Editors Note: This piece was originally meant for the Baltimore Sun as an op-ed but they rejected it, so it was published on interestingblogger (interestingblogger.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/kevin-kamenetz-caring-about-business-not-people-of-balt-county/).
In 2010, Kevin Kamenetz won by a sizable margin against his competitor, Kenneth Holt in a race for
Baltimore County Executive. To get that victory however, Kamenetz received about $1.6 million in campaign contributions. His opponent, Kenneth Holt, received only about $269,353 in overall campaign contributions, including about $103,000 from individuals and $46,000 from business entities. For Kamenetz, he received substantially more from business entities, which
included about 75% of his contributions, according to the February 2011 issue of the League of Women Voters of Baltimore County magazine.
This discovery made me wonder, did these contributions compromise Kamenetz’s ability to help the people of Baltimore County? In other words, is Kamenetz helping business, or is helping the mass of people in the county? A report released this February called the “economic development plan” released by the Baltimore County government’s Department of Economic Development (officially called the “Baltimore County, Maryland Department of Economic Development Strategic Operations Plan”) gives some clue into the answers of these questions. In February, a Baltimore County
Government news release asserts that this plan would create nine employment centers to “improve the overall business climate” and will meet “the needs of businesses” near such centers. As the report begins,
statements by Kamenetz seem to show he is pro-business. He writes that while the county government is
currently “able to attract entrepreneurs…private capital and sustain high business growth,” he wants to encourage “continued business growth and a superior
quality of life” for the Baltimore County residents. At the same time, he insists that government provide “optimal benefits for citizens and business.” One example of this
strategy he mentions is the consolidation of four separate governmental departments into the Department of Economic Development in 2010 to supposedly help improve “job opportunities in the private sector.” For this 2012 “economic development” plan, he hopes it will be a continuation of these efforts, saying it will encourage
“business growth that creates jobs for County residents” and will focus on “high employment…areas and
aggressive business expansion.” The Executive Director of the department publishing this report, David C.
Gunderson, echoes these ideas, saying he wants to create a business friendly environment. He writes that
Baltimore County needs to leverage its “sustained economic prosperity” to alleviate problems in “the
County’s markets and business communities.” In order to show such leverage, his department is “prepared to take bold actions [to]…produce positive changes and greater prosperity for Baltimore County.”
The report expands on the ideas of Kamenetz and Gunderson, telling the plan in full detail. At the beginning of the report, it points out this is a blueprint that outlines action that will lead to smart redevelopment “and business growth both in the short term and long [term]” including an “ambitious…plan to…expand the County’s current employment base….and ensure that business communities…attract the companies and workers of the future.” Specific efforts to implement such a plan include: developing the “UMBC-Southwest area…for cyber security and high growth companies,” improve communities, create “new facilities for technology-based firms,” making Woodlawn a premier place “for federal…social services agencies and [supportive] private businesses,” and attract more “professional office space, local and nationally-recognized retailers and restaurants.” Other parts of the
plan include expanding the Owings Mills downtown area, improving the appeal of the “Hunt Valley-I-83 Corridor as a location for corporate, manufacturing and R&D facilities” and making Towson (the county seat) appealing with “residences, corporate offices and distinctive retailers” that draw “people to live, work, shop, dine and socialize throughout the day and into the evening.” The report doesn’t stop there. It aims to “reinvigorate the Essex-Pulaski area as a business
location,” turn the “Sparrows Point-Dundalk area” into a “state-of-the-art industrial and logistics center,” create a “new Small Business Loan Partnership to help small
businesses access capital for growth,” provide “easier access to university-based research and development…networking and cross-industry partnerships” and help
provide “targeted recruitment campaigns” for businesses. The report labors on, as it promotes the
“revitalization of underutilized industrial land, “assist[s]
small and minority entrepreneurs to access new market opportunities” and launches a campaign called “Source Local” which would help “grow County businesses by
encouraging companies to use County vendors and support other local businesses.” I would go into more detail into the report itself, but it continues on for 53 pages.
As the report ends, it argues different reasons of why Baltimore County is the best place to invest. Such
reasons listed by the Department of Economic Development include excellent infrastructure, availability
of skilled labor, known multinationals in the community, is a place where drones (which insure permanent war) are produced, and is the “epicenter for incubating cyber tech businesses.” In addition, the report tours Baltimore County as a place that connects “with fast growing
markets worldwide,” loans to small businesses provided by a cooperation between twenty commercial lenders
and the government, and the idea that the county “is simply a great place to live.”
