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Poll: Obama Executive Action On Immigration Narrowly Divides Americans

Politics Tribune News Service

Poll: Obama Executive Action On Immigration Narrowly Divides Americans

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President Barack Obama says US ideals are more effective than torture techniques in fighting terrorism

By David Lauter, Tribune Washington Bureau (TNS)

WASHINGTON — Americans divide almost evenly over President Barack Obama’s move to shield millions of immigrants from deportation, but despite the controversy over his action, underlying views on immigration have barely budged, a new poll has found.

Obama’s action gets approval from 46 percent of Americans while 50 percent disapprove, the poll found.

Overall, 70 percent of Americans say that undocumented immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally “should have a way to stay in the country legally,” with 27 percent saying they should not be allowed to stay.

Slightly more than 4 in 10 say that such immigrants should be eligible to apply for citizenship while another quarter of Americans say they should be able to apply for permanent residency in the U.S., but not citizenship, according to the new poll by the Pew Research Center.

Those figures have remained relatively constant all year, despite the intense debate over immigration policy.

But Republican support for legal status has dropped during the course of the year. In February, 64 percent of Republicans said they supported some sort of legal status, now 53 percent do, while 42 percent say immigrants who are here illegally should not be allowed to stay. Among Republicans who identify with the tea party, support for legal status has dropped most steeply, going from 56 percent in February to 42 percent now.

Nearly all the shift in GOP opinion, however, took place during the spring and early summer. Obama’s executive action, for all the political heat it has generated, has not caused significant additional movement among Republicans.

Where Obama’s action has caused a shift is among Latinos. His approval rating on handling of immigration issues has jumped from 43 percent among Latinos a year ago to 67 percent now.

While the Pew poll has not asked about Obama’s approval often enough to pinpoint when that shift among Latinos took place, other surveys have found a big jump in approval of Obama among that group after the immigration executive action was announced. The Gallup poll, for example, found Obama’s overall approval among Latinos climbed 12 points, to 64 percent, after the announcement.

Obama’s action gains majority approval among those Americans younger than 50, those with at least a college degree and both blacks and Latinos. It is opposed by older Americans, those with some college education or less and by nearly 2-1 among white Americans.

One factor driving the immigration debate: About two-thirds of Americans say they feel “sympathetic” toward immigrants who have entered the U.S. illegally. That number has stayed relatively consistent throughout the debate of the last two years, although the share of Americans who say they feel “very sympathetic” has grown somewhat and now stands at just under 1 in 4.

Majorities of both Democrats and independents say they feel sympathetic while Republicans split closely, with 52 percent saying they feel sympathetic and 45 percent unsympathetic. Views on that issue correspond very closely to how people feel about Obama’s executive action, the poll found.

The Pew poll, conducted for USA Today, questioned 1,507 American adults Dec. 3-7. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

AFP Photo/Mark Wilson

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67 Comments

  1. James Bowen December 12, 2014

    These polls are very unreliable. If amnesty is so popular, why do members of Congress hear almost nothing but opposition to amnesty from their constituents?

    Few things are more harmful to America’s working poor than excessive immigration and non-enforcement of our immigration laws.

    Reply
    1. awakenaustin December 12, 2014

      First of all it isn’t amnesty. Read the definition of the word. Secondly, People against things are always more likely to be vocal about their opposition than those who are in favor or simply not opposed.
      Thirdly, you don’t give a hoot about America’s working poor. I bet you are opposed to raising the minimum wage, the expansion of Medicare,
      the ACA, food stamps, unions and any social welfare or other government program designed to improve the economic situation of the working poor. I bet you have explanations for why they are not good for the working poor, too.
      Finally, it is often the case those who don’t like the results of a poll assert their lack of reliability.

      Reply
      1. James Bowen December 12, 2014

        From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

        amnesty noun (Concise Encyclopedia)

        In criminal law, a sovereign act of oblivion or forgetfulness (from Greek amnestia,“forgetfulness”) granted by a government, especially to a group of persons who are guilty of (usually political) crimes in the past. It is often conditional upon the group’s return to obedience and duty within aprescribed period. See also pardon.

