Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Originally Posted by waynechorter
I see your a typicall brainwashed ....
It's you're, not "your" smarty pants.
Just pulling YOUR chain.
See you Nov. 2nd.
Join Date: Oct 2003
I love people that our so board they go thru the buzz looking for spelling mistakes of others, Hope u have fun with this'n it should make you're day.
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Oct 2003
bored... not board...
The next zone, .
Join Date: Oct 2003
With all the facts about Duba out there I can't see how any reasonable person could support him - anyway I think the old saying "Giving facts to a conservative is just like giving toliet paper to a dog" sums it up for me. I wish more people had the ablility to open thier eyes - I guess the only thing the rest of us can do is vote.
Join Date: Oct 2003
Damn thats a funny quote RDNEK, I gotta remember that one. I have had several conversations with conservatives. Considering where I live, Colo Spgs, it is hard not to and it seems that most of the people that I have spoken to that are voting for Bush are basing it on a religious decision. There are however some people that actually got some of the tax cut and are doing it for purely financial reasons, their own of course. I gave up trying to change their minds a while back but I will be voting and I won't be voting for Bush.
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Since so many of these neo-con "references" turn out to be false, I had to check this guy out. He does exist, and regularly makes rounds on AM conservative talk radio (surprise!), where the news is unfalteringly truthful.
I could spend my morning breaking down Professor Manweller's arguments, but it's already been done in fine fashion. I'm going to pull a page from the h2oxtc handbook and let someone else crush this jackass:
Dear Professor Manweller:
Your radio commentary on the upcoming election was recently forwarded to me by a friend who asked for my opinion.
Since you teach at a university in my state, I was especially interested in the kind of thinking you are sharing with the young people of Washington. Your views were sufficiently provocative to cause me to reply at some length. It is not hard to play on people's patriotism; it's much more difficult to live up to one's own words.
In fairness, I thought I should include you in my response, and thereby enable you to respond.
The text of your message is set forth below, along with my replies.
Diaries :: doginfollow's diary ::
MATHEW MANWELLER'S COMMENTARY ON THIS ELECTION
In that this will be my last column before the presidential election, there will be no sarcasm, no attempts at witty repartee. The topic is too serious, and the stakes are too high. This November we will vote in the only election during our lifetime that will truly matter. Because America is at a once-in-a-generation crossroads, more than an election hangs in the balance. Down one path lies retreat, abdication and a reign of ambivalence. Down the other lies a nation that is aware of its past and accepts the daunting obligation its future demands. If we choose poorly, the consequences will echo through the next 50 years of history. If we, in a spasm of frustration, turn out the current occupant of the White House, the message to the world and ourselves will be two-fold.
This is an extremely important election. But if you really think it is the "only election during our lifetime that will matter," the University of Oregon should think again about that PhD they gave you. I'd like to see you get that claim by your dissertation panel. To cite just one example (which should not tax your memory too much), the 2000 election mattered quite a bit. The popular will was thwarted, minority voters were systematically disenfranchised, partisan election officials manipulated results, rented mobs blocked lawful recounts, and the president was appointed by a conservative bloc on the Supreme Court using its most vacuous and tortured logic in a hundred years.
All that before Inauguration Day! Since then, the appointed president has abused this narrowest of mandates by pursuing a radical right-wing agenda: massive tax cuts for the rich, an unsustainable wave of deficits, a corporate lobbyist takeover of regulatory agencies, massive giveaways to campaign contributors and favored industries (invariably one and the same), the gutting of environmental regulations, the curtailment of civil liberties, and the complete disregard of reason, evidence and science in favor of ideology, political calculation, sectarian faith and a vague sense of "instinct". President Bush promised that his economic program would revive the economy and create jobs; it has done neither. He has succeeded only in saddling future generations with trillions in debt, endangered the long-term solvency of Social Security and Medicare, and presiding over the first administration since Herbert Hoover to lose jobs. These consequences will be with us for more than your 50-year time horizon. So I guess the 2000 election was pretty important.
That's Bush's record, but I don't hear you talk about it in your message. No, you'd rather talk about the "big things" that George Bush has been up to in the Middle East.
OK. Bring it on.
