Lady Brin

Did Obama take Econ 101?

38 posts in this topic

While Sen. McCain has argued that tax cuts -- particularly on business -- spur growth, Sen. Obama rejected that as flawed economics. "I've seen no evidence that...would actually boost the economic growth and productivity," he said.

Can we pass the offering plate to buy him some glasses?

FLINT, Mich. -- Sen. Barack Obama shed new light on his economic plans for the country, saying he would rely on a heavy dose of government spending to spur growth, use the tax code to narrow the widening gap between winners and losers in the U.S. economy, and possibly back a reduction in corporate tax rates.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the Illinois Democrat said that he was trying to put together tax and spending policies that dealt with two challenges. One is the competition from rapidly growing developing countries, like India and China. The other: the U.S. becoming what he called a "winner-take-all" economy, where the gains from economic growth skew heavily toward the wealthy.

Sen. Obama cited new economic forces to explain what appears like a return to an older-style big-government Democratic platform skeptical of market forces. "Globalization and technology and automation all weaken the position of workers," he said, and a strong government hand is needed to assure that wealth is distributed more equitably. He spoke aboard his campaign bus, where a big-screen TV was tuned to the final holes of the U.S. Open golf tournament.

Why haven't I heard of these new economic forces? Who's keeping it a secret?

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When this is the best that the Democratic Party has to offer, it is a sad day.

Instead of passing the plate for some glasses we should buy him Richard Salsman's lecture, The Cause and Consequence of the Great Depression.

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Hes certainly not the only one, supposedly only 47% of the country thinks we should not nationalize the oil industry. B)

Click Here

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While Sen. McCain has argued that tax cuts -- particularly on business -- spur growth, Sen. Obama rejected that as flawed economics. "I've seen no evidence that...would actually boost the economic growth and productivity," he said.

Of course, another question is, does McCain really believe that? If so, why did he vote against the Bush tax cuts?

McCain admits he doesn't know much about economics, and since that anti-Bush vote has increasingly taken the standard GOP line. Well, the standard GOP line brought us Sarbanes-Oxley, more government regulation, rampant government spending, and large budget deficits that the Federal Reserve has taken upon itself (with support from the Administration) to monetize, leading to a weak dollar. Maybe we can legitimately ask whether the GOP has taken any economics courses recently?

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Maybe we can legitimately ask whether the GOP has taken any economics courses recently?

The question is not whether the Republicans represent a healthy society - which no Objectivist thinks. It's whether the Bird Flu/Ebola represented by Obama and other Democrats is worse than the Pneumonia/Measles represented by the Republicans.

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Of course, another question is, does McCain really believe that? If so, why did he vote against the Bush tax cuts?

McCain admits he doesn't know much about economics, and since that anti-Bush vote has increasingly taken the standard GOP line. Well, the standard GOP line brought us Sarbanes-Oxley, more government regulation, rampant government spending, and large budget deficits that the Federal Reserve has taken upon itself (with support from the Administration) to monetize, leading to a weak dollar. Maybe we can legitimately ask whether the GOP has taken any economics courses recently?

And your solution is to vote for a veritable Marxist/Postmodernist democrat? Take a look at the Soviet Union then factor in the pomo part.

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Maybe we can legitimately ask whether the GOP has taken any economics courses recently?

The question is not whether the Republicans represent a healthy society - which no Objectivist thinks. It's whether the Bird Flu/Ebola represented by Obama and other Democrats is worse than the Pneumonia/Measles represented by the Republicans.

No, it's more like a choice between bird flu and a hospital bill due now (Democrats), and bird flue and a hospital bill put on your credit card (GOP).

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Maybe we can legitimately ask whether the GOP has taken any economics courses recently?

The question is not whether the Republicans represent a healthy society - which no Objectivist thinks. It's whether the Bird Flu/Ebola represented by Obama and other Democrats is worse than the Pneumonia/Measles represented by the Republicans.

No, it's more like a choice between bird flu and a hospital bill due now (Democrats), and bird flue and a hospital bill put on your credit card (GOP).

