give you brief history of it. The bulk of this post will be my arguments, however, it will be up to you to decide what side you are on.

The title of post implies that my question is about raising the minimum wage. This has been in recent years, a hotly debated and controversial question. My question is: Should the government raise the minimum wage? Now it’s not a simple yes or no question. If you say yes, then you have to explain why you think that raising it is such a good idea. Or If you say no then why not raise it?  The principle of minimum wage is fairly simple to understand. Minimum wage is the base wage of all workers in the United States. Typically, the federal government sets a standard wage. However, the states also have the ability to set their own wage higher than the federal government if they choose. Right now, the federal wage is 7.25 an hour. There are 29 states that have minimum wages above the federal level.

The history of the minimum wage starts in the beginning of 20th century. The progressive movement that help develop labor laws and other regulations on business helped bring about the minimum wage. Before the minimum wage existed, workers were paid based on how much skill their job involved. They were also paid according to market value. Just like today, typically the less skilled your work, the less pay you received. According to the Department of Labor website, the minimum was officially brought into law on June 26, 1940. The name of the act bringing it to life was called Minimum Wage and Maximum Hours Standards Under the Fair Labor Standards Act. It originally started out at 1 dollar then worked its up. In January 1980 it was $3.10 and by 2007 it had increased to $5.85. Now in 2016, we see movements to increase it even further from 7.25. This is where the controversy and debate starts.

There are two distinct sides, I want to present arguments for and against raising the minimum wage. I want to present it fairly. So I feel obligated to tell you that I am against raising the minimum wage. However, I’m not against raising a reasonable amount that is in accordance with the market value of labor. In other words, if the economy can handle a raise in the minimum wage then so be it. Let me first present the supposed arguments for raising it. This is even hotly debated among economists. So you can expect to be baffled by the contradictory arguments for each side.

For Raising the Minimum Wage:

The line of reasoning for raising the minimum wage is that it will help the poor and single parents. The various other reasons for raising it are that big corporations can afford it, CEO’s make too much and workers deserve it. Typically the Democrats champion these raises in Minimum wage. In recent years, there has been push to raise to 15 dollars an hour. You might hear about the rationale to raise it as a living wage. A living wage really means an increase that is adjusted for inflation. These are just some of the arguments made for the minimum wage to be raised. I want to quote some interesting pro-minimum wage Mythbusters facts from the Labor Department website. (I seriously couldn’t believe this government website sounds like a liberal Facebook page. Talk about propaganda) Without further or ado:

Myth: The federal minimum wage is higher today than it was when President Reagan took office.

Not true: While the federal minimum wage was only $3.35 per hour in 1981 and is currently $7.25 per hour in real dollars, when adjusted for inflation, the current federal minimum wage would need to be more than $8 per hour to equal its buying power of the early 1980s and more nearly $11 per hour to equal its buying power of the late 1960s. That’s why President Obama is urging Congress to increase the federal minimum wage and give low-wage workers a much-needed boost.

Myth: Increasing the minimum wage lacks public support.

Not true: Raising the federal minimum wage is an issue with broad popular support. Polls conducted since February 2013 when President Obama first called on Congress to increase the minimum wage have consistently shown that an overwhelming majority of Americans support an increase.

Myth: Increasing the minimum wage will result in job losses for newly hired and unskilled workers in what some call a “last-one-hired-equals-first-one-fired” scenario.

Not true: Minimum wage increases have little to no negative effect on employment as shown in independent studies from economists across the country. Academic research also has shown that higher wages sharply reduce employee turnover which can reduce employment and training costs.

Once again these are straight from the Department of Labor website. They tried to make the argument that the minimum wage being higher is actually good for the economy. I want to show just a few more for the sake argument. You might read all of this and say looks the minimum wage being 15 dollars an hour isn’t so bad?  If you believe the Department of Labor’s website then yes. Here those other myths before I move onto to the against argument:

Myth: Increasing the minimum wage will cause people to lose their jobs.

Not true: In a letter to President Obama and congressional leaders urging a minimum wage increase, more than 600 economists, including 7 Nobel Prize winners wrote, “In recent years there have been important developments in the academic literature on the effect of increases in the minimum wage on employment, with the weight of evidence now showing that increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers, even during times of weakness in the labor market. Research suggests that a minimum-wage increase could have a small stimulative effect on the economy as low-wage workers spend their additional earnings, raising demand and job growth, and providing some help on the jobs front.”

Myth: Small business owners can’t afford to pay their workers more, and therefore don’t support an increase in the minimum wage.

