Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sophie Had a Similar Choice

Here's a simple question, "Would you like to live or die?"
For nearly every one of us I think the answer would also be simple.
But now suppose the question added the following codicil, "And if you live your entire family dies."
Suddenly it's pretty harsh and the answer most likely switches, again for most of us.
Nothing in life is ever as cut and dried as we would like.
And that is the main problem with polls these days.
When you are asked to fill out a questionnaire or answer a few 'simple' questions over the phone you generally have only two or three choices namely, Yes; No; or Not sure.
Believe it or not the most popular answer should be the last choice since there is always a catch.
Pollsters are not simple people.  They know exactly what they are doing when they pose a question a certain way.  How the question is asked tends to elicit favorable answers for their clients to use.
For example, "Would you vote for Mr. A knowing that he stole candy from a baby?"
Mr. A never did such a thing and the pollster knows that.  So does his opponent, the unscrupulous Mr. B but the question will undoubtedly return the negative response and put the thought in the voters' minds as to the integrity of Mr. A!  Mr. B has spent his money well.
And how about the classic question for married men, "When did you stop beating your wife?"
Another easy tactic a pollster might use to form a favorable outcome for his paying client is to keep track of who answers how.  In other words databases easily lump like minded people together so if a poll being run by say a Fox News affiliate wants to show that America is turning against Obama they will be sure to call and cull results from their hardest core right wingers.  Then they will point to the results from this skewed poll and in turn get others who might be 'on the fence' about what's good and bad in America to join their side.
So polls can become self fulfilling fantasies.
And right now the big guns are coming out because we are nearing an election. (Doesn't it seem like we are always nearing an election? Blame that on the right or left leaning media.)
Some polls are showing that almost half of all (?) Americans want to allow the top 2% wealthiest people in the country to continue getting the Bush tax gift.
But again the answer is deceptive as it is being phrased to put forth the agenda of the minority!  "Almost half oppose..." MEANS MORE THAN HALF ARE IN FAVOR!!!
But still they claim that even the minority which is made up of poor and middle class people actually voted in favor of allowing the deficit to soar into the stratosphere thus creating an untenable future for our children and a country where only wealthy people can afford to buy anything and the poor or indigent workers toil 40 to 60 hour work weeks so as to afford a loaf of bread.
Of course the pollsters didn't pose the question that way.
More likely they asked something like this: "Considering the fact that the wealthy business owners are the only ones who can hire workers and thus get the country moving and out of this Obama caused recession are you willing to allow the fair and balanced tax cuts to continue for all red blooded Americans in this the greatest country in the world?"
An argument made by the shills of the wealthy that does not hold water is that they will spend more money and hire more workers if they get a tax break.  Are these phonies saying that the wealthy people would rather close their businesses and not try to make profits if their taxes rise a bit?
Another way of looking at things is: If you owned a store what customer would you rather have, a multi-millionaire who came in once and bought something for ten thousand dollars or ten thousand customers who each bought a one dollar item?
If you are smart, and I guess that leaves out many of those who recently voted in that stupid poll noted above you would not choose the one guy.  A successful business caters to the good of the many over the needs of the few, or the one (sorry for that Mr. Spock.)
The bookkeeping (one of few words in our language with 3 sets of double letters back to back to back, but I digress) might be hard at first but the chances of increasing your sales with that quantity of customers is far greater than hoping the rich guy comes back. (Odds are he won't)
No matter how you slice it America is in for a fight and the closer we get to the November elections this year and every year for some time to come the mis-information machines will continue to spew their lies.
Esquire Magazine uncovered what it considered a blatant lie in an article but wanted to give the author a chance to confirm his facts.  The author could not so he went into hiding, along with his bullshit.
As a free and great country we must continue to allow all sides to speak freely.  But we must also listen and understand what is being said.  And having done that decide for ourselves what is in our best interest and what is not.  Do not let pollsters steer your thoughts merely by posing a question.  And if you don't like the allowable answers DON'T ANSWER!
Remember, they're getting paid,  you are not!
As for the Bush tax gift for the wealthy that is already set to expire at the end of this year as per Bush and his cronies the real question all of us must ask ourselves is, can we afford to continue the Conservative Republican path of economics which has created the largest gap between CEOs and their employees the world has ever seen?
Given the choice between watching the top wealthiest 2% of America keep more and more of their easy earned low taxed money while the middle class' hard earned money disappears into dust or asking that 2% group to pay their fair share in this United States of America as they had been doing before the Bush tax mistake gift when the economy was doing quite well thank you I believe most of us, in fact almost 98% of us would choose the latter.
What do you think? Yes, No, or Not sure?

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