Both sides leave us with terrible choices. But, I do not understand your example, could you please concretize it for me? Could you also explain what character traits and fundamental philosophical ideas you see in Obama that make you think he is your savior and worthy of your vote?

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Both sides leave us with terrible choices. But, I do not understand your example, could you please concretize it for me? Could you also explain what character traits and fundamental philosophical ideas you see in Obama that make you think he is your savior and worthy of your vote?

I never said Obama was a "savior." I still haven't decided who to vote for. McCain is interesting in that he might pass the "Peikoff test" (not being religious, and being viewed with suspicion by the evangelical right), while Obama, arguably, is the more openly religious.

However, the GOP had 12 years from 1994-2006 to prove they were substantially different from the Democrats, and IMO, they failed at that task miserably. Not only did they fail to stem the tide of rising government, they actively encouraged it. For the first six years, they tried to pass the blame to Bill Clinton, arguing that his successful triangulation forced them into a corner. However, they had no such excuse after Bush II got elected. Under the guise of "national security," they created a leviathan TSA, sealed off our borders to our friends (by tightening up the border with Canada and restricting the Visa Waiver Program with Europe) while doing little substantive over illegal immigration, voted with the worst of Democratic excesses (e.g. Sarbanes-Oxley), while giving us their own welfare programs (Medicare Part D), and funded projects such as $248 million bridges to small villages in Alaska and monuments in Mississippi, all the while claiming to be for "small government" because they lowered taxes. Big deal. So I'm paying lower tax rates now with the knowledge that I'll pay higher rates in the future when (hopefully) my income is higher in real terms. Meanwhile, they've done this under the guise of conservatism, convincing half a generation of Americans that this is what conservatism is all about. If that's what it is, then give me an honest liberal over a dishonest conservative. After scraping by in 2004 despite themselves and getting trounced in 2006, they still don't seem to "get it." Maybe an electoral rout will finally force the party to come to terms with itself.

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Well, the standard GOP line brought us Sarbanes-Oxley, more government regulation, rampant government spending, and large budget deficits that the Federal Reserve has taken upon itself (with support from the Administration) to monetize, leading to a weak dollar. Maybe we can legitimately ask whether the GOP has taken any economics courses recently?

"The GOP" is a loose coalition of individuals, not a monolithic collective. What's more, most of the individuals in the GOP opposed Sarbanes-Oxley, opposed increased regulation, and opposed increased government spending. Can you name more than a handful of Democrats who opposed them? Certainly not Obama.

While Bush and few other Republicans did promote or allow some very evil economic policies, to pin them on the GOP as a whole, as if it were only their fault, is unsupported by the facts and grossly unjust.

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...
FLINT, Mich. -- Sen. Barack Obama shed new light on his economic plans for the country, saying he would rely on a heavy dose of government spending to spur growth, use the tax code to narrow the widening gap between winners and losers in the U.S. economy, and possibly back a reduction in corporate tax rates.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the Illinois Democrat said that he was trying to put together tax and spending policies that dealt with two challenges. One is the competition from rapidly growing developing countries, like India and China. The other: the U.S. becoming what he called a "winner-take-all" economy, where the gains from economic growth skew heavily toward the wealthy.

..."Globalization and technology and automation all weaken the position of workers," he said, and a strong government hand is needed to assure that wealth is distributed more equitably. He spoke aboard his campaign bus, where a big-screen TV was tuned to the final holes of the U.S. Open golf tournament.

He hates business. He hates finance. He takes the John Edwards view of "2 Americas." I just listened to another fawning NPR soundbite about his campaigning in Michigan, talking to auto workers on their shift changes. The anecdote was about a father of 3 going back to school, who'd had a hard time getting a loan... but eventually did. Obama, the defective psychic, feeling his pain, commented: "I know how these lenders are. They're really nice to you when they're lending you the money... 0%, a free toaster, but then --" ... and the rest is assumed. You know, those rotten sleazeballs who just want to lend you money must be just salivating, with their onerous demands for repayment of money offered, making a profit, even, ready to foreclose on a minutes notice, driving you into bankruptcy...

