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U.S. Politics: Moscow Mitch

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mainly thinking of the prediction that eventually, the proletariat would seize control of the means of production and build an international post-capitalist society. It's true that several of the things he predicted did come to pass, but this was the grandest and most important of his predictions and not only did it not happen, but attempts to force the existence of such a society (i.e. Marxism-Leninism) either failed outright or resorted to a mostly capitalist economy.

that main prediction, such as it is, is likely still pending.  certainly there have been seizures of this sort.  it was attempted through electoral means many times in the 20th century, and normally the left was defeated by the capitalists. chile in 1973 comes to mind easily--but also the post-WWII subversion of western european elections by the united states.  this is why naked anarchist ideas may be insufficient--a strong state is likely necessary to protect the revolution from the reactionaries. 

we've had labor parties take control of various states without violent response, and those states have gone in a social democratic direction--not an abolition of capitalism, but certainly carrying class struggle in the leftward direction. the cosmopolitan world society is otherwise a political dream, doubtful that we can have expected it form up overnight--we have a long way to go.  the processes described in the manifesto regarding globalization are only recently firming up, say.

one thing though is classical marxism did not allow for or otherwise predict its own effect on the processes it sought to describe and influence except to suggest blithely that the bourgeoisie would fight--like, duh? i like the recitation in new left review regarding this sort of 'counterperformativity' in financial markets, figuratively a sort of heisenberg principle for history:

Quote

Mathematical models are, after all, bricolage constructions inscribed with curdled utopias, with arms and with rights—so many scraps of social history. Misfires are all-pervasive in the application of mathematics to finance: markets seldom if ever behave exactly as posited by even the most sophisticated model. ‘Counterperformativity’, however, is more than a routine misfire. It is more than just what Michel Callon—as noted above, the pioneer of the application of ‘performativity’ to economic life—calls, in translating ‘counterperformativity’ into his terminology, the failure of agencements (loosely, arrangements of human beings and non-human entities that generate specific forms of agency) ‘to discipline and frame the entities that they assemble.’ Counterperformativity is a very particular form of misfire, of unsuccessful framing, when the use of a mathematical model does not simply fail to produce a reality (e.g. market results) that is consistent with the model, but actively undermines the postulates of the model. The use of a model, in other words, can itself create phenomena at odds with the model.

(mackenzie, d. & bamford, a. 'counterperformativity.' NLR 113 (sep-oct 2018) at 99. (footnotes omitted).) am thinking that marxist descriptions of capitalism in the 19th century not only necessitated, as a counter-measure, a shift in the paradigm for economic descriptions of capitalism (from classical political economy to neoclassical marginalism) but also laid the groundwork for the ruling classes' position in the conflict against leftwing ideas--but not fascism, which is otherwise found grossly in manifesto language about "common ruin of the contending classes" and "enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces," and is not really, stalinist positions aside, a viable ruling class strategy in the class struggle, considering how it is too populist for wealth to tolerate and too motherfucking crazy for rational market calculation to assimilate. if the ruling class supports fascism, it only means that they feel very vulnerable and want to risk the common ruin of the contending classes that invariably results, hoping to survive the consequent apocalypse long enough to hit a reset button.

Yes, it applies with equal force. They are not aiming for equality for everyone, they merely want more power and wealth for themselves even if this comes at the expense of people who are already worse off than they are.

interesting.  isn't however 'positive discrimination' on the basis of purported race or sex about universalizing market participation, i.e., to perfect liberalism's political dream of egalitarianism? to the  extent that liberalism is ideologically individualistic, it may be considered a feature rather than a bug that each person seeks maximal market participation. i think  the liberal theorist would reply that this is not a zero-sum situation wherein one person's increased access means a balanced diminishment elsewhere. that said, even if there is a diminishment, what liberal doctrine forestalls it, when liberal economics assumes competition, which metaphor plainly envisions 'losers'? i am assuming that the criticism here is not illiberal, i.e., that attempts by purported non-male persons or persons not white, say, to increase their market participation are illegitimate ab initio.

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11 hours ago, Triskele said:

This is still just baffling to me that it's not continued to be talked about ad nauseum.  Even if not on ABC or CNN, the myriad other sites I read not to mention this place.  I'm sure I've just missed it in spots, but I am having a hard time reconciling that it's apparently discussed so little.  

