Which Country Do You Prefer?


Following in the footsteps first of the Asbury Park Press and then the lesser known Washington Post and the New York Times, The Economist  — not celebrated for its socialism — has just endorsed Barack Obama.

In response to my recent post about Michelle Obama on Leno, a friend of mine recent wrote to me complaining — and the same argument could be made of Obama’s infomercial — that you cannot draw any conclusions about the Obamas based on interviews and speeches that are completely staged and scripted. I responded that, even if the interview were staged, Michelle and the Democratic ticket were trying to give a certain perception of how they wanted the U.S. to be. McCain Palin would give a very different “staged” performance — for they see America differently. As The Economist noted with respect to McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin, she was “chosen partly for her views on divisive social issues.”

So the question isn’t whether Obama is too staged, but rather which staged America do you prefer? One that seeks unity or one that sees America at war?



Filed under Essays, Obama 08

11 responses to “Which Country Do You Prefer?

  1. well, i don’t think is a simple choice as you made it by your last statement. Those of us who are still undecided still have our doubts for many other reasons. Mine in particular is the re distribution of wealth.
    In very simple terms
    Taxing people with higher income and lessen the tax burden for those who are poor or “middle class” does not seem to explain how Obama for instance is prepared to cut on useless government spending by government officials, senators etc… It also doesn’t explain if he’s prepared to put sanctions and penalties on those extremely wealthy crooks and companies who evade taxation by manipulating the system. All it explains is how many “wealthy people” that have paid millions of their HARD EARNED DOLLARS millions in Medicare that will never get to see, that have been taxed all their lives close to 50 percent and that when they die, their money will be taxed even more before it goes to their children(who may be middle class or poor) or their grandchildren. I think that tax distribution in that sense is unfair and that will affect many. Why do those people need to pay for government spending? If I were wealthy I would not mind paying for every heating bill my neighbor could not afford. That is the distribution of wealth many wealthy would be more than happy and prepared to do……but this taxation is just creating money for congressmen and senators to play with. Until things like “PORK” and not the Spanish kind are addressed, where congress and senators give each other monetary incentives for their own benefits (and rarely are they state wide) just to get bills passed is among the first thing this country needs to address.

    Less government spending first please, then more sanctions to those who abuse law(government first), (how Obama acquired his property is no exception) and leave those hard earned dollars alone.

  2. eric

    Are you serious? Pork is a problem but makes up a very small percentage of government spending. We hear about it because it is the only part of the economy that McCain understands.

    We could get rid of all government spending, have no social programs, public schools, public services, or national defense (those ours often feels like an offense). Cutting these expenditures would only benefit the rich, those who can afford to drive to work and send their kids to private schools. As a matter of fact, that is basically what has happened in the U.S. over recent years. We have one of the highest income disparities of OECD nations, we are just behind Mexico and Turkey.

    During the Bush years, even John McCain criticized the Bush tax cuts, because they were irresponsible. Now McCain is saying they should be permanent. So if no one is going to pay taxes, how do we pay for services? As with the financial crisis where everyone and their mothers were assuming debt they couldn’t afford to repay, the U.S. government funds the tax cuts through debt (borrowing from foreign countries). That means eventually us tax payers are going to assume the bill.

    Corporations, though they are supposed to pay 30%, get tax credits, deductions, etc. and end up only paying on average 5%. So why shouldn’t companies pay a little more in taxes, and why shouldn’t wealthier Americans pay a little more? Heck, we already have a proportional tax system, so it isn’t so radical.

    If only the rich can afford transportation, education, and health care, there isn’t much difference between the U.S. and the underdeveloped world.

  3. I agree with what you say Eric, but you didn’t touch on my main point. why does the average wealthy Joe , that has been paying tax all their lives and Medicare all their lives, need to be taxed on all their money once they die before it goes to their families? they never got tax credits, deductions and so on….they are all in this boat too right? we have a proportional tax system….but that is out of proportion. Did you know that when your parents die or I die or you die, in this distribution of wealth system your money will be taxed way over 50 percent…on top of having been taxed when it was earned? how are people that make over 200,000 able to pass their wealth to their families???? that includes you.
    why does that tax money have to go to for example: poor governmental decisions by creating housing for the poor by the river bank for it only to get flooded and create a national disaster…..that we all pay for because we have earned it? my point is people who are wealthy because they fucking earned it by paying taxes all their lives should not be carrying that burden.
    The goverment should allocate more money for transportation, education and health care….not those who are fortuante to make over 200,000 dollars….what are we in china now?do you know how much that money get you ion NYC? ask woody allen….do you know how much that money get you in fuckville mississipi? much farther……is not about taxing is who to tax.

  4. I’m talking about for example Estate tax….and now that I have to start to think about my children’s inheritance or how to start my own small business it is something of a concern.

  5. eric

    If you’re referring to the estate tax, that is a long tradition in federal and state tax laws.

    I believe the logic behind the estate tax, is exactly what you’re saying, wealth should not go to people who didn’t earn it alone, ie, the heirs, to avoid economic stagnation. Of course the result is that wealthy people hire good lawyers to plan their estates and dispose of their wealth through a wide variety measures (trusts, donations, inter-vivo gifts, etc) to avoid tax liability upon death. Some even argue that the estate tax is better than income tax.

    I think that the big problem you’re stating is that we pay taxes in many different forms and it is often hard to see how that money is used for the public and individual good. McCain would argue that the problem can be solved by cutting on pork and earmarks. The real solution lies in how to make the government more accountable for its use of our money.

  6. why isn’t there a detailed proposal on how to do just that? why is there a detailed proposal on how to tax me to pay for unaccountable expenses by the goverment.? rather than how to make the government more accountable for its use of our money.?
    and in regards to estate tax i don’t agrre with you either.
    when applied to realty, it is yet another tax on items that have already been taxed. Private real estate is taxed when it is purchased, it is taxed annually based on its value, and then it is taxed again when it is passed on as an inheritance. that for example is pure bull shit.

  7. AND as you mentioned,w hile it may be true that the receiver of wealth may not have a direct moral claim to that wealth, neither does anyone else. The moral argument would further assert that the rights to that wealth lie with the deceased person, the person who earned it originally and who paid taxes on it continually while living. The rights lie with the deceased to dispose of his or her wealth as he or she sees fit, whether that disposition be in the form of a charitable gift, a check to the government, or a gift to a chosen heir.
    BAM! EPE if your face!

  8. eric

    Well, the Republicans had total control over the government for 6 of the last 8 years and Congress for most of the last 15 years, so I don’t see how a McCain victory would affect your concerns about the estate tax in the least.

  9. i would have rather you asked me if my health is doing ok since i seem to be so concerend about how’s going to get all my shoe collection..

  10. eric

    Shiiiiiit. I like the yellow pumas!!!

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