I am in a bit of a pickle.  As a creative, one of the things that concerns me is copyright.  Over the years we have seen it take a beating – people taking liberties with it, rights grabs from big corporations, yada yada yada.  It makes you like big companies (a.k.a. concervatives) less because of how much of a beating respect for copyright takes.  For instance, take a look at the recent case from Apple – they are being sued by a photographer because they used her image beyond the scope of the licensing they purchased.  The full story is here.  She was smart though – her work was registered, and she had gone through an agency to represent her, and when usage went beyond the scope, she is fighitng to protect her copyright.  Yay for her, boo for Apple.  So that means I should shy away from the Romney platform, right?  (Big business and all…)

On the flip side, as a photographer, I am also a small business owner.  This means that I take deductions on my taxes for using part of my house.  I take partial deductions on the mortgage, utilities, internet, phone, and car.  Heck, I even am entitled to take deductions on equipment (depreciation and all that).  It’s just good business sense.  The money I save from that has found its way into a retirement fund (a pittance really, but still – I’ve invested in the stock market).

So, in that vein, the conservative platform usually will try to reward investors by limiting capital gains taxes, while the other side of the aisle tends to prefer to tax those profits I’ve made on investments.  Call me crazy, but I don’t think I should have to pay taxes on my investments.  After all, I’ve paid taxes on my income.  I then take that income and invest it, why should I be taxed again because I happened to make a smart investment that made money?  I don’t think so.  So, that means I should shy away from the Democratic platform then, right?

It’s really an odd position to be in, because I don’t really identify with either party – either Republican or Democrat.  I consider myself more of a libertarian – conservative on fiscal issues, liberal on social issues.  Neither party really represents me.  Has anyone ever thought of how many people fit into this niche?  One where your interests really aren’t represented by either party?  I am thinking now about anyone who identifies as either an Independent, Libertarian, Tea Party, Green Party, or any other party not represented in the coming election.  Who are we supposed to vote for?  After all – we need to vote, right?  it’s our civic duty!  What if neither party really has our interests at heart?  Don’t vote?  That’s a tough pill to swallow.

In my mind, if we don’t participate, we really don’t have a right to complain, and I’ve got some complaining to do!  That means I have to vote!  But who gets the nod?

It’s definitely a quagmire and there’s obviously a lot more to it than that, but when you look at it from the perspective of a photographer – there are points that make me lean toward Obama, and others that make me lean back toward Romney.  I keep hearing that it’s a critical election, so this time more than ever, my vote may count (I live in a swing state).  I’d love to hear others thoughts on this.  Very few photographers talk politics, and it’s probably worth discussing.  You don’t necessarily have to tell me who you are going to vote for – but what issues are big on your mind these days?  Raising cost of living?  Taxes?  Copyright?  Gas prices?  There’s a lot to consider, and I know the presidency doesn’t really control all of it, but something tells me this election will matter more, and I want to make the right decision.

Help me decide who to vote for in 2012…

Have you made a decision on who to vote for tomorrow?

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10 thoughts on “Decision 2012….

  1. Phil Grant says:

    Hi Jason, After reading your post today I can only think of one answer… you need to look at the big picture. In your mind you see pluses to both sides and minuses. To me, everything hinges on the future and not the past. I too try to make money with my photography, and I have a hard time doing anything with the economy in the toilet. I learned many years ago in economics 101 and government 101, that supporting more government is not good for the economy because the government does not produce anything, thus the only way government can do anything is by taxation. While we need programs to help people in need, by expanding the role of government we create even more dependence thus the need for more taxation. That taxation lowers the standard of living for everyone being taxed especially people like you and me because of our efforts to work on our own in the marketplace. We do not have an employer to make money and thus keep us going, instead we are relying on those individuals and companies that are paying additional taxes for our livelihood. I passed on a major art show for my work this year because of the bad economy and people living without investing in art for home and office. That was not the case three years ago. As you can probably read into my note, I do not like the way the country is going and am very opposed and concerned with the possibility of four more years of Obama.

    1. Hey Phil,

      An interesting take for sure. I do apologize if I gave the impression that these were the only issues on my radar. Yes, it is a major over-simplification, and really was only intended to illustrate that even the average Joe (or Josephine) can be impacted by this election. It is definitely a watershed election where the country will head in one direction or another based on the outcome. I have been trying to maintain objectivity and stay somewhat aloof in the process, but it’s getting harder and harder to stay on the sidelines, which was the rationale behind the post today.

      I tried framing it so that people can see there are tons of issues at stake, which would hopefully propel people to actually participate. That being said, I am not trying to cast my own opinions on others, rather to encourage everyone to vote, because the elections are important!

  2. I am struggling with the same issue. I made a decision, but not 100% behind it. .I hate having to choose the lesser of two evils, when I really don’t like either of the choices. I was raised as a fiscal conservative, believe people who work hard should succeed. But the way the Republicans are going with their social agenda is starting to alienate me. The worst thing for me is their disregard for established science. So, I can’t really give any advice, just sympathy for your plight.

    1. It’s a plight many of us are in. What’s so aggravating is that no one is really talking about the issues – instead it’s rhetoric, bashingvia hate ads and campaign tactics. Let’s toss that crapola aside and see what the real problems are that face the small-timer! Thanks Susan!

  3. Tough call here. Do you want to have huge taxes and less money or do you want to sacrifice civil rights…assuming you can actually figure out where Mitt stands as it could change on Wed again.

    1. Waffling has become synonymous with candidacy for public office as I do not know of any recent candidate that hasn’t changed views at least on some levels to adjust their rhetoric to the audience they are addressing…

      Today is more about illustrating that there are aspects of politics that can effect even a lowly photographer trying to scrape out a living. Thanks for contributing to the discussion dude! 🙂

  4. @photogoofer says:

    The only flaw I see in your Apple comparison is a) Apple is far from being run by conservatives. They’re all about as liberal as they come. And b) their error in using an image beyond the scope of the license had nothing to do with political persuasion and is either an oversight or a case of bad judgement by someone in the marketing department. I don’t see Big Business politics in this. Since her images were registered and she has representation, all should settle out as expected. Copyright law even allows for the winner to have her legal fees paid by the loser.

    The previous comment has it right when they say four more years of Obama and you’ll be lucky to have work. Increasing tax burden, not only on yourself & business, but on your potential customers, leaves a very small pie to divide. Hence less expendable income for purchasing what you offer. Capital gains are scheduled to go sky-high next year. It’s one of the main reasons Lucas Films sold recently rather than next year. To avoid HUGE increases in capital gains. I believe it was Margaret Thatcher that said “Socialism is a great thing, but eventually you run out of other people’s money”

    I don’t disagree with your libertarian leanings. I have them too. But now is not the time to try to cast a “none of the above” vote to a libertarian candidate. It’d only be a vote for Obama. These types of movements have to build from the ground up with local and state offices and them they become viable. Similar to what has happened with TEA Party candidates.

    Sorry to rant, but it’s an important decision.

    1. It is an important decision, and as I hopefully just indicated, there are some predilections and predispositions that I bring to any political discussion. Having said that, the post today was intended to illustrate that even photographers may have a stake in the outcome. Better than the apathy that has become as much a part of the problem as anything else! Thanks for chiming in!

  5. Go with Mitt, if you go with Obama, you will not worry about paying taxes because you will not have any work.

    1. Heh…if only it was that easy. Hopefully everyone realizes that I am very much over-simplifying the issues facing voters this year. This is but one miniscule aspect of things to consider when we go to cast our ballots tomorrow. Just giving photographers who may be of the opinion that “the election doesn’t concern me”…

      Regardless, thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

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