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Old October 13th, 2012, 03:26 PM   #1
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American politics is weird

Hello,

I just watched the debate between the vice presidents and a few days earlier I also listened to what the presidential candidates had to say.

As a German I am wondering about some points in their discussions that seem to reflect US politics.

First of all, nobody ever talks about the working class. Both candidates stress their support for the middle class, but during the debates I had the feeling they were talking about rich people when these topics came up.
In my very personal opinion someone who earns more than 200 000$ per year is a rich person who can practicly buy anything he wants. Somewhere below are the middle class and the working class.

Why should these people pay more percentages of their income in taxes than the rich people?
After all, THESE people are the ones who go shopping and buy goods in the country. If you give them more money, they will spend more and the companies as well as the government will have a much higher income.
Isn't this a very effective way of creating growth?

And if the "middle class" should have to pay less taxes, why does this affect millionaires?? They don't need to put more money into banks and stocks. Sure they could boost the economy that way by capitalizing companies more, but when the consumers themselves do not have enough money to spend, the companies will not employ more workers.
It's the customers who need the boost.



Health care, or "Obama care", is a big issue, too. Sadly my knowledge about this issue is limited to basics of the german health care system and the movie "Sicko" by Michael Moore.

The the basic differences between the approaches of Obama and Romney seem to be that one want's to have a government-designed health care systems which counts for all Americans and one thinks the market can drive this system better than the government.

But isn't a health insurance like a big pot of money, where everybody puts money in and those who are in need take it out?
If not all Americans participate in one pot, then there will be several pots, some with more and some with less money, depending on how much the insured people take out. And because the poor statistically get ill more often than the rich, nobody would want to insure those people and thus the system itself would not work.
Furthermore, the insurance companies who deny most requests for money would earn most. The companie's and the customer's interests colide so heavily that way, that a free market is, in my opinion, no option for a system like that.



Lastly I want to ask something about democracy. When I go to vote in my country, I get a long list of parties, of wich about six or seven have a chance of entering the parliament. (The party I usually vote gets between 5 and 13 percent and yet my vote was not useless, because we could gather some seats).

In the U.S. there are two parties, the democrats and republicans (Are the republicans not democratic? O.o)
As a citisen you cannot really vote something different because your vote wouldn't matter, it would be like not voting at all.

Where is the democracy in this system? It is like you had two royal families in one country, who internally determine a king for four years, and then the people can choose one of those monarchs to reign for a term.
But it still is not a dictatorship, because the other crown can block the the opposing political actions, hoping the situation will be so messed up that they will be elected next time...

Isn't this a situation that supports a disenchantment with politics?



I hope my views were understandable ( this was propably the hardest text I have ever written in english). Let me please apologize for my inaccuracy at some points due to lack of knowledge. I have not been into politics for a long time and therefore have not gathered much information on a lot of topics. The main reason I ask these questions is to aquire a clearer view on american politics (points of view) and enrich my overall view on things itself.

Thank you very much.
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Old October 13th, 2012, 05:32 PM   #2
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The Democratic Party is the Republican (supportive of republicanism) wing of the Democratic-Republican Party. The Democratic (supportive of democracy) wing broke away to form the Whig Party. The Whig Party eventually collapsed and it's members split into the reactionary Know-Nothing Party (that was really their name) and the liberal-socialist coalition Republican Party which became a major party with Lincoln's election. After the American Civil War the Democratic Party collapsed in the North and was suppressed by the juntas that ruled the South. When democratic rule was restored the Democrats made a comeback. After the Civil Rights movement the parties' bases defected to the other party transforming the reactionary Democratic Party into a center-right party and the liberal Republican Party into a conservative (and now reactionary) party.

Plenty of parties and unaffiliated candidates are on the ballot (HW Bush almost lost to such a candidate before a strategic miscalculation gave the election to Clinton) and they win quite often outside presidential elections (we've had a socialist in Congress for decades, he's quite popular actually).

That's the political situation. As for the rest of your points, it's all subjective opinion on your part (I agree by the way).

Nice to see a human with an understanding of English for a change. Spam bots and incoherent posts seem to plague us as of late.

Last edited by David; October 13th, 2012 at 05:35 PM. Reason: Also, hello.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 01:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
(we've had a socialist in Congress for decades, he's quite popular actually).
The only reason anyone calls him a socialist is because that's how he identifies himself - he's basically a moderate social democrat from my understanding.
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Old October 15th, 2012, 09:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
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The only reason anyone calls him a socialist is because that's how he identifies himself - he's basically a moderate social democrat from my understanding.
Well he's no communist but a democratic socialist is still a socialist, just not of the revolutionary flavor. If he had his way we'd have a worker economy same as any other socialist but he has to work in a capitalist framework (and not being revolutionary, he's happy to do so as long as the capitalists make concessions to labor).
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Old October 16th, 2012, 05:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
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Well he's no communist but a democratic socialist is still a socialist, just not of the revolutionary flavor. If he had his way we'd have a worker economy same as any other socialist but he has to work in a capitalist framework (and not being revolutionary, he's happy to do so as long as the capitalists make concessions to labor).
Hold on, congress? I think we're talking about different people, I thought you were talking about a certain senator. I must have misread.
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Old October 16th, 2012, 05:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Hold on, congress? I think we're talking about different people, I thought you were talking about a certain senator. I must have misread.
We're talking about the same guy. Senate is Congress and he's spent most of his time in the House so saying "decades in the Senate" would of been a lie while saying he was in the House would only be a 1/2 truth. Are you 1 of those people who think a socialist has to be revolutionary?
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Old October 16th, 2012, 05:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
We're talking about the same guy. Senate is Congress and he's spent most of his time in the House so saying "decades in the Senate" would of been a lie while saying he was in the House would only be a 1/2 truth. Are you 1 of those people who think a socialist has to be revolutionary?
Ah, excuse my ignorance!

Not really, I think that socialism is a broad animal with social democrats on one end, spanning over democratic socialism and eco-socialism to communism and Anarchism at the other end.

EDIT: I do think we all have to support one another, though.
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Old October 16th, 2012, 04:58 PM   #8
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I think the whole socialist "debate" is unnecessary because of how loosely defined the word is (same with capitalist).
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