Election Night Open Thread (02 Nov ’10)

If you want to chat about the election, this is the place to indulge yourselves. For our non-US readers, feel free to join in, but be assured — there’s nothing to be concerned about. It’s only the fate of the galaxy that’s being determined tonight by a bunch of crazy Americans.

There’s one rule: Everybody has to play nice — no flames, no feuds, no profanity. Okay, have at it.

Update: See Post-Election Wrap-up: Creationism’s Impact.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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86 responses to “Election Night Open Thread (02 Nov ’10)

  1. Straight Ally #3008

    Senator Rand Paul.

    *facepalm*

  2. Early wins for some seriously contested Senate races. No real surprises here:

    Rubio (R) in Florida
    Blumenthal (D) in Connecticut
    Coons (D) defeats Christine O’Donnell in Delaware

  3. Gabriel Hanna

    I think I’m going to pass on political commentary, because I’m tired of fighting with people; anyway the race I’m most interested in won’t be over for days, since we do mail-in ballots only in our state.

  4. Gabriel Hanna says:

    I think I’m going to pass on political commentary, because I’m tired of fighting with people …

    I’m not in the mood to argue or to philosophize. Or to gloat or moan. But this thread seemed like the thing to do.

  5. SC, do you have a list of which candidates are creationist or not? You could take the results and keep a rationality score.

    I’ve read some scare stories in the blogosphere predicting that if the Republicans take the house that they will launch a science witch hunt, with committee investigations of the EPA and human caused global warming along with other issues. I doubt that will happen, simply because I believe the attention will be on economic issues, but what do others think?

  6. Ed asks:

    SC, do you have a list of which candidates are creationist or not?

    I had this post, listing some races for the Senate and for Governor: Creationists on the Ballot: November 2010 That’s the best I can do.

  7. Benjamin Franklin

    As George Carlin once remarked;

    “When you’re born, you get a ticket to the freak show.
    When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.”

  8. I’m just glad I’ll get some (short) relief from all the damn political pre-recorded phone calls. I’ve been getting several a week for months, several a day for weeks and got 10 yesterday! Only 4 today reminding me to vote. I’m on the national “Do-Not-Call” list but, that doesn’t include political calls.

    I’m also happy to get some relief from all the TV ads, especially from out-of-state groups that no one has ever heard of from before. Since the Supreme Court decision early this year, things have gotten out of control. We need some serious campaign controls.

  9. Barney Frank is declared the winner of his House seat in Massachusetts.

  10. Unfortunately Rubio won the senate seat in Florida. He opened his speech by reminding the audience that they were all children of god etc. etc. That’s one for the creationist side.

  11. LOL! Just saw Christine O’Donnell’s concession speech. She declared a win! Not the election but for a change in Delaware politics and in the GOP.

  12. Another four fracking years of Perry and his dumber than dog meat Republican “rewrite the books” State Fracking Board of Non-Education.

    I’m so embarrassed by my beloved state. Too many, short-sited, know nothing twits with delusions of adequacy.

    The new motto of Texas: Because ‘good enough’ is just too much effort.

    Frack

  13. CRAP!!!! Gov. Goodhair (Tx-R) won.

    Should I start banging my head on the wall now, or should I wait for the next time he embarrasses Texas?

  14. Ogre…. if you were here, I’d take you out for a beer. Looks like drinking our blues away is the only option left. Texas politics is such a disappointment.

    😦

  15. RogerE says: “Just saw Christine O’Donnell’s concession speech.”

    That’s a great loss to the blogging world. But at least it was fun while it lasted. The GOP in Delaware shot themselves in the groin when they chose her. That should have been a Republican seat. O’Donnell’s primary opponent was a RINO, but sometimes you gotta go with whatcha got.

  16. I loathe politics. It’s why I’m a science geek.

    On the other hand, in terms of general election results, it’s the best possible result for the citizens of the US, a democratic president, a republic house and a split senate. Absolutely nothing will be done for the next two years.

    Of course, then we have to put up with theocrats in the whitehouse and a biddable congress for four years. With any luck, the states will be pushing for more control and the theocrats will have to fight several years of increased states rights of federal rights.

    I’m too depressed to be mad right now.

  17. “That’s a great loss to the blogging world. But at least it was fun while it lasted. The GOP in Delaware shot themselves in the groin when they chose her. That should have been a Republican seat. O’Donnell’s primary opponent was a RINO, but sometimes you gotta go with whatcha got.”

    You know, that’s the problem with this election. I couldn’t vote for the people I actually wanted, because I had to try to prevent the clowns from taking over and splitting those votes is not a good idea.

  18. LaPage (Creationist) presently losing to the Independent candidate for ME governor….

  19. Longshadow, that’s the most surprising news of the night – when I saw Mitchell down in the polls I figured it was LePage’s race. I wonder if Michael Bennet can pull it out over Ken “there is no separation of church and state” Buck.

