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margotb822 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 06:59 PM
Original message
Help With An Email (#1)
Ok, I'm in an email discussion with a guy in my graduate class and I'm too tired to do this on my own. Can you guys please help? Thanks! (Also, as far as I know, this guy is a nice enough guy, our views just differ. I have no intention of telling him to "shove it" as my classy response).

Background: I contend that Republicans are "anti-woman." Chaos ensues.

His email:

I was raised in a solidly Democratic family. But after well over a decade of studying American history I cant call examples such as FDRs New Deal accomplishments. And I must additionally admit that I find the philosophy of the Democratic party an affort to my values as an American. Let me give some brief expansion to these statements.

FDRs New Deal & the Depression: These programs did far more to make people feel better about their situation than provide any actual aid, and their negative effects are still felt today. Unemployment averaged 18% under FDR from 1933 to 1940 (by contrast todays bad recession has an average of 6%). One of FDRs first acts, NIRA, essentially amounted to an attempted government takeover of our economy with industry-wide cartels that were empowered to set wages, hours of operation, and minimum prices. His agricultural acts attempted to manipulate food prices by destroying product this has now turned into subsidies that were 30 billion in the 1980s for farmers to either not work the land or destroy product. Economists Richard Vedder and Lowell Gallaway estimated that the strain on businesses from Social Security put an additional 1.2 million out of work by 1938. The distribution of FDRs New Deal projects, on close examination, are tied more closely to where he needed votes than to where people needed help; the South where the need was the most dire received the fewest WPA assistance. How does all of this (just the tip of the iceberg) mesh with the idea of accomplishment?

Im going to stop here because I think the entire civil rights thing is best saved for another time.

Youll have to enlighten me on Democratic philosophy. Unless I grossly misunderstand is basically socialism. It doesn't believe in Equality of Law. It doesn't believe in Rule of Law. It doesn't believe in Limited Government. And I want my Amendments back, thank you.

But on to the issues.

Equal Pay: I think this is being looked at wrong. I would only want to see transperancy for use in an academic study. The question is what are women doing different than men that accounts for the pay difference? I wouldnt want to see simply a reporting requirement because it will turn into a basis for suing businesses. But a thourgh study into the matter would help. The reason Im skeptical is because I have a feeling that one of the big factors is going to be networking or something less tangible. But isnt the governments job to make you happy or to interfare in the economy.

Minimum Wage: I see your point. But you are basically advocating to strip businesses of their rights. I dont like tying mimimum wage to welfare. Want to get people off welfare, end welfare programs. Familys living on minimum wage is a problem. But I dont think the problem is that employers are cruel self-centered people. I think its that these people need to get better education or job training so they can apply for better paying jobs. Im curious, have you ever done payroll forms for a business that actually pays most of its people mimumum wage? I have, and while the $1 an hour more an hour sounds like nothing to you, it makes a huge difference to the bottom line of these businesses. You want to put more money into the hands of hourly workers..cut taxes.

Social Security: I would love to see it ended entirely. It isnt just badly structured..iits a disaster. Obviously, we cant end it like flipping a light switch, but we can phase it out. If you feel guilty, donate more to charity. But why should I have my hard-earned money stolen from me because other people wont take care of their own problems??

SCHIP: Health Care is beyond messed up. No question. But the renewal that Republicans voted against was because Democrats tried to expand the program to include those in the middle class (who can afford health care on their own). If they had put it up for renewal without changes, it would have been passed without question.

Sex Education: Now this is something I agree with you on personally. Remember, that what I had said originally was that Republicans have good reasons to vote against these acts other than being anti-women. And sex ed being a matter of parental responsibility, and to millions of Americans, touches on religious beliefs. These are excellent reasons to vote against sex education while not being anti-woman.

Abortion: Like Sex Education, Im not personally opposed to this. But Republicans dont wake up and say Id like to strip women of their rights. They see abortion as murder and are trying to save lives. Arguably the wrong way to go but dont let opposition to blind you to someone trying to do the right thing.

Economy: 70% of the debt was created under Republican Presidents. Mostly under Reagan and Bush I. While engaged in the cold war, which we won, which was a good thing. As for the wage data..the chart doesnt show which Presidents. Id like a closer look at his work before agreeing or disagreeing (but Im willing to be open-minded).

