Democrats lost the House because they weren't Progressive enough and more aggressive in passing what we elected them to do.

Then there was the Citizens United atrocity, which allows foreign interest from places like China and India that have a vested interest in the outsourcing of American jobs to unduly influence our elections. The result of this was the loss of some great Democrats like Grayson, Russ Feingold, and my Congressman, Ron Klein (D-Florida, district 22, who lost to a man who claims to have more security clearance than the President!). Each was money bombed out of power because they had the balls to stand up to the corporate elites opposing them."

Yes, historically, the President gets a second term when this happens, but we've never had anything like Citizens United which opens the floodgates of foreign money to influence our elections. What percentage of the public do you think even knows what Citizens United is? There's not much about it in the corporate media with exception to MSNBC, for obvious reasons, and our public has been lulled to sleep by that corporate infotainment that constantly feeds us celebrity gossip! Not that celebrity gossip is bad, but there's a problem when the public is more concerned with who's getting a divorce on Housewives of DC than the fact that we are that much closer to China OWNING OUR ASSES! Where's the public outrage when Citizens United was the most devastating blow to our democracy in our lifetime!

Now we have 2 choices:

1. Be discouraged and give up

2. Vow to focus our anger into positive action.

I choose option number two because I believe in the power of optimism. Helen Keller said, "No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit." I hope you join me in my call to action:

1. EDUCATE: From now to 2012 I will do all I can to make sure everyone I know understands how the Citizens United decision is undermining our democracy and there has to be URGENCY for change!

2. STAY INFORMED: Keep our eyes and ears open for opportunities for "We the People" to put an end to this. Brush up on how you can help fight by going to... http://movetoamend.org

Thom Hartmann's new book Rebooting the American Dream has an excellent chapter on this called Wal-Mart is Not A Person, and it just became available to read for free online: http://www.truth-out.org/wal-mart-is-not-a-person66831

There's got to be something else that we can do! Besides us becoming more outspoken and voicing our outrage over this, I'd like to hear more about what else we can do. Feel free to comment with your suggestions, and I'll help put the word out. If we don't take effective action, what we just witnessed in this 2010 election is only a test run of what they plan to do to fair-minded Americans in 2012.

To those who didn't care enough to vote Sanity I say...

America, this is your future if you don't wake up!: (SEE VIDEO)

Images

Election 2010 – Alan Grayson, Russ Feingold, Ron Klein… REALLY!? What now!?

Videos

Comments

conservativeview's picture
conservativeview 9 years 11 weeks ago
#1

The citizens united decision should be repealed when labor unions and any other association is also prohibited from contributing to political campaigns. Significant money was spent by both sides. Money can buy exposure but it doesn't guarantee votes. Try to be more objective and open minded.

dstack's picture
dstack 9 years 11 weeks ago
#2

conservativeview:

Money coming from labor unions is transparent and domestic. This other money is undisclosed and there is nothing to limit money coming in from foreign countries. Are you saying you are fine with communist China influencing our elections?

makuck's picture
makuck 9 years 11 weeks ago
#3

So 1/3 billion in ad's won't guarantee results? Then why does every major corporation on the face of the planet advertise? I will answer that for you.. it's because it is statistically PROVEN that putting money into advertising WILL increase sales!

conservativeview's picture
conservativeview 9 years 11 weeks ago
#4

I am not aware of the difference between transparent dollars and non-transparent dollars. As farasi know, they both buy ad time. Regarding your straw man communist China remark, I love the idea of other countries investing in the US. If China was going to put money into the US political process to push for communism they would give money to the Democrats. If they give money to expand capitalism and global free trade (republicans) I still get a competitively priced Chinese product.
Regarding the comparison to sales and "statistics", Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina spent more than their opponent and both lost. Advertising can help a good product. No amount of advertising will convince you to eat poop. At least I won't.

dstack's picture
dstack 9 years 11 weeks ago
#5

China has a vested interest in the outsourcing of our jobs, not in changing our govenment to communism. So you are fine with communist China influencing our elections?