Only, he picked the wrong idiotic bromide from The Idiotic Bromide list. This guy got a loan. It was hard to qualify, not easy (because they wanted to make sure they'd get their money back, the bastards), but he did and is now going to school to get a degree and make more money. Obama was supposed to pick the "Those bastards make it so hard, we need easier (sub-prime) loans, 'cause that worked so well" bromide.

50 years ago, even a Populist would have been congratulating the guy on a tough, but smart decision to raise his earning potential. Obama doesn't even have enough of an economic clue to know which stereotypical Economic Warfare slogan to cough up on cue.

Why haven't I heard of these new economic forces? Who's keeping it a secret?
shh... (we're busy forming a prayer circle to wish for prosperity)

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The question is . . . whether the Bird Flu/Ebola represented by Obama and other Democrats is worse than the Pneumonia/Measles represented by the Republicans.

Well put!

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"The GOP" is a loose coalition of individuals, not a monolithic collective. What's more, most of the individuals in the GOP opposed Sarbanes-Oxley, opposed increased regulation, and opposed increased government spending. Can you name more than a handful of Democrats who opposed them? Certainly not Obama.

While Bush and few other Republicans did promote or allow some very evil economic policies, to pin them on the GOP as a whole, as if it were only their fault, is unsupported by the facts and grossly unjust.

So, if I understand you correctly, apart from the leaders of the GOP who controlled Congress' agenda over the past 12 years, as well as the President who has significant executive and veto powers, the GOP is pro-business, and thus worthy of our support? Sorry, if the leadership is dysfunctional, then the party needs reconstituting. In a two-party system, before a new rational party can emerge, at least one of the two parties needs to collapse and a new party emerge that attracts enough of the collapsed party's supporters along with some of the other party's.

The Democrats are an amalgam themselves, as evidenced by the recent primary. They are splintered around social issues, rather than economic issues, however. The GOP long has been a "big tent" as far as social issues are concerned, but at least were tied by economic issues. Lately, since the rise of neoconservatism, it appears that the social conservatives are willing to sacrifice fiscal/economic "conservatism" (really "liberalism" before that term was co-opted by the left) for social conservatism and their share of the pork. If that's the case, then it seems to me that only a rout of the GOP will be enough to finally convince the social liberal wing to either take control of the party and expel the social conservatives, or split away themselves and seek unity with the social liberal wing of the Democratic party, and perhaps move that party back to the fiscal center. It's clear to me that the "big tent" isn't working right now.

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So, if I understand you correctly, apart from the leaders of the GOP who controlled Congress' agenda over the past 12 years, as well as the President who has significant executive and veto powers, the GOP is pro-business, and thus worthy of our support? Sorry, if the leadership is dysfunctional, then the party needs reconstituting. In a two-party system, before a new rational party can emerge, at least one of the two parties needs to collapse and a new party emerge that attracts enough of the collapsed party's supporters along with some of the other party's.

The Democrats are an amalgam themselves, as evidenced by the recent primary. They are splintered around social issues, rather than economic issues, however. The GOP long has been a "big tent" as far as social issues are concerned, but at least were tied by economic issues. Lately, since the rise of neoconservatism, it appears that the social conservatives are willing to sacrifice fiscal/economic "conservatism" (really "liberalism" before that term was co-opted by the left) for social conservatism and their share of the pork. If that's the case, then it seems to me that only a rout of the GOP will be enough to finally convince the social liberal wing to either take control of the party and expel the social conservatives, or split away themselves and seek unity with the social liberal wing of the Democratic party, and perhaps move that party back to the fiscal center. It's clear to me that the "big tent" isn't working right now.

Are you suggesting that the Republican party is more likely to collapse and make way for another party before the Democratic party? If so is this what is commonly believed?

Part of my reason for joining the Forum was to find a halfway decent filter for the scads of political information that was to come during this election year, and there are many dynamics between and amongst the parties that I am unaware of, but from my perspective it seems like a hollow structure (Dems) has much less staying power and structural strength than a structure that is full of something, even if what is filling it is a mix of good and bad (Reps).

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Are you suggesting that the Republican party is more likely to collapse and make way for another party before the Democratic party? If so is this what is commonly believed?

