4 - Tuesday, November 6, 2012
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4 - Tuesday, November 6, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
ce Midiian BaIVy
Edited and managed by students at
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JOSEPH LICHTERMAN and ADRIENNE ROBERTS ANDREW WEINER
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
FROM T HE DAILY
Voting essential to maintain democracy
j day, the 2012 election cycle comes to an end. With it, thou-
sands of politicians and laws will be added to our nation's
lexicon thanks to the voices of millions of citizens. Amongst
those voices should be University students, expressing their per-
sonal beliefs and ideologies in hopes of creating their vision of the
. Unfortunately, due to a marked difference in the tenor of college-
aged excitement about President Barack Obama compared to 2008,
and in conjunction with historically low rates of youth engagement,
the reality is that far too few of us will make it to the polls this time
around. Plenty of solutions have been proffered to fix this, from
Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen campaigning with the President to
Lena Dunham of "Girls" likening the first time voting to losing one's
virginity. The simple fact of the matter, however, is that voting is an
essential form of participation in the democratic process and those
of age must participate in order for the system to succeed.
As we head to the polls to
elect our president, mem-
bers of Congress and decide
tory will be in
the back of our
minds as we
check off the
who is elected,
this election will JAMES
parallel some BRENNAN
period in our
tory, and our decision will illustrate
which period we want to see again.
In the 1920s, the United States
saw an economic boom. The coun-
try exploded with wealth and con-
sumption, leading to the acquisition
of huge fortunes for many individu-
als. But as we all know, the ride
didn't last for long. As the stock
market crashed 'in 1929, the world
fell into the worst economic depres-
sion in human history. This wasn't
an accident, and perhaps could
have even been prevented. Ram-
pant speculation and easy credit led
people to gamble and over-invest,
while the government had little
regulation in place and virtually no
capital requirements when it came
to financial dealings within banks.
The bottom fell out, and the whole
system collapsed. The same thing
happened with the housing market
in 2008, and we've been dealing
with the repercussions ever since.
In the 40 or so years following
the Great Depression, the federal
government introduced tight eco-
nomic restrictions on banks, indus-
try and individuals. Economically,
the United States was the most suc-
cessful nation in the world during
those years, benefiting from our
own ingenuity and government-
imposed fiscal responsibility. We
may not have seen a boom like the
1920s, but economically speaking,
life was pretty good in the 50s, 60s
and early 70s.
As government control of major
industries waned in the late 70s, the
country began to see unemployment
and energy costs rise. Inflation hit
the economy hard, leadingto stagfla-
tion - a combination of inflation and
high rates of unemployment never
before thought to be possible. Then,
in stepped President Ronald Reagan.
Reagan proposed slashing taxes,
deregulating businesses and letting
the free market take over again.
Even the man who would eventual-
ly become his running mate, George
H.W. Bush, called his policies
"voodoo economics" when he ran
against Reagan in the 1980 Republi-
can primaries. Bush was right.
As the economy boomed in the
80s - just as it did in the 20s - a
time bomb began toetick. There were
plenty of warning signs: a stock
market crash in 1987, an early-90s
recession and another crash in 2000
followed by a recession. Then, the
explosion: the housing meltdown of
2008 and the worst economic situa-
tion since the Depression.
For almost 30 years our country
went back to the economic pros-
perity of the 1920s. If Republican
presidential nominee Mitt Romney
is elected and his economic policies
are put into place, we will besetting
ourselves up for another visit from
our ugly past.
I'm not saying Obama will be
the next Franklin D. Roosevelt -
though I wish he would. Heck, I
even wish Mitt Romney would be.
Frankly, we need another president
to tame our country's economy, as
FDR did in the 1930s. The White
House needs to stop banks from
betting vast amounts and provid-
ing their workers with an unliv-
able wage. The government can't
allow people to take out expensive
mortgages they'll almost certainly
default on. These situations could
lead usto a double dip recession and
destroy plenty of lives, squandering
the hard work of millions of people
trying to claw their way out.
I'm not saying Obama will do all
of these things. What I'm saying,
instead, is that Romney certainly
won't. The Romney-Ryan economic
plan is the same one Republicans
have been pushing since the Rea-
gan era. They want less regulation,
less government in all aspects of
the economy and lower taxes -
meaning less money to fund the
necessary agencies to regulate
businesses and individuals.
History is bound
to repreat itself
More government, I'll admit,
isn't always the answer. Sometimes,
regulation and over-taxation stifle
growth and prevent innovation. I
want to be clear that this isn't an
attack on capitalism or the free
market - our freedom to develop
business and technology is what
makes our economy run better and
more efficiently than any other in
the history of the world. Govern-
ment regulation will mean that
the booms from the 20s and the
80s will be essentially unachiev-
able. But what we will get in return
is stability: fewer recessions that
are less severe, a more even spread
of wealth and a stronger middle
class. A Romney economy may pro-
duce a bigger boom, but it won't
last. When it runs out, history will
repeat itself, and we'll be right back
where we started.