    Creationist Tom Tancredo also lost the Colorado gubernatorial race.

  20. And on a very sad note, it looks like the highly qualified (not to mention SC commenter) Rebecca Bell-Metereau lost to Ken “Dog-Cat” Mercer. What a den of ignorance that district must be.

    Flintstones, meet the Flintstones….

  21. LePage trails by 5% with about 1/4 of the votes counted…

  22. Ogre, LRA, if you are near Austin, maybe we should get together for a beer.

  23. On the other hand, in terms of general election results, it’s the best possible result for the citizens of the US, a democratic president, a republic house and a split senate. Absolutely nothing will be done for the next two years.

    100% agreed. I voted for gridlock. There’s no hope of things getting better, but with gridlock, at least things won’t get worse.

    In Austin, always ready for beer. See you folks at Ginger Man? 😉

  24. Rebecca is of course always welcome to join us. Very sorry to see her opponent prevail.

  25. Gabriel Hanna

    One reason I’m not excited enough about elections to argue tonight is this:

    Where do you go to vote out the CPSC? Or OSHA? Or the EPA? Or any of the rest of the acronyms uncountable drowning America in alphabet soup…

    Under the hyper-regulatory state, any one of us is in breach of dozens of laws at any one time without being aware of it. In a New York deli, a bagel with cream cheese is subject to food-preparation tax, but a plain bagel with no filling is not. Except that, if the clerk slices the plain bagel for you, the food-preparation tax applies. Just for that one knife cut. As a progressive caring society New York has advanced from tax cuts to taxed cuts. Oh, and, if he doesn’t slice the plain bagel, but you opt to eat it in the deli, the food preparation tax also applies, even though no preparation was required of the food.

    Got that? If you own a deli, you better have, because New York is so broke they need their nine cents per sliced bagel and their bagel inspectors are cracking down.

    In such a world, there is no “law” – in the sense of (a) you the citizen being found by (b) a jury of your peers to be in breach of (c) a statute passed by (d) your elected representatives. Instead, unknown, unnamed, unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats determine transgressions, prosecute infractions and levy fines for behavioral rules they themselves craft and which, thanks to the ever more tangled spaghetti of preferences, subsidies, entitlements and incentives, apply to different citizens unequally. You may be lucky: You may not catch their eye – for a while. But perhaps your neighbor does, or the guy down the street. No trial, no jury, just a dogsbody in some cubicle who pronounces that you’re guilty of an offense a colleague of his invented….

    …what would happen, Tocqueville wondered, if administrative capability were to evolve to make it possible “to subject all of his subjects to the details of a uniform set of regulations”?

    That moment has now arrived. Thanks to computer technology, it’s easier than ever to subject the state’s subjects to “a uniform set of regulations”. Like to mull that thought over a cup o’ joe? Sorry, I’d love to offer you one, but it’s illegal. With its uncanny ability to prioritize, California, land of Golden Statism for unionized bureaucrats, is cracking down on complimentary coffee….

    he Collins family had been putting a coffee pot on the counter for 15 years, as the previous owners of the store had done, too, and yea, back through all the generations. But in California that’s an illegal act. The permit mullahs told Randy Collins that he needed to install stainless steel sinks with hot and cold water and a prep kitchen to handle the doughnuts. “What some establishments do is hire a mobile food preparation services or in some cases a coffee service,” explained Elizabeth Huff, “Manager of Community Services” (yeah, right). “Those establishments have permits and can operate in front of or even inside of the stores.”

    Even inside? Gee, that’s big of you. “Those establishments have permits”? In California, what doesn’t? Commissar Huff added that there are a range of permits of varying costs. No doubt a plain instant coffee permit would be relatively simple, but if you wished to offer a decaf caramel macchiato with complimentary biscotti additional licenses may be required.

    http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/3547/26/

  26. “On the other hand, in terms of general election results, it’s the best possible result for the citizens of the US, a democratic president, a republic house and a split senate. Absolutely nothing will be done for the next two years. ”

    Its not just 3000 miles of water and a language that separates the US and UK, its obviously a whole logic gap as well.

    Pray tell, HOW is that a good thing? We are in the nadir of a world economic meltdown, the bit where its essential you have a get go government trying to dig the country out……and the US electorate have voted to ensure two years of inactivity, fillibusters and mudslinging? So while the rest of the west tries to dig itself out, you guys will be busy namecalling and screwing each other over, and also acting like the proverbial millstone around our necks as well.

    Then in two years the electorate can say “Ah well the government did nothing” and vote in another 4 to 8 of chicken guts readers and big money interests?

