I read an interesting article in Slate today, if you care to peruse here is the link
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/201 … a=features
Important excerpts from the article I have noted below:
“He has never taken a political contribution in his life. He is not about to start,” Bloomberg’s top adviser, Howard Wolfson, told the Associated Press. “He cannot be bought.”
This isn’t really how Democratic primary voters think about corruption in the campaign finance system, or how someone familiar with Democratic primary voters would speak about it. The corruption stems from large contributions from wealthy interests who then expect favors in return. The antidote is not through a billionaire self-funding a campaign, but through candidates building broad, grassroots small-dollar funding bases.
Wolfson added, further, that this makes Bloomberg “wholly independent of special interests.” But what really separates Bloomberg from his competitors—or, really, any presidential campaign before it—is its indifference to “interests” altogether.
Michael Bloomberg may be running for president, but he’s not engaging in anything that resembles politics as we know it. He is not organizing in early states or trying to cultivate grassroots energy. He’s not building coalitions, he’s not competing in early trial heats, and he’s not participating in debates. He is, instead, using his unlimited resources to determine if there’s a price point at which a national election can be won without having to participate in politics.
Bloomberg’s metaphysical contempt for other people’s money in politics, that is, reflects his attitude toward other people in politics. He has entered the race, in part, because “special interests,” as he defines them, have put both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders—who have received donations from millions of individual donors—in competitive positions for the Democratic presidential nomination. And he is running a campaign strategy that intentionally keeps those masses of special interests at an arm’s length. Bloomberg is skipping the early contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, where candidates are vetted by their ability to generate enthusiasm, organize, and build broad, winning coalitions. He cannot compete in this, so he plans to buy his way beyond it.
I find this attitude and approach unacceptable as clearly arrogant, bordering on annoying and just another reason why I don't care for "big money" people in politics.
I think you are right. I agree that the appearance is that Bloomberg is going to try to strategically buy the election.
You know, GA, libs and lefties have been accused by conservatives of having an adverse attitude toward wealth and the affluent, this situation is just one of the many reasons why.
Wouldn't your objections be better placed if they were against the way wealth is used rather than just against wealth? Bill Gates comes to mind as just one example.
There are liberals who view socioeconomic wealth as evil. They view wealth & the accumulation as wealth as exploitative to the poor when such premises are further from the truth. There is nothing wrong with socioeconomic wealth & its accumulation therein if such are done ethically. Wealth means more opportunities for the person, family, & the ultimate society. Wealth is good. Not only Bill Gates but Oprah Winfrey also comes to mind. Wealth BENEFITS society. Thank you Gus for stating this. Totally concur w/your premise. Let me add that the same Liberals who critique wealth...……...are wealthy themselves. Such hypocrisy. Their motto is do as I say, not do as I do.
Disagree. Extreme wealth of the type that Gates, Bezos, and these people have are highly destructive to society/the world. Here are the reasons.
1. it is mathematically impossible to achieve that kind of wealth without a) underpaying staff and b) overcharging on products.
2. The greater the gap between what the guy at the top earns and the guy at the bottom earns, the greater the inequality. As inequality becomes extreme, it always leads to increasing violence. Revolutions have taken place throughout history - always as a result of the poor growing to massive numbers and becoming desperate to the point where they will go to war.
3. Wealth only benefits the people who have it. It does not benefit other people in society.
4. 20% of CEOs are psychopaths. That's how they get rich. Trampling on others. The others are on the spectrum.
5. Oprah Winfrey is an idiot preaching a set of rules (law of attraction) that don't work. And Bill Gates is a hypocrite. There was a research paper by a British university that all the money he sunk into malaria didn't pay off. Wish I could access it for you. He said he had no problem with being taxed more - just that he had a problem with being taxed $100 billion out of his $108 billion. That would leave $8 billion. He has a problem with $8 billion? Why? Because he is more concerned with his ego and his status than with what is happening to those he underpaid. As for the software which costs pennies to produce and are sold for hundreds and thousands? Immoral. Unethical.
