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Archive for Monday, May 27, 2013

Letter: Voting power

May 27, 2013

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To the editor:

People between the ages of 18 and 39 are angry. They are angry with predominately white, older (over 50) people who are financially sound and make all the rules. People like me — aged 58, white, male and not quite financially sound. The worst part is they have every reason to be. More importantly, they have every reason to change this country for the better and they can!

Young people don’t believe they can change anything through conventional methods like community action and voting. How would they know? Their voting percentage for the last two decades is as low as those over 50 is high. People 18 to 30 voting in the same percentages as the 50-plus group would change this country overnight. In one national election, young people could determine the face of Congress — liberal conservative, tea party conservative — you name it, they can call it.

The rules we live under have been invented and imposed on all of us by the older, wealthier and largely white and self-serving among us. Why not? They engage, act, vote, get elected and call the shots.

I know those 18- to 30-year-olds don’t believe they stand a chance in the face of American politics. Pull out your palm device and Google national elections by age categories and voting trends for the past 20 years or so and decide for yourselves. Then vote and make this a better country for you, my kids, my grandkids and me.

Comments

George Lippencott 10 months, 3 weeks ago

JAFS

The issue was about abuse of power. You kind of ducked that and switched to questioning the man's cost for an audit. Where you get the chutzpa to do that I really can not imagine.

Why would anybody pay more than they need???

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jafs 10 months, 3 weeks ago

jhf.

I've looked, but haven't found anything online about the situation you described, where a family and business were audited just because of a connection to a conservative 501c4 group. Do you have a source I could check about that?

Also, I have to point out that being audited isn't like being thrown in jail without due process - it's a perfectly normal function of the IRS, and if you've paid your taxes correctly, nothing bad will happen to you. If there are problems, the worst that generally happens is that you'd owe back taxes (and maybe penalties and interest). If you've relied on an accountant, and did nothing wrong personally, you may very well be able to get the IRS to waive those penalties and interest (or convince your accountant to pay them).

I speak from personal experience - we had a small problem with the IRS based on our reliance on our accountant.

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George Lippencott 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Still do not know why the 18-39 age groups are so angry at our seniors. I looked up poverty rates, income distribution and wealth as indicators of relative comparisons. I discovered the infamous Pew Report and all became clear.

Surprise from a poverty standpoint things are the same for both groups. I did note that social security and Medicare have had their effect. Poverty among seniors used to be double (1970’s) what it is today.

I drew wealth data from the Pew Report. Now I found that the same group when they were younger (1983) reported only 2% of the wealth that they have today. What the report did not clarify is that the growth was almost all due to the inflation in housing values. I wonder what it is now after our housing debacle. Maybe a blog?

When one looks at income today one finds that seniors have about half the annual income as those in mid years.

All my data comes from government sources or is as stated.

Taken as a whole there is nothing exciting in this information. There is no real room for anger. When you are younger you hold less of value and you make more money. When you are older you have a lower income but a higher net worth as the property you have acquired and paid for during your life time is counted.

Yes, data suggests that among seniors is a disproportionate number of the 1%. So what – the super wealthy are also represented among the mid-range of net worth. I would argue that the issue is really about the 1% and not about generational differences.

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Liberty275 10 months, 3 weeks ago

You 18 - 30 people get a say in everything, but you won't take away my say. That's how it works.

As for OWS, that was a joke with clowns running the circus. My fondest memory of that whole episode was that funny guy on top of whatever building it was downtown.

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Mike Ford 10 months, 3 weeks ago

libya has been occupied by France and Italy most recently in 1936. Muamaur Quadafi came into power in 1969. His reign ended a couple of years ago. Chances are the funds to pay for protection at the embassy in Benghazi were cut by the you need nothing republicans who cut pretty much everything and then cluelessly wonder why things happen. please wonder why the tree fell as you're having amnesia holding the ax I'd say.

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riverdrifter 10 months, 3 weeks ago

"Heck, ask them what country Benghazi is in and they'd fail. To be truthful I am not sure if I could pinpoint Libya on he map let alone Benghazi. I kind of have a minds eye view where it is but wouldn't bet that Id get it right." -Fred

This is a useful tool. I can usually get all but 2-3 of them. The 'istans' give me fits.

http://www.rethinkingschools.org/just_fun/games/mapgame.html

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Mike Ford 10 months, 3 weeks ago

what you fail to acknowledge mr mertz is that your affiliation with wingers is partisan to begin with. the tea partiers policy of defunding government departments created a recipe for disaster. it's like willfully taking good tires off a car and complaining about the ride after your people advocated for removing the tire. this is what happened with the irs. your fund cutting policies caused the problem. and yes the cruz and paul bunch caused this so why do they gripe? I'm watching the family guy tea party episode where mr. petershmidt acts like a hardhat koch brother and gets peter and the rest of quahog to dismantle their city government and all heck breaks loose. it must suck to have cartoons clown you.

