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I love this guy

wrichcirw
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9/6/2015 6:04:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
"Well, I'm much better as a counterpuncher, so I'd rather have, and I'm hoping for Ben to really hit me at some point, because I love to counterpunch..."

Donald Trump
http://www.washingtontimes.com...
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Idealist
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9/6/2015 7:21:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/6/2015 6:04:17 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
"Well, I'm much better as a counterpuncher, so I'd rather have, and I'm hoping for Ben to really hit me at some point, because I love to counterpunch..."

Donald Trump
http://www.washingtontimes.com...

I guess that in a way this answers the other question I asked you. :) I think there is no doubt that there is something very refreshing in the way Trump actually seems to be speaking his own personal thoughts instead of playing word-games in order to gain perceived favors. When I watch him talk it actually fires-me-up at times, which is something I haven't experienced in an election for a long time. I must say, though, that I've got a feeling that his supporters aren't going to follow through when it actually comes to voting for him. He's saying what they want to hear, but I don't think many people actually believe that things are so simple any longer.
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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9/6/2015 9:16:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Sigh...

Unfortunately, this is what presidential politics has devolved to. There's nary any discussion of substantive policy, but an abundance of petty jabs and political posturing. It's analogous to the celebrity culture, and the media just eats it up, because it isn't as though any of them are actually interesting in engaging on serious issues which actually affect people or the country's standing in the world amid extremely trying times. It's not as though the headlines are "Donald Trump proposes tax overhaul'; instead, they're "Donald Trump says X incendiary remark about Y" or "The American people hate Hillary because of Z."

As a policy wonk, I can't even begin to express how agitated the media coverage of this election makes me. I'm not expecting a room of academics tossing around spreadsheets, but I want at least *some* intelligent discussions from people who can materially affect my life, my family's life, and, should good fortune permit, my kids' lives.

I mean, fck. If Donald Trump can run for president and do this well, maybe Kanye West *should* enter in 2020. Maybe Clay Aiken's 2014 run wasn't a joke. Maybe we'll have Trump as president, Dennis Rodman (interim ambassador to North Korea, of course) as Secretary of State, Kim Kardashian in charge of the Energy Department, etc.

It's embarrassing. As bland and disappointing as I think the *entire* field at the moment is, sans a few, the extent to which the vast majority of the candidates are ideal relative to Trump astounds me.

Oh, and as for the topic at hand..... Ben probably won't throw a petty jab at Trump. I think the guy's a fish out of water, and I don't think he performed well at the recent debate, but he's a fcking neurosurgeon. To the extent he isn't interested in actually running for president -- or whatever the fck running against Trump really is -- he won't say a word, and hope that his recent bump in the polls will carry him through the next few months with enough time for Trump's campaign to, hopefully, implode, whether it be by virtue of a more consolidated field or finally striking the wrong nerve in the GOP base.

/end rant
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

DDO's Economics Messiah
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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9/6/2015 9:44:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/6/2015 7:21:34 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 9/6/2015 6:04:17 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
"Well, I'm much better as a counterpuncher, so I'd rather have, and I'm hoping for Ben to really hit me at some point, because I love to counterpunch..."

Donald Trump
http://www.washingtontimes.com...

I guess that in a way this answers the other question I asked you. :) I think there is no doubt that there is something very refreshing in the way Trump actually seems to be speaking his own personal thoughts instead of playing word-games in order to gain perceived favors. When I watch him talk it actually fires-me-up at times, which is something I haven't experienced in an election for a long time. I must say, though, that I've got a feeling that his supporters aren't going to follow through when it actually comes to voting for him. He's saying what they want to hear, but I don't think many people actually believe that things are so simple any longer.

I agree it's a very unique approach, and I think if he's able to pull it off, he will make America a better place. What worries me is whether or not he will undergo drastic measures, like perhaps shutting down Congress, to get what he wants, and whether or not he will become far more corrupt than any sitting POTUS has ever been. IMHO if he gets elected, it will pretty much be a foregone conclusion that he will become the richest man in America before the end of his presidency.

Keep in mind that he's not at all accustomed to dealing with "balance of power" relationships. He's galvanizing the country, but it may very well lead to something resembling an autocracy. Just my two cents.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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9/6/2015 10:05:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/6/2015 9:16:40 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:

I mean, fck. If Donald Trump can run for president and do this well, maybe Kanye West *should* enter in 2020. Maybe Clay Aiken's 2014 run wasn't a joke. Maybe we'll have Trump as president, Dennis Rodman (interim ambassador to North Korea, of course) as Secretary of State, Kim Kardashian in charge of the Energy Department, etc.

It's embarrassing. As bland and disappointing as I think the *entire* field at the moment is, sans a few, the extent to which the vast majority of the candidates are ideal relative to Trump astounds me.

Trump has some unique economic ideas. I do think his focus is correct when it comes to international trade and protectionism. He's treating it as he would his competitors in corporate America, which IMHO is the right way to go about it. HIs emphasis on military supremacy bears a lot of similarities to corporations gaining market share over their rivals, which again IMHO is the right way to go about it. That by itself makes him a very compelling candidacy, even though I think civil liberties will be massively curtailed during his tenure.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
Posts: 12,398
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9/6/2015 10:16:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/6/2015 10:05:22 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 9/6/2015 9:16:40 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:

I mean, fck. If Donald Trump can run for president and do this well, maybe Kanye West *should* enter in 2020. Maybe Clay Aiken's 2014 run wasn't a joke. Maybe we'll have Trump as president, Dennis Rodman (interim ambassador to North Korea, of course) as Secretary of State, Kim Kardashian in charge of the Energy Department, etc.

It's embarrassing. As bland and disappointing as I think the *entire* field at the moment is, sans a few, the extent to which the vast majority of the candidates are ideal relative to Trump astounds me.

Trump has some unique economic ideas. I do think his focus is correct when it comes to international trade and protectionism. He's treating it as he would his competitors in corporate America, which IMHO is the right way to go about it. HIs emphasis on military supremacy bears a lot of similarities to corporations gaining market share over their rivals, which again IMHO is the right way to go about it. That by itself makes him a very compelling candidacy, even though I think civil liberties will be massively curtailed during his tenure.

I don't see any of his ideas as particularly unique or compelling, and that's not only by virtue of the fact that he hasn't actually released any detailed policy prescriptions, sans his completely untenable position on immigration which (a) is the most immoral policy I've ever seen and (b) won't work.

