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- Increase Taxes substantially on the top 1% of Delawareans by increasing incrementally the top marginal tax rate.
- Override the Opt Out veto, giving parents the ultimate role in their child’s education.
- Remove and replace the crony Smarter Balanced Test with a test that can actually help students with immediate feedback.
- Remove charter schools from being funded per student and have them paid by line item in state budget, bringing them under tighter public scrutiny and control.
- Quickly pass HB 217 (Keeley) which is designed to require that firearms which are recovered from crime scenes be entered into the National Crime Information Center firearm database system.
We have a tough session ahead. All of these are no-brainers and should quickly be put to rest so attention can be focused outward towards new things.
It comes with a caveat. To succeed he must return to his liberal roots. The ones he ran on in 2008 and before. I often hear newcomers praise Matt Denn and in the same breath curse Jack Markell. They probably do not know that at one time they were like butt-buddies in philosophy and direction. Both early supporters of Blue Water Wind over the evil Delmarva Power. (only 8 years ago). Both were against the Death Penalty. Both were for extending rights to Gays. Both were for helping the little guy. Both were against Charters. And both were against man made Global warming, and those corporate extremists who made it happen. Both were pro-business but it had to be ethical business. neither supported being for business so it could continue its unethical business practices…. Both were pro-FOIA, opening government to the scrutiny of its citizenry. Both were against Thurm Adams and his desk drawer veto.
it’s funny when newcomers try to take the current Markell back through his role as Treasurer as proof of his evil ways. For he wasn’t evil back then at all. He was a champion for reform, so much so that he challenged and won the governorship over the Democratic Party’s pre-chosen candidate, John Carney, who was seen as less the progressive.
It’s funny what a few years can do.
But Markell’s track record puts him in very good position to be a leading progressive candidate if he were to try. What better argument against Conservative counter punches could be made than this?
When I was governor and ran a state, I tried exactly what you propose…and it didn’t work.. What would have worked better would have been this: and then list progressive policy….
Still skeptical? Try these then make up your own…..
“When I was governor I tried cutting back on state spending by attempting to cut to my state employees salaries by 8% and my legislature held it to a 2% decrease. One would think that such a streamlining of expense would decrease taxation and cause businesses to move in and create growth. Instead, as the state’s largest employer those cuts had a 1.6% multiplier aggravating the economic damage. Fewer revenues then expected were generated the next year because it hurt those who lived on those earning government salaries as well. With hindsight, the proper approach would have been to keep them the salaries continuous, and to apply a tax on the top echelon who survived the depression rather well, and use that new revenue as the funding for the existing government…. As the economy improved, taxes could be lightened… That would have worked faster than the conservative approach I took.”
When I was governor I pushed Common Core hard. I led the nation in its implementation, though held off on being the first to use the test. I still believe some things in Common Core are good for society but with hindsight, I would divorce Common Core tests from being used as the sole ranking of teachers and schools. We found that no matter how hard we pushed accelerated learning, that having one standard set high for all, was defeating. A lower standard set for all works better because there is some realistic chance for all to achieve it. Those on the bottom CAN become proficient with lots of hard work. We found that even our best teachers in our worst schools still gave us the worst scores in our state. We found that mediocre teachers in our best classes still had the best scores. In essence we found no correlation between test scores and quality of teaching. All test scores do we found, is measure the quality of prenatal and infant care. With hindsight, I would say that to do well for our students, all of our students, we need to focus mostly on increasing the human element of education, and particularly in schools of high risk, where the poverty level is over 50% of the student body, we must guarantee an 11:1 student/teacher ratio, insist that it happens and willingly pay for its expense.
When I was governor I tried wooing companies into my state with bribes. I offered no taxes. state loans. even support fees tacked to citizens electricity bills. This was done primarily to develop jobs which were much needed in my state. With hindsight I would have focused more on making sure economic demand remained high instead of trying to get new business to come in. If the demand had stayed at pre-depression levels, jobs would have stayed and remained Instead we gambles on a few temporary jobs involving construction and then when they evaporated we were left continuing to pay the costs, which even today drag down the economy.
