Saturday, December 8, 2007

Quotes From Our Top Democratic Candidates

Some Quotes from the Top Democratic Candidates

Hilary Clinton: "Wall Street not only enabled, but often encouraged, reckless lending."Boston

My opinion: In this article, Hillary is threatening to pursue legislation if “Wall Street” does not enact voluntary measures to suspend foreclosures for at least 90 days.

Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) are widely traded assets on Wall Street. The mortgages at a bank are sold at a price that is determined by default risk and current interest rate. Now, having sold the mortgages to Wall Street, the mortgage banks are free to make further loans. This is not reckless lending; it occurs for all types of loans, sub-prime or prime. If Hillary is successful in claiming that Wall Street encouraged this problem and pursues legislation against this monetizing of debt, then future loanable funds may be in jeopardy.

Hilary Clinton: “I think it is a mistake for Democrats to be throwing these ideas out when we know that we can’t do anything unless Democrats and Republicans hold hands and jump together.”

My opinion: I would like to see Hillary happy about anything besides mopping the floor with her opponents. Barack Obama initiated a website to monitor Hillary’s aggressive behavior and attacks. Such an aggressive candidate would not be successful in putting on the bipartisan hat.

Barack Obamba: "We are in a defining moment in our history," he says. "Our nation is at war. The planet is in peril. The dream that so many generations fought for feels as if it's slowly slipping away.
"And that is why the same old Washington textbook campaigns just won't do."

My opinion: The situation in America is not as bleak as Barack describes. The figure below illustrates real per-capita income since 1960. Notice that average income has increased over 100% since 1960 and that it has not trended downward since Bush took office. I know that this does not well represent the distribution of income, but this means that our citizens are better off. We have access to better education, a rich variety of goods and services, technology, and overall, a better quality of life than in 1960. Compared to some countries, we are living in economic prosperity.

Nigeria, for example, is experiencing an increase of wealth derived from the crude oil market. Nigerian citizens, however, remain impoverished and living in shanty towns, while a few political leaders soak in the revenues and growth.

Sometimes politics really forgets to mention how well-off American citizens are.

John Edwards: "This system is corrupt. And it's rigged. And it's rigged against you," he says. "And we can say as long as we get Democrats in, everything's gonna be OK. "It's a lie. It is not the truth. Do you really believe if we replace a crowd of corporate Republicans with a crowd of corporate Democrats that anything meaningful's gonna change? This has to stop. It's that simple."

My opinion: John Edwards was a trial lawyer before he became involved in politics. According to CNN, he is worth millions, making $1.2 million in 2006. I just don’t see how this level of wealth differentiates John Edwards from his affluent democratic and republican predecessors.

Bill Richardson: "Is the plan I told you messy?" Richardson said, explaining his support for the concepts in the failed immigration bill. "Yes. ... Is somebody in Washington going to find a way to mess it up? Probably. But it's far better than doing nothing, and it's far better than deportation."

My opinion: Immigration reform is an interesting topic - one that Bill tackles with On the Issues. Bill Richardson wants to give illegal immigrants driver’s licenses, increase the number of H-1B visas, enhance border patrol with technology, and…include same-sex couples in binational sponsorships! Further, and part of a longer list, he will build a stronger relationship with Mexico and Central America to create jobs so that the immigration flow to the U.S. slows. This is not feasible. Perhaps this may work for the agricultural industry, but the service-sector professionals are not going to find appropriate jobs in Mexico. The job flows will always be inward (to the U.S.), and no relationship is going to change that economic fact.

Do you have any thoughts? I welcome your comments. Best, Nonthruths

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