William Thien

Archive for the ‘Essays and Social and Political Commentary’ Category

Biden’s delegate lead isn’t the result of a majority of voters favoring his platform. Party politics (party bosses) merely intervened and told several candidates to get out of the race “now” (did you see that, they all bowed out within 24hrs) and those candidates were told to endorse Biden so that their supporters would be forced into Biden’s camp when prior, most probably would not have voted for Biden.

Biden is now in the lead because of party machinations, not because the public wants to vote for him.

If I could liken it to anything you might come across in real life, to me it is the classic bait and switch as enacted by The Democratic Party. You see an ad, go to the store, and find out that the product in the ad isn’t the same piece of you-know-what that’s in the store.

Originally, the democratic debate stage was full of candidates with completely disparate positions and platforms on a large number of issues. The debates themselves were lively and full of ideas that ran the full spectrum of political belief. Biden seemed to be the only candidate without any new ideas or profound solutions to the country’s problems. AND he was losing all of the debates and caucuses.

But suddenly now we are supposed to believe/accept he is in the lead? What gives? And you were worried about the Russians meddling in US elections.

Now that the party has told the other candidates to bow out, Biden is the de facto leader when there were other candidates with a solid lead prior. Not that I favor all of the other candidates compared to Biden, but that is what just happened, practically overnight. Practically overnight half of the country’s voting population just re-evaluated its entire belief system we are to accept. Yeah, right.

What just happened is the absence of democracy. We are living in a vacuum of democracy today.

Or, “How modern party politics has signified the end of democratic participation.”

Copyright © William Thien 2020

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Workers’ Compensation Claims Decline In States With Medical Marijuana, Study Shows

Well if that’s not good for business, then I don’t know what is. Legalization has been found to increase workplace creativity and performance and now this. So why are politicians dragging their feet? Must have something at stake other than the public’s best interest.

Click on the following link:

Workers’ Compensation Claims Decline In States With Medical Marijuana, Study Shows

You often hear people say they think term limits would solve most of the political problems in this country and that may be so, but why should we enact term limits aside from “we just don’t like that guy?” Many also believe that hoping for term limits is wishful thinking and that politicians in America will never yield to term limits. There are any number of reasons for term limits and some of them may not seem so obvious.

  1. Times change. Particularly now things seem to be changing more rapidly due primarily to the development of the personal computer and smart phones. Technology is changing the speed of our daily lives and the amount of responsibility in our lives. We have more responsibility and less time. Things are done differently and things are done differently almost on a yearly or even monthly basis. All of that change has an effect upon our social activities and changes our lives, often leaving us with less free time and leisure time and less time to accomplish our goals. Yet, many politicians don’t like to change the way they are doing things. Their political parties don’t want to yield the authority either. This creates social distortion. Society is moving at one speed, politicians are dragging their feet at another. But if there is one reason why we need term limits aside from “we just don’t like that guy,” it is that times change and are times are changing more quickly than ever before.
  2. We are living in an age when we are subject to political families that would seem to have a dynastic presence in public office, particularly at the federal level, and those families wage incredible influence over political party activity and behavior and as a result, the activity of the country itself. The cost to get elected and the difficulty of that task benefits from family name recognition as well as practical campaigning experience, with campaigning a difficult job in and of itself to be sure. I don’t need to mention any such families but it is sufficient to say that when one family member leaves office, another one steps up. First brother, then sister, parent, then child, husband, then wife, all of them benefiting from shared experiences and name recognition, something an upstart candidate could not and cannot compete with on a level playing field. It would be entirely naive to believe that there is no shared agenda among them or common goal which may not be to the best interest of the public. One way to control that politically dynastic trend is through term limits.
  3. Control of and limitation of political party influence. Political seats are often vacated by a politician of one party and then occupied by another of the same party. Politicians will remain in their office at the behest of a political party until the party believes they can fill a seat that will be vacated by a member of their party. Term limits would put a direct stop to that kind of political behavior.
  4. Bureaucratic stagnation results when you have politicians that maintain networks within their districts that are the result of long time relationships between a politician and the government employees in that district or jurisdiction tasked with enacting an agenda on behalf of the elected. Term limits would institute a natural turnover and enliven the democratic process in that district and its economy.