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Mike Ford 10 months, 3 weeks ago

nice to have comments removed.....I quoted actual statements I've witnessed on here in recent times especially before last November 5th. too bad someone didn't remove those comments before I saw them. double standards create uncensored reality right? one can go to yahoo news right now and see the comments on President Obama visiting Moore, Oklahoma, to know exactly what I'm referring to. Too much for the virgin ears of Lawrence, Kansas I guess.

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verity 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Personally, I think this letter is all over the place and lacks any proof that young people don't believe they can change things by voting or community action. But that aside, intentional or not, it places groups against each other, in this case, age groups. So we've got another big insult fest going.

Divide and conquer.

We're in this together.

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msezdsit 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Real change in this country is likely going to bring violence by the oppressors. Just think if the tea party was attacked like the conservative right wing attacked the occupy wall street.group. The amazing thing is the very people who attacked the occupy group are now complaining because they were brought under scrutiny. Which brings us back to the point of this lte.

The lte also points out the real reasons why the right wingers are so devoted too creating laws that most likely will deter voter turnout. Imagine that.

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Richardson_Snyder 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Truth is that those of us who are parents must be personally responsible teaching our children (one way or the other) about our governments' functions. Regardless of philosophic differences here, it seems to me an important part of our civic duty to make sure our children know what our federal, state and local governments are, how they conduct themselves, and why it is so important to participate.

Surely we all agree on this?

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Mike Ford 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I actually graduated from McLouth and registered to vote as a Democrat in Oskaloosa in 1988. I have voted for twenty five years now and don't fall for the racial tactics used to keep 19th century sanity challenged gop politicians like this state has now is power. I visited an antique shop in Dearing, Kansas, just south of Independence,Friday, where the shop owner had a President Obama as a scarecrow with racist epithets on his window. I remember reading about southern Kansas being a klan stronghold in the 1920's and this antique shop owner looked to be 70 or 80 years old. As I got onto US 166 to go west to Caney I went through Tyro, Kansas, where Kansas politician virgil peck is from. This is the guy who suggested shooting illegal aliens from a helicopter like hogs a year or so ago and got off with a handslap from Governor Brownback after this comment. Rural people in Kansas need to vote with their concern for society as a whole and not be motivated by fear and code words.

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rtwngr 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I would point to where this demographic is getting its voter information. I would submit that the protestors of the 60's/70's were more in tune with news from a variety of sources which did not include social media or the reality television shows. More thought was put into the arguments against Vietnam and Nixon of that day. Now, these mush heads get their news from E/T, Jon Stewart, David Letterman, and Jersey Shore. I think you would be surprised to find out how many voters, under the age of 30, cannot identify a picture of the major players in Congress and the White House. I would also bet they couldn't tell you what the first four amendments to the Constitution are, name their Senators from their home state, or tell you the name of their Governor.

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Richardson_Snyder 10 months, 3 weeks ago

It's surprising that no one has brought up the gerrymandering which has created a great deal of one-sided voting precincts to benefit those state politicians in majority throughout the country.

If there is one thing I appreciate the Kansas Courts for doing, it was to redraw the districts after our legislature held our state in limbo for long enough to gain national attention (again) as the last one to elect its federal representatives to congress.

This is a serious enough problem that corporations and financially powerful political groups have dedicated enormous resources to manipulate and control. 36 states are republican-run, and thus disinfranchise state elections for a more balanced representation of their populaces.

Until we (re) educate ourselves over arcane state and federal constitutional voting procedures, we are most certainly going to continue seeing a deterioration in the respective congresses throughout this country.

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ljwhirled 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Younger people also need to get used to the fact that older people are going to be working longer. Unless we have strong economic growth, this means fewer jobs for the young.

Due to funding cuts to state schools and the ever increasing financial appetite of professors, administrators and union employees, these kids are creating massive amounts of debt to get an education, only to find there are no real jobs for them.

Of course they are mad, but they are also disillusioned with the system.

Who wants to go and vote for the lesser of who cares?

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Steven Gaudreau 10 months, 3 weeks ago

"People between the ages of 18 and 39 are angry. They are angry with predominately white, older (over 50) people who are financially sound and make all the rules" I don't think is a new phenomena.

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Dont_Tread_On_Me 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I have a problem with career politicians. Why could we all not get behind term limits for our Congress?

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ljwhirled 10 months, 3 weeks ago

The system is so rigged in favor of incumbent parties, that 99% of congressmen seeking re-election win their seats.

When youth tried to participate in the system by peaceful protest through the occupy movement, established powers deployed riot police, arrested and removed them.

Incumbent powers have realized that with enough negative adds, attack dog Fox "News" coverage and anti-government rhetoric, they can keep young people from believing in government and retain power for themselves.

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