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Rolling Stone: The WOST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY...


Tom Isern
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Wilentz's indictment misses only thing: The Bush cabal subscribes to the belief that government is evil and that government programs that benefit the poor and middle-class citizens, as well as protect the environment, encourage and promote science, the arts and the humanities, protect public health, etc. are also evil. As a former federal employee, I can assure readers that it was obvious to everyone within the professional civil service that the Bush people were determined to gut the government and the myriad essential programs and services it provides. (It's one of the reasons I retired when I did -- it just broke my heart to see all the good programs that had been built since the days of the New Deal being utterly destroyed.) People were beginning to get a sense of what the criminal Bush gang was up to before September 11, but by a fortuitous stroke of luck the terrorist attacks managed to blot everything else out of the minds of Americans. But not the Bush filth. They took every advantage of the shock into which most of America entered after the 9/11 attacks to speed up their own attacks on government. This has continued going on under the public radar screen ever since 9/11. The realization of just how bad things have become because of the Bush demolition derby didn't hit the American people until Hurrican Katrina, which exposed the damage: FEMA and other effective federal agencies had been politicized and essentially dismantled, so it was impossible for them to respond effectively. But it isn't just FEMA. It's true of the Red Cross (a quasi-governmental entity), the FDA, the EPA, and an endless litany of other agencies that provided essential services to Americans. The damage is extremely deep and profound. Thousands and thousands of the best and brightest have left the career civil service because of this criminal effort, taking their expertise and institutional memory with them. Assuming we can ever get rid of Bush (and nobody should doubt the possibility of his criminal cabal staging a full-fledged coup d'etat to try to stay in power) it will take DECADES to rebuild what they've destroyed. I doubt I will live to see America recover even to the level it was at before Bush was imposed on the nation by a corrupted Supreme Court. Personally, I think they should all be hauled into court, convicted and executed in public on the Mall in Washington for having utterly betrayed their nation and sold its soul for a mess of oil-flavored pottage. Unfortunately, that won't happen. But electing a Democratic Congress and the beginning of real criminal investigations into this mafia would be an acceptable alternative, if it results in this gang chipping rocks behind bars until the end of their days. x(

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the rolling stone article is a "joke". no serious historian can begin to judge an administration until well after it is gone; only at the end of the article does it admit the difficulty of making an historical judgment and use the truman administration as an example of needing time to make a judgement. much can happen in the next two and a half years (personally, i am not hopeful) and the results of policies made today may not show up for a long time after an administration is gone.

 

i've posted my feeling on bush; i did not vote for him and dislike him and many of his policies. however, the historians in the article show their democratic bias by not once mentioning jimmy carter as one of the worst presidencies; there was corruption (remember burt lance)and the worst economic times of my life (high unemployment, high inflation and high interest rates), the iranian disaster, etc. yet not once did i read his name listed as a possible candidate for worst president.

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I'm biased about Carter because I worked for his campaign in 1976. But while he was a disappointment in many ways, I think he was FAR from the worst president and light years removed from the Bush scum. Carter personally is one of the most intelligent men I've ever met. He's also one of the most moral, decent men ever to have been President. In a way that contributed to some of his failures, because in politics it's sometimes necessary to make a pact with the devil to get things done and it wasn't in his nature to stoop to that. His worst failure was to have been too loyal to his campaign staff: he put the bright young whippersnappers into top policy positions in his White House, but they had no Washington experience. Carter should have had one of the longest honeymoons in history, with a Democratic Congress desperate for a Democratic presidency after the Nixon/Ford years. Unfortunately, the whippersnappers immediately alienated the Congressional leadership by not returning phone calls or being insufficiently deferent to old political lions, a mistake more experienced Washington hands would never have committed. The result was a very prickly relationship with a Congress that really wanted to support Carter.

 

Yes, there was some corruption in the Carter administration, as there has been in virtually every administration in this century. To compare it to the level of corruption in the Nixon, Reagan or Bush administrations is hardly fair -- the situations don't remotely compare. In the Nixon, Reagan and Bush administrations the corruption wasn't merely for personal gain. It attacked the institutional underpinnings of the nation, which is much more dangerous and evil. The corruption also involved the Republiscum presidents directly. It wasn't just their underlings making some extra money on the side.

 

Carter made some other serious mistakes. The Iran hostage situation could have been handled better in some ways, but it wasn't of his making and it certainly wasn't helped by the Reagan filth campaign designed to undermine the Carter administration's efforts to get the hostages released. Of course, we all know about Reagan's Iran-Contra dealings and how he exploited the situation to be elected and then have the hostages conveniently released after his inauguration as one his first "triumphs." Talk about evil manipulation!

 

In other ways, Carter helped to repair the U.S.'s immensely damaged image abroad after the Vietnam era and the Nixon/Ford administrations. In Latin America he stood up for human rights during the era of the vicious military dictatorships that arose with the blessing and active participation and encouragement of the criminal Nixon/Kissinger cabal. Carter can still travel anywhere in Latin America and in much of the rest of the world and be received as a hero because people truly respect his principled stand after all the years of Republican expediency and lies and support of neo-fascism.