While this report does have positives (helping small businesses, easier access to university-based research
and development and supporting county vendors), it seems to heavily favor business over the 99% of
Baltimore County residents. Business expansion, creating a business-friendly environment and helping multinationals is not necessarily in the best interest of Baltimore County residents. Deregulation and
government collusion with business implied or not, leads to negative consequences. The condition of the 8.2% of workers over 17 impoverished, the 11% of children age 0-17 impoverished, the 3,000+ homeless people and the 7-8% of workers in Baltimore County unemployed is not improved in a significant way by this “economic
development” plan. A public works program would be more successful than coddling those that caused and
continued the Second Great Depression. Those unemployed and underemployed in Baltimore County could receive jobs, improving their livelihoods. Until Kamenetz considers such as proposal, I believe that he is
under the country of business interests, which he cares
about more than the 99% of Baltimore County.
By Burkely Hermann
Sources for article: http://www.baltimorebrew.com/2011/03/14/slight-
You can pretty much put their campaign on a tweet and have some characters to spare…The challenge is because folks are still hurting right now, the other side feels that its enough for them to just sit back and say, ‘Things aren’t as good as they should be and it’s Obama’s fault.’ The good news is, the American people generally agree with our vision. If you just put in front of them, issue after issue and you present the Democratic approach and the Republican approach, we win.”–
- U.S. President Barack Obama at a campaign fundraiser outside of Baltimore.
First off, people don’t really like either party and since both parties are corrupted, its lying to say Americans like one more than the other.
As for his comment on the economy, this is what I have to say:
In reality, Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama are to blame. This also includes all people in the corrupted government like the Chairmen of the Federal Reserve (like Ben Bernanke and Allen Greenspan), heads of SEC (some of them in this time period), heads of the CFTC (some of them as well), and Congress itself. If theCitigroup Relief Act was not passed in 2000, Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 were not passed (deregulating market of derivatives), if the Savings and Loans market wasn’t deregulated by Reagan, if Buckley v. Valeo (1976) didn’t say candidates could spend their own money, if there weren’t problems in McCain-Feingold (2003), if the Supreme Court hadn’t decided in Randall v. Sorrell (2006) that Vermont’s campaign finance law unconstitutionally hindered the citizens’ right to free speech, if the Supreme Court hadn’t decided in Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. (2007) that issue ads may not be banned from the months preceding a primary or general election, if the Supreme Court hadn’t struck down the ‘Millionaire’s amendment,’ which “attempted to “equalize” campaigns by providing that the legal limit on contributions would increase for a candidate who was substantially outspent by an opposing candidate using personal wealth” in Davis. v. Federal Election Commission (2008) then maybe the economic crisis wouldn’t have happened, or have been so severe and definitely less corruption would have occurred in the political system. The movie Inside Job details some of these circumstances. I feel that it is a systematic problem that caused the economic crisis, the second great depression.
Abstractions Versus the “Real World”: Economic Models and the Apologetics of Greed By Prof John Kozy
Economists build models by subtracting from reality the characteristics they deem unessential to the economic situations they model. The result is a bare bones description consisting of what economists deem economically essential. Everything that is discarded (not taken into consideration in the model) is called an “externality.” So the models only work when the externalities that were in effect before the models are implemented do not change afterward. The realm of economic models can be likened to the realm of Platonic Ideas. Both realms are static and unchanging throughout all time. Unfortunately the real world constantly changes. Since externalities are excluded from all economic models and can be expected to change after any model is implemented, all economic models necessarily fail. Economists are frauds and economics amounts to nothing but an apologetics of greed.
In the 1980s, manufacturers of apparel began offshoring their production to underdeveloped countries, one of which was Bangladesh. Economists endorse this practice; they have a model that justifies it.
Offshoring production to underdeveloped nations gives needy people jobs, increases their incomes, reduces poverty, and expands their nations’ GNPs. It also enables people in developed nations to purchase products produced offshore at lower prices enabling them to consume a wider range of things. As a result, everyone everywhere is better off.
Convinced? Most economists are, but it hasn’t worked that way. Everyone everywhere is not better off—as the whole world now knows. Why?