Not true: A July 2015 survey found that 3 out of 5 small business owners with employees support a gradual increase in the minimum wage to $12. The survey reports that small business owners say an increase “would immediately put more money in the pocket of low-wage workers who will then spend the money on things like housing, food, and gas. This boost in demand for goods and services will help stimulate the economy and help create opportunities.”

Let’s move onto why one might be against raising the minimum wage. The against argument will consist of a series of rebuttals. In my personal experience, I can rebuke quite a few of the arguments to raise minimum wage. Let’s start with the things I can agree with. I do agree that the public supports raising the minimum wage. More people are for it than against it. Its obvious why too, being paid more money is not something that most would have objections. However, I believe the Department of Labor website completely contradicts a different government agency report on raising minimum wage and the effects it would have on the economy. In order to keep this post from becoming a book, I will just list my rebuttals to the common Pro-minimum wage arguments:

  1. It’s true that minimum wage has not been adjusted for inflation, however, it’s not advisable to raise too quickly since businesses are used to the current level.
  2. It’s a false notion to say that minimum wage WILL NOT cause job losses because according to a Congressional Budget Office study done in 2014, a raise of the minimum wage to just 9 dollars an hour would lead to a short-term decrease in both employment and hiring of low skilled workers. In the long-term it would see the hiring of  higher-skilled workers. The effect would be a little more pronounced at 10.10 an hour and potentially more so at 15. However, the study only takes increases to 9 or 10.10 into account.
  3. The notion that people will won’t lose jobs once again is rebutted by the CBO study on minimum wage. (I will make sure to link the study to this post)  Also just based on a basic knowledge of economics you can make an argument. The way that businesses work and the economy works with the minimum wage is complicated but its a simple concept. Workers who make minimum wage are usually low skilled. Low skilled workers are needed in any capitalist market economy. They are typically the majority and typically short-term. Raising the minimum actually hurts them. Businesses are in business for profits. If they have to pay workers more than that hurts their bottom line. They either have to raise prices or cut workers. Which is different from a business raising their wages on their own.
  4. Small Business owners are for a minimum wage increase. This has to be bullshit because I work for a small business. I’ve worked in companies with low skilled workers. In fact, I am one of those such workers. Let me tell you that most employers in my experience would rather cut the hours or cut the workers than raise prices. A minimum wage increase would only cut employment for the majority of workers in low skilled positions.
  5. My last rebuttal, is that minimum wage will help the poor or single parents. This is the biggest lie ever told. Since the conception of minimum wage it has not helped anybody. Even if it was adjusted for inflation, money is always fluctuating in value according to the markets. Also if the minimum wage is let’s say 15 dollars an hour. That is the base wage for everybody in the country. If the base wage is higher than companies won’t keep their prices lower, they will increase their prices. Not only because they have to pay workers more, but also because people will have more money. So in the end, the rich get richer, the poor stay poor. Minimum wage can’t help poor people because when the government arbitrarily raises the price of labor it only hurts the workers and consumers.

There are my arugments for and against the minimum wage being raised. I know I said I am against it. However, I would be ok with a small increase because of inflation. According to the CBO study it would help a little bit at 9 dollars an hour. But I think there will adverse effects if we raise it to 15 dollars too soon. I also think that theres other options like Baisc Income. I would suggest you read my post on that. So consider my arguments and my sources. Look into some articles about minimum wage yourself. The problem is truly not that raising minimum wage is a bad thing, its only bad if the government is trying to force it on an economy that isn’t ready for it. Like I said if a business raises its own wages thats ok but because the business made that decision on its own. For example, Starbucks recently give all its workers a 5 to 10 percent raise. They also raised their prices. The cause and effect of minimum wage is more important than the amount of the wage itself.

Thank you for reading! Have a great day! My sources are linked below:

CBO Minimum Wage Study: 2014

Department of Labor Website Mythbusters

History of Minimum Wage; also DOL Website

Advertisements

Breaking the Blogging Silence

You probably didn’t notice but I took a pretty long break from writing on this blog. Most of the reason for my absence was not a lack of material to write. It was more of a lack of time to write about it. I was experimenting with podcast and I may get back to that eventually in the future. As for the political news, there isn’t much new to write about. The general election is strangely one-sided. Donald Trump has quite literally defeated himself by going into off message tangents and make it easy for voters to not pick him. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton of all people, is considered to be the lesser of two evils. The two candidates are both embattled with different shades of controversy. Hillary with her emails, and Trump with his bombastic commentary.