        What President Obama did here fits this definition, even if it is only temporary. Most illegal aliens only care about the work permit, and that is what harms American workers, especially poor ones. What the President did here also contravenes existing law.

        This election showed us how unreliable polls are. One example: Greg Orman in Kansas. Polls consistently showed him ahead of Pat Roberts, yet Roberts actually won by a landslide. There are many indicators outside of polls that the public is strongly opposed to letting illegals stay, such as constituent feedback to Congress. That feedback is the real reason why the House did not take up the Senate bill or anything like it.

        Nothing will help the working poor more than putting upward pressure on wages, which restricting immigration and thereby the growth of the workforce will do. Food stamps might be necessary at times, but they do not lift people out of poverty. I support raising the minimum wage, but that won’t do much good with as glutted as the labor force is. I also support unions. I am opposed to an expansion of Medicare, however, because those social programs are fiscally unsustainable. At some point we have to face reality and raise the retirement age to 75 or thereabouts.

        Reply
        1. Grannysmovin December 12, 2014

          So polls are reliable when they support your argument and unreliable when they don’t. We have been having this discussion on another story posted on National Memo and we don’t agree and all the back and forth has not changed our positions.

          Reply
          1. James Bowen December 12, 2014

            I did not say that. Polls are unreliable no matter what, and there unreliability is getting worse for a number of reasons, including the fact that so many people use cell phones now so pollsters, who rely on landlines, are finding it increasingly difficult to get in contact with people.

            Reply
          2. WhutHeSaid December 12, 2014

            Yeah, polls are just so unreliable in an immigrant country like America — it must be those dang despicable immigrants messing things up. Better self-deport yourself back to your family’s foreign country of origin so that you won’t have to be annoyed by it any more.

            Reply
        2. awakenaustin December 12, 2014

          Wrong. What the President’s act was an act of forbearance and not a grant of amnesty. Your admission and use of the word temporary takes the action out from under any strained effort by you to interpret it as amnesty (you don’t temporarily forget things).
          Polls are not predictions. They are snapshots of what people are thinking when they are asked the questions. Pollsters know they are not perfectly accurate which is why they have margins of error. When they support your thinking I bet you don’t find them inaccurate and unreliable. I bet they measure the pulse of the American people then. Actually the polls showed the race even up in the final days. So early on the polls showed Orman ahead and at the end even. When people actually vote Roberts wins 53 to 43%. What happened to the missing 4%. (53% of anything isn’t a landslide.) All those tea party folks threatening to vote for Orman in opposition to Roberts couldn’t pull the trigger in the end and voted for the named Republican. Doesn’t make polls inaccurate. Just means some folks bluster a lot.
          The House did not take up the Senate bill because it is controlled by Republicans. They accurately perceived that Democrats in 2016 (and maybe in 2014) would more likely reap the benefits of an immigration bill and so they sat on it. They will continuously slow roll in this area, until they perceive they can get an edge over Democrats in this and then they will do something. Who knows what that will be.

          Reply
          1. James Bowen December 12, 2014

            Double digits are considered a landslide. Up till election day polls showed Orman with a slight but consistent lead. Also, ask Eric Cantor how reliable polls are. Polls are unreliable no matter what, and they are becoming even more unreliable because many people don’t have land lines anymore, which are what pollsters rely on.

            House GOP leadership wanted to take up the Senate bill, but they did not because of constituent pressure.

            Amnesties need not be temporary. Current law forbids these people from working in the U.S. Since the executive action gives them work permits, i.e. rewards them with the objective of their crime, that is amnesty. It is also illegal since it contravenes existing law.

            Reply
          2. awakenaustin December 12, 2014

            Consistently misusing a word does not change its true meaning to whatever you would like it to be. You misname the situation because you want people to think of it as amnesty when it isn’t. You do that in hopes you will gain some political mileage from it.It is the same political tactic you use when you call others socialists who aren’t socialist.You do so because you believe it has a pejorative connotation and it will discredit your opponents if you can label them that way. For you it doesn’t matter that it isn’t really amnesty or that they aren’t really socialists you merely want to associate them with a term which for you connotes badness in the eyes of others.
            If you were concerned with truth or merely accuracy you wouldn’t call it amnesty,because it isn’t.

