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Martell Spy

U.S. Politics: Hey! Teachers! Leave Them Kids Alone

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Things are really bad, and I'm mad about them.

Ok, substantive:  I think it'd be awesome if the final 3 in the 2020 Dem primary came down to Harris, Gillibrand, and Warner.  And I'd be fine with supporting either of the first two.  And I think this is entirely possible if not realistic.

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For the left/right discussion let's not forget that Bernie almost got the nomination and he was certainly a big swing left, also by all metrics millennials are socially and economically the farthest left in the country. Look at Trump and Bernie's numbers among the youngest quarter of American's Trump has the least support there Bernie had the most. Milllenials share of the vote will only increase, the nonwhite vote will only increase and  Trump has gone and poisoned a new generation on the Republican party. The Republican party has become now more than ever the party of old white people, which is one of the most rapidly shrinking demographics. 

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10 minutes ago, Darzin said:

For the left/right discussion let's not forget that Bernie almost got the nomination and he was certainly a big swing left, also by all metrics millennials are socially and economically the farthest left in the country.

Let's also not forget that factually, no, Bernie did not "almost" get the nomination in the slightest, and even among demographics, the only aspect he had a lead in was white millennials.

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Plus as the Republican party has proven in 2 of the only 3 elections they've managed to win in the past 26 years, vote numbers don't matter, it's where those voters live.

The Republican party will continue to be quite strong because the american system hugely advantages their base on basically every level.

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Responding to @Altherion from the last thread.

Quote

Obama did move the US slightly to the left, but you have to look at this in the context of how the American political system has operated in the past 30-40 years. The Democrats and Republicans take turns being in control of the Presidency and of Congress with the Democrats moving to the left on social issues, but very barely (if at all) on economic ones and Republicans moving to the right on economic issues, but very barely (if at all) on social ones. The result is that over time the country moves to the left on social issues and to the right on economic ones. The next Democratic President will be further to the left than Obama on social issues, but she (or he, but more likely she) is extremely unlikely to reverse the tax cut that Republicans recently gave corporations -- even if the President is willing to do so and the party has a majority in both the House and the Senate.

I don’t completely disagree with this. I think during the 1980s and at least through the 1990s the Democratic Party did move somewhat to the right on economic matters, when conservative ideology was ascendant, and old time New Deal liberalism seemed like an electoral loser. You see this in the Democratic Party dropping the idea of full employment in 1992 and the triangulation strategy of Bill Clinton and the “New Democrats”.

However, I think at least recently, much of the Democratic Party is clamoring for more left wing economic policies and I think there are signs that the party is responding. You see this with the things like the full employment plank being put back into the Democratic Party platform (thank god) and several Democratic politicians endorsing single payer healthcare and at least one Democratic legislator promoting the idea of codetermination, which is the idea that labor unions get a say on corporate boards.

Barack Obama may not have been the leftiest of the left on economic policy, but he did get important shit done. Both the ACA and Dodd-Frank were big deals, even if neither of those pieces of legislation were perfect. But, under the US political system, progressive change does not happen overnight, or not usually, unless your FDR and your elected because of perhaps the worst economic disaster in history or at least the worst one in several hundred years.

Of course just how economic left Obama was or whether he “left enough” depends a lot on what one thinks “the left” should do going forward.

At this juncture, I’ll give what I think it should do or how it should view things.

Overall, I think market based economies are useful as I do think prices do send useful information about what should be produced. The difference between me and libertarians of course is while I think prices often send useful information about what should be produced, I don’t think it is nearly as perfect as libertarians would claim. The upshot is that the economy needs a bit of government help from time to time. 

One of the most obvious failures of the price system is it’s inability to coordinate the intemporal plans and actions of economic actors, leading to aggregate demand failures. This is where my monetarism and Keynesianism come in. So for me, aggressive full employment policies, through a combination of aggressive monetary and fiscal policy, to achieve rapid full employment is part of my leftism. And while I’m on this topic let me add: since monetary policy plays a big role in stabilization and full employment, we probably need to look at how that policy is set. It’s my suspicion that its policy making is takes the interest of bankers and the financial community too much into account, without considering the interest of other economic actors like labor. So institutional changes might be needed there.

Another area where the price system fails to achieve optimal outcomes is in healthcare. The notion that the model of pure competition is suspect when it comes to the delivery of medical services has been suspect ever since Arrow wrote his paper on the topic back in the early 1960s. So government intervention in this area is justified. Plus I just think it’s atrocious, that some people don’t have a minimal level of access to healthcare in a nation as wealthy as ours.