This post will be relatively short depending on how much I want to ramble on. This blog has been extremely focused on politics especially current events and happenings. I may still do some posts about that. I want to expand more into scholarly subjects. I want to discuss and try to solve problems in modern politics. I want to use my deep knowledge of history to help more people understand these problems. I have a lot of subjects that I want to go deeper into. I feel like there are subjects that I want to explore. One of those such areas is economics. Economics is not a subject that I studied heavily in either highschool or college. I sort of, taught myself about it. I took one college class on economics which gave me a basic understanding. Now I have been trying to read and research books that might help get even a better understanding.

The thing about economics is that it intersects with both history and politics. Much of the data collected on economic activity is from the past. The usefulness of economics in political debate and policy is based on this data. How you read the data and interpret it, is a big issue in political realms. I want to give you my readers an accurate interpretation of many subjects including economics, politics, civics, and history. I want to show how educating yourself on these subjects can be beneficial especially when it comes to election day. You will be able to weigh the candidates on something other than how they look, talk and how catchy their campaign slogan is.

In the future you can expect to see more posts, I hope if I can make time. Many of these new types of post will be a lot longer. I will most likely write them in a series covering one topic at a time. This blog is one of my favorite hobbies and unfortunately life has beckoned me to do other activities this past month or so. I can’t say it will be much better but I will attempt to commit even more time. In mean time, I would encourage you to look up Gary Johnson and consider giving him a shot. We have known and even scarier unknown qualities in Clinton and Trump, respectively. Think for yourself and make decisions based on logic and fairness.

I hope have the beginning of a new series starting as soon as this week but if not then definitely next week! Thank you for reading! Have a great day!

Hack-A-DNC: The Real Face of the Party

Unless you live under a rock or maybe if you just really don’t care about politics then there is a good chance you have heard about the DNC email hack. Just the latest series of events proving that Democrats aren’t exactly the ‘good people’ they try to portray. You honestly couldn’t write this stuff if you tried. The origins of the hack seem to be from some pro-Russian hacker group or the Russia government itself. The origin of the hacker doesn’t change the content. Of course, Hillary and her campaign has been too quick to point out that these Russia hackers are trying to help Trump. However, there is no proof that says that’s the case at all. It seems that the DNC and the Clinton were collaborating to help Clinton and discredit Bernie Sanders. Not only that but they also degraded and made awful statements about voters and Sanders’ staff. This post will not be very long because the facts are out, I just want to point out that this is real democratic party.

I already knew that the Democrats were not the party of inclusion and fairness. Just look at their policies. Every policy that they propose is just a scam to help the elites. They market to the poorest, stupidest, and most underpriviledged people so that they easily trick them! Even worse, they are racist cheaters. Let’s start with poor Bernie Sanders who was not only cheated but also derided for his religious beliefs. If you read any of my blog you probably know that I am no fan of Sanders policies or platform. However, I would never attack him because he is Jewish. I would never call his campaign manager an asshole. It’s one thing to disagree with somebody. It’s a totally different thing to absolutely assualt their character and person.

As if that wasn’t enough, the DNC and their crooked ChairDemon (I don’t care, Debbie you belong in jail) also rigged the election so that it was an guarentee that Hillary Clinton would win. That is the eptiome of corruption. I am not even surprised. People need to re-evaluate who their voting for. If you think Trump is bad, the DNC and Clinton make Trump look like a good choice. At least Trump won fair and square. The worst of all these emails besides the assualt on Bernie, is the racism and sexism. Just type in google, DNC leaked Racist emails. You can find a few juicy ones. Like calling the outreach to Latinos the “Taco Bowl Engagment.” No Trump didn’t say that, it was the DNC calling their biggest base of voters fucking Taco Bowls! Are people really going to fucking vote for these lowlife pieces of shit?? Honestly!

Someone please help me understand this…The Democratic Party is the Demoncratic Party. It didn’t stop there with the racism. They even made fun of a black woman’s name. I won’t even say it because its that terrible. But if you want to see it, then here it fucking is. The biggest piece of shit is Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She is the Queen of the this evil empire. She is the mastermind behind slamming Sanders and fostering racism and sexism. She is the same woman who resigned from the DNC in shame, then in no shame was hired by Hillary Clinton to work on her campaign. In my opinion, this whole campagin and convention should have been stopped immediately. Number 1: They cheated, so there should be a re-vote. Number 2: Bernie Sanders should sue them for harassment and slander. Number 3: The FBI needs to put both Hillary and Debbie in fucking jail.

So If I could impart you with just one piece of advice, don’t vote for those crooked, lying, racist, sexist, piece of shit people that call themselves Democrats. Never vote them for again because they are probably slandering you in their private emails.  They probably think your retarded for even wanting to vote for them. They know how bad your gonna get fucked. 

This being said, with all my french, You should seriously consider a third party candidate. I would recommend Gary Johnson. However, if your dog or neighbor makes a better candidate then by all means write them in.