    “100% agreed. I voted for gridlock. There’s no hope of things getting better, but with gridlock, at least things won’t get worse.”

    Tell you what bro…with a mindset like that why dont you walk out to your car, get a big handfull of sand and chuck it in your petrol tank. Then the next day you can bitch how your car no longer runs.

    That George Carlin quote is pretty good, but Id suggest that the US is more like the special needs class of the West or a frickin lunatic asylum.

    And here my chums is the kicker.

    My company has a significant amount of US clients who due to the meltdown are no longer our biggest payers….and you just ensured that the situation isnt going to change much in the next 2 to 6 years. So now Im going to recc to my partner we start developing our client base in other markets like SE Asia to ensure that the US stagnation doesnt continue to cripple us too much.

    A small tiny microscopic blip that will no doubt be mirrored by many other companies with business interests in the US ….. because political stagnation is just bad for business see?

    Have fun with the buckle hats you just put into power. We over here will watch the mud pie fights from a distance whilst doing business with less self destructive economies. The US electorate called the tune, now it will start to pay the fiddlers.

    Sorry if this sounds like an anti-US rant guys, but my face is scarlet from the facepalming.

    Rand frickin Paul???? Cat-Dog Mercer????

    Jesus Titty F*ckin Christ!

  27. It really sunk in this year (undoubtedly due to this blog) that the absolute worst time to ask a politician their views on evolution is when they are running for election. And yet that’s whan all the questions, mostly stupid ones like whether they “believe in” evolution, are asked. Or worse, digging up quotes from long ago that may or may not represent their current opinion.

    Now that they are a little less in “sales mode” is the time to ask them questions. A simple one that comes to mind is whether they agreed with Judge Jones’ decision at Dover. I realize that politicians have numerous issues to deal with, and most have not given 5 minutes’ thought to evolution (many may not even know of Dover), but now that they are working for us we need to send a clear message that we will not tolerate any defense – even passive defense – of dishonest pseudoscience. Especially at taxpayer’s expense.

  28. Following up on an earlier post, in the Kansas school board elections, Janet Waugh (sane incumbent) beat creationist Republican challenger Willie Dove.

  29. Sandman,

    Yes, there is a big difference. We have groups here that are actively trying to create a theocracy, remove modern science from education, and create a socialist economy in all but name. Unfortunately, these are all different groups.

    Our voting, in 80% of the cases is 1 or 2 choices (liberal or conservative)* The highest single 3rd party I saw was a guy who got 24% of the vote in a two person race.

    So, we have a choice between getting screwed by one party or the other party.

    These guys cannot, let the citizens just work and get the economy going the right way.

    So, yes, the best possible result is that nothing happens for 2 years, the states gain more power and the federal government loses power.

    I have other opinions, but this isn’t the place.

    *Where liberal generally means, open the gates,care for anyone who walks in the country, increase government, take away all the rights of the citizens.
    And where conservative means, create theocracy, reinstitute racism, kill all the gays, take away the rights of the citizens, increase government.

  30. I’m happy. Paladino lost the gubernatorial race in NY, and can go back to counting the money he gets through corporate welfare.

  31. Paladino lost the gubernatorial race in NY, and can go back to counting the money he gets through corporate welfare.

    Yeah, but Jimmy McMillan lost, so the rent will still be too damn high.

  32. Maine Operative

    Wednesday morning finds LePage eeking out a slim lead over Independent Cutler (38% – 37% at this writing). Cutler won the Bangor area and a couple of areas Downeast, but the majority of uncounted votes are from the rural precints (Maine has a plethora of those), so while we probably won’t find out for some hours yet, I’m figuring LePage is going to hold his lead.
    So, it looks like a governor with Creationist tendencies may well be in Maine’s future. Depending on the outcome of the state house races (likely to be up in the air for a few days), his impact will hinge upon how strongly party lines coalesce in the new Maine legislature.

  33. Maine Operative says: “a couple of areas Downeast”

    I love local expressions like that. Where I come from there are two parts of the country: “Up North,” and “here.”

  34. The Illinois Governor’s race is still too close to call. Quinn (D) is slightly ahead of Brady (the flaming creationist Republican).

  35. In Florida, rapturous Ronda Storms won re-election to her seat in the state Senate. She had only a write-in opponent.

    And in one US House election, Dan Webster (R) crushed the dirt-bag maniac, Alan Grayson (D).

  36. In Texas, Ken “Cat-Dog” Mercer won his place on the State Board of Education, along with the GOP candidate to replace Cynthia Dunbar, Marsha Farney.

    There were 31 offices for election on my ballot, including 10 offices for some judges and county clerks that were unopposed. The Republican candidates won all 31 offices. Every single one.

  37. Oh, although it pains me to say it, if I had that choice, I would not have voted for Grayson. That ad….well, it lost him the election. One would hope that would teach a lesson, but it probably won’t.