            Reply
          3. James Bowen December 13, 2014

            I guess you didn’t read this, so here it is again.

            From the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

            amnesty noun (Concise Encyclopedia)

            Incriminal law, a sovereign act of oblivion or forgetfulness (from Greek amnestia,“forgetfulness”) granted by a government, especially to a group
            of persons who are guilty of (usually political) crimes in the past. Itis often conditional upon the group’s return to obedience and duty within aprescribed period. See also pardon.

            What President Obama did here fits this definition, even if it’s only temporary (which I will believe when I see).

            Reply
          4. awakenaustin December 13, 2014

            I read it and you clearly do not understand either the definition or the action undertaken by the president one,the other or both. His action simply does not meet the legal definition of amnesty.
            amnesty a general pardon for criminal offenses, especially political offenses. You familiar with pardons. It isn’t a pardon. It isn’t anything like a pardon. I know you desperately want it to be amnesty because it fits your political desires, but sorry it isn’t amnesty.

            Reply
          5. James Bowen December 14, 2014

            It is a temporary pardon. It gives them work permits. That is like letting a bank robber keep the money they took.

            Reply
          6. awakenaustin December 14, 2014

            There no such thing as a temporary pardon. Please, you are embarrassing yourself.

            Reply
          7. James Bowen December 15, 2014

            This is an ostensibly temporary pardon, and it is illegal.

            Reply
          8. awakenaustin December 15, 2014

            It isn’t a pardon, temporary or otherwise. But, if it were, then it is clear in the U.S. Constitution that the President has the power to pardon. Art. 2, Sec. 2.

            Reply
          9. James Bowen December 16, 2014

            Yes, he may pardon, but he may not just unilaterally give these people work authorization. That is directly contravening immigration laws. By suspending enforcement of the law and giving them work authorization, he has effectively pardoned them for the time being.

            Reply
          10. awakenaustin December 16, 2014

            So, it isn’t a pardon or amnesty, but it does something you don’t like and so you are going to say it is “effectively a pardon.” Which, of course, is the same thing as saying it isn’t a pardon.

            Reply
          11. James Bowen December 16, 2014

            It rewards them with the object of their crime. That not only is an effective pardon, it is an actual condoning of illegal action.

            Reply
    2. WhutHeSaid December 12, 2014

      Because few people are mouthier than hateful bigots. America has always been an immigrant country, and most Americans understand the stupidity of hating people who are immigrants just like they and their families are. People can appreciate other people wanting to make a better life for their families.

      Reply
      1. imabrummie December 12, 2014

        It is not that people hate immigrants, they just want and have every right to expect that all immigrants go through the process. There are many people who wish to come to America and contribute to society and have waited in some cases many years to do so LEGALLY!

        Reply
        1. WhutHeSaid December 12, 2014

          You are right, of course. There ARE people who are don’t hate immigrants and just want the laws to be followed. I don’t have any issues with those people except that they may not agree with my take on what we do since the system has been broken for years and there are many people who have lived and worked here for years, decades, or even their entire lives.

          I believe that the system needs to be fixed so that it a) works, and b) is fair and effective. But since so many people are already here, I believe that we should give them a chance to earn their citizenship. Not to jump in front of the line, but to start contributing to this society (taxes, etc.) while earning the chance, in time, to becomes citizens. There are a lot of benefits that we could get out of it, and it makes a lot more sense than doing nothing.

          As for bigots and racists who obviously just hate anyone who doesn’t look like themselves, I really don’t care what they think.

          Reply
          1. James Bowen December 13, 2014

            We don’t have room for them. We can’t even fully employ our citizens. Immigration needs to be made much harder, not easier; and letting people who are not allowed to be here under current law should be out of the question.

            Reply
          2. WhutHeSaid December 13, 2014

            That’s funny — I thought they were already here. It’s a little silly to claim we don’t have room for people who are already in the room. Try another one.

            Reply
          3. James Bowen December 14, 2014

            Look at our employment situation. Also look at how water supplies are drying up in the Colorado basin. That right there is evidence that we don’t have room for them, let alone more.