#NeverHillary #NeverDemocrat

Thanks for reading and sorry for the swearing but I’m pissed as hell.

 

Debates, Candidates and Polls

The third Republican Debate is coming soon on October 28th on CNBC. The amount of candidates still in the running will force a JV debate to occur once again. I came across a few interesting pieces on FiveThirtyEight. One of these highlights who might be in the JV debate or who may not make it. It seems that Lindsey Graham may not make it to the debate stage at all.

CANDIDATE CNBC’S POLL AVERAGE FOR THE DEBATE
Donald Trump 23.8%
Ben Carson 18.7
Carly Fiorina 9.5
Marco Rubio 9.3
Jeb Bush 8.3
Ted Cruz 7.2
Mike Huckabee 3.5
Chris Christie 3.2
John Kasich 3.2
Rand Paul 3.0
Rick Santorum 0.7
Bobby Jindal 0.5
George Pataki 0.3
Jim Gilmore 0.0
Lindsey Graham 0.0

These are the polling numbers as averaged by CNBC. The rules for this debate are that you need to have at least one percent in of the national polls.  Jim Gilmore and Lindsey Graham both have big zeros. I have never heard of Jim Gilmore. So who cares? However, Lindsey Graham seem to perform strong in the last debate.  So I am a little surprised that he might fall off the debate stage. (Not literally) I just want to comment on how interesting this chart actually is.  It shows a good rundown of each candidate is doing. Of course, Trump is leading with Carson trailing by about 5 points.  My horse (candidate) in the race is doing good old 3 percent. Typical for a libertarian conservative.  Unfortunately, the best candidates aren’t even close to the top. Moving on…

I found another interesting piece on fivethirtyeight call “Stop Comparing Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders”. I recommend reading it. The quick summary of it is that Trump will not have staying power or experience to win a republican nomination. Meanwhile, Sanders is a veteran of politics and has a better staff and more experience. They also point out that Trump is going up against a large field of candidates. Bernie only has one to two opponents, one being Hillary Clinton. If Joe Biden were to run then he would have two. It’s a really interesting narrative to look at despite the vast differences.

I think that the author, Nate Sliver is correct in saying that they should be compared. However, despite their huge differences in one-one political experience, they are microcosms of their respective parties. Let’s first take Bernie Sanders. Sanders is a self proclaimed Socialist. He votes democratic on nearly on bill. He is a Washington insider being a senator since 1991.  He has been in politics his whole life. The democratic offers much of the same with each candidate. If you look at Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden or even some of the other candidates they all have years of political experience. This is what the democratic party is basically brought to the election. Now contrast their candidate profiles against the profiles of the leading Republican candidates.  Donald Trump is a business man. Never run an election campaign. Trump has never been in politics. He is an outsider. The same could be said for second place Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. All the candidates with political experience like Jeb, Cruz, Rubio, and Paul are all failing to get voter traction.

Of course, this a generalization of all candidates so its bound to have inaccuracies. But my point is that each party is aiming something different with the candidates put forward. It seems to me that typically the parties will go against in each other or in the opposite direction. Republicans want an outsider to win the Presidency. Democrats want an insider to win the Presidency. As a libertarian, I see that their both after the same thing, control. It doesn’t matter who becomes President from what party because either way its given that congress will be elected mostly in the opposite party.

I have talked about Congress and their ability to stop bills from making any progress. Congress also makes the government seemingly non-productive. People always wonder why President Obama turns to executive actions? Congress refuses to help him pass anything. So in a way I can’t blame Obama for using executive orders. (although I may disagree with the laws that are passed) I think that regardless of who wins this election, we should really look at congress. I can only hope that if an republican gets elected that their will be a republican controlled congress and vice versa. Otherwise I believe that things will continue to be as they are.

Let’s face the reality that comparing Sanders and Trump may be futile as many doubt they will get the nomination. Not to say that Sanders cannot overcome Clinton. Also not saying that Trump could gain staying power. Stranger things have happened in elections.

***

I always look forward to these debates. I remember last election watching Obama and Mitt Romney debate. I thought it was the most intellectually entertaining event. Right now, I feel like the Republican debates are just a circus because of sheer number of candidates. So I’m hoping that maybe a few will drop out between now and next year. Its hard to make good predictions and comparisons with so many candidates. Its also hard to gauge who is doing good and bad. I found that with the dem debate it was easier to see who was doing well and who was falling on their face. Also a smaller number of candidates means more focus on issues. (With Republicans this is a shaky point)

***

Looking to do a historical piece about an past election. Obviously it will require some research. So keep on the look out for it. I want to see if theres any historical precedent for this election. With 44 presidents there has been a lot of races. If you have any suggestions on what I should write then drop me a line gsmit006@plattsburgh.edu.

