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Tywin Manderly

US Politics: Mad Max Beyond Corona Dome

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https://katz.substack.com/p/the-coronavirus-disaster-hasnt-happened?

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If those trends hold—and there is little reason to think they won’t—the U.S. chapter of the COVID-19 epidemic will be worse than any other in the world. Sheri Fink reported nearly two weeks ago that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that, without assertive measures, 160 million to 214 million people in the United States could be infected. A team of epidemiologists at Imperial College London has estimated that as many as 2.2 million Americans could die.

To that number in perspective, that toll would be double the military casualties of every U.S. war in history, and the 1918 influenza epidemic combined.

No one knows what that will be like. Few in this country have seen anything like it before. I survived the deadliest earthquake ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere, in which an estimated 100,000 to 316,000 people died—almost one in ten people in and around Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. It scarred all of us for life. Yet that event was constrained to one small part of one small country. These COVID-19 estimates describe an unimaginable catastrophe across one of the biggest countries in the world in the next few weeks.

Anyone who tells you we will simply shrug off even a fraction as many deaths as a “sacrifice,” as Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick and Glenn Beck have said, has no idea what they’re talking about, is a sociopath, or both. Anyone who thinks that coercing millions of people to hasten their own and their loved ones’ deaths will do anything but further destroy the economy is either stupid or has a plan to get rich on the side.

 

 

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Ah, what dark times are these when passing ruffians can say "Ni" at will to old ladies and Liz Cheney speaks truth?

 

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"There will be no normally functioning economy if our hospitals are overwhelmed and thousands of Americans of all ages, including our doctors and nurses, lay [sic] dying because we have failed to do what’s necessary to stop the virus," Cheney tweeted.

 

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2 minutes ago, Freshwater Spartan said:

Would have liked to see some form of funding/requirement/strong encouragement for vote by mail and election protection. 

I agree, that was the one element of the Pelosi House bill that I thought Democrats could really push.  Protecting elections has broad support, and probably even more so after this pandemic shows how vulnerable we are. 

Oh well. 

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15 minutes ago, DMC said:

Oh, just because a metric works doesn't mean the voter is knowledgable about it.  I remember back (in the long long ago) when I started grad school reading the lit on "pocketbook" vs. "sociotropic" economic voting.  Pocketbook refers to how the voters themselves have done financially - obviously something they're aware of, while "sociotropic" refers to macroeconomic indicators, or how the economy is doing in general.  Figured it had to be pocketbook that was a more significant/stronger factor on vote choice.  In most cases, nope, it's sociotropic.

That doesn't mean it's an a --> b relationship where "a" is change in GDP growth (or any other metric).  It's more of an a --> "captures the public's sense of the state of economy --> b.  Why does change in GDP growth work the best as "a" there - better than unemployment, change in unemployment, or even, say, consumer confidence?  No one can say for sure, but it suggests that voters do have a collective wisdom about the trajectory of the economy.  Just so happens GDP growth works best as the variable to reflect that when you plug different sociotropic metrics into models :dunno:

Do you think it’s fair to assume that this occurs because Americans disproportionately think they’ll become rich at some point in their lives compared to citizens of other Western nations?  

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Triskele said:

Ah, what dark times are these when passing ruffians can say "Ni" at will to old ladies and Liz Cheney speaks truth?

There is always room for a Holy Grail reference.

Edited by A True Kaniggit

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1 minute ago, Tywin et al. said:

Do you think it’s fair to assume that this occurs because Americans disproportionately think they’ll become rich at some point in their lives compared to citizens of other Western nations?  

I think the American dream is why we advantage the rich in general more than the rest of the developed world, yes.  But in terms of pocketbook vs. sociotropic?  No, voters favor the latter at similar rates across pretty much all western countries - been plenty of comparative studies on it.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, DMC said:

Why does change in GDP growth work the best as "a" there - better than unemployment, change in unemployment, or even, say, consumer confidence?  No one can say for sure, but it suggests that voters do have a collective wisdom about the trajectory of the economy.  Just so happens GDP growth works best as the variable to reflect that when you plug different sociotropic metrics into models :dunno:

I have been thinking about this, since you raised it. And I'll suggest, although there certainly maybe other plausible theories out there, when GDP growth is high people are more hopeful about the future. Hope can be powerful. If your unemployed, higher GDP growth may indicate you won't be unemployed for long. And if you have a job, then higher GDP growth indicates you'll be getting a bigger income. Also, higher GDP growth usually precedes lower unemployment. If you're forming expectations about your employment prospects, higher GDP growth is likely a variable in your information set.

Or put another way. I maybe employed now. But, if my future expectations are I won't be employed 6 months from now, likely I would be pretty sour, even if I'm currently employed.

Edited by OldGimletEye

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22 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

But, if my future expectations are I won't be employed 6 months from now, likely I would be pretty sour, even if I'm currently employed.

