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Everything posted by OldGimletEye

  1. If I'm still around when global warming gets real bad, I'm going to the Koch Brothers house, so I can sit in their air conditioning and drink up all their water. And I'm inviting everyone to come with me.
  2. I've been of the general opinion for awhile, that if you give a Republican clown an inch, he'll take a mile.
  3. Lots and lots of conservative clownery. Maybe not as much as now, but still. I see lots of wacko and nutball conservative conspiracy theories being cranked out at the rapid rate. And if you were a bullshit artist, it would be a great time for you to write a bullshit book about wacko conservative conspiracy theories regarding Clinton. You'd make a whole bunch of money. The conservative clown crew would eat that shit up like it was candy.
  4. Here in the US even people that are fairly centrist are considered the "far left". Like certain people that more or less support Dodd Frank for instance. I don't think people like Robert Schiller or Richard Thaler are part of "far left", instead they just are guys that have undermined the EMH idea. During the GFC things got so crazy that even your run of the mill monetarist became part of the "far left", even though most of them are right of center. In the US, most of us might as well identify as dirty liberals, since you know it's extremely difficult to adhere to the true conservatism.
  5. Here in the US we had about one year in 1984 where growth was very good compared to prior years, which was due to mostly monetary policy. And as I've said before on another thread, the Republican Party and conservatives have milked that baby for all it's worth over 30 years, claiming it was mornin' in 'Murica because of the Reagan tax cuts. That's of course is utter crap, but I think you are right, that even some left leaning people fall for it, since the Republican Party is really good at tooting its own horn. It's a real legend in it's own mind. But other than what is in popular imagination, part of the turn to conservative ideas was in large part a trends in academia. Robert Lucas and his boys down at U of Chicago had enormous influence, convincing many that economy was more or less self stabilizing with Lucas inspired models with it's mindless walrasianism and Rational Expectations, which pretty much showed that the economy was self stabilizing until it wasn't. And over the last few years many of the boys and gals down at the U of Chicago's economics department really showed their ass. Casey Mulligan spent years scratching his head trying to figure out why unemployment was high unemployment and writing nonsense columns about it in newspapers. And because he was stuck in his mindless walrasianism which basically says prices clear markets quickly he just couldn't figure it out and had to invent "structural stories" ie the ACA is the problem! No wait it's Dodd-Frank! No, it's unemployment benefits! The short answer to Mulligan's nonsense along with the rest of U of Chicago is that the labor market, along with other markets were in disequilibrium and it can take quite awhile before prices adjust to equalibriate demand and supply, if it ever truly does. And then of course the EMH of his U of Chicago colleague Fama I think is come into disrepute among many academics that might have bought into it before the GFC. Of course conservatives mostly like EMH, except of course when the don't like the guy who is president, and do a bit o' conservative asset mispricing concern trolling and of course when they are trying to blame poor minorities for causing financial crises. Overall, I think much of academia is starting to veer to the left, in large part, to recent experiences and because of recognition that supply side nonsense never was able to deliver it's promises and has contributed to growing wealth inequality. The question of course is whether any of that will filter down to the broader public. Conservatives are very good at getting their horseshit believed. And in the US, it would seem that all you have to do is convince a lot of people that because you're a successful business guy, or maybe you just played on TV, you actually know what in the hell you're talking about.