I think protectionism in any form should honestly stay dead, and there's a good reason the vast majority of economists -- and even liberals like Paul Krugman -- oppose protectionism: there are *significant* gains to liberalizing trade and immigration, both from an economic and a foreign-policy standpoint. He's also made categorically false remarks on China's "artificially low" currency (it's nothing of the sort, and its recent 2 percent devaluation caused by making its exchange rate more *market driven*, which didn't even put a dent in its 34 percent appreciation since 2008, actually led the Chinese government to panic and begin propping up its currency via capital controls. Even if that weren't the case, though, Trump just fundamentally misunderstands the ramifications of slapping a tariff on China (e.g., a trade war), or sanctioning Mexico for not paying for a useless wall (and useless because many immigrants come by other means, and most aren't even from Mexico), or deporting 11 million people, which would cost about $400 billion to $600 billion and shrink GDP by $1.6 trillion.

This really isn't a matter of gaining some "competitive advantage." By even the most basic micro models, a tariff or a quota would merely raise the price of imports -- inducing higher domestic inflation, to which the Fed would respond with contractionary policy -- and then *raise* domestic prices to the price of the imported good. Then we'd probably spark a trade war, in which case our exporters get completely screwed over. On immigration, again, that's the furthest thing from a competitive advantage possible, because we would literally be undermining or own productive capacity. Labor force growth is already crap, and potential growth prospects and productivity -- i.e., the supply side of the economy -- already suck. But these facts are completely beyond Trump.
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

DDO's Economics Messiah
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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9/6/2015 10:32:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/6/2015 10:16:46 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
At 9/6/2015 10:05:22 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 9/6/2015 9:16:40 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:

I mean, fck. If Donald Trump can run for president and do this well, maybe Kanye West *should* enter in 2020. Maybe Clay Aiken's 2014 run wasn't a joke. Maybe we'll have Trump as president, Dennis Rodman (interim ambassador to North Korea, of course) as Secretary of State, Kim Kardashian in charge of the Energy Department, etc.

It's embarrassing. As bland and disappointing as I think the *entire* field at the moment is, sans a few, the extent to which the vast majority of the candidates are ideal relative to Trump astounds me.

Trump has some unique economic ideas. I do think his focus is correct when it comes to international trade and protectionism. He's treating it as he would his competitors in corporate America, which IMHO is the right way to go about it. HIs emphasis on military supremacy bears a lot of similarities to corporations gaining market share over their rivals, which again IMHO is the right way to go about it. That by itself makes him a very compelling candidacy, even though I think civil liberties will be massively curtailed during his tenure.

I don't see any of his ideas as particularly unique or compelling, and that's not only by virtue of the fact that he hasn't actually released any detailed policy prescriptions, sans his completely untenable position on immigration which (a) is the most immoral policy I've ever seen and (b) won't work.

I think protectionism in any form should honestly stay dead, and there's a good reason the vast majority of economists -- and even liberals like Paul Krugman -- oppose protectionism: there are *significant* gains to liberalizing trade and immigration, both from an economic and a foreign-policy standpoint. He's also made categorically false remarks on China's "artificially low" currency (it's nothing of the sort, and its recent 2 percent devaluation caused by making its exchange rate more *market driven*, which didn't even put a dent in its 34 percent appreciation since 2008, actually led the Chinese government to panic and begin propping up its currency via capital controls. Even if that weren't the case, though, Trump just fundamentally misunderstands the ramifications of slapping a tariff on China (e.g., a trade war), or sanctioning Mexico for not paying for a useless wall (and useless because many immigrants come by other means, and most aren't even from Mexico), or deporting 11 million people, which would cost about $400 billion to $600 billion and shrink GDP by $1.6 trillion.

This really isn't a matter of gaining some "competitive advantage." By even the most basic micro models, a tariff or a quota would merely raise the price of imports -- inducing higher domestic inflation, to which the Fed would respond with contractionary policy -- and then *raise* domestic prices to the price of the imported good. Then we'd probably spark a trade war, in which case our exporters get completely screwed over. On immigration, again, that's the furthest thing from a competitive advantage possible, because we would literally be undermining or own productive capacity. Labor force growth is already crap, and potential growth prospects and productivity -- i.e., the supply side of the economy -- already suck. But these facts are completely beyond Trump.

1) Protectionism is alive and well. It may cause sub-optimal outcomes when looking at the global aggregate, but it can lead to individual actors coming out ahead. China has been engaging in protectionism for decades...the only real response outside of nuclear weapons is to respond with our own form of neo-mercantilism.

2) China's peg, set 20 years ago, was artificially low from the beginning. The Chinese routinely intervene in devaluing the RMB through market action, so I don't know how you can possibly say that it's not an artificial price.

3) The "wall" obviously panders to his low-information base. It's absolutely ridiculous and is so childish as to be moronic. But...does that mean Trump is moronic, or does it mean that he's playing politics brilliantly by pandering to this base in a manner that no one else ever has? I mean, guys like Romney just pay lip service to them...has anyone ever tried actually going knee deep in the gutter? You may try to say that Palin has, but IMHO Palin IS the gutter...Trump is different and is IMHO far too intelligent to be associated with Palin on any sort of level other that superficial. I don't see Palin being capable enough asset-wise or intellectually to plan what Trump has been able to accomplish... a fvcking ultra-liberal democrat (14% wealth tax?? Universal health care??) spending 4 years methodically planning a takeover of the GOP.

4) You're missing the converse of the results of the inflation and etc...it will make our exports more competitive overseas. His talk of zero corporate taxes (to be paid for with a higher progressive personal tax) will also bring jobs into America.

5) China cannot afford a trade war. We have a far better stomach for it than they do. They will fold before we do, and we will get better terms through such strongarm negotiation tactics. Keep in mind the Chinese are not above doing this themselves...they talked really, REALLY tough when the US was in the sh!tter in 2008.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
Posts: 12,398
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9/6/2015 11:24:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/6/2015 10:32:47 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
1) Protectionism is alive and well. It may cause sub-optimal outcomes when looking at the global aggregate, but it can lead to individual actors coming out ahead. China has been engaging in protectionism for decades...the only real response outside of nuclear weapons is to respond with our own form of neo-mercantilism.

My reading of the available evidence on this is that protectionism only benefits industries in their infancy, and that the effects are particularly short-lived. It's true that the U.S. is a relatively closed economy, so perhaps the negative transmission of protectionism isn't as profound as it might be, but we've been liberalized trade for the past half century, and the effects have been overwhelmingly positive.