 

In case anyone's forgotten, after losing his bid for re-election Carter didn't spend his "retirement" grousing and being bitter. He has probably been the most effective and respected former President since Truman. His foundation and institute have probably done more to promote the growth of democracy and human rights in the less-developed world than anything else the U.S. has done. To this day, they are called on to monitor elections around the world. Carter also won a Nobel Peace Prize. I think it's safe to say that Bush and his cronies are much likelier to face charges of crimes against humanity in the Hague after they leave office. So to even mention Carter in the same breath as Nixon, Reagan or either of the Bushes is to soil a genuinely decent man who has done endless good in the world. He deserves much better than that.

 

BTW, Kissinger won a Nobel prize, too, shared with the North Vietnamese negotiator who helped bargain the phony "victory" in the Vietnam conflict that allowed Nixon to pull the U.S. out of that misbegotten atrocity. Unlike Carter, there has been a movement to have Kissinger's prize rescinded after the truth about his active and amoral support of evil dictatorships around the world became widely known. Kissinger has nearly been arrested in Europe several times by the same prosecutors who arrested his delightful friend, General Pinochet, on international war crimes warrants. There's no danger of Carter being arrested for anything. When he dies, he will be remembered with great affection in countries around the world, and he'll probably have streets and squares and parks named after him in many countries, just as there are for JFK. You can bet the store that nothing of the sort will be named for Kissinger, who is staying home in the U.S. much more these days to dodge arrest for his crimes against humanity in countries where such crimes are taken seriously.

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Guest rohale

History for the most part has recorded the American Presidency of Jimmy Carter to be one of the worst of all time and quite rightly so. He had a failed foreign policy and a domestic policy agenda that was much in shambles. Everything got worse under his leadership and the voters of America back in 1980 repudiated him from power and ultimately replaced him with the former twice elected Republican governor of California, Mr Ronald Reagan and no one ever looked back after that. Offcourse his re-election in 1984 was the driving point on that.

 

As for calling filth to what Ronald Reagan and his political team were doing in 1980. All they were doing was pointing out reality. To be fair if the hostage rescue mission had been successful, people just might have given Jimmy Carter a second chance to prove his worth. Unforunately for him, fate wasn't on his side. The failure of the rescue mission lead Secretary Of State Cyrus Vance to resign from the President's administration and only to be replaced by then Deputy Secretary Of State, Mr Warren Christopher who had a little bit of luck in helping to get the hostages realeased, but the revolutionaires of Iran made sure that the realease wouldn't take place until after the very last minute of Jimmy Carter's presidency.

 

By the time Ronald Reagan took the oath of office in January 1981, he inherited an America whose prestige had been hurt on the world stage. It was Presidency of Ronald Reagan that really put America back on the map thru foreign policy. On domestic policy, Mr Reagan asked the voters in 1984 as he faced Vice President Walter Mondale in that given year if they were better off then economically than they had been four years before. The voters overwhelmingly said yes by giving him 49 out of 50 states and making him one of the most popular American presidents of the 20th century.

 

 

In all fairness, perhaps Jimmy Carter was simply too much of a nice guy to be President. Tri, you mention that you worked the Carter campaign in 1976 and I respect you for it. If history had been different with the Republican nomination for President going to Ronald Reagan instead of Gerald Ford. I've always felt that Jimmy Carter would have lost the election regardless. He was certainly no match for a communcator like Ronald Reagan. History didn't happen this way, it was to Mr Carter's good fortune that he was able to beat President Ford and ultimately the voters came to regret it four years later.

 

Also as you quite rightly point out that he was able to rehabilitate his image after he left the White House. This didn't happen for a long time, what happened to him within the 1980's. For the most part, himself, Ted Kennedy and Walter Mondale very much controlled the Democratic Party and they watched lose three Presidential elections in a row. All because they wanted to keep liberalism on the forefront without the realisation that it didn't work. America in the 1980's rejected liberalism, Democratic Speaker Of The House Tip O'Neil was the first to realise, but not guys like Mr Carter and Ted Kennedy. By the end of the decade they very much found themselves on the outs with the DNC. I remember at the height of Ronald Reagan's popularity in 1986, there was a poll conducted to rate the Presidency of Jimmy Carter and I thing along the lines of 67& of those polled still disliked him and this just over six years after leaving office.

 

So how did Jimmy Carter's image change. Well President William Jefferson Clinton is the one who really resurrected the image of Jimmy Carter within the 1990's. By sending him to countries like Haiti, Bosnia and Serbia and peace missions. That's when people began to like Jimmy Carter. Now he is very much beloved, but probably not in the same way as John F Kennedy or Ronald Reagan.

 

Mrs Thatcher of Britain many years ago made a remark that Jimmy Carter paved the way for Conservtism to have worked. In some ways she's right with that way of thinking. I've always thought of him to be that transitional president from the era of Richard Nixon to the era of Ronald Reagan. That's how he should be remembered for.

 

Rohale

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Carter didn't damage the U.S. image outside the U.S. The U.S. image had been nearly obliterated by the Vietnam War, which was as widely opposed around the world as the Iraq invasion is now. Our image was further damaged by our support of murderous fascist dictatorships, especially in the Americas. Carter successfully began changing that image DURING his administration, and he has been extremely highly regarded outside the U.S. for decades. It was NOT Bill Clinton who "rehabilitated" Carter. That's revisionist rot, pure and simple.

