Arbor Update

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U of M not among the state's most racially diverse schools

9. September 2004 • Dumi Lewis
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Michigan State’s newspaper recently ran an article on racial diversity and Affirmative Action. The main idea is that U of M is not as racially diverse as many other colleges and universities in Michigan. The article is really lengthy, or longer than I think it should be, so there are a number of ideas floating around in it. So with so many theories, which do you think makes other schools more racially diverse?

  1. Well, I’m not sure that they are exactly more racially/ethnically-diverse than UM. Though many other Michigan schools have higher percentages of minorities in their student populations, I’d wager that the vast majority of those students are African-American, just based on the state’s population. I’d bet that UM has higher percentages of students of East Asian descent than the others in the state, and as for ethnicity likely the highest percentages of Jewish and South Asian students, and is probably near the top in students of Arab descent, not to mention large numbers of international students of all origins certainly adding racial, ethnic and cultural diversity to the mix. Overall, our student body is probably the most truly-diverse in the state, even if the percentage of non-white students is actually lower than others. The main reason for our comparatively-low overall percentage of minority students is due to UM’s competitiveness and the pervasive socioeconomic and educational inequalities on the US education system, making it more difficult for certain groups (esp. Black, Lation, and American Indian) to compete in the admissions race here in comparison to less-selective universities. My two cents based on common knowledge rather than statistics… any other ideas?
       —Brandon    Sep. 9 '04 - 01:17AM    #
  2. Eastern, Western, Central, GVSU, SVSU, Oakland, Wayne and most other schools in Michigan have open admissions policies. Michigan is competitive, even for minorities.

    OF COURSE the other schools are going to have more minorities, because, statistically speaking, minorities have lower numbers on average than do non-minorities. Even with Affirmative Action giving free passes into places like UM, the competitiveness keeps them out, along with poor whites and other invisible minorities (who don’t get AA free passes).
       —T.J.    Sep. 9 '04 - 01:34AM    #
  3. Brandon good point about looking at racial diversity from a variety of perspectives. TJ- free pass, if it’s free how come everyone doesn’t get in? dumi
       —dumi    Sep. 10 '04 - 10:56AM    #
  4. There have to be standards, even when handing out free passes.

    The bar is set far, far lower for minorities. That’s the liberals talking, mind you. The conservatives want everyone to have to make it over the same bar. The liberals are the ones telling you that your bar needs to be set lower, because you can’t make it over otherwise.

    And in truth, it DOES need to be set lower if you want to see blacks, latinos and native americans in top colleges in any significant numbers.

    Hell, the minorities I just mentioned go to the same schools and are in the same exact boat as poor whites, and you can tell by the demographics at top schools that they are being held back. If minorities weren’t given free passes, they would be just as rare as poor whites on top college campuses.

    But nobody cares about invisible minorities because minorities and the people who stick up for them are too racist to see past skin color and find the root of the problem.

    So keep fighting for inequality.

    Get yours.

    Maybe in a couple generations, poor whites will get theirs (ours) too. And when we do, we will know that we earned it on our own, we weren’t given free passes and handouts to achieve our successes.
       —T.J.    Sep. 12 '04 - 03:53AM    #
  5. t.j.,
    when the university had a point system, i believe (and correct me if i am wrong) it granted points to applicants from underrepresented districts, such as counties in the u.p., often poor whites, such as yourself as you claim…do you, or do you not, sanction this practice???

    interested to hear your response,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Sep. 12 '04 - 01:28PM    #
  6. Ari,

    Oakland County is not underrepresented. Yet, there are some very poor and predominantly white, as well as some predominantly black poor areas (with a few white people). Where’s their 20 points?

    I don’t support that because it uses geography as a proxy for socio-economic status, when that proxy isn’t valid. And it still leaves out a bunch of poor kids from black neighborhoods or poor kids who happen to live south of 10 Mile but north of 8 Mile in an otherwise rich county.

    Anyone who grew up in Royal Oak Township will tell you that there’s a very big difference between going to school in Township than in Royal Oak, much less Township vs. West Bloomfield. Yet, the point system saw us as the same because we lived in a county with West Bloomfield and share the same skin color.