  38. Maine Operative

    Well, the deal is done–Paul LePage will be Maine’s governor in January. Independent Eliot Cutler conceded a hour or two ago. Two other independents had negligible impacts. However, lest Gov.-elect LePage let any hubristic thoughts, he won by a plurality (I’d hardly call the current spread of 8,000 votes a mandate), so he’d better play nice, if he is capable of such action. And, I’m ready to do battle in my local schoolboard should any Creationist nonsense be suggested from Augusta.

  39. Curmudgeon: “I love local expressions like that. Where I come from there are two parts of the country: ‘Up North,’ and ‘here’.”

    Where I come from it’s not “downtown” but “center city.” And not “at the beach” but “downashore,” where Arlen Specter and Ed Rendell will probably be spending a lot of time soon.

  40. Maine Operative

    It’s a sweep. Republicans control the Maine State House and Senate.

  41. In Alaska, Murkowski is still ahead of Miller, the creationist.

    It looks like the most outspoken creationists in highly visible races — for US Senate and Governor — have had a bad day. O’Donnell is gone. Brady is in trouble in Illinois, and Sharron Angle lost in Nevada. LePage is an exception (but Maine is almost in Canada, so what can we expect?)

    There’s a lesson to be learned here, but will the Republicans learn?

  42. “It’s a sweep. Republicans control the Maine State House and Senate.”

    That is so weird. I always thought Maine was in the middle of Liberal Yankee Land. Are VT and NH also this conservative?

  43. Gabriel Hanna

    @SCIt looks like the most outspoken creationists in highly visible races — for US Senate and Governor — have had a bad day. O’Donnell is gone. Brady is in trouble in Illinois, and Sharron Angle lost in Nevada. LePage is an exception (but Maine is almost in Canada, so what can we expect?)

    Liberal and moderate Republicans also lost in California and elsewhere. In some places conservative Republicans did very well. This was not a bad election for conservatives in general.

    There’s a lesson to be learned here, but will the Republicans learn?

    That cherry-picked examples are not data? Oh, a lesson for Republicans. Candidates matter, and the most important vote for a Senator or Congressman is that of Majority Leader.

    Senator Jim DeMint (R, SC) has this to say in today’s Wall Street Journal:

    Congress will never fix entitlements, simplify the tax code or balance the budget as long as members are more concerned with their own narrow, parochial interests. Time spent securing earmarks and serving personal ambitions is time that should be spent working on big-picture reforms.

    When you are in Washington, remember what the voters back home want—less government and more freedom. Millions of people are out of work, the government is going bankrupt and the country is trillions in debt. Americans have watched in disgust as billions of their tax dollars have been wasted on failed jobs plans, bailouts and takeovers. It’s up to us to stop the spending spree and make sure we have a government that benefits America instead of being a burden to it.

    Tea party Republicans were elected to go to Washington and save the country—not be co-opted by the club. So put on your boxing gloves. The fight begins today.

    I don’t think many Republicans think that social issues dominated this election–rather what I see them saying today is that if they get sidetracked into social issues they’ll be out again in 2012.

  44. Gabriel Hanna says:

    I don’t think many Republicans think that social issues dominated this election–rather what I see them saying today is that if they get sidetracked into social issues they’ll be out again in 2012.

    We can hope they understand that. Time will tell.

  45. “As goes Maine, so goes Vermont” was a famous sarcasm uttered after one Roosevelt’s electoral blow-outs, in which the only states he DIDN’T win were Maine….. and Vermont.

    In more recent years, VT has become a bastion of aging hippies, relocated flatlanders, and other granola-heads & Berkenstockers driving 15 year old Volvos.

    Less so, in NH, which has instead to contend with the overflow of refugees from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. NH has flirted with Democrats (and even a few Libertarians) at various times in the past 20 years or so, but has never completely turned its back on old fashioned conservative Yankee values the way their neighbors in the Green Mountain State have.

    FWIW, in NH yesterday, the GOP took over 300 seats out of 400 in the lower chamber of the legislature, and about 20/24 in the state senate. Prior to this, the Dems controlled both houses and well as the governor’s office. “Rout” is an understatement.

    They re-elected the incumbent “moderate” Dem governor to stew in his juices for the next two years. Thankfully, in NH, “conservative” doesn’t necessarily equate with being a creationist lunatic, and there’s a strong libertarian streak that has long permeated NH version of Yankee conservatism.

  46. Gabriel Hanna

    @longshadow:FWIW, in NH yesterday, the GOP took over 300 seats out of 400 in the lower chamber of the legislature, and about 20/24 in the state senate. Prior to this, the Dems controlled both houses and well as the governor’s office. “Rout” is an understatement.

    This happened in lots of states. The national elections are just the tip.

