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[Comments] (26) : Must stop refreshing CNN election results. Must work on word count for today.

Oh, well. I had a pretty ok first day at work and last night Wes Clark's speech was awesome! I did disagree with him on a few things, such as the stupid electoral college, but he was very inspriring, and afterwards I got to shake his hand!

I saw Mr Cowles, my AP US History teacher, at the polls this morning. He patted me on the shoulder as he left and said "Vote right." "Oh I will," I reassured him. Mr Cowles is one of the Great Liberal Thinkers of BHS which make me so glad I went there, and when I did.


Posted by Silly at Wed Nov 03 2004 01:23

You voted right? When did you convert to Conservativism?

Posted by Susie at Wed Nov 03 2004 01:48

Mr. Cowles! yay! I think the electoral college is kind of stupid too.

Posted by Becca at Wed Nov 03 2004 02:12

1.7k words a day? Hmmmm, I'm not going to finish. Well, that's good, because I never thought I'd finish anyways. So many other things (like Gemstone) are so much more important.

And I miss Mr. Cowles!

Posted by Alyson at Wed Nov 03 2004 02:19

I keep doing the same thing. Refresh, refresh.

Posted by correction at Wed Nov 03 2004 02:46

I voted correctly.

Posted by Kristen at Wed Nov 03 2004 03:06

The electoral college was put in by our genius founding fore-fathers to make sure that cities like Los Angeles and NY didn't trample over the rest of the country. So that the major cities didn't have so much control over the rural parts, so everyone's voice counted. I think it is inspired.

Posted by Rachel at Wed Nov 03 2004 03:45

The electoral college has its benefits, to be sure, and you mentioned the most important one, I think. But republican voters in states like CA of NY, for example, can be pretty much guarenteed that their vote "won't count," and the same is true for democratic voters in Texas or Utah. The system discourages voters from both parties from voting in solid red or blue states becuase their vote is so unlikely to make a difference, and even though the smaller states are of course important and deserve attention, I think the elcectoral college gives a disproportionate amount of importance to the smaller swing states. New York, California and Texas have the largest populations, yet the candidates hardly bother with them, because the majority of votes are so predictable.

Posted by Susie at Wed Nov 03 2004 03:56

I agree with you, Rach. I do like that the candidates at a state level, who I feel can actually affect my life, can have close races, even in Utah. We are still waiting to hear about some of our congressmen.

Posted by Rachel at Wed Nov 03 2004 04:07

I hope they go blue! We need a majority so we can get some health insurance!

Posted by John at Wed Nov 03 2004 04:33

I just wish that the electoral college would proportion their votes. Although Utah would still be all red, CA, NY, TX, etc could be more representing to the minority party. But let's be realistic, universal health insurance will never work, esp. with what is occurring in the house and senate.

Posted by Rachel at Wed Nov 03 2004 04:44

Universal health care works pretty well in all modern nations except for the US...

Posted by Joe at Wed Nov 03 2004 17:42

Funny you should talk about universal Health care.

I made a few comments on that to one of Kristen's Weblogs. If the american people want to sacrifice quality for quantity then that is their right. It seems that more and more people are moving toward the conservative systems that have given america an edge over all the rest of the world.

Take buisness for example, America comprises roughly 1/3rd of the the World's GDP and 1/2 of the worlds market capitalization (reflected in Wall Street).

There is a reason why America has become the worlds foremost super-power. That is not to mention also the military, which comprises more than 50% of the global military spending. And if you were to say "well that is just because we are warmongerers", that may be true. There is no question that our military has 1) protected Europe by keeping over 70,000 troops in the European contries to keep them from killing themselves or being attacked at the expense of American treasure, (and blood sometimes) and 2) the millions of American dollars that are pumped into the european economies (take a look at Germany's economic numbers post-American pull out of europe).

John can correct me if I am wrong, but America is strong, not because it dole's out entitlements, but because it fosters a strong self-reliant attitude. It doen't rely on money from terrorist states to supplement its economy (like France and Germany) because of its unique place and history, and that place is a spirit of industrialism, and that people may be down, but not out and the purpose of government is not to give everybody a nice social cusion to Fall into, but to take care in time of real need.

I am probably one of the poorest of Americans (having made less than $13,000 jointly last year), but I pay health care coverage because I value it. We don't want to devalue Health Care in order for everybody to have it.

Posted by Joe at Wed Nov 03 2004 17:45

Sorry about my numerous clumsy typo's. I should have re-read it.

