It’s primary day in NYC today. I got up early and voted.

My daughter sent me this photo. She voted too.

I Voted

Walking around NYC this morning, I saw a lot of people wearing those stickers.

I like the idea of showing pride in an act of civic responsibility.

We can complain about the options, the rhetoric, the process, the corrupt system, and we should work to change all of that. Voting is a good way to do that.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Mike Zamansky

    Lines seemed long at my polling place this morning. It’ll be interesting to see what turnout is like overall.

    1. pointsnfigures

      Turnout is high in Democratic election because Bernie Sanders has captured all the emotion and fervor. Turnout in Republican has been high because of Trump.

      1. LE

        Weather is nice and that always impacts an election in some way. Bad weather less people turnout and that turnout helps or hurts a particular candidate.

    2. JLM

      .It will be less than 18% of registered voters.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  2. JLM

    .WILL GET FOOLED AGAIN, count on it.Voting in a primary in NY will put you in the elite pool of some less than 15% of registered voters who will vote today (Dems) and as few as 6% of Republicans.Likely this year will be a lot better turnout since there is a surge of Republican voting interest for reasons that do not require me to repeat.And, still, your primary vote means next to NOTHING as the party Bosses will be overseeing the actual appointment of delegates to the national convention.In NY’s 27 Congressional districts, delegates will be pledged based on the proportion of votes on a candidate by candidate basis. Sounds good, right?There will be 54 at-large National Convention delegates based on the statewide vote.There will be 30 pledged PLEO (Party Leaders and Elected Officials) who will go to the National Convention. Haha, these are the party BOSSES.Bottom line, while your vote and the ensuing majority is slightly relevant, it is still the party Bosses who are calling the shots though you are able to enjoy that warm sense of accomplishment which you so rightly feel.It is really, unfortunately, the bosses pissing on your leg and telling you it’s raining.Everybody is looking up at the rain but the party bosses are laughing behind your back. Because they are the ones picking the actual delegates and the delegates are party hacks who do what the Bosses tell them to do.After all the voting is done, it is still the individual delegates who will call the shots.Nothing about primaries is addressed in the Constitution because they didn’t exist then even though the Founding Fathers were on record decrying their invention already.New York is not worse than any other state. I sit on the Executive Committee of the Travis County Republican Party and, believe me, it is also the party Bosses in Texas who are calling the shots. BTW, Travis County (home to Austin by God Texas) is solid Cruz Country.What we need to do is wrest control of the nominating process from the party Bosses. Good luck with that.In the meantime, let’s all vote but let’s not kid ourselves into believing it has anything to do with the nominating process. That, dear friends, is controlled by the party Bosses.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      Would’t party insiders argue that those insider controls are the parties implementation of the inertia-dampining required to constrain any short-term populous extreme knee-jerk political memes from destabilizing the party’s long-term idealogical stability?Don’t they have a point around which one could construct other potentially more democratic methods of preserving said party’s idealogical stability ?

      1. JLM

        .No, they would say — “We are the Bosses. You little people, the voters, are not. We control everything. Move along, nothing to see here.”Then, they would light their cigars, drink their bourbon, and pick their noses.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  3. kidmercury

    Aww man not sharing who you voted for??? :(Voting is good and people should do it, especially for all the local races no one talks about. But legitimacy of vote counting is still an issue.

    1. pointsnfigures

      I don’t think he should share. It’s personal. In Chicago, you get severely discriminated against when you are an out of the closet Republican. It’s not unlike what being gay in 1930s Hollywood was like.

      1. LE

        In Chicago, you get severely discriminated againstWhat? How do you get discriminated against if people know are a republican?

        1. pointsnfigures

          Let’s say I was a businessperson. I operated a shop. My alderman would make sure the Department of Health, and all the other Departments and Bureaus visited my shop on a consistent basis to make sure I was 1000% compliant with rules. I might be left out of deals-I might be able to bid for contracts but never get them because of some obscure excuse. Thing is, it happens in almost every industry here.People in Chicago haven’t really been tolerant. But, now I am finding that people across the US are not tolerant at all.

          1. LE

            That one of the most interesting examples of compliance that I have ever heard. I have to say I learned something today that I never knew actually happened. I know of this occurring in other situations but never like this. But it makes sense.So the value of not having you out is simply reducing the potential of influencing others to vote the same way. Social proof – remove that. If you are not out and you vote another way that has less impact than if you have a voice. It’s only one vote. Fascinating.We have power brokers in the area that I live in. One in particular is well known and particularly proud of what he is able to accomplish. But I never heard of anything even close to what you are describing.

          2. pointsnfigures

            Read John Kass of the Chicago Tribune. Interesting thing is many members of the media are in on the game. They report the news as they are told. Then they hide behind a faux “independent journalist” facade. Had a friend that was rehabbing a flat. He needed an extra bathroom. Building inspector came in and said it wasn’t code. Friend asked what he could do. Inspector told him how much, and where to leave the envelope. Alderman will pass rules and regulations in order to shovel business to a favored contractor. But, they do it “within the rules”. They make sure you use the “right” insurance guy, the “right” fence guy, the right “sign” guy etc.A lot of Republicans in IL joined the party. They call it the Combine. The ones that stand up to it are exiled-See what they did to Senator Peter Fitzgerald. The House Minority Leader in IL and Gov are trying to clean it up-but they are pushing a boulder uphill.

          3. LE

            Doesn’t that type of thing rise to the level of US Attorney sting operation? (Money envelope part, not the rules written for a vendor that happens on a federal level.).

          4. pointsnfigures

            Not when the US Atty is in your pocket. The one Senator Peter Fitzgerald appointed retired. Also, the transgressions are so huge, so massive, so intertwined, it’s impossible to find a good place to start. Helps to have the President, the DOJ, and the state courts stacked in your favor too.

          5. JLM

            .The US Attorney is appointed by the President. It is a political appointment.Study the Scooter Libby case and then call me and tell me about US Attorneys.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. kidmercury

        Yeah I wouldn’t call myself a Republican but I def would consider myself non-liberal. Agree it is a liability in chicago. If you’re not identifying as liberal and a registered democrat, it’s like your a klan member or something. Smh

  4. Mike Zamansky

    I also really hate the lack of a “you voted for” confirmation screen.