Thanks for Reading!!!!

Democratic Debate: Sanders v. Clinton in Aftermath!

If you had watched the debate on Tuesday then you will definitely want to read this post. In my last post about the debate, I went over how all the candidates did in a brief summary. Some were shorter than others because air time. I have decided to narrow down the field to two candidates. The other three candidates were in the debate just to make it interesting but have no real impact in the election. A few things before we get started here. There is an article on FiveThirtyEight that you should go read right now. Its called “Did the Democratic Debate Change the Odds?” In this article, they breakdown how each candidate fared in the debate. They also weigh in on Joe Biden and his non-appearance. I feel that the article pretty accurate represents my own views on who won the debate. As you may or may not know that FiveThirtyEight is one of my favorite sites because of uber-interesting articles that deliver. I also want to point your attention to another site that is worth checking out. It is called open secrets. This website open secrets, shows all known data on money in government and elections. If you really want the truth on how bad the American people are being corrupted then I suggest going to this website. For example if you want see how Donald Trump’s campaign is doing financially, you can go right here. You can do this for almost any candidate. Even the untouchable Hillary Clinton.

Go ahead and check both of those out after reading this. Now I want to look into how the media has treated the debate. I think its a really interesting factor to look at in an election. The media influence is greater than ever. This means it cannot be ignored in its coverage. A quick google search of the debate itself brings up some news. Many of headlines about Hillary Clinton. This and This and This. The media seems to think that Hillary won. I want to expand my own views in my last post. I will be using some of what I read in the FiveThirtyEight article to help me out.

Let’s start by recapping what I thought of Hillary:

Hillary Clinton is a former senator of New York and Secretary of State. Mrs. Clinton was able to stick it to everybody in this debate. She flatly denied the email scandal anymore attention than it had. Mr. Chaffe did throw a few jabs with his mention of no scandal. Clinton really stuck to her guns on foreign policy. Surprisingly she did make some sense by saying that a coalition to help in Syria was necessary. She was unapologetic about her decisions in the past. I could see that she was really trying to keep the focus on the issues and not her past. Unfortunately her past is so well known I think it played well for her. Clinton really pushed strong for rights and equality for women. However, Sanders also pushed hard. They both seem to think that smaller countries like Denmark and Norway were good models. The only problem is America is much larger in population. Once again, just like Sanders, Hillary could not answer how she might pay for anything. All I heard was increase taxes on rich.

Speaking of that, Republican bashing was Hillary’s leading role. Every opportunity that she got, she took to bash the republicans. Comparing the democratic debate as one that focused on issues instead of racism and women hating.  She was right about that. However, I feel like Clinton failed to really convince people that she won’t do the shady things of the past again. The mistrust of politicians is at an all time high. She is the poster child for bad politicians. This was brought out by the constant attack on her political flip flopping on issues. Anderson Cooper went directly for her saying any to get votes. I was not convince by her answers. Clinton seem to have strong performance by using other candidates positions to back her own. She was able to articulate many of her own positions because of the huge amount air time given to her. (Much to the dismay of Mr. Webb) I think that Clinton probably improved her polls by a few points. She’s a savvy politician.

So I have highlighted three different sections of my last post to talk about. (in bold) I felt like Clinton definitely reaffirmed to women everywhere that she has their back. I saw in another article on 538 about how her support with women keeps increasing. I think that her push for women and family probably drove up her stock. However, Mr. Sanders keep up for the most part with many issues including minimum wage and family leave. For me, these issues are nonsensical and very controversial. While I understand why Democrats support these types of policies, I just think they are misguided. (More on that with Sanders)

Moving on to the next bold part, is the republican bashing. Hilary seem to lead the charge in bashing them. I take no offense even though I do support Rand Paul. The republicans tend to write the headlines and jokes themselves. According to 538 there was a stat that Hillary actually bashed more than any other candidate. I feel like this political mudslinging almost ALWAYS works in favor of the thrower. Its an odd dynamic but negative press can hurt a campaign. (Again, Sanders seem to be positive, more on that later!) It was actually a pretty boring debate. However I have to commend the candidates for staying on the issues. Even though much of conversation about minimum wage and immigration seem to be a little misguided.