And then of course the price system fails to ensure financial stability, leading to financial meltdowns that often have disastrous consequences, particular for working class folks of all races and genders. For those in their 40s and 50s caught in the financial meltdown, many of them will probably never be able to retire, at least at a reasonable age. For this reason, talk of cutting social security in a significant way, allegedly done on the grounds of “fiscal responsibility” is a non-starter for me. Of course non of this denies the permanent harm done to younger people entering the job market around 2008 or so. These folks will have permanently damaged as most of them will likely see lower lifetime incomes than there contemporaries entering the job market currently or those who entered it say around the early 2000s.

The point I’m making here is I think market based economies can do useful stuff. And I think the price system found in market based economies can send useful information to economic actors, but it does in certain and often significant cases fail to achieve optimal outcomes. Now some might suggest that we can keep the market structure, but simply ban individuals from owning capital. That might work. Or it may not. To be honest, I really have no idea what the legal and institutional arrangements would have to look like to make that system work. Accordingly, I tend to prefer to work on localized problems, rather than thinking of terms of how to restructure the entire economic system so it is more fair and equitable.

I’ll also add, that I think it would be helpful if the US got over it’s usual denial of class and class based interest. We do have class in this country even if we like to pretend we don’t. The upshot of this is that business has gotten the upper hand on labor in this country at least for about the last 40 years. We need to boost the power of labor unions, in my opinion. The business owning class has it’s interest represented by the CEO Business Clowntable and the local chamber of commerce, while labor unions have lost cred. If we are going to have a CEO Business Roundtable, which represent the interest of the business owning class, then it seems to me that we should have a Labor Roundtable, which represents the interest of labor in this country.

Of course the fact that the clout of organized labor has taken a beating over the last 40 years or so is related to the way money affects our politics. We need to figure out how to deal with this issue if American political economy is too improve for most people.

Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about “identity politics” at this juncture. The most prolific and effective practitioner of identity politics is the Republican Party. Now at times, I do feel the left sometimes makes mistakes with its rhetoric or its tactics. But until the Republican Party’s nasty brand of identity politics is run out of this country, better economic policies will be hard to achieve.

Also as far as reversing the corporate tax cuts: At a minimum the Democratic base ought to demand that the Democrats, if they should regain power, raise the corporate tax until it at least becomes revenue neutral, which puts the top corporate tax rate somewhere between 25%-30%. Also, in my view, the rate the corporate tax should be set at depends upon other institutional factors such as the state of labor power and the state of anti-trust law. If we give labor a boost and have vigorous anti-trust enforcement then a top rate between 25%-30% might not be so bad.

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@Altherion

Quote

The next Democratic President will be further to the left than Obama on social issues, but she (or he, but more likely she) is extremely unlikely to reverse the tax cut that Republicans recently gave corporations -- even if the President is willing to do so and the party has a majority in both the House and the Senate.

Possibly. I won't dispute the gist of your message. However, on healthcare and education the Dems have proved willing to act at least. And since destroying public education is one of the central tenets (and strengths) of libertarianism, it's crucial for the next generation of Americans to defend education at least.
Also, from a European perspective something like Dodd-Frank is crucial because crises originating in the US will hit us hard due to shitty ECB policies.

Quote

In fact, if somebody like Harris is elected, it's quite likely that more people will realize that, just like in corporations, it doesn't much matter whether the leader is male or female, black or white, etc. etc -- the left-right dance will continue as before.

And yet the small differences do matter. And while voting left might not improve things much, abstaining or voting for the ethno-nationalists will always make them worse.

@The Anti-Targ

Wow I had no idea I'd hit that close to home with my question, I was just curious about how Douglas is viewed in NZ.
Anyway Macron is said to be following Douglas's policies from the 80s (84-87), when he took a turn to the right. The strategic interest of speed is apparently what Macron learned from Douglas. Something about political opponents finding it hard to hit a moving target... Which is why Macron is "reforming" France at breathtaking speed.

Quote

Macron is pretty much a typical liberal right? He just looks moderate when stacked up against the likes of Trump.