Part of my reason for joining the Forum was to find a halfway decent filter for the scads of political information that was to come during this election year, and there are many dynamics between and amongst the parties that I am unaware of, but from my perspective it seems like a hollow structure (Dems) has much less staying power and structural strength than a structure that is full of something, even if what is filling it is a mix of good and bad (Reps).

Clearly the Democratic primary revealed some deep divisions within that party. However, they are on an electoral roll right now and the US is clearly shifting to the left, even as Europe and Canada are moving slowly to the right. This will sustain them for a little while. Even if Obama loses (and the fact that the press talking a potential "Gore 2000" scenario as McCain's best shot to win doesn't sound promising for McCain), the Democrats will solidify their control on Congress, and Obama's coattails might be enough to give the Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate.

The GOP is reeling from scandals, the unpopular Iraq war, and recent electoral losses. McCain got the nomination by default. Therefore, yes, I do think the GOP is closer to collapse than the Democratic party.

What the Democratic primary revealed to me is that the wing of the party that comprised Hillary's core, who voted for her partly because Obama was black, or they thought he was a Muslim, or because Hillary downs whisky and beer while Obama prefers a glass of wine probably has a lot more in common with the social conservative wing of the GOP than they do with the rest of the Democratic party. At the same time, the social conservative wing of the GOP has discredited that party so much that the social liberal wing (which also comprises much of the "business" supporters of the Republican party) is getting fed up as well. That part includes the "disgruntled Republicans" that Obama is actively courting.

If we consider that a wash, then the swing factor is the independent vote. While McCain might have success in attracting enough, perhaps, to squeak to an electoral win, it's clear that they are swinging to the Democrats (and did so in 2006) in Congressional races.

If there was ever a time for a schism, now is it (or certainly after the election if the Democrats wind up with a clean sweep). A reinvented GOP, or a social liberal faction who plots to win in 2010 and seek independent voters by breaking from the evangelical right may well win over some independents who are dismayed at the Democrat's leftist economic policies but don't want a return of the neoconservatives.

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"The GOP" is a loose coalition of individuals, not a monolithic collective. What's more, most of the individuals in the GOP opposed Sarbanes-Oxley, opposed increased regulation, and opposed increased government spending. Can you name more than a handful of Democrats who opposed them? Certainly not Obama.

While Bush and few other Republicans did promote or allow some very evil economic policies, to pin them on the GOP as a whole, as if it were only their fault, is unsupported by the facts and grossly unjust.

So, if I understand you correctly, apart from the leaders of the GOP who controlled Congress' agenda over the past 12 years, as well as the President who has significant executive and veto powers, the GOP is pro-business, and thus worthy of our support?

Since when does being "pro-business" make a party or a candidate "worthy of our support" -- if you mean an Objectivist's support? That is not the Objectivist standard of political merit. What about supporting and protecting individual rights? Sarbanes-Oxley, government regulation, and most government spending are wrong because they violate individual rights.

Sorry, if the leadership is dysfunctional, then the party needs reconstituting. In a two-party system, before a new rational party can emerge, at least one of the two parties needs to collapse and a new party emerge that attracts enough of the collapsed party's supporters along with some of the other party's.

The Democrats are an amalgam themselves, as evidenced by the recent primary. They are splintered around social issues, rather than economic issues, however. The GOP long has been a "big tent" as far as social issues are concerned, but at least were tied by economic issues. Lately, since the rise of neoconservatism, it appears that the social conservatives are willing to sacrifice fiscal/economic "conservatism" (really "liberalism" before that term was co-opted by the left) for social conservatism and their share of the pork. If that's the case, then it seems to me that only a rout of the GOP will be enough to finally convince the social liberal wing to either take control of the party and expel the social conservatives, or split away themselves and seek unity with the social liberal wing of the Democratic party, and perhaps move that party back to the fiscal center. It's clear to me that the "big tent" isn't working right now.

All of these assertions and speculations are just worthless blather without an understanding of the importance of individual rights.

