Monday, September 13, 2010

1001 Ways To Tune Up The World, Number Seventy.

70. Don't vote.*

*(in any election where you can't identify at least three specific policies your candidate would enact.)

I'll be honest. Number 70, which I'm posting today because tomorrow is the primary for the fall elections (in Wisconsin, at least), was going to be, simply, "don't vote," but I backed away from that to allow for the possibility that someone, somewhere, should vote. That's why I added the asterisk.

But not everyone. And probably not even most people. Because we don't know. We don't necessarily know where a candidate stands on the issues, and even when the candidates tell us where they stand on the issues, we still don't know.

In Wisconsin, we have some people vying for Governor and for Senate; there's a primary tomorrow in both those races. In the Governor's race, the primary is between Scott Walker and Mark Neumann.

Before I wrote this post, I didn't know anything about either man's position on anything other than the commercials I'd seen on TV, from which I gathered that Walker thought Neumann's vote on a budget item in Congress in the 90s was dumb (even though Walker backed it back then) and that Neumann thought Walker was dishonest for saying the vote was dumb (even though Walker backed it back then.)

So I went to check out the burning issue of the day, jobs.

Scott says, on his website, that he'll create jobs, and says then that "The fastest, most effective way to create new jobs is to cut taxes and implement regulatory and fiscal policies that encourage job growth and economic investment."

On Neumann's site, meanwhile, I learned that Neumann is also for jobs: he's going to create 300,000 new jobs (why stop there? Why not go on to make another million?) and his plan sounds more specific, if by "specific" you mean "uses buzzwords like synergy." (Read the plan and marvel at how the first three paragraphs say the same thing three different ways.) Neumann then adds that as part of his plan, "All businesses will be offered a tax incentive to create new jobs in an amount to be determined based on the taxes to be paid over a 5–10 year period by the new employees and/or infrastructure and buildings built for the new businesses. The Neumann Administration will also completely overhaul rules and regulations relating to businesses."

So both men will implement new rules and regulations about businesses to create jobs. And I know nothing more about them than I did: what rules, exactly, would they implement? Would they be on top of the old rules? How do they square their opposition to government involvement in the economy with new rules and regulations about the economy? If they think government is no good at creating jobs (as both frequently say), why are they running for a spot in government while promising to create jobs?

See what I mean? We know nothing. TV commercials tell us nothing, and then the websites and candidates tell us more nothing, and we're supposed to vote for them based on that?

And even when the candidates tell us something, how can we trust that? John McCain, supposedly a man of integrity until his job was in jeopardy, was accused of flipping his position on immigration when he ran into tough primary opposition. So should voters in Arizona believe McCain's position now, or then? And if they agree that he's changed, then why should they believe him... ever? Voters in Arizona don't know anything about McCain, anymore.

Voting party lines doesn't help, either. The former head of the RNC, who helped orchestrate laws that discriminate against gays, is gay. Worst-President-Ever-George W. Bush was a supposed conservative Republican who used an unprecedented bailout to involve the government in business more than FDR might ever have dreamed. Bill Clinton, noted Democrat, helped eliminate important legal rights for defendants so they could be executed faster. And many Dems failed to support Obama on critical policies over the last two years. Which party are you going to vote for, the one that you think exists, or the one that actually exists?

We don't know. And the press isn't helpful either, because they don't say things like Mr Walker, what, exactly, will your fiscal policies be and which laws presently on the books would you urge the legislature to repeal? and if they did, most people wouldn't listen.

So tomorrow, and in November, and for the rest of your life, don't vote.**(in any election where you can't identify at least three specific policies your candidate would enact.)

Because voting for people you don't know who will implement policies they won't spell out for us in advance isn't helping anything.

And if you want to vote in the future, then before you do, go ask the candidates yourself what their positions are, because reporters won't do it. You may not get answers, but you will get an education in politics, and we might then eventually get better government.

Prior entries:

13. Ban driving any kind of automobile, motorcycle or other personal vehicle within 1-2 miles of downtown in any city with a population of more than 100,000.

12. Abolish gym class; instead, teach kids to play musical instruments.

11. Change copyright laws to allow anyone to use anyone else's creative work provided that the copier pay 60% of the profit to the originator and that the copier not cast the original work in a negative light.

10. Have more sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating.

9. When you have to give someone a gift, ask them what they want, and then get that thing for them.

8. Never interrupt or finish someone's jokes.

7. Periodically, give up something you like for at least a month.

6. Switch to "E-money."

5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.

4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.

3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.

2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.

1. Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.

Is this working? You bet --

1001 Ways also helped change the world here!


1001 Ways also helped change the world here!


Claudius wanted to be the first man to reach the stars... but it was murder to get there. Read
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1 comment:

Rogue Mutt said...

That's a really good point. It's funny too that in Michigan the gubernatorial candidates say the exact same thing as the ones in Wisconsin. "I'll create JOBS!" "No, I'll create MORE JOBS!" And the answer is always to cut taxes.

OK, Mr. Super Businessman Rick Snyder formerly of Gateway (the cow computer people who were big in the 90s and now I didn't realize they still made computers), if you cut your "business"' revenue, then where are you going to make up for it? I mean the state is already broke, so it's not like we have a big Rainy Day jar we can break open to use.

Probably if I went to his website he'd blow a lot of sunshine up my rear about new jobs making up for it. Really if your "fiscal conservative" candidate's plans call for paying for stuff with money that doesn't exist and might never exist, then it's probably not a good idea to vote for him. Because in proper accounting (the stuff they don't use on Wall Street) you have to actually go by the revenue you really have and not fantasy money.

Anyway, this election year is just stupid. I saw a poll on Yahoo! saying that 63% of people think Bush screwed the economy. So now they're going to bring in a bunch more Republicans. What's the point? We need a third party, one that's actually a realist party instead of just trying to blind us with easy answers and quick fixes that never actually fix anything.