Thursday, October 09, 2008

How would you know?

by Shakera Jones

I was having a discussion with a friend of a friend the other day, and he asked me a rather interesting question: "How can you support the Republican Party when they clearly do not want black people in their midst?"

Although my initial thoughts floated around how retarded the question was, it provoked an even deeper question: How does a self-proclaimed, life-long Democrat know how the Republican Party treats its African-American members? To me, like him or not, it would be very difficult to convince anyone that George W. Bush does not want black people in his midst when over two terms he has placed blacks in some of the highest government post EVER!

To find out how this Democrat knew so much about how black republicans are treated, I asked how he came to this conclusion. Had he spoken to disgruntle black ex- Republicans? Had he attempted to become a Republican and been denied? I figured it had to be somewhere along these lines, right? No. Here was his answer: "

The Republican party has consistently worked against black progress. The Republican party has done nothing but cut programs that benefit blacks and other minorities. They have never made black issues a major party platform. " I responded to him, "Really?" I saw where this was going, so I attempted to stay on his level, since I thought a discussion on actual issues or policy would be impossible. I asked him what programs specifically had Republicans cut or proposed that has hindered progress. His response, " Housing programs, benefits to mothers, money for schools".

Now clearly by this point I realized this was going to be hilarious, but in any case, I continued. It amazes me that so many black people really believe that government programs are the key to our progress in this country. Here lies a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans, government programs are NOT the answer! We went back and forth for a while, he had no basis for his rhetoric, he stooped to name calling....end of discussion!

It's just amazing to me that so many people have this perception of how Blacks are treated( or mistreated) by they Republican Party with absolutely NO foundation for these conclusions. I gladly informed him, that the worst assaults on my character, the worst and most infantile names I have been called in my adult life have been by black DEMOCRATS. I informed him, that the biggest hindrance to black progress is the refusal to acknowledge that people are allowed to have different opinions, different solutions to our problems. I have many close friends that are Democrats and although we disagree on pretty much everything, I respect their opinions. Now, personally, I feel they are being used by the Democrats to keep the black vote on lock, but that's just a personal opinion.

To all the Democrats out there that think Black Republicans are " fighting to be accepted" by our party, please stop making claims that you cannot prove. I have never felt unwanted by anyone. The most hostility I have felt because of political views have come from other black people.

The vast majority of Republicans...White, Asian or other are always eager to hear how and what they can do to get the black community to listen and understand that our platform promotes independence and freedom from the government control that has kept black people from seeing the progress we are capable of achieving. They would love to know how to break the Democratic monopoly on the black vote. They would love to sit down and discuss with you how your values might be right in sync with those of the GOP.

Bottom line, if you want to know how and why black Republicans support their party and are proud of it ....ask one!

If you have never sat down with a black republican and had a serious conversation on how and why they came to think the way the do... Don't Judge!!

41 comments:

Paul Hue said...

Bush and Palin's pastors are black. Liberal black folks are just full of misconceptions about white folks, especially about non-liberal white folks. Liberal black folks believe that they are experts about white folks, but that white folks know nothing about black folks.

Correction: liberal blacks believe that uber liberal whitess like Tim Wise and that Obama priest know plenty. Liberals in general are pretty racist. They can't even make a complete criticism about somebody else's opinion until they know what "race" to assign that person. Oppose Affirmative Action? Well, if you're "white" you're a racist, and if you're "black" your a sell-out shinin' for mr charlie.

Paul Hue said...

Since I made the transformation for super lefty radical to libertarian republican, I have found that "republicans" (broad term including libertarians) are much more open-minded and tolerant than are lefties. For example, I have yet to find any "republicans" who will drop friends who are lefties, but lefties rather consistently are very personally ugly to "republicans". To a lefty, a "republican" is a "bad" person. But to a "republican", a lefty is a just a person with hare-brained social and political views.

Anonymous said...

How do I know? Because countless YouTube videos show how racist politicians really are. All I know is that Palin and McCain have run the most disgraceful, vile, racist campaign in my lifetime.

I can't believe any minorities, especially Blacks, want to put him in the white house. Everything Palin says is painting Obama as a first-hand terrorist. And by allowing their supporters to cry out racial obscenities in their rallies, they are in fact supporting and encouraging bigotry. Their rallies have turned into KKK conventions, with racists screaming from left and right. These two have brought out a resurgence of vile racism. I can't believe that any Black person wants to elect someone who cannot bring himself to look a Black presidential candidate in the eyes, and avoids touching his hand to shake it.

This campaign reminds me of this famous photo. The short white woman yelling, reminds me of Sarah Palin. Only thing is, Palin forgot we have allowed integration, and she is trying to incite old-fashioned hatred. http://www.hist.umn.edu/~bywelke/Little%20Rock/eckford2.jpg

AverageBlackJoe said...

Oddly enough, Anonymous, there's a great deal of vile within the Democratic ranks as well. The misogynism shown toward Senator Clinton and often outright condescension during her primary campaign, qualifies as such don't you think ?

rkl said...

you are a jerk

Anil R Pillai said...

averageblackjoe, there was no misogyny shown towards Hillary Clinton - the vast majority decided it was not her time, and her downfall came from her own management team, who were way too cocky. And a sheer number of democrats were not willing to forget her Iraq war vote, and her aggressive refusal to acknowledge her pandering and calculated vote. That was the reason I was against her, that and her unneeded lies to embellish her FoPo experience.

As far as what do I know about Blacks being comfortable with which party - my only take on it is Republican party has tried to disenfranchise the black voters many many times. It would be foolish to deny that. Granted they were trying to win an election - but there is frankly no worse instance of collective racism than that in modern times.

If the leaders of this party had the guts and the balls, they would have said a resounding NO to such subversive tactics.

AverageBlackJoe said...

rkl, your 'vile' putdown, makes my point and case precisely. Thank you.

AverageBlackJoe said...

anil r pillai, if you choose to ignore the media's blatant personal attacks upon Senator Clinton during her campaign, please do so. Often the press did not focus on her agenda or policies or political missteps but rather upon her person. Why even Peggy Noonan referred to her appearance as that of a "little blond man with breasts", not to mention how the media brandished the "iron my shirt" slur in a daily loop. One has only the view the old SNL skits of the Clinton/Obama debates to see it was commonly agreed that poor Mrs. Clinton couldn't 'catch a break'. This savagery was not due to mismanagment or her unacknowledged vote for war. (Afterall, Sen. Obama has yet to acknowledge his true association to William Ayers, to no noticeable self-peril.)

Zabeth said...

@Anonymous 4:18

What country are you living in? Can you back up ANY of the accusations you've made with facts and real life instances?

In regard to voter disenfranchisement and fraud, ever heard of ACORN? Why is it that when Democrats win elections no one cries foul, but when Republicans win everyone assumes fraud? As if Democrats have never lied or cheated. What I’ve found is that many Black liberals are just plain unaware of the Democratic Party’s very RACIST history.

Godheval said...