    1. JLM

      .That’s interesting. On the machines in Texas the last screen is a confirmation screen which shows every one of your votes before you hit “VOTE”.As an Election Judge in Precinct 214, I love watching the primary voters. It is politics at the grass roots level and it is very interesting.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. ShanaC

        i miss the old NY machines. Those were awesome.

  5. aminTorres

    I came to America 12 years ago. Today I woke up at 5:30am and I voted for the first time.I walked 15 minutes to the voting place. Id’ like to think voting is the upmost form of the American Dream. It felt good walking back home.

    1. JLM

      .YOU ARE the American Dream.YOU ARE why legal immigration is so important to our nation.YOU ARE an American.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. Tom Labus


    3. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Huge win for the U.S., landing you as a citizen πŸ™‚

    4. creative group

      aminTorres:the American naturalized citizens I know feel the same pride and dedication in casting a vote. Americans born here take it for granted and become apathetic to the process that continuous to evolve away from representing the majority.

    5. ShanaC


  6. LIAD

    Imagine the politicking over the sticker design.Dems: Not fair text starts with red. Implies GOP dominance. Gives GOP advantage.GOP: Not fair sticker is round. Implies equality. Gives Dems advantage.Trump: Hey, why statue of liberty. Trump Towers much better known NYC landmark.

    1. JLM

      .Primaries are funded by the parties who may or may not receive financial grants from their states and national parties. They are not, technically, Federal elections even though you’re picking a presidential nominee.There are tons of other issues on the ballot.Sometimes, like in NY, the parties hold both primaries the same day so they can save on Election Judges, Assistant Election Judges, clerks, the facilities, and the equipment.As an Election Judge in Austin (District 214), I set up the voting equipment at 6:00 AM with my Democratic counterpart. There is a laptop database, a party affiliation check in, a random generated voting code, and 8-10 electronic voting booths.It is like setting up a series of desktop computers and there is a mobile tech squad to come to your assistance if you screw it up.The staffing is half Dem and half Rep and the Election Judges keep it fair.When someone needs help — elderly people in particular — both Judges must be there to assist and you can never touch their voting machine.It is a lot of fun to do this because I get to see all of my neighbors. At 7:00 AM on the Texas primary day, there were about 40 people lined up to vote. Every vote cast from 7:00 am to 8:30 am was Republican cause they were all headed to work.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. LE

        Every vote cast from 7:00 am to 8:30 am was Republican cause they were all headed to work.No small business owners or executives?

        1. JLM

          .Sure, of course.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. CJ

        I can tell you that in Chicago, in a poor neighborhood on the west side, there were always a ton of people lined up to vote a poll open and most didn’t have jobs. I know because I was voting before heading in to work. πŸ™‚

        1. JLM

          .Wonder what the going rate was for those votes?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. CJ

            Zero. Those votes were already spoken for – poor neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago = 99% Democrat. The only elections ever in doubt in Chicago are local – Alderman and mayor. And mayor only now that Daley retired.

  7. andyswan

    I’m glad NYers are actually getting a chance to vote, unlike those potheads in CO

    1. LE

      Hard to put in words but one of my theories is that a certain percentage of the population being potheads, up to a certain point, is actually good. Because it creates a labor pool that is ok just getting by doing shitty jobs that others won’t do. If you are happy and presumably mellow you won’t be as likely to rise up and wonder why you aren’t able to enjoy the lifestyle and material goods that others have (that you might need). Kind of like island time.

      1. Rob Underwood

        …or inventing the Macintosh and iPhone. And I’d be hard pressed to think of an investment banker or, especially, private equity banker, who isn’t a hard core stoner. At Colby, where I went to school, the hardest core tokers were inevitably the ones who 1) went to the most Phish shows, and 2) now work at Goldman Sachs.

        1. LE

          Sure hard cold stoner because they can’t take the pressure of the job without getting stoned some times. Maybe they are exceeding their limits and would fail without that medication.In the private school that I attended in high school (the 70’s) we had woods and all of the kids went their to smoke pot. They all ended up ok I think (speculation on my part). But then again they came from a) families that could send them there or b) were special in some other way or they wouldn’t have been there or c) were or scholarship (and special) because they came from dirt poor families.

        2. Salt Shaker

          I have a 2nd cousin who is a 1st year student at Colby and is having a hard time adjusting cause she’s not a stoner. Several other family members are alum, including another (much older) cousin who now has an on-campus auditorium named after him.

  8. Tom Labus

    We’ve had a string of beautiful Spring days in NYC and I hope that the turnout is that good too. Good luck, Hillary

  9. creative group

    FRED:We are the chief of the complainers.We accept it proudly.#trueindependant#twopartysystemsucks# Independentslockedoutofprimaries

  10. creative group

    BLOG CONTRIBUTORS:Bill The Coach Campbell dies.Bill CampbellBornAugust 31, 1940Homestead, Pennsylvania, United StatesDiedApril 18, 2016 (aged 75)Alma materColumbia UniversityOccupationChairman, IntuitA dozen things I learned from Bill Campbell (A good read)2014/08/31/a-dozen-things-ive-learned-from-bill-campbell…

    1. fredwilson

      He was a good man. I knew him a little bit. Not enough to add anything to what has already been said. So i didn’t blog about him today

  11. Salt Shaker

    Donald Trump misspoke and referred to 9/11 as 7/11 while campaigning in Buffalo yesterday. Sure, we’re all human, but it’s kind of hard to conflate a terrorist attack that killed 3K and a slurpee attack that causes a temporary brain freeze.Hey, he’s leading in the polls so I guess it’s working, gaffes and all. Let’s hope “Cleveland Rocks” doesn’t take on new meaning this summer.Rock the vote.

    1. JLM

      .Haha, he should be disqualified for being human and making such a mistake. It is a mistake of GARGANTUAN proportions and completely disqualifies him in the minds of any fair minded individual.The man is 69 and is beginning to lose it.It is not just a small slip, it is a sign of early onset Alzheimer’s, likely a touch of dementia, and is totally disqualifying.I am certain that he likely has been drinking Big Gulps on the campaign trail. After all, he said he likes Scottish food from that famous Scottish restaurant, McDonald’s.Totally, absolutely, completely disqualifying. Not fit to be President.Of course, it could be worse, he could think there are 57 states or some other dopiness like that, no? Hell, he might think he’d been under sniper fire, no?I bet that’s it — he was channeling a bit of PTSD from the sniper fire, no?He did not misspeak. He is an idiot.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. bsoist

        I get so mad at you when you speak like this about people I support or like, but I find myself applauding you when I read comments like this.Not sure what that says about me.

