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So what are your solutions?

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Originally Posted by Fellowship View Post

So what are your solutions? Who do you think can turn things around and lead?

If Americans really want to identify someone who will propose solutions, and not just look good in a suit, they'll have to change the way they think about their representatives. To begin with, I strongly advocate turning off the TV and other such trash thrust upon them, and taking some time to read and think for themselves. They don't need a glib, pretty talking head spouting five second sound bites on CNN. They need depth of thought, intelligence to propose meaningful solutions, guts to withstand withering criticism, and persistence to carry out those solutions to their fruition.

Some freshmen Congressmen have shown promise. Unfortunately we need many more of them if the recent budget vote is any indication, we can anticipate only more of the same from the entrenched establishment in both parties. So far I have seen scant evidence of any decent leadership in Washington.

However, a few people outside of Washington have looked promising.

Consider New Jersey. First, though, I have to summarize just how badly NJ has been suffering the effects of eight years of astonishingly stupid and anti-growth legislation, the kind liberals seek in pursuit of "spreading the wealth around". As a result of such staggeringly bad public policy, NJ now has:
  • the highest property taxes in the country
  • the highest state and local taxes in the country by a large margin
  • nearly the worst business climate in the country (only NY and CA are worse)
  • a net loss of residents, every year, since 2004 (about 70,000 taxpayers now leave the state, every year)
  • not one single net private sector job created, since 2000 (a situation that hasn't occurred since the Great Depression)
  • the least federal funds returned of any state - 61ยข on every dollar (for what that's worth)
  • the second highest housing costs in the nation
  • the fifth highest foreclosure rate in the nation

The top 1% of NJ taxpayers pay about 40% of the state's tax revenue. That's not many people... and they're leaving. What happens when they leave? Well, about $70 billion of wealth has left NJ in the past four years. The state now faces a $2.2 billion budget shortfall:

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Since Democrats took control in January 2002, they have imposed over 100 new taxes at a cost of $6.3 billion to taxpayers and the business community. The state has increased the sales tax from six to seven percent (*) and expanded the list of items subject to the tax that were previously exempt; assessed a four percent surcharge to companies based on their tax liability; and enacted new or increased existing taxes on goods and services such as motor vehicle registrations, membership fees, real estate, litter, even filing for a divorce.

(*) NJ's previous governor Jon Corzine (D) wanted 8%. His predecessor McGreevey (D) eliminated the popular property tax rebate program implemented in the 90s, which had eased the pain somewhat. He also implemented a special

real estate transfer tax that assesses a tax of about 9% of profits (or 2% of the total sale price - whichever is higher) on your house should you feel inclined to move out of the state. This is in addition to the 1% transfer tax that already existed and the "mansion tax" (an additional 1% on sales of over $1M). Still thinking of moving there? The tax was created during the era of rapidly rising home prices; of course it still remains after the crash. It applies even if you sell at a loss, adding insult to the injurious fate many homeowners have had to endure. If increased taxes resulted in increased revenues to state treasuries, then NJ, NY, and CA ought to be awash in wealth. Instead, they're all deeply in debt and now face painful choices. Anyone wishing to see the result of soak-the-rich tax policy, overly intrusive business regulations, powerful public sector unions and profligate spending need look no further than New Jersey. It's a microcosm of what is in store for us nationally, unless we change course in dramatic fashion.

It didn't have to be that way. Contrast NJ's wretched climate to the past:

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This is in strong contrast to the record of New Jersey Republicans when they controlled the Governor's Office and the Legislature in the 1990s. Republicans cut taxes, created incentives for businesses to locate there and didn't stifle economic growth with excessive fees and regulations. During this period, New Jersey was one of the leading states in the nation in which to do business. Between 1994 and 2000, the state had a 12.4 percent increase in jobs (435,000 new jobs). The unemployment rate dropped 42 percent from 1994 to 2001. The 3.6 percent unemployment rate in posted in February 2001 was the lowest in 30 years.

It was in the dismal atmosphere of the past decade that NJ voters overwhelmingly rejected D rule and elected Chris Christie for governor, unseating a very wealthy incumbent who spent nearly ten times as much campaigning for reelection.

He campaigned on fiscal restraint and against public sector unions, and has been keeping those promises since he assumed office. Addressing an angry group of firefighters, for whom Christie had already

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proposed raising their retirement age, eliminating the cost-of-living adjustment, increasing employee pension contributions, and rolling back a 9% pay increase approved years before "by a Republican governor and a Republican Legislature."