When I was governor, we had a automobile plant close up and a possible buyer for it needing some money up front to purchase it. We helped them but they went bankrupt. We lost our loans which we thought were guaranteed to be refunded from sale of its assets. Turns out corporate raiders were ahead of us in line. That points out a discrepancy in law needing adjusted. There is no way private investors putting up money at risk, fully knowing the risk, get first dibs of return over a government who puts up the people’s money to benefit its people. That was just plain wrong and an inexperienced candidate will fall into the same trap as did I. I know ahead of time it does not work.
When I was governor I tried to put in a toxic power plane in the middle of our college town. i thought that any reason to create jobs was reason enough. We tried very hard to engineer the town council and the electorate in order to get proper votes and we succeeded there. However the university walked away from the deal and the deal died. With hindsight, I would not put in a dirty power plant just for jobs. Oil, gas, and coal are done. There are always other options and anything that destroys the atmosphere and our climate, though helpful in the short run, cost far more in the long run than other cleaner alternatives. In truth we misjudged the sophistication of our electorate and their ability to counter our claims with scientific fact, which turned the population against us. The answer I can tell you to America’s future energy is in pursuing the clean energy options and by increasing their efficiency, we lower the cost per kilowatt. Any other way just does not work.
When I was governor I tried getting rid of our Port which is run by the state, by selling it to a private company Kinder Morgan. i thought we had negotiated a very good deal guaranteeing wages at current level for 3 years, and keeping everyone employed the same length of time. However, anytime one privatizes something that is state owned, it is an economic loss to the surrounding area. Private companies hire less than state because they run more efficiently. However, that also means less income and less tax pours into the city. With hindsight, I have learned that privatization is good if the public receives a benefit from better efficiency. But that it is bad, if the service being privatized is something that belongs to all, or requires constant upkeep and maintenance, in which case state ownership is better than private. When our state legislature passed legislation making them the final arbiter of decision, my client pulled out of the deal and the port is doing fine still under state control. I’m here to tell you that privatization of public works only benefits those who buy the operation at a low cost…. There is a reason they were originally state run and that is they are there to serve you first.
When I was governor i tried to weaken our environmental policy in order to bring in jobs. Some companies were used to not having to comply to environmental regulations and they were the only ones who seemed interested in our properties. So we catered to them. We were able to hide most environmental problems and get approval by most local governments. But with hindsight, I would argue now for the other extreme. Protect the environment at all costs. We can always pass on jobs. They are temporal; they rise and fall. But damage to the environment is almost generational, lasting as long as humans are alive. There are always new jobs being created; every day something new is created. But environmental damage is very harmful and lasts a long, long time, It continues doing its damage long after whatever company that caused it has folded and those jobs are now three states away…. I have learned by being governor that the most important thing we have is our environment and that never should we let temporary jobs blind us to the loss of many future jobs because of our polluted lifestyle..
As a Presidential candidate these arguments would be hard to bust with theoreticals. Nothing works as well as saying I tried that, it doesn’t work. it would also focus the argument on policy instead of personal traits, something our media is scared to do.
The combination of a sharp younger looking candidate saying the right things people are dying to hear, would do well for our current governor if he ran as a liberal in 2016… And if he rigged the Delaware primary to be on January 2nd, ahead of all others, he would be the leader for a while with three delegates.
I know many are skeptical. But seeing Markell in action readily shows he can be presidential material. but only if he runs now, and only if he uses his mistakes to burst the bubbles always painted for Democrats by their Republican opponents. He plays a room well. He only gets in trouble by those outside the room who don’t appreciate what he is doing. If he just return to his own roots, and ditch the pro-business persona he has taken on, he could go far, possibly being offered the Vice Presidency on a winning ticket if he just would be more liberal.
The very reasons his detractors are calling for his head, would make him a great leader if he was only on the right side of the issues for a change…..
Newark City is thinking of privatizing their garbage collection.
Here are things to remember:
- As a public service, their prime duty is to their customers. Which is you.
- As a private service, their prime duty is to their investors, not you.
- As a public service, there is public input allowed on raising the rates.
- As a private service there is no public overseer of rate rising.
- As a public service hiring locals, all the money spent on labor, returns to your economy.
- As a private service the money spent on labor goes to where each employee lives.
- As a public service if you complain someone follows up.
- As a private service they can tell you, we just don’t do that…
- As a public service, a contract is valid as long as the city is standing or until it is replaced by City Council
- As a private entity, a contract is null and void as soon as the company is acquired by another investor.
