1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

Top Investment Manager Slams US Politicians' Corruption

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by pippendagimp, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. pippendagimp

    pippendagimp Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2000
    Messages:
    27,074
    Likes Received:
    21,343
    For those who may not be familiar with him, Bill Gross has been manager of the world's largest bond fund for many years. He's not in Buffett's class when it comes to wit & wisdom, but he's close. The excerpt below is from his annual investment outlook. For your reading pleasure:


    http://www.pimco.com/LeftNav/Featured+Market+Commentary/IO/2010/Let’s+Get+Fisical+January+2010.htm

    Quixotic journeys often make for great literature, but by definition are rarely productive. I am, after all, referring to windmills here – not their 21st century creation, but their 17th century chasing. Futility, not productivity, was the ultimate fate of Cervantes’ man from La Mancha. So it is with hesitation, although quixotic obsession, that I plunge headlong into a discussion of American politics, healthcare legislation, resultant budget deficits and – finally – their potential effect on financial markets. There will be windmills aplenty in the next few pages and not much good can come of these opinions or my tilting in their direction. Still, I mount my steed, lance in hand, and ride forward.

    Question: What has become of the American nation? Conceived with the vision of liberty and justice for all, we have descended in the clutches of corporate and other special interests to a second world state defined by K Street instead of Independence Square. Our government doesn’t work anymore, or perhaps more accurately, when it does, it works for special interests and not the American people. Washington consistently stoops to legislate 10,000-page perversions of healthcare, regulatory reform, defense, and budgetary mandates overflowing with earmarks that serve a monied minority as opposed to an all-too-silent majority. You don’t have to be Don Quixote to believe that legislators – and Presidents – often do not work for the benefit of their constituents: A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reported that over 65% of Americans trust their government to do the right thing “only some of the time” and a stunning 19% said “never.” What most politicians apparently are working for is to perpetuate their power – first via district gerrymandering, and then second by around-the-clock campaigning financed by special interest groups. If, by chance, they’re ever voted out of office, they have a home just down the street – at K Street – with six-figure incomes as a starting wage.

    What amazes me most of all is that politicians can be bought so cheaply. Public records show that combined labor, insurance, big pharma and related corporate interests spent just under $500 million last year on healthcare lobbying (not much of which went to politicians) for what is likely to be a $50-100 billion annual return. The fact is that American citizens have never been as divorced from their representatives – and if that description fits the Democratic Congress now in control – then it applies to Republicans as well – past and present. So you watch Fox, or is it MSNBC? O’Reilly or Olbermann? It doesn’t matter. You’re just being conned into rooting for a team that basically runs the same plays called by lookalike coaches on different sidelines. A “ballot box” pox on all their houses – Senators, Representatives and Presidents alike. There has been no change, there will be no change, until we the American people decide to publicly finance all national and local elections and ban the writing of even a $1 check for our favorite candidates. Undemocratic? Hardly. Get on the internet, use Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter to campaign for your choice. That’s the new democracy. When special interests, even singular citizens write a check, it represents a perversion of democracy not the exercise of the First Amendment. Any chance that any of this will happen? Not one ghost of a chance. Forward Don Quixote, the windmills are in sight................
     
  2. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    Messages:
    16,596
    Likes Received:
    494
    I've been saying this for years. Great read.
     
  3. MoonDogg

    MoonDogg Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 1999
    Messages:
    5,167
    Likes Received:
    495
  4. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    54,713
    Likes Received:
    42,838
    [rquoter]There has been no change, there will be no change, until we the American people decide to publicly finance all national and local elections and ban the writing of even a $1 check for our favorite candidates.[/rquoter]

    The problem with this though is who decides which candidate gets funded? Should every single person who decides to run for an office get a check from a public campaign fund?

    I think that if you had full public financing instead of politicians being bought and sold you would have public financing board that is bought and sold.
     
  5. robbie380

    robbie380 ლ(▀̿Ĺ̯▀̿ ̿ლ)
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Messages:
    23,318
    Likes Received:
    9,729
    you're still a douche pippen who talks a big game, but a great essay from a titan in the industry. this quote from someone like him is certainly something that makes you stop and think.

    certainly, there is still time to change our actions, but the speed with which things have occurred is stunning. also we don't have a history of acting until things are painfully clear that massive change must occur.

    i am curious to see how his market call plays out this year. i am of the opinion that 2010 will not be terribly volatile due to the public pretty much shunning the equity rally among other things like earnings and employment stabilizing. the markets have gone up from being significantly undervalued, but the "juice" in the equity side certainly doesn't seem like it's there like it was before the crash. granted, i do feel like a pullback will happen at some point near the end of this earnings cycle, since we have been going up complacently. however, at this point in time i just can't see a crash or significant devaluation of the equity market like bill gross. i would be really happy to see that volatility come back, but i just can't see it happening this year.


     
  6. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    Messages:
    16,596
    Likes Received:
    494
    Allow anyone who wants to run go to a "tryout" debate televised in the area that contains the district. Allow registered voters to call in to vote for their favorite candidate (or perhaps a top two or three). Anyone would be welcome to go to the initial debate and the whole thing would be paid for by public financing.

    The top ten candidates make the roster for financing and are doled out equal time on television, space in newspapers, and time on the radio. All broadcasting time and print space would be negotiated and bought in advance of each election cycle.

    As time goes on, the candidates are whittled down through the phone in process to the top two or three. I would make this final ballot party-blind so that if the best two or three candidates in a race are Republican or Democrat, that would be fine (in other words, the way I would do it would be resisted to the bitter end by the current parties).

