How do Clinton and Obama plant on bringing back the American dream?

I would like to know how Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama plan on bringing back the fibers of the American Dream…meaning how they plan on making America more economically balanced, and safer to live in? Our home crime is getting worse and worse. Even small towns are beginning to have regular violent crimes. Our kids are being exspuled from school just so the report card of the school doesn’t go down for the no child left behind act. There are fewer and fewer programs available for helping kids learn. Home development has ruined our economy. Houses have become like everything else, disposable. Our jobs are going over sea’s. Very little home town businesses being able to make it. The land of opportunity has become the land of dispair.

Answer #1

Yes I agree, good discussion. Too bad this can’t happen with the Christians.

Just a couple more points. I meant to say that the panic on Wall Street that caused the crash was caused by the speculation of what would happen IF the Smoot-Hawley Tarriff Act was passed…higher tarriffs on foreign agriculture goods, and likely retaliation from Europe resulting in a trade war. The crash itself did not cause the Great Depression, although the two are related. I think the disparity of wealth exacerbated the Depression among the poor, but I don’t feel it was the cause.

On education, I was wrong it’s Switzerland alone that spends more, not Japan. Here are a couple articles.

Bottom line, the problem in this country is not the education system itself, but the culture, which does not prioritize learning like it once did, and like it does in other countries. Neither Obama, or Clinton, or anyone will fix this. Parents, teachers, and communities will. All the government can do is spend more or less money, and it clearly doesn’t need to spend more. The government’s role in education is done.

The slide in the dollar is the result of the US government printing more money to fund the war in Iraq, while simultaneously slashing taxes from the major sources of revenue (the rich and corporations). Foreign industries moving to the US is a good thing; it means jobs, and the presence of a highly skilled labor force still in this country and not overseas.

Answer #2

“The land of opportunity has become the land of dispair.”

Then the solution, at least for you, is really simple: leave the country and find somewhere else to live.

I get tired of people who despair at the state of affairs in the US. Some manufacturing and service jobs have gone overseas, yes. Others have been created here, and many high tech goods are still manufactured here, although as jimahl points out trade policies are a hindrance to exports at times. American junior high and high schools are not what they once were, but there are numerous grassroots efforts underway to change that, done by people who aren’t content to sit back and whine. Crime, especially violent crime, has gone down in several major cities including New York, Chicago, and LA.

Yes, there are problems in the country right now, but the extent of our social and economic woes are grossly exaggerated. Even poverty in America is not nearly as bad as many people think it is, especially when you closely examine the standard of living of many of those “below the poverty line”.

I hate to tell you this, but an Obama/Clinton team in the White House is not going to make all your concerns go away. You going away will. Sorry to sound harsh, but I’m giving my advice to you sugarfree on this one.

Answer #3

Semi…Why would I leave a country that I was born and raised in?…If you look at the outlook of what is actually going on in this country you will see that it is not a whine. Fact #1 the housing industry…Giving people who are already over extended on credit, home loans that are beyond their means already. Building thousands of homes a month only to let them go into foreclosure. Fact #2 Children are being exspuled from school over the fact that a school does not want their report cards to decline. These are not children that are trouble makers. These are children that would make their scores go down. Fact #3 Products are NOT made in America. They are assembled here. Fact #4 Every product is going up in price. Yet wages are staying the same. Fact #5 The grassroots efforts are mostly done by people deciding to home school their children. Most states are beginning to bring forth a law that states you must have teaching credentials in order to home school your own children. My consern is that whomever gets into office. Which I am assuming will either be Obama or Clinton. Goes in with a plan that changes the old ways and let’s parents be parents, children be able to grow up in a productive society without so much violence. As far as poverty is conserned and you don’t seem to think it exist much. Try doing a little traveling around the US. Go to towns that had their main work force move oversea’s. I don’t just sit in my comfy chair and look through a crystal glass window. I have been blessed with a home I own and not the bank. I have been blessed with a lot of material things. Yet I have also been blessed with a heart and a soul that knows people struggle a lot harder then I would ever know.