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Clearly the Democratic primary revealed some deep divisions within that party. However, they are on an electoral roll right now and the US is clearly shifting to the left, even as Europe and Canada are moving slowly to the right. This will sustain them for a little while. Even if Obama loses (and the fact that the press talking a potential "Gore 2000" scenario as McCain's best shot to win doesn't sound promising for McCain), the Democrats will solidify their control on Congress, and Obama's coattails might be enough to give the Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate.

The GOP is reeling from scandals, the unpopular Iraq war, and recent electoral losses. McCain got the nomination by default. Therefore, yes, I do think the GOP is closer to collapse than the Democratic party.

What the Democratic primary revealed to me is that the wing of the party that comprised Hillary's core, who voted for her partly because Obama was black, or they thought he was a Muslim, or because Hillary downs whisky and beer while Obama prefers a glass of wine probably has a lot more in common with the social conservative wing of the GOP than they do with the rest of the Democratic party. At the same time, the social conservative wing of the GOP has discredited that party so much that the social liberal wing (which also comprises much of the "business" supporters of the Republican party) is getting fed up as well. That part includes the "disgruntled Republicans" that Obama is actively courting.

If we consider that a wash, then the swing factor is the independent vote. While McCain might have success in attracting enough, perhaps, to squeak to an electoral win, it's clear that they are swinging to the Democrats (and did so in 2006) in Congressional races.

If there was ever a time for a schism, now is it (or certainly after the election if the Democrats wind up with a clean sweep). A reinvented GOP, or a social liberal faction who plots to win in 2010 and seek independent voters by breaking from the evangelical right may well win over some independents who are dismayed at the Democrat's leftist economic policies but don't want a return of the neoconservatives.

What does any of this have to do with individual rights?

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Are you suggesting that the Republican party is more likely to collapse and make way for

What the Democratic primary revealed to me is that the wing of the party that comprised Hillary's core, who voted for her partly because Obama was black,

Ummm, first, the support for Obama appears to be largely based on race. Chris Mathews and a journalist on his show said as much. They said the big issues was "diversity" and they were all for it. This confirmed what I’d hypothesized. Second, Obama was a member of an anti-white church for twenty some odd years. Any rational person would not want to vote for someone that was against him based on race. I mean, you're obviously listening to the mainstream media for your take on reality, which explains a lot.

Oh, and the church was anti-American, another great reason to not support Obama.

or they thought he was a Muslim,

He was a muslim. See this Daniel Pipes article: http://www.danielpipes.org/article/5354

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Obama didn't take Econ 101, Military History 101, American History 101 (what with his America-loving preacher), and a host of other basic classes. But he passed the Platitudes 499 class, and so is on the way towards aquiring the Baccalaureate.

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Clearly the Democratic primary revealed some deep divisions within that party. However, they are on an electoral roll right now and the US is clearly shifting to the left, even as Europe and Canada are moving slowly to the right. This will sustain them for a little while. Even if Obama loses (and the fact that the press talking a potential "Gore 2000" scenario as McCain's best shot to win doesn't sound promising for McCain), the Democrats will solidify their control on Congress, and Obama's coattails might be enough to give the Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate.

The GOP is reeling from scandals, the unpopular Iraq war, and recent electoral losses. McCain got the nomination by default. Therefore, yes, I do think the GOP is closer to collapse than the Democratic party.

What the Democratic primary revealed to me is that the wing of the party that comprised Hillary's core, who voted for her partly because Obama was black, or they thought he was a Muslim, or because Hillary downs whisky and beer while Obama prefers a glass of wine probably has a lot more in common with the social conservative wing of the GOP than they do with the rest of the Democratic party. At the same time, the social conservative wing of the GOP has discredited that party so much that the social liberal wing (which also comprises much of the "business" supporters of the Republican party) is getting fed up as well. That part includes the "disgruntled Republicans" that Obama is actively courting.

If we consider that a wash, then the swing factor is the independent vote. While McCain might have success in attracting enough, perhaps, to squeak to an electoral win, it's clear that they are swinging to the Democrats (and did so in 2006) in Congressional races.