 

What Reagan and "Friends" did WAS filth. Iran-Contra was criminal. The fact that Reagan had a public persona that succeeded in making Americans believe that it was all a big Wheaties commercial doesn't make it less filth or less criminal. Reagan was avoided impeachment and conviction on the force of his personality, which inexplicably convinced far too many people that he was really a nice man, all evidence to the contrary. But with the exception of Ford, who seems to have been a fundamentally decent person in spite of his unforgivable "pardon" of "I AM a crook" Nixon, every Republican president from Nixon onward has deliberately injured the U.S. in fundamental ways and acted as the capo of a criminal gang. Every single one.

 

There's blame to go around, of course. The American people deserve most of it for willingly delivering their country into the hands of obvious con men and snake oil purveyors, not to mention full fledged sociopaths whose only program has been to make the rich richer, themselves and their families more powerful, and screw everyone else, meaning the overwhelming majority of Americans whose incomes aren't in the top 1% of the income scale. I can't fathom why so many American voters have this urge to fuck themselves totally. Conventional political wisdom is that people vote their pocketbooks. That hasn't been the case now in the U.S. for decades. In the most recent Bush administration ANYONE should have been able to understand the rapacious thrust of Bush's "program" yet he's ended up being President (without any meaningful protest) not once but TWICE.

 

If U.S. voters want to commit national suicide by continuing to vote for criminal sociopaths it's their democratic right. But count me out of that death wish. I'm not voluntarily going down with that ship. The suitcase has come out from under the bed and I've gotten on the plane. As I've said before, the damage has been done, even if the Democrats win back Congress this year and take back the White House in 2008. I don't think that all the wrong, corrupt, evil things that have been done by the God's Own Party/Greedy Old Plutocrat traitors will be undone in my lifetime, or ever. The U.S. had its moment during the 20th Century. It's tragic that it learned nothing and squandered its unbelievable good fortune that would have allowed it to be a world leader and a force for good in the world into the 21st Century. Instead, this century will be the century of China or India or the birth of the violent, bloody Islamic Reformation/Renaissance (or maybe all three) but it won't be America's.

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Wikipedia has an interesting page on presidential rankings. Carter, who seems to be much in dispute here, doesn't come out anywhere near the bottom. I believe he is popularly as under-rated as Ronny-Raygun-in-the-Sky is hyped.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_rankings_of_U.S._Presidents

 

On the average ranking by scholars, Carter comes in at 27th, the smiley-faced moron who rang up the biggest nation debt ever (except for the current idiot) Ronald Reagan at 14th, and Bill Clinton at 21st--above both George W. Bush (22) and George H. W. Bush (25).

 

It will be great fun to watch this page over the next few months to see George W. skid to the bottom. Shouldn't take long at the speed he's wrecking the nation.

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Guest rohale

>Carter didn't damage the U.S. image outside the U.S. The

>U.S. image had been nearly obliterated by the Vietnam War,

>which was as widely opposed around the world as the Iraq

>invasion is now. Our image was further damaged by our support

>of murderous fascist dictatorships, especially in the

>Americas. Carter successfully began changing that image

>DURING his administration, and he has been extremely highly

>regarded outside the U.S. for decades. It was NOT Bill

>Clinton who "rehabilitated" Carter. That's revisionist rot,

>pure and simple.

>

 

 

I was living in Europe during the 1980's. I was very young when Jimmy Carter left office, not really old enough to understand the world around me at that stage in time. What I do remember the most were my parents telling me what an idiot Jimmy Carter's presidency had been for the USA. Mr parents were very much in those days supporters of the Labour Party in Britain, cause they were the political party for the working class. It wasn't just my parents, it was also their friends and other older adults who felt the same. I even had history teachers in secondary school who felt Carter was one of the worst they had seen in their lifetimes on television, especially after the hostage crisis and oil embargo of 1979.

 

As I've grown older and done some research in how various western europen countries perceived Jimmy Carter. The image of America became more down trodden with the Carter Presidency and his ineptness in handling crisis. Over the years I've read what various newspaper editorials within Europe had to say about Mr Carter. The general perception amongst the press had been that by the time the early 1980's rolled around, many within the media felt that Richard Nixon had the best foreign policy ( including the controversial Vietnam War, but mainly cause of his China policy ) out of any American President since President Franklin Roosevelt and that Jimmy Carter had one of the worst and for some, the worst itself. Now that was the general image in Europe up until that point in time.

 

When Jimmy Carter left the oval office, the image within Britain and other Western European countries had been that America had become a second rate super power to the Soviets. President Reagan would change that image within the 1980's. As for President Carter, well even to this day he still very much considered to be a general failure both domestically and on the foreign policy front. This image will probably will never change, certainly not in Europe.

 

To his credit though, I'm glad that history still gives him high marks for his ability to get Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachin Bagin to sit down and bring these two countries closer together for the first time back in 1978.

 

BTW, it was really the efforts by President Clinton who gave Jimmy Carter some high profile trips worldwide within the 1990's that for some people softened their image of the President to be more likeable and acceptable with respect. Like it or not this is reality

 

On a side note, I always thought that Dan Akroyd of SNL did a really good job in impersonating Mr Carter. Although I have to say in Britain within the same time frame, Thames Television had a wonderful variety programme hosted by the great classic, Mr Mike Yarwood. I always thought he really pulled off a very good impersonation of Mr Carter and offcourse Ronald Reagan. In fact back in those days, his Carter impression was a bit stronger than Dan Akroyd's version which I've now seen in reruns on cable. Mike Yarwood was an original in his day for British television and still is one of the very best.