These are the grand points to ponder… Another is this… can a private service perform the operation as well or cheaper than the city. If savings are sufficient, it may pay to switch….
But this concerns all of you… Please go to the Church of the Nazarene on Paper Mill Road for the discussion and public airing of this proposal… Set this date… Monday, September 21, 2015 … at 6 pm…. Don’t be pushed around… And don’t believe everything you hear about privatization… some of you still remember what happened with Delmarva Power….
They were 39 days late… but we got them… The preliminary Smarter Balanced Assessments….
The big takeaway was: is that all there is to it?
We’ve been arguing over this for 4 years. (I’ve been doing it for 3). We’ve spent $119 million dollars of Race To The Top Money to bring this to fruition. And we’ve been promised so much good would come from this test that we had no choice BUT to go forward with it…
But looking at the scores, it is the same as it ever was…. Nothing changed. Kids didn’t learn more. Kids may have learned less. If one takes the word of students and teachers, each student spent 8 hours taking this test spread over an average of 3.25 days…
At 70,000 Delawarean students taking the test, a total of 560,000 learning hours were spent on this actual test… One has to ask if that is worth the cost…
Over half a million hours were spent on this test… just so we can fire teachers. Is that the best use of our students time? Or should every parent be concerned with this, and insist that we return to the DCAS, one which took far less time and unlike this test, gave teachers feedback they could give students immediately afterwards.
Because we all know.
If experts say 8 years olds should be able to jump over a 3 foot high bar and you raise it to 5 feet, you are going to have fewer successful jumps… So anyone who says “see, how terrible education is today?: by looking at these scores, needs to be laughed out, ridiculed, and then ignored…. Because they don’t mean anything… Nothing at all.
The real question that needs to be asked is this… By raising the bar to 5 feet, did more people jump over the 3 foot bar then before… That data would tell us if this program was a success or failure…
But we don’t have that data… All we know is that fewer people “passed” because we made “passing” beyond the capabilities of all but our most developed and well trained….
So.. parents… is this truly worth $119 million dollars? So teachers…. is this truly worth $119 million dollars… So administrators… is this truly worth $119 million dollars?
Money that was taken from reading coaches that the Minner administration placed in every school. Money that was taken from math coaches that the Minner administration placed in every school. Money that was taken from having a policeman in every school… Money that was taken from supplying classrooms. Money that was taken from extra curricular activities. Money that was taken from the libraries. Money that was taken away from field trips. Money that was taken away… .. from you… After all, it is your money now being spent on this…
Did you get all the worth over what you paid? Are your kids Smarter? Do they seem more balanced?
If yes, we can’t knock the program … It appears to have worked… But if no, then as many of us have pointed out, this is a boondoggle of epic proportions….
So, when you looked over the preliminaries… did you too say…. “Is that all there is?
Someone is getting rich… somewhere…
Compare these to a $40 million dollar flop of the fantastic four….
That is the prevailing argument among all those against the Iran deal that miraculously was agreed upon by the Iranian people and was accepted by American leadership.
Why are we removing sanctions to a Super-Bad country that doesn’t trust us? After all, everyone trusts America; We are a righteous country.
That is why our CIA along with the Brits overthrew Iran’s popularly elected president, Mossadegh in 1953. It would be like China sending a commando team into the White House and killing Hillary Clinton in 2016 and installing S. B. Woo. (Finally, a Delawarean become president.) We did it to Iran because we are a righteous country.
We then went on to support the violently repressive regime of the Pahlavi dynasty. Would be the equivalent of China imposing Idi Amin on us. We did it to Iran because we consider ourselves a righteous country.
After the Iranian revolution, the US supported the Iraqi regime of Sadaam Hussein in a disastrous war against Iran, going so far as to knowingly provide targeting information for the use of illegal chemical weapons by Iraq. That would be like China giving Mexico and Canada targeting information to bomb our major cities along our borders with anthrax. Of course we did it lovingly to them because as you know by now, we are a righteous country.
We also entered into a shooting war with the Iranian navy during the time leading up to the Gulf War. AND then we cheered (there is video) when we shot down a passenger airliner carrying 290 passengers, dropping all of them into the Persian Gulf? Of course. We did it out of love; you know it; because we are a righteous country.