Overall though for Hillary’s sake I thought her air time and articulation of views put her as a true front runner. This comes despite the email scandal. I don’t see the appeal of her on a personal level. I believe that media is somewhat correct in saying that she won the debate. She has solidified her voter base. (Against my preferences)

***

Here is what I wrote about Bernie Sanders debate performance:

Bernie Sanders is a senator from Vermont. Sanders had a very strong showing despite being attacked early and often. One of the questions that kept him on the defensive was his record on guns. I have mentioned this in previous posts that Sanders hails from Vermont a gun loving state. Sanders was able to say that he is changing his position after all the mass shooting. He also tried to frame it in the sense of “Urban vs. Rural” states. Noting that rural areas tend to have lax gun laws. O’Malley smartly shot him down on this narrative because of his record in Maryland. (Pun not Intended/ Notwithstanding the failures in Baltimore) Sanders was also successful pushing for the usual minimum wage hike and paid family leave. I think that the question in my mind, and many others is how will you pay for all these expensive actions. He did mention that he would put a tax on the rich hedge managers or something like that. The thing about Sanders is that his plans all sound great. The problem is where is all this money coming from? All the rich people are moving out already so I don’t think taxing them more will make them stay. Overall though, I thought that Bernie stuck to his platform pretty closely and was able to separate himself from Clinton. I have to believe that Sanders will keep building up his support.

Mr. Sanders was surprisingly rough around the edges. He was not as polished as Hillary in the debate. However, Bernie came prepared and fought off an intense gun issue battle. I feel like Bernie struggled to keep it together during the questions about guns. I could see that his argument about rural vs. urban states was a good argument. I can’t fault him for framing it like that. There is really a lot of gray area in the issue. Sanders also did some strange and good things during the debate. One of the strangest things was his positive toward Clinton. Rarely if ever, do candidates show kindness to each other. Politics tends to be a bitter sport.  Personal attacks are the norm. (HIs behavior strangely markets his campaign of being out of the normal) I felt like his allying with Clinton definitely hurt his chances of increasing his votes. (538 says as much)  I feel like if he really want to rally his voters, he should have attacked Clinton. There is no shortage of ammo (no pun intended).

One of my personal bones to pick with Sanders as candidate is his over the top socialist economic policies. I know that he means well and everything. However, the logic behind his plans just is not there. He using an emotional argument to push something that has very little to do with emotions. Economists agree that increasing minimum wage only hurts the middle wage earners and it does not help lower wage earners. Everybody’s wages are tied together with the exception of the super rich. (This is who Sanders is attempting to hurt) Unfortunately for Sanders you can’t fix wages from bottom to top. It has to be done naturally through smart economic moves. Yes, Republicans and Bush Tax cuts also don’t help the lower wage earners. Suffice to say, this issue is totally misguided. In order to help people who are struggling to get by, we need to help businesses hire more people. Quite simply, less taxes for businesses. I’m not talking about major corporations like Walmart either. We need our 95 percent small business economy to hire.

Overall I thought Sanders perform very well in the debate. His handling of black lives matter was good enough. Its been clear through different polls that Sanders does lack the color voters. This is a tricky issue for him and other candidates. In my opinion, I think Sanders could further endorse this movement to help get more colored voters. Unfortunately, Sanders biggest downfall was his kindness to Clinton.

There you have it. I believe that Clinton really boosted her support while Bernie keep afloat. I am looking forward to the next debate. The next democratic debate will be in November on the 14th. Meanwhile the next Republican debate will be on October 28th. Once again, it should an interesting battle of the candidates.

Thanks for reading!

Democratic Debate Battle Royale

I hope you got a chance to watch the democratic debate on CNN tonight. It was quite the debate. It was even better than the republican debate! (I’m a conservative libertarian) The candidates gave it their all and really battle over the issues. Despite the fact that they agreed on the goals of the policy, the fight become over the means. Each candidate got fairly decent air time with exception of Jim Webb who seem to struggle to get any talk time. Of course, the focus was mostly on Sanders and Clinton. The other candidates Webb, O’Malley and Chaffe gave some good cannon fodder but in the end all trail Sanders and Clinton significantly. So I want to breakdown my reaction to each candidates performance. I will quickly go over the three 1 percenters (In the polls). Then I will go into some more detail with Clinton and Sanders who both seem to give strong performances.

The worst performance goes to Jim Webb. Mr. Webb just couldn’t seem to jump into the conservation. He couldn’t seem to defend his moderate positions. Webb just was out-democrat by both Sanders and Clinton. I will give him props for being a Vietnam Veteran. Unfortunately like his campaign, his lackluster debate performance will probably end his run sooner rather than later.

Lincoln Chaffe was another candidate who participated in the debate. Came out strong attacking Clinton and her scandals. Chaffe was a bit a flip flopper have changing parties from Republican to Independent to Democratic. Chaffe is the former governor of Rhode Island and Senator. His voting record is a bit shaky. However, like Webb he just couldn’t get much air time. When he did get time, he certainly made it count. Unfortunately for him, I don’t think it was enough to boost his polls too much.

