And onto the third and final round of The Hundreds presents POLITIXXX, an industry roundtable for the Street/wear community with five players dishing out their opinions on the upcoming U.S. presidential elections: Alyasha Owerka-Moore, Donny of Pharmacy, Mear One, Mike Brown of True, and Graham of Versus.
What I was really trying to do here was to impress upon our reader the importance and value of informing one’s self on political affairs, socially conscious issues that really do matter, genuinely affecting your everyday life. A nice change of pace from the usual Streetwear-speak. Hopefully the speech wasn’t too complicated or alienating for you guys, and you either learned something here or were inspired to know more.
And here we go…
8. American politics have always been dominated by two parties, the Republicans and Democrats. But with the inner turmoil of the Republican party, splintering off into so many extremist factions, as well as the Democrats losing their ground, do you foresee the possibility of a competitive third party?
Alyasha: Americans are too set in their ways and too Attention Deficit to be able to even think about or acknowledge another party. Not to mention that the good old boys on either side would make it almost impossible for any new party to get a leg up. This is precisely why you have “Independents” flip-flopping between parties to get elected.
Donny: If the major media covered all parties equally and unbiased, or didn’t exist, then another party would win by a landslide. The majority of people want freedom and limited government but don’t realize they are voting for big government if they vote for most candidates in either party.
Mear One: It seems inevitable that a third, and fourth, and fifth party may arise in this country as soon as one of these parties just completely collapses and makes a horrible mistake – and we’re on that verge right now. The Republicans pretty much, it seems since George Bush Sr., have been a bunch of circus clowns. I mean, George Bush Sr. was a scary government official who headed the CIA… It seems that the Republican candidates are a bunch of psychopathic circus clowns – everyone from Sarah Palin to John McCain, the list just goes down the road. To think that God intended women to be raped, and just mad crazy thoughts that come out of these people’s minds… I think that the only way that we are going to fix problems in this country is to get away from a two-party system, because it will diversify [our politics]. Another problem we have is the fact that money is involved in our government and our legislative system. That continues to support the two-party system and it continues to keep politics fallacies. There’s no real politics taking place – it’s banking that’s taking place, it’s slavery that’s taking place, and people’s lives being destroyed. And no one [is] seeming to want to respond to that yet in this country.
Mike: No I do not. So much power and wealth have been, and continue to be, consolidated in the hands of the top corporations and individuals, that there’s no way a competitive third party will emerge unless they want it to.
Graham: There will never be a competitive third party unless it courts corporate money, in which case it will end up no different than the two we have now, or it rises to power through pure crowd-sourced funding. Money rules all. That being said, I think there is room for a platform to arise that does not subscribe to the existing concepts of left and right. That takes into account a perspective that isn’t entrenched in the social and financial issues that were born out of the middle of last century. We will likely see one within the next couple decades.
9. The economy and foreign policy are the hot-button issues in this campaign, but the environment is the red-headed stepchild here. Should environmental policies play a bigger or lesser role in determining who becomes our next President?
Alyasha: Environmental issues should completely play a larger role in who becomes the next president, unfortunately people do not see how solar energy, ethanol, or wind power will effect their take-home pay. People largely think in the NOW as opposed to long term.
Donny: No, honesty and integrity should be most important. Ron Paul has a 100% consistent, constitutional, voting track record going back to 1976 when he first went to congress. That is what you swear to do under oath when you take office. If you support something unconstitutional then you should be done or blackballed by the people.
Mear One: I think that the issues that take place should never be separated so far that it becomes about whether this one issue should determine anything or not. Racism, global war, economic collapse, the ecological system, the way we treat our planet – these are all equally valid as one another. They’re all interconnected, too. Chopping someone’s forest down – destroying another part of the world – is closely linked to racism. Having no respect for someone’s country or culture, or having no respect for the fact that people use this land in a certain way – that’s racist. It has no respect for them. It has no respect for their history. So I think that all these issues are synonymous of one another, and they all need to be addressed equally.
