Displaying 9 Forum Posts 
  • Jul 07, 2016 08:25 AM
    Last: 4yr
    TJ Wrote: It's too soon for this post. If you want to repeat racist comments and then follow it with: Can you believe they said that ? I personally don't want to hear it. You need to defend something and make your points to establish who you are. You're new here and while I appreciate your angle..... it's too soon in my opinion. A person who thinks those things could get the message out there in this format. Have a great day.

    I am a PhD economist that is thickened to controversial things. I spent three years in academia talking to students that believed in pretty crazy things and having to converse, debate, and discuss calmly and without judgement. I can send you my ratemyproffessor.com site if you'd like to see how many insults I got on that site.

    Let me say this - if you cannot open your ears to what they are saying and instead go "I don't want to hear it," they will laugh at you and call you a wimp and make a reference to something about trigger warnings. If you object to the exact word they say, they will find another word to say the same thing. My dad never says the "n" word but he says it in other ways, i.e. "thugs." At some point you just have to accept they are going to find some word to say it and stop playing the whack a mole. And to boot, the "racist thing" was actually censored. What the fake story going around has two variations - one what I said and one that has the N word.

    I don't need to defend myself to you - or anyone. I have already done that by this point in life. I don't know if you read the full thing because I did consistently say I did not agree. I am seeing now that this forum is not for me - you got trolls on one side attacking people and then people like you that want to act all morally superior by admonishing for perceived slights (that really weren't there). I get it, you are offended. Don't worry, I ain't coming back to this if people are going to tell me how to tell a story in a way that doesn't offend them.

  • Jul 07, 2016 08:25 AM
    Last: 4yr

    In this thread, post insane things that your GOP family/friends have said (or e mailed, posted on social media, etc). I am not going to censor things because I want the full effect of what they said to be felt. It may be offensive but many of these things echo in my head still.

    I will start it off...

    My father regularly says that "blacks are stupid." He genuinely believes that the reason the NFL is more popular than the NBA is because in the NFL, the "blacks are covered up better so people don't see it."

    Let that sink in for a minute.

    One of my cousins said that "people like me" would be shot in a "proper country" because I thought we spent too much on the military. He was not joking. A few months later on Facebook, he posted a Meme that said "All who are willing to die for their country are heroes" and to be a smart ass, I commented that the Taliban, Vietcong, and the Nazis were all willing to die for their countries so are they must be heroes as well. His Facebook friends began harassing me on Facebook to the point where I had to unfriend my cousin and we have not spoken since. One of his friends replied to my comment (I had only said that one thing, thats it, and was making a point that willingness to die for a generic cause does not mean you are a hero) that he was "fighting for America while I was hiding behind under my mother's skirt." I should point out that I hardly knew my mother, she died when I was 6. I should also mention that guy was a Navy cook, so unless you count grease fires I doubt he put his life on the line.

    My uncle calls small cars "fag mobiles." He recently got laid off and blames Obama and young people.

    My father in law is the only one I won't confront. Despite working for the social security administration his entire life, he wanted Ted Cruz to be President in the worst way and thinks all government is horrible. His blatant contradictions between his life style and what he believes politically is jaw dropping. He is vehemently anti gay yet has no idea his best male friend is in a relationship with another guy (it is obvious to everyone else, when we invited him to our wedding he asked if he could bring "Steve," and anytime he is invited anywhere or they visit him "Steve" is there). He constantly spouts militarism, patriotism, and heroism but we know that when he was in the Vietnam era, he got deferments and got a law degree. He wears shirts and has bumper stickers that promote fanatical right wing Christianity (teach the Bible in school type stuff) despite not having gone to church in his life. In short, sometimes you see things and are like, "nah thats just, I won't touch that."

    I regularly get chain e mails with insane conspiracies from my father in law. He assumes everyone he knows is hardcore GOP and cannot fathom another possibility. My dad also repeats nonsense to me, like the hoax that is going around that the Russians spelled "Obama is a monkey" in Russian on their runways. When I told him that was a well known hoax he seemed pissed off but to his credit he stopped repeating it when I sent him an article debunking it (it showed the before and after photoshop).

    My younger brother believes we should only let people from rich countries in. I politely reminded him that our ancestors came from a poor country and at the time people did not want our ethnic group in the country either. My dad of course wants to round up all illegal immigrants. I rarely use all caps but I must do it here. HE HIRED AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT NANNY TO LIVE WITH US FOR 6 YEARS AFTER MY MOTHER DIED.