Answer #4


It is too easy to blame the housing problem on people borrowing money that hey have no business borrowing. It has more due to the combination of deregulation of the banking industry, and predatory lending practices. People today are no stupider about these things than in the past. It was changes in the system that allowed this to happen.

The problems with education will not be fixed by money alone, but schools are way underfunded, especially with the mandated No Child Left Behind. But the biggest changes will happen with community involvement.

I don’t think she meant to say we manufactuing nothing, but manufacturing is way down in this country and it all has to do with 25 years of insane trade policies that have made huge multinational corporation billions at the expense of american jobs.

And we should not be comparing our poverty levels to those of third world nations. We are supposed to be the leaders in this world, and poverty in this country is worse than has been in decades. The disparity between wealth and pverty is at levels during the hoover administration, and that is what lead to the great depression.

Answer #5

“Fact #1 the housing industry…”

This is not so much a structural problem in the economy as it is general stupidity of people who buy a home without being able to afford it, with a few exceptions.

“Fact #2 Children are being exspuled from school over the fact that a school does not want their report cards to decline. “

This isn’t even a real problem in the American education system. The real problem is the decline in quality of public school education at the junior high and high school levels, which will NOT be fixed with more money, only with increased parental, community, and business involvement. This is slowly starting to happen.

“Fact #3 Products are NOT made in America. They are assembled here.”

That makes absolutely no sense. Thousands of automobiles, machine tools, aircraft, computer components, and other products are manufactured, made, assembled (whatever you want to say) in the US. The shift in the economic base toward service jobs and the outsourcing of some manufacturing jobs has not meant our manufacturing base has disappeared. It is more vibrant than many ignorant people realize.

“Fact #4 Every product is going up in price. Yet wages are staying the same.”

I’ll grant you that the cost of living is outpacing wages in some cases. However, if you examine poverty in America, you’ll see that the standard of living of many of the poor in this country is not true poverty at all.

“Go to towns that had their main work force move oversea’s. “

I grew up in the Pittsburgh area, which is loaded with run down factory towns. Are people living in mansions with pools in their yards? No. But most people have food, shelter, heat, air conditioning, clean clothes, furniture, cable TV, and in some cases more than one car. It is not living in squalor. I’m not saying we don’t have poor in this country that need our help. I give to charities that I believe target the truly impoverished of this nation. But it’s not as widespread as your ilk would have us believe.

You should try traveling to parts of Pakistan, Thailand, or eastern Africa. Tell me then that we have problem with poverty in America.

Answer #6

Semi1900, I like your positive outlook, and I agree we need more of that. But there are other factors here that politics can affect. Yes, if Obama/Clinton win, it will not be a magic bullet and cure all of our ills. But it will be a turn in the right direction. McCain is just going further down the same road. I personally think the best chance we have to reduce influence peddling (I think our biggest problem) in DC is Obama.

Answer #7

I really don’t think that credit card debt from people just spending above their means is the reason, or even a major factor for the current financial climate we are in. Most people who are facing forclosure and bankruptcy are in that situtation due to some life changing event (accident, illness, divorce, etc…) Yes there are some people who did it to themselves, but that has always been. There is a reason why it is so bad today. As I said, people are not that different than they were 20, 30 , or 40 years ago. The difference is the fact that what banks are allowed to do today, they were not back then. These people would never have been given these type of loans back then.

I have not heard that our education spending was that high compared to other countries. I guess I wouldn’t be surprised if that were true. Where are you getting your stats? In a quick search I found figures only on secondary school spending, and Japan was actulaly less than us, and Swtizerland and Norway were ahead of us. I have no doubts that there is waste and much reform is needed. But that will not happen without some additional funding. We should be spending more than any other country, but we should be getting better results for that money. I think we can agree education in this country is in dire need of reform. Part of the problem is the fact that school funding is tied to property tax. That creates a disparity in what students get from public schools becasue it is based on what town you live in.

The problems with dwindling manufacturing will never be fixed until we do something about unfair trade policies. As long as we are not willing to protect american jobs through tariffs, we will continue to lose jobs. I don’t think the fact that some industries are expanding into the US due to the sliding dollar is a good thing. Part of the reason the dollar is sliding is because of the trade policies, and of course huge deficit spending.