        1. JLM

          .It says you have a sense of humor?If we didn’t have senses of humor how would we ever live?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. bsoist

            A sense of humor I do have, but I loved your comment because it wasn’t a joke.

    2. LE

      No matter what anyone says about any candidate it takes a special person to go 24×7 like these candidates do an incredible amount of energy, drive and intelligence.

  12. William Mougayar

    Maybe one day, we’ll be able to vote in our pajamas from home.If we can take an image of a check and make a deposit that way, then we should be able to implement authenticated voting.

    1. Matt Hardy

      I’m hopeful. Unfortunately people don’t want to pay your bills for you, but they do want to vote for you

    2. JLM

      .You can take an image of a check and rent a politician easier than you can vote one into office.Follow the money. Cause it always gets there first.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    3. Tyler

      Exactly. Voter turnout/participation would skyrocket. But of course, the GOP would fight it like mad – people voting on a computer or smartphone tend to be younger and more left.

      1. Dennis Mykytyn

        So why does a (mostly) Democratic state like NY have some of the most restrictive voter registration and primary voting policies in the country? Why are they making it super hard for young Bernie Sanders voters to vote?I’m registered to vote in AZ. I registered by checking a box when I got my driver’s license, and checked a box to have all my ballots automatically mailed to me several weeks before the elections in perpetuity. AZ makes it super simple to vote. It’s a (mostly) red state.

        1. Tyler

          “Why are they making it super hard for young Bernie Sanders voters to vote?”I think you answered your first question with your second – both parties want to restrict access to the people they believe will most likely vote for them. Goal #1 for politicians? Get elected. Goal #2? Get re-elected. At least that’s what the cynical side of me thinks.Full caveat – I know absolutely nothing about NY’s voter registration or primary voting policies to know if they are restrictive or not.

          1. Dennis Mykytyn

            Well yes, I knew that was the answer. You were the one who said only the GOP was opposed to more voters. I agree it is more the incumbents are opposed, as a way to prevent challengers.As to NY, it IS the worst:

  13. jason wright

    democracy, plucked from the pages of history. Ancient Greece, where 10 % of the population were citizens and eligible to voted and the rest were ‘atoms’ with zero rights.

  14. John Revay

    Voting – there should be an App for thatThat is all I have to day

  15. Emil Sotirov

    I wonder, Fred, if you would have voted for FDR and the New Deal – such an unrealistic (not to say even worse – idealistic) plan that obviously (for anyone voting with their head) would have never worked given the proverbial “hatred” it was provoking… hatred which FDR was stupid enough to welcome.At least, your heart seems to be still young – together with 66% of the Democratic voters nationwide under age 50.I wonder – why did your head voted for someone who had sold herself to bankers for money… while still fully expecting to become a Presidential candidate… doing that, long after her husband had made over $100 mln from speeches already. Why would anyone have done something like that. I really don’t get it.And to anyone seeing the first woman President in Hillary… Why would it be so great to have the first woman President be someone who obviously was propelled into her political career by a husband who just happened to be a TWO-times POTUS. Is that how we want our first woman President to be remembered – as the WIFE of Bill – a two term POTUS. Note to all American girls – marry well first if you want to become someone eventually. What a miserable message. Not to mention that the whole story of a “first” woman President being something “historic” is just ridiculous on the background of so many other nations having done this already long time ago – including Muslim nations.Except (that just occurred to me) – if you voted for Kasich (which I would totally get and have no problem with).

    1. JLM

      .This will not get very good marks as it relates to sensitivity.I wonder what it is about Hillary’s gender that inspires anyone beyond the obvious freak show element of her being a woman. She lusts to be the third Obama term — by her own admission.Obama is a failed President whose half black-half white, no American slave blood heritage has left the US in the worst racial conflict in my lifetime.The tokenism is offensive and shallow.I really don’t get it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Emil Sotirov

        I’m not sure I understand your comment… Might be my English being non-native – which may explain also my comment not communicating well my thoughts.

  16. ShanaC

    Need to re-register, again. *sigh*

  17. ShanaC

    when did the stickers become a tradition?also, when will NY become open ballot primaries

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  19. aubreykohn

    And just remember: Your vote counts. For Hillary. Regardless of who you actually support.

  20. jason wright

    is a selfie with one’s fingerprints on show a security risk?

  21. andyswan

    Any word on the toilet paper rations?

  22. JLM

    .I actually love Bernie Sanders. I adore his plans for America.The fact that they’re not grounded in reality or that they cannot possibly be funded, well, that is an impediment to my actually voting for him, sure.I love the idea that a guy who never held a job until he was 42, is an avowed socialist, thinks Cuba is a great place, honeymooned in Russia — Hell, I just love his bat shit craziness.It is pure, unadulterated, and genuine. Dopey as Hell but pure.Bernie is going to GIVE everything to everybody and I want my share of the free shit.The system is so much more corrupt than anyone can possibly articulate.Why did Goldman pay Hillary $675K for those speeches?Bernie knows.I love Bernie.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  23. fredwilson

    I did not vote for Bernie. It was a head vs heart moment and I went with my head

  24. karen_e

    One of your more poetic moments.

  25. LE

    I have no issue with Hillary getting money to speak. I don’t believe it’s a quid pro quo but I do buy into the fact that it gives you access. That’s obvious.Similar to having a connection instead of cold calling.. I “know you” on AVC and if you said to me “will you meet with my nephew he has something he wants to sell to you” I would meet with him as a courtesy to you. But as you know it doesn’t mean I will buy what he is selling. That’s obvious. So the question is what is the value of that access? I believe the value is pretty high. But you could have the same kind of access by not spending money on speaking fees. You could simply hold a party in your nice ritzy house where wealthy folks mingle or invite someone on a charity board (Bill Gates’s mother and IBM CEO) and have a big advantage there.Of course the $650k speaking fee buys things for others attending so it has value to those people you associate with as well.