Depends what you mean by "liberal." He's certainly a typical neo-liberal. He's cut taxes for the wealthy (on financial assets especially) and corporations while progressively slashing everything else (less welfare, less civil servants, less funding for public services... ) and privatizing as much as he can (the national railway, airports... etc). He also reformed the labor code (to benefit corporations), wants to reform pensions, and implement high tuition fees. So far, only two major measures of his could be seen as "leftist": allowing homosexual couples access to MAP and getting rid of the "housing tax" (a tax everyone pays to fund their city/village). The last of which isn't necessarily as "left-wing" as it might seem, obviously. Ah, and he also tightened immigration laws with a minister of the interior that is known to hate immigration (we also have "camps" in France btw, though the separation of families is less systematic).
According to Oxfam, in 2017 82% of the wealth produced in France went to the top 1% because of the policies under Sarkozy, Hollande, and Macron (about ten years ago, it was only about half that, and barely a third 15 years ago). One of the latter's most famous quotes is "In train stations you meet two kinds of people: those who have succeeded, and those who are nothing."
Macron is very good at sounding moderate (well, most of the time). The main difference with Trump though is that Macron is a neo-liberal globalist, while Trump is a neo-liberal nationalist. Whether that is better or not I honestly don't know. It looks good seen from the outside, for sure. Not so much from the inside I'll tell you.
 

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Harley-Davidson Announces It Will Move Some Operations to Europe Amid Trade War

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/06/trumps-trade-war-hits-harley-davidson.html

Quote

Monday morning brought news of perhaps the most prominent casualty yet. Harley-Davidson, the company synonymous with American motorcycles, announced that it would move production of vehicles bound for European markets out of the United States, to avoid the punitive tariffs the European Union had imposed on some companies importing products from America. 

 

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3 hours ago, Rippounet said:

@Altherion

 

@The Anti-Targ

 

Depends what you mean by "liberal." He's certainly a typical neo-liberal. He's cut taxes for the wealthy (on financial assets especially) and corporations while progressively slashing everything else (less welfare, less civil servants, less funding for public services... ) and privatizing as much as he can (the national railway, airports... etc). He also reformed the labor code (to benefit corporations), wants to reform pensions, and implement high tuition fees. So far, only two major measures of his could be seen as "leftist": allowing homosexual couples access to MAP and getting rid of the "housing tax" (a tax everyone pays to fund their city/village). The last of which isn't necessarily as "left-wing" as it might seem, obviously. Ah, and he also tightened immigration laws with a minister of the interior that is known to hate immigration (we also have "camps" in France btw, though the separation of families is less systematic).
According to Oxfam, in 2017 82% of the wealth produced in France went to the top 1% because of the policies under Sarkozy, Hollande, and Macron (about ten years ago, it was only about half that, and barely a third 15 years ago). One of the latter's most famous quotes is "In train stations you meet two kinds of people: those who have succeeded, and those who are nothing."
Macron is very good at sounding moderate (well, most of the time). The main difference with Trump though is that Macron is a neo-liberal globalist, while Trump is a neo-liberal nationalist. Whether that is better or not I honestly don't know. It looks good seen from the outside, for sure. Not so much from the inside I'll tell you.
 

Macron is liberal in the purest sense: He is for liberalizing economy and for liberalizing social rules. He's only anti liberal when it comes to frontiers and communication, for that he's a bit of an authoritarian.

His modus operandi when facing opposition is not to take his interlocutor's position into account, but to consider that they are dumb and need more explanation, to realize that he's right.

Ah, and he's mostly gifted in communication: those camps you're speaking of are referred to as "closed centres to welcome migrants" now, not even kidding.

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6 hours ago, OldGimletEye said:

I think during the 1980s and at least through the 1990s the Democratic Party did move somewhat to the right on economic matters, when conservative ideology was ascendant, and old time New Deal liberalism seemed like an electoral loser. You see this in the Democratic Party dropping the idea of full employment in 1992 and the triangulation strategy of Bill Clinton and the “New Democrats”.

You see it most prominently in Clinton's SotU proclamation in 1996 that "the era of big government is over."  But as you said, that was a political strategy of triangulation, not necessarily indicative of the trend within the party as a whole, or over time.

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Damn i missed the chance to title the new thread, I’d have titled it: U.S. Politics, Soul Sphincter 

 

***

re libertarians, I have long said they are the worst.

that said, libertarianism is successful because it basically hacks the brains of smart people. Smart people almost always think of themselves as smart, and almost always think of themselves as responsible for all of their successes. Smart people have almost always felt like others we’re dragging them down or holding them back or were being unfairly elevated above themselves (because they know they are smart ergo they know they are better than that other person succeeding, ergo that other person must be cheating or getting some unfair advantage).

Basically Smart people’s entire inner monologue is a constant “yay me! Me me me me me I am the best. I did it me me did it hooray me!” And their brain literally erases or rewrites any contradictory evidence, like maybe they learned to read because their community invested in teachers. Maybe their business thrives because their community invested in teaching everyone to read so there are lots of worthy employees. Maybe their business thrives because their community invested in roads that are free to use. Smart people in general  are totally blind to everything that is not themselves and generally think they are responsible for their own success. Smart people refuse to think of themselves as a product, as a commodity deliberately created and nurtured by our society that wants to produce people like them, they think they did it all themselves.

