First, let me say that I am a new member. As I've grown older (I'm 32 now), I have started to care more and more and the Politics of our country and how they affect me and my family. Especially since things seem to be so bad. I entered adulthood with Clinton as our President, and enjoyed all the comforts of a great economy.
When I was 23 (2002), I owned my own business, made very good money, and, never cared too much about who was running our country. Then Bush took over, and like most Americans, I didn't see how bad he was until it was too late. I regrettably voted for him in both elections. Sure- he wasn't the smartest guy in the room, but my business was doing great (now I realize that was largely because he formed policy to pretty much let the banks do anything they wanted, which led to the housing boom, and crisis) and he seemed to care about my conservative values.
I sold my business in 2008, foreseeing the economic perils right around the corner. And for that, I am truly blessed. I remember thinking at the time, 'how can the value of my home go from $178,000 to $399,000 in four years??' When a friend of mine, who was not the most responsible person in the world- quitting jobs all the time and never saving a dime- was given a loan for $350,000 to buy a house with no money down, I knew it was going to end badly for our economy.
So, I used the money I made on the business to move and go back to school and get my degree without having to work at all for three years. The first time I tried to get a degree I was 18 and had to work full-time while attending college, which didn't work out that well. Well... that and the fact that I was young and dumb. I feel that it's best for our youth to take time off after high-school before attending college, but that thought is for another blog post.
I was fortunate to land a career two months after graduation, a sweet work from home IT deal. Ironic thing is, I am actually a little anti-technology. I might log onto Facebook once a month. I don't communicate by email with family and friends very much at all (I prefer talking on the phone, or conversating in person). I don't have a smartphone or a Twitter account. I feel technology is great, but just like anything else in life, moderation is key. But that those thoughts are also for another blog post.
I am not materialistic, I always preach life is about experience, not how many things you own. I'd rather go on a cruise than buy a new TV.
I believe that we as parents should educate our kids and think of our school system as supplementary, instead of the other way around.
Microsoft Word has weakened my spelling and grammar, the same way no gravity in space weakens astronauts muscles, so please look past the grammatical error here or there. Thank God for the spell checker.
I'm going to use this medium to vent, gripe, enlighten, and hopefully make someone think. I watch/listen to various media outlets from both sides including the Daily Show, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, MSNBC, etc... I am moderate and feel that we should not marry ourselves to any Party's ideological views. So, about once a week I'm going to post some thoughts about Politics. If you like what you read, let me know. If you don't, then don't read it.
For my first rant:
China, or any other country or company, are now allowed to buy a candidate. And no one, not even the candidate themselves, has to tell you. This is now the law. It came in the form of a Supreme Court ruling about two years ago. Political Action Committees or PACs don't have to disclose where they get the donations. If you watch the Colbert Report, then you probably already know what I'm writing about. Most people don't really understand what it really means though, so let me tell you.
First, let's start with a fundamental marketing fact. For the most part, the more money pump into advertising, the more product you will sell. If this wasn't true, then why would companies have such huge budgets for marketing. Now, you also have to have a product that meets the need of the consumer, a price that shows value, advertising that is viewed by a lot of people, quality advertising, etc.... But everything being equal, if Coke spends a billion dollars on advertising and Pepsi only spends a million, more Coke will be bought. It's that simple, and companies know it. That is because the average person is affected subliminally a lot more than they realize. For some reason, if we see something more, we think about it more. If we see something more, the more we believe it. And most advertising is not to introduce a new product, it is to reinforce the products they already offer.
For example, I like Bud Light, and I buy Bud Light. I know Bud Light will be there at the store, and I will buy it even if I never see a Bud Light commercial again in my life. But, if Coors Light plays 30 commercials during the football game, I go to the store and think, 'maybe I'll give Coors Light a try today.' It's that way with all of us. In a sense we are all sheep to marketing departments. Politicians know it too.
In most cases, the candidate who pumps the most money in advertising will win the election. I don't have stats to back that up, but I'd bet anything on it. If it weren't true, then why would any political candidate spend so much on it. So, money can buy a win, especially if a candidate spends a huge amount more than their opponent. We hear so much negative publicity from political ads, that we inherently think one side is lying. What if they both are lying? What if the ads could lie and the candidate claim it's not a message from them in the first place. 'I am in no way affiliated with the PACs that paid for that message, so it's not my fault.'
That may seem bad enough for a democratic process, but also consider this: What if those PACs can take contributions from anyone (and when I mean anyone, I mean any person, company, country, etc...) and not be forced to disclose who contributed? You see, in the past, it has been legal to give money to politicians, but the country could see you were doing it.
So, for example, if GM was to give money to Bush, and Bush was to back a bill to give tax breaks for GM cars, opponents could use that ploy against Bush, questioning his ethics- killing his chances of being elected or re-elected (well, in this example, I would hope he's get impeached). But what may also happen is that people may stop buying GM cars because they attempted to influence a candidate. Before, companies didn't put money in politicians campaigns because they didn't want the backlash of losing consumers. When I owned a company, I would never give to any politician for fear that the clients would see that, and if they didn't like the party of politicians I gave money to, then they might not hire my company. The system would force companies to stay out of the political arena. Now, I'm sure some companies found loopholes to still influence the system (nothing is perfect), but the say things were set up made some sense.
So, in conclusion, any entity can donate money, discreetly, to any politician's PAC. The more money the PAC receives, the more it can spend on marketing the candidate. The more marketing, the more people hear the message (which may also just be a lie, because candidates aren't technically delivering the message themselves), the more people hear the message the more they believe it, and we get Romney winning at the poles. The will of the government, which used to be highly influenced by the demand of the people, is now more influenced by whoever gives money to the PACs.
We could just vote out any politician who takes money from sources we don't like, or not buy the services of the source. But we don't even know who the sources of the funding come from! What if the Chinese government gave 10 billion dollars to the PAC backing someone they selected to run for President. Would that person get elected? My heart hopes the answer would be 'no', but my brain tells me that it may be happening right now.And, or course, that person would enact policy that would help China, not the American people.
What if an oil company gave billions to a PAC backing a candidate to ensure that they can relax safety standards at off shore drilling sites to save money. That candidate could make that happen and us Americans would never know that politician was influenced by the oil company at all. I sense this is happening routinely right now and it needs to stop.
Nancy Polosi is trying to get the 'Disclosure Act' signed to stop this. We need to follow this and make sure it happens.