  26. SubstrateUndertow

    So Bernie’s plan is very bold and that apparently = unrealistic ?Check out the founding father’s plan !They chose a revolutionary plan rather than an incremental plan because some situations dictate that the minimum workable plan is to redesign the hull not just tinker with the deck chairs.So the more realistic plan I presume is for Hilary to cajole the oligarchs into putting their food fight aside in the name of a more democratic/middle-class moral fiber approach? Or are you think Trump’s loose canon approach could win the day?That said you are probably correct because the dominate American political meme is that any hint go socialism(collective interests) = hair on fire crazy!But that anti-socialist meme is getting ever harder to hoe as technology continues to accelerates its complexity-driven interdependencies tipping-point social-efficiency-tax on all those who insist on applying the now obsolete left/right framing polemic.

  27. Tom Labus

    There is some 40 year pol out there watching and listening to Bernie and the reaction. We see the results of the Bernie campaign down the road in another election cycle

  28. Ronald Whitiker

    It is quite unfortunate that only 3% of the entire population really understand the policies he is talking about. This, not his appearance, shall backfire him the most.

  29. LE

    What’s the story with young people liking an old man? Is that some sort of hipster retro thing?

  30. JLM

    .Every time I go to Sam’s or Costco, I think — wow, capitalism really sucks, no?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  31. JLM

    .Goldman is an investment bank. They invest in things expecting a return on that investment. Their putting money in Hillary’s pocket is just another investment.There is only one way that Hillary can provide them with value for their investment — and it isn’t her speeches.They are “renting” her in much the same way that Trump rented her former President husband and her Senatorial self as big name attendees for his wedding.It is incredibly naive to suggest that politicians cannot be rented or otherwise compromised by money. It happens every day.Politicians, particularly those as vain, obvious, and grasping as Hillary and Bill Clinton, are simply tools to be rented, used, and then put in the toolshed until needed again.In our infatuation with power, we sometimes overlook how venal and inexpensive politicians really can be. They are no better than prostitutes and often provide vastly inferior services.You get what you pay for, no?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  32. andyswan

    He’s very different, very honest and is promising a lot of things that they don’t have enough life experience to know is impossible bullshit.

  33. Matt Zagaja

    The cost of housing, healthcare, and education are eating up the qualitative gains created by advances in technology for regular people in our economy. Line workers feel betrayed by free trade and outsourcing (see… ; “The harm β€” the pain for U.S. blue-collar workers β€” is concentrated. “If I lose my job at a furniture factory where I’ve worked for decades, no amount of cheaper toys and raincoats at Wal-Mart is going to make me whole again,” Autor says.”). Some people say the solution is to move to more prosperous areas for jobs, and many people do that, but there just are not enough places to put people in San Francisco and soon NYC and Boston may suffer similar fates.The failure of our elite class in business and politics to solve these issues has lead to a rather disgruntled citizenry, and so if the elites cannot or do not solve this then the citizens will happily extract their resources and take a crack at it themselves. I don’t know how well it will work out, however, personally I prefer Hillary’s plan.

  34. LE

    Well on a scale of 1 (you are a nobody) to 10 (donating to have name on school building gets your kid admission to the Ivy school) I’d put the value at about a 6. Nowhere near a 10 (required for admission). And I am not saying it doesn’t have value but it’s not going to defy gravity.As far as Trump renting Clintons you are ignoring the value to Clinton of being at the Trump wedding. Publicity, meeting other wealthy people that they can pick the pocket of (and get invited to further parties in the future). Both parties benefit greatly.You know when I was 30 I bought a boat and a shore place. The boat wasn’t big and the shore place was small (but with a great view I must say). All of the sudden people came out of the wood work that either wanted to go out on the boat or enjoy the shore place (or even just have a place to wash off the sand if they were at the beach that day). I remember thinking how easy it was to make friends if you had material things for them to enjoy. With respect to the boat I wish I had one in college I would have had plenty of dates. There is a yiddish phrase for this. It’s called “schnoor-rer”. (The people who take advantage of freebies in short).

  35. JLM

    .I intend to be kind (to myself and you) today and not debate this with you — for my own sake and because I love you way too much.Bernie makes McGovern look like a neocon.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  36. JLM

    .Make no mistake, the give and take of politics is a two way street to be sure. The politician has an insatiable appetite for ever more money and that requires kissing lots of frogs.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  37. LE

    By the way in my memory bank I remember a AVC where Fred was pissed at someone he supported in an election that didn’t vote the way he wanted on some issue. Don’t remember the issue and don’t remember the candidate but do remember Fred’s unhappiness with what the results were. Perhaps because the candidate flipflopped on an issue (and that is why Fred gave his support).

  38. JLM

    .Bernie is a 74-year old socialist whose first job came at 42 and who has accomplished NOTHING in his life.He has not a minute of executive experience — not even as a community organizer — and he’s not even really a Democrat.He holds his seat in the Senate as an Independent.He was a conscientious objector during Viet Nam and wants to champion the military while being virulently anti-military.He is so wildly unaccomplished as to be a void whose very emptiness is the core of his attraction. There has never been a more empty and unaccomplished man than Bernie.He appeals to similarly situated persons but not until they roll out of their mother’s couches and get some free coffee.There has likely never been a more woefully unprepared and inadequate candidate for high office than Mr. Bernie Sanders.And, yet, I love him. I adore him.He is so purely bat shit crazy as to be the kind of a guy who flies to the Vatican to shake the Pope’s hand, as he walks through the lobby enroute to his Popecade, and pretends they had a serious summit.You can’t teach that kind of bat shit craziness, it has to come from the heart.Talk Bernie to me cause I love the guy.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  39. SubstrateUndertow

    It is not about Bernie or any other personality that’s the problem !

  40. Dan T

    thank you so much for investing your time to write these thoughts down. I could never have done it as well. I feel satisfied in reading your points – now I feel complete and can get back to work

  41. JLM

    .Hmmm, tough sell on that one, SubstrateUndertow, cause the only thing on the ballot is peoples’ names.So, yeah, it’s about the people and their personalities, no?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  42. kidmercury

    Def siding with JLM in this beef. The math behind sanders’ plan is intentionally vague/unstated because it would require huge tax increases. I actually really like the guy and wish very much he was not so unwilling to stay within the confines of mathematical reality. I would probably vote for him if I didn’t think he would end up raising taxes far beyond what most people imagine.

  43. kidmercury

    Hillary??? Aww man. Bernie may ignore math but he at least keeps it real and probably has a good heart

  44. ShanaC

    shhha)Secret ballot – there is a point to thatb) at some point someone is going to start enforcing the social media shouting about candidates voting == vote buying rules if you aren’t careful.