I've been terrified of Trump all along but am certainly more terrified now.  

Eh, I think it only really stands out because of the benefit of hindsight, at least for most. I was talking about it, but most people didn’t care. That said, I own two copies of  Mein Kampf. Would you nail me to a cross over that?

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And today the market opens down nearly 500. What a strange few weeks.

what is the correlation between changes in the valuation of securities and the president's pronouncements on twitter, on the one hand, and those same changes in valuation and the president's non-divested positions on the exchanges thereof, on the other?

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15 minutes ago, aceluby said:

That was predictable given the 10 yr bond yield dropped below the 2 yr bond yield for the first time since 2007.  If you're investing... hold onto your butts.

No I get it. I was listening to CNBC while working out this morning and they were predicting a rough opening. It’s just weird how schizophrenic the markets have been over the last few months.  There have been some seriously wild swings, and I worry that Trump will use that to his advantage in the months before the election. It’s fairly plausible to predict that he’ll take a number of actions to put the markets in turmoil a few months before November only to ease everything and artificially make the markets look really strong just before they crash out after the election.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

It’s fairly plausible to predict that he’ll take a number of actions to put the markets in turmoil a few months before November only to ease everything and artificially make the markets look really strong just before they crash out after the election.

Presidents always get too much blame and too much credit for the economy.  Global markets in Germany, Brazil and the UK are nearing recession, corporate spending has dropped dramatically, the trade wars are going nowhere fast, and hard Brexit is looking more and more likely.  A lot of warning signs are flashing on the economy over the past few months, and we're overdue for a recession. 

Trump can, and almost assuredly will, try to keep the US economy looking strong until November 2020.  But the President's tools to juice the economy for the next 16 months are somewhat limited, and in many cases he's already doing them.  While I'm sure he'll try, I'm not sure the scenario you outlined is very likely. 

Edited by Maithanet

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17 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

The conversation has largely run its course and we'll just have to agree to disagree, but I do want to add one thing. Regardless if the party leadership is more worried about internal or external reactions, they are certainly worried about how Taiwan will react to a crack down. The two systems-one state model is one they're pitching to Taiwan, and a complete breakdown like this will absolutely spook the Taiwanese. 

Agreed.  Although to the Chinese, that's still a domestic matter.

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14 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Presidents always get too much blame and too much credit for the economy.  Global markets in Germany, Brazil and the UK are nearing recession, corporate spending has dropped dramatically, the trade wars are going nowhere fast, and hard Brexit is looking more and more likely.  A lot of warning signs are flashing on the economy over the past few months, and we're overdue for a recession. 

Trump can, and almost assuredly will, try to keep the US economy looking strong until November 2020.  But the President's tools to juice the economy for the next 16 months are somewhat limited, and in many cases he's already doing them.  While I'm sure he'll try, I'm not sure the scenario you outlined is very likely. 

It’s absolutely true that presidents get too much credit and blame for the state of the economy, and you’re right to point out that several large economies are struggling right now and look to be headed into recessions, but I think Trump is a bit unique in this sense. No other president in our lifetimes has directly impacted the economy like he has, both positively and negatively. I can see a scenario in which a few months out from the election he gets the Fed to dramatically drop interests rates and calls off all the tariffs, which would juice the economy in the short run, but then completely crash it after the election. I’ve seen a number of economists speculate that that’s exactly what will happen, and it seems fairly plausible.

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Quote

 

“‘Wretched,’ ‘poor,’ refuse’ - right? That’s what the poem says America is supposed to stand for. So what do you think America stands for?” Burnett asked Cuccinelli.

“Well, of course, that poem was referring back to people coming from Europe,” Cucinelli answered, “where they had class-based societies, where people were considered wretched if they weren’t in the right class ... And it was written one year after the first federal public charge rule was written.” 

It is unclear why Cucinelli felt the need to specify the group of immigrants Lazarus was referring to. The poem itself describes the Statue of Liberty by saying, “From her beacon-hand/ Glows world-wide welcome.” USCIS did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. 

Cuccinelli was on NPR defending the Trump administration’s controversial new rule effectively barring legal immigrants who are on government benefits, like food stamps and Medicaid, from becoming permanent residents. 