He was met, unsurprisingly, by a hostile crowd:

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He crumpled up his prepared remarks and threw them on the floor. He told them, "Heres the deal: I understand you're angry, and I understand you're frustrated, and I understand you feel deceived and betrayed." And, he said, they were right: "For 20 years, governors have come into this room and lied to you, promised you benefits that they had no way of paying for, making promises they knew they couldn't keep, and just hoping that they wouldn't be the man or women left holding the bag. I understand why you feel angry and betrayed and deceived by those people. Here's what I don't understand: Why are you booing the first guy who came in here and told you the truth?"

He told them there was no political advantage in being truthful: "The way we used to think about politics and, unfortunately, the way I fear they're thinking about politics still in Washington" involves "the old playbook (which) says, "lie, deceive, obfuscate and make it to the next election." He'd seen a study that said New Jersey's pensions may go bankrupt by 2020. A friend told him not to worry, he won't be governor then. "That's the way politics has been practiced in our country for too long So I said to those firefighters, 'You may hate me now, but fifteen years from now, when you have a pension to collect because of what I did, you'll be looking for my address on the Internet so you can send me a thank you note.'"

Christie has confronted the teacher's union with similar proposals, which mirror some of the problems Scott Walker is now facing in Wisconsin. Christie has literally been threatened with death by the teacher's union all for proposing a piddling 1 year salary freeze and a contribution of 1.5% to their benefits. For a teacher earning $50,000, that's $750 a year - not much more than what most people pay for just medical insurance alone - every month!

Despite blistering attacks from the public sector unions, Governor Christie is enjoying a large degree of popular support - and a growing one at that. Meanwhile, the public is becoming increasingly fed up with the demands of public sector unions, while private sector employment, income, and benefits continue to suffer at their expense.

As difficult as they have been, these minuscule changes are only the beginning. More substantive changes are required - much more - on the order of Scott Walker's proposals in WI, and we've seen the upheaval there. Christie's work has barely begun.

He's just one example. Here's another:

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The friends of freedom have an assignment, as great as those of the 1860s, or the 1940s, or the long twilight of the Cold War. As in those days, the American project is menaced by a survival-level threat. We face an enemy, lethal to liberty, and even more implacable than those America has defeated before. We cannot deter it; there is no countervailing danger we can pose. We cannot negotiate with it, any more than with an iceberg or a Great White.

I refer, of course, to the debts our nation has amassed for itself over decades of indulgence. It is the new Red Menace, this time consisting of ink. We can debate its origins endlessly and search for villains on ideological grounds, but the reality is pure arithmetic. No enterprise, small or large, public or private, can remain self-governing, let alone successful, so deeply in hock to others as we are about to be.

If a foreign power advanced an army to the border of our land, everyone in this room would drop everything and look for a way to help. We would set aside all other agendas and disputes as secondary, and go to the ramparts until the threat was repelled. That is what those of us here, and every possible ally we can persuade to join us, are now called to do. It is our generational assignment. It is the mission of our era.

Rather than trivial pursuits debating the relative intelligence of Obama or GWB, we need to focus attention on solving the problem. The reckless spending now in effect threatens our freedom and our security as surely as foreign invaders or rabid jihadis. As Daniels said,

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Do I exaggerate? I'd love to be shown that I do. Any who think so please see me in the hallway afterward, and bring your third grade math books.

I trust that won't present too much of a challenge to our public school graduates

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We believe it wrong ever to take a dollar from a free citizen without a very necessary public purpose, because each such taking diminishes the freedom to spend that dollar as its owner would prefer. When we do find it necessary, we feel a profound duty to use that dollar as carefully and effectively as possible, else we should never have taken it at all.

We believe that government works for the benefit of private life, not the other way around. We see government's mission as fostering and enabling the important realms - our businesses, service clubs, Little Leagues, churches - to flourish. Our first thought is always for those on life's first rung, and how we might increase their chances of climbing.

Every day, we work to lower the costs and barriers to free men and women creating wealth for each other. We build roads and bridges, and new sources of homegrown energy at record rates, in order to have the strongest possible backbone to which people of enterprise can attach their investments and build their dreams. When business leaders ask me what they can do for Indiana, I always reply: "Make money. Go make money. That's the first act of 'corporate citizenship.' If you do that, you'll have to hire someone else, and you'll have enough profit to help one of those non-profits we're so proud of."

Rule number one: Make money More is better. So, how do we do that?

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Here, too, the room abounds with experts and good ideas, and the nation will need every one. Just to name three: it's time we had, in Bill Simon's words "a tax system that looks like someone designed it on purpose." And the purpose should be private growth. So lower and flatter, and completely flat is best. Tax compensation but not the savings and investment without which the economy cannot boom.