            Reply
      2. James Bowen December 13, 2014

        Yes, they can appreciate that. They can also appreciate the fact that we simply cannot let everyone who wants to make a better life for their families come here. We don’t have the resources. Right now, the U.S. and Canada serve as the world’s food bank. We make up for other nations’ grain deficits. If we keep allowing immigrants in at the rate we are, our population is projected to reach 600 million by the year 2100, comparable to China and India. Where do you think people around the world are going to get their grain then? Mars?

        Reply
        1. WhutHeSaid December 13, 2014

          Here we are with long-term predictions again. The problem with predictions is that they are just predictions. We already have the undocumented people ‘in-house’ and we haven’t run out of grain or experienced any of your other gloom-and-doom scenarios. So you need to find a better argument.

          I have a suggestion: Why don’t you tell the truth? Why don’t you just admit that if undocumented people lose their fear of deportation you will lose the ability to abuse them with impunity, and might have to resort to paying them legal wages.

          Reply
          1. James Bowen December 14, 2014

            It is a fact that we can only grow so much grain and feed so many people. It is also a fact that our population is growing, therefore the number of people we can feed is going down. Grain yields have also been flat since 1989. Unlimited growth on a finite planet, let alone country, is a physical impossibility.

            Those corrupt businesses that hire them are the forces pushing for amnesty. They are the ones who want them legalized.

            Reply
          2. WhutHeSaid December 14, 2014

            Yes, yes — it’s also a fact that the Earth can only hold so much air and the Sun can only give off so much light. So I’m guessing you’re worried about those too.

            Reply
          3. James Bowen December 15, 2014

            There are already more people in the U.S than can be indefinitely sustained with modern agricultural methods. We need to reduce our population. That means restricting immigration and strictly enforcing immigration laws.

            Reply
          4. WhutHeSaid December 15, 2014

            That’s funny — I don’t recall hearing that the US is running out of food. And the wild thing about ‘modern’ agricultural methods is that they keep getting more modern and more productive.

            Say, I have an idea: Why don’t we send all of the anti-immigrant bigots to Mars with enough equipment to build agricultural domes? That way we could expand our agricultural land base, and from that far away it would be difficult to hear the bigoted griping about OTHER immigrants.

            Reply
          5. James Bowen December 15, 2014

            Our grain yields are made possible by technology that depends on non-renewable resources that will not last forever such as fossil fuels, and they are not getting more productive. Grain yields have been mostly flat since 1989. Using completely organic methods, we can only provide for about 150 million people in the U.S.

            Reply
          6. Independent1 December 15, 2014

            As usual, James is wrong. The world’s population growth has already started to slow down, and it’s predicted that the population growth in industrialized nations will start declining. See my recent post to James above.

            Reply
          7. James Bowen December 15, 2014

            No, it is not slowing down, at least not enough: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/140918-population-global-united-nations-2100-boom-africa/.

            The population needs to decline in industrial nations, and national policy must foster that.

            Reply
        2. Independent1 December 15, 2014

          Better educate your brain James, because you’re categorically WRONG. The world’s population growth has already started slowing and will in our lifetimes start shrinking!! Better get back to those books BOY!! Because like with immigration and everything else YOU ARE ALWAYS WRONG!!!!!!

          See this from Slate.com:

          A somewhat more arcane milestone, meanwhile, generated no media coverage at all: It took humankind 13 years to add its 7 billionth. That’s longer than the 12 years it took to add the 6 billionth—the first time in human history that interval had grown. (The 2 billionth, 3 billionth, 4 billionth, and 5 billionth took 123, 33, 14, and 13 years, respectively.) In other words, the rate of global population growth has slowed. And it’s expected to keep slowing. Indeed, according to experts’ best estimates, the total population of Earth will stop growing within the lifespan of people alive today.

          And then it will fall.

