feeling forgotten?

Don’t worry… approximately 75% of American’s feel the same way too when it comes to the US government according to a Marketplace research poll. What fascinates me about this research poll is not only is it non-partisan (members from both party feel the same) but it comes on the heels of a “change election” where Donald Trump is now the President of the United States.  Although Trump only garnered 62.985 million popular votes to Clinton’s 65.854 million popular votes, the Electoral College was what mattered the most on election night.  I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the Clinton supporters believed the Electoral College is a form of voter suppression by the government where democracy and “the voice of the people” are not heard.

But I think the real cause of such deep rooted distrust comes from the lobbyists that directly contribute money to political campaigns.

Let’s do a thought experiment….

If a large sum of money from a particular interest group (say coffee lovers) donated to my campaign and that money helped me win an election into Congress, this interest group could very use the threat of future campaign contributions for the next election cycle to “encourage me” to vote favorably for this coffee interest group….

Is this not too hard to imagine?  I hope not.  Even at a small scale of high school elections, how many times did you vote for a class president on the basis of “what treats did the candidate give out instead of the issues they wanted to set?”  I certainly did.  The issues facing a class is secondary to what the future class president can offer me.

Going back to the lobbyist topic and the feeling of being forgotten, could it be possible to think that the government in it’s ever increasing need to get money to win elections that the government has focused their attention to satisfy the needs of the lobbyists instead of that of the people they represent?

I think so.  I leave you with this Ted Talk.

(not so) Free Speech?

UC Berkeley students have recently involved themselves in a number of controversies that don’t quite make sense to me.  The latest incident to happen was Ann Coulter canceling a planned speaking event at Berkeley.  Previously before that was the Milo Yiannopoulos incident.

But after these two incidents, two thought immediately came to mind.

  1. The proportion of the student body that actually are political should be pretty small.  From what I remember, at least 40% of the student body is Asian(/Chinese) and let’s be realistic here… Asians almost never willingly participate in politics THIS divided or controversial.  Oh they might say something but I highly doubt they’d participate in any fracas… because the punishment when their parents find out that they weren’t studying is FAR WORSE.  Even still, have you seen the pictures of these Pro-Trump/Anti-Trump rallies that turn into fistfights?  Just about every person pictures is non-Asian/non-Chinese.
  2. How did the epicenter of the Free Speech Movement come to support an anti-viewpoint/anti-ideology movement?  And furthermore, at what point does the safety of the general non-political population become more important than upholding free speech?

Now what would Bernie say?

 

Ya I thought so.

Are you paying federal income taxes?

With the 2016 tax season behind us and listening to the NPR Politics Podcast that I listen to, did you know apparently 45% of the US population did not pay federal income tax for the 2015 tax year?  According to this MarketWatch article, the bottom 40% of the income brackets actually get money back from the federal government.

Additionally, an NPR/Ipsos Poll (link 1, link 2) result shows markedly different conception about people paying taxes.  The one result that surprised me was that 70% of the people polled believed less American’s pay federal income taxes than the actual amount (45%).  How crazy is that?