In the latter part of the 80s or early part of the 90s, a large retailer (don’t remember which one) thought it would be a good idea to bring an employee of a factory in Bangladesh to America to see how the clothing the factory was producing was being marketed to Americans. So a Bengali woman was selected to represent her factory and brought to America. This idea didn’t work out well. The woman not only saw how the products were being marketed but how much they cost and she was infuriated. She knew what she and her coworkers were being paid, about two percent of the price of the garments. She did not remain silent and was quickly sent back to Bangladesh. Here is the gist of her story:
She said she and her coworkers were not financially better off after being hired by the factory. Yes, the wages were better than those that could have been earned before, but they weren’t much benefit. Why? Because when the paychecks began to arrive, the local landlords and vendors increased prices on everything, so just as before, all of their incomes went to pay for basic necessities. The landlords and vendors got the money; the workers were not better off, and those in the community who were not employed by the apparel factory were decidedly worse off. It fact, it quickly became apparent that the workers were working for nothing. They did the work; the landlords and vendors got the pay. But, of course, the country’s GNP was better, which is all that matters to economists who still claim that Bangladesh’s economy is improving.
And although Americans were able to buy the apparel more cheaply than they could have before the manufacturing was offshored, the American apparel workers who lost their jobs are decidedly not better off.
Two conclusions follow from this scenario: employment alone is not a sufficient condition for prosperity; full employment can exist in an enslaved society along side abject poverty, and an increasing GNP does not mean that an economy is getting better. Remember these the next time the unemployment rate and GNP numbers are cited. Those numbers mean nothing.
More than thirty years has now passed and nothing has changed in Bangladesh. Most Bengalis still continue to live on subsistence farming in rural villages. Despite a dramatic increase in foreign investment, a high poverty rate prevails. Observers attribute it to the rising prices of essentials. The economic model described above just does not work, not in Bangladesh or anywhere else. Explaining why reveals what’s wrong with economics and why current economic practices, which have not essentially improved mankind’s lot over the last two and a half centuries, won’t ever improve it.
Economists build models by what they call “abstraction.” But it’s really subtraction. They look at a real world situation and subtract from it the characteristics they deem unessential. The result is a bare bones description consisting of what economists deem economically essential. Everything that is discarded (not taken into consideration in the model) is called an “externality.” So the models only work when the externalities that were in effect before the models are implemented do not change afterward.
For instance, had the Bengali landlords and vendors not raised their prices after the factory was opened, the employees would have been better off. But the greed of the vendors and landlords was not taken into consideration by the model. The realm of economic models can be likened to the realm of Platonic Forms or Ideas. Both realms are static and unchanging throughout all time. Unfortunately the real world, as Heraclitus knew, is not static—change is ever-present, “No man ever steps in the same river twice.” Since externalities are excluded from all economic models and can be expected to change after any model is implemented, all economic models necessarily fail. Economists are frauds and economics amounts to nothing but an apologetics of greed. The world that economists model is imaginary, not real.
Don’t believe that what I have described takes place only in the underdeveloped world; it takers place everywhere a profit driven economy exists. I well remember working in Washington, D.C. as a staffer for a U.S. Senator. One year, a pay raise was scheduled to take effect the coming January. Shortly after Thanksgiving Day, prices began rising in all the area’s stores. The workers who received the raise were no better off in January that they were in October. The raise was siphoned into the pockets of vendors.
Free market economic conditions create a situation in which vendors always prevail. In the end, they get all the money. The economy’s business is business and it is protected by the legal system. Because prices cannot be controlled in a free market economy, vendors can always set them high enough to get all the money. Economists call it inflation, and the only way it can be controlled is by reducing the amount of money available for the taking. Reducing the amount of money available for the taking reduces wage levels and keeps workers poor. The business cycle is an excuse business uses to take back any gains workers have acquired. The American financial industry bribed the Congress to amend the Bankruptcy code in 2005 even though no financial institution was in any danger of collapse because of consumer bankruptcy filings. In 2008, the same financial industry brought down the world’s economy, began foreclosing on people’s houses, and forced thousands into bankruptcy. After reading this article, do you believe that both revising the bankruptcy code and the financial collapse were coincidental? The whole point of a free market economy is to take back all the money paid to employees so that the rich get richer and the poor stay poor. What happened in Bangladesh happens everywhere all of the time. Humanity is enslaved by these economic practices but the enslavement is carefully and continuously hidden. Workers, those whose efforts keep the society functioning and produce all of its wealth, are mere fodder—farm fodder, factory fodder, and when necessary, cannon fodder.