  45. kidmercury

    From where? Govt sponsored Healthcare is the biggest line item and he won’t cut that. Social security? Nope. Military? Probably some, but he would need total demilitarization and then some to make it work which is not in his game plan either.Really if he doesn’t want to raise taxes now he’ll use debt which means he wants the future to pay for it with interest. I find that even more objectionable.

  46. JLM

    .Yessssssss!In the face of a resurgent Russia, a growing and increasingly confrontational China, with that messy war on terror — let’s short defense.Let’s cut the size of the military to the size it was before, say, WWII?Ooops, sorry, my bad. We already did that.Here’s a revolutionary idea, let’s stop spending like crackheads?We are at the highest Federal revenues in the history of the United States. If you can’t make a few cuts when your income is at an all time high, when can you?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  47. CJ

    Mathematically impossible? No. Politically unpalatable for a vast minority of the country? Yes.Lots of countries do these things which let me know it’s possible to do them. Those countries though have VASTLY higher tax rates.That’s the math.

  48. JLM

    .The implication of your statement is that his utterances rise to the level of “policy” or that he, himself, understands what he says.I do love his utterances — why do you think Goldman Sachs gave Hillary $675K? — but they are really not policies, are they?Bernie is all about free shit and I am all about free shit.I fear the price tag, Bernie (perhaps, braver than me?) doesn’t even know there is a price tag.Not 1% of the US understands how the primaries are conducted and yet we always seem to live through it.Bernie is not an intelligent or thoughtful guy, he is an empty vessel devoid of any demonstrable accomplishment. If he were otherwise, there would be some meaningful legislation tattooed with his name.The accomplishments of B Sanders v the accomplishments of H Clinton — fish bait. Crickets.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  49. JLM

    .He’s not 40, she’s sixteen.How do the youth embrace the oldest guy in the race?By considering the alternatives.Talk Bernie to me.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  50. JLM

    .If one lives in California with a 13% tax rate coming to lie next to 38% + another 3% plus payroll taxes, plus property taxes — the individual maker is the last person getting paid in that scheme.Once you pay for housing, food, clothing, gasoline — WTF is left?We didn’t have an income tax until when?The only way for a working man to make a million dollars these days?Start with two million.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  51. kidmercury

    I meant mathematically impossible simply by rearranging spending and not increasing taxes or debt. Agreed that if you increase taxes or debt there is no limit to spending.

  52. Dennis Mykytyn

    Agree it is not mathematically impossible. Disagree that it will only be “unpalatable for a vast minority of the country”. There won’t be enough revenue just from taxing the “rich” for Bernie’s plans. Bernie will have to define “rich” down to the middle class level and whack them hard too, in order to get enough revenue.Bernie is a really nice guy without a clue. My favorite quote of his is “You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country,”.That may be the most ignorant statement on capitalism that I have ever read, post-Soviet Union.

  53. CJ

    “He’s very different, very honest and is promising a lot of things that they don’t have enough life experience to know…” used to be a lot different and actually worked.The world used to be a very different place than it is now. A place where a middle-class actually existed for the uneducated. A place where you could get a college education without being broke for life trying to pay it off. And said education often guaranteed you a great job as long as you were decently capable.This is the first generation to experience New America firsthand from adulthood and it’s not very pretty for them at the moment. Bernie is saying that he’ll fix it and no one else in their recent memory has even offered that from their perspective.If it’s impossible it’s only because people in our age range still think we’re living in a different America – largely because we secured ourselves before America changed and don’t actually have to face up to the new reality.

  54. andyswan

    That could have been written in 08 about Obama

  55. JLM

    .It is so easy to get a college education as to be laughable.Join the military and get the GI Bill. Get an ROTC scholarship. Enroll in a work-study program. Work a semester and then study a semester.Oh, you meant a FREE education? Not one you had to actually work for?We have become a nation of whining, lazy, unimaginative, dependent wimps who are scared of chalk. Chalk.Sorry. I’m headed to my safe place.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  56. Ronald Whitiker

    Well said.On an unrelated, if not closely related, note, American voters are perhaps the most unknowledgeable when it comes to a country’s election process. Not sure if this is due to the complicated system or the dumb population. As a matter of fact, we have always voted for the ‘handsome’st of the contestants. Going by that , Hillary wins it all if American men also finds her handsome enough πŸ™‚

  57. Jeff Jones

    I think ‘cricket riding a tumbleweed’ is more descriptive and accurate than just ‘crickets’.

  58. CJ

    The tax rate and the effective tax rate tend to be two different animals. Though, that said, you’re correct. In other countries personal tax rates can be 40-55% and we’d probably need something like that to pay for all of the things that Bernie wants to implement.Though, I think there is progress to be made on all of his issues without going as far as we wants and costing as much. There is money that could be allocated better to be more productive for the citizens here and it needs to be. There is a growing gulf between the have and have nots and leaving it is not an option if we value political stability.

  59. Jeff Jones

    The make a million start with two million line is gold…pure gold!

  60. JLM

    .Haha, the Bosses don’t want the electorate to know how it works ON PURPOSE.This IS the GOPe that Trump is railing against.I sit on the TCRP (Travis Country Republican Party) Executive Committee and you would be appalled at the sense of entitlement that these people have when it comes to picking state delegates, national delegates.They absolutely control the process.Physical appearance in elections is only as old as Kennedy v Nixon in which the better looking, cooler guy got elected.Make no mistake, Candidate Obama was very photogenic, could speak like a devil and McCain was a troll of a little scarred mean guy who looked like an ax murderer.Older women will sympathize with Hillary which is a very dependable voting bloc in the US. They also outlive their husbands.She has absolutely lost the youth vote to Bernie. Totally.I find Hillary’s lack of any moral bottom — literally a bottomless hole — to be revolting. The business about the sniper fire is just mind boggling.As to men? They will vote for Donald Trump’s wife.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  61. JLM

    .The gulf amongst the “have mores” v the “haves” v the “have nots” has more to do with what time people get up in the morning than any other single factor.If you give people unlimited free shit — what happens?They stop working and become dependent upon free shit and want even more free shit.If you give people opportunity, but tell them the window opens at 5:00 am — what happens?The fucking killers show up and they succeed.Revolutions and success both start on EMPTY bellies.If Bernie is in charge, there will never be another empty belly. And, we will cease to be a nation which reveres and rewards hard work and success.We will make success a felony penalized by having to work for the rest of your life while dragging along a bunch of takers behind you.It’s really that freakin’ easy.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  62. Ronald Whitiker

    So shall the women folk vote for this man resulting in a tie.

