Uninformed voters are to blame

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  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 1, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    To "pragmatistferlife" and "UtahBlueDevil" ummm....I think that you have lost the argument. We were discussing the average time for recessions to be over and done with, and the simple fact that the more a government gets involved with trying to pull the nation out, the longer it takes.

    Only 2 of the 4 indicators of a recession have rebounded. GDP and possibly sales, employment levels and incomes have not.

    If the recession was truely over, why is it that the true unemployment (U6) is hovering around 14%? In the previous recessions, unemployment numbers quickly returned to pre-recession levels, why haven't we seen that here? What is the difference?

    Just look at the Panic of 1973. When that occured, the government decided to take action to push it to get over quickly. Thanks to government action, they removed silver as a backing to US currency, furthering the panic started by a drop in silver prices. The government then put into place all sorts of protectionist tarrifs that gave us another period of flat growth that lasted until 1897. So, thanks for helping to prove my point. Government action only prolongs recessions.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 31, 2013 5:14 p.m.

    "So again, where is your data saying otherwise? "

    Really simple. You just look at the end data of one recession, and the beginning data of the next recession. No fancy analysis needed. Other factors in comments like the one used also ignore a lot of the attributes of the recession itself... such as percents of unemployment, length of recession, hit to the gdp of the county.

    While the last recession did hit a lot of people hard, starting officially December of 2007, it was not the longest, lasting 1 year, 6 months is just about normal... longest was the great depression at over 3 years, 7 months or the Panic of 1873 which lasted over 5 years. It wasn't the deepest with GDP going down down only 5.1%... when there were 7 where the US economy lost over 20%... and a few over 30%.

    If you take selective time boxes, look at only select data points, you can shape most any event into the worst yet... but it isn't an accurate representation of what really is going on. This last recession looks like child's play compared to those in the 1800s and early 1900s.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    July 31, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    RedShirt, it doesn't take much research either to look at the causes of recorded recessions and see things like, normal business cycle, opec oil shock, monetary policy, and then there's 2007 global credit collapse. An economy built on credit and financial markets has a global collapse from which most nations haven't recovered yet. There's nothing in any of our life time to compare this recession to.

    Additionally, for much of America there isn't anything to recover to. The financial collapse wiped out the last vestiges of the old "manufacturing" middle class. I'm not talking specifically about manufacturing but rather a kind of job where someone could go to after high school work and support a family. That's why the banks are making record profits and the stock market has recovered yet 123% of all wage increases over the past 2 years have gone to the top 1%. Bailouts and productivity gains.

    Amazon just announced 7000 new jobs. All of them are administrative and call center jobs. How many of those jobs do you think will support a family?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 31, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    To "UtahBlueDevil" you claim to be able to prove me wrong, but the data again is in my favor.

    The average time that a recession has taken to resolve itself since 1945 has been 10 months. Between about 1900 and 1945 the average was 18 to 22 months. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research the average recession is over with in 22 months. So again, where is your data saying otherwise? If the recessions like the 1920 recession were over in less than 2 years with the government backing off. The Great Depression and current Recession still lingering around for much longer than 2 years, and we have had government trying everything possible to "fix" things.

    Google supports my statement. The recessions that have lasted the longest have had the most government interference in trying to pull out of it.

    If you have proof, give it because so far History only validates me.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 31, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    Redshirt... sometimes you are just so fun.

    If you do a search of US recessions you will find more than a dozen times that not only were some of these recessions over in less than 18 months, but that many times we were right back into the next recession in less than 18 months. We in fact, as a country, have been in recessions not less than 50 times since we were a brand new bouncing country.

    I have no idea where some of these things come from.... statements like "The only recessions that have had their effects last longer than that in recent history was the Great Depression and today's recession", a statement that is easily proven wrong in about 30 seconds spent with google.

    But is sounds good... and the whole notion that despite there being in a global recession, the US through our super powers should fix all that ails the global economy... we should just tell our trading partners to buy more... right?

    Political rhetoric versus reality are very often not even closely related. The US economy does not operate in isolation.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    July 31, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    The whole Regan was brilliant and Obama is a dolt argument is ridiculous. Context and circumstances are everything. Regan experienced massive pent up demand in the markets, and Obama experienced massive lack of demand in the markets. Polar opposites. Once released Regan took that demand and productivity and changed the economy forever basically unleashing corporate power and the ability to concentrate economic power and wealth. Obama 30 or so years later is facing the result of the activity. Obama is not unique, Bush faced it also, he just tried to avoid it's consequences by unleashing his own little rivulets of wealth with tax policies. Didn't work too well though. While the distraction Bush created was humping along the real dynamics of the economy that Regan created were still gobbling up everything in site until there was nothing left and they had to create fantasy and lies to continue. Then...whoops, down it comes.