Those are just a few of the less obvious reasons for term limits that you will not hear any politician or political party chairman ever mention but they are some of the best reasons for term limits. Since we are unlikely to see term limits nationally in the near future, I believe an alternative might be a zero incumbency movement, where no matter who is in office, the population votes for the competition. It is just a consideration, something to think about. But if we are not going to see term limits, what other choice is there?

Copyright © William Thien 2020

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I keep hearing from just about everyone at some time or another and it just appeared in a television ad for a presidential candidate named Tom Steyer that we need term limits.

But you know it will never happen. A politician isn’t going to sign off on a new law that says he, or she for that matter, can’t have his job any longer. And I actually like some of my politicians so it creates a dilemma.

So, are term limits just a political fantasy the tax strapped, over-legislated citizen dreams about? I mean, most people I know think term limits should be in place at the very least for most federal level elected offices. I have heard the same thing for decades in fact. So why don’t we have term limits, yet?

Like I said, politicians aren’t going to allow it, even the guy who is running for president talking about term limits in his campaign ad on television this evening. He is not going to sign off on it. If he does, he wouldn’t get any cooperation in office. He would effectively be firing over half of The Congress and Senate from their cushy, influence peddling jobs.

Well, then what about a “zero incumbency movement? What about a movement that says, we don’t care who you are. You might be a great politician but very little gets done that benefits the general population without assigning an unacceptable cost to it. You keep making it easier to send our jobs overseas and keep bickering about petty drama type things occurring here in The US.

What if we have a “zero incumbency” movement? Doesn’t matter if the candidate is running for office again, what if everyone votes for the candidate that wasn’t in office during the prior term? It is usually down to two candidates from two major parties in most races.

Why don’t we just vote for “the other guy” automatically? Can it hurt? It’s hard to say. We seem to be plagued with some bastardized form of democracy now following the “money is speech” ruling by The Supreme Court, anyway.

Our elected along with a conspiring media (they like the campaign dollars following the “money is speech” ruling) are constantly telling us they are going to make things better but many would disagree. Socialism creeps up on us all more and more, costing us all but protecting only special classes, single women having children out-of-wedlock, certain minorities, a variety of the very, very wealthy, many corporations, yet often excluding those who have contributed the most either in a proportion of tax dollars or with their lives, such as soldiers and such.

So, think about it. It is just a thought I had. It would be a voter initiative, voter enacted term limits.  Were it to be acted upon during the next series of elections, it would be interesting to see what response there would be.

Zero incumbency. Doesn’t matter who they are, they would be voted out!

I know. Incredible idea, right? I mean, it’s what everyone wants anyway. You’d have to think for yourself, though. After the continuous onslaught and bombardment of all of the impending campaign election ads we will see this election season, and you know they are coming, you’d still have to think for yourself when you stepped into the voting booth. Are you sure you can do it?

Copyright © William Thien 2019

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Though not stated publicly, I believe one of if not THE primary reasons the Democratic controlled House impeached Trump was over concern of his use of executive orders. Executive orders nullify congressional participation in the legislative process. It was okay when Obama used executive orders, but Trump is a Republican and the house is controlled by Democrats. Politics.

But we must ask the question, is such a method of legislative action necessary at this time in the country’s history? I would argue that it is, though I’m not certain I would agree with all of Trump’s executive orders.

Such a method of legislative action IS necessary due to the constant state of political gridlock on Washington. Only new laws that restrict the behaviors of the citizen seem to pass through both the house and the senate. Only new laws that increase taxation or fees upon the individual or particular socio-economic groups seem to make it to the President’s desk for signature.