  63. JLM

    .Ted Cruz lost his chance at actually enjoying a manhood when Donald Trump went ugly on an ape on Heidi.Cruz should have called him out and when next they were together, he should have whipped him like a rented mule.That’s what a Texan would have done which proves that Cruz is really a Canadian after all.Another reason why I encourage the reinstatement of dueling as a dispute resolution mechanism.http://themusingsofthebigre…Completely serious, am I.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  64. CJ

    True and I don’t think they think that enough has changed between now and then. They also don’t think someone like Hillary, Cruz or anyone in the ‘establishment’ will fix it. And they’re probably right.

  65. JLM

    .Hillary’s PLAN is to be the Third Obama Term, no?She hasn’t had an original thought since she was ducking sniper fire in Bosnia.Under her PLAN the big winner is ………………….. Goldman Sachs.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  66. ShanaC

    it also is feeding upwards into the lower echelons of the elite. Malaise everywhere, even NYC and Boston and San Fran

  67. CJ

    “The gulf amongst the “have mores” v the “haves” v the “have nots” has more to do with what time people get up in the morning than any other single factor”I can’t agree with you here. All things being equal work harder = more success. However, all things are not equal in the USA. The thing about it, even as I type it, I hate it. There is a part of me that wants to believe you. I grew up believing you. But then I’ve spent the last 20 adult years of my life living and working in a fundamentally unfair place to exist due, at varying times, to my age or my race, or both – regardless of my intellect and aptitude.I’ve seen colleagues promoted over me with less ability and less work ethic. I’ve had bosses rant about my salary because of my age – regardless of my ability. Note to the readers, you should always check to make sure a room is empty when you decide to discuss your employees behind their back especially if you intend to target them over their age(explicit) or race(implicit).There are some places I can’t get a taxi – our nation’s capital being one. – At least now I can Uber. :-)Still, I persevered and I’m winning at this game – so yes – hardwork is working but I could have been where I am now 10 years ago if I were born white. Luckily I was born smart with two hard-working parents and it evened it out for me a bit but not everyone has that benefit. I grew up with people who didn’t even know you could go to college if you weren’t rich. Literally, they thought it was impossible.So even as I subtly imply that you remember your privilege, I also recognize mine. I’m way more fortunate that the vast majority of people that grew up on the same block as me and no matter the amount of hard work on their part, a lot of them will end up nowhere better than a Walmart job.On the other hand, money is free. Startups are swimming in it – pre-2016 anyway. Starting a company is easier than ever – even today. I get how it’s easy to think and feel that if you just work hard enough…if you just try long enough… Hell, from what you’ve said of yourself, I get why you think that. I don’t think you’ve slept a day in your life and accomplished more than most people dream about and I admire that.But I’ve lived on the other side. I get how it LOOKS like the American Dream is still alive and well but, in my experience, It just doesn’t really stand up to sustained scrutiny.

  68. Mike Milkovich

    My home town went from 98% white to 98% black in 20 years. My cousin still teaches at the school and he summed up the problem with one example. We always had 3 half hour lunch periods. Kids would go through the line with their trays and get their food and sit with their buddies. When lunch was over, they took their trays back separated the paper from the dishes and put the trays in the rack.Not these kids today. They for whatever reason refuse to take their trays back and the school which is already strapped for money had to hire 5 people to clean up the trays after each lunch period. Every single kid in school gets a free lunch and they don’t have the respect, the thanks or the dignity to clean up after themselves. They just say “fuck you” to everyone, the school, the community, the taxpayers, the cafeteria workers even. I wonder if they do this elsewhere? I don’t know how anyone can side or justify this shit.

  69. JLM

    .You ready for some truth and tough love, CJ? Cause if you aren’t stop reading right now.First, let me say that I love you and love the whole world. Why not? I get nothing good from being a hater but I am a truthful son of a bitch and I have nobody in the whole world whose opinion I really care about. I couldn’t give a fuck less what anyone on this blog or elsewhere thinks about me.The only thing important to me is what I think about me. I am my own man.And, therefore, I have the privilege of telling you the truth.Why? Cause I did the best I could with what I had. That, my friend, is the only truth in life. You got to play the cards you’re dealt.Here’s the real thing — look at my writing. Do you see the word FAIR anywhere? Do you? Hey, did I ever say anything about life being FAIR?No, cause it isn’t there. Life is not FAIR, my friend. Never has been.The other big lie?All men are not created equal.Once you get over that bullshit, life is pretty damn easy. You do the best you can with what you got.One last thing — a lot of life gets down to physical courage and balls. You know all these draft dodgers running for President? All these guys who were just physical cowards but today they’re big tough guys — Cheney, Clinton, Gramm, Trump, Sanders.The whole bunch of them make me want to puke but I secretly laugh. Sure, I got hazardous duty pay at $60/month. Sure, I was so pathetic that I was willing to trade another $60/month to jump out of airplanes wherever the man told me to jump.Turns out I had a lot more cojones than they did. I served my country. I traded five years of going in harm’s way for an education — an engineering degree and an MBA. I did that. Nobody paid for it but my blood.But, it’s not about patriotism, it’s about testing myself. Could I be that good? Could I make it through VMI? Ranger school? Airborne school? Could I lead when the shit hit the fan.I did it to test and train myself. I fear nothing but crying little girls.Everything I ever needed to know to run a business, I learned as a platoon leader and a company commander in the Army. Everything.And here’s the thing. We are truly propelled by our disadvantages, the slights, the slings, the arrows — tell me I can’t do something and I will smile.I will also be there eating out of your chili bowl and I will slipping around your hedges at three in the morning. That sound you hear? That’s me coming for you and I don’t intend to stop until I even every score. Until I pay back the world for every one of those slights, slings, arrows, insults, unfairnesses.But, hey, that’s me. It’s not for everyone cause you have to get up early, stay late, work hard, and be willing to show the world your vulnerability. To be willing to bite the ass off a bear when you get to work.Life is not fair. All men are not created equal. You can do whatever you resolve to do. A lot of life is just pure balls.There is only real equality in life — we each get 24 hours in a day.The American Dream is what each of us writes for ourselves in those 24 hours. Start writing and don’t waste any time feeling sorry for yourself. Stock up and remember all the slights, the slings, the arrows — FUEL.See you on the high ground, CJ. Cause I will be there. How about you, pal? And, that, my friend, is how the cow ate the cabbage.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  70. Bruce Warila

    Agreed. I know a lot of Trump supporters. If Cruz had grabbed Trump and wrestled him to the floor of the stage he would have scored a lot of points.