    Now it's broken, really broken, structurally and morally. Some have it all and the rest have little with a mote between the two. We can build a bridge across the mote, but not by standing around and praising the castle.

  • Alfred Pheonix, AZ
    July 30, 2013 8:44 p.m.

    "The real blame for the lack of meaningful reform is the uninformed people who vote for the politicians who do nothing."

    It's worse than that. The uninformed (low information) voter will continue to vote in politicians who will hand out massive amounts of largess... such as years and years of disability payments, months and months of unemployment, Obamacare, Obama-phones and you name it.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    July 30, 2013 6:26 p.m.

    @Steve Cottrell
    Just looking at where the home company is based has little bearing on where the car is made anymore. First of all, virtually all of the individual components for "American" vehicles like brakes, transmissions, most engine parts are made in Mexico or Canada, then shipped to the US for assembly. However, many foreign companies like Honda and Toyota make components in Japan, but assemble them in the US. According to thestreet website out of the top 10 cars that are assembled in the US and with the most US branded parts 5 are foreign brands.
    1. Ford Expedition
    2. Chevy Express/GMC Savana
    3. Toyota Avalon
    4. GMC Acadia/Chevy Traverse/Buick Enclave
    5. Honda Odyssey
    6. Honda Crosstour
    7. Dodge Avenger
    8. Ford F-150
    9. Toyota Camry
    10.Toyota Sienna
    It just isn't possible to tell where a car is made by the badge on the front anymore.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    July 30, 2013 6:19 p.m.

    These comments amaze me and seem to show a lack of understanding of simple economics. Reagan produced 20 million new jobs. Stimulus bills simply withdraw money from the private sector a certain amount drops into the hands of Obama cronies and bureaucrats, and about 80% returns to the economy. You can't make that up with volume. A .9% growth rate each year for the past 4 years seems to prove the point. When the majority of people receive govt handouts then the govt will win. Reaganomics worked very well. What we have now does not. Unless we allow the free enterprise system more free rein we will continue to suffer. we need lower corporate taxes, less regulations and red tape, etc. Believe it.

  • BRM Pleasant Grove, Utah
    July 30, 2013 6:10 p.m.

    Our problem is not just the economy or even the national debt. It is the unfunded mandates like social security and Obamacare and all the other promises that government cannot possibly deliver. Our main problem is that we have to change our course and this requires some pain and suffering that we the people and the politicians are not willing to endure right now. Kicking the can down the road will just make it worse.

  • George New York, NY
    July 30, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    Part of why our politicians do what they do is because they know at the end of the day the voters will blame other people's representives and not their own when things don't go the way they want them too.

  • prelax Murray, UT
    July 30, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    Uninformed voters rely on the biased print media.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 30, 2013 4:33 p.m.

    IMO voters how just vote for whoever will promise them the most free stuff... is the problem.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 30, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    To "Kent C. DeForrest" you obviously have been sucked into the liberal propaganda machiene. Again, you are showing that the low information voter is the one who allows disasterous policies to be put into place.

    The facts are historically recessions are over and done within 18 months to 2 years. The only recessions that have had their effects last longer than that in recent history was the Great Depression and today's recession. Why is it that they have lasted so long. If you look into history the recessions that were over the quickest were met with government INACTION. In other words, the government did nothing. They didn't add regulations, nor did they try and spend their way to prosperity. The recessions that lasted longer have been met by government trying to force its way out of the recession.

    While McCain wouldn't have been much better than Bush, the advantage of McCain in 2004 was the simple fact that Democrats hate him and wouldn't pass anything. With Romney, he understood business and if he listened to his conservative supporters could have helped fix things.

    Now, we have Obama, the rockstar President who is little more than a suit and teleprompter.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 30, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    IMO uneducated voters are a problem.

    And by "Uneducated" I don't mean "they don't agree with me", or "they didn't go to college". I mean they don't know the candidates. They get their info from TV commercials, or just vote for the guy with the best hair, or the best one-liners, or the one who promises me the most free stuff.

    If you decide who you will vote for based on TV commercials... YOU are one of the "Uneducated" voters.

    If you're going to be an "Educated" voter... you're going to have to do some independent research (not just watch TV). Talk to the candidates themselvs, or some people who's judgement you trust (not Madison Avenue advertisers or attack add people).

    "Educated" doesn't mean you agree with me... It means you investigated and became educated about the candidates, the issues, and their ideas.

    "Educated voter" in this context doesn't mean you went to college Truthseeker... it means you investigated the candidates (not just their party). Going to college doesn't automatically make you any better voter than a red-neck who has researched the candidates.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    July 30, 2013 1:41 p.m.