First, we will reject the notion that America can do big things. Once a nation that tamed a frontier, stood down the Nazis and stood upon the moon, we will announce to the world that bringing democracy to the Middle East is too big a task for us. But more significantly, we will signal to future presidents that as voters, we are unwilling to tackle difficult challenges, preferring caution to boldness, embracing the mediocrity that has characterized other civilizations. The defeat of President Bush will send a chilling message to future presidents who may need to make difficult, yet unpopular decisions. America has always been a nation that rises to the demands of history regardless of the decisions. America has always been a nation that rises to the demands of history regardless of the costs or appeal. If we turn away from that legacy, we turn away from who we are.
Well, that's a pretty scary thought... has America become a 'girlie' country? Have we lost that frontier-conquering, Nazi-kicking, moon-landing gusto? Are we failing in Iraq because we're not tough enough?
Tell it to the families of the 1102 U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq. Tell it to the many thousands of wounded. No, we're plenty tough. We're losing ground because our president isn't smart enough. He wasn't smart enough to devise a strategy that combines military force with diplomacy and alliances. He wasn't patient enough to let U.N. inspectors confirm or refute our phony intelligence on WMD. He wasn't realistic enough to admit the serious backlash against the U.S. in world and regional opinion from a unilateral invasion. He wasn't curious enough to find out why military planners thought we needed a larger force to stabilize Iraq. He wasn't determined enough to prepare for a long struggle, preferring to declare the "mission accomplished" on the deck of an aircraft carrier. He wasn't conscientious enough to recognize when things were going wrong. He wasn't tough enough to hold his underlings accountable for failure, from the lack of post-war planning to the horrific Abu Ghraib torture scandal. And he still isn't honest enough to level with the American people and admit his mistakes on Iraq. The scary thing is he might not even be thoughtful enough to know what they are.
This is the record you think we should endorse. Otherwise, you're worried about the message we will send to future presidents. So what would future presidents take away from George W. Bush's defeat in 2004? Here are a few: Don't be stupid. Don't be lazy. Don't be arrogant. Don't be dishonest. Don't take America to war for bogus reasons. Not a bad set of lessons for future presidents to learn, I'd say.
Yes, America is a great country that can do great things. It's important that we believe in ourselves as a nation, just like we need to believe in ourselves as individuals. But just because you keep telling myself, "I think I can, I think I can..." doesn't mean that you can accomplish your goals if you do not prepare a realistic plan and then actually implement it.
Is "bringing democracy to the Middle East" too big a task for us? I'd feel more confident about the answer if we could first bring democracy to Florida. But we have to ask ourselves another question: how did "bringing democracy to the Middle East" become our great national goal, to which we will devote so much of our blood and treasure over the next several decades? "Bringing democracy to the Middle East" certainly can't be found anywhere in President Bush's 2000 campaign platform. It wasn't cited by Congress as a reason for threatening Iraq with force (that was supposedly about WMD). It wasn't even mentioned by George Bush until every other reason he had advanced for the invasion had collapsed under the weight of contrary evidence. Who decided that this vast project was the only, or even the best, way to protect our nation from terrorism? And if success in this scheme is the only way for America to "rise to the demands of history," just what are those demands? How many of the dozens of nations in the Middle East will we need to invade, occupy, rebuild, pacify, and support until their governments resemble our own? What kind of military force and financial sacrifices will this goal require? Will we need a draft? A massive tax increase? More trillions in debt? You (and President Bush) should answer these questions before asking us to ratify the strange new national purpose you have selected for us. Only then can we judge whether it should be placed ahead of other strategies to combat terrorism, ahead of our pressing domestic needs, and worthy of the young men and women whose lives must be sacrificed to achieve it.
Mr. Bush can't answer these questions, I suspect, because he hasn't really thought about them. A professor of political science does not have that excuse.
Second, we inform every terrorist organization on the globe that the lesson of Somalia was well learned. In Somalia we showed terrorists that you don't need to defeat America on the battlefield when you can defeat them in the newsroom. They learned that a wounded America can become a defeated America. Twenty-four hour news stations and daily tracing polls will do the heavy lifting, turning a cut into a fatal blow. Except that Iraq is Somalia times. The election of John Kerry will serve notice to every terrorist in every cave that the soft underbelly of American power is the timidity of American voters. Terrorists will know that a steady stream of grizzly photos for CNN is all you need to break the will of the American people. Our own self-doubt will take it from there. Bin Laden will recognize that he can topple any American administration without setting foot on the homeland.