- James Brennan can be reached
People should realize that when they vote
they are not only choosing a candidate for the
next two, four or six years nor are they merely
choosing which bonds to renew or to impose.
More importantly, they are forcing politicians.
and fellow citizens to consider their demo-
graphic and the issues important to them.
Women's rights, marriage equality, fair trade,
unemployment, the rising cost of education and
the increasing tax burdens cast upon our gen-
eration and those to come are just a few of the
issues thatappealto students more thaneothers.
By voting we are using the voice given to
each of us by our democratic process, and that
right is under fire in some states. Check your
voter registrationcard to see where you're reg-
istered to vote - polling places are open from
7-a.m. to 8 p.m. on Nov. 6. Be sure to bring a
driver's license or another form of photo iden-
tification, such as an MCard, U.S. passport or
other government-issued ID. If you don't have
a photo ID, it is possible to sign an affidavit at
the polls to affirm your identity. It's necessary
to bring your voter registration card or a util-
ity bill if your forni of identification does not
include your current address.
Apathy, disillusionment and the feeling that
one vote doesn't matter are all regularly cited
as reasons to remain at home on Election Day.
All these argumentsdposit that an individual
vote is insignificant and therefore not worth
casting. This line of thinking strays when it
assumes that democracies are reflections of
individual desires rather than the culmination
ofour collective action.America is not just built
by presidents or ballot proposals, campaigns or
special interests; our nation is built by all of us
- for all of us.
Often people forget this. They become more
concerned with how their particular brand
of politics reflects upon themselves and fail
to consider how their political beliefs - pro-
testing through inaction - reflects on their
country itself. This creates public and private
forms of non-participation. The silent plural-
ity of non-voters finds itself with nothing to say
about the far-removed notions of the political
world. This inaction then becomes the cause
of their disenfranchisement since politicians,
lawmakers and lobbyists can only interpret the
words and actions of voters: they simply do not
have the means to interpret the silence. If you
have a grievance, you must air it or fix it your-
self. Since the issues we face as a country are
greater than any one of us, it will take all of us
to solve them.
Today the 2012 election cycle ends and a
new one begins. The only change we'll see is
the change we initiate. Let us leave our indeli-
ble mark on the history books so that tomorrow
we maysaywe started to create the countrywe
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Eli Cahan, Nirbhay Jain, Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis,Patrick
Maillet, Harsha Nahata, Timothy Rabb, Adrienne Roberts, Vanessa Rychlinski,
Paul Sherman, Sarah Skaluba, Michael Spaeth, Gus Turner
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NICOLE MILLER IE;WP'<OINT
Vote GOP, vote for prosperity
JACOB LIGHT I VIE WPOINT
A critical turning point
To call any presidential election "historic"
may be a bit redundant. The very nature of
a presidential election, the event in which
Americans come together to voice their hope
for the direction the country will take, is to
change history. Yet in all of the elections that
our nation has seen, I believe none to have
been as important as today's. Today, we must
raise our voices in support for the candidate
who has championed equality, economic
recovery and progressive ideals. We must re-
elect President Barack Obama.
Obama's first term in office took place
under inauspicious circumstances. With an
ineffective Congress whose primary objec-
tive seemed to be preventing the President
from bringing his vision of America to frui-
tion simply out of partisanship, it has been
difficult for Obama to enact the broad chang-
es he saw for the nation.
Obama's accomplishments, however, have
still been impressive. The Affordable Care Act
created the broadest health care reform the
nation has seen in decades. Millions of for-
merly uninsured Americans, including those
with pre-existing health conditions, now have
greater access to health care. College students
now have the ability to stay on their parents's
health care plan until they turn 26. Through
the ACA, Obama showed his understanding of
health care as a basic necessity.
In addition to promoting a healthier Amer-
ica, Obama and the Democratic Party have
fought hard for equal treatment of all Ameri-
cans. Democrats have advocated for the pro-
tection of women's reproductive freedoms,
while the opposition has focused on enact-
ing omnibus legislation to restrict them.
Obama's recognition of the benefits of birth
control as preventative medicine has allowed
women access to birth control at no cost. In
May, Obama became the first president to
declare his support for same-sex marriage.
The Democratic Party followed this decla-
ration by becoming the first major political
party to add support for marriage equality
- in the form of the Respect for Marriage
Act - to the official party platform. Obama's
economic policies are the only viable options
for continued economic recovery.