  47. FWIW, from my comments about the message of last night’s Electoral Tsunami:

    …. woe unto any legislator who thinks this vote is a mandate to pursue their pet project or social issue hobby-horse. This election is about a dismal economy, paltry economic growth, long lasting unemployment, massive deficits, and government meddling; and the independent voters who came out in droves to throw Dems out of office across the country didn’t do it so some nitwit social conservatives can try to shove authoritarian ideas about “underwear-drawer issues” and Creationism in the classroom down our throats via the legislative process. If they take their eyes off the economic ball for a second to screw around legislating Sh*t-that does-not-matter™, voters will evacuate the GOP from elected office in 2012 faster and more violently than they did Dems in 2010.

  48. Gabriel Hanna: “..if [Republicans] get sidetracked into social issues they’ll be out again in 2012.”

    Curmudgeon: “We can hope they understand that.”

    “Discoveroid” talk radio host Michael Medved does. A caller yesterday, ecstatic over the Republican win, brought up school prayer and abortion (in that order!) as his main hope for change. Medved probably shocked the caller when he said that, while he sympathizes with him, he believes that Congress must stick to economic issues, or face defeat. While his views of science are fringe at best (despite having a physicist father he denies evolution and thinks that Bigfoot exists), he is at least pragmatic. Many ultra-right wing callers complained about his support of the “liberal” McCain in 2008.

  49. Gabriel Hanna

    @Frank J:

    Discoveroid” talk radio host Michael Medved does. A caller yesterday, ecstatic over the Republican win, brought up school prayer and abortion (in that order!) as his main hope for change.

    Broken clocks are right twice a day… At any rate, school prayer and such is a hypothetical loss of freedom. San Francisco has just banned the Happy Meal. They made it illegal for anyone to give away toys to children with unhealthy food, and all meals that come with toys have to offer fruits and vegetables.

    “We’re part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice,” said Supervisor Eric Mar, who sponsored the measure. “From San Francisco to New York City, the epidemic of childhood obesity in this country is making our kids sick, particularly kids from low income neighborhoods, at an alarming rate. It’s a survival issue and a day-to-day issue.”

    There is no loss of freedom that these people canot justify as being for your own good, in the name of JUSTICE. This is really going on now. This is not hypothetical like the supposed goals of supposed Republican “theocrats”. This is a real blue law propounded by secular people.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-happy-meals-20101103,0,5438230.story

  50. Hot news: Brady concedes in Illinois: Bill Brady concedes in governor’s race.

    Yet another of the most outspoken creationists in highly visible races goes down in flames — joining O’Donnell and Sharron Angle. LePage is is the major exception

  51. Curmie– I thought this article was interesting… and if its conclusions can be believed, it might explain some of the political differences between us all…

    http://reason.com/archives/2010/11/02/the-science-of-libertarian

  52. Very interesting, LRA. I don’t quite know what to make of it all.

  53. I think the study is suggesting that there are multiple personality dimensions that correlate to political affiliation and moral decision making. For instance, I support a care ethic that a libertarian wouldn’t necessarily, for he would support an ethic of liberty and individuality that is equally valid (I admit that makes little sense to me seeing as how we are social creatures and an individual completely alone would not be likely to survive, but whatever, clearly that’s not the point).

    One quibble with the the report is the use of “male” and “female” as descriptors of dimensions of rationality. That kind of labeling has been demonstrated to be misleading, so it is frustrating to see that there.

    Again, the report makes me think and re-evaluate my instinct to feel negatively toward those who I see as morally questionable due to their political affiliations/ ethical commitments. I would hope that others would have a similar reaction. Thinking and re-evaluating is always a good thing, right?

  54. LRA says:

    I support a care ethic that a libertarian wouldn’t necessarily, for he would support an ethic of liberty and individuality that is equally valid (I admit that makes little sense to me seeing as how we are social creatures and an individual completely alone would not be likely to survive …

    How did you ever get it into your head that liberty means “completely alone”? You have not only been reading the Jack Chick of economics, but of politics too. Your only hope is if you submit to me. Mmmrrrruuuuhahahah!

  55. You make money, you keep it all. You fail to make money, you suffer the consequences alone. If you’re disabled, God help you because no one else will, especially during an economic crisis when people generally can’t afford charity.

    Isn’t that what it means to be “free”? Like this guy with Parkinson’s?

  56. What if you CAN’T work for everything you get? What then???

  57. LRA asks: “What if you CAN’T work for everything you get? What then???”

    I assume you’re asking what if you can’t afford everything you want. This is the economics equivalent of asking “Why are there still monkeys?”