You show such great insight into the terrorist mind, it's a pity you don't put it to greater use. If the election of John Kerry would encourage terrorists, why not claim the converse: that electing George Bush would cause them to simply give up? Because both claims are equally absurd. Let's look at what al-Qaeda say they want to achieve: a revolution overthrowing the existing regimes in the Middle East and installing an Islamic fundamentalist caliphate. By invading and occupying Iraq, George Bush has fueled resentment of the U.S. throughout the entire region and seriously undermined the long-term stability of governments friendly to us. It's too simple to say that Bush is creating terrorists. Hatred of the U.S. existed in some segments of the population for many years preceding his presidency. But throughout the world, Bush's policies have turned our friends into neutrals, neutrals into hostiles, and hostiles into violent terrorists. It doesn't sound like a winning strategy, does it? Unlike you, I don't profess to look into the mind of Bin Laden, but there are plenty of objective reasons to believe his interests would be served by a continuation of Bush's blundering. Should we vote based on what Bin Laden thinks? No. But we should vote for the best strategy to beat him. Bush has said (repeatedly) that "he's not that concerned" about Bin Laden and doesn't think about him very much. John Kerry would think about him every hour of every day until he's dead or captured. Who's more determined to win?
It is said that America's WWII generation is its "greatest generation." But my greatest fear is that it will become known as America's "last generation." Born in the bleakness of the Great Depression and hardened in the fire of WWII, they may be the last American generation that understands the meaning of duty, honor, and sacrifice. It is difficult to admit, but I know these terms are spoken with only hollow detachment by many (but not all) in my generation. Too many citizens today mistake "living in America" as "being an American." But America has always been more of an idea than a place. When you sign on, you do more than buy real estate. You accept a set of values and responsibilities. This November, my generation, which has been absent too long, must grasp that 100 years from now historians will look back at the election of 2004 and see it as the decisive election of our century. Depending on the outcome, they will describe it as the moment America joined the ranks of ordinary nations; or they will describe it as the moment the prodigal sons and daughters of the greatest generation accepted their burden as caretakers of the City on the Hill."
OK, Professor, let's talk about "values and responsibilities." Let's talk about "duty, honor and sacrifice". With all this talk about the greatest generation, I thought maybe you might be one of the brave men who stormed the beach at D-Day. Surprise! You're actually a rather young guy.
I'll take your word for it that you've been "hardened" by enough "bleakness" to truly understand what your generation owes America and the world. But could it be that you still have something more to give?
Judging from your photo, you look truly fit for service in this great cause you and President Bush have assigned to America. I've heard we're having trouble staffing this project. Since the President tells us a draft is unthinkable, perhaps it's time for you step forward. No, I don't mean another e-mail (as heroic as they may seem). I'm talking about signing up. With your insights into the minds of terrorists and the task of democratizing the Middle East, there's no doubt you'd be an excellent platoon leader in Iraq. So please, without delay, get thee to a recruiting station.
Or could it be that you're just talking about these values with "hollow detachment"?
Join Date: Nov 2003
Here's an endorsment for Kerry from The Economist who can hardly be accused of being pro-Kerry (last time around it endorsed Bush) liberal mouthpiece.
As the editorial states - and any reasonable person that pays attention should be able to see - Bush is totally incompetent. Moreover, irregardless of what you think of his policies the professed "great uniter" from 2000 has proven to be a great divider which is extremely unhealthy for our country and the world. Time for accountability Mr. Bush and time to hopefully start some healing.
THE INCOMPETENT OR THE INCOHERENT?
Oct 28th 2004
With a heavy heart, we think American readers should vote for John
Kerry on November 2nd
YOU might have thought that, three years after a devastating terrorist
attack on American soil, a period which has featured two wars, radical
political and economic legislation, and an adjustment to one of the
biggest stockmarket crashes in history, the campaign for the presidency
would be an especially elevated and notable affair. If so, you would be
wrong. This year's battle has been between two deeply flawed men:
George Bush, who has been a radical, transforming president but who has
never seemed truly up to the job, let alone his own ambitions for it;
and John Kerry, who often seems to have made up his mind conclusively
about something only once, and that was 30 years ago. But on November
2nd, Americans must make their choice, as must THE ECONOMIST. It is far
from an easy call, especially against the backdrop of a turbulent,
dangerous world. But, on balance, our instinct is towards change rather
than continuity: Mr Kerry, not Mr Bush.