  6. Normally, I’d think that conservative and supply side idiot Larry Kudlow would severely drag down the average IQ of any group. But, in the Trump administration, he might actually raise it a bit. That’s where we are at. https://www.vox.com/2018/3/14/17120558/larry-kudlow-national-economic-council At this time, I'd invite conservatives to brag about the "Bush Boom". Don't be shy or modest conservatives. Tell us about how the true conservatism helped to bring about the Bush Boom. And then when your done with that, you can tell us about the Brownback Boom. .............................................................................................................. Paul Ryan claims that Lamb won because he remained true to the conservatism. Ryan ends up showing though that he is a true conservative idiot. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/14/17119662/paul-ryan-conor-lamb-pennsylvania-spin .......................................................................................... https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/kerner-commission-report-50-years-later-by-joseph-e--stiglitz-2018-03 Becker's argument sounds like some real libertarian nonsense. And I'd imagine it partially under girded the thinking of somebody like Rand Paul when he blurted out he wouldn't have supported the 1964 Civil Rights Bill. Generally, I like models that can at least ball park or plausibly explain historical events. It was about 100 years between the end of the Civil War and the Civil Rights Bills in the 1960s. So, I really have no idea what Becker was thinking when he made his argument. It sounds like he was overly influenced by Robert Lucas, who helped to create models that were utterly useless in explaining the Great Depression or the GFC. ...................................................................................................... I think somebody ought write a TV show about the Trump administration and call it the Sorry Ass Bunch. And that's the way we became the Sorry Ass Bunch! https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/03/team-trump-is-getting-worse-and-worse/
  7. Not sayin’ I’m the greatest speller in the world. And I'm usually pretty hesitant to point others spellin’ mistakes because as they say people in glass houses ought to not throw stones. But, “Marine Core”. Seriously. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-marine-corps-spelling_us_5aa8b28ce4b0f7a689cd8a75
  8. Not really US politics per se, but of some concern for those who think globalization gone and done badly is a threat to left wing parties, a boon to right wing nationalist, and a threat to globalization itself. The Euro right now is a flamin’ disaster and needs reform. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/03/12/how-the-euro-is-helping-europes-far-right-fascists/ Maybe the Davos crowd could try to fix this. But, you know they will talk about “multi stake holder solutions” and such. ......................................................................................................................................................... More on globalization done badly: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/trump-tariffs-trade-gimmickry-by-dani-rodrik-2018-03 ............................................................................... Yes, "The Crapo Bill" is an appropriate name. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/06/opinion/democrats-trump-dodd-frank.html ........................................................................................ For the conservative asset mispricing concern trolls and the Poor Savers! crowd. https://voxeu.org/article/new-take-low-interest-rates-and-risk-taking For what is obvious reasons, I've never been really impressed by the EMH story along with many other lefties. It certainly doesn't hold in all times and all places. For a long time the left has been skeptical of this story. Now conservatives seemingly only get skeptical, depending on who is office (or when they want to blame for minorities for financial crises). So now that Republican guy is office, I'm sure they will go right back into believing in it. Anyway, for a long time, a lot of Keynesian sorts of people willing to give up a lot to pure monetarist types, agreeing that monetary policy could get the job done. But, after the GFC, I think there is a lot less willingness to concede as much as to monetarist types. The point is this: If too low interest rates can help to create financial instability, there is a fairly straight forward solution: Issue more safe interest bearing assets. ................................................................................... The libertarians aren't going to like this but........................... https://voxeu.org/article/publicly-funded-applied-research-pays-case-fraunhofer-gesellschaft ......................................................................... Thanks NRA! You fucked everyone! Good Job! Good one! Ya did a heck of a job there Browny! https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/28/17058236/gun-control-research-parkland-shooting Should be called the Dick Amendment as it was supported by a bunch of dicks.
  9. From the last thread: Well I thought he was going to get the Chairman of The Council Of Chickenhawks job. That must be going to Ted Nugent.
  10. Which point or points am I not getting, again? I understand that backing for tarriffs would come from places like OH, PA, WV. But, I also understand, that the people there have point about the effects of trade, that go beyond the "Mexican took our jobs" meme, and their skepticism about the effects of trade before these trade deals were signed were not off in la la land. And I also understand, that many progressive Democrats, have had issues with free trade, not without reason, for a very long time, long before Trump ever arrived on the scene, something that you seem to only grudgingly acknowledge. Brown has been anti-free- trade for a very long time. If he were to get on the free trade band wagon now, he'd look like he was just playing team Democrat, rather than sticking to what he has been saying for a very long time. In short, he'd look like a Republican whose position on the deficit, depended upon who was in office. But beyond the case of Brown, there have been other progressive who don't represent rust belt states that have been skeptical of free trade, like Sanders and Warren. And given the traditional progressive skepticism about free trade, I think it' is an error to just boil this down to Uhaul truck rentals or just pandering to troglodytes that just can't get it together.