China's so-called protectionism is largely overblown. As I noted earlier, it is true that in the past they've fiddled around with holding down their currency, but they actually allowed it to become substantially *overvalued* amid the recession, and have made explicit promises -- even during, for instance, the recent G-20 conference -- that they won't manipulate their currency in an effort to bolster export, which is what the recent move on their exchange rate was tethered to: allowing the yuan to become more market-driven. At the moment, they're concern is with raising their status in the world, and thus they're eying SDR, which is looking increasingly likely.

2) China's peg, set 20 years ago, was artificially low from the beginning. The Chinese routinely intervene in devaluing the RMB through market action, so I don't know how you can possibly say that it's not an artificial price.

Because the yuan appreciated 34 percent since 2008, *and* their current account surplus isn't nearly as profound as Germany's. Not to mention, their recent capital controls were intended to bolster the value of the yuan as they transition away from their export-led model.

3) The "wall" obviously panders to his low-information base. It's absolutely ridiculous and is so childish as to be moronic.

I agree.

But...does that mean Trump is moronic, or does it mean that he's playing politics brilliantly by pandering to this base in a manner that no one else ever has?

I wouldn't disagree with this, either. Whether Trump is genuinely a belligerent blow-hard, or whether he's just appealing to a highly anti-intellectual base, is another discussion entirely -- but that was exactly my complaint: elections no longer have much to do with substantive policy discussions.

I mean, guys like Romney just pay lip service to them...has anyone ever tried actually going knee deep in the gutter? You may try to say that Palin has, but IMHO Palin IS the gutter...Trump is different and is IMHO far too intelligent to be associated with Palin on any sort of level other that superficial.

I would agree that he's much, much smarter than Palin, though I'm unconvinced that he's nearly as intelligent as a lot of people make him out to be.

I don't see Palin being capable enough asset-wise or intellectually to plan what Trump has been able to accomplish... a fvcking ultra-liberal democrat (14% wealth tax?? Universal health care??) spending 4 years methodically planning a takeover of the GOP.

That sounds a tad conspiratorial, lol. What makes you think he went that far as to physically plan this? I think he's in it for the notoriety.

4) You're missing the converse of the results of the inflation and etc...it will make our exports more competitive overseas.

Tariffs? No, that just isn't the case.

Here's how I read it:

(1) We implement a tariff.
(2) Import prices go up, domestic prices of analogous goods also rise.
(3) Inflation rises (negative AS shock) and output falls as input costs rise.
(4) All else equal, our goods become *less* attractive overseas because they're more expensive. The dollar might depreciate a bit to restore parity, but that tends to take a while.
(5) The Fed tightens, pushing inflation down and output down, in which case exporters are obviously harmed because the dollar, all else equal, would rise.

The one wrinkle is that well-anchored inflation expectations might, all else equal, mollify the effect of the negative supply shock -- and, of course, prices are sticky, and higher tariffs are associated with higher prices, and that might dampen consumption, which would push prices down. But in no conceivable way will this, over any meaningful time period, be good for exports unless it takes a long time (longer than these other effects) for domestic prices to adjust. Obviously that disappears after a short while.

His talk of zero corporate taxes (to be paid for with a higher progressive personal tax) will also bring jobs into America.

He said he wanted to drop the corporate tax rate to zero?

That's interesting. I mean, if he perfectly offsets it with an equal in PV term rise in progressive income taxes, I'm not especially convinced that the effects would be *as* profound as if he paid for it with spending cuts or with higher deficits, especially with (a) monetary offset and (b) the fact that a lot of corporations are pass-through entities. I support tax cuts as a general rule -- though I'd tax personal consumption over income -- but I'm a bit skeptical of this proposal. But, hey, it could work.

5) China cannot afford a trade war. We have a far better stomach for it than they do. They will fold before we do, and we will get better terms through such strongarm negotiation tactics. Keep in mind the Chinese are not above doing this themselves...they talked really, REALLY tough when the US was in the sh!tter in 2008.

I'm not sure whether this is the case. Granted, I'm really not sure whether China could physically stand a trade war -- and with the state of their economy, I highly doubt it -- but at this moment the gains to be had from a trade war are virtually zilch due to the state of China's economy or their current desire to be recognized as part of the IMF's reserve asset, so I don't think they have any real desire for a trade war, but it would be a tad hypocritical for the US to speak out so voraciously, as we have, against China's currency manipulation and uncompetitive trade practices, only to respond with our own -- especially since the WTO, if I recall correctly, places limits on the extent to which we can tax imports.

But, honestly, I just don't think it's worth it.
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

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ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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9/6/2015 11:41:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/6/2015 10:32:47 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

Another point I could make on tariffs is that, even assuming away a relatively quick domestic price adjustment, the Fed would almost immediately respond with tighter money, anyway, which would push up on the dollar and down on exports, thus nullifying the gain. That's the same argument I would make against, say, the Ex-Im Bank (aside from the fact that it's as crony capitalist as it comes).
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

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wrichcirw
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9/6/2015 11:53:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/6/2015 11:24:05 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
At 9/6/2015 10:32:47 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
1) Protectionism is alive and well. etc

My reading of the available evidence on this is that protectionism only benefits industries in their infancy, and that the effects are particularly short-lived. etc

The idea here is that large chunks of manufacturing have left the US for lower-wage countries like China. If through protectionism those jobs were to return, they would become "infants" again. It may lead to giant leaps in automation in order to cope with a higher-wage environment and thus very few actual job gains...regardless, it's better to have that economic activity occur here than to occur in China.

China's so-called protectionism is largely overblown. As I noted earlier, it is true that in the past they've fiddled around with holding down their currency, but they actually allowed it to become substantially *overvalued* etc

I'm not in a position currently to argue for or against this.

3) The "wall" obviously panders to his low-information base. It's absolutely ridiculous and is so childish as to be moronic.

I agree.

etc... elections no longer have much to do with substantive policy discussions.

What policy discussions would you like to see occur? ProLIFE vs ProCHOICE? Bakers going bankrupt due to discriminatory practices? BLM vs name-your-candidate?

I mean, IMHO this is far less Trump's fault than the two parties. 1) Democrats have been almost silent in the past 5 months. Hillary has done, what, one interview? I think she did another one a couple days ago. Besides that, all we've had is 2) the GOP trying to figure out how to respond to Trump, and realizing that their base really just doesn't give a sh!t about their platform. So the GOP's "substance" has been found to be incongruous with their base, and the Democrats are doing nothing except watching the GOP burn.