Whenever we express a view of that sort, some readers are bound to
protest that we, as a publication based in London, should not be poking
our noses in other people's politics. Translated, this invariably means
that protesters disagree with our choice. It may also, however, reflect
a lack of awareness about our readership. THE ECONOMIST's weekly sales
in the United States are about 450,000 copies, which is three times our
British sale and roughly 45% of our worldwide total. All those American
readers will now be pondering how to vote, or indeed whether to. Thus,
as at every presidential election since 1980, we hope it may be useful
for us to say how we would think about our vote--if we had one.
THE CASE AGAINST GEORGE BUSH
That decision cannot be separated from the terrible memory of September
11th, nor can it fail to begin as an evaluation of the way in which Mr
Bush and his administration responded to that day. For Mr Bush's record
during the past three years has been both inspiring and disturbing.
Mr Bush was inspiring in the way he reacted to the new world in which
he, and America, found itself. He grasped the magnitude of the
challenge well. His military response in Afghanistan was not the sort
of poorly directed lashing out that Bill Clinton had used in 1998 after
al-Qaeda destroyed two American embassies in east Africa: it was a
resolute, measured effort, which was reassuringly sober about the
likely length of the campaign against Osama bin Laden and the
elusiveness of anything worth the name of victory. Mistakes were made,
notably when at Tora Bora Mr bin Laden and other leaders probably
escaped, and when following the war both America and its allies devoted
insufficient military and financial resources to helping Afghanistan
rebuild itself. But overall, the mission has achieved a lot: the
Taliban were removed, al-Qaeda lost its training camps and its base,
and Afghanistan has just held elections that bring cautious hope for
the central government's future ability to bring stability and
The biggest mistake, though, was one that will haunt America for years
to come. It lay in dealing with prisoners-of-war by sending hundreds of
them to the American base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, putting them in a
legal limbo, outside the Geneva conventions and outside America's own
legal system. That act reflected a genuinely difficult problem: that of
having captured people of unknown status but many of whom probably did
want to kill Americans, at a time when to set them free would have been
politically controversial, to say the least. That difficulty cannot
neutralise the damage caused by this decision, however. Today,
Guantanamo Bay offers constant evidence of America's hypocrisy,
evidence that is disturbing for those who sympathise with it,
cause-affirming for those who hate it. This administration, which
claims to be fighting for justice, the rule of law and liberty, is
incarcerating hundreds of people, whether innocent or guilty, without
trial or access to legal representation. The White House's proposed
remedy, namely military tribunals, merely compounds the problem.
When Mr Bush decided to frame his foreign policy in the sort of
language and objectives previously associated with Woodrow Wilson, John
Kennedy or Ronald Reagan, he was bound to be greeted with cynicism. Yet
he was right to do so. To paraphrase a formula invented by his ally,
Tony Blair, Mr Bush was promising to be "tough on terrorism, tough on
the causes of terrorism", and the latter he attributed to the lack of
democracy, human rights and opportunity in much of the world,
especially the Arab countries. To call for an effort to change that
lamentable state of affairs was inspiring and surely correct. The
credibility of the call was enhanced by this month's Afghan election,
and may in future be enhanced by successful and free elections in Iraq.
But that remains ahead, and meanwhile Mr Bush's credibility has been
considerably undermined not just by Guantanamo but also by two big
things: by the sheer incompetence and hubristic thinking evident in the
way in which his team set about the rebuilding of Iraq, once Saddam
Hussein's regime had been toppled; and by the abuses at Abu Ghraib
prison in Iraq, which strengthened the suspicion that the mistreatment
or even torture of prisoners was being condoned.