Posted by anonymous at Thu Nov 04 2004 22:02

I disagree with a lot of things in Joe's post (American troupes in Europe are keeping them from killing each other? Really? Even if you're talking about the Balkans, I think that's more NATO--but I've talked about this extensively before so I won't go into it now...) but in regards to healthcare:

I think there are a lot of missconceptions (at least in my view) about the consequences of national healthcare. You can be self-reliant and still have national healthcare, just as millions of self-reliant Americans have depended on Social Security for retirement (ahh, the grumblings of change...). Candians have wonderful healthcare, as do most Europeans. I'm sure a lot of them find the viewpoint offensive that national heathcare automatically means lower quality healthcare.

Also, other nations have different values than America. They value quality of life, and security, among other things, more than they value the bottom line. What's the good of making a ton of money and getting superb tax cuts if you suddenly have a serious health problem, and lose the job, your house, and everything else? But that's just my view, and I understand that most Americans don't see it that way. Maybe it's just because I'm uninsured that I think national healthcare is a good idea. It's not that I don't value heathcare. I just can't afford to buy private health insurance. Maybe if I could, it wouldn't even occur to me not to think that people demanding health insurance were lazy good-for-nothings draining the system.

As for American being strong because of it's lack of welfare state (among other things, such a military--is that what you're saying? please correct me if I'm wrong) remember that there are a lot of strong countries in the world with welfare states, Canada being one example. The EU had the same amount of territory as the US and 1.5 times the population; it will probably someday surpass the US' GDP. I know that not all of the people in the EU have the ideal American standard of living--but neither do all of the people living in the US.

I know that my idea of how government should work is not everyone's. But neither is yours. I'm not trying to say that my ideas are better than yours or anyone else's. All I'm saying is that they are valid, too.

Posted by Rachel at Thu Nov 04 2004 22:03

BTW-- that ^ was me (in case you couldn't tell...)

Posted by Alyson at Fri Nov 05 2004 02:26

Shouldn't we be proud of more than economic power in our country? I would prefer to pay higher taxes in order to lift the society in which I live. Everyone in society. Not just myself and my immediate family, but everyone.

This isn't a discussion of the power of the USA any more than it is a discussion of differing values among constituents. There is the value of individual gain, and there is the value of community gain. Some people push for the individual, others push for the community.

There has got to be a better balance between individual and community than we currently have in this country.

Posted by John at Fri Nov 05 2004 03:21

My turn? For me (sorry Joe), it is not a matter of economic power either. But I feel that ideas like socialized medicine, in the long run, do more damage than good, and that is why I am against it. Back in the great immigration days, people came to America under the false pretense that "the streets are paved with gold."

I never want society to think that they can get things for free. The things I value the most are the things I have had to work the hardest for. We do society a great disservice when we hand out hard-earned benefits like commodities.

It always reminds me of The Great Depression and the Church Welfare System. Ideas like the CCC were not initiated because they were projects that needed by necessity to be accomplished. Though we all appreciate the roads paved through Bryce Canyon, it was by no means some urgent national matter. These jobs were created to help America during rough times and somehow allow its citizens to maintain an ounce of dignity through it all.

The Bishop's Storhouse gives nothing for free. Instead, it gives people work opportunities during their transition unemployment times and pays them for it. It helps people to value the work ethic and provide for themselves.

I often wondered on my mission why we were paying janitors in the Kong to clean churchhouses. After all, in Utah, the members pitch in to clean in efforts to save money. But in the Kong, they still pay janitors to help the members earn their own living, and not learn to live off the government. The government cannot subsidize through taxes the road to heaven. Nor should it, I believe, subsidize so many paths here then.

Socialized medicine means we suppose that everyone values it the same. But that is not the case. Hence, why some choose not to have it. In conclusions, this has nothing to do with me getting ahead of others. I simply believe that people can do amazing things when the government gets out of the way and gives them the freedom to shoot for the stars. If you miss and hit the moon, well then is that so bad?

Posted by Joe at Fri Nov 05 2004 17:59

I think there was a misunderstanding. I wasn't saying that economic power was the reason not to have solcialized medicine. As far as socialized medicine is concerned, it isn't a matter of economic power either. Just as John said, "People can do amazing things when Government gets out of the way and gives them the freedom to shoot for the stars."

So, Economic power is a byproduct of the fulfilled dreams of millions of americans and a result of the government getting its hands out of the people's pockets (90% of Buisnesses in america are sole proprietorships or S-corporations).

It is a general philosophy that conservatives want to "empower" (to use liberal terminology) the people who are most capable of making great advances in buisness, and as a result the working class will also be "empowered".

Of course governemnt should not be compleatly "laizze faire" (to quote the french), but there should be limited regulation.

Why is unemployment so much higher in the EU? There is a reason why. Why are there not as many Gates or Fords being born in europe?

Asia is a great example of the principle of supply side economic policy. Their growth is indicative of the advances that can be made when the Government gets out of the way of Scientific, economic, and social progress.

Having said that, Government should take an active role in providing fairness and limit discrimination.