    No, I don’t support it.

    I support getting rid of all non-merit based admission bonuses. Yes, including legacy.

    I am a second generation HIGH SCHOOL graduate, first generation college graduate (though my mom started her junior year at Oakland U last week…GO MOM!!!). There was no legacy for me. If I have the same numbers as someone who was a lot more privileged, why should they have an advantage over me? They have had an advantage over me their entire lives, legacy admits just reinforce that.

    The only non-merit based admissions that I might possibly support would be based on geography. Meeting people from Wyoming or Mississippi at school can lend a lot to classroom discussions, far more than ANOTHER rich minority who is in the same frat with his high school classmates.

    I actually have a plan for this.

    Tuition and in-state admissions preferences are founded on the fact that states contribute to the operating cost of a University. But from what I hear, Michigan contributes less than 30% of UM’s budget.

    I say that if a state contributes 30% of a school’s budget, the school should only be able to charge 30% more for out of state tuition than in-state tuition. That 30% would repay the state for their contribution to the education of a student who is not from that state.

    That way, the state doesn’t have to pay the cost to educate a student who doesn’t pay taxes to the state. And the student doesn’t have to be completely bent over.

    Additionally, if the state contributes 30% of the budget, residents of that state should have at least a 15% advantage in admissions over an out of state student.

    This isn’t a problem in Michigan, but I know the University of Minnesota is disproportionately Wisconsin residents because Minnesota is cheaper for out of state students from surrounding states than UWisconsin is for in-state students.

    At Texas Law, they have a quota where 90% of their students have to be in-state, which means that the rest of us are competing for 10% of the available seats, meaning that our numbers have to be insanely high, while theirs don’t. This is also a problem. I think the percentage should be tied to the percentage of the school’s budget that the state pays.

    Then again, I would like to see the US pull out of Iraq and stop sending foreign aid to any country that didn’t help us fight the war on terror.

    Instead, spend that money at home on education and the homeless. Fix the public school system military style so that every public K-12 school in the nation teaches the same thing at the same level and on the same time frame. Military studies have shown that there is no difference between the performance of black students, white students, or hispanic students on standardized tests when the education and expectations are identical. Let’s make the whole country like that.

    Then, there would be no need for boosts for anyone. Base the whole thing on merit.

    And maybe the world wouldn’t hate us so much anymore either.
       —T.J.    Sep. 12 '04 - 02:48PM    #
  7. By the way, there are affluent areas in Michigan and the UP that are underrepresented. These kids go to good private schools and have the same financial advantages that the kids at West Bloomfield and Troy do.

    That is the exact same problem that I have with rich minorities getting boosts in admissions. They have all the advantages, they don’t need or deserve a boost just because their skin happens to be a certain color, or they happen to have been born into a rich family in Traverse City, Houghton or Sault Ste. Marie as opposed to Hazel Park.

    They don’t need the playing field leveled.

    Make it socio-economic based. That way, Kalkaska kids get the boost they deserve, while rich Traverse City kids with all the advantages, have to compete with the West Bloomfield richies.
       —T.J.    Sep. 12 '04 - 02:52PM    #
  8. t.j.,
    i think that your last post was by far the most lucid, well founded, and eloquently stated piece you have every posted…

    that in mind, i believe you and i agree the center of educational inequality is what is wrong with our public primary and high schools…where you and i differ is that you favor an intense rehaul of the system whereas i see a two pronged approach…you say, cut affirmative action and just clean up the public schools…this is an admirably and noble position you are taking, however, my fear is that its fundamentally a naive one…the bush administration, as other administrations before, have done a whole lot of damage to public schools, not to mention things like california’s proposition (i forget the number, but the one that froze property taxes)...

    thus, its going to take a hell of a long time to rebuild the system…i think that long term goals to revitalize our system of education, in addition to a number of other things, will mend the gap, but in the meantime, there needs to mending at the top level…

    also, you see the driver of inequality as purely economic…whereas i see, in the course of history and politics, cultural drivers, in addition to economic ones (this is, among other reasons, is why i am no longer a marxist) name a few things, sat’s are biased in favor of whites and males, not by economic class…in addition, public school inequality is, to a large degree more drawn on racial lines than economic ones (and i have several books that reserach this if you would care to read further)...thus which is why i favor our current system of affirmative action rather than the economic based affirmative action that some like, say, chetly zarko favors…

    my two cents…

    time for dinner,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Sep. 12 '04 - 09:51PM    #
  9. SATs are biased toward rich whites, not whites. The things they cite when they talk about where the biases are, those are things that rich whites know and identify with. And people who grew up in the same environment with rich whites, such as rich blacks and rich hispanics, know those same things and have no trouble with them.