I mean, guys like Romney just pay lip service to them...has anyone ever tried actually going knee deep in the gutter? You may try to say that Palin has, but IMHO Palin IS the gutter...Trump is different and is IMHO far too intelligent to be associated with Palin on any sort of level other that superficial.

I would agree that he's much, much smarter than Palin, though I'm unconvinced that he's nearly as intelligent as a lot of people make him out to be.

I'll just say that I did not see his position today being possible, so right there I will give him a lot of credit for playing this game as well as he has. I'm assuming he is destroying and consuming the GOP...that's not an easy feat.

I don't see Palin being capable enough asset-wise or intellectually to plan what Trump has been able to accomplish... a fvcking ultra-liberal democrat (14% wealth tax?? Universal health care??) spending 4 years methodically planning a takeover of the GOP.

That sounds a tad conspiratorial, lol. What makes you think he went that far as to physically plan this? I think he's in it for the notoriety.

This isn't conspiratorial. Clinton has been planning this too, hell they all have except maybe Biden. It's just methodical planning. They didn't start planning their candidacies at the beginning of this summer.

The GOP is a mess. I'm not saying Trump caused this mess...I'm saying that Trump studied it and is capitalizing on it.

4) You're missing the converse of the results of the inflation and etc...it will make our exports more competitive overseas.

Tariffs? No, that just isn't the case.

Here's how I read it:

(1) We implement a tariff.
(2) Import prices go up, domestic prices of analogous goods also rise.
(3) Inflation rises (negative AS shock) and output falls as input costs rise.
(4) All else equal, our goods become *less* attractive overseas because they're more expensive. The dollar might depreciate a bit to restore parity, but that tends to take a while.
(5) The Fed tightens, pushing inflation down and output down, in which case exporters are obviously harmed because the dollar, all else equal, would rise.

The one wrinkle is that well-anchored inflation expectations might, all else equal, mollify the effect of the negative supply shock -- and, of course, prices are sticky, and higher tariffs are associated with higher prices, and that might dampen consumption, which would push prices down. But in no conceivable way will this, over any meaningful time period, be good for exports unless it takes a long time (longer than these other effects) for domestic prices to adjust. Obviously that disappears after a short while.

I disagree with #2...I don't see that as being a necessity. I've lived in Korea, and I remember American products were 2-3 times as pricey as "homemade" products. I mean, my god, a $5 frappuccino bottle?

Not sure about #3 either...we wouldn't be targeting raw material producers...we'd be targeting low wage manufacturing centers.

I see inflation occurring because of current Fed policy...not sure how it would work in your model, really.

His talk of zero corporate taxes (to be paid for with a higher progressive personal tax) will also bring jobs into America.

He said he wanted to drop the corporate tax rate to zero?

Yes.

"We need to lower the U.S. corporate tax rate from 39 percent to zero."
http://www.ontheissues.org...

The idea is that multinats would repatriate profits and operations back to the US. I mean, zero is hyperbolic, but low is realistic.

That's interesting. I mean, if he perfectly offsets it with an equal in PV term rise in progressive income taxes, I'm not especially convinced that the effects would be *as* profound as if he paid for it with spending cuts or with higher deficits, especially with (a) monetary offset and (b) the fact that a lot of corporations are pass-through entities. I support tax cuts as a general rule -- though I'd tax personal consumption over income -- but I'm a bit skeptical of this proposal. But, hey, it could work.

I'm not sure we should be cutting spending...I'd consider that if we had a fully functioning social safety net, and I'm not sure we actually have that.

5) China cannot afford a trade war. We have a far better stomach for it than they do. They will fold before we do, and we will get better terms through such strongarm negotiation tactics. Keep in mind the Chinese are not above doing this themselves...they talked really, REALLY tough when the US was in the sh!tter in 2008.

I'm not sure whether this is the case. Granted, I'm really not sure whether China could physically stand a trade war -- and with the state of their economy, I highly doubt it -- but at this moment the gains to be had from a trade war are virtually zilch due to the state of China's economy or their current desire to be recognized as part of the IMF's reserve asset, so I don't think they have any real desire for a trade war, but it would be a tad hypocritical for the US to speak out so voraciously, as we have, against China's currency manipulation and uncompetitive trade practices, only to respond with our own -- especially since the WTO, if I recall correctly, places limits on the extent to which we can tax imports.

But, honestly, I just don't think it's worth it.

I fully agree with this reasoning, but per game theory (not an expert here), what about threatening one? If the threat is credible, we could gain concessions from such strongarm deal tactics.

Insofar as "principle" is concerned, I don't think that's something you can pin on Trump.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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9/7/2015 12:14:47 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/6/2015 11:53:37 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
The idea here is that large chunks of manufacturing have left the US for lower-wage countries like China.

I agree, though that's been an ongoing secular trend since the 70s. I'm not sure how much of that we can readily on China, especially when -- though low wages might attract outsourcing of labor -- higher productivity tends to follow from higher wages.

If through protectionism those jobs were to return, they would become "infants" again. It may lead to giant leaps in automation in order to cope with a higher-wage environment and thus very few actual job gains...regardless, it's better to have that economic activity occur here than to occur in China.

I'm really not convinced all of those jobs would return to the US, but even if they did, it's beggar-they-neighbor by definition: China would just buy fewer import goods, so the rest of the world would tank, and thus buy fewer of our exports.

I'm not in a position currently to argue for or against this.

Fair enough.

What policy discussions would you like to see occur? ProLIFE vs ProCHOICE? Bakers going bankrupt due to discriminatory practices? BLM vs name-your-candidate?

Well, there are a lot of things I'm interested in hearing: specifics on economic policy, ISIS, the TPP, etc. I don't really care about BLM -- honestly, I think they're a detriment to their own cause, though I would like to hear how candidates would respond to the very real problem of police brutality.

I mean, IMHO this is far less Trump's fault than the two parties. 1) Democrats have been almost silent in the past 5 months. Hillary has done, what, one interview? I think she did another one a couple days ago. Besides that, all we've had is

I totally agree with this, and that the Dems are having only 4 debates makes this a lot worse -- *but* Trump is still accountable for the crap he says.

2) the GOP trying to figure out how to respond to Trump, and realizing that their base really just doesn't give a sh!t about their platform. So the GOP's "substance" has been found to be incongruous with their base, and the Democrats are doing nothing except watching the GOP burn.

Agreed.

I'll just say that I did not see his position today being possible, so right there I will give him a lot of credit for playing this game as well as he has. I'm assuming he is destroying and consuming the GOP...that's not an easy feat.