Invading Iraq was not a mistake. Although the intelligence about
Saddam's weapons of mass destruction has been shown to have been flimsy
and, with hindsight, wrong, Saddam's record of deception in the 12
years since the first Gulf war meant that it was right not to give him
the benefit of the doubt. The containment scheme deployed around him
was unsustainable and politically damaging: military bases in holy
Saudi Arabia, sanctions that impoverished and even killed Iraqis and
would have collapsed. But changing the regime so incompetently was a
huge mistake. By having far too few soldiers to provide security and by
failing to pay Saddam's remnant army, a task that was always going to
be long and hard has been made much, much harder. Such incompetence is
no mere detail: thousands of Iraqis have died as a result and hundreds
of American soldiers. The eventual success of the mission, while still
possible, has been put in unnecessary jeopardy. So has America's
reputation in the Islamic world, both for effectiveness and for moral
If Mr Bush had meanwhile been making progress elsewhere in the Middle
East, such mistakes might have been neutralised. But he hasn't. Israel
and Palestine remain in their bitter conflict, with America readily
accusable of bias. In Iran the conservatives have become stronger and
the country has moved closer to making nuclear weapons. Egypt, Syria
and Saudi Arabia have not turned hostile, but neither have they been
terribly supportive nor reform-minded. Libya's renunciation of WMD is
the sole clear piece of progress.
This only makes the longer-term project more important, not less. To
succeed, however, America needs a president capable of admitting to
mistakes and of learning from them. Mr Bush has steadfastly refused to
admit to anything: even after Abu Ghraib, when he had a perfect
opportunity to dismiss Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, and
declare a new start, he chose not to. Instead, he treated the abuses as
if they were a low-level, disciplinary issue. Can he learn from
mistakes? The current approach in Iraq, of training Iraqi security
forces and preparing for elections to establish an Iraqi government
with popular support, certainly represents an improvement, although
America still has too few troops. And no one knows, for example,
whether Mr Rumsfeld will stay in his job, or go. In the end, one can do
no more than guess about whether in a second term Mr Bush would prove
MAKING SENSE OF JOHN KERRY
That does at least place him on equal terms with his rival, Mr Kerry.
With any challenger, voters have to make a leap of faith about what the
new man might be like in office. What he says during the campaign is a
poor guide: Mr Bush said in 2000 that America should be "a humble
nation, but strong" and should eschew nation-building; Mr Clinton
claimed in 1992 to want to confront "the butchers of Beijing" and to
reflate the economy through public spending.
Like those two previous challengers, Mr Kerry has shaped many of his
positions to contrast himself with the incumbent. That is par for the
course. What is more disconcerting, however, is the way those positions
have oscillated, even as the facts behind them have stayed the same. In
the American system, given Congress's substantial role, presidents
should primarily be chosen for their character, their qualities of
leadership, for how they might be expected to deal with the crises that
may confront them, abroad or at home. Oscillation, even during an
election campaign, is a worrying sign.
If the test is a domestic one, especially an economic crisis, Mr Kerry
looks acceptable, however. His record and instincts are as a fiscal
conservative, suggesting that he would rightly see future federal
budget deficits as a threat. His circle of advisers includes the
admirable Robert Rubin, formerly Mr Clinton's treasury secretary. His
only big spending plan, on health care, would probably be killed by a
Republican Congress. On trade, his position is more debatable: while an
avowed free trader with a voting record in the Senate to confirm it, he
has flirted with attacks on outsourcing this year and chosen a rank
protectionist as his running-mate. He has not yet shown Mr Clinton's
talent for advocacy on this issue, or any willingness to confront his
rather protectionist party. Still, on social policy, Mr Kerry has a
clear advantage: unlike Mr Bush he is not in hock to the Christian
right. That will make him a more tolerant, less divisive figure on
issues such as abortion, gay marriage and stem-cell research.
The biggest questions, though, must be about foreign policy, especially
in the Middle East. That is where his oscillations are most unsettling.
A war that he voted to authorise, and earlier this year claimed to
support, he now describes as "a mistake". On some occasions he claims
to have been profoundly changed by September 11th and to be determined
to seek out and destroy terrorists wherever they are hiding, and on
others he has seemed to hark back to the old Clintonian view of
terrorism as chiefly a question of law and order. He has failed to
offer any set of overall objectives for American foreign policy, though
perhaps he could hardly oppose Mr Bush's targets of democracy, human
rights and liberty. But instead he has merely offered a different
process: deeper thought, more consultation with allies.
So what is Mr Kerry's character? His voting record implies he is a
vacillator, but that may be unfair, given the technical nature of many
Senate votes. His oscillations this year imply that he is more of a
ruthless opportunist. His military record suggests he can certainly be
decisive when he has to be and his post-Vietnam campaign showed
determination. His reputation for political comebacks and as a strong
finisher in elections also indicates a degree of willpower that his
flip-flopping otherwise belies.