It’s especially bad amongst the Silicon Valley white dudes who think they are the smartest bestest race and gender and are clearly superior to all those that don’t do tech stuff. But really they just reflect that their parents simply made enough money to buy a luxury good class signaling device like a pC that the lil bro-in-training then happened to master.

and libertarianism hacks into that natural inclination of the ego and aggressively flatters it and nurtures it and soothingly tells the smart person that they are he best hat alll others are the worst and maybe we should try to destroy the system because it’s not fair a smart person should be expected to participate in a system that CLEARLY  never benefited them.

***

unrelated, but libertarianism is why I think a Silicon Valley based UBI tax (to make up for permanently killing four billion middle and lower class jobs with Silicon Valley tech), is a horrific idea. The white bros of Silicon Valley already hate and despise the rest of society, now you want to tax them heavily forever to pay everyone who is “not tech” a stipend? They might agree to it initially, but you’re creating a powerful monster there, and they will rebel and end it. that kind of UBI will be extinct less than five years after implemented (and the jobs will still be permanently lost)

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28 minutes ago, lokisnow said:

Smart people almost always think of themselves as smart, and almost always think of themselves as responsible for all of their successes. Smart people have almost always felt like others we’re dragging them down or holding them back or were being unfairly elevated above themselves (because they know they are smart ergo they know they are better than that other person succeeding, ergo that other person must be cheating or getting some unfair advantage).

This is true of "stupid" people as well.  One of the greatest books over the past 50 years is Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow.

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27 minutes ago, lokisnow said:

Damn i missed the chance to title the new thread, I’d have titled it: U.S. Politics, Soul Sphincter 

 

***

re libertarians, I have long said they are the worst.

that said, libertarianism is successful because it basically hacks the brains of smart people. Smart people almost always think of themselves as smart, and almost always think of themselves as responsible for all of their successes. Smart people have almost always felt like others we’re dragging them down or holding them back or were being unfairly elevated above themselves (because they know they are smart ergo they know they are better than that other person succeeding, ergo that other person must be cheating or getting some unfair advantage).

Basically Smart people’s entire inner monologue is a constant “yay me! Me me me me me I am the best. I did it me me did it hooray me!” And their brain literally erases or rewrites any contradictory evidence, like maybe they learned to read because their community invested in teachers. Maybe their business thrives because their community invested in teaching everyone to read so there are lots of worthy employees. Maybe their business thrives because their community invested in roads that are free to use. Smart people in general  are totally blind to everything that is not themselves and generally think they are responsible for their own success. Smart people refuse to think of themselves as a product, as a commodity deliberately created and nurtured by our society that wants to produce people like them, they think they did it all themselves.

It’s especially bad amongst the Silicon Valley white dudes who think they are the smartest bestest race and gender and are clearly superior to all those that don’t do tech stuff. But really they just reflect that their parents simply made enough money to buy a luxury good class signaling device like a pC that the lil bro-in-training then happened to master.

and libertarianism hacks into that natural inclination of the ego and aggressively flatters it and nurtures it and soothingly tells the smart person that they are he best hat alll others are the worst and maybe we should try to destroy the system because it’s not fair a smart person should be expected to participate in a system that CLEARLY  never benefited them.

***

unrelated, but libertarianism is why I think a Silicon Valley based UBI tax (to make up for permanently killing four billion middle and lower class jobs with Silicon Valley tech), is a horrific idea. The white bros of Silicon Valley already hate and despise the rest of society, now you want to tax them heavily forever to pay everyone who is “not tech” a stipend? They might agree to it initially, but you’re creating a powerful monster there, and they will rebel and end it. that kind of UBI will be extinct less than five years after implemented (and the jobs will still be permanently lost)

What you describe above is not just being "smart" but being smart combined with certain personality factors -- such as being low on "agreeableness" and "honesty-humility". There are many people who have high IQs who are not also arrogant immodest narcissistic misanthropes. :)

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30 minutes ago, lokisnow said:

Basically Smart people’s entire inner monologue is a constant “yay me! Me me me me me I am the best. I did it me me did it hooray me!” And their brain literally erases or rewrites any contradictory evidence, like maybe they learned to read because their community invested in teachers. Maybe their business thrives because their community invested in teaching everyone to read so there are lots of worthy employees. Maybe their business thrives because their community invested in roads that are free to use. Smart people in general  are totally blind to everything that is not themselves and generally think they are responsible for their own success.