 

 

Rohale

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Well, yes. Nixon did have quite a China policy. Carried into the future by succeeding U.S. administrations it opened the door and created the opportunities for China to overwhelm the U.S. and Europe economically in the 21st Century without having abandoned its totalitarian system, which is what we objected to in the first place. Brilliant, wouldn't you say?

 

Of course, the U.S. needed to recognize the existence of the Communist Chinese government, just as it needs to recognize the existence of the Castro regime in Cuba. Foreign policy should be built on reality, not illusion. But it was not necessary, I would suggest, to hand China the keys to the kingdom as part of the recognition process. But then the 80s were the years of Reagan and Thatcher, visions of greed danced in plutocratic heads, the altars of Mammon reached higher and higher, and the fantasies of obscene profits from economically colonizing a re-opened China were better than any masturbatory dream! Now China owns more U.S. debt than any other country and could pull the rug right out from under the U.S. anytime it wants to by dumping U.S. paper and shifting its staggering foreign reserves out of dollars. Meanwhile, virtually everything Americans use or wear is made in China. China's got its hands on a big chunk of Europe, too. Soon Chinese companies (really owned by the Chinese government) will start buying key companies in the U.S. and Europe. Yes, the Nixonian China policy was REALLY brilliant. Keep telling that to your kids and grandkids, your nieces and nephews and all your younger friends as they look for work in a world distorted by consumer goods and services from China (and before long, India, too) produced with near-slave-labor wages.

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Guest rohale

President Nixon was right in getting to Chinese to see the potential of American investments. The main aim was to create a rift between China and the Soviet Union and guess what it worked. Just look at which country has benefited more from adopting slowly but gradually a free market economy.

 

As for complaining about China. Hey, people said the same thing about Japan back in the 1980's and early 1990's. The attitude was dont buy anything Japanese, they're taking away American and European jobs. People didn't listen, why because Japanese goods were cheaper for the average consumer and in someways better. How many people complain about Toyota these days?

 

Now the isolationists are trying to put the same arguement with the Chinese and India. China and India combined are going to be an economic force to be reckoned with in the next twenty years. Once again in about ten to fifteen years from now, China and India will be making goods and being competetive with the United States and the European Union. At the end of the day everybody benefits. Afterall we live in a global competetive age now. The age of isolationism is withering away very slowly, which in turn is a good thing.

 

Tri, since you mention kids and grandkids. Well as for my kid, he really likes stuff from Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, Billabong. Campnor, CNS, Newport Surf and Addidas. He's very young and is just beginning to learn that blondes do have all the fun. Funnily enough, my life for the most part is like a pressure cooker, but somehow he and his mom really bring out the best in me and I never stop smiling.

 

 

Rohale

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Well, I'd be willing to bet that a lot of the stuff your kid likes is made RIGHT NOW in China and India. The only think American or British about them is the label and the profits.

 

Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not an isolationist. But I do understand that nations also need to focus on their self-interests, because the first responsibility of any government is the security and welfare of its own citizens. I think the U.S. has been amazingly bad at this. Giving China the keys to the kingdom is a particularly glaring example. Possibly it originated in America's inflated image of its own supremacy, coupled with America's allergy to history, economics, etc. I think America's China policy was based on an assumption that the U.S. economic and political power were so overwhelming that China could never really catch up or seriously affect the U.S. That was pretty stupid -- a bit of rational projection and forward thinking could easily come up with scenarios pretty close to the reality of China today.

 

Globalism is an inevitability, but it has to develop in a way that finds equilibrium between the competing interests and needs of the various nations. It shouldn't be an excuse for a "some win, many lose" free-for-all, which is where its been heading. The U.S. carelessly assumed it would be king of the hill forever. In its relations with China it appears never to have considered the possibility of China overwhelming the U.S. In the long run that wouldn't be good for anyone. The trick was to find a way to make the new global relationships a good thing for everyone, but that's not really happening and some of the most eager promoters of unfettered globalization may live to regret their mistakes. There certainly doesn't seem to be equilibrium in the U.S. - China relationship, and the U.S. could find itself in a very unhappy situation in the next 20 years or so.

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Guest rohale

I think partial blame should go to President Bush. For the last two years or so, he's been running around the world trying to get individual countries to contribute more money to their own internal security networks. A very good example was last year when the President went to Australia to meet Prime Minister Howard and basically tout how relations have improved in increasing communication over global terrorism. Less than one week later the Chinese paid a visit to Australia to virtually sign a new trading pact that will increase economic ties between these two growing countries.

 

The only person pounding the alarm bell within the western world is editorialist, Thomas Friedman. He's paid quite a few visits to both India and China and seeing first hand how things are improving in those two countries. He's written a few books now and he's trying awfully to get American politicians to heed very close attention. The problem is no one cares and that's what Mr Friedman points out.

 

The biggest problem in general for the western world is trying to keep a competetive work force. For the last thirty odd years the productivity level has gone down and I partially blame the power of the unions for this. It's used to be a union was a worker's best protector and somewhere along the lines of maybe back in the 1970's, unions got absolutely carried with more power and began increasing their influence thru politics. Not so much in the United States as compared to Western Europe.

 

Unions have brought down governments. That's what they did in Great Britain in the early 70's with the government of Conservative Prime Minister Ted Heath. He very much watned Britain to join the Common Market and the unions at that time were very much against it. He made it clear that it was either him or unions that would survive. He called an early general election and ultimately saw the Labour Party led by Harold Wilson return to power with a clear majority of seats in Parliament. Also people threw the Tories out of office cause the loaf of bread had been raised by one penny.