          This is a counterintuitive notion in the United States, where we’ve heard often and loudly that world population growth is a perilous and perhaps unavoidable threat to our future as a species. But population decline is a very familiar concept in the rest of the developed world, where fertility has long since fallen far below the 2.1 live births per woman required to maintain population equilibrium. In Germany, the birthrate has sunk to just 1.36, worse even than its low-fertility neighborsSpain (1.48) and Italy (1.4). The way things are going, Western Europe as a whole will most likely shrink from 460 million to just 350 million by the end of the century. That’s not so bad compared with Russia and China, each of whose populations could fall by half. As you may not be surprised to learn, the Germans have coined a polysyllabic word for this quandary: Schrumpf-Gesellschaft, or “shrinking society.”

          Reply
          1. James Bowen December 15, 2014

            Not according to the latest estimates: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/140918-population-global-united-nations-2100-boom-africa/. And even with the current numbers, there are already more people in the world that can be indefinitely sustained.

            The shrinking populations of Europe and slower growth in China are very good news. That will mean a better quality of life for people and reduced strain on natural resources, not to mention being a step toward long-term sustainability. The only people who benefit from more people are those at the top of the economic ladder. The idea that we need population growth for a healthy economy is a Ponzi scheme.

            Reply
          2. Independent1 December 15, 2014

            Sorry, not buying the national geographic’s gibberish. I can see reality, that as more and more women and their families become educated, and the availability of contraceptions spreads, birth rates are plummeting around the world in all but the most backward of 3rd world countries. I can see why the economies of the countries of European Union are struggling – because of declining populations; and that’s why even the advancement of China’s economy is hitting a wall – because their economy is decreasing too.

            The growth in America’s population over the past 2 decades has almost been exclusively because of immigration – the birthrates of American born people has been below replacement rate for over a decade; so without immigration our population would have declined too.

            And as the populations around the world plummet fewer and fewer people will be seeking to immigrate to America. You prove your idiocy by your last comment – the population growth isn’t needed to maintain a healthy economy IN TODAY’S DEFINITION OF A HEALTHY ECONOMY!! HOW REDICULUS!!

            Let’s just use an example: with 315 million people America is supporting say 4,000 McDonald’s – explain to me please how if the population shrinks to even 300 million, 4,000 McDonald’s can stay open. And apply that to virtually every business in the country.

            Without an increasing number of people that need various products, where will the incentive come from for people to start new businesses?? There may still be the incentive to develop new products as technology brings more opportunities to light, but there will already be more than enough businesses out there that are hungry for new products in order to keep their SHRINKING CUSTOMER BASE interested and their businesses from foundering.

            Sorry, I’m not buying into any of your fear mongering!!!!!

            Reply
          3. James Bowen December 15, 2014

            It was the UN that made those estimates. National Geographic was just doing the reporting. Birth control and education are not widely available in much of the third world, and population is increasing in many of those areas faster than services like education and birth control can be made available.

            You are not looking at the big picture. A nation with fewer people will not need as many McDonald’s (hell, we don’t need McDonald’s at all for that matter). The ones that remain would presumably still be profitable though. As long as there are people, there will be a demand for goods and products. Like I said, more consumers is good for those at the top of the economic ladder, but the great majority of the people get the short end of the stick by reduced quality of life and greater prices for commodities. In other words, it is a Ponzi scheme.

            Yes, had it not been for immigration, we would be seeing a declining population right now. That is not something to fear, that is something we need.

            Reply
          4. Independent1 December 15, 2014

            Let’s just use reality for a moment – the economies of virtually every other industrialized nation on the planet have languished over the past 6 years except for maybe China and India whose economies are growing, only because they are now trying to catch up to the modern world; China a few years ago was like America was back in the early 1900s.

            Are you going to try and tell me that the economies of Germany, Great Britain, Finland, Sweden, Russia, and on and on – are all struggling BECAUSE OF FAILURES IN THEIR GOVERNMENTS??? That it’s just happenstance that not one of these governments has been able to come up with a solution to their countries doldrums??? If you’re buying that notion you’re even more clueless than I thought.

            All these other countries’ economies are in the doldrums BECAUSE THEY HAVEN’T ABLE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO SPUR THEIR ECONOMIES WHEN THEIR POPULATION ARE SHRINKING!!!!!

            And you and your ilk are fighting fearlessly to shut off the one thing that has made America the only nonCommunist nation on the planet with at least a somewhat gaining economy IMMIGRATION!!!!!!!

            New People to keep economic growth going!!!