    There are a few possibilities: (1) you do without; (2) your family provides for you; (3) maybe a charity provides for you: or (4) you send an IRS agent to visit me, he sticks a gun in my face, and then I’m forced to provide for you. I suppose it’s also possible that you might work a bit harder and take care of your own needs, but that’s too cruel, so we won’t consider it.

  58. Jeez, Curmie… It’s not that simple!!!!!
    (1) Where is the freedom in going without? I don’t see any freedom there! Let’s say… you’re unlucky enough to be born with an IQ of 80. You’ll never go to college and you’ll have to work a minimum wage job. You’ll never be able to afford even a modicum of a decent life on that and you can’t afford kids either… but you’re FREE!!! Free to live your SUCKY life! Yay you!

    You, Curmie, were born with a better IQ than 80. You work just as hard as someone at a fast food place, but you are lucky enough to earn a decent salary. All because you were lucky. Does that seem fair to you???

    (2) Some people DON’T have families to provide for them. Some people have to do it by themselves. What about them?

    (3) Charity? What charity? People are selfish sons of ******’s. They aren’t going to provide a decent standard of living to poor people. They’re going to give them the 5 year old left over lima beans in their cupboards. Why? Because that’s how people are. They look out for themselves first.

    (4) Who is Jack Chick now?? Are you serious? No one is putting a gun to your face! Welfare constitutes 2 friggin % of your taxes! So you’d rather see someone starve than give a measly 2% of your taxes (not your income, your taxes) to help them?????

    Ugh! What really hurts is when you talk that way, you are talking about people in my life I care about. You are talking about my retarded cousin, Cathy. You are talking about my blind ex-boyfriend John. You are talking about the children I used to teach who had multiple disabilities and will never EVER work… all so you can keep a few hundred dollars a year.

    😦 Makes me very very sad.

  59. Minimum wage= $7.25 x 60 hours per week x 4 weeks in a month= $1740 per month. Working 60 hour weeks. Every single week of the year.

    How is anyone going to LIVE on that? Take out taxes, health insurance (paid for by ones self because hourly workers don’t get that, so it’s double what normal workers pay), rent, groceries, transportation, utilities, etc. etc. etc.

    Would YOU want to be doomed to live like that because you were born unlucky? While friggin Paris Hilton sits on her ass with her millions of dollars??? NO!

  60. Curmie– I must apologize. This is your blog, so I should be more careful with what I say. Forgive me if I’m coming across as a total jerk. I get really upset about these things. I still think you’re awesome.

  61. LRA says:

    This is your blog, so I should be more careful with what I say. Forgive me if I’m coming across as a total jerk.

    There’s nothing to forgive, and I want you to freely express yourself.

  62. LRA asks: “How is anyone going to LIVE on that?”

    I’ll answer with a question: Does A’s need entitle him to what’s in B’s wallet?

    The question is very specific — We shall assume that A’s needs aren’t his fault, and that B owns what’s in his own wallet fair and square. Okay, here’s the question: Does A have the right to take what he needs from B? We both know he can ask for it, and B certainly has the right to help out if he wants to, but assuming B has other plans for his wallet, can A nevertheless help himself to what B has?

  63. People always tell me that life is unfair. It makes me want to cry every time. I think it’s because people don’t really understand just how unfair life can be. Life can be downright cruel.

    Maybe you think charities will work. Maybe I’m just too cynical. I know the government wastes money. My ex-boyfriend only gets $750 a month from the government and he has been blind since childhood. He is a good person. It’s not his fault that he’s blind. His mom helps him out and he works odd jobs here and there, but his life has been hard. Very hard. He has a college degree, but even so it is hard for a blind person to compete with seeing people in the job market– especially when jobs are scarce. He has a job advisor who helps him out, and that is a government position. Without someone like that, I don’t know what he’d do.

    Luckily, he has good friends that invite him places and pay for it themselves, or else he’d never go anywhere. He does the best he can. If the government ended his $750 a month, I don’t know what he’d do. If he could no longer get medicare/medicaid, I don’t know what he’d do. His dad died when he was a kid, and his mom has nothing. If she died, I don’t know what he’d do at this point. The fact is, his life has been a lot of suffering and he has done the best he can. It’s not fair. Not even a little bit. He deserves to have some help.

    😦

  64. Why should A have to beg? It is dehumanizing. B can certainly afford it and shouldn’t be so cold hearted.

  65. B should realize that in order to live in a civilized society, he’s going to have to give up some of his money to help others out. That’s what civilized people do. Or else, he could refuse to do so and let A steal it. Then B will be forced to pay for A’s jail time and it will be a lot more expensive than if B had just payed the welfare to begin with.

  66. LRA asks:

    Why should A have to beg? It is dehumanizing. B can certainly afford it and shouldn’t be so cold hearted.

    The question remains: Does A have the right to what’s in B’s wallet?