conservativeview's picture
conservativeview 9 years 11 weeks ago
#6

If by influence you mean contribute money, yes. I want every country in the world to contribute to our elections. If every country contributed to our elections we would carry a healthy trade surplus that could reduce our national debt and maybe pay for the unsustainable entitlements. Do you believe that the jobs that are sent overseas could exist in the US at a lower cost than the cost of outsourced labor and shipping? Do you believe the republicans influence multinational corporations to make less profit by sending the jobs overseas? If you answered yes to either question, than you either believe in some crazy conspiracy theory where the right wing is trying to dismantle the US or, there is an opportunity for a US based company to undercut the multinational corp using local labor and better pricing. Do you have a different explanation?

dstack's picture
dstack 9 years 11 weeks ago
#7

Sir or Mam, are you an American citizen? Did you watch the video here? This is exactly where you would take us, and this would be our future, and you say you don't give a damn. But then again, you don't sound American to me at all! This country is worth protecting and it is on the principles of this great country that I firmly stand by! You apparently don't give a damn about the middle class here, or this great nation!

Starchaser's picture
Starchaser 9 years 11 weeks ago
#8

Conservativeview, There is a huge difference between transparent and non-transparent dollars. In fact, when deciding the Citizens' United case, the justices took transparency into account.

I'd also remind you that just because corporations are making money, doesn't mean Americans are employed. We don't need cheap imports as much as we need to maintain a manufacturing base and near full employment .

conservativeview's picture
conservativeview 9 years 11 weeks ago
#9

I am going to guess that neither of you understand economics. I draw that conclusion because dstack threw a tantrum and Starchaser explains that if we simply eliminate cheap imports the US manufacturing base would return and we would return to full employment.

I will keep the economics lesson high level to ease digestion. We live in a global market. Manufacturing jobs can be moved anywhere in the world as long as the cost of labor and transportation abroad, are less than the cost to manufacture the product at the final retail location. I will call that comparison "cost to market". Corporations care only about profit, I am sure you both agree on that point. Being that profit is the primary motive, the corporation's responsibility is to find the most cost effective situation to manufacture products. Every drip of savings can be leveraged to better compete, entice shareholders or serve some other corporate survival function. A business entity that does not follow an aggressive cost-cutting model will be eliminated by another entity that will.

The movement of business costs from an area of high cost to low cost is not an insidious plan to sabotage the US workforce, it is a mandatory business evolution. If US business entities never move to lower cost environments, another entity would leverage its lower cost environment to undercut the US.

You may say that we should become isolationists to eliminate the potential barrage of products that are made at a lower cost than we can create in the US. That is one option. The other option would be to add tariffs. This plan would eliminate any savings a company could reap by sending the manufacturing process outside the US. Both would keep jobs inside the US. Similar tariffs would be leveraged against us and we would effectively isolate ourselves with tariffs. The problem with both of these ideas is that if we close the US off to the global market, the pace that we can grow will decrease. Slower growth means that it will be more difficult to pay back debt or improve the quality of life for all US citizens year over year. Slow growth also means that unemployment could be higher than normal without the ability to quickly create jobs through new products or businesses because we are not able to sell to the global wallet. We would be limited to the piggy bank that would be the US.

Maybe you would like a lower standard of living and less opportunity. I would rather have the opportunity to excel than be chained to slow growth and a limited capital market.

You may ask, "Why are the jobs being outsourced to China and India?" Two main reasons:

1.The US levies taxes on businesses, i.e. payroll, social security, medicare, usage, excise, property, unemployment insurance, (coming down the road) healthcare, value-added-tax

2. The cost of labor and local utilities/manufacturing costs are expensive

If the US reduced taxes on business it may lure some companies back to the US because it would allow them enough of a gain in profit margin to make the move worthwhile. If labor or overhead decreases it may also bring manufacturing back domestically. Electing Democrats that want to "punish" corporations by leveraging higher taxes to get "our fair share" will only guarantee that corporations move more locations overseas.

If you show me a business that is willing to pay more in costs than it needs to, you are showing me a business on the decline.