Posted by Joe at Fri Nov 05 2004 19:38

By the way. The USSR had an economy that rivaled the U.S. in many ways. They were an important and significant economic power in the years from the 60's to the late 80's. They also had Socialized medicine.

They were also unable to continue providing these "rights" (i.e. the right to healthcare, the right to work, the right to LEISURE, the right to Shelter), which John correctly pointed out to be BENEFITS and not RIGHTS.

Their Socioeconomic system went bankrupt and collapsed with a wimper because it was based on a bankrupt ideology.

The American Ideology on the other hand provides a right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." There is definitly an important COLLECTIVE element to this right as Alyson has pointed out. The "common good" must be sought and people should not be left behind like African American kids who have an abismal literacy rate, or the Disabled who require more sophisticated (expensive) equipment and training in order to compete at the same level as their non-disabled counterparts. The disabled should also be provided with health care to the degree that they need it. People should be taken care of in catastrophic cases. All of these things can be taken care of with minimal cost to the "INDIVIDUAL" in society.

A widespread redistribution of wealth in the form of healthcare and welfare on the other hand does a disservice to both the collective and the individual as it simply exacerbates the eternal conflict between unlimited wants and limited resources, not to mention the great sucking sound that will come from a tremendously inefficient Bureaucracy.

Posted by President Bush at Sat Nov 06 2004 00:14

Dear Friends,

I would like to take this time to thank you all for the lovely mandate you've left at my feet. I will be sure to squander it well, just as I did the surplus.

I could not help but notice some talk of utilitarianism. For those of you who think I have just made up that word there-- "utilitarianism"-- let me refresh your memory: It's the doctrine tied with the liberal theory (yes, that's right I said liberal)--founded by Grand-daddy Adam Smith (he's the shiznat, go 1776!) Anyways- back to utilitarianism: the idea that what is good for the individual is good for society. Thus in accordance with this capitalist philosophy: we should all work for our own benefit because personal success translates to societal success. Am I hitting home for anyone, yet?

Now, I'd also like to introduce you to the concept of "Pareto Optimality." This is the point in which all resources are allocated as efficiently as can be so that everyone gains- and no one gains at someone else's expense.

Now, there are some misguided souls out there who believe that our capitalism system entitles them to get rich, no matter who is trampled on. But, I would just like to refer you to this little clause in the Capitalistic Manifesto...Pareto Optimality...Do onto others as you would have done unto you. Stop screwing over your brethren.

On that lovely note, I would just like to say Go America! I love our little island.

Thank you. Come again.


Posted by Kristen at Sat Nov 06 2004 01:01

I assume the last comment was Sumana?

I don't get who are the people who are "gaining at other's expense?" No one is saying that is right or civil. You don't think that happens in Europe? As long as there are human beings, that will happen. Also, about Rachel saying that Europeans/Canadians "They value quality of life, and security, among other things, more than they value the bottom line." That statement offends me, and I don't believe it to be your right to decide what Americans value. Speak for yourself and not use blanket statements about Americans, b/c I am one and I value quality of life and security as well as I'm sure millions of Americans out there.
I think we all have the same goal or about the same opinion, just different opinions on how to accomplish that goal. We love our fellow brethren, and just b/c you are affiliated with a different political group doesn't mean you are evil, stingy, selfish, or want to step all over the poor. Just like parenting, there are different ways to go about it and get the same results. Some parents use 'tough love', others let the kids walk all over them. Parents still love the children. Government officials got into the business b/c they want to make a difference; just b/c they believe that a different way will yield a better outcome doesn't mean they are immoral people for thinking that.

Posted by Susie at Sat Nov 06 2004 05:14

Rach, you probably just think National Healthcare is a good idea because you're uninsured. I think just about anyone making a lot of money has insurance through their fancy job, or obviously they can afford private insurance.

We have some major stuff going on with Nature's Way of Canada, which means I'm about to learn a ton about their employment laws and benefits. I'll let you know what our employees there think.

Posted by Susie at Sat Nov 06 2004 05:15

PS: All recreational therapists value quality of life number one.

Posted by President Bush at Sat Nov 06 2004 17:50

My name is George, not Sumana. or whatever her name is.

I recommend for anyone who does not know that all Americans gain at the expense of most of the world do some traveling.

But it happens. It's unfortunate. It's a matter of examining our precarious world economy: take any commodity- clothes, food, light-industrial products. And all Americans and most Europeans gain because of it. It's just our place in the global market.

Travel. and not just to the American touristy outposts in other countries. Life is different outside this beautiful country of ours.

Oh, and slavery exists in California. Do not believe me, please spend some time near the border.

There are some sick, sad things going on in the world.

Posted by Rachel with some replies at Sat Nov 06 2004 22:23

We do society a great disservice when we hand out hard-earned benefits like commodities.