Today our closest ally in the region is led by a right-wing neo-con (Benjamin Netanyahu) who keeps saying he sees no option but to bomb Iran…. he is our closet ally because we love him; we are a righteous country.
Israel has a couple of hundred nukes and has started several “preventive/pre-emptive wars” with first strikes against its neighbors in 1957, 1967 and 1982, not to mention targeted strikes on nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria. We hold them as our closest ally because we love them; we are a righteous country….
Here at home, our right-wing is festooned with senior leaders who have both joked and threatened in all seriousness to bomb Iran. Again, in all seriousness, …we only threaten because we are a righteous country……
We also managed to prosecute a disastrous war with Iran’s neighbor to the west (Iraq) which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Our stated goal: regime change.. We were justified of course; we are a righteous countryand right makes might.
America is so good, one simply has to be the opposite, super-bad, to disagree with us.. If you don’t do what we say, you ARE the axis of evil. After all, America is a righteous country… There is no possible reason any nation could ever have to mistrust us…..
Yet despite this gigantic behemoth of mistrust existing between our two countries, the Obama administration was still able to hammer out a deal beneficial for both parties… That is far more of a miracle than the fact that some people out of an ancient Illuminati oath made with Netanyahu, are bent to undo it….
Truth is: we don’t need Israel; they’re nothing but trouble. Always have been; always will be. Longterm peace in the Middle East solely depends on a moderate and engaging Iran!
Usually things can be easily grasped if you avoid the details and look at a broader picture… Of course, I’m not saying never look at details… That would be silly… But I’m saying that if you approach all situations from the bottom up, you really don’t have a clue unless you luckily enough to reach the summit and look down… It is like climbing a mountain… If you just walk uphill… you may get there… or you may hit a wall that cannot be climbed… But looking at a satellite photo of the mountain first, you can easily track a general path, then deal with the details discovered on the ground when you get there….
What politics all comes back to, is what I first heard while making the rounds with my dad. That old man on the porch who said between cigar puffs…. “Kid… politics is about who gets the money and who controls it…”
That held for my county then, for our counties now, for our state, and federal too… Understanding that politics is all about money, makes one understand ahead of time what will pass legislature in any given session, and what will not…
There are many ways to divide the pie… one can base it on color of skin which has been tried in our history. One can base it on gender, which has been tried in our history… One can base it on land ownership which as been tried in our history… But over the course of time, each of those distinctions have fallen. And good riddance.
Now, thanks to mass media, there is a new distinction… Between those who can buy ads to threaten lawmakers, and those who can’t… (For simplicity more than accuracy, we will from henceforth, call them the 1% versus the 99%…..)
If one looks at the 1%’s slice of pie, prevailing wage bites into it… They have to pay a higher wage than what they could find in cheaper labor… I mean who could not be against prevailing wage if it meant you had to pay more money which you could, if the trend were gone, keep to yourself? So these guys do have motive, one that is dear to each and all of our hearts. Keeping their money.
But even rich people know that an argument saying: make these people suffer more so I can become EVEN richer does not hold water in any forum. In fact that argument is the kiss of death… So instead they find a third party to portray as victim… which is the government… Their argument: our government is paying more than it has to which is a waste catches more flies especially during hard times….
There are some mis-truths here that need pointing out…
One is that doing away with prevailing wage does not cut cost for government… It does nothing like that at all in our system of bids …. Our government asks for bids, and it chooses one…. Most often there is only one bid. That bidder gets what they ask… And with prevailing-wage-principles now gone, the owners pocket that extra incremental which was previously blamed on Prevailing Wage…
So whereas on paper one can anticipate all the labor being used on government contracts and take several dollars off every total and call that a potential savings…. it does not show how other mysterious costs will bite into and suck out those alleged savings, funneling the money over to the 1%’s bank accounts.
In other words, there will be no savings because the 1% will steal them… WE THE PEOPLE will still pay $65 million for a construction job, but instead of 53% going to wages which get spent in our state, now only 43% goes to that place… Losing prevailing wage takes money like a giant vacuum cleaner right out of Delaware’s economy… Instead of funding projects to benefit people working, we are funding the same projects to benefit those who take the money immediately right out of the state’s economy which quickly gets locked up and we will never see it again…..