Very true, and if he makes it far enough, this election will be study in Poli Sci classes for ages to come.

This isn't conspiratorial. Clinton has been planning this too, hell they all have except maybe Biden. It's just methodical planning. They didn't start planning their candidacies at the beginning of this summer.

Oh, I agree. I misread your initial post, and thought you were suggesting a "takeover" of the GOP in the sense that he was a Dem operative, or something, planted to destroy the GOP from within. My apologies.

The GOP is a mess. I'm not saying Trump caused this mess...I'm saying that Trump studied it and is capitalizing on it.

I agree.

I disagree with #2...I don't see that as being a necessity.

That's the prediction of the most basic neoclassical model, and the logic is that having the leverage to raise the price would increase the amount the firm would be willing to supply -- though the mechanism could obviously take place with a substantial lag.

I've lived in Korea, and I remember American products were 2-3 times as pricey as "homemade" products. I mean, my god, a $5 frappuccino bottle?

Hm, that's interesting. That could've just been an exchange-rate differential, though.

Not sure about #3 either...we wouldn't be targeting raw material producers...we'd be targeting low wage manufacturing centers.

But, regardless of whom we're targeting, trade today is based far more on intermediate goods than it was, say, 20 years ago -- and even exchange rate differentials could drive that wedge. But that depends on how he levies the tariff: if he just taxes all Chinese goods across the boards, he'll surely hit inputs.

I see inflation occurring because of current Fed policy...not sure how it would work in your model, really.

Current Fed policy is actually doing an abnormally sh1tty job of generating inflation, lol. That was the subject of the last Jackson Hole conference, actually, but that's a discussion for another day.

I mean, the Fed aims to hit a target rate of inflation, so if inflation rose via a negative supply shock, it would respond to bring inflation down to target.

His talk of zero corporate taxes (to be paid for with a higher progressive personal tax) will also bring jobs into America.

He said he wanted to drop the corporate tax rate to zero?

Yes.

"We need to lower the U.S. corporate tax rate from 39 percent to zero."
http://www.ontheissues.org...

Interesting.

The idea is that multinats would repatriate profits and operations back to the US. I mean, zero is hyperbolic, but low is realistic.

I agree.

That's interesting. I mean, if he perfectly offsets it with an equal in PV term rise in progressive income taxes, I'm not especially convinced that the effects would be *as* profound as if he paid for it with spending cuts or with higher deficits, especially with (a) monetary offset and (b) the fact that a lot of corporations are pass-through entities. I support tax cuts as a general rule -- though I'd tax personal consumption over income -- but I'm a bit skeptical of this proposal. But, hey, it could work.

I'm not sure we should be cutting spending...I'd consider that if we had a fully functioning social safety net, and I'm not sure we actually have that.

I'd rather not cut spending, either, but I'm inclined to think that if he wanted a perfect offset to slashing the corporate tax rate to zero, slashing spending -- because it wouldn't directly impact the supply-side of the economy, unlike tax cuts, and thus would be offset by monetary policy -- is a better strategy than raising income tax rates.

5) China cannot afford a trade war. We have a far better stomach for it than they do. They will fold before we do, and we will get better terms through such strongarm negotiation tactics. Keep in mind the Chinese are not above doing this themselves...they talked really, REALLY tough when the US was in the sh!tter in 2008.

I'm not sure whether this is the case. Granted, I'm really not sure whether China could physically stand a trade war -- and with the state of their economy, I highly doubt it -- but at this moment the gains to be had from a trade war are virtually zilch due to the state of China's economy or their current desire to be recognized as part of the IMF's reserve asset, so I don't think they have any real desire for a trade war, but it would be a tad hypocritical for the US to speak out so voraciously, as we have, against China's currency manipulation and uncompetitive trade practices, only to respond with our own -- especially since the WTO, if I recall correctly, places limits on the extent to which we can tax imports.

But, honestly, I just don't think it's worth it.


I fully agree with this reasoning, but per game theory (not an expert here), what about threatening one? If the threat is credible, we could gain concessions from such strongarm deal tactics.

So, basically, if we said "Slash your tariffs, and we'll raise tariffs on you," and China came to realize, "You know, we'd be so much better off, knowing the US will actually tariff us back, if we said, 'Screw it, let's stop manipulating'"?

I think that's what you're getting at, and I agree, but it also works in reverse, knowing that China has the capacity to cause us a whole lot of pain, at least in the short term (and we benefit when China does well).
~ResponsiblyIrresponsible

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wrichcirw
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9/7/2015 1:08:34 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Well, I've learned that when conversations get dissected to this level, best to just respond to a handful of points and leave the rest be.

At 9/7/2015 12:14:47 AM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
At 9/6/2015 11:53:37 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I'm really not convinced all of those jobs would return to the US, but even if they did, it's beggar-they-neighbor by definition: China would just buy fewer import goods, so the rest of the world would tank, and thus buy fewer of our exports.

IMHO China is not (yet) in the position to tank the world economy. Ours and Europe's is still far bigger. That may not be true in 10-15 years, but it is true now.

Now, just imagine 15 years ago, when China just entered the WTO and Bush II was in charge. Back then, economically speaking, China had zero influence until all the FDI just poured into that country and built it up. Now, China makes just about everything for everyone else, and we pay them to do it. Are we that rich? Are we really a leisure-class society?

It's stuff like that, and hearing Trump rail about it, that compels me to take him seriously on geopolitics.

That's the prediction of the most basic neoclassical model, and the logic is that having the leverage to raise the price would increase the amount the firm would be willing to supply -- though the mechanism could obviously take place with a substantial lag.

This is assuming that the price would gravitate towards some sort of "new" equilibrium, yes? However, you already have price controls being implemented, so why would it gravitate to that equilibrium price?

That could've just been an exchange-rate differential, though.

On this specifically I can only talk from personal experience, but generally speaking a Korean dining experience is price-wise comparable to what it is here (so around $5 for fast food, i.e. rice and something red that will burn your @ss for a couple days, $20 or so for a decent sit-down meal). Stuff that evidently looked imported from America however was massively expensive across the board.

trade today is based far more on intermediate goods than it was, say, 20 years ago

Right, because we've outsourced chunks of our supply chain. The idea is to bring that supply chain back to the US via protectionism.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
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9/7/2015 1:21:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/7/2015 1:08:34 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
Well, I've learned that when conversations get dissected to this level, best to just respond to a handful of points and leave the rest be.

Haha, sounds about right.