 

Ken Cuccinelli: Statue Of Liberty Poem About ‘People Coming From Europe’
Trump’s citizenship and immigration chief followed up his earlier comments about the famous Emma Lazarus poem with a racist clarification.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ken-cuccinelli-statue-liberty-poem-about-europe_n_5d535ed3e4b05fa9df0671ee

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11 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

It’s absolutely true that presidents get too much credit and blame for the state of the economy, and you’re right to point out that several large economies are struggling right now and look to be headed into recessions, but I think Trump is a bit unique in this sense. No other president in our lifetimes has directly impacted the economy like he has, both positively and negatively. I can see a scenario in which a few months out from the election he gets the Fed to dramatically drop interests rates and calls off all the tariffs, which would juice the economy in the short run, but then completely crash it after the election. I’ve seen a number of economists speculate that that’s exactly what will happen, and it seems fairly plausible.

Trump could end the China trade war today if he wanted, that's true.  That's the one big card he has to play, although he has been loath to do it thus far, and a lot of economic damage is already done.  I think you're overstating the degree to which Trump controls the Fed, but whatever.

The larger point is that if Germany, the UK and Brazil is just the beginning and the other major economies start also suffering, it is hard to believe that Trump is going to be able to singlehandedly hold back the tide in the US.  Just dropping interest rates and removing tariffs is not enough.  Even delaying a recession is really hard, and Trump has already done most of the things that you would do to make that happen.  Interest rates are still historically low, the tax cut was supposed to be stimulus, and the deficit is sky high in spite of a strong economy the past three years.  

Bush tried to avert a recession with the January 2008 stimulus that amounted to a $600 gift per household.  The recession happened anyway.  And I'm pretty doubtful that the Democrats in 2020 are going to play ball on anything that gives the economy a short term boost just in time for November. 

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1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

No other president in our lifetimes has directly impacted the economy like he has

First, let me third the notion that presidents get WAY too much credit or blame for the economy, but that's just how it is and how it's always been.  Second, I don't think Trump's impacted the economy any more or less than any other president at all.  He's maybe scared the market unnecessarily more than any other president due to his chest-puffing with China, but that's about it.  Clinton and Dubya both impacted the economy in significant ways - for good and bad with Clinton and with Dubya, well, most bad.  Hell, I remember when Lehman Brothers crashed Jon Stewart had a great line that Dubya was trying to become the last president.  Obama influenced the market a hell of a lot more policywise between the stimulus and the ACA.

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1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

Trump could end the China trade war today if he wanted, that's true.  That's the one big card he has to play, although he has been loath to do it thus far, and a lot of economic damage is already done.  I think you're overstating the degree to which Trump controls the Fed, but whatever.

I don’t think he controls the Fed, but I do think his behaviors affect it, and if we’re looking at a pending recession, his constant complaining on Twitter could  cause Powell to further lower rates. My understanding is that he should have been raising them over the last few years given our economic situation, so something seems to be in play there.

Quote

The larger point is that if Germany, the UK and Brazil is just the beginning and the other major economies start also suffering, it is hard to believe that Trump is going to be able to singlehandedly hold back the tide in the US.  Just dropping interest rates and removing tariffs is not enough.  Even delaying a recession is really hard, and Trump has already done most of the things that you would do to make that happen.  Interest rates are still historically low, the tax cut was supposed to be stimulus, and the deficit is sky high in spite of a strong economy the past three years.  

Bush tried to avert a recession with the January 2008 stimulus that amounted to a $600 gift per household.  The recession happened anyway.  And I'm pretty doubtful that the Democrats in 2020 are going to play ball on anything that gives the economy a short term boost just in time for November. 

It could already be worse than what you’re describing. A number of the largest economies are in bad shape, not just those three. And no, Trump cannot hold back a recession, but like I said, I worry that he can create a sugar high just before the election by exhausting all the tools we have to help pull us out of a recession. It feels like no matter who wins, this is all about to blow up on a global scale.

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5 minutes ago, DMC said:

First, let me third the notion that presidents get WAY too much credit or blame for the economy, but that's just how it is and how it's always been.  Second, I don't think Trump's impacted the economy any more or less than any other president at all.  He's maybe scared the market unnecessarily more than any other president due to his chest-puffing with China, but that's about it.  Clinton and Dubya both impacted the economy in significant ways - for good and bad with Clinton and with Dubya, well, most bad.  Hell, I remember when Lehman Brothers crashed Jon Stewart had a great line that Dubya was trying to become the last president.  Obama influenced the market a hell of a lot more policywise between the stimulus and the ACA.