Starchaser, your ideas about "transparency" are elemental because money can be laundered or surface from many seemingly "transparent" situations. Barak Obama had millions of dollars come through his website, all in small amounts, from international locations that could not be tracked. I really don't care where any politician receives his or her money from, he or she gets elected because "the people" vote him or her in. Money may help but it is not the only factor. Even with unlimited resources, a candidate that is overexposed can become grating and detract from his or her message. Unlimited amounts of money do not guarantee a candidate will be elected. Even with gobs of misinformation, in the end, the people always have the last say on who gets elected.

makuck's picture
makuck 9 years 11 weeks ago
#10

Why don't you move to communist China if you are okay with communist China hand picking a candidate for you?

dstack's picture
dstack 9 years 11 weeks ago
#11

I'm happy to announce that I had to edit the title on this blog removing Peter DeFazio from the casualties. They called his opponent's win too soon. And apparently, while this loss was a huge hit to the Blue Dogs, it was a minor hit to the Progressive Caucus considering how they were highly targetted. Blue Dogs lost nearly half their membership, while the other camp lost 4 our of 80! http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/11/03/progressive-caucus-will-gain-members-after-elections/

Starchaser's picture
Starchaser 9 years 11 weeks ago
#12

conservativeview, I had mentioned to dstack that you seem to at least make some rational, if misguided arguments as opposed to so many trolls that post online. Your misrepresenting what I wrote shows otherwise. I'm sure you're comfortable with this simplistic view however, its not how the real world works. You may want to broaden your horizons instead of the petty putdowns of those that see things different from your narrow vision. I had hoped for intelligent commentary, instead you provide anything but. take care.

conservativeview's picture
conservativeview 9 years 11 weeks ago
#13

Starchaser, I am open-minded. Will you please tell me "how the real world works"?

dstack's picture
dstack 9 years 11 weeks ago
#14

conservativeview:

A friend of mine…let's call him Mick… read your economic had a few things he wanted me to pass along to you. Mick said, "[conservativeview] …needs to actually study up on economics. The capital movements he describes are accurate. However, many old economic models still rely on models (David Ricardo and Adam Smith) where capital CANNOT move freely from country to country. Therefore, in a globalized market we actually will need to have some level of protectionism. Otherwise, where does the job loss end? It's not just manufacturing where we have higher wage costs. Just wait until doctors or lawyers are outsourced to people in India who can do the same job for less by video conferencing."

Regarding you point number 2 as to why we outsource overseas, Mick says, "The cost of labor is often cheaper however, the rental rate of capital (i.e. warehouse, machines etc.) is often more expensive, not less. Again, in developing countries utilities are not as highly developed as in western countries. Which means high demand for scarce resources like electricity and clean water, again this implies higher cost, not lower cost." He says, regarding China, "With a floating exchange rate they would lose some of their cost advantage on the US. It's not that they're automatically cheaper, they're cheaper because of currency manipulation."

Mick went on to tell me to ask you why you purposefully only look at the firm's production function and ignore society's welfare function.

Mick was nice enough to share his economic lesson: "Pretend there is a firm that employs 5,000 people who produce widgets. The firm conducts a business study that finds they can reduce costs by switching to an automated process where machines produce the widgets. The machines can produce the widgets quicker and with less production waste. So, the firm fires the 5,000 employees and switches to machine power. From a business standpoint the firm IS more efficient by lowering their costs and increasing their output. However, as an economist I don't care necessarily about the firm's efficiency, I care about TOTAL efficiency. The firm switching to machine production will cause the labor of 5,000 people to go to waste, at least temporarily. Do 5,000 unemployed people sound efficient to you just so that the firm can lower their production costs? I don't think so. The same scenario plays out when US firms outsource their manufacturing to China. Sure, they're more profitable, but in the process they "dump" a lot of labor into the labor pool. That's not efficient, especially when these people don't find new work. If the 5,000 unemployed do find new work there would presumably still be an efficiency loss. Why? Because, the firm when hiring will most likely hired the most qualified candidates (like any firm would). Therefore, unless the unemployed find a new manufacturing job that utilized the same skills as used before, they would be taking a job where they are less skilled and less productive, implying further efficiency loss.

