Wednesday, November 17, 2010

California Governors’ Race
                Californians are ready for what seems to be a long overdue change in leadership because of our current governor, Arnold Schwartzenegar has proven ineffective in correcting California's downward spiral.  California’s Governors’ Race has become a major priority for voters this year. The two candidates; Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman are running for California Governor. Part of the electorate periceves both as poor choices because of the perception that neither will be able to break the logjam for true structural change to some major issues in California. As Californians we must decide who the next governor of California will be and some ways to help determine this is to take a look at their views on unemployment, immigration, unions, school funding and the balance of our state's  budget and point out errors in logic demonstrated in television advertisement  to make the best  decision possible.
Irrational Appeals
                One major issue that both Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman must address as governor of California is that of unemployment. However, each has a different plan to through on their goal of creating new jobs for the people of California. On July 20, 2010, Whitman ran an ad stating Jerry Brown had no plan to create jobs for Californians (“whitman-brown-is-plan-free”),  but this claim was unfounded because Jerry Brown does have a plan to create hundreds of thousands of green  jobs by the year 2020 (Jerry Brown governor 2010). Therefore, the ad ran by Whitman is misleading in an attempt to deceive the people of California.  It appears that Mrs. Whitman is making an irrational appeal to voters fears/emotions. According to Beyond Feelings, an irrational appeal to emotion occurs when an appeal is made to a group of people and elicits feelings of fear (Ruggiero).  In this case, Whitman implied because Jerry Brown does not have a plan to create jobs, Californians will not be able to feed their families and  pay their bills.  The real question is does Whitman have a plan to help our unemployed and is it a safe plan or not? Whitman states she can create two million private-sector jobs by 2015 because she is willing to eliminate the eight-hundred dollar start up fee for new business owners and also willing to eliminate the capital gains tax (“platform topic. php?type=jobspage=1”), but this could have many effects on the people of California like increase taxes for the middle and low class.
Post Hoc Fallacy
                On the other hand, Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown totally have different views on immigration and whether to legalize or illegalize it. Because of this, during elections Megan Whitman was falsely accused in television ads ran in April 2010 of supporting amnesty for illegal immigration.  These ads stated that supporting amnesty for illegal immigrates this will increase the cost of healthcare in the state of California under President Barack Obama’s Healthcare Plan but, what the ad failed to prove is how this would increase cost and did  not offer any suggestions or proof behind such  an accusation(“California-governors-race-and-more-on-health-care”). It is clear on Meg Whitman’s website that she is one hundred percent against amnesty for illegal immigrants.  This television ad is completely false.  Another error, the ad made is to assume that supporting amnesty will result in an increased healthcare cost to tax payers. This is a good use of the post hoc fallacy error in procedure. Post hoc fallacy is the belief that if one event occurs it is the direct cause of the next event that follows. In this case, supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants would result in astronomical cost to taxpayers.  This ad also played on voter’s emotions with an irrational appeal to voter’s emotions and/or fears of an increase cost to taxpayers or “sky rocketing healthcare cost under Obama Healthcare.”   Jerry Brown supports a comprehensive reform plan to legalize illegal immigrants according to his website.  As attorney General he stated, “I cannot legally support giving driving licenses to illegal or undocumented immigrants.”    Brown seems to have taken a neutral, but firm stance to find a solution to this growing issue.
                Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman are both being accused by an independent special interest group who are running television ads which state, to a certain extent, that both candidates are tied to special interest groups. For example, Megan Whitman is being accused of providing tax cuts for those in the wealthy upper class rather than the “common man” in the middle class to serve her and her rich consigentents . This is an example of using oversimplification to mislead voters to make a hasty and costly decision.  Oversimplification is used when an issue is complicated and may take too long to explain (Ruggiero). Just to clarify Megan offer to give middle class homeowners a ten thousand dollar tax cut. However, how many Californians’ still own their home after the economic downturn and the crash of the housing market?  Mrs. Whitman just like all other Republicans’  in this country believe that the more tax cuts the wealthy have the more jobs they will create. If I am not mistaken this was introduce by the Reagan administration (Reaganomics), which had good intent, but big businesses started sending American  jobs overseas to increase their profits. This policy did create jobs, but not for Americans.
By the same token, special interest groups also ran ads to mar Jerry Brown‘s record as a previous governor.  He was accused once again of being a candidate of special interest rather than that of a neutral one.  The television ad claimed that because Jerry Brown gave unions collective bargaining power and that he is the reason why the state budget in regards to retirement for state employees has cause a huge deficit with no way to fund these retirement plans.  The ad is misleading in that Jerry Brown did give unions collective bargaining power, but it was under Gray Davis leadership that state employees got to retain 90% of their pay if they retire from a state job.  This misleading ad is just a flat out lie, but Beyond Feelings describe this error as a hasty conclusion.  The television ad implied because Jerry Brown approved collective bargaining power for unions he is the reason why California state budget  not balanced.
State Budget
Television advertistment running  during this government election demonstrates many uses of error in logic, not to mention some ads are misleading and in most cases flat out lies.  Logic errors addressed in this paper consist of errors  in procedure such as hasty conclusion, oversimplification and post hoc fallacy;  errors of expression such as an irrational appeal to emotions and errors of perspective.


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