    I happen to remember 2008. It wasn't that long ago. The economy was in free-fall, the housing market had tanked, the big banks were scared out of their wits because of the gobs of real money they had invested in fictitious speculative financial instruments (derivatives), and they were running to Uncle Sam to bail them out. I, for one, do believe that 2013 is a lot more rosy. We're certainly not out of the woods, but as Eric S. pointed out, we'd be a lot closer if not for the Republicants and their misguided addiction to trickle-down economics and austerity budgeting.

    I'm not a liberal, and I don't think the Democrats have very many good answers. But I've been around long enough and been observant enough to recognize that the GOP's economic policies would be disastrous. Neither party is able to concoct a sensible path to decrease the inequality that is suffocating the economy. The Republicants believe a larger dose of the virus that caused the illness is the cure. The Democrats want to treat the symptoms instead of the illness.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 30, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    Wow, the liberals here have just proven the letter to be true.

    The economy is not doing better.

    We are currently have an unemployment rate of 7.6% with a labor participation rate of 63.5%. We have not had numbers that bad since Carter was President.

    Another scarry statistic is the average number of weeks a person remains unemployed. According to the BLS, at no time since 1967 have people taken more than about 12 weeks to fund a new job. Since Obama took office we are now pushing 25 weeks before people find a new job.

    The US is currently producing fewer new jobs than the population growth needs to simply maintain its labor participation rates and unemployment rates.

    US GDP growth through the 1980's was about 3.8%. Right now if we get up to 2% the economists are very happy.

    As you see, the low information voters think the economy is fine because the media tells them so. However, when you actually research things you see that the economy still is mired down and only has been painted to look like growth.

  • Blue Bolshevik Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    Why bother with voters and voting. Just let the corporations and gazillionaires run the country. What could possible go wrong?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    July 30, 2013 12:29 p.m.

    "Since the late 1970s, the U.S. has experienced a sharp divergence in the distribution and growth of market-based income, with gains overwhelmingly skewed toward the very top of the income distribution and away from the bottom. This era of widening income inequality represents a sharp break from the first three decades following World War II, when the gains from growth were shared fairly equally across the income distribution, even tilted somewhat favorably towards lower-income over upper-income workers. The increasingly lopsided concentration of income growth at the top of the distribution comes at the expense of stagnant or falling living standards for working families.

    The bottom line for policymakers: Raising top tax rates could yield large results in slowing income inequality growth without unduly hampering economic growth. This is just one more piece of evidence suggesting that Washington’s dominant framework for tax reform is divorced from economic research and needs serious reevaluation."
    (Economic Policy Institute)

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 30, 2013 12:21 p.m.

    The ten best educated states all voted for Obama. Nine of the ten worst educated states voted for Romney. That gives us a clue about the voting patterns of informed vs uninformed voters.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2013 11:41 a.m.

    A 2011 CBO study found that the top 1% of households gained about 275% after federal taxes and income transfers over a period between 1979 and 2007, compared to a gain of just under 40% for the 60 percent in the middle of America's income distribution.

    Based on the Gini coefficient, after tax income inequality in 2009 was largest in Texas and smallest in Maine.

  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    July 30, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    Reagan did not take office until 1981. So maybe wealth inequality is Carters fault.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 30, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    The media and political hype of income inequality started more recently, but fact is... it has been there all along.

    Income inequality took a jump in the industrial revolution, when fewer people were needed to do more work (because there were new machines to do the work of several men).

    Income inequality also took a jump in the 1950's when big corporations started taking over the landscape and smaller local compaines went under.

    It's also happening now... because so many jobs we used to do can now be done by robots, computers, cheeper foreign workers, etc.

    It didn't start in the 80's. It's been around as long as man. There was income inequality even in the dark ages (remember the kings/lords and serfs)? HUGE income inequality, huh?

    Know your history. It didn't "Start" in the 80's. And it isn't over today (even though we had a Democrat President, Senate, House or Representatives, and Supreme Court for several years).

    I know this Reagan hatred is a polular rhetorical story in your circles... but if you know History and reality... you really can't in all honesty just blame this on Reagan. Sorry.

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    July 30, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    Apparently the US debt situation could be improved if the economy improved.

    I wondered as I counted cars in a parking lot the other day if the economy would improve if more people bought cars that were US brands rather than cars that are foreign brands. The majority of the cars I counted in that parking lot, more than 60%, were from foreign based companies.

    Just wondering.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    "It started more than 30 years ago. Ask ANY economist."

    The increasing trend in wealth inequality really did start in 1980 (which I suppose is more than 30 years ago but still coincides with Reagan).