 

In America, President Reagan had his battle with the unions over the air traffic controllers. He got rid of them in early 1981 and a dozen years later in a rather bizarre move, President Bill Clinton offered the sacked air controllers their jobs back. Even Mrs Thatcher in the early 1980's had her share of battles with the unions, most notably the NUM ( National Union Of Miners ) who were then led by Mr Arthur Scargill. He demanded more worker's righta as well as more increase in pay. The Tory government led by Mrs Thatcher refused based on the recommendation made by Chicago native, Mr Ian McGregger. He had been recommended to the Thatcher government by the Reagan Administration. Anyways, the miners went on strike and Scargill made it clear that come by the general election of 1983, she and the Tories would pay for it at the polls. What did Sargill do, well he aligned himself with the left wing of the Labour Party promising Michael Foot that the unions would come out in full force and guarantee a Labour sweep across the United Kingdom. Even the popular Dennis Healey warned the party elders that they were going to far to the left.

 

At the end of the day Mr Healey was right, the voters gave Labour a drumming at the polls and actually gave the Tories more seats to govern with in Parliament. After the election the miners on strke were soon replaced. Michael Foot ultimately resigned and was replaced by the Welshman, Mr Neil Kinnock who began to distance the Labour Party from the unions. Now as for Scargill, let's just say that some 23 odd years later in the year 2006, Arthur Scargill is still a very unpopular figure within Britain.

 

What has happened in the last twenty years, America's main competitor was Japan and guess what they never any union problems. They dont have much of a union problem to contend with. The smartest quality about the Japanese is they trained their workforce to be highly disciplined and more competetive. Offcourse having a better educated work force helps too. Now in the year 2006, India and China are copying the same formula that worked for Japan in the 1980's and early 1990's and it's looks like they're hitting their strides quite nicely. Why?, they dont have unions to breathe and bark like they do in the western world. A more recent example is a few weeks ago in France, where President Chirac wanted to make it easier to replace the young workers who feel like doing absolutely nothing. What happened there were rallies across the country accusing the French Government of peddling to big business. What was the end result, the President backed down.

 

This is what the unions have done in the last thirty odd years, they have across North America and Europe conditioned the average labor work force to demand more, work less and in turn be less competetive compared to countries like China and India. Still at the end of the day America hasn't quite given the keys to China or India just yet. The United States is still the key to every country's economic survival.

 

Rohale

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Sorry, but that seems to be an extremely long diatribe that really amounts to nothing more than a defense of raw, savage capitalism, with workers at the complete mercy of employers.

 

The problem with globalization today is that, in the eyes of the Thatchers and Reagans and Bushes, it's just a dandy way to destroy unions in their own countries, ship jobs to other countries where they can produce goods in slave labor conditions, and jack up their profits to the max. They probably fantasize that once the unions are broken they can roll back the clock in their own countires to the glorious days of the dark, satanic mills, but that won't happen because it will probably never again be as cheap to produce goods at home than in some desolate, despotic third-world country.

 

The Japan comparison is far off the mark -- unions were less powerful in Japan because of the culture of mutual corporate loyalty. Workers essentially had jobs for life in Japan, and were loyal to their companies because their companies took extremely good care of them. That has broken down, and workers in Japan no longer have job security and excellent benefits guaranteed by their companies. Japan has become more like the other capitalist countries.

 

A more rational form of globalization would include labor standards that oblige developing countries to provide better wages, conditions and benefits for their workers. It would make make goods more expensive and reduce obscene profits, but in the longer term such better-off workers would form a much more attractive market of their own because they could afford to buy more than subsistence commodities. Under the current model, it won't take much longer before no goods can be produced competitively in the "developed" countries because it's impossible to compete with slave-labor wages. Then what? It won't matter how cheap goods produced in places like China or Bangladesh are -- we won't have the money to buy even those, because we will have stopped producing wealth. And the impoverished, perhaps starving children and grandchildren of the greedy, blind capitalists who brought on this disaster for short term gain will spit on their graves.

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Guest rohale

>Sorry, but that seems to be an extremely long diatribe that

>really amounts to nothing more than a defense of raw, savage

>capitalism, with workers at the complete mercy of employers.

 

 

Sorry mate but I work for a living and I'm certainly not at the mercy of my employer. The basic benefit of capitalism is that if I dont like my job, I can always look for another employment opportunity in my fied of expertise. Communism would never allow me to have this opportunity, but capitalism does.

>

 

The problem with globalization today is that, in the eyes of

>the Thatchers and Reagans and Bushes, it's just a dandy way to

>destroy unions in their own countries,

 

Sorry mate, but you're way off base and you need to do a little research first. For me I wasn't living in America when Ronald Reagan was in the White House. However I was living in England when Mrs Thatcher and Tories were in power back in the 1980's. I can tell you that Mrs Thatcher was absolutely right that unions were not progressive but rather obstructionists in a free market economy. When the Tories came to power in 1979, most of the industries in Britain were still government run and making hefty losses. When Mrs Thatcher announced that she was going to privatise institutions like British Telecom and British Gas, the unions did everything in their power to stop the government at that point in time. What the Tories were pointing out that privatization equals more jobs and competetiveness makes the work force a better place. The Socialists really didn't understand that capitalism actually works.