There is so much bullshit floating around here.

1. Black republicans, you're right that the democratic party is often full of shit, is full of conniving schemers, and does much to manipulate African-Americans into remaining in the party faithful. However, for the most part, policy speaks for itself. African-Americans are disproportionately poor, and policies that benefit the rich at the expense of the poor in turn also come at the expense of MOST African-Americans. In truth, the ideological divide has more to do with class than race, but the numbers speak for themselves.

2. The Democratic party of the civil war south is NOT the democratic party of today, just as the Republican party of today is NOT the party of Lincoln. Some of you on this website accuse liberals of not knowing history, but in trying to claim Lincoln, it shows YOU don't. The republican party of today is the splinter of Lincoln's party that REJECTED him as their candidate for a second term. It was around that time that the ideological switcharoo took place. Obviously the Democratic party of today is NOT the same party as that of Andrew Jackson, except in name.

3. Just as you get up in arms about liberal African-Americans calling you all Uncle Toms without civilized debate, you are all quick to dismiss genuine arguments as somehow unintelligent or "hilarious" - I'm looking directly at you Shakera. In this post you didn't bother to explain WHY the other fellow's argument was ridiculous, but I guess just took it for granted that we all know why? How about you enlighten us, since you are so enlightened in contrast to his foolishness?

I still have YET to hear a strong argument from a SOCIAL conservative (to be distinguished from a fiscal conservative) that is not completely ignorant of the socioeconomic strata in this country (at best), or willfully indifferent to the real struggles of lower class Americans.

You want a "liberal" who will face you in a debate and not be reduced to name-calling? You've found one. I accept your challenge. Just name the forum. The name's Godheval - godheval@gmail.com. Bring it.

N. Sampson said...

"Now, personally, I feel they are being used by the Democrats to keep the black vote on lock, but that's just a personal opinion."

"...please stop making claims that you cannot prove."

What? Glass houses? Huh?

Shakera said...

@ n.sampson,

Not throwing stones from a glass house at all. I offered an opinion. Saying that someone is being used is very, very different from calling them a sell-out out house negro, wouldn't you say?

Paul Hue said...

Godheval: Thank you for a very intelligent post. I very much appreciate your temperament, and endorse your points about rhetorical decorum. Please consider my responses to your points:

1. I believe that democrats and republicans essentially have the same goals, which are a maximum amount of prosperity for the maximum number of people. However, we have different views about how to achieve those goals, and the factors that attend that them. There might be some republicans somewhere who want wealth concentrated in the hands of the few at the expense of the many. However, I have never found anybody advocating that. Nor have I found any evidence that tactics such as low, flat taxes and small government accomplish that in practice.

As a specific example, I believe that vouchers for school kids would result in more school kids attending better schools, and learning more, than does restricting government K-12 spending to government-run school systems. If I am correct, wouldn't this republican-style proposal serve the purpose of promoting self-dependence and prosperity among persons who would otherwise lack this?

2. I concede your point about today's democratic and republican parties differing from their originating organizations. However, the republican party was founded on a set of firm and clear principles, and I support those principles. Furthermore, I conclude that more republicans than democrats advocate those principles today. (As to your point about the original republicans splitting on Lincoln's reelection: I understand that the repos did re-nominate him, though the radical or "black" repos splintered off, only to return when Lincoln agreed to emancipation in all states forever. Perhaps not important enough for us to debate here.)

I hear republicans today, but not democrats, advocating personal liberty and responsibility, and small government. For example, when Obama declares that "healthcare is a right," that means that he would take from me my freedom to not pay for somebody else's healthcare. As for the "personal responsibility" of the wall street crooks, the republicans have let me down here (violating the principles of the party), but I don't see where the democrats have done any better (and I have never nailed down what core principles define the democrats, other than winning elections).

3. I agree with you that on this forum we have witnessed some black repos employ some of the rhetorical tactics that black repos complain that they receive from their liberal friends. I hope that ends; I have never seen it before, but am very accustomed to lefties (97% of my friends, acquaintances, and family) employing these tactics on me. It is very discouraging.

4. About "social conservatives". I am a "social conservative" only in that I believe that in 2008 America, people's problems mostly result from their own actions, and their success in life can result only from their own actions, with voluntary assistance from others in their lives. I support abortion and gay marriage, so in those areas I am not a "social conservative."

I believe that within "the lower class", you will find roughly two sorts of people, just as you will in any other economic class: those that are doing the best that they can with what they have, making smart personal daily and life choices, and those ignoring or wasting the opportunities that they have, and making their lives more difficult by their own actions or even inactions.

I believe that many democratic programs help enable, and thus encourage, negative personal choices. On the other hand, I believe that republican-style proposals, such as low, flat taxes, make more money available in the free market, thus providing more rewards for people conducting themselves productively.

AND YOU'RE AN IDIOT! Just kidding. I used to hold your social-political views, but now I think differently.

Shakera said...

@ godheval,

As stated, I have many close friends that are Democrats that have very good arguments for why they feel the way they do. I completely respect their opinions and simply agree to disagree. I have found in my experience that many (not all)liberals are VERY reluctant to agree to disagree. It is simply there way or no way and that is what I take issue with. As I will readily say there are probably black republicans out there that are Republican for the fame it bring (sarcasm)! But I have come across WAYYYY too many Democrats that have no clue as to why they have aligned themselves with the Democratic Party, yet are quick to voice their utter digust with someone choosing another route. THAT is what I have a problem with. If you would like to engage in good-spirited intellectual discourse about how and why we came to support that idea that we do, I welcome that and would be more than happy to have that exchange. I respect people right to be individual free thinkers. Its the hostility and automatic disdain simply because of a difference in opinion that annoys me! ( ie... Bring it!)

james said...

I agree with you completely, Shakera. Wasn't it Hilary Clinton who used race baiting as a tactic throughout her primary run? she would often pat herself on the back for having the working class white vote. She also made some comments about the civil rights movement, claiming that MLK's efforts meant nothing without LBJ's efforts to get the civil rights act passed. Way to reduce the greatest civil rights leader of our time. Why weren't African Americans up in arms about any of that?

The truth is, most black people I meet who happen to be Democrats often have no clue why they are; they just agree that their party "takes care" of black people. if by taking care you mean shuffling them all into low income housing communities (i'm from the hood and we call those projects), forcing them to send their children to underperforming schools where they fall behind quickly, and lowering standards both economic (the subprime mess) and educational...then yeah, i guess I'd have to agree. Although if that's how you take care of people, i humbly request that you don't do me any favors.

james said...

I agree with you completely, Shakera. Wasn't it Hilary Clinton who used race baiting as a tactic throughout her primary run? she would often pat herself on the back for having the working class white vote. She also made some comments about the civil rights movement, claiming that MLK's efforts meant nothing without LBJ's efforts to get the civil rights act passed. Way to reduce the greatest civil rights leader of our time. Why weren't African Americans up in arms about any of that?