  11. I agree that the tariffs will do little to achieve their intended objective and will just end up mainly pissing off US trade partners and allies. And I’d urge Democrats that have concerns about free trade to find a solution for their concerns over free trade, other than protectionism and tariffs. Perhaps they, along with the Democratic Party generally, should adopt Robert Rubin’s suggestion for a government jobs guarantee, which is interesting that would come from him since he is the sort of neo-liberal Democrat many progressives can’t stand. That said though, I still have a very hard to time making the inference you’d like us to make with regard to Democrat support for the tarriffs. If I were to make that inference then I’d have to conclude that somebody like Sherrod Brown who as a pretty progressive record on social issues is now the the regressive troll, while somebody like Orrin Hatch is now the progressive on social issues. We have entered a strange land. Something does not quite compute. Perhaps the better explanation here is that some on the left have had issues with free trade for a very long time and not without some reasons. That they are not very inclined to listen to the best technocratic advice on the matter makes some sense, since perhaps the first time around the benefits of free trade were a bit oversold. Sherrod Brown for instance has been on the anti-free trade bandwagon for a very long time, writing a book about the subject in the mid 2000s, when everyone just knew Trump mainly as a very bad and cheesy reality TV person. So no, I don’t think progressive Dems for the most part are just pandering to a bunch of knuckle dragging trogolodytes that just can’t get it together in the “new” economy of the 21st Century, but instead are acting on some deeply held suspicions about free trade. As I noted previously, these suspicions go back quite awhile and don’t lack utter merit. Fact is that some person have pretty good reasons to be pissed off about how things went down, even if I think their political response, which I shall elaborate on later, was not very good and made their personal situations worse. Much like Mexican Farmers that got wacked real good under NAFTA, after cheap American agricultural imports came flooding in (something the Trumpster never mentions), some American workers got wacked real good as Davos man didn’t think too hard about their fates when these trade deals got signed. The irony here is that although many progressives were deeply suspicious of free trade, free trade may have been a disaster for the Democratic Party and likely contributed heavily to Hillary Clinton’s defeat in several rust belt states. You’re not exactly wrong to point out that there is a gendered component to this. But, even more than the gendered component, it would appear the race/ethnic component appeared to play a larger role. David Autor, who I think is a fairly respected labor economist, has done a study of the political polarization caused by the China trade (I think there are similar conclusions with regard to NAFTA). I think one of the key take aways from that study is that after experiencing job loss to important competition, people get much more tribal and in group identification becomes stronger. Primarily white counties exposed to import competition started to vote more heavily conservative Republican, while counties that were primarily non-white went the more liberal Democrat route. It would appear that white working class men went strongly towards conservative Republicans. While working class white women didn’t do go as strongly for conservative Republicans as their male counterparts did, they hardly went for liberal or moderate Democrats, seemingly preferring “moderate” Republicans, it would seem. See Table 9. I bring these issues up because it’s my impression based on the work of Autor and others, free trade has not been kind to the political fortunes to center left parties and I think they need to understand how it works as a matter of political economy if 1) they are to maintain free trade, 2) promote socially progressive goals, and 3) out maneuver right wing nationalistic parties who are able to exploit some of the issues free trade has caused. These issues are too important to be left to Davos man and it’s my contention that center left parties will have to fix them. In the US, it’s of course deeply disappointing that so many white working class men sided with the R’s and one may feel it’s just time to write them off permanently and that maybe true, but certainly that is not the case with white working class women, not if the Democrats plan to re-take the white house in 2020, unless there is some viable route to get their that does not include the midwest, I don’t know about. And I just think that too much talk of Uhaul rentals and such is likely to get the Democratic Party ass handed to it in 2020. Nor all of them have to be won back of course. Just a few of them in order to defeat Trump, which may mean with the right pitch, the Democrats won’t have to give up much or anything on social policy. But anyway, this dispute about free trade has been an issue on the left for quite awhile, causing some division and rancor on the left. And I just think, the left needs figure out where it is going to be at on it. And it’s hard to do that unless you understand why some on the left have historically held it with some suspicions and you know acknowledge that some of their concerns didn’t lack substance. And try to fix those concerns. And then you know, I think it’s important for it to understand how the political economy of it has worked out, which would seem to me, not very well.
  12. It’s my opinion that we should blame this generation for everything wrong. What a bunch of clowns (which um er well includes me too). What kind of buffoons think they actually look good in parachute pants? Not any serious or rational person.