            WHEN ARE YOU AND YOUR ILK GOING TO WAKE UP TO THE FACT THAT WHAT YOUR PUSHING FOR WOULD PUSH AMERICAN INTO A DECLINING POPULATION AND ECONOMY TOO!!

            Reply
          5. James Bowen December 15, 2014

            Their economies are in bad shape for the same reason the U.S. economy is–we still have not recovered from the 2008-2009 crash. In the case of Russia, they are overdependent on oil, the price of which has been falling due to declines in extraction costs. They only need to spur their economies enough to put people to work. Adding more workers is counterproductive to that.

            Reply
          6. Independent1 December 15, 2014

            YEAH RIGHT!! Our American government WAS THE ONLY GOVERNMENT ON THE PLANET WHO COULD FIGURE OUT HOW TO RECOVER FROM THE GREAT RECESSION!!!!

            WOW!! TALK ABOUT BEING IN DENIAL!!!!!!

            YOU ARE A BIG TIME LOSER!!!!!

            Reply
          7. James Bowen December 15, 2014

            We have NOT recovered from the recession. The unemployment rate is still higher than it was in 2007 at the beginning of recession, most of the jobs created since 2010 are “McJobs”, and all of the gains have gone to the 1%.

            Reply
          8. Independent1 December 15, 2014

            TOTAL BS!!!!!!!!! Millions of GOOD PAYING jobs have been created!! AND THERE ARE AT LEAST 10 MILLION PEOPLE WORKING TODAY WHO WERE NOT WORKING IN EARLY 2009!!!!!!! AND THAT’S A RECOVERY!!!!!!

            Reply
          9. James Bowen December 15, 2014

            Most of the jobs created since 2010 have been low paying jobs, and even then we still don’t have the same employment levels we had in 2007.

            Reply
          10. Independent1 December 15, 2014

            What’s that got to do with a hill of beans?? Out of 10 million new jobs, sure a lot of them are low paying but several of those millions are high paying jobs many of them created in the ENERGY SECTOR!!

            All those people now doing fraking MAKE BIG BUCKS!!!

            Reply
          11. James Bowen December 15, 2014

            That has not been nearly enough to make up for the higher paying jobs that were lost since 2007.

            Reply
          12. Independent1 December 15, 2014

            You may as well stop with your tunnelvision reality BECAUSE I’M NOT BUYING INTO YOUR DENIAL AND DON’T THINK ANY OTHER NM POSTER WITH ONE OUNCE OF COMMON SENSE IS GOING TO BUY INTO EITHER!!! GOODBYE!!!!!!

            Reply
          13. James Bowen December 15, 2014

            What I said about jobs since 2007 is a fact that no official sources or media will deny–avoid yes, but deny no.

            Reply
          14. Independent1 December 15, 2014

            When Bush left office in early 2009, there were over 400,000 less people working THAN WHEN HE TOOK OFFICE IN 2001!!!!!!

            Reply
          15. James Bowen December 15, 2014

            I rest my case.

            Reply
          16. Independent1 December 15, 2014

            Clearly a case of absolute denial with reality and total stupidity!! You have so much tunnel vision that it is astounding!!!!!!

            Reply
          17. James Bowen December 15, 2014

            Things were bad for workers before the recession, and that’s when the bottom fell out. Growth cannot go on forever. The best way to get people back to work right now is to make labor more scarce.

            Reply
          18. Independent1 December 15, 2014

            And how to you spur an economy into putting more people to work when there are fewer people that the existing companies need to serve???? You’re proving yourself more ignorant with every statement you make!!!!

            Reply
          19. James Bowen December 15, 2014

            There are other ways to spur an economy besides increasing individual consumption levels. Modernizing and developing public infrastructure is one such possibility.

            How do you reduce unemployment when you are adding more workers to the workforce?

            Reply
          20. Independent1 December 15, 2014

            See!! There’s your ignorance!!

            Modernizing and developing public infrastructure is not something that would generate enough sustained jobs for a long period of time to support a shrinking population.

            Is your last question a trick question because it doesn’t make sense: adding people to the work force has to reduce the unemployment rate at a given population level – removing someone from the ‘true’ unemployment rate has to result in adding someone to the workforce.