Martin O’Malley is the former governor of Maryland. He gave the strongest performance of these three candidates. He was able to use both Sanders, Clinton and others arguments to jump into the conversation. There are two issues that O’Malley pushed hard that I took issues with.  First, his strict gun control policy has some questionable results given the unrest in Baltimore.  Clearly, with the death of innocent black African Americans his gun control didn’t stop it. One has to wonder if a national strict gun policy would have the same results. The second issue was on immigration. He seem to take it a step further than any candidate. I’m not sure offering free college to illegal immigrants is a smart idea. Considering that American students have massive student loan debt. However, I wouldn’t be against the eventual naturalization of illegals and their receiving benefits. I think that O’Malley is definitely more similar to Hillary Clinton than Sanders. Not sure how this will affect his polling. But he may be a little too radically progressive for American voters. In addition, his low poll numbers suggest that he isn’t going to be catching up any time soon. I think his lack of national political experience will hurt him because in democratic field it seems that this is a requirement.  (The GOP seems to be more on political outsider candidate road, think Donald Trump and Ben Carson)

Onto the top two candidates leading the democratic polls:

Bernie Sanders is a senator from Vermont. Sanders had a very strong showing despite being attacked early and often. One of the questions that kept him on the defensive was his record on guns. I have mentioned this in previous posts that Sanders hails from Vermont a gun loving state. Sanders was able to say that he is changing his position after all the mass shooting. He also tried to frame it in the sense of “Urban vs. Rural” states. Noting that rural areas tend to have lax gun laws. O’Malley smartly shot him down on this narrative because of his record in Maryland. (Pun not Intended/ Notwithstanding the failures in Baltimore) Sanders was also successful pushing for the usual minimum wage hike and paid family leave. I think that the question in my mind, and many others is how will you pay for all these expensive actions. He did mention that he would put a tax on the rich hedge managers or something like that. The thing about Sanders is that his plans all sound great. The problem is where is all this money coming from? All the rich people are moving out already so I don’t think taxing them more will make them stay. Overall though, I thought that Bernie stuck to his platform pretty closely and was able to separate himself from Clinton. I have to believe that Sanders will keep building up his support.

Hillary Clinton is a former senator of New York and Secretary of State. Mrs. Clinton was able to stick it to everybody in this debate. She flatly denied the email scandal anymore attention than it had. Mr. Chaffe did throw a few jabs with his mention of no scandal. Clinton really stuck to her guns on foreign policy. Surprisingly she did make some sense by saying that a coalition to help in Syria was necessary. She was unapologetic about her decisions in the past. I could see that she was really trying to keep the focus on the issues and not her past. Unfortunately her past is so well known I think it played well for her. Clinton really pushed strong for rights and equality for women. However, Sanders also pushed hard. They both seem to think that smaller countries like Denmark and Norway were good models. The only problem is America is much larger in population. Once again, just like Sanders, Hillary could not answer how she might pay for anything. All I heard was increase taxes on rich.

Speaking of that, Republican bashing was Hillary’s leading role. Every opportunity that she got, she took to bash the republicans. Comparing the democratic debate as one that focused on issues instead of racism and women hating.  She was right about that. However, I feel like Clinton failed to really convince people that she won’t do the shady things of the past again. The mistrust of politicians is at an all time high. She is the poster child for bad politicians. This was brought out by the constant attack on her political flip flopping on issues. Anderson Cooper went directly for her saying any to get votes. I was not convince by her answers. Clinton seem to have strong performance by using other candidates positions to back her own. She was able to articulate many of her own positions because of the huge amount air time given to her. (Much to the dismay of Mr. Webb) I think that Clinton probably improved her polls by a few points. She’s a savvy politician.

Overall, I found the debate to be very interesting and more focused on the issues. This is also due to the smaller number of candidates. The stark contrast between republicans and democrats is that democrats are actually in agreement on what needs to be done. Where republicans can’t agree on where to even start. The democrats bashed each other much less than the republicans bashed each other. I knew from the get-go that republican bashing would happen. Not surprisingly it came from Clinton and Sanders the most.