I think it’s possible that the Dow would be over 30,000 if he never tweeted. That’s a pretty strong effect, though I recognize it’s totally speculative.

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Just now, Tywin et al. said:

I think it’s possible that the Dow would be over 30,000 if he never tweeted. That’s a pretty strong effect, though I recognize it’s totally speculative.

Anything is possible, but IMO that is really unlikely.  The impact he has on the markets is always short term.  People panic and sell and then a week later they come back. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Tywin et al. said:

I think it’s possible that the Dow would be over 30,000 if he never tweeted. That’s a pretty strong effect, though I recognize it’s totally speculative.

If never tweeting also included not getting into a trade war then I agree, it's possible.

Edited by Mexal

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If the global economy is fucked can it at least wait until after Canada's election? I don't need something that will help the conservatives get power happening.

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I see a trump immigration official is going full white supremacist with the immigrants from Europe bullshit and Steve King defended rape. 

 

Also saw that Portland’s spineless mayor was on Fox News and his shitbag police department is gonna be violently cracking down on counter protests to the fascist rally in PDX / Portland this Saturday, which I’m going to be at. What a lovely country this is and a lovely system we have propping up these shit people

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A big part of the global economic condition is that the obscenely wealthy aren't investing in anything except real estate, and making the global housing crisis ever worse.

 

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1 hour ago, Mexal said:

If never tweeting also included not getting into a trade war then I agree, it's possible.

Ironically, it's probably China's pragmatic reactions to Trump's insane trade war that is keeping the global economy from falling into a recession. China has responded to broad spectrum tariffs by imposing targeted tariffs directed to put maximum pressure on Trump with his base, and when Trump announced a further 10% tariff on essentially every Chinese export, the Chinese responded with a warning shot across the bow, by letting their currency drop below the historic ratio of 7 yuan/1 dollar, which briefly panicked markets, but then shored their currency back up the following day.

China still has two major economic weapons left that they could use, but haven't yet done so, because it would hurt China as much as, or more than, it would hurt the U.S. The first is a currency war, which China gave us a taste of, but quickly retreated from, and the other is selling off its $1 trillion reserve of U.S. debt.  Either one of those would guarantee a recession. Although, it will be interesting to see if China uses those weapons come 2020 in an effort to get Trump out of office and a more predictable President in his place.

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 don’t think he controls the Fed, but I do think his behaviors affect it, and if we’re looking at a pending recession, his constant complaining on Twitter could  cause Powell to further lower rates. My understanding is that he should have been raising them over the last few years given our economic situation, so something seems to be in play there.

 

The reality is that the Fed doesn't have that much room, especially compared with past recessions, to cut rates in an attempt to hold off or minimize an economic downturn.  rates were kept artificially low after the great recession to try to help sustain a recovery that took a long time to gather any serious momentum.    They have only been raised in the last few years, and then not much, at least by historical standards.  Reality is that we are in an awful spot to confront a major downturn.  The Fed doesn't have much room to drop interest rates.  Maybe throw out some more QE to try to keep investment going but I doubt the utility of such an approach. The Federal deficit is ballooned under Trump, which would give us little room for a Keynesian type response, even if we had a congress that was willing to dump a vast amount of money into the economy. Which we don't.   So if the bottom drops out, there is no parachute.  Its going to drop. Add to this that a larger portion of the population is a bad personal position to handle things going bad.  Almost all the gains of the recovery went to those at the very top of the economic pyramid.  A government that both can't and won't act, a working population that has been stripped both of its own resources and a safety net.  It could get really ugly, really fast.  And once things start to really slide, ending the idiotic trade war may not be enough to halt things.   If recession hits soon, we are in for one shit-storm of a ride.

Add to that, a bad economy would end any chance of Trump winning a even vaguely legitimate election.  Which means he could turn to the nastiest campaign tactics imaginable, outright political violence, or just try a coup,

 

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3 hours ago, Maithanet said:

Anything is possible, but IMO that is really unlikely.  The impact he has on the markets is always short term.  People panic and sell and then a week later they come back. 

That’s a lie, Maith. It’s not possible for me to swim in a river of lava, it’s not possible for Wisconsinites to drink quality beer and eat high end cheese, and it’s not possible for the Washington Racial Slurs to have a decent, competent owner.

#Facts

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