    What puzzles me is my family is more educated than the rest of the population. My uncle has a PhD, my dad is a rocket scientist that is ABD, my brother is an engineer, my cousin is educated as well. My father in law is a lawyer.

  • Jul 05, 2016 03:21 PM
    Last: 4yr
    Chet Ruminski Wrote:

    Welcome Stratozyck , Looking at the generosity to include "even those that are horrible, lazy, and nasty people." Wondering why you didn't include healthcare and education? The last four letters of your name remind me of a Dan Dee potato chip contest in Pittsburgh that cost the company a fortune. They put letters in potato chip bags. If you collected letters to spell your last name you would win a cash prize. They controlled the number of winners by how many vowels would be put in bags. The Polish Nation with a lot of consonant only last names almost bankrupt the company. People with last names like Wyczk and Styczk would buy some of the thousands of consonants and win hundreds instead of one prize .

    Health care I would agree - education I don't see as a moral "right" but more of a cost/benefit analysis. I think it makes sense to educate people but I don't think it stands on the same plane as keeping them alive and healthy. From a cost/benefit point of view I would prefer to live in a more educated society but not from a moral point of view. I (mostly) disagree with the Bernie Sanders supporters that college should be free, for instance, but if it happened I would not think it were on par with major mistakes of the past administration.

    Here is my background on this: I used to teach at the university level for three years (I left after finishing my PhD but I taught full time for three years). I also have about 60k in student loan debt. But, it was worth it. Why should others pay that bill when I can? I am all for reforming current policies but frankly, if an investment isn't worth it at 6% interest rate, you either make less of the investment or find ways to lower the interest rate. Sure, we can fund higher ed more so that tuition declines - I am all for that. Sure - we can reform the rules so that students who made bad investments can get out of it (defaulting...). But I fundamentally believe students have to have some "skin" in the game to make efficient choices.

    The alternative is across the pond. In Norway, their graduate schools are funded at higher rates and graduate students get enough income to live and then some. The result? Getting a PhD takes 2x as long in Norway as it does here because graduate students have less of an incentive to finish. Other countries that have free higher ed also do a heck of a lot more selection on who gets in (we are unique in that anyone can come back to school at any age).

  • Jul 05, 2016 03:21 PM
    Last: 4yr
    Schmidt Wrote:

    stratozyck -- As one who has had arguments with Republican relatives and friends much of my life, I can empathize with you. I gave up and started reading articles by psychologists and social scientists on how our brains become wired not only from birth, but also at the moment of conception. In other words, how much of our religious and political worldviews are driven by genetics and how much by our environment? It's not easy to change brains of those so indoctrinated and for the very extreme cases, it is impossible.

    I read several books and articles on the subject but if I were to recommend one it would be, Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences, by Hibbing, Smith and Alford.

    The only point I will also make is that trying to put people in stereotype buckets based on their political beliefs, one will find that mostly one or two issues will place them there. On many of the issues of the day, both conservatives and liberals have no firm beliefs that have been carefully thought out. However, tribalism will put them into one or the other camp.

    Our society has extremists at both ends of the political spectrum but most people fall in-between with varying degrees of commitment. We have lots of low information voters.

    However, it is the extremists which seem to capture the media headlines because of the sensational nature of the utterings. It sells just like the supermarket tabloids sell...with sensational headlines.

    That is definitely true. I have read a study that showed that people flip flop on views when told their party favors it.

  • Jul 05, 2016 03:21 PM
    Last: 4yr

    Hi all - I have been looking for a place to interact with non GOP loyalists. I grew up (I can see this now in hindsight) in a nutty GOP household. By nutty, I mean "the other side is anti American and should be tried for treason" type thing. I wouldn't even call it conservative - it was strictly GOP loyalist. I'd say many in my family have more in common with fascists - my father literally wants to nuclear bomb Iran "until they glow." Oh, he attends Church weekly.

    Anyways - I departed from that mindset when I began an economics PhD program. By the end, I began to see that deficits and the national debt were not things to worry about (I won't discuss that here). Combined with becoming Christian, I began to believe morally that everyone should have food, shelter, and clothing. I also believe government is better at providing that than churches/charities. Churches tend to want to only give those they deem worthy (single mom attending service/Mass weekly and taking the kids to their events) and do it inefficiently. As a true believer, I believe all deserve food, shelter, and clothing - even those that are horrible, lazy, and nasty people. That is the challenge of my beliefs.

    This election cycle is driving me crazy! I am literally having nightmares about Donald Trump. In them, I am at a Donald Trump rally and trying to "stay hiding" so they won't find me. I have to constantly keep quiet around my wife's friends because an awful lot of them are really worried about men being in women's bathrooms (seriously!).