The truth is, most black people I meet who happen to be Democrats often have no clue why they are; they just agree that their party "takes care" of black people. if by taking care you mean shuffling them all into low income housing communities (i'm from the hood and we call those projects), forcing them to send their children to underperforming schools where they fall behind quickly, and lowering standards both economic (the subprime mess) and educational...then yeah, i guess I'd have to agree. Although if that's how you take care of people, i humbly request that you don't do me any favors.

N. Sampson said...

Shakera,

I would say you're splitting semantic hairs. I guess the mistake your opponents made was asserting that republicans don't want blacks in their midst instead of opining it. Aparently the phrase "its my opinion..." magically absolves you of the burden of presenting factual evidence to support your belief. I noticed said evidence was conspicuously absent from your response.

Godheval said...

To Paul Hue:

The trouble with the doctrine of "personal responsibility" is that it often discounts the absence of a level playing field. Often implicit within this doctrine is a social-darwinistic view that those who are fit to make it will make it, and to hell with the rest. In particular I am talking about equal access to education between the classes, which currently does not exist. Let's examine a few points.

With regards to what you said about school vouchers - they simply do not work, because they are not ENOUGH to offset the tremendous cost of sending a child to private school, especially for a low-income family. They also balance precariously on that line between church and state, as many such vouchers could and would be used for parochial schools, meaning that the government is channeling taxpayer money into a religious institution. This same money is taken AWAY from public schools, which are attended and will continue to be attended by the majority of citizens in the country - again, particularly those with lower incomes. So here we have a situation where the quality of education is already bent in favor of the well-to-do, and school vouchers would only further tip the scales.

Next let's talk about No Child Left Behind, which is not only utter foolishness in theory, but a complete failure in practice, since the *Republican* president did not follow through. I call it foolishness because it would hold all schools to some arbitrary standard, again discounting the fact that many schools - especially in low income areas - have less qualified teachers, obsolete school books, and are in the technological stone age. Of COURSE these schools are going to perform less than adequately against another school that has more money and thus better educators and resources. NCLB would then take the money AWAY from the schools that are performing worse, when clearly they are the ones that need it most? Why not starve the emaciated and gorge the overweight while you're at it?

There is also the additional variable of violence in schools, which is more prevalent in lower-income areas. This is a problem that is currently addressed by a crushing police presence instead of addressing the underlying causes - i.e. the quality of education. There is a nasty catch-22 in which highly qualified teachers, for the sake of their own personal safety and because their credentials give them the right to choose where they teach, flee to private or higher-income public schools. The lower-income schools, which are not only more dangerous but pay LESS, are therefore left with the bottom-of-the-barrel teachers. This means lower quality education for the students, higher drop-out rates, higher instances of criminal behavior, unplanned pregnancies, unqualified parents, and the list goes on... When it comes time for the better teachers to make a choice, it's a no-brainer. I do applaud those few great teachers who remain on the "front lines", because they recognize where the need is greatest, but they are few and far-between. I live in a low-income neighborhood, and I see first-hand the FAILURE that is the public school system.

Now perhaps you would say that the democrats' solution is to just throw money at the problem. If that is their proposal I, like you, would be inclined to disagree. But the fact remains that it takes money to build resources that ultimately can help fix the problem. If you want the best help, you'll need to pay for it. However, it also (much like this ridiculous bailout) requires OVERSIGHT, to ensure that the money is being properly allocated. I know for a fact that corruption runs all through public school systems, especially in low-income areas, where no one gives enough of a damn to pay attention and hold people accountable. "Personal responsibility" in this case assumes a certain moral character, which many in the public school system lack, which is why oversight is necessary.

And speaking of "personal responsibility" - the doctrine also assumes that the people in question even KNOW HOW to do what is necessary to improve their situation. When you have poorly educated people, who in turn often make poor parents, sending their children to poor schools, what do you expect other than the cycle to continue endlessly? This is a cycle that was started on a foundation of inequality between classes and races that has yet to be amended.

Congratulations to you few African-Americans who have managed to "pull yourselves up by your bootstraps", but I would bet that you had opportunities that so many others have not. And hardly any of those others would CHOOSE their shitty lives, but they simply can't conceive of anything better, because it is all they have ever known.

Unlike many people, I do NOT contend that as African-Americans you have any obligation to any "black community", and you are free to believe as you will. But I DO contend that as HUMAN BEINGS you have an obligation be be compassionate and to try to truly understand this socioeconomic and educational disparity, rather than chalking it up to some failure of the poor to "do what needs to be done". Recognize the opportunities that you have, and do not scorn those who need a little help because they DO NOT have those same opportunities.

Godheval said...

Also, Shakera, the comment "agree to disagree" is an exercise in intellectual laziness, an excuse to forgo healthy debate.

I do not agree to disagree, especially when the other person is fundamentally misguided - that is to say, their OPINION is based on a misunderstanding of the FACTS.

Godheval said...

@James

You raise a number of good points that showcase the failings of the Democratic Party. You are also right to criticize people who side with a party rather than understanding policy.

However, given your concerns about housing and schools, and that you appear to be Republican simply to spite the Democratic party, shows that YOU do not understand policy, and are as guilty of advocating for a platform as ignorant Democrats.

The difference is (probably, as I am assuming a bit here) that you have the education to make a more informed choice. The "black" people you refer to who side with the Democrats out of ignorance probably don't know any better because they went to those crap schools or were forced into the workforce before their education was completed due to a crippling socioeconomic imbalance.

You would side with the party that would take money and resources AWAY from the terrible schools, rather than providing the funding and oversight they need to get better?

As I said in an earlier comment to Paul Hue (presuming it will be posted), a single school voucher is not enough for a family to send their child to a better school. But collectively the amount of all school vouchers would be enough to improve one public school that benefits many, many students.

You would side with the party that rewards the companies responsible for the sub-prime mortgage crisis through tax cuts and deregulation?

Mind you, I am not saying that the Democrats are right. I'm just saying that the Republicans are WRONG. The Democrats are often wrong, too, and are as corrupt as Republicans. The fact that 4 of the 5 Keating Five were Democrats is not lost on me. HOWEVER, the failings of the Democratic party should NOT necessarily be an endorsement for the Republican party.

If so, then you are no less deluded than the black Democrats you criticize for siding with their PARTY without knowing the ISSUES.

Paul Hue said...

Godheval: Thank you for your very intelligent and respectful discourse. I hope we become web buddies. I lack the time to address all of your points right now, but will make a few comments.

1. I share your perspective on the "agree to disagree" concept! I prefer to say something like, "let's disagree agreeably." I don't agree to disagree, but I do agree to be agreeable in our disagreement.

2. On vouchers: Let's consider Detroit public schools, where govt spending per student comes in about $13k/annually. You are correct that $13k annually spent as a voucher would not pay for tuition at the very finest private schools. However, several catholic high schools around here cost about $10k, without meals, and K-8 catholic schools run no more than $5k.

