The 2008 US Presidential Election

Topic: The 2008 US Presidential Election

Robert Hormats: I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect that candidates for public office are going to have good solutions to the crisis of integrity in our life – in our public life. And it’s not because politicians can’t have integrity. Of course they can. I don’t dump on politicians the way some people do.

It’s because it’s not a problem the government can fix. It’s a problem that we have to decide to fix in our private lives.

I would like to see candidates talk more about poverty; but I worry a lot that Democrat and Republican candidates alike use it mainly as a club to hit us over the head. It’s not so much whether they’re committed to in their campaigns in a serious way. It’s more a tool for making other people look bad. It’s really unfortunate. 

If you look at the trends, for example, in the black community, the trend toward income stratification – that is the well-to-do black people getting better off, and the worse-off people getting worse off – that’s gotten worse under the [George W.] Bush administration. It got worse under the [Bill] Clinton administration. It’s just been getting worse for years. It’s not a left-right thing. It’s just been getting worse, and getting worse, and getting worse.

Most of the trends; there are some that are on an uptick. Most of the trends in the black community that are troubling, and that are going in the wrong direction, have been going in the wrong direction for a long time. So it’s not a matter of which party is in power; it’s that it takes more to fix them.

There’s a need for public solutions. There’s a need for some policies. There’s also a need for private solutions; a need for people to try to fix some things from within as well.

I’m not terribly sanguine about our willingness to do either one of those things. I’m not terribly sanguine about our willingness to do the things that will cost money in the public sector. I’m not terribly sanguine about our ability to encourage marriage, which might cost people ideological points. And if we can’t do those things, then I don’t know what the future is for these problems. I honestly don’t know what it is we’re going to do.

And understand, when I say poverty, I mean it in an absolute sense. I don’t care in America if rich people get really rich. I don’t care about who’s got the most money. I’m interested in people at the other end. It’s not that, oh goodness, the rich people have money; the poor people don’t. I’m interested in why is the reason people don’t have money is because rich people have money; or is there some other reason?

It’s important to know why poor people are suffering – to be able to fix their suffering. And I think too often we guess at why they’re suffering. And sometimes we guess wrong.  And yes, sometimes there are some problems that could be not repaired, but it’s __________ we’d spend more money and I wish we would. But not every problem can be helped along that way.

 

Recorded on: July 25, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

Get out of Iraq, Hormats says, and fix the home front.

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists reverse hair loss by making scalp "smell" sandalwood

It turns out the human scalp has an olfactory receptor that seems to play a crucial role in regulating hair follicle growth and death.

Photo: malehmann via Flickr
Surprising Science
  • Scientists treated scalp tissue with a chemical that mimics the odor of sandalwood.
  • This chemical bound to an olfactory receptor in the scalp and stimulated hair growth.
  • The treatment could soon be available to the public.
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less