    My father seems to have ignored me long ago when I told him I was not voting for the GOP in 2008. He continues to talk to me like I agree with him and despite him agreeing that the budget does not need to be balanced after I explained it, he continues to huff and puff about it. He thinks I am stupid because I am "young and dumb" despite having a PhD in Economics and not really being young anymore (I am in my 30s, have a career in Finance, have a house, and a family).

    My wife's father is a GOPer like its a Red Sox/Yankees event. When we go visit and he drives us around their town, I feel ashamed to be in his car because it is plastered with insane bumper stickers. I have not told him who I am voting for and to the best of my knowledge, he does not know. I ignore it when he talks about politics (he is obsessed and extremely ignorant). He goes around spouting Christian stuff despite never having gone to church in his life (which is fine but if you claim to be a Christian but do not go - its silly).

    Beyond the immediate family, I hear whispers of what my extended family and father say behind my back. One of my cousins simply won't talk to me anymore because I disagreed once. My uncle sent out a chain e mail accusing Obama of something that obviously wasn't true and when I called him out on it, he won't talk to me anymore either.

    So here I sit, pretty much isolated. I go to a local bar but the area I am in is like overwhelming majority Trump supporters (not just GOP, Trump supporters...) and it drives me crazy to hear people spout nonsense that I know I should not refute (because it would not end well).

    Finally - let me end it on this. I am glad Hillary won the nomination. Bernie Sanders demonized institutions too much. You want someone that can work with institutions and not show up at the meeting and throw the table over. In this current climate, defending the progress that we have made (social security, ACA) will be difficult. On the other side are people that literally clap when it is suggested that you should die if you do not have private health insurance (see 2008 GOP primary debates).

    I feel it is important to speak up because on the face of it I should be Republican - we attend Mass weekly, I am a white male, and I make six figures. I would guarantee that on first impression, 90% of people would guess I were a GOPer.

    Have a good day!

  • Mar 25, 2016 12:22 PM
    Last: 4yr
    Chet Ruminski Wrote: The President of the United States should be the number one most patriotic USA citizen. I believe Hillary wants to be president to improve the Clinton status as world leaders. The President should put the USA first and foremost for the betterment of USA citizens. The Clinton Foundation does not have the USA as its prime objective. I think the status of the USA should be the only concern of a President. A country is formed by borders and people. A President's focus as the number one citizen of the country should be on the citizens of the country. There are multiple international organizations claiming the universal welfare. A clinical look at Bill Clinton's presidency shows goals oriented beyond the citizens of the USA. I think that contradicts the role of the President and especially contradicts the role of a Democratic President . Our President needs to be a President for the people. The Presidency should not be used to empower international goals.
    Generally we elect Parties and not people. Remember that.
  • Jul 05, 2016 02:45 PM
    Last: 4yr
    I love it - I am a lone Democrat in an extremely right wing nutjob family and area of the country. They will all be going crazy about this.
  • Jul 02, 2016 08:15 AM
    Last: 4yr

    Hi -

    I got the same impression. The Democrats have found electoral success at the national level since 1992 by primarily being a left of center party. As a left of center person, it is a major reason I am drawn to them and am glad that Hillary Clinton is the nominee (and that e mail mess is behind us). The Democratic Party has done a great job of blunting their extremists - and I do believe Bernie Sanders is extreme - while obviously the GOP has not.

    Really, all they need to run on is "we will keep the boat steady while the GOP plans on slashing and burning everything."

  • Jun 02, 2012 08:00 PM
    Last: 4yr

    Hi -

    You are missing the point. Federal spending is divided into "discretionary" and "entitlements." Welfare, at least what you think of as welfare, is not an "entitlement" in that it often comes out of discretionary spending. Congress votes and debates on discretionary spending. Its funding comes from taxes and borrowing.

    Entitlements are not up for debate and are simply "we have X amount of people that qualify for this, we must pay it out."

    It is "social insurance." It was never meant to be the primary source of retirement income. The idea is that at age 20, most people don't know how their lives will be at 65. With this, you know that at least if you work, you won't starve.

    It cannot go bankrupt. The money taken in taxes goes into a trust fund so that when receipts are higher than drawdowns, it builds up. When drawdowns increase (as with baby boomers), the trust fund can go to zero. But all that means is that drawdowns will have to come from current social security taxes. At worst, this means you get 70% of what you were promised. Its not perfect but before this, if you made it to 65 without much you basically became a beggar.