  71. CJ

    JLM – I agree with you – to a certain point anyway. While my peers were outside playing I was taking apart my PC. While my peers were riding bikes I was writing code. While my peers were working at McDonald’s, I was making $50k/yr at 18yrs old with no college degree because I worked at Popeye’s for a summer when I was 16 and decided I’d never do that again in life. I get it – trust me I do.But did they even know about a PC when they were 12? I got one for my 8th birthday. Did they even realize that programming was something one could do? We had a computer lab with Apple IIe’s, they had apathetic teachers and who passed kids who couldn’t even read. I went to private school, they went to public school. My teachers worked 2 jobs because it was important to THEM to teach ME. Their teachers couldn’t care less.I’m not bemoaning a lack of an even playing field – that will NEVER happen. I’m bemoaning a lack of AWARENESS that we’re all playing a game. That there are rules and those rules can be followed, bent or broken. That you can use your challenges to propel you or hold you back. They don’t even know THAT. Kids in my neighborhood grew up with crackhead parents – they never got off the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. That’s not unfair – that’s CRUEL. Where they come from no one ever wins! And if they do, they win by selling drugs, rapping or sports. That is there world. Beginning, middle, and end.I’m telling you that I grew up with people – a lot of people – that have never left their neighborhood – a 10 block square that might as well be a prison. You might see these as challenges but that’s only because you had the awareness to see them as obstacles rather than barriers. These people just see a box and no one ever gets out of the box. What you call a challenge, they call a life definition. The difference between you and them, and me and them, is that we knew that it was only an obstacle, a temporary challenge. They see a permanent circumstance. My parents raised me to be better than they were – their parents didn’t raise them at all.Think of it like this – as hard as it is for you to fathom that there are places or people in this country where working hard and waking early and pulling themselves up by their bootstraps just isn’t enough, it’s equally as hard for those people, having been raised mostly clueless to life, to fathom that their circumstances could ever be anything but permanent. That there is more to life than existence within 10 square city blocks. That someone like them could actually succeed.All things being equal JLM, I completely agree with you. But there are kids out there raised by crackheads, with no food in the fridge, no safe place to sleep and when/if they do graduate from high school end up with an education equivalent to what my kids are getting in Elementary school.That’s not even unfair…it’s just…I don’t even know the word but it’s equivalent to evil. And it’s not about race. The same thing is happening in poor white communities. Parents who used to be able to put in a hard day’s work to support their families are now forced to consider Welfare because the jobs are gone. They are AWARE of the game but it screwed them with a rule change. So what do they do? They blame the immigrants, they blame black people as if the immigrants or the black people moved the jobs to Mexico or China. As if we somehow benefited by it.Yes, get up early, work hard, use your adversity as a sword, your challenges as a mace. Take it, if they won’t give it. I agree, 100%. But someone has to inform you of the battle, someone has to open the gate so that you can see that life exists outside of what you know, and you can take it if you work hard, if you out compete, if you never give up. Someone has to grant you AWARENESS. In lots of places, it’s just not happening.

  72. JLM

    .I agree with much that you say, almost all of it. Where you may wander off the gameboard is underestimating the native curiosity of a guy like me.I recognize that you are not talking exclusively and directly to me. I take no offense and I know no offense was intended.My native curiosity drove me to become the President of Austin Midnight Basketball. It is basketball played at midnight at a historically black college in which the deal is — an hour of basketball (NBA refs, played above the rim) for an hour of character development.I was the guy who raised the money for it for years. That was actually a lot of fun cause I got to pal around w/ the biggest names in the NBA.But, I also used to go to the games and watch the gangbangers come in with their guns and see what it looked like on the street corners where they came from and returned to.I was the President of Austin Musical Theater. You would have to know me to understand how weird it would be for me to be involved in musical theater.I had the pleasure of working with the gay management of the theater in which the Director, to this day, is the most creative and brilliant human being I have ever met. A pure, Da Vinci, genius.I served on the Board of the People’s Community Clinic where our goal was to take care of 15 year old mothers and to keep them from having 4 kids by the time they were 20.All of these efforts were driven by curiosity. All of these things changed me.But what I learned is a little discouraging. The world can only be changed one person at a time. And, unfortunately, gov’t is essentially ineffective.Programs like Your Brothers Keeper — sixth year of a 8 year presidency? — don’t work because all the blood suckers and takers get in line to steal whatever money they can.We can only change the world one person at a time. And, then, that person can change one and another can change one. Do yo think that Hillary Clinton or Ted Cruz give a shit about any of this? Truly?It is you and me.There are no real reinforcements. Nobody is coming. Keep waiting but they ain’t coming. I remember one time in the military — in a jam. I got the message even then, “Nobody is coming to help you. Sorry.”Life is not fair. We are not all created equal. Evil is real.Aware?Yes, but that isn’t really enough.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  73. Susan Rubinsky

    The costs of college have decreased dramatically. State universities now are extremely expensive and the education is often sub-par.For example, UCONN costs $25,802 for 2016-17 for in-state (though increases were just approved so that cost will be increasing in the 2016-17 school year). This number does not include expenses such as books and supplies or travel. For example, my son’s books and class supplies cost almost $6,000.00 in the 2015-16 school year. So let’s just round up and say the cost is $30,000.00 a year.The top subsidized student loan maxes out at $5,500.00 for the 2015-16 school year (but that’s for families with extremely low income) so most families qualify for less (if they qualify at all). You can also get a Pell Grant (if you qualify) that maxes out at $5,815.00 for the 2016-17 school year.If you don’t qualify, then you parents are obligated (not the students) to either pay out of pocket or to take direct loans that cannot be deferred and do not have competitive interest rates (currently 6.84% for parents/graduate students).So let’s say your family is poor or in the lower middle class. Let’s say that one of the parents lost their job in the last recession and that the family has never been able to recover. Let’s say that the family now has a low credit score due to these financial issues. These families can’t even get a direct student loan.So, let’s say you are a student who has lived most of his/her life at or around the poverty level. Let’s say the student is a good student, but not stellar. That student has very few options for private university or scholarships. Let’s say that student’s only option at this point is state university. Let’s say the student qualifies for the maximum federal aid (listed above). Where does the student get the additional $18,685.00 a year?This is exactly what is beleaguering the poor, the lower middle class, and even the middle class. People with money can always buy education. People without money are now marginalized more than they ever were. It’s why Bernie makes sense to these people.Let’s talk about the GI education bill which was mentioned. The GI Bill covers a student for up to 36 months at $1,648.00/mo. So, let’s say a GI can get $6,592.00 a semester (four months X $1,648.00). So, if a veteran qualifies, he/she can also get the federal aid. So now the cost is $12,093.00 a year. Where does the student come up with those funds?Keep in mind that this does not account for any other expense, such as summer living expenses or the hit the person will take in federal aid for working a job. Yup, you take a job and earn some extra money to help pay, and the federal amount you are awarded declines accordingly.