At 9/7/2015 12:14:47 AM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
At 9/6/2015 11:53:37 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

IMHO China is not (yet) in the position to tank the world economy. Ours and Europe's is still far bigger. That may not be true in 10-15 years, but it is true now.

This might be true. Certainly there are plenty on people (on the Fed, no doubt) who think this is the case, though the stock market -- which has been extremely volatile in recent weeks -- would tend to disagree. In terms of purchasing power parity, China is actually larger than the US. I don't think they can physically "tank" the world economy; that may have been a bit hyperbolic on my part, but I think they can do a whole lot of damage. Particularly, there could be a chain of spillovers.

Germany, for instance, is holding on as pretty much the only beacon of light in the Eurozone, and the majority of its wealth is from manufacturing and exporting stuff (which helps when it can, effectively, devalue whilst still part of a currency union). If China stopped buying stuff, Germany would probably falter, which would certainly spillover to the rest of the periphery, and then to the US. I'm sort of a skeptic on this, but I think China can do a whole lot of damage.

Now, just imagine 15 years ago, when China just entered the WTO and Bush II was in charge. Back then, economically speaking, China had zero influence until all the FDI just poured into that country and built it up. Now, China makes just about everything for everyone else, and we pay them to do it. Are we that rich? Are we really a leisure-class society?

I don't think that makes a leisure-class society, per se. True, China's manufacturing sector is massive, and in large part that's because of their (past) forex interventions -- but, at the same time, I think that's benefitted us immensely because only the composition, but not the number, of jobs has changed, and generally speaking productive capacity rose as a byproduct of globalization. The only real cost I can think of is that manufacturing workers were displaced, which I think was part of an ongoing structural trend, anyway, and probably had a lot to do with bad domestic policy.

It's stuff like that, and hearing Trump rail about it, that compels me to take him seriously on geopolitics.

That's the prediction of the most basic neoclassical model, and the logic is that having the leverage to raise the price would increase the amount the firm would be willing to supply -- though the mechanism could obviously take place with a substantial lag.

This is assuming that the price would gravitate towards some sort of "new" equilibrium, yes?

Yeah, exactly.

However, you already have price controls being implemented, so why would it gravitate to that equilibrium price?

I can't think of a price control which would cause the price to become sticky upward. I mean, even farm subsidies are designed to prevent prices from falling. True, prices are sticky and government policy can make them stickier, but I can't think of a policy that would prevent those prices from rising.

That could've just been an exchange-rate differential, though.

On this specifically I can only talk from personal experience, but generally speaking a Korean dining experience is price-wise comparable to what it is here (so around $5 for fast food, i.e. rice and something red that will burn your @ss for a couple days, $20 or so for a decent sit-down meal). Stuff that evidently looked imported from America however was massively expensive across the board.

That's actually really interesting, and I'm not sure exactly why that was the case.

trade today is based far more on intermediate goods than it was, say, 20 years ago

Right, because we've outsourced chunks of our supply chain. The idea is to bring that supply chain back to the US via protectionism.

I get that, but I think that would result in an ongoing transition process that really wouldn't benefit us in the longer run. I mean, unless this bolstered productivity -- and, in fact, I think it would probably reduce it -- then it wouldn't increase the quantity of domestic jobs ("normal" unemployment would still be normal, but that level might rise if productivity were to fall), but only the composition would surely change. I think that's consistent with shuffling around the existing composition of jobs, and is probably consistent with many employers that use a large quantity of intermediate goods being displaced and probably some big exporters being devastated by trade barriers. I think the displacement costs -- and even the costs if this were to pan out -- are far greater than the benefits of a "made in America" supply chain.
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Contra
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9/7/2015 2:10:51 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/6/2015 9:16:40 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
Sigh...

Unfortunately, this is what presidential politics has devolved to. There's nary any discussion of substantive policy, but an abundance of petty jabs and political posturing. It's analogous to the celebrity culture, and the media just eats it up, because it isn't as though any of them are actually interesting in engaging on serious issues which actually affect people or the country's standing in the world amid extremely trying times. It's not as though the headlines are "Donald Trump proposes tax overhaul'; instead, they're "Donald Trump says X incendiary remark about Y" or "The American people hate Hillary because of Z."

As a policy wonk, I can't even begin to express how agitated the media coverage of this election makes me. I'm not expecting a room of academics tossing around spreadsheets, but I want at least *some* intelligent discussions from people who can materially affect my life, my family's life, and, should good fortune permit, my kids' lives.

I mean, fck. If Donald Trump can run for president and do this well, maybe Kanye West *should* enter in 2020. Maybe Clay Aiken's 2014 run wasn't a joke. Maybe we'll have Trump as president, Dennis Rodman (interim ambassador to North Korea, of course) as Secretary of State, Kim Kardashian in charge of the Energy Department, etc.

It's embarrassing. As bland and disappointing as I think the *entire* field at the moment is, sans a few, the extent to which the vast majority of the candidates are ideal relative to Trump astounds me.

Oh, and as for the topic at hand..... Ben probably won't throw a petty jab at Trump. I think the guy's a fish out of water, and I don't think he performed well at the recent debate, but he's a fcking neurosurgeon. To the extent he isn't interested in actually running for president -- or whatever the fck running against Trump really is -- he won't say a word, and hope that his recent bump in the polls will carry him through the next few months with enough time for Trump's campaign to, hopefully, implode, whether it be by virtue of a more consolidated field or finally striking the wrong nerve in the GOP base.

/end rant

I couldn't agree more. People are pissed because government seems dysfunctional and unable to solve simple problems, yet people are supporting politicians who engage in petty political jabs, rather than offering substantive ideas.
"The solution [for Republicans] is to admit that Bush was a bad president, stop this racist homophobic stuff, stop trying to give most of the tax cuts to the rich, propose a real alternative to Obamacare that actually works, and propose smart free market solutions to our economic problems." - Distraff

"Americans are better off in a dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth, opportunity and upward mobility." - Paul Ryan
Huntress
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9/7/2015 2:21:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Trump has some unique economic ideas. I do think his focus is correct when it comes to international trade and protectionism. He's treating it as he would his competitors in corporate America, which IMHO is the right way to go about it. HIs emphasis on military supremacy bears a lot of similarities to corporations gaining market share over their rivals, which again IMHO is the right way to go about it. That by itself makes him a very compelling candidacy, even though I think civil liberties will be massively curtailed during his tenure.

First, great OP.

I agree with you here and that's partly why I'm voting from Trump. Having grown up around people in business and with that kind of a mindset I see things similarly.

