Predicting George W. Bush’s Presidency

By: Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

More than ten years to this day, George W. Bush was inaugurated as president. Upon this event, The Onion – a famous satirical magazine – published an article titled “Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity is Finally Over.

The article humorously blasted Mr. Bush, predicting an array of disasters that would occur under his tenure. This was in January of 2000, when Mr. Bush had been president for less than a month and long before 9/11. In predicting these disasters, the authors were making educated guesses about a Republican president might do wrong.

Ten years later, it’s eerie just how accurate the authors were. For instance:

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

“You better believe we’re going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration,” said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. “Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?”

On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession, which would necessitate a tax hike, which would lead to a drop in consumer spending, which would lead to layoffs, which would deepen the recession even further.

That sounds exactly like the Iraq War and the 2008 financial crisis. The Onion even predicted exactly what type of war Mr. Bush would create – a “Gulf-War level armed conflict.” And he did!

There are other amazingly specific predictions, all of which turned out to be right. Take growing partisan conflict:

‘We as a people must stand united, banding together to tear this nation in two,’ Bush said.

Or widening inequality:

‘Much work lies ahead of us: The gap between the rich and the poor may be wide, be there’s much more widening left to do.

Or the deficit:

We must squander our nation’s hard-won budget surplus on tax breaks for the wealthiest 15 percent.

There were several things which The Onion missed; it wasn’t able to predict Mr. Bush’s failed response to Hurricane Katrina, or his incredible unpopularity worldwide. All in all, however, the article’s accuracy is pretty impressive having been written just after Mr. Bush’s inauguration.

I look forward to reading what The Onion will write when the next Republican president is inaugurated.

 

The Future of the Asian-American Vote

Asians are one of the most ignored constituencies in American politics. When most politicians think about the Asian vote, they don’t.

Yet the Asian-American population is increasing, both in absolute terms and relative ones. By 2050, the Census estimates that Asians will compose 7.8% of the American population. Although their voting rates will still fall far short of this, the population is becoming more influential. Predicting their future voting path therefore has some utility.

In previous posts, this blogger has argued that the Latino vote will likely trend Republican, as Latinos follow the path of previous immigrants and become more assimilated.

Will the same happen for Asian-Americans?

Probably not:

Link to Graph of Asian Vote Over Time

As the graph above shows, the Asian vote has steadily moved Democratic, in quite a significant manner. In 1992 Republican President George H.W. Bush won 55% of the Asian vote while losing the popular vote. 12 years later, his son won only 41% of Asians, despite winning the popular vote.

The trend also does not look bright for the Republican Party. Asian-Americans who have been born in the United States are, if anything, more Democratic than those who immigrated into the country (to be fair, the latter group dominates the Asian population and will continue to do so unless immigration is drastically curtailed).

Take, for instance, the Vietnamese-American population – strong supporters of the Republican Party. The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, after conducting an extensive exit poll of Asians (perhaps the only detailed exit poll of the group in the country), found that:

Vietnamese American voters gave McCain the strongest support of all Asian ethnic groups at 67%. However, further analysis of Vietnamese American voters revealed 69% of those born in the U.S. and 60% of those 18-29 years old voted for Obama. Among Vietnamese American respondents, 15% were born in the U.S. and 25% were between the ages of 18 and 29.

The analysis goes on to conclude that:

AALDEF’s exit poll data shows that younger, U.S.-born, more recently naturalized, and English proficient Asian American citizens voted for Barack Obama for President by wide margins. Older, foreign-born citizens with limited English proficiency and who had been naturalized more than ten years ago voted in greater proportions for McCain.

There are several explanations for why this is happening. One quite plausible argument is that immigration has shifted the Asian-American population from Orange County anti-communists to Silicon Valley liberals.

Another revealing insight can be gained by comparing Asians to another very Democratic group: Jews. In many ways the two have a startling amount in common. Both groups are highly educated; both are primarily located in urban metropolitan areas; both have achieved substantial success in American society; and both have encountered quite similar types of discrimination. Even the stereotypes are similar.

Given these similarities, it is very conceivable that Asians could end up voting like Jews – one of the most liberal-minded groups in the nation.

--Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/ 

 

The Future of the Asian-American Vote

Asians are one of the most ignored constituencies in American politics. When most politicians think about the Asian vote, they don’t.

Yet the Asian-American population is increasing, both in absolute terms and relative ones. By 2050, the Census estimates that Asians will compose 7.8% of the American population. Although their voting rates will still fall far short of this, the population is becoming more influential. Predicting their future voting path therefore has some utility.

In previous posts, this blogger has argued that the Latino vote will likely trend Republican, as Latinos follow the path of previous immigrants and become more assimilated.

Will the same happen for Asian-Americans?

Probably not:

Link to Graph of Asian Vote Over Time

As the graph above shows, the Asian vote has steadily moved Democratic, in quite a significant manner. In 1992 Republican President George H.W. Bush won 55% of the Asian vote while losing the popular vote. 12 years later, his son won only 41% of Asians, despite winning the popular vote.

The trend also does not look bright for the Republican Party. Asian-Americans who have been born in the United States are, if anything, more Democratic than those who immigrated into the country (to be fair, the latter group dominates the Asian population and will continue to do so unless immigration is drastically curtailed).

Take, for instance, the Vietnamese-American population – strong supporters of the Republican Party. The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, after conducting an extensive exit poll of Asians (perhaps the only detailed exit poll of the group in the country), found that:

Vietnamese American voters gave McCain the strongest support of all Asian ethnic groups at 67%. However, further analysis of Vietnamese American voters revealed 69% of those born in the U.S. and 60% of those 18-29 years old voted for Obama. Among Vietnamese American respondents, 15% were born in the U.S. and 25% were between the ages of 18 and 29.

The analysis goes on to conclude that:

AALDEF’s exit poll data shows that younger, U.S.-born, more recently naturalized, and English proficient Asian American citizens voted for Barack Obama for President by wide margins. Older, foreign-born citizens with limited English proficiency and who had been naturalized more than ten years ago voted in greater proportions for McCain.

There are several explanations for why this is happening. One quite plausible argument is that immigration has shifted the Asian-American population from Orange County anti-communists to Silicon Valley liberals.

Another revealing insight can be gained by comparing Asians to another very Democratic group: Jews. In many ways the two have a startling amount in common. Both groups are highly educated; both are primarily located in urban metropolitan areas; both have achieved substantial success in American society; and both have encountered quite similar types of discrimination. Even the stereotypes are similar.

Given these similarities, it is very conceivable that Asians could end up voting like Jews – one of the most liberal-minded groups in the nation.

--Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/ 

 

The Future of the Asian-American Vote

Asians are one of the most ignored constituencies in American politics. When most politicians think about the Asian vote, they don’t.

Yet the Asian-American population is increasing, both in absolute terms and relative ones. By 2050, the Census estimates that Asians will compose 7.8% of the American population. Although their voting rates will still fall far short of this, the population is becoming more influential. Predicting their future voting path therefore has some utility.

In previous posts, this blogger has argued that the Latino vote will likely trend Republican, as Latinos follow the path of previous immigrants and become more assimilated.

Will the same happen for Asian-Americans?

Probably not:

Link to Graph of Asian Vote Over Time

As the graph above shows, the Asian vote has steadily moved Democratic, in quite a significant manner. In 1992 Republican President George H.W. Bush won 55% of the Asian vote while losing the popular vote. 12 years later, his son won only 41% of Asians, despite winning the popular vote.

The trend also does not look bright for the Republican Party. Asian-Americans who have been born in the United States are, if anything, more Democratic than those who immigrated into the country (to be fair, the latter group dominates the Asian population and will continue to do so unless immigration is drastically curtailed).

Take, for instance, the Vietnamese-American population – strong supporters of the Republican Party. The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, after conducting an extensive exit poll of Asians (perhaps the only detailed exit poll of the group in the country), found that:

Vietnamese American voters gave McCain the strongest support of all Asian ethnic groups at 67%. However, further analysis of Vietnamese American voters revealed 69% of those born in the U.S. and 60% of those 18-29 years old voted for Obama. Among Vietnamese American respondents, 15% were born in the U.S. and 25% were between the ages of 18 and 29.