I think that the reason we will never agree on this issue, John (and evidently Joe), is that you consider healthcare a privilege, whereas I consider it a right. In my opinion, there is no reason why anyone should be deprived of this basic essential when it is perfectly possible to provide for everyone, at least with in the US. You believe that nothing should be free, and that people should work for and earn what they receive. I agree, but I think we have different ideas as to what this means. Healthcare is provided by money from taxes; everyone works, everyone pitches in, and everyone benefits from it. I think—correct me if I’m wrong—that you think that those who work harder earn more money, get ahead in life, etc etc, and are able to provide for themselves, and that is the American Dream. Perhaps that’s the way it should be—rewards as proportionate to the amount of effort put forth—but in my experience it is not the case. The people in my life I know to have worked the hardest—my mother and grandparents—are, at the end of the day and through no fault of their own, unable to provide for themselves basic necessities without assistance. It’s not the case that the value of work is proportionate to the pay, either—teaching and farming are two of the most essential occupations, and also two of the lowest paid.

Another thing is that you feel that welfare systems of commonly abused. I agree with you, there are certainly those who take advantage of the system. However, I (always the optimist) think that those are in the minority, and that the system does do a great deal of good to those in whose life is does truly make a difference, sometimes between starvation and subsidence.

If you miss and hit the moon, well then is that so bad?
And if you miss, and land in the ocean, and drown—ought not those with the power step in and help you? It’s true that people can do things when the government :gets out of the way,” but that doesn’t make the things that the government does of any less value.
Life is simply not fair, and I feel that when it is possible to make life more fair, ie by having national healthcare or insurance, then that step should be taken. I understand that you don’t think so. That’s fine. We both understand each other’s point-of-view. Let’s agree to disagree, and stop dancing in circles, because I can’t count how many times we’ve had this argument and I’m quite sure neither of us will ever convince the other.

I do agree that the USSR is probably a bad example of socialized healthcare. It’s a bad example of a lot of things. But there are many other examples where it is indeed working.

That statement offends me, and I don't believe it to be your right to decide what Americans value. Speak for yourself and not use blanket statements about Americans, b/c I am one and I value quality of life and security as well as I'm sure millions of Americans out there.

You must have misunderstood me Kristen. I didn’t mean to offend by saying that “[Europeans and Canadians] value quality of life, and security, among other things, more than they value the bottom line." I didn’t mean to imply that Americans don’t value these things; if you asked anyone on the streets whether they wanted better schools, better infrastructure, healthcare for poor people, etc etc, they would say “sure.” And I don’t mean to imply that America is deficient in these aspects. Certainly we are way ahead of most of the rest of the world. But we could still be better. Some countries in Europe do have excellent government healthcare. They have immaculate streets, efficient public transportation, good highways, affordable universities. (I am thinking of Germany; though I hear that the Scandinavian countries are the best examples, I have never been there so I don’t have any first-hand experience.) They also pay very steep taxes, but they are willing to do so, because they like their country the way it is. They like having the security of knowing that if they lose their job, if they have an accident and are unable to work, they won’t lose their house to pay medical bills. They like knowing that their children will be able to afford college no matter what, and they are willing to pay for these things. They pay higher taxes, but they also spend less on the services which are provided by the government. This makes things a lot more equal between people who make different wages—and yes, even between people who don’t work and those who do. But I say oh well, because I don’t think teachers should have to suffer because they make less than CEOs. I’d be willing to pay more taxes in order to have that level of security—that is what I mean by the statement that I made. In the majority of America this is not the case. I don’t think I’m making a generalizing statement here. It is pretty well illustrated by the election. Kerry promised healthcare, he promised to make college more affordable and more support for schools. Bush promised tax cuts (he also promised better schools and more affordable college, but if anyone had found college more easy to pay for in the last four years, I’d like to hear about it). Bush was elected by 51% of America. I know that tax cuts and healthcare were not the only issues in the election, but choosing lower taxes over more services is the general trend I am seeing, and if that wasn’t the case, I think things would be very different.

Susanna—I was being a teensy bit sarcastic when I suggested that I only think national healthcare is a good idea because I’m uninsured. I thought it was a good idea back when I was in school and did have health insurance. I’ll still think it’s a good idea if I get a “fancy job” that has insurance and make “a lot of money” so I can afford private insurance just in case it doesn’t. I’d like to hope that other people with fancy jobs and lots of money want everyone to have insurance, too.

I’d also like to thank Pres. Bush for gracing my weblog with his eminent presence to share his wisdomosity, and would like to kiss his feet while I am at it.

Now, if you are going to write a reply, please STOP and read my latest entry, and go from there.

Posted by Joe at Sun Nov 07 2004 03:33

I will comply...

By the way. Since when did President Bush travel to anywhere in the world besides american outposts ;).

(you said that I could say it if I agreed with you ;P)

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