What specifically makes you think that civil liberties would be massively curtailed?
wrichcirw
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9/7/2015 2:48:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/7/2015 2:21:58 AM, Huntress wrote:
Trump has some unique economic ideas. I do think his focus is correct when it comes to international trade and protectionism. He's treating it as he would his competitors in corporate America, which IMHO is the right way to go about it. HIs emphasis on military supremacy bears a lot of similarities to corporations gaining market share over their rivals, which again IMHO is the right way to go about it. That by itself makes him a very compelling candidacy, even though I think civil liberties will be massively curtailed during his tenure.

First, great OP.

I agree with you here and that's partly why I'm voting from Trump. Having grown up around people in business and with that kind of a mindset I see things similarly.

What specifically makes you think that civil liberties would be massively curtailed?

First, thank you. =)

He's not going to abandon his base, at least not completely. His base could care less about what's commonly known as "civil rights", things like affirmative action, religious freedom, and combating xenophobia. Also, my impression of Trump, considering he didn't work in a public corporation and didn't have to deal with shareholders and possibly outside boards, is that he's accustomed to being an autocrat. What that could mean is a vast expansion of executive privilege (I don't think he's ever criticized anyone for this, and he's criticized everyone for just about anything), while possibly...possibly doing something dramatic in shutting Congress down. IMHO these are less important than geopolitics, but it will create a noticeable difference...many people will probably consider it to be a grave insult to the Founders.

I'd be surprised if the above didn't happen under a Trump presidency.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Huntress
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9/7/2015 1:45:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/7/2015 2:48:42 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 9/7/2015 2:21:58 AM, Huntress wrote:
Trump has some unique economic ideas. I do think his focus is correct when it comes to international trade and protectionism. He's treating it as he would his competitors in corporate America, which IMHO is the right way to go about it. HIs emphasis on military supremacy bears a lot of similarities to corporations gaining market share over their rivals, which again IMHO is the right way to go about it. That by itself makes him a very compelling candidacy, even though I think civil liberties will be massively curtailed during his tenure.

First, great OP.

I agree with you here and that's partly why I'm voting from Trump. Having grown up around people in business and with that kind of a mindset I see things similarly.

What specifically makes you think that civil liberties would be massively curtailed?

First, thank you. =)

He's not going to abandon his base, at least not completely. His base could care less about what's commonly known as "civil rights", things like affirmative action, religious freedom, and combating xenophobia.

He doesn't seem to take a side on issues like Kim Davis, which is pretty infuriating. I think he'd ignore civil liberties issues when he could, but do you think that ignoring would result in them being massively curtailed or do you just see it differently? As much as I've supported Trump I feel like I'm being pushed toward Huckabee, because I'm not a libertarian. What would it profit America to gain the world but lose its soul? I'd prefer to have both. :-)
wrichcirw
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9/7/2015 3:01:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/7/2015 1:45:49 PM, Huntress wrote:
At 9/7/2015 2:48:42 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

He doesn't seem to take a side on issues like Kim Davis, which is pretty infuriating. I think he'd ignore civil liberties issues when he could, but do you think that ignoring would result in them being massively curtailed or do you just see it differently?

If he ignored civil liberties issues, he'd actually become more liberal. For example, if he did not use language that equated Mexicans with rapists and just said absolutely nothing about Mexico, he'd score higher on the civil liberties department than what he's actually advocated.

As much as I've supported Trump I feel like I'm being pushed toward Huckabee, because I'm not a libertarian.

Why does not being a libertarian push you away from Trump? Why do you think Trump leans libertarian, when he advocates for massive foreign intervention, higher personal taxes, and universal health care?
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
PetersSmith
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9/7/2015 4:41:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/6/2015 6:04:17 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
"Well, I'm much better as a counterpuncher, so I'd rather have, and I'm hoping for Ben to really hit me at some point, because I love to counterpunch..."

Donald Trump
http://www.washingtontimes.com...

Donald Trump is our Lord and Savior.
Empress of DDO (also Poll and Forum "Maintenance" Moderator)

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Guide to the Polls Section: http://www.debate.org...
wrichcirw
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9/10/2015 6:11:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/6/2015 7:21:34 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 9/6/2015 6:04:17 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I know you prize high-minded idealism, but IMHO this is what is propelling Donald Trump in the polls:

43% of Republicans could imagine supporting a military coup in the United States.

http://www.debate.org...

This is outright martial law. Donald Trump would be a natural figure to lead such a movement, given his GOP base and his own autocratic background.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,872
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9/10/2015 6:33:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/6/2015 9:16:40 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
Sigh...

Unfortunately, this is what presidential politics has devolved to. There's nary any discussion of substantive policy, but an abundance of petty jabs and political posturing. It's analogous to the celebrity culture, and the media just eats it up, because it isn't as though any of them are actually interesting in engaging on serious issues which actually affect people or the country's standing in the world amid extremely trying times. It's not as though the headlines are "Donald Trump proposes tax overhaul'; instead, they're "Donald Trump says X incendiary remark about Y" or "The American people hate Hillary because of Z."
you must be young.this doesn't represent "devolving", it's been pure stasis for the last 60 years.
As a policy wonk, I can't even begin to express how agitated the media coverage of this election makes me. I'm not expecting a room of academics tossing around spreadsheets, but I want at least *some* intelligent discussions from people who can materially affect my life, my family's life, and, should good fortune permit, my kids' lives.

I mean, fck. If Donald Trump can run for president and do this well, maybe Kanye West *should* enter in 2020. Maybe Clay Aiken's 2014 run wasn't a joke. Maybe we'll have Trump as president, Dennis Rodman (interim ambassador to North Korea, of course) as Secretary of State, Kim Kardashian in charge of the Energy Department, etc.

It's embarrassing. As bland and disappointing as I think the *entire* field at the moment is, sans a few, the extent to which the vast majority of the candidates are ideal relative to Trump astounds me.

Oh, and as for the topic at hand..... Ben probably won't throw a petty jab at Trump. I think the guy's a fish out of water, and I don't think he performed well at the recent debate, but he's a fcking neurosurgeon. To the extent he isn't interested in actually running for president -- or whatever the fck running against Trump really is -- he won't say a word, and hope that his recent bump in the polls will carry him through the next few months with enough time for Trump's campaign to, hopefully, implode, whether it be by virtue of a more consolidated field or finally striking the wrong nerve in the GOP base.