    Meanwhile, poor whites have just as tough a time figuring out what the hell the SAT is asking as do poor blacks and hispanics.

    And none of this takes into account the fact that Asians and Indians don’t seem to have any trouble with the SATs, even though they don’t even identify with American culture, for the most part.

    India is fascinating, really. Their economic and social environment is even worse than an American ghetto, they don’t speak English and the Americanized ones are at best 2nd generation English speakers, they hold on to their culture even when they’re here. Yet, they score just as high as whites and asians on these tests. There’s a certain level of “quit your whining and just friggin do it!” to the Indian and Asian mindset.

    I also don’t buy the idea that public school quality has anything to do with race.

    I also disagree with the notion that it would take a long time to overhaul the system. Elect me dictator for four years (I say dictator because I would need the ability to change things myself) and I could fix the homeless problem as well as the school system in four years. Maybe the results wouldn’t be there, but they would be on their way.

    In the process, I would get the Muslims off our ass too, if they are true to their word. I would pull out of Iraq and stop funding Israel.

    I would also eliminate income tax for black people for a period of 30 years, to give them the chance to establish themselves more firmly economically and as a form of reparations. That would be my gesture to appease their anger at the instant repeal of race-based Affirmative Action and as reparations for slavery and the systematic injustices of racism that held them back for so long here.

    I would establish enough money to allow every student in America the opportunity to get a college education, if they want one.

    I would fund the research into making hydrogen a viable fuel source for automobiles, so we can eliminate our need for foreign oil. We could use our oil supplies for plastics. And clean the environment along the way.

    Elect me. I will hook this country up!

    (paid for the Campaign to Elect Thomas Wharry Dictator of the United States of America)
       —T.J.    Sep. 13 '04 - 01:35PM    #
  10. “would also eliminate income tax for black people for a period of 30 years, to give them the chance to establish themselves more firmly economically and as a form of reparations. That would be my gesture to appease their anger at the instant repeal of race-based Affirmative Action and as reparations for slavery and the systematic injustices of racism that held them back for so long here.” -t.j.

    interesting idea, however, i fear it blatently unconsitutional…and probably, this calls into the case that the entire notion of repairations would be unconstituional…but i am not legal expert…

    “would establish enough money to allow every student in America the opportunity to get a college education, if they want one.” -t.j.

    my suspicouns about you were correct all along: under your reactionary statism is clear class consousiness…woo-hoo!!!

    “I would fund the research into making hydrogen a viable fuel source for automobiles, so we can eliminate our need for foreign oil. We could use our oil supplies for plastics. And clean the environment along the way.” -t.j.


    as per your notion to stop funding israel…hmmm, while the jewish state has its faults, it needs our support…however, what we DO need to do is make it so that they only way to get our funding, which it can’t live without, is to clean up its violence against the palestinians…this puts israel in a postion where it has to solve the injustice and still gets the vital backing it needs to establish/defend itself…

    otherwise, your platform, though i disagree with a lot of it, is a refreshing change…

    are you going to run as an independent???

    free t.j.,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Sep. 13 '04 - 06:36PM    #
  11. I intend to run for office at some point…if I were able to find the money to do it, that is. (And that’s another problem…there’s no reason why only the rich should be able to run for office…why just have a bunch of rich white guys over and over again, when there are all kinds of people who can do good things?)

    However, running as an independant, at this point in time, is not viable. It would be a waste of money. Just to throw you hat in the ring would cost tens of millions, most likely. How could I justify running a 1-3% campaign like Nader is, and spend all that money, when that money could send 1,000 or more kids to college for a year? That’s crazy.