I have no issue with people being prosperous i.e. enough to live comfortably, be safe, and do the things they want to do. That is not the same thing as the extreme wealth of certain corporations and individuals which is highly destructive - both in the way it is generated, and in the way it is 'distributed.'
The problem is that far too often, the having of extreme wealth and the abuse in one form or another is often one in the same. One just cannot resist the opportunity to "play God". I would hazard to guess that for every Gates, there are 10 Bloombergs and Trumps?
Greed rules the day, now. The idea of the Kennedys or Roosevelts having subordinated focus from exclusive interest in their own social economic class in favor of middle class and working people as part of their obligation as public servants is obviously a thing of the past.
Such is the basis of my comment as to why I don't want the mega wealthy folks in the political arena any more.
10 to 1 is probably a fair guess. It would also be the ratio I would apply to any instance of one human being able to exert power over another. Whether it be by wealth or simply power of decision.
So your angst should be against the human propensity to seek power rather than the method with which they seek it.
This is the 21st century, GA. Unlike the previous century, power is not determined by battleships and nuclear arsenals. Finance and economics, with the wealth brokers as the new "dictators" is the new reality. The threat of China is economic not military and that has everybody nervous.
It is just like the arguments made by the gun fanatics, I could kill with a blowgun, but how much easier and more efficiently that task could be accomplished with an assault rifle.
Billionaires have the "assault rifles" today, to so much more easily wield power to control and intimidate the masses. It is human nature for many of us to seek power over others, but having the ideal tools to do it makes such a human propensity that much more likely and all the more devastating to those on the receiving end.
I've always been of the same mind here as Credence. The WaPo article linked below highlights how billionaires, like Bill Gates, can sort of run the world by attaching strings to promised funds. This can subvert democracy, and shows how the motivation may be simply power. In addition, this article about the common core, points out that Microsoft may benefit technology firms.
It's the beginning of the month, so I could still read this one: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics … story.html
Thanks for sharing the article, while I support Bill Gates' basic premise that we need to educate a more highly skilled work force than we currently have, I always have to suspect that the largesse on his part has to have some self serving elements. Without that impetus we are doomed as a society to be relegated to playing second fiddle in an increasingly technical world.
The Koch brothers were engaged in much of the same thing, but their intent was to short circuit what they believed was left leaning bias in higher education. The goal to create a cadre of young people wedded to rightwing values and beliefs through proper indoctrination.
While I am suspicious of any one person wanting to rewrite the entire dialogue, I will support Gates and his intent over the Koch Brothers. I just hope that Bill continues to take an inclusive approach bringing state and local governments in willingly to participate.
Here is a Salon article that discusses my never ending fear of imposing oligarchy in this country.
https://www.salon.com/2019/11/24/will-a … r_partner/
". . . I always have to suspect that the largesse on his part has to have some self serving elements."
I think cynicism is corrosive. Have you looked into Gate's efforts to arrive at yours?
credence, don't stop there. make sure you do a little research and reading on the Koch brothers, one brother wrote an excellent book on their business and there successes...which will surprise you.
Yes. Just because one suspects that Gates, or any billionaire, has some self-serving motives, that doesn't mean we cannot appreciate some, or all, of his efforts.
My issue is with the theme of billionaires doing things with strings attached, whether or not there are any self-serving motives.
If a billionaire wants to give money to the education system, why must he do so under the stipulation that that system be run how he or she thinks it should be run? I think this is what some people are missing. Cynicism may be corrosive, but democracy needs a healthy dose of it to survive in any form.
This is usurping democracy in another way, never mind the corporate capitalism detailed in the Salon piece.
I would absolutely agree on everything you have said.
I would also add that, at this point, anyone who is a billionaire is questionable. Anyone who has that amount of money while people are dying because they can't afford food or a doctor, does not have an ethical or noble character.