 

>

>The Japan comparison is far off the mark -- unions were less

>powerful in Japan because of the culture of mutual corporate

>loyalty. Workers essentially had jobs for life in Japan, and

>were loyal to their companies because their companies took

>extremely good care of them. That has broken down, and

>workers in Japan no longer have job security and excellent

>benefits guaranteed by their companies. Japan has become more

>like the other capitalist countries.

 

No kidding, just imagine if Japan had unions at the height of their economic success. Socialism would have stifled growth for the Japanese and they would be in the form of unions.

>

>A more rational form of globalization would include labor

>standards that oblige developing countries to provide better

>wages, conditions and benefits for their workers. It would

>make make goods more expensive and reduce obscene profits, but

>in the longer term such better-off workers would form a much

>more attractive market of their own because they could afford

>to buy more than subsistence commodities.

 

In a perfect world your idea would have about a 50/50 chance of working. I have one slight question for you and it should be an easy one for you to answer, where would the developoing countries get the money from and under what economic model would they have to operate under to sustain themselves. The world bank certainly wouldn't oblige themselves. Also within the developing world, if you're theory holds up, corruption is the biggest culprit, how would you deal with regimes that rob the treasury to fill their own bellies and basically reduce the country close to monetary ruin. How would you deal with military regimes or communists who hate free market economy's. How would you convince these guys that's it's in their best interests to help aleviate their own economic conditions when half the time they are battling to keep themselves in power.

 

Here is something basic to consider, capitalism may not be the best system, but it's hell of a lot better when in comparison to Socialism or Communism and that's basically all I'm going to say on this topic. Now since the original thread was about the worst President, I'll bring this full circle, regardless of how many Presidents there will be in the future. There is one thing that will be very much assured and that's the Presidency of Jimmy Carter will still be considered a failure for future generations to look at and that's a fact not opinion.

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<There is one thing that will be very much assured and that's the Presidency of Jimmy Carter will still be considered a failure for future generations to look at and that's a fact not opinion.>

 

Unless they're looking for a President concerned with human rights and compassion for the underdog.

 

Sometimes it's about more than money.

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>Here is something basic to consider, capitalism may not be the

>best system, but it's hell of a lot better when in comparison

>to Socialism or Communism and that's basically all I'm going

>to say on this topic.

 

While I would agree "Socialism" as practiced in certain countries was less than ideal (eg. Britain), in other countries it has had remarkable success, such as Sweden, Norway and Finland. It may be that socialism works best when you have a small, relatively homogenous population that is highly educated and already has a work ethic instilled in it, tempered by a humanitarian instinct.

 

>There is

>one thing that will be very much assured and that's the

>Presidency of Jimmy Carter will still be considered a failure

>for future generations to look at and that's a fact not

>opinion.

 

I don't think you are qualified to speak for future generations of historians. No-one is. When Harry Truman left office he was considered a failure as a President. Today, his standing has risen considerably amongst historians and the final chapters of the early stages of the Cold War have yet to be written, since many documents are still classified or have yet to come to light.

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I recently ran across a document on presidential rankings by historians which claimed, to no surprise (and among many other things) that Jimmy Carter is one of the most under-rated of our past presidents and that Ronald Ray-gun is one of our most over-rated. You might suspect this suspect view that of some liberal and progressive academic setting, but no!...it was the work of the Wall Street Journal and the Federalist Society!

 

http://history-world.org/pres.pdf

 

Carter seems to be on the uptake. Maybe being a humanitarian and a thinker actually has an impact on future judgments!

 

And Ronny Head-Burried-Up-His-Ass Ray-Gun, well, people do EVENTUALLY catch on to incompetence.

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>Sorry mate but I work for a living and I'm certainly not at

>the mercy of my employer. The basic benefit of capitalism is

>that if I dont like my job, I can always look for another

>employment opportunity in my fied of expertise. Communism

>would never allow me to have this opportunity, but capitalism

>does.

 

Why is this such a typical kind of response from the Thatcherite/Reaganites? I never said anywhere that capitalism isn't a workable system, nor did I express support for socialism or communism. All I said is that unrestrained, crude capitalism can be dangerous and destructive. Both the U.S. and the U.K. (and other countries, too) have experienced the damage unrestrained capitalism can cause and developed mechanisms to curb the excesses. That's neither socialism or communism. As for your job, I assume you must be in a business where your profession is in short supply and your skills easily transferable. Otherwise, you WOULD be at the mercy of your employer. The other reprehensible thing about the Thatcherite/Reaganite mentality is that its worshippers seem constitutionally unable to put themselves in the position of the less fortunate/talented/skilled/powerful among us, nor are they capable of imagining a world that also provides for them and gives them at least a more level playing field on which to try to survive.

 

>No kidding, just imagine if Japan had unions at the height of

>their economic success. Socialism would have stifled growth

>for the Japanese and they would be in the form of unions.

 

Again, who advocated for socialism in Japan? Not me. As for unions, they are growing in influence in Japan now that the social contract between employers/employees of large companies there has broken down.

 

 

>In a perfect world your idea would have about a 50/50 chance

>of working. I have one slight question for you and it should

>be an easy one for you to answer, where would the developoing

>countries get the money from and under what economic model

>would they have to operate under to sustain themselves. The

>world bank certainly wouldn't oblige themselves. Also within

>the developing world, if you're theory holds up, corruption is

>the biggest culprit, how would you deal with regimes that rob

>the treasury to fill their own bellies and basically reduce

>the country close to monetary ruin. How would you deal with

>military regimes or communists who hate free market economy's.