As a result,
“most of the new jobs being created are in the lower-wage sectors of the economy – hospital orderlies and nursing aides, secretaries and temporary workers, retail and restaurant. Meanwhile, millions of Americans remain working only because they’ve agreed to cuts in wages and benefits. Others are settling for jobs that pay less than the jobs they’ve lost. Entry-level manufacturing jobs are paying half what entry-level manufacturing jobs paid six years ago.
Other people are falling out of the middle class because they’ve lost their jobs, and many have also lost their homes. Almost one in three families with a mortgage is now underwater, holding their breath against imminent foreclosure.
The percent of Americans in poverty is its highest in two decades, and more of us are impoverished than at any time in the last fifty years. A recent analysis of federal data by the New York Times showed the number of children receiving subsidized lunches rose to 21 million in the last school year, up from 18 million in 2006-2007. Nearly a dozen states experienced increases of 25 percent or more.”
In America, just as in Bangladesh, the vendors have emptied the people’s pockets. All economic models can be rendered ineffective by how the actions of people change externalities. Governments try to restrain such uncontrolled changes by enacting regulations, but conceiving of effective regulations that cover all eventualities and that cannot be gamed is impossible. All market economies motivated by profit are founded on unfairness as should be easily seen. In any financial transaction between two parties motivated by profit, one party wins and the other party loses, because it is mathematically impossible for both parties to profit at the same time. One person’s profit is another person’s loss. So if bettering the human condition is an economic goal, no economy motivated by profit will succeed in doing it. Unless people stand up for humanity, most humans will always be slaves. People should honestly be asked whether this is the world they want to live in. No economist, apparently, has the courage to stand up and ask. Why is that? If you know a working economist, please ask her/him!
John Kozy is a retired professor of philosophy and logic who writes on social, political, and economic issues. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he spent 20 years as a university professor and another 20 years working as a writer. He has published a textbook in formal logic commercially, in academic journals and a small number of commercial magazines, and has written a number of guest editorials for newspapers. His on-line pieces can be found on http://www.jkozy.com/ and he can be emailed from that site’s homepage
What is the current percentage of working-age Americans, eligible to participate in the civilian labor force, but not currently working? Answer: 36.3 percent…This would always be a much higher number than the BLS unemployment statistic, even when the economy was humming along at maximum power. There are always going to be working-age people who drop out of the labor force, for reasons that have nothing to do with the nation’s overall economic health. The labor force participation rate hasn’t exceeded 67 percent in the past decade, so we would be looking at a true “unemployment” number that bounces between roughly thirty and forty percent. The difference between good and bad percentages is relatively small, which makes the true “unemployment” figure less sexy for news coverage, and therefore less useful to politicians… but it’s more logical to measure small changes in a large, accurate number than big changes in a small, largely fantastic number.– Human Events (http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=49644). Do you agree with this ideology?
Well, unemployment is prevelant everywhere and policies of both parties caused it.
While Congress and the White House work out a debt ceiling solution, Republicans will also be fighting for the one thing that will ensure that Washington gets its house in order and compels future Congresses to live within their means – a Balanced Budget Amendment that forces Washington to balance its books.– Senator Mitch McConnell. Do you agree with him?
Originally posted on interestingblogger: http://interestingblogger1.blogspot.com/2011/07/al-gore-and-george-bush-was-there-real.html?m=1
I was discussing with an adult who works at the NIH about Ralph Nader. The adult said: “Ralph Nader caused Al Gore to not be President.” I responded: “Well, what about the Supreme Court’s ruling?” He said in return: “It was Nader. That’s why I don’t support Nader anymore.” That conversation inspired me to write this article about the 2000 election. First I’ll go into the positions of both candidates (Bush and Gore). Then I’ll compare them later on.