  74. JLM

    .I know nothing about UConn but I do know that many Southern schools take the GI Bill in satisfaction of tuition regardless of the numbers.I myself attended an incredibly expensive graduate school on that very basis. Granted a million years ago.This highlights a couple of things — the importance of the ROTC scholarship program which pays tuition, room, board, uniforms, books, supplies and a monthly stipend (better than the best athletic scholarship in the US) and the importance of what state you take up residency in.A person can get in state tuition in Texas by establishing 12 months of continuous residency and providing a utility bill and a driver’s license.There is no doubt that the way to get through college is to find the right place.While I am sympathetic to everyone, there is not doubt that one’s personal decisions, one’s parents’ personal decisions, all have an impact on higher education.There is another antidote. Get damn good grades.A college education is not a birthright or an entitlement program. I do believe that anyone who wants to work can make it through college.In Austin, the local CC has a 2-year program which is pre-approved at UT and Tx State (all credits transferable) which saves tuition.One can also place out of the first year of college with AP.There is no way to get a college education that doesn’t entail working hard, making sacrifices, and managing your own career.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  75. Susan Rubinsky

    I have seen too many great students who work hard with great grades living in poverty and beleaguered by far too many family/social obstacles to attend college. Working hard and getting great grades no longer guarantees you anything in the United States.I have volunteered at these schools and seen what these students face first hand.I also have just spent the last several years working with my son on getting into college and working diligently to get the right resources for my son. The working poor and/or uneducated parents would have no way of understanding how to do this nor do they have the time. I personally spent a great deal of time and money (to me) on test prep, application fees, SATs, etc. (Spent approximately $10K on this in my son’s junior year of high school and he already was a high achieving student. Being high achieving is not enough to get into most private universities these days.) I also spent approximately 12 hours a week over 18 months helping my son research options, colleges, studying, writing essays, preparing for applying to college. This was on top of the regular parenting stuff and guidance/help on school work and extra-curriculars (in my son’s case: Robotics, Architecture/Engineering Mentoring program, summer programs, summer internship, volunteering, golf team, etc.) I mention these things because they are what makes the difference regarding what schools and programs a student gets into and if the student gets scholarships. (My son didn’t even get into UCONN because UCONN typically only takes valedictorians and the occasional salutatorian.)It is far more complicated than it was in the old days. I went to state university in the late 1980’s when I could work, get federal aid and still was able to attend college full-time on my own. It’s like everything has completely transformed in that time. Since the 1980’s family income has increased 147% but in that time college costs have risen almost 500%, or about 7% per year. (Source Forbes — I have seen similar numbers in many other studies —…. Also, if you have actually saved any money for your child’s education it is counted against you in the formulas to calculate aid. So, you are still behind when it comes to paying for college.

  76. JLM

    .So given what you have endured, why does anyone vote Democrat?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  77. Susan Rubinsky

    I don’t know one Republican who cares about creating better access to education for all, yet I know many Democrats who do. I’ve never seen any Republican plan which actually addresses the real issues. Bernie’s plan is the soundest on education.

  78. JLM

    .Haha, you do now.But, really, Texas has such cheap tuition to all of its state schools (Tx has been run by Republicans for a couple of decades) that it’s hard to take that comment seriously.The Gov wanted to make it possible for a Texas kid to get a 4-year degree for $10K and he almost did it.We have transfer track community colleges (guaranteed admittance to UT, Tx State, Baylor, etc) and a full year of AP college credit — no cost.Bernie’s plan is a pipe dream. It’s never going to happen. The world does not need a single additional poet.Bernie didn’t get a job until he was 42, what the Hell does he actually know about education or jobs?What we need is targeted, job creating, investment based college — I have a nephew, got him into VMI on a scholarship, he’s finished med school (Capt’s pay, active duty assignment, full retirement credit), he goes to Florida for a residency (brain surgery) and then serves in the military for some period of time.That’s targeted, real job, investment based college assistance.No more poets.JLM

  79. Susan Rubinsky

    Ha! I actually studied poetry writing and studio art (ceramics) in college. Best preparation in life ever. I also taught myself to code (granted, I also had taken computer programming in high school as well) and “borrowed” the university newspaper computers (struck a secret deal with the editor to use the computers the day after each weekly publication) to produce the university literary magazine which prior to that had been done by old school paste up (I knew paste-up too, but thought it would be cool to go digital).My best hires when I worked corporate happened to be history majors and literature majors. You can train a liberal arts major in marketing and communications (and programming too), but you can rarely train a business major to think creatively or to critique, analyze and write.Just so you know, liberals abhor me, because I’m willing to explore great progressive ideas even if they don’t fit in the “liberal” box. Republicans are confounded by me for the same reasons. Because the truth is that the best solutions are neither Republican nor Democrat. And that is the key problem in our nation: the fact that not many are willing to put the cloak of party aside and find solutions that actually work.I agree with you about ROI and targeted college education, but I also think there should be a base level of affordability, no matter what you want to study. The fact is that people who go into teaching, social work, and many other occupations will never see a “targeted” ROI, yet those people are deeply necessary. I would even argue that our best people don;t go into teaching, where they are greatly needed, because of the low ROI. The result is mediocrity.It’s not just the military that should enable service for rewards, but many other occupations as well. Only then would we get the brightest as teachers. Imagine a National Teacher Institute. Let’s invest in our teachers in the way we invest in our military. Let’s set up academies then send off armies of teachers to educate.