  13. I might be willing to buy into this interpretation of events, if it were not for the fact that the left has a bit of contentious relationship with free trade and globalization, long before Trump ever ran for president or long before anyone got one inkling of a clue that he might run. And it seems to me that these issues have divided the left for quite awhile before Trump ever announced his candidacy. And it probably has often been a bit confusing for many on the left as many of us have an intentional orientation while at the same time being a bit concerned about what these issues might to do working people. So no, I don’t think it’s just simply a matter of Sanders or Brown just pandering to a bunch of knuckle dragging troglodytes with a toxic masculinity problem, as there has been a history there of some on the left being a skeptical of free trade and globalization, long before Trump. While there likely is some truth that part of the problem is that some are knuckle dragging troglodytes that refuse to do less “manly” jobs, that seems to me about as much of an oversimplification as Kevin Williamson, writing the National Review, awhile back, that these problems would largely go away, if those troglodytes would just burn their goddamned Bruce Springsteen albums and rented a U-Haul truck and just moved. One reason that former steel workers and such might not transition to less “manly” jobs is that they may not exist. Certainly it’s not hard to imagine that the decline of a major industry in a region would depress local aggregate demand destroying other jobs the process. That people are reluctant to move in such a situation could a variety reasonable explanations, say for instance people being reluctant to leave their social support networks to move to a new region where their future may be uncertain. Certainly globalization done badly can have disastrous effects, just like in the Great Depression when the international monetary system went haywire, resulting in many nations turning to autarky or the structural flaws in the Euro having a similar effect. And when globalization does go badly it creates space for right wing populist clowns like Trump or Marine Le Pen to sale snake oil. Personally, I’d like to see globalization to succeed. But it may not succeed if all the left can come up with is that it failed because there were too many knuckle dragging troglodytes or lack of Uhaul truck rentals. There are a lot of issues for the left to think about, ranging to from displaced workers, to international monetary cooperation, and international tax cooperation. And certainly the left needs to come up with answer so that the process of globalization is seen as legitimate in the eyes of most people and that people are not being screwed because of it. In my view the left, and not just the US left, has to think very carefully on these issues so people like Sanders or Brown don’t end up supporting tariffs because they feel like there is no other option or creating space for frauds like Trump to sell snake oil.
  14. Time to get tough on the conservatism. Its sorry ass silliness has worn out its welcome.
  15. One side talks more out it's ass than the other one does. It's as simple as that. The fact is the conservative movement and the Republican Party has simply lost it's goddamned mind, to the point that at least some prominent conservatives have been willing to acknowledge that. It's not all about different values, nor does it have to do with this being a left wing echo chamber. Conservatives can cry about "echo chambers" liberal media or whatever they want, but that doesn't change the fact they have simply lost it and have been doing it for years. And no sane person ought to let Republicans and conservatives just walk right out the intellectual trash pile they have created for themselves by saying "golly, it's just about different values". That is bullshit.
  16. The Democrat Dirty Dozen: More on the Dirty Dozen: https://www.vox.com/explainers/2018/3/6/17081532/republicans-dodd-frank-financial-regulations
  17. Overall I am not an anti free trader, being mostly pro free trade. What I would have like to have seen is money set aside for people that lost because of trade, helping to them to retrain, move, or whatever. And that could have been done probably for a fraction of the cost the insane Republican corporate tax bill. In the long run, trade is likely beneficial for most people. In the long run, the labor market will adjust putting people in more productive jobs. But for some folks the long run can be a very long time, perhaps their entire life time. The long run for them means nothing. I just wish things would have been handled differently. But by no means, do I support Trumps current actions with regard to tariffs. I think they are more harmful than helpful. But, aside from pointing out Trump's incoherent and contradictory approach to free trade issues, I'd like the left to resolve it's differences over trade and come up with a coherent and unified approach to the issue. I don't think I quite agree with Sanders approach to trade, but I understand the source of his concerns. And of course there is the fact that not all the wealthy inequality is driven by trade issues. In fact most of it is likely do to other reasons than free trade. It's only part of the story, but not the whole one.
  18. I can’t stand Trump. And overall I think his and the Republican Party’s approach to things is a disaster for most people. But, I think it would be wrong to say, “we on the left have been always ardently pro free trade all along!” when that is not true. Surely they are some pro free trade lefties. And there are some anti-free trade lefties. I think it’s important though to understand where the bone of contention lies, so we can come with with a coherent story of what we want do about it or how we are going to deal with it.” I think a lot of what you say here is true. And overall I’m a pro free trader. But, free trade hasn’t been a great deal for everyone, particularly if your some 40+ person whose just lost his job in the steel industry. You face some significant barriers to entry to re-integrate into the labor market, things like re-training cost and age discrimination to mention a few. I think my overall point is that we have to be a bit nuanced about this stuff, so we the left can formulate policies to deal with it.