Second, untie Gulliver. The regulatory rainforest through which our enterprises must hack their way is blighting the future of millions of Americans.

Finally, treat domestic energy production as the economic necessity it is and the job creator it can be. Drill, and frack, and lease, and license, unleash in every way the jobs potential in the enormous energy resources we have been denying ourselves. And help our fellow citizens to understand that a poorer country will not be a greener country, but its opposite. It is freedom and its fruits that enable the steady progress we have made in preserving and protecting God's kingdom.

This guy gets it. Energy independence will free us from the tyranny of such unpredictable and reckless third world megalomaniacs; the cause of countless wars past and countless more yet to be fought, those who have shown utter contempt for their own people and their own environment even as we seek to protect ours; who hold our fragile economy in their capricious hands, and to whom we might have well sold our national soul.

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I urge great care not to drift into a loss of faith in the American people. In speech after speech, article upon article, we remind each other how many are dependent on government, or how few pay taxes, or how much essential virtues like family formation or civic education have withered. All true. All worrisome. But we must never yield to the self-fulfilling despair that these problems are immutable, or insurmountable.

Are those the words of one seeking to blame others for his plight? Is this man likely to retreat into the excuse of being "trapped" by circumstances beyond his reach?

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All great enterprises have a pearl of faith at their core, and this must be ours: that Americans are still a people born to liberty. That they retain the capacity for self-government. That, addressed as free-born, autonomous men and women of God-given dignity, they will rise yet again to drive back a mortal enemy.

These are inspiring thoughts expressed by intelligent men. I offer these two examples as evidence of their apparent intelligence. I defy anyone to read Mitch Daniels' speech and not be inspired just as I defy anyone to find anything Obama has ever written to suggest similar qualifications for the demanding position he now holds.

Turn off the TV. Shut off the ranting. Forget all the sclerotic crap that clogs the typical American brain. Should it matter that Christie is fat, or Daniels is bald? Who cares. We have problems. They require solutions. No one else will help us. Above all we will not be "trapped." As Daniels said,

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... I for one have no interest in standing in the wreckage of our Republic saying, "I told you so" or "you should have done it my way."

Nor do I. Nor should you.

I don't believe either of these gentlemen are interested in any sort of national position, but that may be less important given upcoming legal scrutiny of state sovereignty. Besides, there are others. Such leaders will cause "progressives" to foam at the mouth, but they are the future. Of this, I am certain.

Stop feeling. Start thinking. Read. That will be a good start.

I trust this answers your question.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey
http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/44.html
http://www.njassemblyrepublicans.com...mic_growth.php
http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2011...er-tenure-pay/
http://dailycaller.com/2011/02/11/fu...peech-to-cpac/
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post #2 of 10
I know this strikes on what was covered a bit in my thread and I really appreciate what you have typed up here. When I keep looking at these obligations where the state debt load spirals out of control even more than it already has, it really comes down to one thing in my mind. I know I've harped on it, but there really isn't any way around it.

It's the damn Baby Boomers. When we keep hitting all these variables, or dealing with the sort of morals and actions that keep causing all these scandals and bubbles, it really keeps coming down to them. There was a piece by Victor Davis Hanson noting that America is not post-Anything and that is really the point, the Boomers have believed they were above the rules for their entire lives.

The numbers related to all these debt obligations, or unsustainable spending, or quantitative easing and ridiculously low interest rates, all of them are attempts to manipulate and mask their actions. Don't make, manipulate, don't save, just flip something, speculate on it, or leverage it, don't fix it, pass the buck on it and let the next generation deal with it.

So the point is the bills are all coming due and the reality is set to crash down and you have a few brave voices out there willing to note that this has to be addressed. If they aren't willing to touch entitlements then those voices are just bullshitters in my opinion. Spending has to be brought down to non-"stimulus" levels at a minimum at the federal level. Then after that you need to fully address entitlements in a drastic way. There isn't any way around it. A generation that is too large for any other generation to pay for cannot declare they've done their best to save for their retirements when we have 100% of GDP as a national debt coming quickly and 300%-500% of GDP commited to paying for these programs and no one in the world has it the money.

The promises were fake and the attempts to save even for a slimmed down of them never happened. The boomers squandered it instead.

The only REAL hope and a real solution is generational accounting. If put into place then the boomers can be shown how they screwed themselves and how they are now trying to screw everyone else over. There is no other way around it. It is the only things that might wake some people up. Otherwise people are going to suffer due to lack of investment appropriate for their age (cutting schools to pay for retirees as an example) or the system is going to suffer as people drop out realizing they are having major portions of their lives stolen from them for zero or even a negative return.

