The pros and cons of John McCain and Barack Obama
Posted by jingoisticbuthornydesperado on October 6, 2008
Recent survey (quoting from the Economist) has shown what the top three concerns of an average American are in the following order, starting with the most important:
1. The economy
2. War in Iraq and Afghanistan, health care
3. Foreign policy.
Barack Obama wants to increase tax for the rich while John McCain is against that. John McCain believes that when the rich is taxed more, they have less money for future investment, thus restricting economic growth. He believes in trickle down wealth, whereby investment will help kick-start manufacturing and production, thus reducing unemployment and increasing wages of the bourgeoisie and the poor. This is exactly what George Bush did for the past 8 years yet the average median salary has remain stagnant, the rich (1%) gets richer while the poor gets poorer. I believe that John McCain has the right idea, but somewhere downstream, the lack of moral oversight and regulation has resulted in the problem. One source of the poverty loop is due to subprime mortgaging/ lending.
Subprime lending is a loan to the usually less privilege and the poor, people who have bad credit history, or in other words, dodgy financial history, The loans that these people receive usually come at a higher interest rate that normal, supposedly because such loans have a higher risk of default, hence the higher risk involved should be mitigated by repaying the loan at higher interest rate. But a survey as reported by The Economist again, stated that 61% of subprime borrowers are actually entitled to obtain better and cheaper loans, yet they were not made aware (trapping them in ignorance, hence the so-called predatory lending) by the high-flying financiers. The people who are usually afflicted tend to be the POOR and LESS EDUCATED as well, hence they are trapped in the poverty cycle of having to find extra loans to finance the debt incurred by high interest rate which they do not have to take if they were made aware of their options. HENCE, THE RICH GETS RICHER (1% of the population) AND THE POOR GETS POORER.
Certain neo-conservatives have the tendency to blame the Democrats for everything. Dominic Lawson, writer to the Independent, son of Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of The Exchequer for the Conservative party in UK, indirectly pin-pointed the current conundrum to ex-Democratic president, Jimmy Carter. Jimmy Carter was fighting for equal treatment for racial minorities especially the blacks. Jimmy Carter wanted the financiers to ignore the lack of credit history of the racial minorities. To the view of Dominic Lawson, the financiers are forced to take riskier options because of Jimmy Carter’s fight for equal treatment! That does not explain why 61% of the sub prime borrowers were not told about their options! If the financiers are really worried about the risk involved, they should have tried to dissuade and enlighten the borrowers with good credit history to take up cheaper loans that are open to them as well!
So I believe Obama is right to tax the rich more now to help the middle class and the poor. It has an immediate effect of reducing income disparity. Maybe in the future, when there is re-regulation of the financial market with moral obligations, the option of reducing taxes for the rich to encourage investment can be considered.
McCain should also stop talking about expanding the military. This money could be better used on the economy and general welfare of the Americans.
Quoting from the Nation who again quotes from the popular American, General Petraeus, they acknowledged that the “surge” in American military is not the only major factor that comes to play when it comes to stability in Iraq. General Petraeus himself attributed the success to diplomacy and bridging the cultural gap between the Americans and the Iraqis. It is less about directly interfering with Iraqis domestic affairs, but about mediating between Iraq warlords. The stability is also due to temporary truce between Shiite and Sunni factions, and the warlords in general have also turned their backs on Al-Qaeda operations in Iraq. The US administration is also less hostile to Iran, because it realises Iran’s role in backing the Shiite government to power. Even though US doesn’t like it, it can’t fight everyone at once in Iraq…… Both the candidates, McCain and Obama seem to be blinded by the “surge”, maybe more so to McCain who is in cahoot with uncurious Palin, seem to overplay the role of the “surge”.
With regards to Afghanistan though, I don’t think Obama is doing the right thing to support attacking Taliban’s bases in Pakistan. It is violating the sovereignty of Pakistan. The problem Pakistan is having now is disorganised politics and having to deal with infighting, hence Pakistan is less capable to unite as a nation to counter the Al-Qaeda threat based in the remote mountainous region of Pakistan. The political kerfuffle in Pakistan has been due to excessive “Christian” or “infidel” American influence too close to (Muslim) Pakistani soil and the influence American administration held on General Musharaf.
As the Nation stated, if Americans hold back a little, the political climate in Pakistan might be more stable for the government to take an effective action against Al-Qaeda in its own country. I do agree with The Nation that too much resources are spent trying to fight terrorist in remote mountainous region. That region is cut off from effective recruitment and lack of facilities to train terrorists. Recruiting terrorists usually happen in heavily populated area. The training as in the case of 9/11 happens within US soil itself not in the caves of Afghanistan. Which idiotic mastermind goes to the “say” Himalayas and brainwash a herd of mountain goats to become terrorists, learning to ride on a rock-slide to cause massive destruction?
As for foreign policy, I disagree with the Economist that John McCain is better off. Firstly, he is from the cold war generation. Russia and US are not fighting for ideological differences, they are now fighting for the control of oil services and resources. Tactics are different than that of cold war. For McCain to cut Russia off from G8 is foolhardy. Russia is part of the member in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which as a united front, is very powerful organisation that controls the flow of (oil and gas) resources, with Iran having the 2nd largest oil reserves, while China’s vast foreign reserves can be a threat of different kind. China itself does not want a world with only US as hegemony. McCain with his idea of the League of Democracies might potentially push China away into Russia’s arms.