Do We Really Choose Our Candidates?  

by
November 15, 2011

Many people in the US are beginning to feel that “the system” is stacked against them. And the sad thing is that they are right—the system is stacked against them. The system favors the big corporations (including the big banks) and their political lackeys.

Sure, we have Congressional elections every two years, and Presidential elections every four years.  But, what real choices do we have?

Did you notice how fast the Repubican candidates for President were narrowed down to, perhaps 8 or 9 candidates, even though the general election was more than a year away. Once the candidates were invited to the debates, then the field of candidates essentially became the ones who were seen in the televised debates.

The problem is that in order for someone to run for statewide or national office, millions of dollars are required for the campaign. So, the candidates listen to those who donate or organize donations for the political campaigns.

Yes, we are given a choice of candidates to choose from. But it is similar to a parent presenting a young girl with the choice of a nice red dress or a nice blue dress to wear to school. The child may think that she is choosing the dress to wear to school, when in actuality, the real choice was made by the parent, who chose which two dresses to present to the child to choose from.

This system allows the big corporations to keep control of the economy, regardless of the popular sentiment on the social issues.  Sometimes the Republicans win, and  sometimes the Democrats win, but the real power remains in the hands of the big campaign donors.

The system only allows us to choose from the Presidential candidates who have the ability to raise millions of dollars from the wealthy donors. Money talks, and politicians listen to the lobbyists who represent the big corporations and financial institutions.

What chance does a candidate who truly represents the working people and the unemployed have to get elected? Could a nurse or school teacher afford to stop working for two years to run for office? How many working poor could even afford to donate $200 to a political campaign?

And to insure that no “upstart” working person tries to stop working and run for national office, it is illegal to use campaign funds for personal expenses.

The people must use the Internet to unite and regain control of our country.

 

3 Responses to Do We Really Choose Our Candidates?

  1. TaxiDriver on November 16, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Have you checked out Buddy Roemer for president? I think you would really like what you hear. You’re right, the time to act is now. I have already made my donation to his campaign, and liked him on facebook (he’s working on getting 10,000 likes).

    TD

    • Frank Mitchell on November 17, 2011 at 12:44 am

      I found some information about presidential candidate Buddy Roemer’s economic proposals. It appears that Roemer is in favor of “Fair Trade” instead of Free Trade. I think that it is too late for Fair Trade, and stronger action is needed to save the American economy and bring all our jobs back to America. But, I do think that Roemer should have been included in the presidential debates. Roemer could have offered some strong insights about the problems with Free Trade.

      I think that Roemer is very aware of the devastation done to the American economy by Free Trade, and Roemer does a very good job describing our present situation. Roemer appears to be much more aware of the real cause of our economic plight than the other presidential candidates that I have read about. But I think that his solution does not go far enough, and is easily foiled by the importers.

      The following excerpts are from a speech given by Buddy Roemer on 9-1-11. My comments follow each of the three parts of Roemer’s plan to bring our jobs back from China and other low-wage countries.

      1. “…Tax Deduction Solution. I [Roemer] would allow a tax deduction only when businesses employ and buy American…My solution will amend those sections [of the tax code] and the definition of costs of goods sold to state that ‘any expenditure for any goods or services located and/or produced outside the United States shall not be deductible.’”

      —Frank’s comment: This would help some, but if the products were produced cheap enough in the foreign country, the importer could still import the item and make a hefty profit. If an imported item costs $10 and retails for $95, then the importer may decide to pay the average effective corporate tax rate of about 27% on the item. This would raise the importer’s cost to $12.70 instead of $10. The importer could still make a nice profit. Also, Roemer does not mention whether partial domestic content in an item would be pro-rated for tax deduction purposes.

      2. “I [Roemer] would eliminate the foreign tax credit.”

      —Frank’s comment: Eliminating the foreign tax credit would also be helpful, but I don’t think that it would bring very many factories back to the US.

      3. “…Fair Trade Adjustment Solution. A new way to level the playing field and protect American industry from unfair foreign competition is to require importers to pay our government an adjustment equal to the unfair advantage they gain by using cheap foreign labor and avoiding America’s health, safety and environmental standards.

      I [Roemer] shall ask Congress to adopt a statute that no product may be imported into the United States of America unless it is accompanied by a fair trade adjustment form, completed and certified by a foreign analyst who has been trained and authorized by the U.S. government but would be paid by the importer. The analyst will charge a fee to this importer to complete and certify the form. When the goods arrive in the U.S., the importer must pay to our customs agent the total certified adjustment in order to obtain a release of the goods into our country.

      The fair trade adjustment form will contain blank fields where the analyst will enter the calculations to value the difference between labor costs here and labor costs in the foreign country of origin, showing differences between such costs as OSHA and the EPA here, and the costs there. There will also be an adjustment for unequal tariffs or other costs of import and for any export subsidies given by the foreign country.

      The adjustment is simply an economic calculation. No politics are involved. It will cost the U.S. government nothing to implement it, all administration costs effectively being paid by the importers who will pay the certified analysts to complete the form…”

      —Frank’s comment: This would be next to impossible to implement, enforce, and police, given the difficulty of obtaining accurate numbers from the foreign country to make the financial adjustments for imports. Corruption is widespread in much of the third world, and it would be very easy for the foreign manufacturer to falsify the cost of labor, raw materials, etc. (I once saw a documentary TV show about how factory workers in a third-world country were being forced to sign a form stating that they were being paid more than they were actually receiving.)

      Also, even if we “leveled the playing field” for US factories, we would still have to compete with all the imported goods produced in foreign countries which could still be sold in the US market, although at higher prices. There could be cars made in China, Korea, India, Japan, etc. competing at comparable prices with American-made cars like Ford and Chevrolet in the US market. So, any sales made by Chinese exporters to the US would still be jobs lost by American workers.

      And Chinese consumers are not going to buy the much higher cost American-made products, when they could buy the cheaper Chinese-made products. There will not be a level playing field for US exporters trying to compete in China.

      Buddy Roemer does appear to have a better understanding of the harm being done to the Americian economy by Free Trade than the other presidential candidates, and he does offer some hard-hitting solutions. And Roemer is trying to spread the word about how cheap imports are destroying our economy. Too bad that the mainstream media is ignoring Roemer. But, I think that the best policy to save our economy is to stop all imports of manufactured goods from China and elsewhere.

  2. TaxiDriver on November 19, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    ” How many working poor could even afford to donate $200 to a political campaign?”

    Anecdotally, perhaps that’s why Buddy Roemer limits campaign donations to $100.00.

    TD

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