            And you can only add someone to the workforce if there’s increasing customer demand to justify putting that person to work – which can only happen in two ways: 1) people have more spending money during high unemployment or 2) the population is growing which results in higher customer demand during times of low unemployment.

            Reply
          21. James Bowen December 15, 2014

            If the population is shrinking, than infrastructure development will over time provide greater employment support to the population.

            The workforce includes those who are currently unemployed. Adding more workers to an already glutted workforce makes the situation worse and drives wages down. That is basic supply and demand. The only way out of this is for jobs to be created faster than workers are added, but that has certainly not been happening in the last 14 years, let alone since the recession began. Even if there was, our resource base is finite and growth cannot last forever. At some point we have to learn to live in a growth-less economy.

            There are other ways to put people to work that what you just described. There are other sources of capital besides the money spent by consumers.

            Reply
          22. Independent1 December 15, 2014

            “There are other ways to put people to work that what you just described. There are other sources of capital besides the money spent by consumers.”

            Really?? Sources that will continuously pump capital into the economy for periods of time, LIKE YEARS, to make it worthwhile with respect to actually maintaining a thriving economy???

            Come on!! Let’s hear them!!

            Herbert Hoover, the great business man of the 1920s, A LA Mitt Romney, had the same kind of idiot notions; he was so convinced that the ‘private sector’ could spur the economy that he refused to use a stimulus like Obama did to stop the job slide of 2009, and instead raised the max tax rate to over 60% thinking as the Private Sector created a boom in business that the government would rake it mucho money via taxes.

            Well, we know just how that nitwit idea worked out – the economy spiraled into a world-wide depression that it took America more than 13 years to recover from.

            And exactly why do you think virtually every other industrialized nation is hesitant to use a stimulus like Obama did?? Because with shrinking populations that would be impossible to keep reved up without constant stimulus, they realize their countries could get caught up in that downward spiral – the ever increasing need to pump more and more GOVERNMENT MONEY into their economies in order to keep them moving.

            Reply
          23. James Bowen December 16, 2014

            Savings and tax revenue are two that I can think of.

            You are forgetting FDR. Rather than count on big business to put people back to work like Bush and Obama have done, he cut through the chase and put people to work. It did not end the depression, but it did stabilize things and put people to work. That was a far more successful model for dealing with economic hard times than what we have seen in recent years.

            Also, Japan did use such a stimulus with a shrinking population. They would have been better off not doing so because all it got them was the largest relative national debt in the world.

            Few people + finite resource base = more per capita.

            Reply
          24. Independent1 December 15, 2014

            Given that you’re such an expert on spurring an economy, maybe you can explain to me how the ‘private sector’ of any country would ever go about ‘SPURRING THEIR ECONOMY”.

            Would all companies collude and decide to run huge sales to encourage people with reduced incomes to go out an buy anyway with money they don’t have?

            Would all the banks and credit card companies get together and be willing to let their card holders run up bills they didn’t have to pay for until many of them could find jobs and pay the banks back??

            Would all companies get together and agree to cover some of their employees’ tax burdens to free up money for them to spend?

            Would all companies get together and agree to give all their employees a raise so that they had more money to spend??

            Would all companies get together and pour billions of dollars into the economy to support the building of their country’s infrastructure as a way to create jobs and get the economy reved up??

            There are probably other alternatives that would be as equally ridiculous!! But let me know if you think of some way.

            Reply
          25. James Bowen December 16, 2014

            Savings and investments, as well as tax revenue, are two that come to mind.

            Reply
          26. Independent1 December 16, 2014

            What!!! The fact that ‘Private Sector’ businesses are in fact “saving and investing’ TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS TODAY, RATHER THAN PUTTING THEIR MONEY INTO THEIR BUSINESSES, IS ONE THING THAT HAS SLOWED DOWN THE GROWTH OF OUR ECONOMY!!! Saving and investing HAS NEVER SPURRED AN ECONOMY!! Just like budget cuts, WILL NEVER SPUR AN ECONOMY, DESPITE WHAT IGNORANT AMERICANS THINK!!