If there was ever a time for a schism, now is it (or certainly after the election if the Democrats wind up with a clean sweep). A reinvented GOP, or a social liberal faction who plots to win in 2010 and seek independent voters by breaking from the evangelical right may well win over some independents who are dismayed at the Democrat's leftist economic policies but don't want a return of the neoconservatives.

What does any of this have to do with individual rights?

While KPO'M does not express a particularly Objectivist approach to politics, it is a way of approaching the subject that Ayn Rand was familiar with and wrote about.

"If you're so damn sorry for Bertram Scudder, you should have seen him try his damndest to make them break my neck! He's been doing that for years—how do you think he got to where he was, except by climbing on carcasses? He thought he was pretty powerful, too—you should have seen how the big business tycoons used to be afraid of him! But he got himself outmaneuvered, this time. This time, he belonged to the wrong faction."

Dimly, through the pleasant stupor of relaxing, of sprawling back in his chair and smiling, he knew that this was the enjoyment he wanted, to be himself. To be himself—he thought, in the drugged, precarious state of floating past the deadliest of his blind alleys, the one that led to the question of what was himself.

"You see, he belonged to the Tinky Holloway faction. It was pretty much of a seesaw for a while, between the Tinky Holloway faction and the Chick Morrison faction. But we won. Tinky made a deal and agreed to scuttle his pal Bertram in exchange for a few things he needed from us. You should have heard Bertram howl! But he was a dead duck and he knew it."

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While KPO'M does not express a particularly Objectivist approach to politics, it is a way of approaching the subject that Ayn Rand was familiar with and wrote about.
"If you're so damn sorry for Bertram Scudder, you should have seen him try his damndest to make them break my neck! He's been doing that for years—how do you think he got to where he was, except by climbing on carcasses? He thought he was pretty powerful, too—you should have seen how the big business tycoons used to be afraid of him! But he got himself outmaneuvered, this time. This time, he belonged to the wrong faction."

Dimly, through the pleasant stupor of relaxing, of sprawling back in his chair and smiling, he knew that this was the enjoyment he wanted, to be himself. To be himself—he thought, in the drugged, precarious state of floating past the deadliest of his blind alleys, the one that led to the question of what was himself.

"You see, he belonged to the Tinky Holloway faction. It was pretty much of a seesaw for a while, between the Tinky Holloway faction and the Chick Morrison faction. But we won. Tinky made a deal and agreed to scuttle his pal Bertram in exchange for a few things he needed from us. You should have heard Bertram howl! But he was a dead duck and he knew it."

Very nice quote and relation, thanks.

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What does any of this have to do with individual rights?

I was responding to a question about the political realities of the 2008 election. Neither candidate is all that progressive when it comes to individual rights. McCain wants $84 million of taxpayer dollars to convince us why he should be the one who raises our taxes between 2009-2013 instead of Obama. Obama is a typical tax-and-spend liberal.

Both candidates can use some Econ 101. When it comes to Poly-Sci, Obama appears to have a PhD, while McCain has at least a Master's Degree (managing to convince the MSM he's a maverick when he voted for Bush's agenda over 90% of the time). 2008 will come down to the candidate who can move a few swing states to his direction. All else equal, this is a Democratic year, both because the Democrats have the socially popular views, as well as the advantage on economic issues with the majority of voters. That's not to say McCain can't win, but it does mean he'll have to do a better job defending individual rights than he's done so far.

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Since when does being "pro-business" make a party or a candidate "worthy of our support" -- if you mean an Objectivist's support? That is not the Objectivist standard of political merit. What about supporting and protecting individual rights? Sarbanes-Oxley, government regulation, and most government spending are wrong because they violate individual rights.

All of these assertions and speculations are just worthless blather without an understanding of the importance of individual rights.

A pro-individualist party will be pro-capitalist, which in the long run is pro business. That doesn't mean it will be pro big business, which is often collectivistic (I read Atlas Shrugged, just so you know). However, as I've attempted to point out previously, neither party has been particularly good for individual rights lately. The GOP had the ability to prevent Sarbanes-Oxley from becoming law. All it would have taken was 1/3 of either house plus 1, and George W. Bush's veto. That they couldn't even muster that much when they had a majority of both houses means to me that they lack pro-individualist credentials.

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