Spending K-12 vouchers at church schools is no different than various government funding such as pell grants and GSL treated as vouchers which university students have always used at church universities (such as Notre Dame).

Also, if tens of thousands of Detroit parents were unleashed with $13k vouchers, that would create a huge market for people like you and me to create small schools delivering education at that price. Yes, I would certainly take money from the DPS and put right into the hands of parents.

Government run schools in this area with $13k annually constantly mispend money, whereas catholic schools getting less money from tuition operate much more efficiently. If you and I created a private, for-profit school, would be be as inefficient and as corrupt as the average huge metro school district? It wouldn't even matter if we where, because under such a system, parents would flee if their kids received poor service.

3. Personal responsibility. Prior to the 1960s, black/white levels of crime, illegitimacy, and even school test results were about equal. I'm uncertain what happened during the 60s to change that, but the stats show that black people do not need post-60s government programs to thrive as a group.

I have simply too many (countless) personal experiences with people, including blood relatives, who are determined to ignore the opportunities at hand, and even worse, to make their own lives and the lives of others, miserable, to think that any government program can help these people who are not helping themselves. Resources thrown down-the-drain would be much better left sloshing around in the free market, existing as rewards for smart choices, such as hard work and refraining from crime and pre-marital pregnancy. I have seen many people fix their lives, but never because of the actions of other people figuring out what they should do, and then devising some brilliant plan to influence them.

Godheval said...

@Paul Hue:

I see your point in the case of Detroit, but I cannot say the same is true in other urban areas, like Philadelphia - where I live - or others, such that a federal policy in favor of vouchers would be universally beneficial. Also, the federal voucher program proposed offered FAR less than $13,000 per student. I think it was more like $1000. So this chump change takes away from the public schools, but does not offer enough for private schools, making it pointless.

Now if you're talking about a complete ground-zero renovation of how school funding is allocated, then I'd be willing to examine proposals of that nature. It is not at all that I am loyal to the public school system, just wary of programs that benefit an elite few at the expense of the many. I am also skeptical of the private sector in general, which lacks the accountability of programs run and funded by the government - which is also accountable to us. I feel the same way about big corporations (color me a by-the-book liberal on this point). I will concede you the point on Pell grants going towards religious universities. I suppose I should suggest that such grants only be used on secular schools, but I actually don't support that position. Such a gray area is church and state.

Of course you're right that there are people that exploit the system, that take handouts without extending the necessary effort to do for themselves. You're also right that it was sometime after the 60s that the so-called "black community" took a catastrophic turn for the worse. I, too, have pondered what has happened in that time. I am only 30 years old myself, and I compare those who were young with me to those who are young now, and I really mourn the decline.

There are many possible factors - such as the prevalence of drugs in black communities and a surging culture of anti-intellectualism. During and immediately following reconstruction, African-Americans knew what was necessary to bring them to equal footing in society, and education was the cornerstone of that effort, as evidenced by the founding of the HBCUs. Somewhere along the line, however, that respect and urgency for education disappeared. I could cite all sorts of conspiratorial agendas, but...who's to say for sure?

What is certain, however, is that where in the 60s and before racism was overt and obvious, it has become more subversive in recent decades, making it that much more dangerous.

The efforts to undermine and destroy the social climbing activities of African-Americans are still very real, only they are hidden in board rooms under the pretext of a "think tank", rather than disguised by a white hood and cloak. Honestly, I'll take the KKK over the likes of Steven Sailer and Charles Murray, because at least you can see a night rider coming.

An article you might be interested in:

Black Schism
http://www.godheval.net/black-schism.html

Anonymous said...

Little known by many today is the fact that it was Republican Senator Everett Dirksen from Illinois, not Democrat President Lyndon Johnson, who pushed through the civil rights laws of the 1960’s. In fact, Dirksen was key to the passage of civil rights legislation in 1957, 1960, 1964, 1965 and 1968. Dirksen wrote the language for the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Dirksen also crafted the language for the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which prohibited discrimination in housing.

Godheval said...

More party history, since that appears to be a big deal here. The following is how Congress voted on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While it is true that the "Democratic Party" has a racist history, so too does the "Republican Party" (both in quotes to recognize that the parties have both transformed steadily since that time).

The distinction was more between regions than parties, i.e. North vs. South.


The original House version:

Southern Democrats:
7 in favor, 87 opposed (7%-93%)

Southern Republicans:
0 in favor, 10 opposed (0%-100%)

Northern Democrats:
145 in favor, 9 opposed (94%-6%)

Northern Republicans:
138 in favor, 24 opposed (85%-15%)


The Senate version:

Southern Democrats:
1 in favor, 20 opposed (5%-95%) (only Senator Ralph Yarborough of Texas voted in favor)

Southern Republicans:
0 in favor, 1 opposed (John Tower of Texas)

Northern Democrats:
45 in favor, 1 opposed (98%-2%) (The one opposer was Senator Robert Byrd - D-WV - I'll come back to this later)

Northern Republicans:
27 in favor, 5 opposed (84%-16%)

So if any of you are citing history as evidence that the Republican Party has been better for African-Americans than the Democratic Party, this should make it clear - AGAIN - that politics is about ISSUES, not parties.

In particular, it shows how parties can change - will change - for political reasons often moreso than ethical reasons.

Robert Byrd makes for an interesting topic of discussion with regards to how parties and people change, as he was one of the leading opposers of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Since then he has gone on record to say that was a mistake - big surprise!

What's also interesting is that during the 2008 Democratic Primaries, he supported Obama over Clinton. Was this political? Some white-guilt overcompensation for his previous bigotry? Or does it represent a true shift in ideology?

We'll probably never know, but again what Byrd demonstrates is how important it is that we pay attention to policy and not parties or politicians.

No More Parties
http://www.godheval.net/nonpartisan.html

Godheval said...

Also, since "Anonymous" mentioned Everett Dirksen as a Republican who was central in the passing of the CRA of 1964, I feel inclined to mention Orrin Hatch - the incumbent Republican Senator from Utah - who in 1988 started a motion to rollback provisions of the CRA of 1968, in effect reducing the ability of people to fight against discriminatory housing practices.

One COULD say that this is evidence of the slow and steady switching of the party's positions, but what I think it points out is that we cannot exalt any party, only individuals.

Where a party by and large upholds certain ideological positions that fly in the face of civil rights, then that party as a whole can be condemned (with special exceptions made for individuals who defy the platform).

In the 60s and earlier, that party was the Democrats. Today it is the Republicans. History vs. present reality.

Paul Hue said...

(It's getting hard to track responses because our dear host has not enabled the feature were posting a comment launches its own window.)

Godhevel: It think one important area where you (liberals) and I (libertarians/conservatives) differ on democrat vs. republican as it pertains to black folks has to do with what we all consider to be important in 2008 United States for black people.

In the 1960s, for example, we must all agree that the various civil rights legislation unambiguously defined a voter as either supporting or opposing full equality and "advancement" for black people. Thus your very thorough statistics showed the relative correctness of each party. By dividing between north and south, you revealed that the Republicans we not as correct as would seem when lumping regions together.