Greetings Tess, thanks for your comment. I would like to think that Democracy is possible avoiding the oligarchic tendencies we have in this society as compared with Western Europe, for example.
If I were one of THEM, I would be concerned that my neighbors have a fair swipe at life if for no other reason than to assure that I keep what I have.
I too find the attitude arrogant. The entire concept of billionaires running doesn't impress me as it seems to impress some. I mean, to me, the motivation is most likely along the lines of having so much money that they ran out of stuff to do with it. They've been everywhere, have mansions and all the other material things their hearts desire, so now they want to a leadership position to relive boredom or something.
Contrast this with the organizational skills of someone like Obama, who did take the effort to build coalitions, and it's hard to see that a billionaire running is doing so out of love of our country and our people. I mean, maybe if he took the time to build the coalitions, but that's certainly not how Bloomberg is approaching his candidacy per the article.
We need a uniter more than anything right now, so we need a President that's a proven coalition builder. The fact is that Obama is the ideal uniter. His community organizing experience, attitude, and way of speaking are tailor made for bringing people together. Unfortunately, two things out of his control...his name and his skin color, worked against that ability while he was President. I hate to have to say that, but it's just the truth as I see it.
Which Democrat candidate right now is the uniter? Pete Butiigeig is said to be more moderate yet I think has issues with some minorities. I'm just not sure, but my answer to this question will be the deciding factor on whom I vote for in the primary.
As an aside, it's wise to look deeper with "grassroots campaigns," especially when those campaigns involve specific issues. Huge companies and industries are adept at making a campaign appear to be started by "ordinary Americans." I wrote for an astroturfing firm and have subsequently written a bit about that experience. I sincerely hope that the dollar donations retrieved by the likes of Warren and Sanders are genuine, and have no reason to think otherwise.
HS, thanks for your comment. I would say that when these people run out of things to buy, the next challenge is attaining the power to control your life.
These people, Trump, Bloomberg need to be reminded that Democracy is NOT for sale.
Bloomberg, his approach and attitude treats us all as children that he is free to disrespect at will, and because of that he will get nowhere.
Obama had the charisma but he also wasn't a THREAT to the established order, and that is what we need now. All the Trump people said they were for him because he would shake things up in Washington, well I go for Warren and Sanders for the same reasons, but shaking from a different and beneficial direction.
As for Pete, I really don't have anything against him nor expect him to be hypersensitive to minority issues anymore than most whites are. It is what he lacks. I say that we are dealing with a ruthless adversary and his followers. That said, I need experienced people, people who have shown through past experience and actions that they are firmly rooted to the progressive path and understand the true nature of their adversaries. I can't see that from a man barely old enough to meet the Constitutional Requirement for the minimum age of the President. Pete says all the right things. They all do, but that is not good enough now.
Both Sanders and Warren are firm about not taking money from PAC which is a sign to me that they are serious about not folding up like lawn chairs under pressure from the 'fat cats". Both of them understand what needs to be done and why, and I stand with them.
"Obama had the charisma but he also wasn't a THREAT to the established order, and that is what we need now. "
Obama does have charisma and comes off as very genuine to me. I was able to look him in the eye, and shake his hand, at one of his primary rallies. The thing is, I think he set out to be more of a threat to the established order than he was, particularly on healthcare. However, pragmatism won over in the end.
I don't think even the Democrats would have gone along with single payerm or Medicare for all, at that time. I do think the below-linked 2013 Breitbart piece is humorous as it attacks Obama for stating he is a proponent of "single payer universal healthcare plan " as though it were akin to taking Putin's word over our own intelligence agencies. Oh yeah, that's now applauded behavior from our "tough on Russia" President. At any rate, we got Romneycare because those who were to the right of Obama on the matter demanded it as an alternative.
https://www.breitbart/blog/2013/10/29/f … are-video/
Having said that, I Obama had been a bigger threat to the establishment on the environment; things like opening more land for oil drilling and ground level ozone. I think he could have had the backing he needed and made some better executive decisions on that front.