What you're touching on here is the other big dichotomy in the economic voting lit - prospective vs. retrospective voting.  That one's not as clear cut - there's plenty of evidence/findings that both are important.  But, I remember writing a paper my first year at my current program where I interacted a sociotropic metric with prospective voting, and the interaction exacerbated the explanatory power of the model significantly.  So, yeah, I agree that GDP growth close to the election best captures how voters feel about the economy - and how that impacts their own prospects for the future.

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31 minutes ago, DMC said:

What you're touching on here is the other big dichotomy in the economic voting lit - prospective vs. retrospective voting.  That one's not as clear cut - there's plenty of evidence/findings that both are important. 

Could it be because people use past data to form future expectations?

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5 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

Could it be because people use past data to form future expectations?

Well, sure, but I think the point in the prospective vs. retrospective debate is at least when it comes to presidential elections, people are - for whatever reason - basing their perceptions of the economy on pretty much the most recent data (January-June of the election year).  Why not the "third" quarter - July-October?  Just like the rally round the flag effect, there's a lag there.  Unless it's something huge, like Lehman Bros crashing.  Hard to argue that didn't have an effect.

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2 minutes ago, DMC said:

Well, sure, but I think the point in the prospective vs. retrospective debate is at least when it comes to presidential elections, people are - for whatever reason - basing their perceptions of the economy on pretty much the most recent data (January-June of the election year).  Why not the "third" quarter - July-October?  Just like the rally round the flag effect, there's a lag there. 

I take this to mean that people aren't even doing exponential smoothing, where they are giving greater weight to the most recent data, but are not completely discounting past data. They are just completely dumping past data all together and using the most recent data to forecast. Am I correct in this interpretation?

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12 minutes ago, OldGimletEye said:

They are just completely dumping past data all together and using the most recent data to forecast. Am I correct in this interpretation?

I wouldn't go as far as to say they are "completely dumping" past data, but yes, they rely on or base their voting decisions on the most recent economic environment at disproportionately than, say, taking into account the overall economic performance throughout a president's four year term.

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Are these checks that the US government is sending out weekly, bi-weekly or monthly checks? 

Canada is going to give checks of $2,000 a month for four months. The first checks should go out in the second week of April. The records of taxpayers are going to be used to make direct deposits, as most people have their refund checks direct deposited. A massive effort is about to go into motion to set up the system.

Last week about a million people applied for unemployment insurance. I gather only three million applied in the US, so you can see we have sent people home faster. I would expect 10M to have applied in the US.

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1 minute ago, Fragile Bird said:

Are these checks that the US government is sending out weekly, bi-weekly or monthly checks? 

Canada is going to give checks of $2,000 a month for four months. The first checks should go out in the second week of April. The records of taxpayers are going to be used to make direct deposits, as most people have their refund checks direct deposited. A massive effort is about to go into motion to set up the system.

Last week about a million people applied for unemployment insurance. I gather only three million applied in the US, so you can see we have sent people home faster. I would expect 10M to have applied in the US.

Only one time

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4 minutes ago, Fury Resurrected said:

Only one time

Huh?

I guess that's why Trump wants you back at work by Easter?

I assume there are going to be more stimulus packages, because this is not ending in a month.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Fury Resurrected said:

Only one time

Yeah, though those checks aren't the main source of money for individuals. The main thing is the beefed up unemployment insurance. People who regularly qualify for UI will get their standard benefits plus an extra $600 per week through December. People who usually don't qualify for UI (gig workers, self-employed, etc.) will get 1/2 of the standard benefit for their income level plus an extra $600 per week through December.

That's the big thing, and that's what's got a few Republican senators very upset right now.

ETA: Also the new loans and grants, especially the small business ones, will help keep some people employed for the next several months who otherwise would've gotten laid off.

Edited by Fez

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7 minutes ago, Fez said:

People who usually don't qualify for UI (gig workers, self-employed, etc.) will get 1/2 of the standard benefit for their income level plus an extra $600 per week through December.

As someone who is 1099 and was in the first group of industry shutdowns, I’m pleased the Democrats at least got that in there

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15 minutes ago, Fez said:

Yeah, though those checks aren't the main source of money for individuals. The main thing is the beefed up unemployment insurance. People who regularly qualify for UI will get their standard benefits plus an extra $600 per week through December. People who usually don't qualify for UI (gig workers, self-employed, etc.) will get 1/2 of the standard benefit for their income level plus an extra $600 per week through December.

That's the big thing, and that's what's got a few Republican senators very upset right now.

ETA: Also the new loans and grants, especially the small business ones, will help keep some people employed for the next several months who otherwise would've gotten laid off.

This sounds great, where did you see it?  That's awesome.  Did not realize that at all

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4 minutes ago, Fury Resurrected said:

As someone who is 1099 and was in the first group of industry shutdowns, I’m pleased the Democrats at least got that in there

Supposedly in the current draft (which if it changes anymore we've got big problems) Democrats also got a provision that these Pandemic Response benefits don't count as income for purposes of Medicaid eligibility (and I think SNAP and a couple other things). The concern was that the extra $600/week was going to push some people out of Medicaid eligibility and therefore need to purchase their own health insurance.

What I don't know is any of this is going to effect income taxes next year. But I guess that's a problem for the future.

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