The analysis goes on to conclude that:

AALDEF’s exit poll data shows that younger, U.S.-born, more recently naturalized, and English proficient Asian American citizens voted for Barack Obama for President by wide margins. Older, foreign-born citizens with limited English proficiency and who had been naturalized more than ten years ago voted in greater proportions for McCain.

There are several explanations for why this is happening. One quite plausible argument is that immigration has shifted the Asian-American population from Orange County anti-communists to Silicon Valley liberals.

Another revealing insight can be gained by comparing Asians to another very Democratic group: Jews. In many ways the two have a startling amount in common. Both groups are highly educated; both are primarily located in urban metropolitan areas; both have achieved substantial success in American society; and both have encountered quite similar types of discrimination. Even the stereotypes are similar.

Given these similarities, it is very conceivable that Asians could end up voting like Jews – one of the most liberal-minded groups in the nation.

--Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/ 

 

Weekly Audit: Power to the People's Republic

by Sara Luckow, TMC MediaWire Blogger

In the past few years, the economic relationship between the United States and China has changed dramatically. As Tim Fernholz writes in the American Prospect: "Chastened U.S. officials who once lectured their counterparts in [China] on financial liberalization are now humbled in front of their largest creditor, reduced to offering promises of fiscal responsibility." It's a strange state of affairs. Fernholz rightly argues that:

"The common interest of the peoples, rather than the economic elite, ought to be the driving motivation behind the two countries' interactions. There is no doubt that economic openness has brought wealth to both countries, and the Obama administration is happy to laud the Chinese for bringing millions out of poverty. But in a relationship between "capitalism with American characteristics" and "socialism with Chinese characteristics," sometimes the people--whether they be workers losing jobs in the United States or the millions of Chinese living without political freedom or prosperity--have interests other than the elites. Today, we're in an economic crisis, and pragmatism overrides all else. But as recovery continues, the U.S. will require more thought on the strategic track, and perhaps in a few years our discussions with China, as they should be with all our friends, will be more frank."

But our current economic relationship with China pre-dates President Obama's "talk first" style of diplomacy. As Robert Scheer of The Nation writes: "Don't blame any of this on peacenik liberals. The new conciliatory--nay, deferential--tone toward China precedes the Obama administration, having begun in bilateral talks during the last years of the Bush administration as the U.S. economy began its ignominious downfall. It was George W. Bush's treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, who set the course when the former Goldman Sachs chairman realized how dependent were his Wall Street buddies on Chinese goodwill."

Strange relations with China aside, things aren't going so well at home. Rick Wolff, an economist from the New School, says the stimulus package has big problems in a discussion with The Real News. Wolff also notes that we shouldn't take Wall Street chatter about an economic upswing too seriously. "I think the first thing to remember is the people who are celebrating where we are now are the same people who could not imagine, did not imagine, did not foresee the problem we had last year," Wolff says.

But what's going on with our favorite bailout recipients? Talking Points Memo takes on the case of former Federal Pension Guarantor Charles Millard, who exploited his personal ties with employees at BlackRock Capital and Goldman Sachs while choosing firms to manage the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. At this point, both firms "may have run afoul of federal contracting rules in how they courted Millard."

Goldman Sachs and BlackRock are also on the lookout for the next big economic bubble. Salon reveals that both firms are diversifying their portfolios to include agriculture, in addition to government contracts. "Food is becoming the new oil," especially since the world's population is expected to crest nine billion by 2050. And a lot of land is necessary to grow enough food for nine billion people. Phillipe Heilberg, founder of American investment firm Jarch Capital, is hedging his bets on farmland in distressed countries. "Instead of buying stocks, the former banker is now speculating on the political future of South Sudan, which he insists will be an independent country in 10 years, at which point land will be far more expensive than it is today."

It's abundantly clear that we can't rely on the economic elite to represent the people's interests. Tomorrow's economic structure must be drastically different if the United States is going to thrive. Put simply, we're going to have to seriously reevaluate our economic priorities and decide who calls the shots. Here's hoping that everyday people have a say.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the economy and is free to reprint. Visit StimulusPlan.NewsLadder.net and Economy.NewsLadder.net for complete lists of articles on the economy, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical health and immigration issues, check out Healthcare.NewsLadder.net and Immigration.NewsLadder.net. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of 50 leading independent media outlets, and was created by NewsLadder.

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