I agree that a Sanders or Warren Presidency would likely result in some more drastic changes to the status quo in some ways...but I hope only in the ways that I think need to be changed. To me, this is the biggest problem with American politics today. Things are complicated and many Americans (understandably so in lots of cases) either don't have the knowledge, the will, or the time, to come up with educated opinions on these matters. So, they just say "I'll vote for Trump because he doesn't need money from special interests." They don't care that he knows absolutely nothing about pretty much anything, and they certainly cannot grasp the long term damage that his short-sighted decisions will likely have. Never mind that he likely does need the money, he likely just gets it most of it from the Russians.
Apologies for the long diatribe, but this got me thinking. My main point is...I'm leaning towards Sanders at this point because I think he has real uniting power, and as you say, is serious about not taking cash from big money interests. I do wish Yang would rise in the polls though as I really like him and he seems serious about campaign finance reform. https://www.yang2020/policies/overturni … ns-united/
The GOP resisted Obama at every turn, so this time "the gloves are off".
I am a Warren supporter, but I would not fall apart if Sanders rose to the forefront.
The "big money" interests are contrary to will and best interests of common folks. Any candidate in this election cycle that relies on these donations subject themselves to quid pro quo. I am at the point now, where I only trust the ones that do not.
Special interests in the form of wealth and affluence having too much sway in the workings of Washington is what my choice candidates are speaking about correcting, and what Wall Street and the big money people fear the most. That in itself is elating. Conservatives are naturally against campaign finance reform, because it denies them the leverage they need to win over popular sovereignty.
Trump bought in to the Canadian oil pipeline totally disregarding environmental risks of spills. So, what happened in North Dakota recently, how many gallons have been allowed to seep into the environment?
I would rather see our money better spent than covering the globe with 800-900 military installations from the North Pole to McMurdo Sound in Antarctica.
I enjoy the discourse, thanks for you participation as always.
I agree that Bloomberg trying to buy his way into political influence, while all too common, is a slap in the face to the hardworking Americans trying to have a voice by making donations and organizing grassroots campaigns. I'm hoping that all his ads and affluence have the opposite effect he hopes for and that it's a hard rejection as well as a message to the ruling class.
what do you think has been winning elections in the past?
money. they can come from individuals or they can come from big donors like Soros. which do you prefer?
Did you miss the memo, Jack?
Let me refresh your memory...
"both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders—who have received donations from millions of individual donors—in competitive positions for the Democratic presidential nomination."
What does that got to do with George Soros?
how do you think Barack Obama got elected in 2008?
He got elected just like any GOP contender, he had the largest numbers of voters, what else are you implying?
he came out of no where, with thin resume and beat Hillary in the primary...
He had help from very high places, and that person is George Soros.
Checkout how many times Soros visited the Obama White House...
Where do you think that the media clown, Donald Trump, came from? A man with NO political experience at all, conservatives have the nerve to even open their mouths.
Trump was a successful businessman...where as Obama was a community organizer with zero executive experience. When he was a State senator, he voted "present"...on numerous occasion.
He was hand picked by the power brokers and his records sealed.
He knew how to give a convincing speech using the teleprompter.
His 8 years of progressive agenda was what doomed us.
Trump was and is an amoral and unethical man without honor. I would take 1000 Obamas in his stead. Obama has a doctorate from an Ivy League School, that and his experience in Congress trumps Trump in my opinion.
Whatever the Rightwinger says dooms us is just that much more reason why we need more.
The past is definitely not the direction I want to be focused on at this point (hoping we've learned a few things about what legalized corruption has done to the country). I think Bernie Sanders is proving that support can come directly from the people and we can tell the billionaires that wish to reshape the world in their neo-feudalist image what they can go and do with themselves. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bernie-san … donations/
'I think Bernie Sanders is proving that support can come directly from the people and we can tell the billionaires that wish to reshape the world in their neo-feudalist image what they can go and do with themselves.'