But let's fast forward to today. Let's imagine that you are a white legislator who seeks to suppress black people as much as possible. You really believe that black people are inferior, and you want to keep as many of them as impoverished as possible. What legislation would you support? What laws would you oppose?

First if all, I would say that you are an idiot economically. Because a bunch of poor people of any sort causes a tremendous drain the economy, both in spending tax dollars, and in failure to contribute tax dollars and simply providing productivity to an economy, and appeal to any locality.

But anyway, what laws would such a person support and oppose, in 2008? Well, I believe that such a person bent on undermining our economy in this way would certainly oppose school vouchers. And such a person would support a "graduated tax structure", also known as "raising taxes for the rich" or "cutting taxes for the non-rich". After all, such a tax structure leaves less dollars sloshing around in the free market, and thus fewer rewards for people of any "race" who take such measures in their life as graduating from high school, seeking and accepting the best job that they can find, working diligently at their job, endeavoring to acquire more job skills, etc.

Also, such an anti-black person might even ingeniously support government "affirmative action" programs, believing that this would have black students aiming for lower targets.

In other words, godhevel, you are judging voters as "racist" or "not racist", based on policies that do not clearly help or hurt the aim of raising the average measures of success for "black" people. In fact, many people who are ardently "pro black" take positions which you rate as "anti-black", and they take those positions because they honestly and genuinely believe that your "pro-black" positions actually hurt what it is that you think they advance.

And consider such policy example as affirmative action from another perspective, that of white people who have learned to milk it for their own purposes. This includes white people with "hispanic" sirnames, or who can find some way to claim an "Indian" ancestor. And white business owners who "rent a negro." These are clearly not "pro-black" people, yet they support this measure which you rate (my words) as "pro black."

Other issues come to mind. For example: the extra-harsh criminal penalties for dealing crack cocaine. Most liberals/leftists now consider these laws "racist", because among drug consumers and dealers, those who are "black" skew in their interest towards crack over powder. But who advocated these laws in the first place, and why? These laws were originally proposed by black legislators who wanted the extra-harsh laws to be extra-effective against a problem that began as concentrated among black folks. Consider that if you really do believe that the harshness of penalties reduces crime, doesn't make sense that if you are especially and particularly in ameliorating a crime that disproportionately affects black residential areas, that you would support extra-harsh penalties for such a crime?

In conclusion, I am pointing out that few issues today can clearly distinguish who is an anti-black racist and who is not. There really are people at there, including me, who share your ultimate goal, but who differ with you on which issue positions will be most effective in achieving that goal.

Godheval said...

@Paul Hue:

It's "Godheval".

Brace yourself, this one's going to be a doozy.

The point I keep trying to make is that all people need to divorce themselves from this need to holistically subscribe to one platform or another. These labels "liberal" and "conservative" presuppose that a person tows the party line on every issue, and that is simply not the case for an informed voter.

I think all of the issues we've been discussing are more complex than is indicated by the majority of superficial arguments waged between "liberals" and "conservatives".

Let me make one thing clear. I am not arguing under the pretext that any legislator is trying to keep black people impoverished. I honestly think it is more an issue of class than race, but as it happens, black people are disproportionately lower class. So the issues that impact the lower class seem to hit black people harder.

While your arguments over hypotheticals make sense in theory, the trouble is that history demonstrates something entirely different. The "trickle-down economics" philosophy of the Republican party has NOT worked in improving our economy and has negatively impacted the lower-middle to lower class people the most. This was true in the 80s when Reagan pushed that agenda forward, and it's true now.

I hate to bring up a trite argument, but surely it cannot be lost on you that we went from a multi-trillion dollar surplus to a multi-trillion dollar deficit under these same fiscal policies you advocate? Now, of course, there was the SMALL matter of the Iraq War, which I think is not given enough recognition as one of the primary causes of the deficit.

In your hypothetical scenario, you propose one rather silly method of keeping the poor impoverished and disenfranchised, one that fails to acknowledge the more complex methods that are being used. After all, there is a way to keep the poor poor and NOT hurt the economy, and that is by engendering and maintaining a whole culture of consumerism.

One major problem that plagues lower-class African Americans (which is to say most of them) is that they subscribe to the overall American standard of high-materialism and excess, in spite of the fact that they do not have the means to sustain such a lifestyle.

And this comes back to education. Because education is so inadequate in many poor areas where African-Americans are the majority, education itself does not appear to offer a viable path towards success. Students who stay in school all the way through - and this is a particularly daunting challenge in poor communities - are not seeing opportunities that are much better than those of the people around them who didn't finish.

They see drug dealers, athletes, rappers, or even people who quit school and work hard at an honest job making money, more of it, and much sooner. And in a culture of high materialism, money is the ultimate prize, and the ultimate measure of one's self worth.

So why toil through school when there is no apparent guarantee that it will give you any greater advantage than Joe Drug Dealer who's "making dat paper!" right NOW?

Also, due to the poor quality of education, these students are not even given an idea of all the other possibilities that are out there. They are given the standard subjects of reading, math, and science, but there are slim pickings when it comes to art, technology, and higher liberal arts.

By contrast, you look at a public school like Washington Township High in New Jersey, which has a television in every classroom, which features the student-run news every morning, a multitude of state of the art computer labs, political science classes, a wealth of electives, and more - and you see the true potential of public schools. Compare that to a school like King in Philadelphia, which has none of the above-mentioned features, or at best, programs and equipment that are grievously outdated.

So what's being raised in these schools is another generation of kids who are not only under-educated and unmotivated, but also bored and disinterested in the school's meager offerings. They see no way to connect the dots between a shit school and a successful life.

Compound all of this with violence, oversexuality, and materialism, and you've got a recipe for disaster. These kids are BORED, and what they see on television and in their own neighborhoods, in the way of "living large", is simply more appealing than what school has to offer. They are not being stimulated towards the right paths in life.

Compound upon all of THAT a lack of mentorship, and a lack of quality teachers - many of whom are there for a paycheck, and have no mental or emotional investment in the success of these children. At best they'll fail to motivate and inspire, and at worse, they'll add to the problem. They may even be products of the same kind of school system.

But now let's go back to the economic perspective. Here you have a bunch of under-educated people with the wrong values and bad priorities, who are disillusioned with life, hopeless, and perhaps even angry. Material comforts - from clothing to technology to drugs - and status comfort (which goes right along with material comfort) appears to be a solution to one's grievances.

The result is a culture where people spend beyond their means to compensate for feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness, and because they were never shown a viable alternative. But these same people, in spite of their financial, educational, and even spiritual poverty, still manage to contribute to the economy in a big way.

So, you see, your disenfranchisement plan is far too simplistic to work, but the REALITY that I've described above is currently AT WORK, and it is not by accident.

Keep the poor POOR and STUPID and they'll continue to stimulate the economy without ever climbing beyond their station. After all, our economy relies on the poor to work the many service and industrial jobs that the higher classes can't be bothered to do.