  67. Just in case I wasn’t specific enough.. Yes A is entitled to a very small percentage of what is in B’s pocket… because they both live in the same society where the less fortunate work for horrible rates for the more fortunate… AND they work just as hard, if not harder than the more fortunate unless they cannot work at all. In which case it is not their fault. In addition is is in B’s self interest to pay to help A out so that A isn’t forced to go into a life of crime to survive. It would be better for B to live in a society that is more peaceful and where people’s basic needs are met than to live in a society where welfare is not given and B has to worry about stealing from him anyway.

  68. Put another way, it is B’s moral obligation to help A out.

  69. LRA says: “Yes A is entitled to a very small percentage of what is in B’s pocket”

    What percentage is A’s by right? Who decides? What’s the method of deciding the percentage?

  70. Also, if A plays by society’s rules, but society’s rules are designed so poorly that A cannot survive, then A will be forced to break the rules to survive. Either A is wrong for wanting to survive, or society is wrong for making rules that make it impossible for A to survive.

    Further, why should A be forced to live in survival mode all of her life? What about quality of life? What about thriving? Barely surviving is not living and any society that says that is it should be ashamed of itself. Why? Because barely surviving warps people psychologically, and when they have children (and they WILL have children) they perpetuate the cycle. A civilized society helps the children so that they can escape the horrible conditions they were born into. They do so by providing decent education, supplement food money, help out with college, etc. It help them thrive so that they can repay their “debt” to society by becoming productive tax payers.

  71. Well, I guess you’ll need a large organization to run studies on such problems… I dunno, like a national government???

  72. Repeating the question: Who decides how much of what’s in A’s belongs to B? Does B get to decide? It’s A’s wallet, isn’t it? Is B the ultimate authority of what A gets to keep? Careful, because you may be declaring that B’s misfortune literally makes him the owner of A’s property. Why would A want to hang around in that kind of society? Would B be better off if A leaves?

  73. Additionally, our government has the right to collect taxes and to spend them for the purposes of defense and general welfare… plus, there is case law to test the constitutionality of the collection of taxes…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxing_and_Spending_Clause

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

  74. There are poor people everywhere! In every society!! Where is B going to go???

    Clearly, the government decides, and since B has a vote in government (and A might as well), B has voiced what he thinks… along with lots of other people. If he doesn’t like it, then he can try to find a place where poor people are not cared for by the government, but I don’t think he’ll like living there much. Especially when they rob him.

  75. LRA says:

    Additionally, our government has the right to collect taxes and to spend them for the purposes of defense and general welfare…

    No. “General welfare” was drafted as a limit on the taxing power. The government wasn’t supposed to use tax money for purely local projects. Madison discussed that in Federalist #41.

  76. LRA says:

    There are poor people everywhere! In every society!! Where is B going to go???

    So you’ve got him surrounded and outnumbered. He has no rights. He loses his wallet. Great system you’ve got there. It gives B zero incentive to be productive, and the society will grind down to nothing. Very nice. You win.

  77. What? No, B gets to keep *most* of his income. He still has an incentive to do well. You act as if there aren’t millionaires and billionaires in this country. Clearly there are. You act as if you’d prefer to pay for people’s meals in jail rather than just pay for their meals. There will always be poor people. There will always need to be a societal solution to help them.

    BTW, why doesn’t B get all pissed off when B’s government wastes trillions of dollars protecting oil interests in the Middle East under the guise of tromping terrorism and finding weapons of mass destruction and then taxes him for it? Especially when these taxes cost WAY WAY more than keeping peace at home by helping out the poor? Why doesn’t B gripe about how the IRS is stealing money from him to fund the business interests of corporations who screwed up Wall Street with their housing bubble, corporations who begged for money because they were too big to fail, and corporations who spill millions of gallons of oil into the gulf and then can’t afford to clean it up, leaving the government in the position of having to spend more money? Why does B think that welfare for corporations is a good idea while welfare for people is not?

  78. LRA says:

    No, B gets to keep *most* of his income.

    B is very grateful for A’s generosity. [Fixed]

    You act as if you’d prefer to pay for people’s meals in jail rather than just pay for their meals.

    If A is a thief, certainly.

    There will always be poor people. There will always need to be a societal solution to help them.

    There will be a lot more of them in a society where B has no rights to his own wallet. But if you prefer to put A in charge of B’s wallet, that’s your preference.

    Why doesn’t B gripe about how the IRS is stealing money from him to fund the business interests of corporations who screwed up Wall Street with their housing bubble,

    He does gripe. Or haven’t you been following the election returns lately?

  79. Well, he should have started griping 8 years prior when his previous president was doing all this spending. Not now that there’s a president in office of the opposite party. 8 years of silence and two years of howling just doesn’t add up to an honest criticism of government spending.