[Conservativeview] …also contends that profit maximization is ideal for everyone. Uh, no. It's not. When a firm reduces costs it either a) plows back those earnings into the company or b) pays out a dividend. In scenario a) it is only helpful to the US economy if it expands in the US; otherwise it's just job creation elsewhere. In scenario b) it almost is never helpful to the middle class. A dividend can be paid to a foreign investor (which doesn't help us) or to the people who can afford to purchase stock (usually only wealthy investors). Neither is going to directly benefit the middle class.

The job of an economist is to find the optimal allocation of scarce resources with which to maximize society’s welfare subject to some budget constraint. The job of an economist is not to be a shill for business or a political tool for politicians!"

Mick says that it's clear that you (conservativeview) have not studied economics, as you make some assertion about "full employment" in one of his earlier posts. He said, "No credible economist in the world believes in full employment. We believe in low unemployment, but not full employment. Full employment implies that there are workers doing jobs where they are not the most skilled, therefore society could reach a higher output level with the correct workers in the correct line of work.

Really, this seems to be the case of a business shill thinking he knows economics."

Mick says that you (conservativeview) only argue the profit maximization function and ignores total efficiency. Mick wants to know if you've ever studied the work of Edgeworth or Pareto.

dstack's picture
dstack 9 years 11 weeks ago
#15

conservativeview: I don't claim to be an expert in economics, but I'm passionate about what I believe as I learn from brilliant people like Hartmann, Batra, Senator Sanders and others who obviously differ from your point of view. Regarding your "economic lesson" here are a few thoughts based on how I believe Hartmann would respond.

And thank you for the economic lesson. We do have points of agreement, especially your point about corporations only caring about profit. That's why I lay the blame at the lack of tariffs as Alexander Hamilton laid out for us in his 11 point industrial policy, (and worked very well for us BTW!) rather than the corporations that are only competing in the global market. (This is Thom Hartman's "drumbeat".)

Where I have to disagree is that this would lead to lower unemployment. Of course, I'm not just talking about the outsourcing of manufacturing. There are all of the call centers, and basically anything that they can outsource. Recently I trained a co-worker in transcribing for closed captioning. She is underemployed and desperately seeking full time work. She bought a transcriptionist foot pedal for her computer so she could make extra money from home transcribing medical records. But she soon discovered that physicians are outsourcing all of their transcription work to India!

You say electing Dems would "punish" the corporations because of the tax leveraging, guaranteeing that corporations outsource more. I agree the companies need an incentive to keep their business here. I would take it a step further and PENALIZE corporations for outsourcing! Speaking of taxing corporations, I noticed you conservatives always skirt the fact that there are MAJOR loopholes in these corporate tax laws! Exxon is the prime example. According to Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), "Middle-class Americans, people in Vermont and all over this country who are working 50 and 60 hours in order to provide the necessary income they need to pay the bills for their families, those folks go out and they pay their income tax. They may not be too happy about it, but they understand that in a civilized society you have to pay taxes to pay the bills of government. Not ExxonMobil. The most profitable corporation in the history of the world last year not only avoided paying any Federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million refund from the IRS. If that makes sense to anybody— maybe it does—it surely does not make sense to me…." http://thatsmycongress.com/index.php/2010/06/21/should-big-oil-corporations-pay-their-income-taxes-61-senators-vote-no/

Back to anti-outsourcing tax laws... I might not be an economist, but the basic economics I understand is Demand Side. (Hartmann people, correct me if I'm wrong) This is where bringing these jobs home to the States would put money in American's pockets, which in turn increases demand, and PICKS UP the economy, not slow down!

dstack's picture
dstack 9 years 10 weeks ago
#16

BTW, I HIGHLY recommend Hartmann's new book Rebooting the American Dream! (See Thom Hartmann's hope page for info.) But then for this subject, Unequal Protection is more relevant to this subject. I just realized why Thom Hartmann was so aware of the Citizens United case before it came to SCOTUS. Years ago he wrote Unequal Protection that deals with the overbearing corporate powers and he recently updated this book as it suddenly became so much more relevant after Citizens United passed.