While Obama is the advocate for the pro-
gressive ideals that we need in order to move
America forward, he cannot enact change
alone. It's important that we elect Democrat-
ic representatives - both in Washington, D.C.
and Lansing - who support the President's
legislative agenda. As we have seen with the
split Congress of the past two years, Ameri-
ca can't move forward when our leaders are
more preoccupied with party divisions than
progress. We need to re-elect Sen. Debbie
Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Rep. John Dingell
(D-Mich.), elect progressive candidates to
our state and federal legislatures, and bring
new voices to the Michigan Supreme Court
through the election of Shelia Johnson, Con-
nie Kelley and Bridget Mary McCormack, a
Michigan Law School professor.
We find ourselves at what is a historic
presidential election. The choice we face as
students of the University of Michigan and
as Americans could not be more important.
We must think critically about the direction
we want to move in for the next four years.
Obama has earned another term in office to
continue economic recovery and the pursuit
This is 2012, and it's going to be a critical
year in American history.
This was written on behalf of the University's
chapter of College Democrats by Jacob Light.
The Republican Party and its
platform aren't perfect. The GOP
did, after all, bring you Chick-fil-A
Appreciation Day. When it comes
to the economy, however, the choice
between Republican presidential
nominee Mitt Romney and Presi-
dent Barack Obama is clear.
The economy is what this presi-
dential election - like others before,
it - will come down to. The United
States will survive another four
years of an Obama administration
because no matter how large the
crisis, our country always manages
to keep trucking along. However,
what's at stake in this election is a
bigger question: Whether we elect
to have a private economy or one
that's run by the government.
Significant transfers of power
from the private economy to the
government have characterized
Obama's first term. In March 2009,
the President asked former CEO
of General Motors, Rick Wagoner,
to step down. This extraordinary
reach of the federal government
into the private sector provided a
clear indication of its relationship
with business under the Obama
administration. In contrast, as the
founder of a firm that has invested
in hundreds of companies in Bain
Capital, Romney understands and
has faith in the private sector. Rom-
ney's plans to eliminate regulations
that function as hidden taxes and
move America toward greater ener-
gyindependence will help American
businesses prosper and create jobs.
In 2010, Obama signed the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act
into law. This mammoth piece of
legislation will cost nearly $1 tril-
lion and adds 30-million people to
the health care system while doing
virtually nothing meaningful to
change it - not even the insurance
companies the President has abso-
lutely vilified. A law that requires
159 new government programs
while creating a regulatory envi-
ronment and increasing efficiency
simultaneously is unprecedented.
Health care reform is tremen-
dously complicated, but Repub-
lican Vice Presidential nominee
Paul Ryan has offered a plan that
addresses the sustainability of
Medicare. If members of Congress
believe their constituents find cer-
tain aspects of proposed health
care legislation objectionable, there
would be room for adjustment.
Unlike Obama, who pushed the
Affordable Care Act through Con-
gress without garnering a single
Republican vote, Romney would
ensure bipartisan support for a new
and more carefully considered law.
We have seen the effects of a wel-
fare state in Europe, where citizens
depend on the government for their
livelihood. Providing for people
in this way drives society toward
mediocrity. When politicians grow
their own power and influence,
those who actually produce can-
not be rewarded and growth slows,
hurting citizens across the board.
If elected, Romney would decen-
tralize power, returning it to the
states by empowering them to cre-
ate innovative Medicaid and work-
er retraining policies through the
use of block grants.
In 2012, we have seen what hap-
pens when governments try to roll
back entitlements even slightly:
riots in Spain, Greece and Portu-
gal. This isn't the America that fis-
cal conservatives can bear to see.
It isn't the America our founders
intended, and it isn't an America
where people are truly free. The
GOP's economic policies give our
country the best chance to prosper.
This was written on behalf of
the University's chapter of College
Republicans by Nicole Miller.
L EE T THE iEDITR SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@MICHIGANDAILY.COM
Hoekstra not best repre-
The Michigan Daily published
two pieces about Pete Hoekstra
and both completely neglected to
mention the bigoted and racially
charged attack advertisement that
Hoekstra aired during the Super
Bowl. The advertisement featured
an Asian actress speaking in an
American accent, but with broken
grammar generally associated with bigoted and xenophobic, and was
Asians who have learned English decried by Democrats, Republicans
as a second language. The actress and non-partisan groups alike. He
rides a bike through a field of rice has refused on multiple occasions
paddies and thanks "Debbie Spend- to apologize for this advertisement.
It-Now" for sending American jobs Regardless of his politics, Hoeks-
to China. tra has proven himself a bigot. He's
The advertisement was not someone that I want, much less
accompanied by a website fea- consider capable, of representing
turing equally stereotypical rep- the great state of Michigan, and its
resentations of Asian culture, all residents of all colors and creeds.
in an attempt to make Americans
fear China for Hoekstra's politi- Ross Warman
cal gain. The advertisement was LSA Junior
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