I like this Eastward, I like it a lot......
not sure what you mean. We had 8 years of corruption of our government under Obama. the last 3 years of Mueller investigation into Russian collusion comes to mind... now impeachment is on the horizon.
It is Trump who is fighting the good fight against the insiders and the special interest. He is changing DC for the better and the insiders are resisting. Trump is the billionaire who ran for the right reasons - to make America Great Again and he is doing it as we speak.
I'm no fan of Obama. I think he had the potential to rally people power the way Bernie Sanders is doing but chose not to. Instead, he seems more intent on pandering to Wall Street and collecting speaking fees.
I strongly disagree that Trump is fighting any good fight and it appears to me he's focused on funneling money to his family businesses and a small sector of elites while ignoring the struggles of poor and working class Americans. You are certainly entitled to your opinion and your vote, but I can't imagine Trump doing anything to gain my support at this point (even if he did, it would be too little, too late).
i don't know about you, but he is helping all Americans by improving the economy and wall street...
The DOW index has risen 43% in 3 years since he took office in 1/2017.
that is real wealth in the accounts of people's IRA and 401K...
The jobs and wages has all improved which means more Americans are working and earning wages.
If that is not helping the little guy, I don't know what else...
Trump did not run for office to get rich. He was already successful and rich.
As far as I know, he has not taken a salary since in office, same goes for his daughter and son in law...and his sons.
There are plenty of people that don't have IRA or 401K investments, perhaps less than 1/3 https://www.fool.com/retirement/2017/06 … -401k.aspx
Also, because the DOW is up, that doesn't necessarily mean that the economics behind it are sustainable. Trump could have easily focused on easing the burden of the Americans most in need, but instead, went for tax cuts for the corporations (allowing for greater political influence and a more entrenched oligarchy). Ignoring such a large percentage of the population is one of the major reasons the U.S. is falling behind the rest of the industrialized world in so many categories. I can't tell you how many people from SE Asia visit the US and China, only to tell me how surprised they are at the comparison (definitely not in favor of the U.S.).
He may not have taken a salary but he has driven traffic to his real estate businesses, cut patent deals, and conducted other personal dealings that far outweigh the value of a Presidential salary. As far as I'm aware, the general practice for a President is to divest from business interests and put the money into a blind trust, while creating a wall (some puns create themselves) between political and private interests.
you have not convinced me he is not doing right by the people. the tax reform was needed to make our companies more competitive in the world stage. The same goes with the trade deals. prior to Trump, we were at a disadvantage with China and other nations...
the market is a leading indicator. it is signaling better business climate ahead which will lead to better economic conditions for all Americans.
the recession is global and Russia and China and EU are all doing worse.
We are actually in a better state, if only we could reduce the debt...
Believe what you want about Trump, I am betting he will win reelcetion in 2020 in a landslide.
Did you totally ignore the last paragraph of Eastward's post, Jack? I don't think you care if Trump is abusing his power. Am I mistaken?
I appreciate your opinion, though I'm not convinced that Trump places much value on anything other than his own personal gain. We will not be competitive on the world stage by treating our less fortunate the way we are currently. I was talking with one of my most brilliant Chinese students (who moved on to a masters program in Australia and now works as a financial analyst for Ford in China) about the housing assurance programs the Chinese are working on in coordination with corporations. While I agree we were on the bad end of trade for a while, we can't build strength without having all our people onboard (China is doing a much better job of assuring their people are).
At the time of the Trump tax breaks, corporations were already holding onto record cash reserves. A lack of funds to invest in the workers was never the issue for leading companies. To me, Trump flaunts his ability to use money to skirt the law, abuses the public through sketchy ventures like his university and veterans charity, encourages police violence and war crimes. He has all the makings of a wannabe fascist dictator. Again, that's my opinion and educated evaluation of the information that is available.
In the end, we both get to speak our piece and vote. Hopefully we can at least have faith that the voting system will work freely and fairly and that America's choice will be President in 2020. In my case, I'm rooting for Bernie Sanders.