/end rant
Idealist
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9/10/2015 8:51:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/10/2015 6:11:27 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 9/6/2015 7:21:34 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 9/6/2015 6:04:17 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I know you prize high-minded idealism, but IMHO this is what is propelling Donald Trump in the polls:

43% of Republicans could imagine supporting a military coup in the United States.

http://www.debate.org...

This is outright martial law. Donald Trump would be a natural figure to lead such a movement, given his GOP base and his own autocratic background.

I suppose that I could "imagine" supporting it, too, if all the right variables were present. I would certainly hope that it never becomes necessary, but the right to oppose the government is inherent in the Constitution, don't you think?
Idealist
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9/10/2015 8:56:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/6/2015 9:16:40 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
Sigh...

Unfortunately, this is what presidential politics has devolved to. There's nary any discussion of substantive policy, but an abundance of petty jabs and political posturing. It's analogous to the celebrity culture, and the media just eats it up, because it isn't as though any of them are actually interesting in engaging on serious issues which actually affect people or the country's standing in the world amid extremely trying times. It's not as though the headlines are "Donald Trump proposes tax overhaul'; instead, they're "Donald Trump says X incendiary remark about Y" or "The American people hate Hillary because of Z."

As a policy wonk, I can't even begin to express how agitated the media coverage of this election makes me. I'm not expecting a room of academics tossing around spreadsheets, but I want at least *some* intelligent discussions from people who can materially affect my life, my family's life, and, should good fortune permit, my kids' lives.

I mean, fck. If Donald Trump can run for president and do this well, maybe Kanye West *should* enter in 2020. Maybe Clay Aiken's 2014 run wasn't a joke. Maybe we'll have Trump as president, Dennis Rodman (interim ambassador to North Korea, of course) as Secretary of State, Kim Kardashian in charge of the Energy Department, etc.

It's embarrassing. As bland and disappointing as I think the *entire* field at the moment is, sans a few, the extent to which the vast majority of the candidates are ideal relative to Trump astounds me.

Oh, and as for the topic at hand..... Ben probably won't throw a petty jab at Trump. I think the guy's a fish out of water, and I don't think he performed well at the recent debate, but he's a fcking neurosurgeon. To the extent he isn't interested in actually running for president -- or whatever the fck running against Trump really is -- he won't say a word, and hope that his recent bump in the polls will carry him through the next few months with enough time for Trump's campaign to, hopefully, implode, whether it be by virtue of a more consolidated field or finally striking the wrong nerve in the GOP base.

/end rant

I agree with much of your rant. Then again, I think many people have learned that flipping a coin is just about as effective as any other method for choosing politicians. Most Americans certainly don't have the time to form an in-depth knowledge of every candidate, so they tend to condense as much as they can. Who would've thought that an actor like Ronald Reagan would come to be viewed by many people as the best President in recent US history?
wrichcirw
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9/10/2015 10:30:04 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/10/2015 8:51:31 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 9/10/2015 6:11:27 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 9/6/2015 7:21:34 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 9/6/2015 6:04:17 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

I know you prize high-minded idealism, but IMHO this is what is propelling Donald Trump in the polls:

43% of Republicans could imagine supporting a military coup in the United States.

http://www.debate.org...

This is outright martial law. Donald Trump would be a natural figure to lead such a movement, given his GOP base and his own autocratic background.

I suppose that I could "imagine" supporting it, too, if all the right variables were present. I would certainly hope that it never becomes necessary, but the right to oppose the government is inherent in the Constitution, don't you think?

On a certain level, yeah, sure (well, maybe not the Constitution but in the history behind the American Revolution), but I think the stronger tendency towards this sentiment in the GOP is reflective of their utter contempt for their establishment politicians.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
ResponsiblyIrresponsible
Posts: 12,398
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9/11/2015 12:18:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/10/2015 8:56:29 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 9/6/2015 9:16:40 PM, ResponsiblyIrresponsible wrote:
Sigh...

Unfortunately, this is what presidential politics has devolved to. There's nary any discussion of substantive policy, but an abundance of petty jabs and political posturing. It's analogous to the celebrity culture, and the media just eats it up, because it isn't as though any of them are actually interesting in engaging on serious issues which actually affect people or the country's standing in the world amid extremely trying times. It's not as though the headlines are "Donald Trump proposes tax overhaul'; instead, they're "Donald Trump says X incendiary remark about Y" or "The American people hate Hillary because of Z."

As a policy wonk, I can't even begin to express how agitated the media coverage of this election makes me. I'm not expecting a room of academics tossing around spreadsheets, but I want at least *some* intelligent discussions from people who can materially affect my life, my family's life, and, should good fortune permit, my kids' lives.

I mean, fck. If Donald Trump can run for president and do this well, maybe Kanye West *should* enter in 2020. Maybe Clay Aiken's 2014 run wasn't a joke. Maybe we'll have Trump as president, Dennis Rodman (interim ambassador to North Korea, of course) as Secretary of State, Kim Kardashian in charge of the Energy Department, etc.

It's embarrassing. As bland and disappointing as I think the *entire* field at the moment is, sans a few, the extent to which the vast majority of the candidates are ideal relative to Trump astounds me.

Oh, and as for the topic at hand..... Ben probably won't throw a petty jab at Trump. I think the guy's a fish out of water, and I don't think he performed well at the recent debate, but he's a fcking neurosurgeon. To the extent he isn't interested in actually running for president -- or whatever the fck running against Trump really is -- he won't say a word, and hope that his recent bump in the polls will carry him through the next few months with enough time for Trump's campaign to, hopefully, implode, whether it be by virtue of a more consolidated field or finally striking the wrong nerve in the GOP base.

/end rant

I agree with much of your rant. Then again, I think many people have learned that flipping a coin is just about as effective as any other method for choosing politicians. Most Americans certainly don't have the time to form an in-depth knowledge of every candidate, so they tend to condense as much as they can. Who would've thought that an actor like Ronald Reagan would come to be viewed by many people as the best President in recent US history?

I think, because most of them are lamentably ignorant, what they say is a lot less important than how they say it. Reagan communicated in a way that's practically unrivaled, except maybe by Clinton. It's really a question of how candidates make people "feel." I have a hard time believing Trump has that same effect on people who aren't ignorant, racist douchenozzles.
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9/11/2015 1:29:50 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
It's funny how you guys support Bernie Sanders but bash Donald Trump, when they're both liberals with practically the same exact policies.

If Trump ran as a liberal (which he is one) you guys would be supporting him like crazy, all he'd have to do is soften his immigration stance.