> How would you convince these guys that's it's in their best

>interests to help aleviate their own economic conditions when

>half the time they are battling to keep themselves in power.

 

Who said it's a perfect world? But my theory does hold up. Most of the less-developed nations are desperate to reach trade agreements with Europe and the U.S. that will allow them to increase their exports and attract investment. If such treaties require better labor laws/conditions in those countries and certain basic protections for workers and the environment, everyone (once again) is on a more level playing field. This won't cure corruption, or many other basic ills, but it would put more money into the hands of workers, who can then move out of abject poverty into a working or middle-class. People who aren't worried about where their next meal is coming from have time to think about bigger issues, like political corruption, and to consider voting for parties/candidates that support reform in their countries.

 

>Here is something basic to consider, capitalism may not be the

>best system, but it's hell of a lot better when in comparison

>to Socialism or Communism and that's basically all I'm going

>to say on this topic. Now since the original thread was about

>the worst President, I'll bring this full circle, regardless

>of how many Presidents there will be in the future. There is

>one thing that will be very much assured and that's the

>Presidency of Jimmy Carter will still be considered a failure

>for future generations to look at and that's a fact not

>opinion.

 

Once again, you set up a phony argument we never had. The debate here is not and never has been about the merits of capitalism over socialism or communism. It's a low tactic to avoid the issues being discussed and try to turn it into something else using "hot button" words for discredited political/economic movements and implying that I was advocating for either of them. You might want to consider apologizing.

 

As for Jimmy Carter, I said clearly in my post that he was a disappointment as President in many ways. His administration was not a great one, partly the result of bad luck beyond his control, but partly due to mistakes he himself made. On the other hand, he was personally an extremely intelligent and profoundly decent man, and the failures of his administration were not because of wide-spread corruption, lying or abysmal stupidity. His record since leaving office has been admirable and has made him one of the best-regarded former U.S. presidents in the last 50 years or more, based on his consistent defence of human rights and hands-on support for democratic political processes (especially free and fair elections) in countries around the world where such things have not always been the case. That, too, is a fact and not an opinion.

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Guest rohale

>>Sorry mate but I work for a living and I'm certainly not at

>>the mercy of my employer. The basic benefit of capitalism

>is

>>that if I dont like my job, I can always look for another

>>employment opportunity in my fied of expertise. Communism

>>would never allow me to have this opportunity, but

>capitalism

>>does.

>

>Why is this such a typical kind of response from the

>Thatcherite/Reaganites?

 

This was not the response from a Thatcher supporter or even a Reagan supporter. The response was my own, therefore you might want to consider apologising.

>

>As for Jimmy Carter, I said clearly in my post that he was a

>disappointment as President in many ways. His administration

>was not a great one, partly the result of bad luck beyond his

>control, but partly due to mistakes he himself made. On the

>other hand, he was personally an extremely intelligent and

>profoundly decent man, and the failures of his administration

>were not because of wide-spread corruption, lying or abysmal

>stupidity. His record since leaving office has been admirable

>and has made him one of the best-regarded former U.S.

>presidents in the last 50 years or more, based on his

>consistent defence of human rights and hands-on support for

>democratic political processes (especially free and fair

>elections) in countries around the world where such things

>have not always been the case. That, too, is a fact and not

>an opinion.

 

BTW, nice speech. As you know history doesn't just a post-presidency. It judges the presidency and this is what people remember him for. Along those lines, at the end of his presidency, how many people were sorry to see him go. Well the answer is not that many.

 

Dont get me wrong, I like the guy on certain issues. As a humanitarian he has a big heart and it always shows. In some ways, he's a simpleton compared to another Democratic President, Bill Clinton. Here is a guy who had a much more successful domesic and foreign policy agenda in his eight years in the White House. I feel sorry for Jimmy Carter that the Clintonites have virtually pushed him out of the bigger picture in terms of influence within the Democratic Party. Oh well that's life.

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Guest rohale

>>There is

>>one thing that will be very much assured and that's the

>>Presidency of Jimmy Carter will still be considered a

>failure

>>for future generations to look at and that's a fact not

>>opinion.

>

>I don't think you are qualified to speak for future

>generations of historians. No-one is. When Harry Truman left

>office he was considered a failure as a President. Today, his

>standing has risen considerably amongst historians and the

>final chapters of the early stages of the Cold War have yet to

>be written, since many documents are still classified or have

>yet to come to light.

 

 

You're absolutely right I'm not a historian and theresfore not qualified to speak about the future. I'll say this much about Mr Carter, you wont find that many text books in high school or college that give Jimmy Carter high marks as President.

 

Now onto President Harry Truman. I thought he was a great President in his own right. His eight years in office came at a time when the world was changing. I'm glad that as time progresses in this time and age, historians in general are being a lot more kinder to him.

 

There are some difference between Jimmy Carter and Harry Truman and that is Mr Truman had the gumption to stand up for what he believed in and was never afraid to back down from confrontation. He never personified the image of weakness during his presidency. He never grinned, he never gave fire side chats, he never changed his hair combing style just to get more votes. Far more importantly he wasn't afraid to take on both the Republicans and members of his own party to stand up for what he believed in. He was willing to protect America's interests at all costs, yes including Korea. He always made it clear that buck stops at this table in the Oval Office. How many people can say this about Jimmy Carter.