Before I get into analysis of Democratic and Republican candidates in 2000, I’d like to address an issue that rattled the elections that year. Some say, including my dad, that Ralph Nader was saying that Al Gore and George W. Bush were very similar and that’s why you should vote me (gaining Mr. Nader over a million votes). Politifact did a review of the statements by Mr. Nader, who wrote in an editorial for the New York Times: “I have indicated that there are ‘few major differences’ between the two parties not that there is ‘no difference between Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush,’ as Mr. Kennedy wrote. Second, I have never said that I would vote for George W. Bush, whom I have strongly criticized across the country, if forced to choose between him and Al Gore.” This got the idea in people’s heads that Mr. Nader was saying they were the same candidate. Mr. Nader implied that he thought Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore equally objectionable. In a news conference in 2000 he said: “It doesn’t matter who is in the White House, Gore or Bush, for the vast majority of government departments and agencies. The only difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush is the velocity with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door.” Four days before the election in Philadelphia, he repeated the same thing: “It’s a Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum vote. Both parties are selling our government to big business paymasters. …That’s a pretty serious similarity.” At the end, Politifact concluded: So no, Nader never explicitly said “it doesn’t really matter whether Gore or Bush is president.” But his talk of “Republicrats,” “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum,” and “one corporate party” left many people — friend, foe and impartial observer alike — with the impression that that’s what he believed. We find Nader’s statement that he “never said” it to be Barely True. To disprove or prove Mr. Nader’s statements, I looked at the funding of both of the candidates.
I wanted to have a view of how both candidates for President in the 2000 election got their funding. I started with the Federal Election Commission first, saying that by September 30th, 1999, George W. Bush had about $57 million in recipts, $19 million in dismebursements and about $37 million on hand. Al Gore had about $25 million in receipts, $14 million in disbursements and $10 million on hand. But that isn’t enough to prove Mr. Nader’s statements about both political parties. In on article by Common Dreams, it says certain actions by Mr. Bush, a Texas oil man, are for “the benefit of…corporate and fundamentalist sponsors.” But that’s not enough to show specifically who Mr. Bush’s sponsors were. The Miller Center wasn’t that specific either, stating: “Although new to national politics, Bush was practically anointed as the Republican standard-bearer by the GOP establishment in early 1999 after he proved to be a one-man fundraising machine that scored a record $68.7 million the year before the election.” I looked and looked for another article or articles about who exactly donated to his presidential campaign. I couldn’t find any exact articles. But I did find an OpenSecrets report of the 2004 election that stated that corporations such as Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch as well as other big companies were some of major donors to Mr. Bush’s campaign against the Democrats (John Kerry and John Edwards) that year. Finally I found a site that exposed Bush’s contributors in the 2000 election. Luckily the website’s creators had grabbed an OpenSecrets report from that year and from other analysis concluded that “[the] Agribusiness [gave] Bush $2,148,624…[the] Oil & Gas [industry gave] Bush $1,463,799…[the] Construction [industry gave] Bush $3,472,82…[the] Real Estate [gave] Bush $3,661,372…[the] Automotive [industry gave] Bush $1,019,581…Drug companies [gave] Republicans/Bush 73% of $13,800,000…The ten corporations that funnelled the most soft money into Bush’s campaign, according to FEC data, are as follows: AT&T directed 62% of its $4,479,653 in soft money donations to Republican groups…Seventy-six percent of UPS’s $2,662,994 in soft money went to Republican groups, along with a whopping 79% of Philip Morris’ $2,565,880. Verizon Wireless funneled 63% of $2,874,921 to Republican groups. MBNA America Bank put 82% of $2,193,550 into Republican campaigns. Enron…gave 76% of $2,015,853 to Republican warchests, mostly through the RNC. Merrill Lynch devoted 74% of $2,000,025 to Republican groups. Pfizer Inc…diverted 84% of $1,810,572 to Republican campaigns. Bristol-Myers Squibb gave 84% of $1,751,442. Fedex gave 65% of $2,095,328…Dell Computers executive Michael Dell…personally donated $250,000 to the RNC…Afinity Group, Inc chair Stephen Adams has…invested $1 million in soft money in Bush’s campaign…Aurora Capital Partners chair Gerald Parsky…[has] personally given $200,000 to the RNC…Cisco CEO John Chambers…gave $310,000 in soft money; Charles R. Schwab of Charles Schwab Investments…gave $270,000; and Leach Capital’s Howard Leach…gave $120,000.” That sounds like he was in with the Big Corporations. But that’s not all.