    I support the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, the Reform Party, and whomever else simply because I think there should be more than just two options. You can buy 17 different kinds of bleu cheese dressing at the typical grocery market, but you only have two choices for president. Insane.

    I don’t support the message of any of those parties, but I support their ability to exist. Further, I think that if the Green Party were to win a couple congressional seats, you would see the radical left leave the Democrats, and the Dems would become the socially conservative/fiscally liberal party they were in the past. At that point, I would probably switch sides.

    Since you’re already singing my praises (relatively), you should also know that I am in favor of rolling back the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Why should I pay 15% of my salary in taxes, when I have to skip meals sometimes because I don’t have enough, while some rich fuck only has to pitch in 15% of his income? He can sacrifice the 3rd yacht and drive the half dozen cars he already owns…poor people need to eat and go to college.

    I would either institute a flat tax or a sales tax. Flat tax would make it possible to still give the minority reparations. Unconstitutional? Yeah, but so was Affirmative Action. My plan is fairer than Affirmative Action.

    My plan (stolen from Keyes, btw) gives the benefit solely to the minorities who work. The ones who don’t, the drug dealers and whatnot, don’t pay taxes anyway. Maybe it would influence some black folks to work instead of slinging drugs. And the folks who already are working would get a leg up and maybe build a nest egg.

    The sales tax, on the other hand, is enticing as well. That way, tourists would help pay the bills. The Mexicans who come here and use our schools and health care right now without contributing anything would have to start contributing. No longer would I be paying for some illegal alien to have health insurance while I don’t have it myself. That’s not right and the sales tax would help.

    Also, I am pro-legalization. I am of the theory that if you legalized and regulated weed, and taxed it, it would be win-win-win-win.

    The smokers win because they get a pack of 20 cigarette-sized joints for $30, which is less than they pay now.

    The growers win because it would probably be Big Tobacco doing the growing (hopefully at the cost of actual tobacco production), and it costs less to grow weed than tobacco.

    The government wins because there would be less foreign influence in the black market, and they would be getting the money instead of the foreigners.

    And the non-smokers win because if something costs $1 to produce, but is taxed $29 per pack, that’s a hell of a lot of revenue. You could probably cut the average citizen’s tax bill in half, and the people doing the drugs would be paying for their kids to go to college.

    I am also pro-socialized health care, including prescriptions. Just so long as it’s not abused. No abortions. No rehab for habitual drug offenders (as in rehab once, but if you fall off the wagon, that’s your fault and you’re SOL).

    I also want the government to step in and regulate prescription costs. My medication costs me $120 a month, and my life suffers immensely if I don’t take it. There is no generic option. I have no health insurance, so I am completely screwed. And a lot of health insurances don’t cover it.

    I went without health insurance for six years. I was lucky. I am only ~$10k in debt for hospital bills over that span. Some people without health insurance, a buddy of mine in particular, are looking at $80k+ because they were unlucky enough to be diagnosed with cancer while they didn’t have health coverage.

    I would eliminate welfare for the able-bodied. Nobody should get a free pass just because they don’t want to work.

    Same with the National Endowment for the Arts. No longer will “Piss Christ” be federally subsidized. The rich are the ones who tend to be the consumers in the art world. Let them fund it.
       —T.J.    Sep. 13 '04 - 10:27PM    #
  12. As for the Israel funding thing… I agree that it’s necessary to keep them afloat. Honestly, I would bring them here so we can protect them better, or just annex Israel and make it part of the US. I don’t want the Holy Land to fall into the hands of the Muslims. They already descrated the temple mount by putting a mosque there. That’s bad enough.

    Build the wall bigger, thicker and stronger. Equip the country with enough SAM’s to keep anything from making it over that wall and hurting them (or us, if we annex it).

    But stop them from attacking Palestinians. I happen to think they are right to defend themselves, even if that means going on the offensive to keep the Palestinians from attacking them. But if they stop attacking the Palestinians, and Arafat keeps ordering attacks on Israel, then it will be obvious who is right and who is wrong over there.