"While I agree we were on the bad end of trade for a while, we can't build strength without having all our people onboard (China is doing a much better job of assuring their people are)."
This is such a good point and reason why that we will remain behind the Chinese juggernaut. If we are going to win everyone has to have a viable stake, not just the so called "job creators". Our system as it is not designed to successfully compete using the tools available within the Trump universe.
I could not have said it better in regards to the "slap in the face to hardworking Americans"
The sheer arrogance of the man, he will deserve to fall flat on his face.
So what about Howard Schultz, a self made successful businessman, who was looking to run for president but dropped out because the Democrats didn't like him running as an independent?
where does he fit into this?
A rich man, trying to get power, so he can help the American people...
I don't want anyone who has a potential of disrupting the progressive juggernaut, Jack.
If you want to help me, don't attempt to buy our votes or sentiments.
No need. You are doing fine. Just pointing out the discrepancy in your thinking. If a Howard Schultz cannot make it in your party, your party apparently does not have a big tent.
No more than a moderate or liberal would have a place in the GOP.... Democrats are not Republicans and there is a difference.
the difference is, we never claim to have a big tent...
No, but narrow minds, instead? How could any reasonably intelligent individuals vote for people associated with the GOP?
That statement is a reflection on your own bias. You have not opened your mind enough to consider why over 40% of our country would support the GOP. Are you saying those people are all wrong and you, one man, is right? how arrogant and how narrow minded.
Jack, but you say all the liberals are under the "spell" of George Soros. All the GOP voters are thoughtful and self motivated while the Democratic voters are not? That does not take you far, now does it? And what about the other 40 to 50 percent(?) that support Democrats, are you saying that they and me included are nuts?
You can't have it both ways, Jack.
maybe that is your thoughts credence, but the majority of the democrats oppose Bloomberg is because they think it will fracture the party and make it a certain that Trump will be reelected.
Another factor is they do not like Billionaires. It is contrary to their socialist ideals.
Neither will make any difference. Trump will win by a landslide with the help of 35% of African American support.
Nice to have you back, Jack
The party is already dangerously fractured between the moderates and true progressives. The introduction of Bloomberg does not change that. Bloomberg throws his hat into the ring with an arrogant attitude toward the electorate, and that will not stand with me.
The factor is that Democracy is not for sale, my vote is not to be taken for granted by an attitude that nullifies the entire process simply because you have enough money to do so.
You are always the one talking about the Constitution and such, how does that figure in with your apples?
There is no way this side of hell that someone like Trump will get more than 10 percent AA support, 35% is out of the question. Time to turn the channel away from Faux Nuus, Jack.
Be careful about your predictions, your landslide could become a sinkhole for Trump and the GOP instead, and I am banking on it.
here is the background story on the 35%, I did not make it up.
https://thepoliticalinsider.com/african … mp-surges/
I don't trust conservatives nor their journalistic mouthpieces, Jack. Bring me such a story from responsible mainstream media source and I will give it a second look.
I thought so. your main stream media is worst biased on the left...so you are the one getting erroneous information, not I.
I did not rely simply on this article. I actually hear numerous interviews on TV and radio that confirm the fact that the support for Trump among minorities is high... why wouldn't they be? they are reaping the benefits of a booming economy.
Why should I accept rightwing bias, which is truly what the publication represents? I find that just as erroneous.
What interviews, Jack? They are reaping the benefits of the economic upturn beginning with the Obama administration.
check out this -
https://thefederalist.com/2016/08/31/7- … ald-trump/
So for every black man they rummaged for like a needle in a haystack there are 20 that take the contrary view. Republicans in modern times have never really done well with Black voters and they have earned the status.
Trotting one black guy before me does not prove a 35 percent Trump support by the black voter.
just one of many...have you been following the news. There are a lot of them out there. too bad it does not fit your narrative...but ground breaking it will be for 2020.
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