Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Politics Not Your Bag? Not interested?

As we approach a presidential debate  many people perk up and decide maybe they should pay some attention, but some still don't pay heed. There are enough non- voters to change the results and for those who do vote, but pay little attention make mistakes against their best interest.

Too bad if you are not interested in politics as there are smart people wanting to pick your pockets and change your life style.  Some of it will be very subtle, some might be a news item on some media platform and some might be in the rarely read fine print.  There is also even more likely to be loads of misleading and falsified information readily available.

Have you heard some leaders, especially of the conservative variety promise to do away with regulations.  Perhaps you have no problem identifying rules that bog down businesses.  Have you also heard about environmental rules being dismissed.? How about gun regulations that fail to slow down mass shootings?  Many of the regulations are really protections that businesses find hurting their profits.  See 

Did you think the Trump tax reductions had no harmful effects?  Two effects should be noted:  first it increased inequality and second increased the national debt.  Why?  So rich donators could save huge amounts of money and the government would not be able to spread their money for the benefit of the masses (who helped them make their fortunes)

Ronald Reagan said the government is not the solution, it is the problem.  What is needed is educated co-operation to solve real problems.  He also did away with a Fairness policy that the media was supposed to adhere to.  He also was quite proud of beating down a union.  A bit of an explanation:

The Russians and Chinese are very slick and feel just dividing Americans (and other westerners) weakens their opposition. To learn more about Russian influence check and check the links for more supporting information.  To learn more about Chinese influence check:

Electoral systems are critical to gain power.  As the American declaration of independence was being worked out rich slave owners realized they could be outvoted by the northerners.  The rich, white northerners needed these southerners to strengthen their own fight against the British so they agreed to some of the demands.  They wanted black slaves to count as 3/5 humans allowing a high count for the House of Representatives with each state having two Senators regardless of population.  They also wanted an electoral college to be set up that gave them greater leverage than their population merited.  The result was the first presidents (except for John Adams) were southerners.  In the past couple of decades the higher voter percentage  has  lost to the electoral college (witness Al Gore and Hilary Clinton).

You may have heard of "divide and conquer" the great strategy of colonizers.  They always tried to divide their opposition.  The FPTP (first past the post) system gives the advantage to the plurality winner against the majority.  It is not necessary to get 50% so it can be strategic to try to persuade some segments and ignore others.

The electoral system decided on by those able to do so affects everyone.  A lot of decisions like to go to war or not are binary.  But in reality there are usually more than two views on most issues.  Those who obtained power on the current electoral system will resist change, they in effect have a conflict of interest.  Divide and conquer is a tested method of dealing with opposition and money/power. 

To me climate change is THE mortal threat to mankind and requires sacrifices by everyone to make life bearable.  Far too many ordinary people see only the short term, while some of the wealthy see an opportunity to increase their profits.  Dealing with this problem requires political involvement.

Taxes are resented by all.  In effect they enable the government to provide an infrastructure that benefits everyone, but also they do spread the wealth.   If the resources of the poor are reduced they cannot afford to be profitable consumers and most would expect higher compensation for their labor and many fledgling businesses would never get started.   

How should the responsibility for taxing be divided?  If not perceived as fair many will rebel.  Modern governments realize that people need some sort of minimum to survive and taxes should reflect that wealthier people (who in some ways benefit more from government expenses) can afford to pay a larger share.  Some wealthy people advocate a flat rate meaning the poor would pay a higher percentage of the overall taxes.  Capital gains affect both poor and rich, but honestly the wealthy are more interested.  They argue that investments must be encouraged for society to advance and I agree.    Poor people have improved their lot by investing their resources.  An element of progressive rates should be seen as fair.  It is much more difficult for the poor to spare money for investments and everyone should be encouraged to invest.  Many of the wealthy are able to make most of  their income from capital gains.  When taxable capital gains are added to other income it would be subjected to graduated tax levels.  Dividends offer similar issues with in some cases poor people or charitable institutions relying on them to survive.  A complicated concern to be sure, but if you ignore politics the rules are slanted by those who study politics a little bit more.  Check out some of the links:

Another way of looking at politics is to see it as entertainment as it has most of the elements of your favorite tv. shows.  There are good and bad people, attempts at humor, misleading information, maybe even a little romance.  Bear in mind they are trying to get your vote and you should ask if they deserve it.  Check:

Politics certainly can be complicated and some people feel their interests are best served if fewer people pay attention to the details.  If you still don't see any merit in paying attention to politics you shouldn't be surprised at the results.

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