  80. Facts about charitable giving in America:

    =================================
    A Nation of Givers

    The American

    Arthur C. Brooks

    March 31, 2008
    Americans are remarkably charitable. But what sorts of people give the most? And how do we compare with the Europeans?

    Q. How much do Americans give? Is the amount we give going up?

    A. In 2006, Americans gave about $295 billion to charity. This was up 4.2 percent over 2005 levels, and charitable giving has generally risen faster than the growth of the American economy for more than half a century. Correcting for inflation and population changes, GDP per person in America has risen over the past 50 years by about 150 percent, while charitable giving per person has risen by about 190 percent. That is, the average American family has gotten much richer in real terms over the past half century, and charitable giving has more than kept pace with this trend.

    Q. So where do the donations go?

    A. A large majority of U.S. citizens donate money each year to houses of worship and charitable organizations. Most estimates place the percentage of American households that make monetary contributions each year at 70 to 80 percent, and the average American household contributes more than $1,000 annually. But it is not the case that American giving goes entirely—or even mostly—to religious institutions. About a third of individual gifts go toward sacramental activities, primarily supporting houses of worship. The rest goes to secular activities, such as education, health, and social welfare.

    Q. Are Americans more or less charitable than citizens of other countries?

    A. No developed country approaches American giving. For example, in 1995 (the most recent year for which data are available), Americans gave, per capita, three and a half times as much to causes and charities as the French, seven times as much as the Germans, and 14 times as much as the Italians. Similarly, in 1998, Americans were 15 percent more likely to volunteer their time than the Dutch, 21 percent more likely than the Swiss, and 32 percent more likely than the Germans. These differences are not attributable to demographic characteristics such as education, income, age, sex, or marital status. On the contrary, if we look at two people who are identical in all these ways except that one is European and the other American, the probability is still far lower that the European will volunteer than the American.
    ============================
    source:
    http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=736&print=1

  81. Well, he should have started griping 8 years prior when his previous president was doing all this spending.

    And we were griping. Loudly. Bush was terrible. Obama has taken those same bad policies and doubled down.

    I’m greatly looking forward to gridlock, where neither of those bad alternatives get their way.

  82. If Americans are giving $295 billion to “charity” (and wasting $100 billion of it on giving to churches who don’t pay taxes and who don’t necessarily help anyone but themselves) then why are poor people still living in sh*thole projects, selling drugs to live, and dying young or becoming institutionalized criminals? Why are ONE IN FOUR of Texas children living in poverty? Why are ONE IN FIVE of California or New York children living in poverty? (Those are the three most populated states, but the statistics for the other states are contained in the link I gave below.) Clearly, these people need MORE than what we’re giving. And the giving needs to be directed at the social constraints that kill these people’s spirits and damage their psyches.

    Poverty is a complex problem that needs to be studied on the sociological level and based on these studies, practical solutions need to be developed and enacted. The local food pantry isn’t going to do that. Federal funding to university sociological programs and law-making concerning federal funding on social programs for the poor will. Poverty is a societal problem as much as a threat to national security is a societal problem. It is not only proper, but imperative that our government do something about it. You may argue that it is the state government and not the federal government’s place, but what is Mississippi REALLY going to do about their poor? Clearly, the state of Mississippi itself doesn’t have the money to properly address its poor population, so the Federal government can offer help.

    Also, the statistics for American giving were provided and compared against European giving, but what are the rates of poverty in Europe? Or better yet, what social policies do the Europeans have in place to help the impoverished and what are the statistics on social unrest factors like crime?
    How about for other post-industrial countries like Japan where gift giving is an inbuilt part of society?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States#Numbers_in_other_countries

    http://www.nccbuscc.org/cchd/povertyusa/map.htm

  83. “Poverty” is a relative thing. One wag observed that only in America are the poor people fat. Most nominally poor people have TV sets. And microwaves. And cell phones. And it’s a fallacy to believe that “poor” is a static condition. Most people who are “poor” today won’t be 10 years from now. In a mobile and dynamic society, people’s circumstances and conditions change with time. This is especially true when considering age demographics- it’s common to be poor on one’s 20s, far less common to be poor in one’s 60s.

    FWIW, the socialist utopia of Europe hasn’t seemed to solve the problems of a small hopeless underclass either. On my trip to Germany last week, I stepped over quite a few people sleeping on the streets of Duesseldorf. It really wasn’t any different than Philadelphia.

  84. Just because poverty (not “poverty”) is a relative thing doesn’t mean that it isn’t destroying people’s lives. And I never said Europe was a socialist utopia.

  85. No, but it’s a perfect example of the results of massive programs to “help.”

    The issue isn’t poverty (and I say that as someone who has been pretty damned poor)- it’s the barriers to upward mobility and the natural human reactions to incentives and disincentives..