Just before the debate started, I was watching the analyst on CNN talk about VP Joe Biden. Biden is considering a presidential run. The conversation was very interesting because it seem that some in the media were tired of waiting for him to decide. I found this to be very interesting. I was thinking about how the debate dynamics might have changed if Joe Biden did decide to run. I do believe that Biden would have significant impact in the democratic primary. Biden would almost certainly give Bernie Sanders a run for his money. He may even knock Sanders out of contention. The biggest challenger to Biden would be none other than Hillary Clinton. Biden is on par with Clinton in political experience and political clout. Not only that but he is a sitting Vice President. Clinton identifies closely with Obama. However, I think that Biden would be able to more effectively use Obama in his election run. Obama might even endorse him. (A running mate for 7 years in a row probably means they are great friends) Granted President Obama may not be the most popular president but he does have an influence unlike any other endorser. So will Joe Biden throw a wrench into the race?

Thanks for reading! More coming on this debate and future debates!

The Great Debate and Controversy!

Tomorrow is the first democratic debate on CNN at 8:30pm. I am excited to see what happens with this debate especially considering the two leading candidates will have a chance to go head to head. The debate will feature five candidates overall. I expect to see a lot of republican bashing and hard-line democratic agenda. I hope to see if a candidate especially Hillary and Bernie to distinguish themselves.

In addition to watching the debate, I will also being taking some notes and posting my thoughts on this blog. Of course, unless a candidate blows me away I doubt they can persuade my vote. However, I will try to objective judge each candidate based what I hear in their performance. I have detailed both Bernie and Hillary quite extensively. I have made posts about many of the issues on their platforms. Other than the debate coverage, I want to cover a few more topics in this posts. Among them, I want to the national holiday that falls on October 12th.

Columbus Day has annual holiday in October usually falling on the 12th. It has been a national holiday since 1971. However, according to Wikipedia there are some states that don’t recognize it. I always in the past had liked the holiday because I got a day off from school. Once I got to college I saw that the holiday was not so great. First, I read a book called “Lies my teacher told me” by James Loewen. I recommend reading it.  Its an absolutely amazing book about history and how it is taught in schools. There has always been controversy especially in Texas with the textbooks and whitewashing. If you are not familiar with whitewashing, it is basically the stripping of negatives in history teaching. In other words, its Americanism. The idea that America has never done wrong and always is right. Unfortunately, there is enough whitewashing to write a whole book on it!

One of the issues that Loewen covers and one of the most important and relevant issues is of Christopher Columbus.  Columbus was an Italian born sailor. After many unsuccessful tries to set sail and find treasure and fortune. Columbus finally was given a chance to sail across the Atlantic by the King of Portugal. The story goes that Columbus set sail with three ships, the Santa maria, Pinta and Nina. Columbus had a very long trip in which his crew endure tough Atlantic storms and alleged sea monsters! Finally he landed in the Bahamas. NOT IN AMERICA. The natives in the Bahamas greeted him without knowing what was coming. Columbus was by no means a nice visitor. In reality, he was pirate. He was sent by the King of Portugal to find gold. When he didn’t find any gold, he basically killed the natives. He raped their women. Columbus and his crew gave them diseases like smallpox. Columbus made many voyages across the Atlantic. One of other famous claims is that Columbus discover the earth wasn’t flat. This might be his only real accomplishment.

The Columbus represents what many historians believe was an accidental and later purposeful genocide of native peoples throughout the Americas. In North America alone, by the turn of the century in 1900, it is estimated that 95 percent of the Native Americans were wiped out. Well over half of those were through disease. The others were decimated by war.

American History textbooks tend to whitewash these facts. Everyone is taught that Columbus was a hero for discovering America. Unfortunately the truth is that Columbus was an asshole. He did nothing good for America. I think that its ridiculous that we celebrate a murder and a rapist. Americans are so brainwashed. Schools need to stop teaching this bullshit to kids. Teach them what really happened.

Surprisingly, there has been little movement to change this awful holiday. Yet the irony is that the word “redskin” is somehow racist. It doesn’t make much sense especially when many natives see the term as something that describes their culture. My question is How can Columbus be a hero yet a stupid mascot is racists? I mean isn’t there something missing here? Do I think that Washington Redskins should change their name? My answer is maybe. Maybe if they reach a settlement and pay some type of charity to help out Native Americans on reservations. If not then change it.  The Washington Redskins could at least raise awareness for the real Native Americans. Anything that shows that their not just racists. Even though all the money in the world can’t take back what happened its better than just ignoring it.

My point here is that students in schools should be educated on the reality of American History. History isn’t all great. America has done some pretty fucked up stuff. We might be a successful country but that comes with a costs. Its not just Native Americans that have been wronged. We have done wrong against almost every type of people from all origins. The combination of our manifest destiny and our democracy first mentality has led us to do some horrible things.

Some of my favorite quotes to end this post, is by Winston Churchill.

” If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.

“Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.”

History is written by the victors.

Thanks for reading! Tune into the debate tomorrow!