Al Gore also got numerous donations from big companies as well, described on the website I mentioned earlier. For Mr. Gore: “[the] Agribusiness [gave]…$240,350…[the] Oil & Gas [industry gave] $95,460…[the] Construction [industry gave] $920,938…Real Estate [industry gave] $1,213,310…[the] Automotive [industry gave]…$79,085…Drug companies [gave]…23% of $13,800,000 [or about $3.1 million, more than any other big company].” After Mr. Gore decided to concede in December after the 2000 election recount, saying that he welcomes George W. Bush as the President, donors decided to turn their back on him. However, iIn the process more donors were revealed. Brainer Dispatch wrote about this in an article, detailing a few examples of Al Gore donors: “Vinod Gupta, an Internet entrepreneur who contributed $318,000 to Gore and Democratic committees…Trevor Pearlman, Dallas venture capitalist and former trial lawyer who contributed $161,000 to Gore and the Democratic National Committee during this election cycle.” An analysis of the money donated isn’t all that will invalidate or validate Mr. Nader’s widely misinterpreted point in the 2000 election. The political views will prove if both candidates were in one big corporate party or if they were completely different.
First I looked at the Republican candidate in the 2000 Presidential election, George W. Bush. Here’s a list of some of George W. Bush’s political views before he became President (I picked ones that would make a comparison better):
Ban partial-birth abortions, and reduce abortions overall. (Oct 2000)
No tax money for abortion, but no Pro-Life Amendment either. (Sep 2000)
“It’s time for a change” in Washington. (Oct 2000)
Make budget biennial; reinstate line-item veto; target pork. (Jun 2000)
Local control with consequences if racial profiling occurs. (Oct 2000)
Against gay marriage, but leave it to the states. (Feb 2000)
Ignored Byrd hate crime bill despite plea by Byrd’s family. (Oct 2000)
Death penalty for deterrence, not revenge. (Oct 2000)
Death penalty for hate crimes like any other murder. (Oct 2000)
Miranda [rights] should be waived in some situations. (Jun 2000)
More federal funding for all aspects of Drug War. (Aug 2000)
Zero tolerance on disruption, guns, & school safety. (Apr 2000)
Improve education with local control, accountability. (Sep 2000)
Tax money to religious schools OK, if they’re teaching kids. (May 2000)
Better to drill ANWR than import oil from Saddam Hussein. (Oct 2000)
Replenish energy supplies with new domestic coal & pipelines. (Oct 2000)
Weaken Clean Air [act] (Nov 2000)
Internet filters, ratings, & parental monitoring for kids. (Oct 2000)
Promote abstinence in schools and via churches. (Apr 2000)
Africa’s important but not a priority; no nation-building. (Oct 2000)
China is an American competitor, not a friend. (Feb 2000)
US should humbly empower other countries, not dictate. (Oct 2000)
Less intervention abroad and unilateral nuclear cuts at home. (Sep 2000)
Reform UN & IMF; strengthen NATO. (Apr 2000)
Regulatory style: like Reagan, get government out of the way. (Oct 2000)
Ban soft money, but no public financing of elections. (Oct 2000)
Full disclosure and no giving limits. (Mar 2000)
No corporate or union soft money. (Feb 2000)
Would sign, but would not push, gun restrictions. (Apr 2000)
Ban automatic weapons & high-capacity ammunition clips. (Apr 2000)
Restrict teenage smoking by tough state & federal laws. (Mar 2000)
Give seniors choice, not bureaucrats; give incentives too. (Sep 2000)
Be world’s peacemaker instead of world’s policeman. (Oct 2000)
Rebuild military so it can fulfill mission to prevent war. (Oct 2000)
Gays in military OK; “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” OK. (Sep 2000)
Post-Cold War: remove weapons & high-alert; build SDI. (May 2000)
Make INS more “immigrant friendly”. (Jun 2000)
Put U.S. interests first and execute goals with good team. (Oct 2000)
Don’t treat Social Security like it’s a federal program. (Nov 2000)
Privatize Social Security to take advantage of stock market. (May 2000)
Don’t eliminate gas tax; ask OPEC to increase supply. (Jul 2000)
Yes, wealthy get tax relief, but 6M poor will pay no tax. (Oct 2000)
All Americans deserve tax relief; no more “fuzzy numbers”. (Oct 2000)
No national sales tax or VAT. (Feb 2000)