Bottom line of losing prevailing wage?… A.) No money is ever saved by our government. B.) Our Delaware local economy suffers net loss. C.) The top 1% grows 10% richer with every project the state funds….
In very surprising language from a very Conservative Pope, (Pope Francis’s predecessor) Pope Benedict lays it out very clearly…
Today, budgetary policies, with cuts in social spending often made under pressure from international financial institutions, can leave citizens powerless in the face of old and new risks; such powerlessness is increased by the lack of effective protection on the part of workers’ associations. Through the combination of social and economic change, trade union organizations experience greater difficulty in carrying out their task of representing the interests of workers, partly because Governments, for reasons of economic utility, often limit the freedom or the negotiating capacity of labour unions. Hence traditional networks of solidarity have more and more obstacles to overcome. The repeated calls issued within the Church’s social doctrine, beginning with Rerum Novarum, for the promotion of workers’ associations that can defend their rights must therefore be honoured today even more than in the past…
Hence, by degrees it has come to pass that working men have been surrendered, isolated and helpless, to the hardheartedness of employers and the greed of unchecked competition. The mischief has been increased by rapacious usury, which, although more than once condemned by the Church, is nevertheless, under a different guise, but with like injustice, still practiced by covetous and grasping men. To this must be added that the hiring of labor and the conduct of trade are concentrated in the hands of comparatively few; so that a small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the teeming masses of the laboring poor a yoke little better than that of slavery itself.
So, if you read the above you can plainly see we have a head of the largest Christian denomination the Roman Catholic Church, calling for the continuance of policies like Prevailing Wage, and endorsing it…. “What God has brought together; let no man cut asunder.”
What just happened June 30th, was that the total economic pie of Delaware, the one that gets divided up between the haves and have-nots, just got a little smidgen taken from the Have-Nots and added to the side of the Haves which already own over 50% of the pie .
- A.) No money gets saved by the Government.
- B.) Less money now filters through our grocery stores, our restaurants, our small businesses, our handyman our landscapers, our repair shops, or our mechanics….
- C.) The noose for 99% of us becomes tighter by another notch, which with a one way slit knot, can never be undone except by cutting away the noose altogether..
The good news is that some form of prevailing wage still stands for larger contracts. The bad news is that we have less pie than we did a week ago, to feed all 1 million of us living today in what once were the three former counties of Pennsylvania….
But the effects of reducing prevailing wage can be countered by a government and local economy…. If we would just create an excessive tax on the top one percent while giving them the option to write off everything they spent on capital investment that year…. they themselves would have the incentive to pay more and government would not have to step in and support wages with a minimum floor… Pictorially, If the top 1% had to continuously give back the slices of pie they continuously stole from us, they would stop stealing, is basically the point of taxing excessively those only in the top tier.
Or, if we could again legally protect every American worker from being fired if they stopped workage as long as their work stoppage was linked to getting higher wages, then those wages would increase through bargaining under that threat, and laws supporting prevailing wages would no longer be necessary…
But since 1980 we have cut back on those two forms of balance so until they are restored, today’s current political climate which is controlled by the owners of excessive money , demands the necessity of continuing prevailing wage just to keep all wages higher, both private and public, since all wages have to compete for labor against the highest one on the market…
But it is ultimately our failure as a state to jump-start massive local investment by levying huge taxes on all monies the top one percent won’t spend on local capital improvements here within our state’s boundaries, that causes us to have to defend the concept of prevailing wage.. We NEED prevailing wage just for the simple reason that all of its well-spent money comes straight to us… to all of us in the local economy when those receiving it in their paychecks, spend it!… Without prevailing wage, it’s the Caymen Island bank accounts which swell with yours and my money………… instead of our local economy.
Prevailing Wage like every thing in politics… is only about who gets to get their hands on the money….. Why shouldn’t it be you? There is no reason. Just that you didn’t ask for it; You didn’t defend your rights to it; you elected people paid for by the other side… Your lack of having enough money today comes down to your own damn fault….
Isn’t it time you did something about it?
That was the feeling one got from yesterday… in general when it comes to the state of Delaware. Everyone is just so tired.. A lot more than from other years… Our legislature is too old. The same characters have done it all over and over without change… Like week-old bread, the taste has molded, and the texture toughened…
There were moments of lucidity. Legislators there for their first closing sessions provided some passion and freshness but they were frozen out of the mainstream by the lobbyists and legislators who’ve repeated this charade since the early 90’s.