Generational Accounting, the first politition to utter it nationally will be a brave person.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #3 of 10
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Originally Posted by john galt View Post


I trust this answers your question.

Bravo! Thank you for taking the time to not only reply to my open ended question but to do so with great forethought and attention to specific detail. I have to first off say that you are not the only one with admiration for Chris Christie. I too have followed this man closely and have to say he is one of the very very few who actually lead. He makes no bones about his positions to reform the CRAZY that New Jersey has dealt with for decades now. I think his actions speak for themselves. Any politician can promise the moon but that is the old politics. I think the difference between Chris Christie and President Obama is that Chris Christie actually is the face of the new politics. Not merely lip service as all the days of old which we sadly continue to see with President Obama. Now would Chris Christie find himself "trapped" if he were to actually become president? Who knows. I do however think he is the new politics which this country has no choice but to embrace. The difference with him and Obama for example is that he does not play the trick of look what is over here in my right hand when what we need to address is in the left hand. Meaning he does not say things like. We need to invest in the future with rail etc. etc. etc. in the right hand while not even really addressing (the real issue) which is in the left hand (deficits and run away unsustainable government spending). Chris Christie addresses the real issues in the left hand and does not tease or deceive us with pretty things in his right hand as to take our attention away from the real problems which NEED SOLVING.

Bravo for Chris Christie for this and SHAME on Obama for his trickery.

Thanks for this post as it is a step in the right direction. When we espouse what we are FOR I believe we make more headway in the ground breaking needed for the project ahead to reform our fiscal house.

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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post #4 of 10
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Originally Posted by Fellowship View Post

Bravo! Thank you for taking the time to not only reply to my open ended question but to do so with great forethought and attention to specific detail. I have to first off say that you are not the only one with admiration for Chris Christie. I too have followed this man closely and have to say he is one of the very very few who actually lead. He makes no bones about his positions to reform the CRAZY that New Jersey has dealt with for decades now. I think his actions speak for themselves. Any politician can promise the moon but that is the old politics. I think the difference between Chris Christie and President Obama is that Chris Christie actually is the face of the new politics. Not merely lip service as all the days of old which we sadly continue to see with President Obama. Now would Chris Christie find himself "trapped" if he were to actually become president? Who knows. I do however think he is the new politics which this country has no choice but to embrace. The difference with him and Obama for example is that he does not play the trick of look what is over here in my right hand when what we need to address is in the left hand. Meaning he does not say things like. We need to invest in the future with rail etc. etc. etc. in the right hand while not even really addressing (the real issue) which is in the left hand (deficits and run away unsustainable government spending). Chris Christie addresses the real issues in the left hand and does not tease or deceive us with pretty things in his right hand as to take our attention away from the real problems which NEED SOLVING.

Bravo for Chris Christie for this and SHAME on Obama for his trickery.

Thanks for this post as it is a step in the right direction. When we espouse what we are FOR I believe we make more headway in the ground breaking needed for the project ahead to reform our fiscal house.

Fellows

People in New Jersey are not to happy with Christie as a governor there.To me he is a big loud mouth.When there was a major blizzard in New Jersey where was Christie sitting on his big fat ass in Florida.He really cares about his people in his state. No way!
post #5 of 10
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Originally Posted by marvfox View Post

People in New Jersey are not to happy with Christie as a governor there.To me he is a big loud mouth.When there was a major blizzard in New Jersey where was Christie sitting on his big fat ass in Florida.He really cares about his people in his state. No way!

This gets so tiresome. What the hell does this have to do with fixing the fact that the state is bankrupt?

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #6 of 10
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Originally Posted by marvfox View Post

People in New Jersey are not to happy with Christie as a governor there.To me he is a big loud mouth.When there was a major blizzard in New Jersey where was Christie sitting on his big fat ass in Florida.He really cares about his people in his state. No way!

Correction. Some people in New Jersey.

My Wife has much family in NJ and they are very happy that Christie is the Governor. As for his get away to Florida So what. Most people from time to time try to get away for a vacation. Get a grip.

Let me ask you a very honest question. Do you think NJ could have just carried on without the reforms Christie is implementing? Do you think property taxes in NJ can just continue to go up? How do you suppose NJ solve its problems? Please do not tell me that NJ should just continue to ignore its problems.

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
Reply
post #7 of 10
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Originally Posted by marvfox View Post

He really cares about his people in his state. No way!

Yes. Caring is so much more important that actually doing something productive.

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Originally Posted by Fellowship View Post

Correction. Some people in New Jersey.