Israel: America should be a stronger friend. (May 2000)
Al Gore’s positions when he was running to became the next President:
Ban partial-birth abortions, except for maternal health. (Oct 2000)
Opposes partial birth abortion, but opposes banning it. (Sep 2000)
Right to choice, regardless of economic circumstance. (Mar 2000)
Wrote in 1984 that abortion is arguably taking a life. (Jan 2000)
Paying down debt reduces government intrusion. (Oct 2000)
Pay off the national debt by 2013. (Apr 2000)
Ban racial profiling by Executive Order. (Jan 2000)
Find some way for civic union; but not gay marriage. (Oct 2000)
National hate crimes law is needed, absolutely. (Oct 2000)
Intensify the battle against crime, drugs, and disorder. (May 2000)
Death penalty for deterrence, but carefully. (Oct 2000)
Lead a national crusade against drugs. (May 2000)
Loosen restrictions on medical marijuana. (Mar 2000)
Tougher drug policies; fight drugs in Colombia. (Mar 2000)
“Revolutionary plan”: 50% more for public schools. (Jan 2000)
Release oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve. (Sep 2000)
For Kyoto; for national parks; against drilling ANWR. (Nov 2000)
Abstinence Ed in the context of comprehensive Sex Ed. (Sep 2000)
Gore supports vigorous intervention abroad (Oct 2000)
Strong defense for world leader; tie defense to other issues. (Jan 2000)
Fair trade: standards for child labor & environment. (Aug 2000)
Build a rule-based global trading system. (Aug 2000)
Spending increase? “Absolutely not”; balance every budget. (Oct 2000)
McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform will be first bill. (Oct 2000)
Ban soft money and provide free broadcast time. (Sep 2000)
Campaign finance reform will be very first bill to Congress. (Aug 2000)
Free TV and radio for candidates during campaigns. (Mar 2000)
Pledges to add not one new federal position. (Oct 2000)
Tough gun laws & so much more, to stop child tragedies. (Mar 2000)
Zero tolerance for guns at school; raise age to 21. (Jan 2000)
Let FDA regulate cigarettes; fight teenage smoking. (Mar 2000)
Build-down military to smaller but more effective. (May 2000)
Nation-building is part of world leadership. (Oct 2000)
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is unfair & hasn’t worked. (Sep 2000)
Build less powerful SDI; to keep ABM treaty & START III. (May 2000)
More immigrants to alleviate labor shortage. (Mar 2000)
Voluntary school prayer is ok, if teachers aren’t involved. (Sep 2000)
Create Retirement Savings Accounts. (Aug 2000)
Tax cuts to benefit middle-class, not just the rich. (Aug 2000)
Eliminate estate taxes for the little guy, not the wealthy. (Jun 2000)
“Digital Cabinet” of high-tech advisors. (Sep 2000)
Broadcasters required to assist with “Democracy Endowment”. (Mar 2000)
Create e-government, interactive access for all citizens. (Jun 2000)
Regulate Internet privacy & child access, but not content. (Mar 2000)
Universal Internet access should be a national priority. (Feb 2000)
Genocide is a strategic interest & warrants intervention. (Oct 2000)
Don’t let OPEC take advantage of Americans. (Sep 2000)
Iraq: support Saddam’s opposition, until he’s gone. (May 2000)
Looking at both lists of political views, it seems there are some differences between both candidates. I created a chart of the views of both the candidates so you can compare them easier (all the red boxed items are ones that are similar)
I believe that on one hand Mr. Nader is right that both parties got lots of funding from corporations as I described earlier, but they were not same exactly. Some positions were completely different, as Al Gore was more in favor of an online government, while George W. Bush didn’t even mention it. It varied. In conclusion, I rate Mr. Nader’s statement as mostly true since there was many similarities on certain issues, however they still aren’t completely the same.
Even Ralph Nader spoke about Mr. Obama in these words: “Well, I think Barack Obama is in training to become panderer-in-chief…And it’s quite clear that he is a corporate candidate from A to Z…He — you know, he’s letting the corporate-dominated city of Washington, the corporations who actually rule us now in Washington, determine his agenda.” (http://www.democracynow.org/2008/6/18/ralph_nader_on_barack_obama_it)
Posted by Mr. Cucha on interesting blogger