THE TASK AHEAD, AND THE MAN TO FIT IT
In the end, the choice relies on a judgment about who will be better
suited to meet the challenges America is likely to face during the next
four years. Those challenges must include the probability of another
big terrorist attack, in America or western Europe. They must include
the need for a period of discipline in economic policy and for
compromise on social policy, lest the nation become weak or divided in
the face of danger. Above all, though, they include the need to make a
success of the rebuilding of Iraq, as the key part of a broader effort
to stabilise, modernise and, yes, democratise the Middle East.
Many readers, feeling that Mr Bush has the right vision in foreign
policy even if he has made many mistakes, will conclude that the safest
option is to leave him in office to finish the job he has started. If
Mr Bush is re-elected, and uses a new team and a new approach to
achieve that goal, and shakes off his fealty to an extreme minority,
the religious right, then THE ECONOMIST will wish him well. But our
confidence in him has been shattered. We agree that his broad vision is
the right one but we doubt whether Mr Bush is able to change or has
sufficient credibility to succeed, especially in the Islamic world.
Iraq's fledgling democracy, if it gets the chance to be born at all,
will need support from its neighbours--or at least non-interference--if
it is to survive. So will other efforts in the Middle East,
particularly concerning Israel and Iran.
John Kerry says the war was a mistake, which is unfortunate if he is to
be commander-in-chief of the soldiers charged with fighting it. But his
plan for the next phase in Iraq is identical to Mr Bush's, which speaks
well of his judgment. He has been forthright about the need to win in
Iraq, rather than simply to get out, and will stand a chance of making
a fresh start in the Israel-Palestine conflict and (though with even
greater difficulty) with Iran. After three necessarily tumultuous and
transformative years, this is a time for consolidation, for discipline
and for repairing America's moral and practical authority. Furthermore,
as Mr Bush has often said, there is a need in life for accountability.
He has refused to impose it himself, and so voters should, in our view,
impose it on him, given a viable alternative. John Kerry, for all the
doubts about him, would be in a better position to carry on with
America's great tasks.
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Here's an letter sent to Bush signed by over 169 MBA professors (which I'll take over a Poli Sci prof from BFE Washington any day).
Open Letter to President George W. Bush
October 4, 2004
Dear Mr. President:
As professors of economics and business, we are concerned that U.S. economic policy has taken a dangerous turn under your stewardship. Nearly every major economic indicator has deteriorated since you took office in January 2001. Real GDP growth during your term is the lowest of any presidential term in recent memory. Total non-farm employment has contracted and the unemployment rate has increased. Bankruptcies are up sharply, as is our dependence on foreign capital to finance an exploding current account deficit. All three major stock indexes are lower now than at the time of your inauguration. The percentage of Americans in poverty has increased, real median income has declined, and income inequality has grown.
The data make clear that your policy of slashing taxes primarily for those at the upper reaches of the income distribution has not worked. The fiscal reversal that has taken place under your leadership is so extreme that it would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. The federal budget surplus of over $200 billion that we enjoyed in the year 2000 has disappeared, and we are now facing a massive annual deficit of over $400 billion. In fact, if transfers from the Social Security trust fund are excluded, the federal deficit is even worse well in excess of a half a trillion dollars this year alone. Although some members of your administration have suggested that the mountain of new debt accumulated on your watch is mainly the consequence of 9-11 and the war on terror, budget experts know that this is simply false. Your economic policies have played a significant role in driving this fiscal collapse. And the economic proposals you have suggested for a potential second term from diverting Social Security contributions into private accounts to making the recent tax cuts permanent only promise to exacerbate the crisis by further narrowing the federal revenue base.
These sorts of deficits crowd out private investment and are politically addictive. They also place a heavy burden on monetary policy and create additional pressure for higher interest rates by stoking inflationary expectations. If your economic advisers are telling you that these deficits can be defeated through further reductions in tax rates, then you need new advisers. More robust economic growth could certainly help, but nearly every one of your administrations economic forecasts both before and after 9-11 has proved overly optimistic. Expenditure cuts could be part of the answer, but your record so far has been one of increasing expenditures, not reducing them.