Oh, and keep that ideal of the American Dream whispering at the back of their mind, which completely ignores any concept of inequality and purports that it's only a matter of one working hard enough - even if they die trying - to reach success.

An added consequence to this rosy American Dream "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" NONSENSE is that when one DOES work hard, but due to the very real social inequalities does NOT make it, it results in a psychological backlash in which the person blames him/herself for their inability to climb the ladder. And then the conservatives are right there, hovering over them to affirm that idea that "you just didn't work hard enough", or in some cases "you just aren't smart enough".

After all, life's all about "personal responsibility".

And implicit within the "not smart enough" argument is the racist idea that some people are inherently not smart enough. See the likes of Steven Sailer or Charles Murray, who would propose a system of "moral controls" to compensate for biological (i.e. genetic/racial) deficiencies. They too are "conservatives", and support the same kinds of politics that you do, albeit with a more sinister motivation. Oh, and in case you've never heard of either of these two men, they are hardly fringe ideologues. Sailer is a regular columnist with the National Review, and Charles Murray is a well-respected conservative political commentator.

There are so many other issues attached to this that I haven't begun to cover, such as the blight of poor nutrition (e.g. African-American women are disproportionately overweight) - made pandemic by the ever growing fast food industry. Do I even need to point out the disproportionate (my word of the day) allocation of fast food outlets in poor neighborhoods? Other untouched issues would be our legal system, which is based more on punishment than rehabilitation, or our healthcare system which is based more on treating illness than preventing it - an issue closely related to the nutrition issue.

Where conservatives are not plainly racist, classist, or downright Machiavellian (and these are probably the minority), they are myopic - lacking a deeper understanding of society's problems. There is a reason that most academics - especially those in the social sciences - tend to be liberal, and it's because they have looked at and analyzed these problems thoroughly.

Alas, most liberals are not academics, and they often misrepresent the argument, providing fodder for the conservative reprisal.

Godheval said...

Oh, and I just have to comment on what you said about Affirmative Action.

The argument that it causes people to set lower standards for themselves, frankly, is bullshit, and has no evidence to support it. No one works less or tries not as hard, figuring that no matter what, Affirmative Action's got their back. That is utter nonsense.

I personally never answer the "race" question - first because I have renounced race as a category which defines me, and secondly because I know that I can succeed upon my own merits. The quotas can be saved for someone who needs them.

Affirmative Action operates in a mostly invisible way. The person who applies for - and gets - a job will never know if Affirmative Action factored into it. In the job I currently hold, I have considered more than once whether or not Affirmative Action had anything to do with it, but of course I don't know. What I do know is that since I've been here I have been showered with praise, and that my level of productivity from the START was higher than even the top of the range expected from people who have been here for years. No one would question whether or not I was qualified for the position.

And hardly anyone who is UNqualified for a job will be given that job simply to fulfill a quota. That's just poor business sense.

An argument could actually be made that the mere existence of Affirmative Action, and that many assume that it plays a bigger role than it actually does, forces women and minorities to work harder, to prove that they would've been qualified no matter what. This is a far more likely response to Affirmative Action than intentional or neglectful underachievement.

Affirmative Action also encourages businesses to SEEK OUT those qualified female candidates and candidates of color.

As for people exploiting the system, I know about that very well. I have personally met a Euro-American girl who was wealthy, but got a free ride to college in spite of that simply for having a surname that has been associated with some Native American tribe.

However, this is a pointless argument to make, because for every good initiative, there will be bad people who manipulate and exploit it. As an example, conservatives support deregulation to allow companies more freedom in the market. It sounds good in theory, until greedy assholes exploit the reduced oversight to get rich while others suffer.

Nuclear technology created the potential for cleaner energy and more of it, but some assholes had to also make it into bombs.

The point is that people exploiting something that is started with good intentions is NOT an argument to do away with that thing. It is an argument for more oversight and a demonstrated need for a greater moral authority.

I see Affirmative Action as a band-aid, something that's currently necessary, but not forever.

Talking About Affirmative Action
http://www.now.org/issues/affirm/talking.html

Paul Hue said...

Godheval: My point about Affirmative Action was not that it is bad or wrong, but that many opponents of it(all that I am aware of, in fact) have among their reasons no desire to hold down black folks, or to interfere with their efforts to achieve their aspirations. Many even have as one of their reasons the belief that black folks will do better without it. Such people may be wrong, as you claim, about AA "lowering standards", but that does not make them racists or "uncle toms." They merely interpret the facts, and subscribe to different logic, than you.

Paul Hue said...

Godheval: I agree that the Iraq war has mightily contributed to the current financial mess, including in particular the deficit. I have mixed feelings about the rectitude of that war, its conduct, and if it will prove to be a net benefit. The war that I bought in to was one that would "pay for itself" with various benefits from having a productive, secure, liberated Arabia comprising people busy improving themselves in a free market rather than waging war.

In many other ways Bush has completely disappointed me, violating my reasons for voting for him in the first (and second) place. The homeland and patriot acts were 100% wastes that drastically expanded government. And Bush has failed to lead us out of such boondoggles as farm subsidies and ethanol requirements. For these sorts of reasons I will not vote for McCain, and instead will vote for Libertarian.

As for "trickle down" economics, that is a term invented by Keynesians to deride the supply side model of Milton Friedman. That term does not reflect the reality of how these policies work, and have worked successfully both for Reagan, Clinton (forced into it by a republican congress), and Bush II.

Reagan did have a recession, but that did not result from his tax cuts. And the current Bush II mess did not result from Bush II's tax cuts, either. The tax cuts under Reagan, Clinton, and Bush II all resulted in an increase in both economic expansion, and the consequential increase in government tax revenues. The Reagan and Bush II economies did both suffer from drastic govt spending increases, which were even more massive than the massive inflows of increased tax revenue. Both push out-of-control defense spending, and both pushed massive social service increases demanded in exchange for democratic votes. And of course, the republicans love pork just as much as the democrats, unfortunately.

james said...

@godheval,

I first want to thank you for actually providing intelligent discourse on this site. I typically run into people with your point of view who immediately resort to namecalling and fingerpointing and it's refreshing to see you're more than willing to engage in a healthy debate. You've also made many good points, and have allowed me to remember that the country is best ran from the middle-no one ideology will ultimately hold all the answers, especially once you factor in human nature. So again, anytime there's an issue you want to discuss, I hope you reach out more often.

that being said, I'm afraid
I have to disagree with you about trickle down economics. It DID in fact, work. The unemployment rate in this country (as well as the black unemployment rate) were both cut in half from the historical highs of the jimmy carter era, shareholders got more value for their money, small business owners of all races grew exponentially, and the middle class got to keep more of their money from all of the assorted tax cuts of the era. And i won't even get into the flood of lower priced high quality goods and services entered the market due to deregulation. telecommunications, airlines, investing, etc...that benefitted lower income consumers tremendously.