conservativeview's picture
conservativeview 9 years 9 weeks ago
#17

I apologize for the slow response. The economic responses that "Mick" was nice enough to offer has a few flaws. First, an economist's job is not to find the optimal allocation of scarce resources. "Optimal" is subjective. An economist is an observer, not a policy maker or dictator. An economist uses his knowledge to explain or theorize changes in economies. An economist is only as good as the assumptions and factors he or she applies to his or her models. An example would be Mick's 19th century economist Edgeworth who tried to explain the balance in free markets by examining the point that a change to the outcome affected a party indifferently. The idea that humans are generally indifferent is ludicrous. Humans want more. The balance is not indifference, the balance is give for get. This is simple. Adam Smith, an economist that was referenced, believed that free market economies were more productive and beneficial to societies. He never mentioned government manipulation, only free market and competition. He also failed to talk or care about the under utilized worker. I am talking in circle so I will summarize. You people (progressives, democrats, liberals) believe that if we all pitch in together, we can all get what we want out of life. My people (conservatives) believe that we may want similar results out of life but it is up to each of us to make it happen for ourself. I choose conservative philosophy because through school and work the one result that is always the same is in a team environment with a team grade or result, there are always people who coast. Individual evaluation will always bring out the best in every individual. That includes individuals rewarded for individual work.

FDavies's picture
FDavies 8 years 43 weeks ago
#18

I've reached the conclusion that the most important issue facing our nation today is campaign finance reform. I favor a constitutional amendment restricting all political contributions to those made by US citizens. If 'we the people' are truely the controling factor then we need to eliminate external influences including PACs, corporations, religions, and all other groups. The user 'conservativeview' just is not thinking clearly. Allowing other nations to pump money into our elections is horrible ...as thusly our elected officials will then be more beholding to them for the money than they are to the voters for their votes.

We may not like it but certainly we do have plenty of evidence to show that money does buy elections.

I want that money to come from us, not any other source especially not from a competing nation. This is a non-partisan issue. Republican voters should also get behind this so they too will be voting based upon the relative merits of candidates.

The user 'conservativeview' is arguing in favor of giving up his right to govern himself. His view is of radical extreme liberalism in this regard. I prefer the conservative view of limiting outside influence on our elections. Are we a nation rulling itself or not?

We all know adverrtising works. The question then is do we want money to control the outcome of our elections? I can imagine no more critical issue than this one regarding our right to govern ourselves.

I favor a constitutional amendment to outlaw all non-citizen contributions (including the so called soft money of advertisements being done 'for' candidates rather than 'by them, and including corporations, churches, and clubs etc.)

It could save America, and put control of the Republican and Democrat parties back in the hands of the citizens. ...It might even prevent a civil war in the future.

FDavies's picture
FDavies 8 years 43 weeks ago
#19

By the way, i own a manufacturing company competing directly in a global market. I have watched as during the past twenty years our ability to make things has declined. I don't mean GM, I'm speaking of all the small manufacturers who have HAD to oursource to compete. At first it may have seemed like a good idea, but now our competition has learned to use the machines and no longer needs our product designs.

Don't believe me? Shop around for an injection mold and plastics parts. My prices are higher than those in China and there is NOTHING i can do about it. Others in my field have simply HAD to turn to China for molds (rather than produce them here) and thus they have become middle men and its only a mater of time before their clients realize they can order them directly from China themselves.

All for a quick profit.

And Americans turned a blind eye as their neighbors jobs dried up. Americans did not tool up but rather bought the foreign products which put their own jobs in peril. it's foolish and close to being insane.

But we can't fix this if our elected officials are financed by those involved (China Wallmart etc.) ...so I say table this and all other issues untill we once again control our election process. It's time for campaign finance reform.

It may already be too late unless we can again use the internet to get the word out to our fellow American on both sides. Thia is a war against corporate control, not against corporations.

Laborisgood's picture
Laborisgood 8 years 43 weeks ago
#20

Comparing global corporate money to domestic union money is so absurd it can't even be called a false equivalence. Sometimes I wonder if SCOTUS allowed Citizens United not only as a short term corporate electoral boondoggle but also as a ruse to someday be able to remove union money entirely in some future decision.

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