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Are You Voting for a Myth?

Posted by RickH · November 4th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Robert J. Froelich is Vice Chairman and Chief Investments Strategist of DWS Investments, the U.S. retail brand of Deutsche Bank’s global asset management division.  He said something in a recent interview which I’ve (so far unsuccessfully) tried communicating to many of my “rich” friends.

Myth #1: Republicans are better for wealth-generation

When asked, “What are some common myths about the relationship between presidential elections and markets?”  He responded,

A lot of people say to me, “Wall Street is in bed with the Republican Party, and always roots for the Republicans.” But when you peel back the onion, and look at stock market performance, the market actually has been up more under Democratic administrations than under Republican administrations.

That sort of pure myth of saying, “All you need is a Republican in the White House, and the market will do well” — that just doesn’t hold water when you look into the research.  (Mark Jewell, “Meltdown 101: Vote could remove cloud over markets” (November 3, 2008) Associated Press. (Note: I edited the quote to remove the redundant and misplaced “has” preceding the words “actually has been up more….”)

Again, let me point this out: that was the Vice Chairman and Chief Investments Strategist of DWS Investments, the U.S. retail brand of Deutsche Bank’s global asset management division. It wasn’t some namby-pamby socialist.

Myth #2: Democrats are the party of the poor

Another myth is a perversion of the truth.  The myth says that the Democratic Party is the party of the poor and downtrodden.  It’s built on truth.  The Democratic Party is the party that works hardest to protect civil rights.  (In truth, neither party does a very good job of this.  The Democrats, however, work hardest at it.)  The average person doesn’t much notice the erosion of civil rights.  The loss of constitutional protections disproportionately affects the poor.

Thus the myths: Democrats come to be aligned in the public consciousness with the poor; Republicans with the rich.

The justification (as opposed to the genesis) for these myths is difficult to understand.  After all, as Froelich stated, “the market actually has been up more under Democratic administrations than under Republican administrations.” And Democrats don’t aim at protecting the poor and downtrodden.  Those who understand and adhere to the historical party platform — oh, for the days when party platforms were understood and meant something! — aim at a sustainable constitutionally-driven society.  It’s just that, for reasons already noted, the poor and downtrodden are the most visible beneficiaries of such aims.  Thus, it looks like the Democratic party is concerned only for the poor and downtrodden.

Myth #3: Democrats “spread the wealth” from “you” to the poor

This is why the Republicans can say that Democrats are concerned with “spreading the wealth” via a socialist society that coddles the poor.  It’s not true.  We take money and aggregate it to support others via the building of bridges, roads, funding scientific developments, underwriting businesses and through a myriad of other ways.  The question isn’t one of whether wealth is “spread.”  The question is one of how we decide how much each person pays into the pot, and what the pot is used to do.  The Republicans know this, and are hypocrites because they know that all taxation “spreads” a society’s wealth.

But here is where the Republican spinmeisters work to create new myths which will interact with those above.  If you believe Barack Obama, he plans to provide a tax cut to 95% of Americans.  Under his plan, the richest Americans will pay more in taxes.  Enter the mythmakers: “Barack Obama is a socialist (read: communist).  He wants to take your hard-earned money and give it to poor people.”  The corollary myth is that John McCain is the one who will actually cut your taxes, even though in reality it the richest who benefit from McCain’s plan.

The numbers say differently.  Most estimates say if you make between $66,354 and $111,645, your after-tax income will increase 0.7% under McCain.  If you make an income over $2.8 million, your after-tax income increases 4.4%.  (Want an exercise that will really open your eyes?  Do the math that converts the percentage increase to actual dollars.)  And, by the way, in my neck of the woods — Fresno — most people don’t make $66,000 or above.  On the other hand, in my neck of the woods, most people need the protection of their civil rights.  This is, after all, the fiefdom of Jerry Dyer and a generally racist police force.

Don’t vote for myths!

The acceptance of these myths accounts for the majority of my friends who support Sarah Palin — er, uh, oh yeah, I mean John McCain — for President. They don’t know these are myths; they accept them as true. And they all believe, somehow, that since they don’t conceive of themselves as poor and downtrodden that they must be in the other group: the rich.

So, I have to ask:  Are you voting for a myth?

Categories: 2008 Presidential Election

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jackie Styles // Nov 6, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    The loss of Constitutional rights disporportionately affects the poor because they are the bozos most often running afoul of the law.

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