In conclusion, I agree that Republicans ignore the Constitution almost as often as Democrats. Which is why Im not a Republican either (which if you recall I began with). But while imperfect, the Republicans make an attempt to look for constructionist judges who base at least some of their decisions on the Constitution. It is also a matter of direction.todays Democratic party has been taken control by its lunatic fringe in the form of people like Nancy Pelosi. They defend rights they approve of..but not all rights and not equally. As for the curious. I realize you are military and studied international relations, so let me ask. Have you read the Geneva Convention? If so, refer me to the passage the protects the rights of terrorists, please.

Separate email on Obama and my own personal views to follow.


If you really want the deep background, my email to him (also, feel free to address/correct things I've said):

You've given the impression that you're one of those illusive "undecided" voters. I'd love to have a discussion with you about this election, and your concerns. I have to say that I am much more Anti-McCain than I am Pro-Obama. I think he's run an absolutely insulting campaign that has nothing to do with him. Think about it, when was the last time McCain ran an ad about what he plans to do for America? He hasn't because he doesn't plan to do anything but aggravate our situation. And the attacks against Obama are lies, plain and simple. Even the press is calling McCain out ( ). A democracy can't work if the people aren't informed and one candidate's lies even make Karl Rove blush (hint: it's not Obama). And, on top of all this, McCain chooses Palin as his running mate. I know they say anyone can be president, but, really this is extreme. Her candidacy is an insult to all Americans, not just women. Do we actually care about the direction of this country or are we just playing games? This is not a game. This is the future of our skills, and Palin doesn't have the skills to play. Maybe she will in the future, but not right now. From not know what Freddie or Fannie do, to not knowing the Bush doctrine, from lying about earmarks, the Bridge, and selling the plane, to abuse of power investigations and book banning investigations, Palin is not ready to lead and every piece of her image is predicated on a lie. As a military officer, I want McCain and Palin as far away from "the button" as possible.

No philosophy is perfect, but when I look back, I see all the great accomplishments of Democratic principles. How many people did the programs of the Great Depression Era help, the invention of Social Security, the defeat of Fascism during WWII, conquering the Berlin Blockade, The defeat of the Cuban Missile crisis, civil rights, women's suffrage, workers rights and protections, environmental protection, economic growth and a balanced budget in the 1990's. I'll admit that Vietnam was atrocious, but, unfortunately, we're applying the same principles in the Middle East, which is why we're not going to "win."

Equal Pay: I know that it is against the law for people to discriminate based on gender, but women still earn 77 cents to every dollar a man earns. Personally, What I would like to see is increased transparency in salary. I think people need to be able to say "I do X, Y, Z and have accomplished 1, 2, 3, and I believe I deserve to be compensated at this level." If people can justify their pay, especially in relation to their colleagues, it would go a long way to ease the tensions about minority pay.

Minimum Wage: when you look and see that more women than men are minimum wage earners, you can see how increasing the minimum wage can have a positive effect on women. When its more profitable to stay on welfare than get a minimum-wage job, we have a problem with the system (here is some interesting info about minimum wage: ). So, minimum wage increases would be hard on businesses? The fact is, minimum wage is essentially federally sanctioned poverty. From that link, the inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage is 19% lower in 2008 than it was in 1979 and since September 1997, the cost of living has risen 32%, while the minimum wage, even after the increase to $6.55, has fallen in real value. If minimum wage is not increased, it perpetuates the welfare cycle and continues to grow the number of people in need of government assistance. I'm sure that people said the end of slavery would devastate the economy, but, it didn't. And, I'm sure they argued that the market supported the idea of slavery. If businesses can't afford to pay their employees less than a dollar more per hour, maybe they need to rethink their business practices. In the end, we'll all be better off if we pay our employees living wages.

Social Security: Yes, it's a poorly structured system now, but the solution isn't privatization. How many workers that will depend on SS to survive have the time to manage or know anything about investing. It has always been set up so that the people paying in now are paid later by younger workers. I'm not happy about sending my money there now, but it can be fixed. Maybe personal accounts. I know that people can often do better in the stock market, but SS is there to be a guarantee, not a gold mine. Maybe there could be opt out clauses. I don't know. But, when you put together the idea that women are a majority of minimum wage workers are women and rely on SS, this system must remain.