    That land belonged to the Jews before the Muslims took it. It has switched hands many times, but the fact remains that it was originally Jewish land and thus they are not “occupying” anything that isn’t theirs.

    They have the right to be there, and I am in support of supporting them. However, if it means that we’re going to be attacked for it, then we need to eliminate the problem one way or the other. Either get Israel to stop provoking them, cut Israel off and let the Arabs know that we’re washing our hands of the situation, or eliminate the Arabs who would attack Isreal.

    Finally, the Iraq War is silly. I am an isolationist, and I think we’d be better off concentrating on us than on fixing the world. However, since we are there and we are fighting the war on terror on foreign soil, we need to do it better.

    We shouldn’t still be there. We should have won this thing and eliminated the problem a year ago.

    Bush is too afraid of what the New York Times will say about him to actually go after these shitheads the way he needs to.

    Unfortunately, Kerry is even worse. I think we’d be there forever if Kerry won.

    I think we should pull all our troops out, and thank the coalition forces for their help, and just use bombs to do our dirty work.

    Then, go after Iran and eliminate their leadership and allow their people to be free. Get in and get out within two weeks.

    Same in North Korea.

    We’re powerful. We CAN BE efficient. We need to show that.

    Bush has balls of stone, I wish he would show them more. Maybe if he wins this election and isn’t worried about re-election, he will.

    Either way, Rudy in 2008.
       —T.J.    Sep. 13 '04 - 10:39PM    #
  13. If you look at Kerry’s policy proposals, especially on higher education funding and health care (which you neglected to mention, even though it disproportionately affects the poor, much more than getting the $300 rebate check did), you’ll find yourself not too far from his positions, Teej.
    I don’t have time to go into a full discussion over your post right now, but I did want to add to the pile on in saying that it’s the most rational and intelligent one that I’ve seen out of you. Lots of meat; little jingo.
       —js    Sep. 14 '04 - 11:26AM    #
  14. Well, if people would judge my words for what they are, and not assume that there is some anti-minority, pro-rich people, pro-whatever-evil-you-consider-republicans-to-embody, if you would take me for me and not as simply a mindless follower and mouthpiece for the republican party and conservative agenda, then maybe you would see more of this out of me.

    I haven’t seen Kerry’s agenda. All I have seen is him talk about Vietnam and how bad he thinks Bush has fucked up.

    Maybe this is on Kerry’s platform as you say. Maybe I could go to his website and see it. That’s all probably true.

    But the fact is that actions speak louder than words. There is no reason for me to believe that Kerry will do anything other than what his voting record has shown.

    And his words themselves don’t even reflect anything near what I have laid out. He talks about Bush and he talks about Vietnam. He talks about how shitty things are, but he doesn’t talk about plans to fix it.

    Bush has a plan and he articulates it. He takes stands and sticks to them. And if Bush’s plans all came to fruition, the world would be a much better place. I can’t say the same for Kerry’s plans.

    If Kerry isn’t even talking about it now, what is there to make me believe that he will actually do it if elected?

    Maybe there is or was a time and place for a Kerry presidency. Maybe he waited too long or isn’t waiting long enough. Replace Clinton with Kerry and I think you get the same results, so maybe he should have run in 1992.

    But not now. I wouldn’t trust Kerry to run a McDonalds, much less my country.

    Elect me as president and marvel at the changes I will make!
       —T.J.    Sep. 14 '04 - 01:41PM    #
  15. Rudy Giuliani is an adulterer who betrayed his (original) wife and failed his duties in
    Christian marriage. If we bash Clinton for this, I don’t see why RG gets a free pass.