What is called for, we believe, is a dramatic reorientation of fiscal policy, including substantial reversals of your tax policy. Running a budget deficit in response to a short bout of recession is one thing. But running large structural deficits over a long period is something else entirely. We therefore urge you to consider the fiscal realities we now face and the substantial burden they are placing on our economy.
We also urge you to consider the distributional consequences of your policies. Under your administration, the income gap between the most affluent Americans and everyone else has widened. Although the latest data reveal that real household incomes have dropped across the board since you took office, low and middle income households have experienced steeper declines than upper income households. To be sure, the general phenomenon of mounting inequality preceded your administration, but it has continued (and, by some accounts, intensified) over the past three and a half years.
Some degree of inequality is inherent in any free market economy, creating positive incentives for economic and technological advancement. But when inequality becomes extreme, it can be socially corrosive and economically dysfunctional. Problems of this sort are visible throughout much of the developing world. At the moment, the most commonly accepted measure of inequality the so-called Gini coefficient is far higher in the United States than in any other developed country and is continuing to move upward. We dont know where the breakpoint is for the U.S., but we would rather not find out. With all due respect, we believe your tax policy has exacerbated the problem of inequality in the United States, which has worrisome implications for the economy as a whole. We very much hope you will take this threat to our nation into account as you consider new fiscal approaches to address the nations most pressing economic problems.
Sensible and farsighted economic management requires true discipline, compassion, and courage not just slogans. Given the tenuous state of the American economy, we believe that the time for an honest assessment of the problem and for genuine corrective action is now. Ignoring the fiscal crisis that has taken hold during your presidency may seem politically appealing in the short run, but we fear it could ultimately prove disastrous. From a policy standpoint, the clear message is that more of the same wont work. The warning signs are already visible, and it is incumbent upon all of us to pay attention.
-issued by 169 professors of business
and economics at U.S. business schools. The letter began
circulating at Harvard Business School, where the president
received his Masters of Business Administration degree (MBA)
Fifty-six current or emeritus faculty
from the Harvard Business School signed the letter
before it was sent to professors at other
business schools. Within 72 hours, 113 more
professors, from such renowned schools as
Stanford Business School, Wharton (University of
Pennsylvania), Sloan (MIT), Darden (University of
Virginia), Fuqua (Duke University), Kellogg
(Northwestern University), McCombs (University of
Texas-Austin), and Stern (NYU), had added their
signatures. The list includes two Nobel laureates
in economics -- Professor Robert C. Merton of
Harvard University and Professor Emeritus William
F. Sharpe of Stanford.
All of the signatories are tenured or emeritus
professors who have signed in their individual
capacities. The letter represents the signers'
own views, not those of the institutions with
which they are affiliated. Organizers of the
letter allowed only tenured and emeritus
professors to sign to avoid any suggestion of
pressure on non-tenured faculty.
Join Date: Mar 2004
As boaters we spend our lives trying to go with the flow, but in this instance I'll have to say congrats to h2o for getting off-line. This board, and not to mention this sport, is a bastion for leftists. And to take the time to write a post that will most definitlely fall on deaf ears and busy fingers is commendable.
I don't think at this stage of the race anyone in this forum will be changing his mind after another drawn-out diatribe. However, I will just make one quick point as a seven-year Economist subscriber. While it remains a trusted news source covering both business and world affairs, the magazine is still published in a SOCIALIST country. Hawkish it is not.
Join Date: Sep 2004
Oh my God (sorry cant say that) you have convinced me. I think I will cast my vote for the communist party. Since Kerry is regarded as a communist hero in Vietnam, I guess that is the direction that the democratic party is headed or has already arrived. From all of the suppression tactics that the Dem's have resorted to along with using information that is later proved to be false by people that were actually there, I think this is the only direction that they could be going. Its a shame that you have such global views of everything that you cant see the largest danger happening right at home. If you cant see right through the lies and misrepresentation you are no better than they are.
It really doesn't matter, when Bush wins the Dem's will start all of their law suites to get into office so go and cast your worthless vote for our Vietnam vet and Vietnam hero. Just depends on what side your on. Good or Evil. You have made your choice and I will make mine. I really don't care what you have to say and if I had to choose between Kerry and Saddam himself, I would choose Saddam, at least you know what you are getting.