Mike: Bigger. As resources become scarce over time, those countries with the foresight to address their own environmental policies now will not have to compete with the rest of the world for whatever oil is left in the future. We had the chance to do that by electing Al Gore 12 years ago, but the American public’s unawareness prevented that from happening. You reap what you sow, it’s too late now.
Graham: Bigger. There is more need than ever to be pragmatic with the finite resources and open spaces that we have left on this earth. But first, it needs to be said that all environmentalism is about the U.S., not the earth. The earth can sustain itself, and we as humans aren’t going to destroy it, even if we kill off 99% of the life on here, including ourselves. The earth will continue spinning and natural selection and evolution will create a new ecosystem from there. However, we will fuck up our own experience while we exist here. Not only do we not want to live in a dump, we won’t have the amazingly inspiring creations of nature to experience. We also depend on the natural resources to maintain our industry and way of life, and those resources are not infinite. For example, if you don’t recycle, more oil needs to be pumped in order to make the plastic that keeps fresh the leftovers that you shouldn’t have made so much of in the first place. Eventually that will run out and you won’t be able to make plastic without recycling or creating it out of cellulose. It’s smart to head the problem off before it becomes too big. But at the same time it needs to be done without a panic or frenzy.
Environmental protection policies are often attacked for having a negative effect on our economy or being too frivolous. Which, in certain cases is true. But the majority of the concepts about conservation and sustainability are not always as frivolous as the Republicans would like to paint it as. Sure, you can have a stronger economy in the short term in a sense by letting companies pollute because it keeps costs of cleanup down or consume resources without sustainability simply because it’s available. But the side effects of that sprout up elsewhere, which affect the economy negatively. Lower property values near places of industry or commerce which can lead to more regulation and lawsuits (NIMBY’s anyone?). Higher health care costs which divert funds from local economies to insurance companies, which hurts local schools and services. A polluted sky and natural area produces a generally less happy population, which does not equate to a harder working population, which affects job performance, which effects bottom lines.
So yes, protecting the enevironment is very important. Problem is no one addresses protecting the environment outside of the standard, “I want to have a forest to enjoy for myself and my kids” or “Coastal California will be underwater” (which is fine by me, I’ll stock up on inland land now and reap the rewards later).
10. What it really comes down to in this presidential race is that the economy is wrecked. Obama says he’s actuated some change, but was left with a mess that will take at least another 4 years to wade through. A vote for Romney would mean another vote for Bush’s old policies that got us into this situation to begin with. Romney, however, defends that Obama has had 4 years already to fix this mess and a vote for Barack would mean just more of the same. Basically, everyone’s in agreement that the economy sucks, but it’s the other person’s fault that it is the way it is.
Do you think anyone could have resolved this mess the past 4 years? Can either of these guys be the ones to do it in the next 4 years? Or are we talking about an issue that is so much larger than the presidency that we’re all fixating on the wrong issues and platform here?
Alyasha: Ask Grover Norquist and the Koch Brothers. <— INSIDIOUS SCHMUCKS. What people fail to realize is that with EITHER candidate, we will be fucked for at least the next 4-8 years due to what the GW Bush administration left us with in his 8 years of office. I’d rather weather the storm with someone who gives a fuck. Anyone who thought that anyone would be able to turn the destroyed economy around in 4 years is a damn fool. People fail to realize that during the Bush administration, we were already in a depression, the bubble had just not popped yet. Shit is not going to get noticeably better for a long while, so put your rain jackets on kids. Corporations are not persons/people. Why are there so few people to have signed this petition?
Donny: The biggest single problem in our country is the Federal Reserve Bank. That is a private bank owned by private bankers that have complete control of our currency. The last president to try and get rid of the Fed was JFK. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was the worst thing to date for our country. It gave control of the U.S. Dollar to private hands. So honestly at this point since things are so corrupt it does not matter if you vote or who you vote for. The electronic voting system can be easily manipulated if needed. Voting on local politics is more important at this point.
“Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws.” — Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild
“This [Federal Reserve Act] establishes the most gigantic trust on earth. When the President [Wilson} signs this bill, the invisible government of the monetary power will be legalized....the worst legislative crime of the ages is perpetrated by this banking and currency bill." — Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr., 1913
"From now on, depressions will be scientifically created." — Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh Sr., 1913
Mear One: It’s definitely bigger than the Presidency – I don’t think that that’s accurate. But, I think what we’re not focusing on is the bank’s relationship to the federal government and our politicians, and how that relationship has been formed and how it’s maintained. We have lobbying in our government where it doesn’t matter what we voted for, another country can send a bunch of lobbyists through to lobby us with finances and convince us to change their minds after something’s already been voted into policy. So, lobbying and having money influence politics is really where the problem comes from – it has nothing to do with who the President is. It’s the broken system, and the broken system is capitalism once again. And capitalism is just a greedy –ism… It doesn’t have any soul to it, it doesn’t have a cultural, historic respect involved in it’s process. It [capitalism] just crunches numbers and destroys peoples’ lives, or makes idiots millionaires overnight. Also, Obama had the opportunity to change some things when the House and Senate were both Democrat, before they became Republican rule. And so, we should’ve also let the banks crash. That would’ve started up a new banking system. That could’ve changed things. Yes, the President can change some things; but I think, once again, it’s a larger issue of the system. And I think the system’s just failing us, bottom line.
Mike: We are talking about an issue that is much larger than the presidency here. Fixing the economy involves fundamental changes in most of our cherished institutions that members of both political parties seem unwilling to do. Do your own research, look up Bowles-Simpson. Fixing the economy will involve two, most likely all three branches of government and will take much longer than 4 years. In Obama’s first term the Legislative branch led by the opposing political party enacted a policy of not working with the Executive branch as much as possible. We are fixating on the wrong issues and platform here, but none of us, especially politicians, are in the habit of enacting policies that we won’t see immediate results to.
The real problem is the planet is overpopulated but I never hear anyone talk about it…
Graham: Neither one of their policies will make the market come back any faster. They might take slightly different courses, but our economy is so tied to the rest of the world now, that it is impossible to have a drastic effect. Economies on a whole are fueled by public mood. Unfortunately our economy is largely sales and service revenue based now.
In the 70′s, domestic labor costs had risen past the point of fair living wages to the point where the goods being manufactured stateside could not remain profitable and match the prices the public wanted to pay for them, so companies started outsourcing manufacturing to countries with cheaper labor. Similarly, we’re seeing a similar shift with China’s rising labor costs- a sizeable amount of factories are moving farther south to less developed nations to keep the costs down.
As a result of this we do not have much left in the way of manufacturing to fuel our economy, so our economic health, and subsequently, availability of jobs, depends on the public buying things, and paying others to do things for them. Sure we can have companies based here that bring in money, such as the case with Silicon Valley, but on a whole that does not keep the entire boat afloat. The catch is that if there are little available jobs, then there is less spending money, which means the economy remains depressed. It’s a vicious circle. That’s why George W. told everyone to “Keep Shopping” after 9-11. Thats why supporters of Keynesian Economics like the current admin support the idea of flooding the market with government money to keep funds passing through public hands.
I think the biggest part of the problem is the unwillingness of the majority of the American public to look at themselves as being part of the problem that resulted in the economy crashing. That’s like saying its a casino’s fault that someone lost their paycheck. As they say, a fool and his money are soon parted. Sure, the government fucked with regulations and interest rates that allowed for manipulation of lending practices and a distorted sense of market growth, but that doesn’t exonerate the legions of dumbasses who gambled on rising property values as if it was going to continue forever. I should know, I was one of them. Anyone in public office who dares to say that the public has any sort of responsibility in this situation gets skewered by the public so no one ever does. Would it soften the blow if the government required the banks to forgive bad mortgages? Perhaps. But is that ethically proper? No more than the bailout of the banks, who didn’t deserve it either.