Browse Tag


War on Poverty: It’s Over?

Poverty’s over, you guys. The administration says so.

The Trump administration has a new argument for dismantling the social safety net: It worked.

Republicans for years have proclaimed the federal government’s decades-old War on Poverty a failure.

“Americans are no better off today than they were before the War on Poverty began in 1964,” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) wrote in his 2016 plan to dramatically scale back the federal safety net.

Now the Trump administration is pitching a new message on anti-poverty programs, saying efforts that Republicans had long condemned as ineffective have already worked.

Is it morally right for Jill Stein to raise money for election vote recount?

Is it morally right for Jill Stein to raise money for election vote recount?

I don’t think calling for a recount is a moral issue. I think systems that don’t allow for recounts as a matter of course are.

Either we can trust our election results, or we can’t. In states where the vote is close, the election results ought to be open to scrutiny. (They ought to be open to aduits and closer scrutiny everywhere, but particularly in states where the vote totals are as close as these.)

The voting systems in use in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have been declared illegal to use in California, because we know those systems are too open to tampering.

Regardless of whoever wins in a recount, why on earth should anyone accept electronic voting systems we know we shouldn’t be using? Why aren’t we able to get recounts in each and every state where vulnerable voting systems are in use?

We are not a direct democracy, but we are a democratic republic; people tend to emphasize the latter half of that, but if we want assurance that the former half still actually matters, recounts and hand audits are essential.

We know – we don’t guess, we know – that optical scan systems have undercounted votes, in the past, for example. This occurred in 2004, where optical scan systems were miscalibrated and missed tens of thousands of votes in one city (Toledo), and likely others. We have a system that doesn’t have rechecks and audits as a matter of course and requires voters or candidates to assume the costs of recounting, unless specific (and arbitrary) threshholds are met.

That is immoral.

We can either trust in the election results, or we cannot. If we’re to be able to trust them, they have to be open to scrutiny.

In 2004, the punch-card ballots were still widely used in some states. For example, most Ohio voters used punch-card ballots, and more than 90,000 ballots cast in Ohio were treated as not including a vote for President; this “undervote” could arise because the voter chose not to cast a vote or because of a malfunction of the punch-card system.

2004 United States election voting controversies – Wikipedia