You should also be clear to separate GeorgeBush's agenda and the neo cons with that of fiscal conservatives. No conservative in their right mind would advocate increasing the size of the government several times over (like Bush has), and cutting taxes in the midst of huge increases in government spending. Things like that are anathema to the party platform, although i'll admit it tends to change somewhat depending on who's in power. But i find that Bush is so far right, he leaves the field of conservative and enters fascist territory. No one hear would agree that fascism is a strong ecopolitical movement! I may be splitting hairs, but i will always make the distinction between Bush and the platform of the republican party. He only has the support of the extreme religious right as it stands; he is NOT a favorite of mainstream party members.

I also find it interesting that when describing the ills of the African American community (and you were thorough), you touched on schools, consumerism, materialism, the legal system, lack of quality teachers...even fast food restaurants. But where is the criticism of the parents? Isn't your family the most important resource for indoctrinating you? making you a good citizen? teaching you values? enforcing education? it was in MY household, and i'm from some very bad high crime high poverty areas! that makes all the difference in the world, and goes back to the argument of personal responsibility. But i understand that we're reticent to tackle it-after all, we would then have to admit that rampant single parenthood in poor areas is wrong, that it's ok to expect a government institution or school to play the role of parent. Unfortunately, that's never been the government's job and I refuse to pay for it.

Which leads me into my next point...if you honestly feel that society and by extension government's role is to provide everything for everyone, to determine who gets what, why not advocate an "opt in" system. why not preserve the principle of personal liberty (the freedom NOT to be taxed to support entitlements you likely won't even qualify for), and let the bleeding hearts fund all of the entitlements that they wish? in other words, give us CHOICE.

from where i'm sitting, African Americans have all the tools at their disposal to empower themselves. we ABSOLUTELY do. we claim to be poor and lower class, but we have no problem copping the new jordans or buying $2500 rims and running up crippling debt. we have no problem buying up a ton of junkfood and liquor and cigarettes. no problem buying gaudy jewelry, luxury cars, and designer clothes. certainly you can't blame a conservative ideology for the decisions that people make in our own community? the conservatrives i know all do their best to build wealth, own businesses, invest, and keep debts low so that they can start building wealth.

In the real world, no one is equal. the only thing we're guaranteed, or should be guaranteed, by our government is a right to a level playing field, but skills,motivations, potential, circumstances, etc...they're all different. People need to take MORE responsibility. I am not at all enamored by the idea of a class of elites in power forcibly organizing the playing field with policy and subsidides. We need to start DEMANDING that more people learn how to fish. which is why issues like school vouchers and educational choice are so important to me. You let government run massive programs and you will inevitably encounter corruption, poor administration, ridiculous administrative costs, inadequate benefit allocation, and i can go on all day. you'll be letting the inmates run the asylum.

Paul Hue said...

James: I embrace your comments about Godheval, of course. I wish we were all having beer together! How refreshing to have a mutually respectful, civil debate. I am curious why so many people, and I used to be one, believe that "Reaganomics" was a nightmare, especially for blacks. Even the rappers at the time sung derisively about it. They must have been scarred-for-life by the recession of '82, ad Paul Volker squeezed out all the Clinton inflation. After that, history's greatest and longest sustained expansion occurred.

And rather than being disproportionately hurt, blacks disproportionately benefited, as their average incomes increased at a pace even greater than for whites. And if you divide blacks according to those who bothered to graduate from high school, keep a clean criminal record, and await marriage for pregnancy, well, those numbers really shoot up! I used to, and perhaps Godhevel does as well, focus too much on the black folks who are just not making positive daily and life choices. Only in my later years have I started to notice the magic that happens for black folks who just simply make smart choices: they end up with lives just like the white and asian americans who make those same choices!

I would like to offer a minor criticism: when Reagan and Bush II successfully lobbied for tax rate reductions simultaneously with boosting the budget spending, the tax cuts actually helped. That is because the cut in tax rates spurred economic growth that actually resulted in a drastic increase in federal tax revenues. Sadly, though, both presidents oversaw an expanding of spending that grew even FASTER!

I would also like to point out that with cuts in tax rates, the immediate apparent tax savings are the least benefit. The much greater benefit is to the income boost caused by the multiplying effect of all that money now joined with everybody else's, sloshing around in the free market.

Godheval said...

@James:

I don't mean to leave the parents out of it, as certainly they are responsible, but I see them as victims of the same problems that currently plague their children. Educational disparities between the rich and poor have existed forever.

@Paul:

You are right that I focus a lot on African-Americans who are not doing well, as they are the ones that I find myself surrounded by most often. I am always energized when I encounter the opposite - i.e. successful, educated, intelligent African Americans.

@James AND Paul:

I will admit here that my grasp of economic policy is weak. When you start talking about Friedman and Keynes, you lose me, because while I know that they are economists, I do not know the difference between their models, or what conflicts - if any - exist between them.

My opinion of Reaganomics is based almost exclusively on the opinions of those around me as I grew up (I was a child/pre-teen throughout the 80s), such as my father, who was extremely critical of Reagan.

Mind you, my father is a thoroughly self-educated man, one who places high value in hard work, and absolutely despises laziness. He could probably wage this debate better than I could. He is also highly critical of African-Americans he perceives to be wrong-minded. Looking back, I can't say for certain whether his criticism of Reagan was based on economic or social policies.

What confuses me now, though, is how given both of your oppositions to George W, you both voted for him - TWICE! And if he is so "far right", and goes against the Republican majority, how is it that he won not only two primaries, but both general elections?

And while Paul doesn't support McCain, do you, James?

Also, Paul, you stated that you now question the merits of the war. You mention a "net benefit", as if you understood from the beginning that it had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, but rather that it was some sort of international economic venture!

What in the world?

james said...

@godheval,

We don't think the Republican Party is immune to electing poor candidates and ineffective leaders, lol. Bush happens to be both. His only supporters at this point are the extreme religious right i would imagine, since his approval rating is hovering around the low to mid 20s.

I voted for him in 2000, but not in 2004. In 2000, the George Bush I saw had an excellent record in Texas as Governor, and gave absolutely no indication how far right he would go. I personally think that the tragedy of 9/11 turned him into a completely different president. Not just by making him paranoid, but making him rely exceedingly on the military industrial complex in crafting policy for this country-Can you imagine losing the twin towers on your watch? largest terrorist attack in U.S. history while you pledged to protect the country? I'm not excusing him by any means, but i think the circumstances of that event gave him an increasingly paranoid view of any known countries hostile to the U.S., and made him unrelentingly militaristic. The warhawking neo cons pounced.

He got re-elected in 2004 for 3 reasons.
#1) McCain has always been a moderate. he hobnobs with democrats, is best buddies w/ hilary clinton, and routinely sat on bipartisan groups to work on issues. This greatly angered the conservative base, and he really buried himself by referring to the religious right as "a bunch of nuts".