    The top candidates are given the final allotments of time and space as well as places in the televised debates.
     
  7. Major

    Major Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    41,444
    Likes Received:
    15,886
    So then the private money just moves to the purpose of getting people to call in for their candidate during that debate. Some partisan group likes a particular candidate? Go out and market the debate to people likely to vote for him/her, etc. The candidate's success will benefit from that partisan group and he'll owe them, no different than now.
     
  8. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    Messages:
    16,596
    Likes Received:
    494
    The difference is that anyone would be welcome at the debate and the top ten or more would make the "public financing" stage of the competition. Add in things like fines for corporations or other special interests being involved in "organizing" and you could end up with a system that engages far more people in the political process and allows the best (and worst) ideas to be heard by all.

    One of the worst SCOTUS decisions in history was the one in which money was defined as a component of "free speech." Speech should be free, money is only a megaphone.
     
  9. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    54,713
    Likes Received:
    42,838
    Anyone? So if I decided I wanted to run on the Clutchfans party for President I should be allowed into a nationally televised debate with every other single person who wants to run for president and paid for by taxpayer dollars?
    Who decides who are the top ten candidates? If its polling data as a candidate how do I draw enough attention to get into the top ten of the polls especially for something larger than a US Representative race?

    Again though what is the method to determine who are the top candidates to whittle them down? Are we relyign on polling and if so which polls since we've seen in races often different polling data. For that matter what happens when you might have several candidates within the margin of error of polling data?

    The problems I see with your proposals is that consider the CA recall election how many people ran for CA governor. If you are going to have a system that initially pays for everyone you're going to have 100's possibly thousands of people running for races depending on how prominent the race is. There is no way to have any sort of meaningful debate if that is the case. More than likely what you will get is the ones that make it through are incumbents, celebrities and others with already some sort of name recognition. At the sametime you will see private political money shifted to issue ads rather than candidate specific ads. Parties will continue to exert power through spending on issues and especially in the early round weeding process voters will more than likely just fall back on supporting candidates representing the major parties since those are established brands.

    Further your idea of non-partisan final rounds of funding rather than hurt parties will likely strengthen their grip on particular regions. Since even if the final round is say two Democrats for a particular district that just guarentees that a Democrat will get the seat.
     
  10. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    54,713
    Likes Received:
    42,838
    So people shouldn't be allowed to buy megaphones?

    I fully understand the problems with equating money with speech but as a principle I don't see how you can separate them. I mean if I have an issue why shouldn't I be able to spend my money to advocate for it?
     
  11. bnb

    bnb Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2002
    Messages:
    6,992
    Likes Received:
    315
    Judoka has no vision.

    Moon pitches what could be the greatest thing since American Idol, and Judoka just can't get past the negatives.

    Production values...celebrity judges (hello Sarah Palin! Ted Kennedy RIP would have been great; Jesse Ventura/Al Frankin (Minnesota Represent!)) and a little pizzaz, an this thing would not only fund itself, but could pay for healthcare! Reality TV at it's greatest!

    I'm in!
     
  12. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    54,713
    Likes Received:
    42,838
    If you put it in terms of an American Idol like reality show them I'm for it. ;)

    Plus I would like to be the William Hung of the Presidential Race. "She Votes! She Votes!"
     
  13. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    Messages:
    16,596
    Likes Received:
    494
    It may sound sensationalist and more than a little silly, but this is kind of the thing I was talking about...

    First, the framework I put forth was more for House and Senate races, but could be used to put forth candidates for President as well. Everyone who wants to run for President gets a shot in a local debate, then it goes regional, then statewide until there is only one candidate per state. After that, break them up into regions and maybe five get into the general election. If there isn't a majority, the top two have a runoff and then we have a Prez.
     
  14. Major

    Major Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    41,444
    Likes Received:
    15,886
    This would take the 1-2 yr Presidential campaigns and turn them into 4-yr Presidential campaigns if you wanted proper vetting of candidates and the like. The larger problem you face is that you make debates the key to "advancing" to the next round, and debates are not in any way an ideal way to measure a candidate. So you're going to end up with great debaters as your candidates instead of people who actually have strong qualifications, experience, etc.
     
  15. Cokebabies

    Cokebabies Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,297
    Likes Received:
    694
    this is why mike bloomberg should run for president. he has the least ties to industry because he doesn't need lobby money.
     
  16. Rocketman1981

    Rocketman1981 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,499
    Likes Received:
    581
    Screw Bloomberg. The guy's turning NYC into the biggest taxed nanny state ever. Tax sugar, tax transfat, tax anything and everything.

    He'll turn the USA into the society from Demolition Man!
     
  17. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    Messages:
    16,596
    Likes Received:
    494
    Then maybe the candidates would issue a series of policy papers for voters to read or better yet, instead of debates, have the candidates present their view on a topic via YouTube videos. Whatever the ultimate structure looks like, the point is to take big money out of politics and put it back into the hands of We, the People.
     
  18. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    54,713
    Likes Received:
    42,838
    How many voters are going to be willing to wade through tons of position papers or Youtube videos? If that is the basis of judging candidates you are most likely going to get candidates with name recognition or money already who can put together slick looking videos or else get the equivalent of William Hung and Montgomery flea market joke candidates.
     
  19. pippendagimp

    pippendagimp Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2000
    Messages:
    27,074
    Likes Received:
    21,343
    thx for the rant, it's been forwarded ;)
     
  20. robbie380

    robbie380 ლ(▀̿Ĺ̯▀̿ ̿ლ)
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Messages:
    23,318
    Likes Received:
    9,729
    lol u want to see my "book" as you would call it?

    go do some cold calls.
     

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now