I was reminded of many a small business, run for 40 years, where ideas fresh and invigorating 30 years ago like the merchandise, were still on the shelves, collecting dust. too young for antique dealers, too old for everyone else… When one walks in banging the screen door, the owners stir, suspiciously watch you peruse their merchandise, standing at attention to ring up an anticipated sale, then shrugging their shoulders as you exit and drive away…
Our state has reached that point… We are tired… We are tired of having no money. We are tired of always cutting back. We are tired of not raising taxes. We are tired of doing without…. We are tired of blaming prevailing wage. We are tired of sticking it to tolls and fee-payers to raise our revenues. We are tired of this overbearing, oppressive, stifling , thick humidity crushing summer air that makes all move in slow viscous motion to avoid being smothered in buckets of sweat.
We are a tired state….
The answer as any CEO will tell you, is because we have reached our end of hope.. We have no new visions in front of us, which is accurately cartooned by the Rodel name changes originally in 2006 from Vision 2009 to Vision 2015, to Vision 2025, which despite all the name changes, essentially remain exactly the same.
We are tired of going to work making less, then have to do with less to pay for our higher bills, since someone somewhere up there is making a lot more than what they once did for the same service they’ve always provided…
We are tired of being brushed aside, by those who have money and pull with legislators they’ve now sat at banquet tables for over one fifth of a century. We are tired of not seeing change…
That is essentially it… We are tired of not seeing change….
Oh, those who want the middle class as serfs again, don’t seem to feel this ennui… They are pumped up cheering as every earned right we’ve had for hundreds of years, gets stripped away…. But they are a thin minority… The rest, just muddle on, lost in their distractions of NetFlicks or Amazon shrugging their shoulders complaining how nothing ever improves….
There are bright spots on the distant horizon… Bernie Sanders may actually become a force of change even if not elected, by breaking the ennui on the playing field with something new. Or we may go to war with an unknown enemy today, which always sharpens our focus even if upon simple survival…
The road map is clear.
Although two months too early to talk about football, I am going to break that rule here… In the contest between people and money, the American people are down 24-7 in the 3rd Quarter… We all know that comebacks in the NFL happen all the time. We know that with only 2 unanswered touchdowns and a field goal, we again have a tie game… But with every minute time is running out.. Our chances are lessening that we will ever again have the middle class prosperity under which we grew up… With every passing second which we do not have the ball, our future becomes dimmer, and dimmer, and dimmer, and dimmer….
As any football aficionado will tell you, there comes a time in every game, where playing defensively is not an option.. You’ve already lost by being defensive; it is too late to focus only on stopping the others from gaining… Your only option is to finally run or throw the ball, and if you don’t have a clear shot… you take the chance with a “Hail Mary”….. because at 24-7 against you… you don’t really have a choice….
Here is what is missing…
Taxing the top one percent… That alone, like a 70 yard pass and 20 yard run into the end zone, will make the game into a battle again… That alone will put the adrenalin back into life. That alone will give 315 million Americans the one single ray of hope they have, that though things are tough now… at some future point, they too will be able to relax and enjoy the game of participating in the American dream….
Because when it comes down to it… and this isn’t just me but the entire course of human history, when you put all your faith into a system that believes in getting the most out of every worker…. you will never be paid what you are worth.. You will be always paid the minimum allowed to keep you in in that spot… Doesn’t that make perfect sense? Why would anyone pay you $100,000 when they can fill your spot with a kid for $25,000?
Trusting business is trusting a brown recluse spider to take care of you…
The only way we will ever have a better future for our children, is if we tax those 1% just enough to pay for $100,000 accountants, scientists, and inspectors to keep those 1 per centers legal and in line… Then, if you don’t like your low corporate pay, there is a high paying government job waiting for you that will double your income….
Cuts, cuts, cuts, are old, old. old… Find someone who says tax, tax, tax, and we will again hope, hope, hope…
There is only one way out of our quagmire… Tax the top one percent fairly until we have the nation we again want… Till then, it will be the same ole, same ole, same ole, same ole, same ole…….. long after the day we die… Each day we don’t tax is like each minute we don’t play offensively; we bury our children’s economic future deeper and deeper and deeper. The beauty of being American, is that we are supposed to make our own future… Find someone out there who will raise taxes… and support them like hell. This time, vote like your future income depends on it… because frankly, that is the only thing it does depend on…
Again it is up. This time sponsored by Karen Peterson for Delaware. Again, Rick Jensen was fanning flames with gasoline soaked pizza boxes.