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 30, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    The letter is correct. The best in case in point of low-information voting is John Swallow.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 30, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    I agree with the ton in many ways with this post, with the exception of the perhaps the usage of the term "uninformed".... what does that mean. Does it mean people who don't agree with the authors agenda? Is it people who perhaps have other priorities in their lives.... don't have the same issues. What is an uninformed voter.

    I am pretty sure most voters are aware of those issues that are impacting them most... I would agree that many are unaware of legislation that may impact them in ways they are unaware of... but these usually secondary issues.

    To be uninformed depends on what your agenda is. If you are a gay rights activities... they would certainly say a conservative christian is uninformed of issues in the gay community. Likewise, the opposite could be said for a "family values" agenda person.... see the gay community as being uninformed.

    In reality, "uninformed" is a rather pompous term, where one views their own view as the correct informed view, and everyone else being lessor informed - because they don't agree.

    Pride... its a lovely thing.

  • Dave D Spring Creek, NV
    July 30, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    Does the letter writer realize that we really don't pick our elected officials? We only vote for them after party leaders give their stamp of approval after a terribly long and expensive vetting process. I voted for people I knew I wasn't going to be satisfied with because I had no other option. The presidential candidate I wanted to vote for was not on the ballet in Nevada, so I did the best I could. I had no other choice.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 30, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    Ernest T. Bass
    It started more than 30 years ago. Ask ANY economist.

    Eric Samuelsen
    Economic conditions may be improving (that's debateable) but this letter is not about the economy. It's about the national debt. The economy and the debt don't go together. The debt has been increasing every year regardless of how well (or how badly) the economy performs. It goes up in years when the economy is down. It goes up in years when the economy is good. The economy isn't the problem.

    The economy and the national debt are two totally different things.

    Granted... it's easier to make progress on cutting the debt when the economy is good and the people are prospering. But we don't do it! And it's almost imposible to ask the people to pay more (to decrease the deficit) or to be more austeer (to decrease the deficit) when the economy is down. But don't pretend that IF the economy were better the Deficit would not be a problem. Even if the stock market were at 20,000 the the deficit would STILL be a huge problem! And the deficit would still go up!

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    July 30, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    Exactly right Ernest, even the guy who invented it, and handed it to Reagan, has repeatedly said that it was a failure, and while some money did trickle down, there was a torrent up to 1%. Yet the republicans still act as though it works, with the evidence right before them. Before some clever dult says that it works better than trickle up, it not true. When trickle up mean millions of common folks spending money on millions of products the economy runs smoother than when 1% buy a few expensive toys stock piles money like hoarders without the restriction of their mobile homes walls.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 30, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    To eliminate uniformed voters then we must get rid of foxnews. Studies show that those who watch fox are the most uninformed of all. Better pull this weed out from the root!

    Folks who claim that the President was born in Kenya or who claim to know the Constitution (but cannot even recite the first line of it) should be excluded from voting. If repubs want to exclude those without drivers licenses then I will exclude the birthers and tea party.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    July 30, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    Yep, looks like we're getting together, all right. Yeah for us!

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    July 30, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    Actually, economic conditions are improving, though of course not as quickly as we would like. But that's because continued stimulative efforts can't find support in the House of Representatives.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 30, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    “Our country is headed toward economic disaster”.

    So, what’s new?

    “Uninformed voters are to blame”.

    Maybe; got any suggestions on how to be “informed”?
    Even if you could actually be truly informed, voting is a waste of time because of the political hoops and rules for voting that prevents the purported evil democracy.

    The reason we are in such a mess regarding government is that people as ordinary people have no effective representation in our government(s). And it’s not the peoples fault, it’s the way the business politicians want it. And they are not going to change it.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    July 30, 2013 8:09 a.m.

    The sky is falling, the sky is falling.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 30, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    It started 30 years ago with Reaganomics.
    Get back to a middle class with buying power and the problem would be solved.
    Instead we have a middle class getting poorer by the day, corporations & CEOs getting wealthier by the day and nobody can figure out why the economy is failing.
    Trickle-down doesn't work.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    July 30, 2013 6:58 a.m.

    I blame it on the Day of the Dead. When more voters than people.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    July 30, 2013 4:43 a.m.

    Another letter writer, who isn't paying attention to the stock market, the "plunging" unemployment numbers, and the "vastly" improving deficit. This country is in the hands of financial geniuses! Sarcasm off now. We won't know what hit us, once the full affect of obmacare and it lovely new taxes fully kick in. Sequester ends, and all the new taxes and regulations dictator obama desires for the country. Throw in immigration reform and the unemployment boost that will be, along with additional welfare requirements and increased handouts needed for the already deprived 47 percent and immigrants. Once the stock market is no longer propped up with phony dollars, it could be a whole new level of "fun" in our economy!