SCHIP: Additionally, 84% of single-parent homes in America are headed by women, so programs like SCHIP are very important to them (demographic info: and SCHIP: ). The problem with children's health care is reflective of the problem throughout the US health care system. SCHIP covers those that are not eligible for Medicare, and with the sky-rocketing costs of health care, more people fall under the purview of SCHIP's mandate. The fact is, even those with moderate income cannot afford basic health coverage. I think the problem is that people's health has increasingly become a for-profit industry. I do support a universally available health care system, since I'm having so much success in one now. My feeling is that people's health is sacred, not a business. I think America's health care system is shameful and embarrassing. We spend more than any other nation on health care, yet have the highest number of preventable deaths in industrialized nations. Where is all that money going? Straight to the insurance and drug companies. My mother had cancer earlier this year, and under our current system, she'll be denied insurance if she ever switches jobs. Even though she's cancer free, it's a "pre-exiting condition." And, then you look at McCain's health care plan, and you see that he wants to make employer benefits taxable income. Not only does his plan not help ease the health care crisis, it hurts average American. Of course, his health care architect thinks there are no uninsured Americans, so a plan like this doesn't surprise me.

Sex Ed: In 2006, for the first time in 14 years, the teen pregnancy rate rose ( ). This indicates a breakdown in the current system. For 14 years, this country was successfully combating the rise in teen pregnancy through education and outreach programs. I would say that it's not the government's place to be the primary educators regarding sexual behavior, but with the rise of abstinence-only sexual education and the corresponding slowing decline and then rise of teen pregnancy, it demonstrates that we are failing our children as a society. Unfortunately, not everybody comes from a supportive and open home. Where can these people go to learn good decision making skills and "the facts of life," if you will? And, often, teen pregnancy is a cycle, and now that cycle can remain unbroken through lack of information. Knowledge is power and we do no good by purposely keeping children ignorant. I do believe that comprehensive sex education is an absolute must, especially for at-risk teens. If they don't receive the information at home, we are failing children by not providing this information at school. And organizations like Planned Parenthood provide additional access to educators and counselors, as well as health services to the uninsured. Let's not kid ourselves, people are biologically wired to have sex (just as all mammals are). Giving people more information about the subject gives them more tools to use when making decisions. Additionally, I believe that it's in the country's fiscal best interest to teach comprehensive sex ed for a few reasons. If a teen completes high school, they have a greater opportunity to produce for society, and if a teen is pregnant and needs to be on welfare programs, it is a continuous cost to the government.

Choice: I don't know anyone who is pro-abortion. I know people who are pro-choice. I don't know anyone who wakes up and hopes that they can finally have an abortion. And, I think the reality of the situation is that even outlawing abortion won't end the practice. I do agree that it is a private decision. I think the goal should be reducing the need for abortion through education and support.

It's interesting that you consider Republicans stronger on the economy. I would admit that they are pro-business, but I don't equate it with economic success. Considering that 70% of the national debt was created under three Republican presidents ( ) and real middle-class wage growth is double under Democratic presidents ( ).

I also find that Republicans have absolutely no use for the Constitution. I'm interested to know how you feel Republicans support and defend the Constitution more than Democrats. As I pointed out earlier, the Democrats headed the civil and women's rights movements, opening and securing the American dream to all Americans. They constantly defend our freedom of speech from people who want to censor us and our freedom of religion from those who want to impose their religions on us. They protect us from unlawful government intrusion, and prevent torture. Honestly, I'm shocked that McCain would vote to support waterboarding, considering that he himself was tortured while a captive and gave false testimony under pain of more torture. The fact is, torture does not produce useful intelligence, it just gives our enemies more incentive to torture captured Americans. I recommend watching this clip about Habeas Corpus (and it's from 2006, but still pertinent considering the Supreme Court's decision): /

As far as McCain being sexist, I absolutely believe he is. Here's info on the wife comments:

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islandmkl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. it appears your friend's grasp of Depression-era history is limited, or more likely,...
Edited on Tue Sep-16-08 07:11 PM by islandmkl
selectively 'remembered' to assist him in some fairly standard old-school right wing arguments...

the Depression did not begin in 1932...he should revisit the policies and programs of post-World War 1...

he might be uncomfortable with the parallels to what the right has brought us today...

do a DU search for the posts from about 2 hours ago about Truman's 1948 speech in Denver...

if the parallels of that speech and time don't ring a bell for your friend...he doesn't really want to know....

on edit:
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margotb822 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks, I appreciate it
I know this is long, but I don't know how much I can do to change his mind.
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Gwendolyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. Here's a shot at the equal pay question.
Your dude's response was a little incoherent but anyway.