I disagree about the cause of the depression. First off, Smoot-Hawley happened after the market had already crashed. And the negative effects of it have been overrated. It was not impactful as far as unemployment was concerned, but it did have a negative impact on the economy. But the inequities in wealth distribution that existed through the 20’s was THE major reason for the collapse of the economy. I think this poker anaolgy describes it perfectly: It is like a poker game where the chips are getting concentrated in fewer and fewer players, and other players can only stay in the game by borrowing. When the credit runs out, the game is over. As wealth kept concetrating into a smaller and smaller group of people, that accumulation of wealth was actually taking capital out of the economy, and the people’s purchasing power was greatly reduced, which then reduced the demand for products. The reduction of the demand was a dis-incentive to re-invest and expand. It was a vicious cycle, that finally spiraled out of control. While I don’t think we will see anything of that magnitude today, I fear we are in for some rough times ahead.

It is very difficult to compare our economic conditions to europes. Remember that they actually have have much more of a social net there, so while income may be realitively less than americans, they also have free health care, free college education, etc… It is apples and oranges.

Good discussion Semi. Thanks.

Answer #8

Americans are borrowing rather than saving or investing. I agree there are predatory lending practices by credit card companies, but I believe a substantial part of the problem is that many Americans have over-borrowed, and have now reached their limit. Some credit card debt is a good thing; it does help the economy. But you have to admit, many people in this country live above their means and it’s no secret that credit card misuse is considered a major factor in the financial problems of many Americans. This is also a major factor in why there are so many repo’d homes. I don’t think this is something that a new administration will be able to fix.

The US spends more per child on education than every industrialized nation except Japan. And it’s no secret where our kids rank when they leave high school on the world stage. Money is not the problem. Again, I don’t see a new administration attacking the root of the problem as well as parents and communities.

Manufacturing is a complicated issue as well. There is no doubt that policies like NAFTA and globalization have contributed to the decline of US manufacturing over the last 25 years. However, there are other trends as well. For example, although the Detroit area is no longer the auto making hub it once was, many auto manufacturing jobs have moved to the Southern US, as companies like Toyota and GM find it cheaper to build down there. Also, one overlooked trend is that with the slide of the dollar, some European companies like Airbus, BMW, and Sennheiser are now expanding manufacturing operations in the US. So there are several factors in play here.

To say that disparity between wealth and poverty is what led to the Great Depression is not accurate, in my opinion. Many things contributed to the Great Depression, such as the panic over the Smoot-Hawley Tarriff Act, and of course the ridiculous practice of banks loaning money to people to buy stocks. Disparity of wealth may have exacerbated the fallout, but it didn’t cause it. Look, I know there is poverty in America. What I’m comparing is the standard of living of those below the poverty line in this country to those in other countries. Did you know that some people in this country below the poverty line enjoy a standard of living on par or better than the European middle class? You have to look at more than just statistics.

Answer #9

I believe, the answer to the downfall is not going to be made on wall street. This country has to step back in time in order to make things go smoothly. We need to stop the keeping up with the Jones’s. There needs to be more community involvement in the government. People used to take pride in their hometowns. It used to be local owned companies and workers making the products we use. Now everything is about mass production. We are more worried about selling and manufacturing in and for other countries then we are our own.

The capitalistic mind state has got to get out of government. The greed has gotten out of hand. We need to help ourselves before we can even think about helping others. Just go into parts of Kentucky and the Appalachian’s. There is where you can actually compare to third world countries. It’s the small towns that are the ones suffering.

I want to thank you for answering. It has been a good discussion.

Answer #10

They both have plenty of ideas on how to do that. Just go to their websites and read.

I think we need to end the insane trade policies that regan started in the eighties and that Bush Sr and Bill Clinton pushed along, and not dubya has put on steroids. That is the main reason our jobs are going overseas. We have stopped making things in this country. We just buy everthing from China now.

Answer #11

“But it will be a turn in the right direction. “

I definately agree with that.

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