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The last thing I would expect anyone to be defending these days is "standing up for what you believe in." We've had a little too much of mindless standing up...of rushing into wars; of declaring what is true even when evidence and surveillance and common sense say otherwise; of fabricating and lying and cheating all under the banner of "standing firm." MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! Let's all be "real men" and stand FIRM! Translation: NO THINKING ALLOWED. YOU MIGHT CHANGE YOUR MIND. AND THEN YOU'D BE A "Waffler"--God forbid!

 

Carter, by the standard of moron Republi-scum politicians may have seemed wishy-washy, but I'll take that slow thought and thoughtful deliberation any day over these apocalyptic, self-righteous, arrogant, aggressive, mindless pricks in BushCo World.

 

Next to the moron in power today, Carter looks simply divine.

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Part of Carter's problem was that he was "too good" to be in the White House. He's a very principled person, and that means he found it difficult to compromise his principles and act in a more pragmatic manner. Clinton, who is personally religious, didn't seem to have that conflict. It made him a more successful politician, but not necessarily a better person. But you shouldn't assume that Clinton is more intelligent than Carter. They are both brilliant men and I'd be hard put to decide which of them is smarter than the other. But Clinton was clearly the more adept politician.

 

P.S. If you're NOT a Reagan/Thatcher supporter you've fooled me and many others. You've done a brilliant impersonation of one in your posts. As for the apology, I asked for it for your having put words into my mouth that were in NONE of my posts, and for painting me as an apologist for socialism or communism where there was nothing in any of the posts even suggesting that is my position.

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Guest rohale

>Part of Carter's problem was that he was "too good" to be in

>the White House. He's a very principled person, and that

>means he found it difficult to compromise his principles and

>act in a more pragmatic manner. Clinton, who is personally

>religious, didn't seem to have that conflict. It made him a

>more successful politician, but not necessarily a better

>person. But you shouldn't assume that Clinton is more

>intelligent than Carter. They are both brilliant men and I'd

>be hard put to decide which of them is smarter than the other.

> But Clinton was clearly the more adept politician.

>

 

Prime Minister Tony Blair recently made an appearance on a London talks show hosted by Michael Parkinson and he was asked his thoughts on President Bill Clinton. Mr Blair implied that Bill Clinton is by far the best politician he has ever had the chance to have worked with in his working career. It maybe hard for you to judge, but I'm not terribly hard pressed. I'd definitely say that Bill Clinton was by far the smarter politician of the two. He earned two presidential terms in the White House and he knew how to beat the Republicans at their own game. He clearly has a lot of admirers. I had the opportunity to meet the former President Bill Clinton earlier this year at a dinner function and I can say wholeheartedly, he is clearly one of the smartest persons I have ever seen to make his way around a room and has left groups of people admiring him. Even people of the opposing political view point. He is the man. Can anyone say that about Mr Jimmy Carter?

 

 

>P.S. If you're NOT a Reagan/Thatcher supporter you've fooled

>me and many others. You've done a brilliant impersonation of

>one in your posts. As for the apology, I asked for it for

>your having put words into my mouth that were in NONE of my

>posts, and for painting me as an apologist for socialism or

>communism where there was nothing in any of the posts even

>suggesting that is my position.

 

If you feel fooled, that's your problem. Never assume what you dont know. In future, you just might want to ask before you jump to conclusions. It's not that terribly difficult to do. BTW as for your so called impersonations, sorry to disappoint you, but I just simply point out what has happened in the context of history. Whether it be liberal, conservative, doesn't bother me. Also in various threads and previous posts, I try my best at times to point out the differing points of view across the political spectrum.

 

BTW- Are you still looking for the internet apology? I was just looking back at some of my previous posts on this thread. I cant find one shred where I called Trilingual a defender of socialism. When I mentioned socialism and communism, I was making a general comparison in the grand scheme of things. I certainly wasn't thinking about you. How you managed to jump to your conclusion is beyond me. Oh well that's life.

 

P.S, The only impersonations I ever do are imitiating celebrities thru voice.

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>I was just looking back at some of my previous posts on this thread.

> I cant find one shred where I called Trilingual a defender of

>socialism. When I mentioned socialism and communism, I was

>making a general comparison in the grand scheme of things. I

>certainly wasn't thinking about you. How you managed to jump

>to your conclusion is beyond me. Oh well that's life.

 

Interesting how some people only see what they want to see, and don't see what they don't want to see. This is the kind of mind that's so highly prized in the Bush administration! You might want to consider working for them -- it looks like they're about to have a lot of openings for the 2nd half of this term after half his staff gets indicted. . . }(

 

We don't disagree, though, on Clinton being a far more skillful politician than Carter. Clinton is truly amazing, probably the best since LBJ (who had an amazing political career before falling on his sword in Vietnam). However, I've met both Clinton and Carter, and they are both brilliant minds. I wouldn't say one is smarter than the other, but they're different kinds of people. To succeed, politicians have to be good at wheeling and dealing, and compromising. Clinton is a master at that. Carter isn't. That's what made the difference in their administrations. But I would have infinitely preferred a 2nd Carter administration, with all the drawbacks, than the 8 years of Reagan that we got instead.

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