  19. Trump's trade policy has been incoherent. Remember the corporate tax bill? Now remember the purpose that bill was to increase the US attractiveness as a place to invest. But you know, if all that foreign investment comes in, ie the US is basically exporting financial claims, then US imports of goods have to increase. And then the deficits created by that sorry ass corporate tax bill likely increases the amount of imports. Well that would have been the standard prediction anyway, except for the corporate tax bills sorry ass territorial provisions, which give incentive for corporations to shift capital out of the country. His fiscal and tariff choices are an incoherent mess. Also, I'd be remiss, if I didn't mention that at least part of the reason the US runs trade deficits is because basically we are the worlds monetary hegemon. People around the world want to hold US dollars and US interest bearing debt. Now that gives us some privileges when it comes to borrowing, but it also means we have to run deficits. Trump doesn't seem to understand this. There is always been part of the left that has been uneasy with free trade. And it's not completely void of good reasons. Standard models predict that free trade will redistribute income. The case that the trade with China actually caused job losses rather than merely redistributing income and the configuration of jobs seems fairly strong at this point. Now the official story is that it is all robots. But for the people that have suffered job losses or have to shift to lower paying jobs are probably very suspicious of that story and well, honestly, they have some reason to be. When these trade deals had been signed, and had we been more honest, that not everyone was going to be a winner, at least initially, and had taken steps to compensate the losers from trade, then we might not see so much populous backlash against trade. Overall I tend to be a free trader. And over all. I think it is beneficial. But, I think it was just a tad dishonest to portray everyone as being winners from trade. And both the Democrats and Republicans bear responsibility here. This is not a defense of Trump's actions as I think they are overall bad and likely just to piss off many of our key allies, who we already have strained relationships with. I would have preferred more direct aid to have gone to those people that have experienced job losses as result of trade. Certainly, I think we could have done a lot for a fraction of the cost of the ridiculous corporate tax bill. But, what I want to mainly get at here, I think, is that lets just get this out in the open is that yes some of the left is very skeptical of trade. And I think it's important we understand the reasons why. And it's important I think for the left to understand what it wants to to do about it, should it regain power. And I think it's important for the left to have a little more nuanced understanding of the issues here than the Republican right, which just mindlessly says "the market is always awesome!"
  20. After watching almost 20 years of conservative buffoonery, I’m just not in the mood to say: "Now people, people, let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who."
  21. The Clownpire Strikes Back. And it seems some Democrats are getting in on the clownery. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/03/05/senate-banking-bill-would-boost-the-chances-of-more-bank-bailouts-cbo-report-says/ Interesting piece from Jonah Shitbird. Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. Somebody said that once. https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/02/nationalism-americans-right-trump-russia-meddle-election-2016-2018/ I don’t have a problem with a bit of nationalism per se. I do have a problem when it’s used to do something utterly stupid. Shitbird ought to know a thing or two about that. Cough, cough Iraq. And of course when it is used to crap on other people. Interesting: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/5/17070920/democrats-president-congress-priorities-health-care-immigration-guns-climate-change-poll-survey Healthcare reform and deficit reduction are not two mutually exclusive propositions. And of course if conservative sorts of people are interested in deficit reduction, then they should have no problem with Democrats fixing the Republicans fucked up tax bill. Though, I'd note it's interesting that conservative sorts of people seem to pick immigration issues over deficit reduction.
  22. Yeah, I'm not fan of all this intergenerational squabbling. I know boomers who are right wing clowns. I know many who are not. I have chewed out boomers who crap on millennials, reminding them they have borne the brunt of Dubya's wars. And yet many of the alt right is made up of millennials. There are jack asses in every generation. Just an observation from a Gen Xer. Remember those guys? Nah, I didn't think so. Nobody does. LOL.
  23. I don't think so. But, I have little patience these days for those who are a bit right of center who do "both sides" or are not willing to admit that both the Republican Party and mainstream American conservatism have gone completely batshit cuckoo.
  24. A bit old: Evidently people that believe "across state lines" are brainiacs. People that believed Trump and the Republican Party had a credible health care plan are real geniuses. But according to Orrin Hatch: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/aca-support-climbs-hatch-calls-laws-supporters-dumbass-people Hatch is a sorry ass Republican clown.
  25. I'll speak in a US context because that is what I know best. Now why should I consider the Republican Party's point of view? Well I have and you know what I've discovered? It's mainly a pile of horseshit. Why should I go out of my way to be civil to people that keep spewing horseshit?