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Debates Forum

  1. 26 Sep '13 01:12
    GOP country. The rural white South on welfare. The GOP sheep. The backbone of the Republican Party. Voting against their economic interest based on informed thoughtful analysis without a hint of racism or religious intolerance?

    Among the far-right entertainer class, 2012 was defined as the “takers versus makers” election. According to that narrative, Romney lost because the grasping poor wanted a President who would promise them “free stuff” instead of opening up opportunities to succeed through hard work. . . . The results tell a very different story. Obama performed well in many of America’s wealthiest areas, including places that have been Republican strongholds for generations. Romney, on the other hand, racked up lopsided wins won in some of the country’s poorest counties. . . .

    Brian Kelsey at Civic Analytics in Austin did an excellent analysis of voting patterns in the most government dependent counties in the US. He used data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis to gather a list of counties whose residents are most dependent on government aid in the form of food stamps, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, and other “welfare” programs.

    Strangely, Kelsey discovered that Romney won 21 of the 25 most welfare-dependent counties in the country. The pattern Kelsey found extends beyond his limited data set. Romney won some of his most overwhelming support in the 2012 election from America’s most “dependent” regions, carrying 77 of America’s 100 most welfare-dependent counties.

    It turns out that America’s most aid-dependent counties share some other characteristics that might explain their voting patterns. They are overwhelmingly white, southern, and rural. In fact, 86 of them are in areas that did not outlaw slavery prior to the Civil War and 81 of them are majority white.

    Romney lost only four of those 81. . . . Another surprising pattern emerges from the analysis – the stark racial divide between the poorest Americans, and those who receive the most poverty relief. In an interesting irony, the list of most dependent counties does not line up with the list of poorest counties. The counties which receive the highest levels of welfare assistance are disproportionately white; while most of America’s poorest counties are majority-minority.

    Though African-Americans and Hispanics suffer far higher poverty rates, they receive far less proportionately in government transfers. Poor whites receive government assistance at a far higher rate than poor non-whites. In other words, even in poverty, it pays to be white.

    On the other end of the spectrum, Obama won half of the nation’s fifty wealthiest counties. He lost all of the counties on the 50 wealthiest list which are located in the South (if you exclude Virginia’s DC suburbs – not exactly the heart of Dixie).

    This reflects a pattern seen across the country in the 2012 results. The Republican ticket saw its greatest success based not on wealth or welfare, but on three, ranked criteria:

    1) Region – The single highest indicator of success for the GOP ticket regional. Republicans won reliably in sections of the country in which slavery was legal until Lincoln’s election.

    2) Urbanity – The lower the population density, the more successful the GOP ticket.

    3) Race – Romney performed best among white voters, particularly older white voters. . . .

    In rural, Southern, majority-white counties, Romney racked up margins sometimes topping 90%. Apart from those three criteria, outcomes appear to be almost completely unaffected by poverty rates, welfare, food stamps, or any other socio-economic factors.

    The “takers” narrative is not born out anywhere in the election results. Like voter fraud and un-skewed polls, it’s one of those ironclad facts of life that somehow only exist inside the magical world of rightwing media. Were those desperately poor white voters in counties across Kentucky and Tennessee choosing Romney in order to end their own “dependency,” or did some other factor inspire their passionate support of the GOP ticket?

    http://blog.chron.com/goplifer/2013/09/how-the-gop-is-winning-among-the-poor/
  2. 26 Sep '13 02:52
    I think the real problem is that we are more of a plutocracy than a democracy. When Clinton removed the Glass Stiegle Act, the financial sector was able to lend money it did not have, in effect printing money. If you and I do it, we are sent to jail for counterfieting. If a business does it, they are cooking the books which is illegal. When financial institutions do it, it is legal and able to bring the world's largest economy to the brink of disaster. Dodd Frank has done nothing to change this scenario. My big question is where is a safe place for my money?????
  3. 26 Sep '13 03:44
    Originally posted by Phranny
    I think the real problem is that we are more of a plutocracy than a democracy. When Clinton removed the Glass Stiegle Act, the financial sector was able to lend money it did not have, in effect printing money. If you and I do it, we are sent to jail for counterfieting. If a business does it, they are cooking the books which is illegal. When financial inst ...[text shortened]... one nothing to change this scenario. My big question is where is a safe place for my money?????
    What money?
  4. 26 Sep '13 06:49
    Originally posted by Phranny
    I think the real problem is that we are more of a plutocracy than a democracy. When Clinton removed the Glass Stiegle Act, the financial sector was able to lend money it did not have, in effect printing money. If you and I do it, we are sent to jail for counterfieting. If a business does it, they are cooking the books which is illegal. When financial inst ...[text shortened]... one nothing to change this scenario. My big question is where is a safe place for my money?????
    " When Clinton removed the Glass Stiegle Act..."

    I'm sorry but the act was removed by a president-proof majority.

    "Legislative history
    Final Congressional vote by chamber and party, November 4, 1999

    The banking industry had been seeking the repeal of the 1933 Glass–Steagall Act since the 1980s, if not earlier. In 1987 the Congressional Research Service prepared a report that explored the cases for and against preserving the Glass–Steagall act.[3]

    Respective versions of the legislation were introduced in the U.S. Senate by Phil Gramm (Republican of Texas) and in the U.S. House of Representatives by Jim Leach (R-Iowa). The third lawmaker associated with the bill was Rep. Thomas J. Bliley, Jr. (R-Virginia), Chairman of the House Commerce Committee from 1995 to 2001.

    During debate in the House of Representatives, Rep. John Dingell (Democrat of Michigan) argued that the bill would result in banks becoming "too big to fail." Dingell further argued that this would necessarily result in a bailout by the Federal Government.[4]

    The House passed its version of the Financial Services Act of 1999 on July 1, 1999, by a bipartisan vote of 343–86 (Republicans 205–16; Democrats 138–69; Independent 0–1),[5][6][note 1] two months after the Senate had already passed its version of the bill on May 6 by a much-narrower 54–44 vote along basically-partisan lines (53 Republicans and 1 Democrat in favor; 44 Democrats opposed).[8][9][10][note 2]

    When the two chambers could not agree on a joint version of the bill, the House voted on July 30 by a vote of 241–132 (R 58–131; D 182–1; Ind. 1–0) to instruct its negotiators to work for a law which ensured that consumers enjoyed medical and financial privacy as well as "robust competition and equal and non-discriminatory access to financial services and economic opportunities in their communities" (i.e., protection against exclusionary redlining).[note 3]

    The bill then moved to a joint conference committee to work out the differences between the Senate and House versions. Democrats agreed to support the bill after Republicans agreed to strengthen provisions of the anti-redlining Community Reinvestment Act and address certain privacy concerns; the conference committee then finished its work by the beginning of November.[9][12] On November 4, the final bill resolving the differences was passed by the Senate 90–8,[13][note 4] and by the House 362–57.[14][note 5] The legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 12, 1999.[15]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramm%E2%80%93Leach%E2%80%93Bliley_Act