    Besides, all he did for New York was happten to be the mayor when they got blown up on 9/11; he’s actually been heavily criticized for various failures re the NY fire department’s outdated radio system, etc.
       —David Boyle    Sep. 14 '04 - 01:54PM    #
  16. t.j.,
    first, let me give you props on your legalize weed and tax it…crime goes down, price of weed goes down, and revenue for the state goes up, and spending on prisons and such goes down

    however, a few things:

    sales tax/flat taxes are nice ideas in theory…however, the main problem with both is that they are regressive, and i would hope you wouldn’t want to put the brunt of the taxation on the working and lower classes…

    also, on defunding nea and such…i admire you wish to cut the budget and such, but cutting off the national endowment and welfare are miniscule and wouldn’t do any good economically…you need to slash the biggest…thus cutting our bizarre military budget, and if you favor cutting off israel, that’s a lot right there (5 billion), and also cutting off subsidies to rich suburban developers…that we, we get out of the red and still have welfare programs and funding for the arts…thus, my question is, t.j., why can’t we have our fiscal cake and eat it too???

    also, i’m glad to see that you think the war in iraq is a sham…but you say you are an isolationist…but as i assume that you favor free and global trade, is it at practical to be an isolationalist in a global economy???

    rudy can’t fail,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Sep. 14 '04 - 04:15PM    #
  17. Clinton lied about it to a grand jury. Rudy didn’t. But I don’t want to get into a Clinton bashing session. There’s a lot better and more damning things to criticize him for than Monica and a couple dozen other women he boned.

    Ari, I would legalize weed and bring back prohibition. The right way this time. Alcohol has never done anything but cause problems.

    I would argue that weed has actually helped people. Not just the glaucoma people and whatnot, but people who needed to come out of their shells. I have seen it happen to several of the old MRev people, and it happened to me too back when I smoked. It can make people less awkward. I would never touch it again, but it had a positive influence on me for a time.

    I would also gradually phase out tobacco. I would make it illegal to smoke in any public place anywhere, including in your car. You probably don’t smell it because you smoke, but I can’t even drive in the summer without having to smell someone’s smoke from the car next to or in front of me. That’s an invasion on my personal liberties, not to mention the carcinogens I have to inhale just because someone else feels the need to kill themselves.

    What do you mean flat taxes are regressive?

    re: Defunding NEA – Do you want to tell little Johnny that he won’t be eating this week so that we can give money to some lazy SOB who pisses in a bucket and throws religious symbols in it to “express himself” artistically? I sure don’t. Keep the NEA about art classes and music classes, if anything.

    re: Scaling back welfare – Do you want to tell some kid in the inner city that he’s gonna have to take a year off after college and 9 to 5 it at McDonalds to pay for community college rather than paying for him to go to Wayne or Eastern, just so his cousin can sit in front of a TV and play XBox and collect a welfare check? What kind of message does that send?

    Yes, the actual money spent would be relatively inconsequential. But even if it’s $10, it’s a matter of principle. And every dollar of that that is misspent now could be spent better.

    I wouldn’t cut a penny from the military budget. I would increase it, if anything. I would simply change the focus of it and spend it on different and more productive things. Better weaponry. Better training. Better armor. Technology. Let’s make it so that we can invade an Iraq if necessary without losing a single American life.

    The Iraq War isn’t a sham, it’s just not being fought properly. If the Times and people of that ilk would just cut the guy a little slack and let him do it the right way, we wouldn’t have seen more than 200 American deaths. This is the kind of war the Times wanted Bush to fight. They wanted another Vietnam, and that’s kind of what is happening. Of course, Russia didn’t jump into Vietnam, and I wouldn’t be surprised if those crazy SOBs didn’t jump in and do some damage.

    BTW, Russia’s new stance, the power grab by Putin, this is sounding eerily more and more like Revelations. I had been wondering how it was expected that Russia would attack Israel given that their government had essentially turned democratic. Now we see. If Russia and the Muslims attack Israel, America (and all nations, for that matter…) becomes instantly irrelevant.

    I meant isolationist in a military sense, more than anything else. We need to look out for #1.
       —T.J.    Sep. 14 '04 - 08:23PM    #
  18. “What do you mean flat taxes are regressive?”

    35 percent taxation hurts someone who makes 17k a year more than it hurts someone who make 17 million a year…

    actually, currently we have a regressive taxation system anyway, given how much rich people can write off…for more info, see david johnston’s book, ‘perfectly legal’...

    arm the homeless,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Sep. 15 '04 - 12:19AM    #
  19. Ari,

    You forget that if we instituted a flat tax, the rate for the rich would go up, while the rate for the middle class would drop. Obviously, it would depend on the rate it was being changed to, but still.