#2) John Kerry was extremely unlikeable. This might be my personal opinion, but politics is a popularity contest and he gave Karl Rove plenty of ammunition to vilify him, culminating in the insult he made about U.S. troops all being uneducated. he came off as being another liberal elitist after that who didn't respect the country's traditions. He didn't strike me as politically smart either, since he was a decorated vietnam vet and somehow let the swiftboaters have their way w/ him, while Bush was hiding out in the air guard!

#3) Non wanted to switch the administration in the middle of a war that had just started. We wanted to "stay the course" and Bush was still enjoying good approval ratings-the ones that gave him the mandate to wage the war in the first place.


I support McCain because not only do i think he should have been president in 2000, he's the only fiscal conservative left in the ball game. His plans offer us the best chance of recovering from the economy,in my opinion. Were it up to me I'd have put in Romney or Paul, or even Giuliani, because McCain doesn't have the charisma to appeal to people like Obama does, but his plans do make sense. He just has NOT done a good pointing that out, and he's up against a "once in a generation" candidate. Obama's raised almost 500 million dollars, is seemingly made of teflon, and inspires people with his life story and his speeches. Even I can see that. But I don't think he's the person we should plug in in the middle of a crisis, especially since everything about him and his record screams...LEFT LEFT LEFT, lol. but again, just an opinion. I hope Biden keeps him from going too far off the reservation.

Paul Hue said...

Godheval: I am really enjoying this discourse with you. Your father reminds me of many black folks from his generation, especially males. They genuinely revile laziness and other forms of bad behavior within "the black community". However, they are married to liberal policies in general, and have the worst recollection of '80s Reaganomics in particular. Some of the closest and most influential people in my life fit this description.

Godheval said...

I'd be careful assuming you know my father. I am certain he is not like anyone you know.

But going back to whoever said that Reaganomics did work, I found this website that shows unemployment rates by month/year.

The following is the unemployment rate from January 1981 (when Reagan took office) to December 2000 (when Clinton left office). This would seem to indicate that the unemployment rate through this the Reagan years was at best around the level he inherited from Carter, and at worst from 83-84, the HIGHEST in the entire 20 year period. He did manage to get it back down towards the end of his term.

Bush Sr. inherited the throne, and it went right back up again - almost steadily, again back to the Carter levels.

Then Clinton took those levels and steadily - without exception - lowered the rates, month after month, year after year, to the lowest they'd been since the end of the Johnson era.

And then we all know what happened once W took office. This pattern - which albeit not considering external factors such as wars and fatcat corruption - does not seem to favor the Republican administrations of the past few decades (my lifetime).

In that during the Reagan administration unemployment rates were the highest in at least 60 years, I wouldn't say trickle-down economics worked at all.

Maybe the economy was working for YOU -and people like you, i.e. the well-to-do's of the black bourgeoisie, but for most people, it was pretty shitty.

Godheval said...

Wow. I hadn't even checked W's term, because I assumed it'd be disastrous. But even under HIM, the unemployment rate hasn't been anywhere near as bad as his father, or worse, Reagan.

Trickle down my ass.

Godheval said...

Here's an interesting quote:

"The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households."

Capitalism at its best, right?

And would you guess that I got the above quote from some "liberal" website?

If so, then someone had better tell the CIA that they've been infiltrated by the left. Because that information came from the CIA world factbook.

Godheval said...

@James:

One other thing. You mentioned the "record-high" unemployment rates under Carter. According to my research, the highest they were under Carter was 7.8%.

Reagan from October 1981 to January 1984 was consistently higher - and in fact HE was the one with record highs - going as high as 10.8%.

So when you cited Carter's "record-highs", were you plainly lying, figuring that I wouldn't look into it, or did you just not KNOW the facts?

james said...

@godheval,

i believe this says it all-and I'm glad i saved it. this isn't the first time i've engaged anyone over the triumphs of the Reagan era:

-20 million new jobs were created during the Reagan presidency
(U.S. Statistical Abstract)

-Of these 20 million new jobs:
-The average hourly wage was $10/hr.
-46.1% were over $28,048/yr, and another 46.2% were from
$7,012-$28,048/yr, while only 6% were under $7,012/yr.

-During the Carter administration (1977-80), of the new jobs
created, 41,77% were under $7,012, 68.2% were in the $7,012-
$28,048/yr bracket, and 9.9% of the pre-existing jobs in the
$28,048 and up bracket were actually lost (Joint Economic
Committee, based on data from Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S.
Department of Labor)

-During Reagan’s presidency he decreased the tax rate of the
richest quintile from 70% in 1981 to 31% in 1988 (Joint
Economic Committee, 1990)

-In 1981, the beginning of Reagan’s presidency, the top 5% of
wage earners paid 35% of federal income taxes, while the bottom
50% paid 8%. By 1988, the end of Reagan’s presidency, the top
5% paid 46% of the federal taxes, while the bottom 50% paid 6%
(Joint Economic Committee, 1990)

-Inflation went down during Reagan’s time in office. In 1980 the
CPI (Consumer Price Index) was 13.5, and in 1984 it dropped to
4.3, and eventually to 4.1 by 1988. (Economic Report of the
President, January, 1993)

-Middle class families earning between $20,000-$50,000/year had
a 28% growth in net worth during Reagan’s time in office
(National Review, April 18, 1994)

-The government brought in increased amounts of tax revenue from
the highest economic quintile during the Reagan Years (55.7
bill. In 1980, 55.9 in 1985, 58.1 in 1989), while the lowest
quintile (2.0, 1.9, 1.6) and the middle quintile (13.4, 13.1,
12.6) both gave increasingly less during those same years
(Congressional Budget Office)

-The U.S. Congress outspent Ronald Reagan’s proposed budget
every year he was in office, save 1984 (Budget Message of the
President, FY's 81 to 89)

-The national deficit was approx. 2.6% of the U.S. GNP when
Reagan entered office, and only 2.8% of the GNP when he left
(Congressional Budget Office)

-The Stock Market rose from 777 to 3,000 points during Reagan’s
presidency, even after the crash of 1987. (Almanac of U.S.
History)

As for Bill Clinton, 2 things you should remember:

1) after his health plan got killed, republicans took over congress for the remainder of his Presideny-this was in 1994

2)Clinton may have been a democrat, but he was no liberal, lol

how do you explain:

NAFTA
WELFARE REFORM
DON'T ASK DON'T TELL
CRIME BILL
DEREGULATION
SMALL BUSINESS TAX CUTS
BALANCED BUDGET

doesnt sound like a tax-and-spend liberal to me

not sure how heavy duty you are into being a liberal-for the record, i consider myself to be a moderate republican-extreme right wing and extreme left wing arguments never appeal to me. My only real gripe w/ Dems is the amount of spending, taxation, entitlements, and gov control they advocate over everything-and the problems that their programs end up CREATING as a result.

james said...

and of course:

When Reagan took office the unemployment rate was 7.6%. When he
left office the unemployment rate was 5.5% (Cato Institute
Analysis No.261; Economic Report of the President, 1996)