No, you were right the first time. It's the one in Arizona who's displeased.
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post #8 of 10
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Originally Posted by Fellowship View Post

Let me ask you a very honest question. Do you think NJ could have just carried on without the reforms Christie is implementing? Do you think property taxes in NJ can just continue to go up? How do you suppose NJ solve its problems? Please do not tell me that NJ should just continue to ignore its problems.

Fellows

I think he may in fact be acting out in an honest manner Fellowship. The question is no different at the federal level. The respective folks at all these levels really do believe you can ignore the problems and just continue on forever. Keynesians really, at the core of it, believe that economics is just a game and so is currency. You simply tell some better lies or print some more of whatever your currency is and get the rats to run in their wheels a bit longer chasing after the feed pellets.

You and I have had our disagreements and this is partly why I rail so badly about platitudes. When you have to examine the real solutions and the real numbers, then platitudes just won't paper them over nor will good intentions. The people espousing the platitudes really do believe they will fix it though. They see our reality as one of mindset and mood and if you can change them, then the actions and finances will follow.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #9 of 10
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Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

... The respective folks at all these levels really do believe you can ignore the problems and just continue on forever.

This story illustrates the depth of such ignorance: The Internet Helps Us Get Serious

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There are senators and congressmen who've been on the hill for 10 and 25 years, and from the day they walked in, all they heard about was the budget crisis. "This spending will kill us." But it never did. So maybe it wasn't so bad, and, ergo, isn't so bad. They are inured to warning. You can tell them 10 different ways that we're in crisis and they'll think, "Some think-tank guy told me that 20 years ago, and we're still here."

In other words, there is no blood in the streets, so everything's great! I recall a PO response to me along those lines some months ago. However, the problems are real and they aren't going away. Debt must be repaid. Pension obligations will either be met, or not. We're only now seeing their effects on state budgets since they can't (literally) paper over the problem, and the combination of unemployment / housing / inflation has obviated their usual habits of shifting the burden onto taxpayers.

Some diseases go unseen for years, as they silently kill you. This is the end-stage and it requires radical surgery.

It's not all bleak though:

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Speeches are back. They have been rescued and restored as a political force by the Internet.

In the past quarter-century or so, the speech as a vehicle of sustained political argument was killed by television and radio. Rhetoric was reduced to the TV producer's 10-second soundbite, the correspondent's eight-second insert. The makers of speeches (even the ones capable of sustained argument) saw what was happening and promptly gave up. Why give your brain and soul to a serious, substantive statement when it will all be reduced to a snip of sound? They turned their speeches into soundbite after soundbite, applause line after applause line, and a great political tradition was traduced.

But the Internet is changing all that. It is restoring rhetoric as a force. When Gov. Mitch Daniels made his big speecha serious, substantive onetwo weeks ago, Drudge had the transcript and video up in a few hours. Gov. Chris Christie's big speech was quickly on the net in its entirety. ...

When you have to examine the real solutions and the real numbers, then platitudes just won't paper them over nor will good intentions.

Nor will "caring"

This is why I advised turning off the TV. TV and radio are primarily entertainment outlets that capitalize on short attention spans. Their very existence depends on their ability to sell advertisements. Clever sound bites have been key to winning elections since Nixon, and strategically marketing and "packaging" a candidate became highly refined during Bill Clinton's campaign.

Campaign managers take brainlessness as a given, and turn it to their advantage. On the other hand, determining someone's real qualifications has always taken a bit of effort. Fortunately, that's changing rapidly - for the better. It's easier than ever to become informed today. All that's required is the desire to become informed in the first place.

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A funny thing about politicians is that they're all obsessed with "messaging" and "breaking through" and "getting people to listen." They're convinced that some special kind of cleverness is needed, that some magical communications formula exists and can be harnessed if only discovered. They should settle down, survey the technological field and get serious. They should give pertinent, truthful, sophisticated and sober-minded speeches. Everyone will listen.

They will - as long as they have something to say.
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post #10 of 10
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Originally Posted by jimmychristian View Post

If the Americans really someone to identify the solutions you propose, and look good in a suit not only wants to, they need to change it, if they consider their representatives. First of all I would like strongly disabling Tv and other such Trash their forces, and take some time to read and think for themselves.

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First of all I would like strongly disabling Tv and other such Trash their forces, and take some time to read and think for themselves

The following isn't a observation about you so don't take it that way.

I'd include internet political forums ( with their cartoon, armchair expert, viewpoints ) with that as well. As they contain little good information and mostly polarized cartoon, armchair rhetoric. It's one of the reasons I don't post on them often anymore.
Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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