Laws, rules, and regulations that do not favor the interests of the largest corporate and or superpac contributors to the campaigns of members of both the house and the senate on both sides of the aisles languish in committee and or never come to a full vote due to partisan bickering or disagreement.

Nothing that benefits the general population will ultimately see the light of day. There is always a catch written into the law. There is always a hurdle the general public must overcome through an increase in taxes, some bureaucratic requirement, something that justifies the existences of a congressional body that once was a part-time job in America.

How many times have you written to members of congress to change a law that there is a clearly stated majority in favor of changing and congress does nothing? How many times have you voted for a candidate that promises to make changes to a law or create a program that benefits you, something for which there is also a majority favoring in the population, and the candidate forgets about his campaign promises? Many, many times I am sure.

Executive orders put all of that gridlock, all of that bureaucratic rigmarole aside and enable a president to do things for the general public that congress and the senate refuse to do and that is why I believe the house impeached Trump, the primary reason, nullification of congress through executive order. Trump was effectively marginalizing a congress that has marginalized the American public for decades and congress was not going to stand for that.

Copyright © William Thien 2019

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Often we hear people refer to what are systems of taxation as “entitlements,” Medicare, for example, or Social Security.

I think Social Security and Medicare are both forms of taxation and should be included in the summation of that which is removed from your pay before you see your net pay provided by your employer.

In other words, we often hear about federal or state taxes as a percentage of your income. I believe not only should we included your federal and state taxes in summing up the total taxes coming from your pay, but we should also add Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid as taxes. This in effect increase that which comes out of your pay dramatically and it is something the classical bureaucrat would rather not be tabulated in your “total taxes.” That is why you will hear the bureaucrat say, “but those are not taxes, they are entitlements.” Wrong!

I think there is a clear delineation as to when these government programs become entitlements and stop being taxes and that is if you live long enough to become eligible for either program. If you don’t make it to the age where you can begin receiving Social Security payments, then it is not an entitlement. It is just a tax that you never see again. You never see it again because unlike a private retirement account where you get back everything you put into it after taxes, you never see the principal again in Social Security. You only ever see the payments disbursed to you. You lose the principal. It vanishes. TAX!

Same with Medicare. If you don’t live long enough to become eligible, then it is just a tax. It is the only health care program that you pay into all your life but never use until if and only if you make it to the age of eligibility. You could be paying for your own health care all of your life but instead you are paying for someone else’s. Not a bad idea on the face of things in a sense, helping the elderly out with their health care. But what if you don’t have any heath care yourself? TAX! TAX plus socialism. Still, not a bad idea on the face of things. But for the purposes of making the distinction between a tax and an entitlement, it is a prime example.

So, I think the line which distinguishes an entitlement and a tax in The United States is at the very least, a blurry and costly one to the individual tax payer. The proper definition of what an entitlement is and how it relates to the “taxes” used to perpetuate that entitlement can be helpful to the voter.

An entitlement is a tax until and only if you are eligible to achieve that entitlement and then and only then is it an entitlement. Until then, it is a tax and it should be considered as a tax when you make a determination of how much is leaving your pay along with federal and state taxes.

Copyright © William Thien 2019

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We have been hearing about all of the excellent medicinal benefits of marijuana lately and how legalizing marijuana actually results in a decrease in adolescent usage as well as large tax revenue increases but the one reason we have not been hearing much about is that legalizing marijuana would also help clean up our country’s corrupt politics.

Historical books about the drug war frequently reference the connection between illegal drug activity and political orientation. In other words, in many large urban areas drug gangs are instrumental in seeing who gets elected. Naturally those politicians are beholden to the drug gangs. It is no different than during prohibition when gangsters controlled large cities by paying off elected officials and bureaucrats. Why should it be any different today with marijuana? It is not.

Not only is there a decrease in crime in areas where there is a marijuana dispensary located, not only does legalization result in a drop in adolescent usage, but legalization cleans up dirty politics. Legalization of marijuana is a good thing for politics in America.

Maybe that’s why there is so much kick back from certain politicians.

Copyright © William Thien 2019

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