I'm someone who once worked in the capacity of middle management where part of my function was to screw people over on their salaries. It wasn't necessarily done to line wallets at the very top, but increased departmental budgets for bonuses (divied among directors and managers) plus perks, like the odd golf afternoon, etc.

It works this way. If a woman with the identical education, CV, portfolio, experience comes in, you hire her at $5000-$10,000 less than you would a man with the same credentials. That way there's a good gap to start with when attributing bonuses and year end raises. If you already have two equally educated, experienced people with the same seniority and perf-evals, you simply screw the woman on her bonuses and raises. This kind of discrimination works particularly well with junior level emps because they're hungry.

Mostly there isn't a problem, because A) Women are often working mothers who need their job so question nothing B) people don't usually discuss salaries ergo ignorance is bliss and C) Women fold easier during negotiations.

The current situation allows for, I think about a year to state a grievance, which is ludicrous since it often takes many years for someone to become aware that they are in fact being screwed and to gather information. Even then, it's difficult because what's usually applied is the old, "sneak in a perf-eval prob like "she needs to improve confidence level" (or whatever seemingly minor criticism that counts towards the company covering its ass). You need witnesses, documentation, etc.

These types of discriminations are VERY real.

The dems have wanted to extend that grievance grace period in order to give people time to build their cases. The repubs do NOT want these cases making it anywhere NEAR the courts.

Begs the question though... why would any Repub guy want his wife bringing home $5000 or $10,000 less a year, especially if they have kids. It hurts the entire family. Just plain STUPID people.
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Gwendolyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. PS I answered you as I did...
Edited on Tue Sep-16-08 07:52 PM by Gwendolyn
because it isn't only a problem of minimum wage earners. The question also concerns the grievance period that would allow women to fight against pay discrimination in all employment sectors.

That your doodles doesn't understand the reason WHY the concept of suing businesses and claiming justice shouldn't be swept off the table in cases like this, says ALOT!
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margotb822 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I know this guy is out there
But, at least he's been respectful in his disagreement. So, I'm trying to do my best.

I read an article that said that men negotiate for 7% greater salary than women (who usually don't negotiate). Women haven't been socialized to be "disagreeable" so they just take whatever crap people hand them.
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Gwendolyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Even if he isn't out there, he's definitely been coddled.
:) He sounds very naive. But maybe as a grad student he hasn't experienced being "out there" yet?

Women do tend to accept crappier salaries for all kinds of reasons, but the discrimination aspect is real. I've noticed that Repubs always scoff at the idea of extending the grievance period but the only argument is "too much litigation." That's nonsense. In reality, it serves to make corps think twice before screwing people to begin with.

As far as abortion goes: "Trying to do what's right" is a pathetic argument. Repubs are pro-pregnancy ONLY, not pro-life, and wish to cut funding for just about any support a child and mother might receive. The infant mortality rate in the US is revolting compared to the rest of the civilized world.
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margotb822 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. It sounds like he was a blank slate
that some scared neo-con quickly filled up.

Here is a piece I wrote about the Republican pro-family myth. I wouldn't even go so far as to call them pro-pregnancy because they don't support proper medical care during pregnancy. I've started calling them pro-birth. That's their only goal.
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Gwendolyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Very nice piece!!!

And good luck with your friend!
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dgibby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
8. Re: equal pay
Ask him if he expects Palin to earn less as VP than Biden would and why. If he says he's ok with that because she's less qualified, has less experience, etc, then he's toast. If he says she should be paid the same, then ask him why she's the exception to the rule. Answer #1 you win. Answer#2 you win. Case closed! :evilgrin:
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margotb822 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Nice!
Where do these people even come from??
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dgibby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. I don't know
I don't know where they come from, but I think they'd make great poster children for Planned Parenthood. :rofl:
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Gwendolyn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Hehehehe!!!
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
12. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
margotb822 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. He's a MD resident
I suppose their democratic strength can absorb his vote, but I will still suggest it (as I have before).
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PerfectSage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I'm a socialist libertarian.
So I agree with Ron Paul on foreign policy 100%

Ask him what the raison d'etre of government is.

For the individual to serve the government, so the government can strive to reach it's full potential; or the government to serve the individual, so an individual can strive to reach their full potential?
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