Yeah... I dunno. Sounds more like you're describing the Dunning-Kruger effect at work here. Smart people tend to be aware of all the support they've had during their progress. At best, one might say that smart libertarians feel they owe more to their family than to the community at large. But I wouldn't say libertarianism is a mark of intelligence. On the contrary, I'd be tempted to think most libertarians are completely unaware of all the investment that goes into a human being as they grow up.

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@lokisnow, you're falling for the libertarians' self-declaration as smart. But really, libertarianism is the ideology of ignorance, not intelligence. It allows people to stay ignorant and never stoop to introspection and criticism of themselves. Ignorance of history, society, philosophy, psychology and politics does not make for a smart person. It makes useful idiots for fascists - at best.

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Yeah the main connective feature of libertarians is selfishness to the point of becoming a social handicap. Just listen to one of them describe what they want. It's invariably "I just want it to be me, and no one to bug me."

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1 hour ago, lokisnow said:

 

Damn i missed the chance to title the new thread, I’d have titled it: U.S. Politics, Soul Sphincter 

 

Just call it  the U.S. Politics: Bakkerization  and be done with it. 

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2 hours ago, lokisnow said:

Damn i missed the chance to title the new thread, I’d have titled it: U.S. Politics, Soul Sphincter 

 

***

re libertarians, I have long said they are the worst.

that said, libertarianism is successful because it basically hacks the brains of smart people. Smart people almost always think of themselves as smart, and almost always think of themselves as responsible for all of their successes. Smart people have almost always felt like others we’re dragging them down or holding them back or were being unfairly elevated above themselves (because they know they are smart ergo they know they are better than that other person succeeding, ergo that other person must be cheating or getting some unfair advantage).

Basically Smart people’s entire inner monologue is a constant “yay me! Me me me me me I am the best. I did it me me did it hooray me!” And their brain literally erases or rewrites any contradictory evidence, like maybe they learned to read because their community invested in teachers. Maybe their business thrives because their community invested in teaching everyone to read so there are lots of worthy employees. Maybe their business thrives because their community invested in roads that are free to use. Smart people in general  are totally blind to everything that is not themselves and generally think they are responsible for their own success. Smart people refuse to think of themselves as a product, as a commodity deliberately created and nurtured by our society that wants to produce people like them, they think they did it all themselves.

It’s especially bad amongst the Silicon Valley white dudes who think they are the smartest bestest race and gender and are clearly superior to all those that don’t do tech stuff. But really they just reflect that their parents simply made enough money to buy a luxury good class signaling device like a pC that the lil bro-in-training then happened to master.

and libertarianism hacks into that natural inclination of the ego and aggressively flatters it and nurtures it and soothingly tells the smart person that they are he best hat alll others are the worst and maybe we should try to destroy the system because it’s not fair a smart person should be expected to participate in a system that CLEARLY  never benefited them.

***

unrelated, but libertarianism is why I think a Silicon Valley based UBI tax (to make up for permanently killing four billion middle and lower class jobs with Silicon Valley tech), is a horrific idea. The white bros of Silicon Valley already hate and despise the rest of society, now you want to tax them heavily forever to pay everyone who is “not tech” a stipend? They might agree to it initially, but you’re creating a powerful monster there, and they will rebel and end it. that kind of UBI will be extinct less than five years after implemented (and the jobs will still be permanently lost)

And unsuccessful people typically blame everyone but themselves for their predicaments and self-destructive behaviors. You are describing very basic human instincts across all social classes, races, nations, etc.: take credit when things go well, blame others when things don't.

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3 hours ago, DMBouazizi said:

You see it most prominently in Clinton's SotU proclamation in 1996 that "the era of big government is over."  But as you said, that was a political strategy of triangulation, not necessarily indicative of the trend within the party as a whole, or over time.

It's pretty indicative of a trend over time I'd say.

The truth is basically that Nixon used the culture war to stomp the american left's face in and the democratic party was left out in the wilderness for decades, with their only way to succeed being (or seeming to be at least, but I think it's pretty accurate) tacking towards the centre ala Clinton, who actually won. As voting demographics are shifting you are seeing new strategies being employed but that is a distinct change from what they were doing and what seemed to be the only thing working in the 1970s-2000s.

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22 minutes ago, sperry said:

And unsuccessful people typically blame everyone but themselves for their predicaments and self-destructive behaviors. You are describing very basic human instincts across all social classes, races, nations, etc.: take credit when things go well, blame others when things don't.

So what you’re saying is that we’re all Donald Trump at our cores?

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