            Rasmussen did a survey the other day, and what they learned from idiot Americans is that ‘Spending cuts will spur the economy’ JUST THE OPPOSITE OF REALITY!!!

            Tax revenus are something the Government would do, controlling tax revenues is nothing the “private sector” can controll!!

            Reply
          27. James Bowen December 16, 2014

            Are you kidding? The industrial revolution would not have been possible without savings and investment, nor would new industries. As for the importance of keeping spending tight and budgets balanced, I don’t see how bankruptcy is good for an economy.

            Regarding tax revenues, the government can use them to develop public infrastructure and start new industries.

            These are all better ways than telling people and business they have to spend money they can’t afford to.

            Reply
          28. Independent1 December 16, 2014

            Hogwash!! Savings and investment has had LITTLE TO DO with the industrial revolution. Few if any entrepreneurs or CEOS back then or even today wait until they have savings to invest before starting a new business or expanding one THEY USE DEBT!!!! They get loans from a bank or other lending organization, often backed by the government – and Why? Because they know that if they have a good idea that it will pay back that debt BECAUSE THE COUNTRY IS STILL GROWING – THERE IS A GROWING NUMBER OF POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS AND EVEN TAXPAYERS TO REPAY THEIR DEBT, OR THE GOVERNMENTS!!

            I’m well aware of what FDR did to spur the economy. He didn’t wait for a do nothing Congress to act – he signed an EO that created the WPA established for the intent purpose of rebuilding America to put people to work. And even though at the end of his last term, after WWII, America was in a FAR GREATER DANGER OF BANKRUPTCY, than it has ever been even today – FDR did that, BECAUSE AMERICA WAS GROWING AND HE KNEW THE POTENTIAL OF AMERICA AND THAT IT WOULD OVERCOME WHATEVER DEBT HE CREATED!!!

            And during his days, THERE WERE NO CHICKEN LITTLES LIKE TODAY – REPUBLICANS – RUNNING AROUND FEAR MONGERING ABOUT AMERICA’S BANKRUPTCY. And why?? Because back then, although politicians often opposed what FDR was doing THEY WERE AMERICANS FIRST and politicians 2nd.

            Unfortunately TODAY, Republican politicians are CORPORATE ROBOTS 1ST and QUESTIONABLE POLITICIANS 2ND!!!!!

            Reply
          29. James Bowen December 16, 2014

            For someone to use debt, someone else must have saved. The banks that make loans would not have any money to loan someone wasn’t saving. Population growth is not necessary for an industry to succeed. A customer base is still a customer base, even if it is shrinking one. An industry can still remain profitable with a shrinking customer base (though downsizing might be necessary). The two most successful economies in the world right now, Germany and Japan, both have aging and shrinking populations.

            FDR was not reckless in spending (though he was often accused of being). He did at times rely on deficit spending, but he never let it get out of control.

            Reply
  2. Mark Uss December 12, 2014

    If one thing is clear, it’s that we have a rogue executive branch.

    Reply
  3. Charles Evans December 13, 2014

    How many immigrants were part of this poll? How many Americans who were immigrants were part of this poll. How many minorities were part of this poll? Or was this an all white male over 50 poll? Hmmmmmmm? I’ll wait!

    Reply
  4. Charles Evans December 13, 2014

    If people are so interested in the law, then why do we have reality TV shows of law breakers growing and selling marijuana in states where it’s not legal? Selling moonshine on the discovery channel? Threatening the president on an open forum like facebook? How can a cop shoot and kill unarmed men? We are a nation of laws when the laws apply to other people who are not White it seems.

    Reply
  5. charleo1 December 13, 2014

    I find it incredible that the Party of Conservative solutions, family values, and sound economic policy. That 40% of that Party now believe it would benefit anything, if… All those who have entered the Country, outside the system, have been allowed to work for years, many starting their own businesses, and employing American Citizens. Who harvest 90% of our crops, have children, who are citizens, and will come to vote one day. Were all forced to leave the Country. Still think they are Conservative? How about those family values? Do they still make any economic sense? Or, do they sound like a bunch of misinformed people, being manipulated, and played for fools? And, essentially talked out of their fundamental articles of faith?

    Reply

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