    The whole idea is to make the rich pay more and the poor pay less. If the rich are paying 15% and the middle class are paying 30%, make it flat at 20% or 22% and then the middle class are paying less than they are now, while revenue remains the same or increases.
       —T.J.    Sep. 15 '04 - 01:15AM    #
  20. mathmatically, i don’t think it works out that way, but that isn’t my department…anyone in expert in numbers want to jump into this one???

    liberal arts major,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Sep. 15 '04 - 03:12AM    #
  21. Obviously, I’m not a math guy either.

    But if you have one person who makes $1,000,000 a year and pays 15% taxes ($150,000), and one who makes $10,000 a year and pays 30% taxes ($3,000), the revenue is $158,000 from those two people.

    If you make both pay, say, 22%, the revenue is $222,200 from those two people. The guy who earns $1,000,000 a year is now paying $220,000 in taxes, and the guy who earns $10,000 a year is paying $2200 instead of $3000.

    Yes, I know FULL WELL that someone making $10,000 a year doesn’t pay taxes at all. I was simply using those numbers to illustrate my point.

    I am sure you’ve heard that the richest 2% of the country owns 90% of the nation’s wealth or some stupid percentage like that.

    That tells you that the top 1% are REALLY rich. And their tax rates are lower than what the middle class pays.

    If you take someone like Bill Gates, who makes something like $5 billion a year, and increase his taxes just 1%, that’s an added revenue of $50,000,000.

    Yes, if you increased taxes by 1% on someone who makes $10,000 a year, it would hit him harder than it would Bill Gates. Gates wouldn’t even realize it if he lost $50,000,000, while I know FULL WELL that $100 is a hell of a lot of money.

    But we aren’t talking about increasing the taxes for the lower and middle classes, we’re talking about giving them a tax break while making the rich pay their FAIR share and increasing revenue in the process.

    Trickle down only works if the people on the top let their money trickle. Fuck that. Kids starve waiting for the money to trickle down to them.

    Over the past few months, I have realized that I am a social conservative (nearly as conservative as it gets), but a fiscal liberal.

    Listening to Zell Miller’s speech, and remembering my grandfather was a Democrat his entire life, it made me finally put two and two together. It used to drive me nuts that he would stand up for Jimmy Carter and vote for Bill Clinton and all the other kooks the Democrats would put up, knowing that he was a Baptist deacon and would shit his pants if he knew that the Democrats were the ones killing babies and allowing gays to be married.

    When I saw Zell speak, I realized that part of it was that he wasn’t lucid enough in his old age to realize what was happening (my grandfather, that is…Zell Miller is the epitome of “lucid”). It also made me realize that the Democratic party used to stand for something different.

    It’s a shame that there can’t be a party for people who think like I do. That’s why we have to make compromises and join parties that we don’t completely agree with. I think most of us have to do that.

    But that’s why I support the Libertarians and Greens and Reforms in their efforts to establish their parties. I don’t agree with their messages at all, but I want to see more variety on election day.
       —T.J.    Sep. 15 '04 - 01:37PM    #
  22. tj-
    i would like to echo ari’s favorable opinion of your weed tax proposal. i am, however, appalled by the following display of ignorance from your discussion of SATs:

    “India is fascinating, really. Their economic and social environment is even worse than an American ghetto, they don’t speak English and the Americanized ones are at best 2nd generation English speakers, they hold on to their culture even when they’re here. Yet, they score just as high as whites and asians on these tests. There’s a certain level of “quit your whining and just friggin do it!” to the Indian and Asian mindset.”

    any indian who receives any sort of formal education, or even has access to electricity on the subcontinent speaks english. english is a state language of india, and quite essential for the overwhelming majority of indians.

    from the CIA world factbook:
    “English enjoys associate status but is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication”

    though many emigres choose to converse in their mother tongue, most speak better english than the average american. you might be confusing the heavy accents for some other language, but i assure you that every indian you have even seen has a solid command of the english language.

    you are correct about the socio-economic situation that india endures, though, and i thoroughly appreciate your distinction between “indian” and “asian”

    good day.
       —Neal    Sep. 15 '04 - 04:19PM    #