Saturday, August 2, 2008

Why I think Obama will win the election

Everybody has an opinion on politics, and I am no different. When it comes to the presidential election, I think Obama will take it, and not just cause he's ahead in the polls. There's historical precedent on his side, and moreover, the election is likely to reflect an underlying statistic, which is easier to make predictions about. I'll tell you what I think each are...

First, the historical precedent. America is entering a recession not unlike the one which preceded the Great Depression. I say preceded because the recession was just the economic correction of over inflated asset markets (sound familiar?), and would likely have been painful but short if not for the actions of the government in response to it. Instead of letting the markets correct and the participants take their losses, the people elected socialist leaning representatives to make the government solve their problems by nationalization. This, in turn, plunged the country into the depression, since they were intent on punishing "evil" industry while spending huge amounts of money the government didn't have on social programs the government couldn't afford. When that didn't work, they promised more spending and more socialism as the cure. It wasn't until WW2 that the government was forced to restart industry, and the country could actually recover.

Now, I'm not saying that Americans don't learn from history; I'm sure there are a few intelligent people out there who realize that socialism and more government spending do not help our economy at all. Unfortunately, those people are not in the majority at the moment, so it looks likely we'll get more socialism and more obscene amounts of government spending and anti-industry legislation.

Which brings me to the second point, the underlying statistic which is easier to predict. You see, it stems from a seemingly simple, yet understated principle: intelligent people think. In thinking, you can learn from history, you can analyze economic forces (at a high level, if not at an in-depth level), and you can recognize and filter through empty rhetoric and underlying socialism. You can extrapolate out potential effects of destroying what's left of our wealth generating industrial capability, converting to a nationalized industry of consumption and debt spending without production, and the likely outcomes of massive government interference and manipulation in every aspect of our economy. In short, an intelligent person can likely see past the pretty facades and flowery speeches, and see which candidate is more likely to cause less destruction to our country; which, in the case of this election, is not even very hard.

Given that, predicting the outcome of the election boils down to predicting if the majority of the independent "swing" voters (the 40% or so who are not hardcore supporters of either party) are intelligent, thinking people, or rather are more like automatons, swayed by flowery rhetoric and creative advertising. For that, one has to look no further than the campaign rhetoric, the proliferation of advertising in the country (and its relative success), and the voting patterns of the voters. Consider that in California, for example, we re-elected a Congress person after she has defaulted on a loan, defrauded the bank, stole the money to pay for her campaign, lied about it, bribed the bank to get it back, and payed off the investor who legally purchased it at foreclosure to cover it up. We have elected a Congress with a 9% approval rating, the lowest in recorded history. Americans are in debt up to their eyeballs, and are once again in virtual unison clamoring for the government to bail them out, like deja-vu.

I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that given the above, Obama will win the election. As always, though, it's just my opinion, I could (and am holding out hope that I will) be wrong.


  1. We are not even really in a recession. Obama wants to provide charity for everyone but the rich. There aren't enough rich people, unfortunately, to pay for subsidies to help out 75% of our society.

    Obama wants to help people with good incomes pay for insurance, save for retirement, stay in houses they can't afford, drive cars they can't afford to fuel.

    I'll probably vote for him anyway b/c he's more likely to support initiatives that really reduce poverty. The price tag is very high, though: He has to pretend like middle-class people need gov't to run their lives.

  2. I hope Obama does win the election, I like his tax plan. I also like what was reported in the New York Times article "How Obama Reconciles Dueling Views on Economy" by David Leonhardt, August 20, 2008.

    Obama is thoughtful and smart and he is respected on the world stage. He believes in free markets, but understands that free markets create problems that need to be addressed. Free markets do not offer good solutions for providing health care, or at least haven't done so in the United States. Free markets haven't solved the problem of access to higher education for all in the United States. Free markets haven't solved the gobal warming problem, at least not here in the United States. Free markets haven't solved the energy problem in the United States. On the contrary, free markets have blocked any success in these areas mostly due to lobbyists representing the biggest corporate interests to keep the status quo.

    I'm voting for Obama because this country has been on the wrong track since the Bush administration has been in power. It's time to turn things around, but important that we don't swing to the other extreme and become too liberal. Obama understands this and these are some of the reasons I will vote for him.

  3. For what it's worth, I think the article you linked is a very representative explanation of Obama's tax plan. It says basically nothing about actual measures other than increasing taxes on the rich (by $800,000/yr on average), which plays well to the middle and lower class voters, and is a staple of liberal politics. The only other comment of substance I noticed was about wanting the Fed to have more oversight control of investment banks, which I'm sure will work out great since the Fed has been so accurate in their analysis and handling of the current economic situation.

    Personally, I would prefer a more fair tax system than one which taxes the rich until they leave, but that's just because I would like productive people to stay in the US. Obviously the labor unions and most unskilled workers prefer a graduated tax scheme, where they pay very little and the rich people pay most (as America is currently). I acknowledge this is a matter of personal preference, though. I don't like his tax plan, but that's because I have tried hard to make money, and not just leech off the system, and I resent the looter mentality that Obama's plan represents.

    As for free markets, I don't think they either help nor hinder efforts to promote other social goals like socialized health care, education, energy market manipulation, or the church of global warming. The only thing free markets truly hurt are labor unions, and the ability to demand high wages while producing sub-standard work. Coincidentally, that's why NAFTA has produced many job losses in American companies and exportation of production, as could be expected.

    I'm not voting for Obama because I don't like the idea of America becoming more socialist, and I don't believe that any change is good change. However, as I stated, I do think Obama will win the general election, because I think the general electorate is dumb, and empty yet persuasive rhetoric has a long history of success (see Hitler, for example).