In considering this issue, there is a smart way and a dumb way… The dumb way was pursued by Rick Jensen: Asking what do you believe?
Counter to that, the smart approach would be to ask: which is the best course to follow?
What you believe is based off your emotions. As a rule, we tend to believe what we were told, modified by our experience. Basically if someone tells us that there is a man at the North Pole who flies around the world in a reindeer driven sleigh one night a year, we will believe it until events prove otherwise. Usually, waking up Christmas morning as a young adult with nothing under your tree, is enough to deter even the most ardent Christmas fan from continuing to believe in such.
So we will get bad data disguised as opinion.
- People believe death is a deterrent.
- People believe death is cheaper.
- People believe death is cathartic.
- People believe being unforgiving is the ultimate adulthood thrill.
- People believe killing someone adequately revenges a personal slight.
- People believe in acting like an asshole is more mature.
As said earlier, what we believe (like an object in space), continues on its same trajectory until it is diverted by another force or object.
Here are facts taken from those who know most about the effects of death on an incarcerated criminal population: US Prison Wardens.
- The threat of death is not a deterrent; it does not cross the minds of most people in the middle of their crimes.
- Death is costlier than life imprisonment. People have to get rich over death too and they do take a pretty penny out of state budgets doing so, whereas the fixed costs are fixed for prison inmates. Their marginal cost is minimal.
- Death accomplishes nothing for the victims or their survivors. Instead they feel they have been a part of creating another crime on top of the one originally performed by the now dead criminal.
- Being a bitch or unforgiving is easy; it is usually a sign of brain damage. Fully functioning brains with no dead spaces showing on their CT scans, tend to all opt for forgiveness… which is why it is the basis of the Christian religion; it’s the smart thing to do… Supporting the death penalty is more in line with Shara Law than with the New Testament. More to the point is that the entire premise of the Christian religion is based on the wrongness that occurred of using the death penalty to extinguish an innocent man.
- Revenge is over-rated… That is so 16th Century. Revenge is more costly to one than no revenge. Yeah, one may want it, but really? All the perpetual harm it causes? No one takes out revenge (yet) when one professional team loses to another. That ideally is how we should all act.
- It always amazes me that people think acting like an asshole makes them look more important than what they are: acting than a clown. It simply does not.. We need fewer assholes, not more in today’s world.
100% of all US Prison wardens in 1995 said the Death Penalty should be abolished. Underlying their case was their experience that the remorse felt in old age and the realization one had wasted their golden opportunity on earth, was far more deterrent to crime, than the taking of their life.
People who think death is a deterrent, are thinking of themselves from their own framework… They are not criminals. Criminals automatically assume they will be killed, and therefore, they need to do as much living as possible before that time comes. Sort of like knowing you will lose the chips on your roulette table soon, so you had better buy drinks now for everyone off the winnings you have, because you can’t afford them later.
If dying means nothing to you; it is not much of a deterrent.
Furthermore these wardens cited that having old lifers in the prison mix, increased the calmness of the prison, as opposed to only having young hot-heads incarcerated. They spoke eloquently that for young kids to see a sixty year old broken down man and realizing they too would be like that in only 30 years, scared more criminals straight than any number of executions of strangers they never saw or cared less about.
Secondly, they all spoke that the appeals process was necessary and overly costly. Life Imprisonment and having no death penalty gets rid of both.
The ironic argument over which option is worse for the criminal, is quickly brought to a head when one, as do 100% of prison wardens, comes to the realization that all major convicted criminals die in the penitentiary whether sentenced to life imprisoned or to death. Just in one option, one has longer time to mull over what one did, and what one could have accomplished, had one never committed the crime for which one was incarcerated.
So life imprisonment is cheaper, and more of an incentive not to commit crime than the death penalty. So why would anyone once knowing these facts, ever decide otherwise, when facts clearly point that abolishing the death penalty is smarter, cheaper, safer, and good policy… Keeping it intact, is the opposite.