2016 US Presidential Election

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KnightExemplar
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:01 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Of course something that is explicitly for communicating to the public will be...public. Clinton's private email server isn't really the same thing.


Why not? Clinton's private email server was just as unclassified as the Gmail server that Colin Powell used officially.

The difference is that Colin Powell managed to keep personal and government life separated. Clinton however, did not. That's the real crime: Clinton's lack of proper records management. Too bad that's... not a crime people care about really.

Clinton really should have been better with her use of technology as Secretary of State. But there's no crime that was committed there. In contrast, Petraus literally plead guilty to a crime.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:10 pm UTC

The comparison drawn was to the twitter thing. Obviously that's going to be public. It's not really the same thing. It's just a crap example.

As for the rest, I'm really quite tired of talking about emails, if my previous post didn't make that plain enough. We've already beaten to death why those two situations are not quite equal, but at this point...what does it matter? Where does the "THIS IS WORSE" lead? Some stunning revelation that Trump is sometimes inconsistent? Cool. You're preaching to the choir. Also, that should not be a new revelation for literally anyone at this point.

So, what's the value in talking about emails more?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:17 pm UTC

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/wha ... residency/
In other news, Nate Silver talks about the 25th amendment, and the odds that Trump makes it 4 years without going full Nixon.
natesilver: To continue down my line of unconventional thinking: The 25th Amendment requires the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet to declare a president unfit for office. How likely is that to actually come up? Probably not too likely (that section of the 25th Amendment has never been invoked before). But I do think a useful heuristic is to think in terms of whether Cabinet members might be more loyal to Trump or more loyal to Pence in a crisis.

harry: OK, now this is interesting.
micah: This seems really premature.
clare.malone: So we’re talking democratic coup here, basically?

harry: The coup is not of interest to me, haha. But the idea that this Cabinet may reflect Pence’s ideology more than Trump’s is.
natesilver: Yeah, Pence has become a weirdly under-covered figure.
clare.malone: He’s a more telegenic Cheney. In the sense that he’s going to wield a lotta lotta power.
natesilver: Unlike most vice presidents, he really might be the second-most-powerful person in America, depending on how interested Trump is in actually governing, as opposed to just enjoying the perks of being POTUS.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:23 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Well, the guy hasn't taken office yet. All we have so far is promises, talk, and possibilities. Much like the campaign itself. So, if they bit for the campaign, there probably isn't much to discourage them yet.

Wouldn't hold out much hope for 2018, though. Math is brutal, even if Trump isn't beloved by all. 2020's the big crunch point. Democrats have a big window there, if they prep for it correctly. Right now, the plan mostly seems to be "assume Trump'll screw up, and they'll all come running back".

Trump's goin' with the mob on stuff, though. And people are often very slow to call into question their own decisions. Even if they don't work out, folks are much more generous with finding excuses, so there's a lot of power in this approach, I think. I mean, political power, not necessarily actually fixing stuff. Bluster against flag burning and stuff is unlikely to cost him anything, and it keeps his image fresh as someone doing the right thing, to his supporters.

Wonder what happens if Democrats copy his style. That could be...interesting.


It's also important to realize that a decent proportion of Trump voters are essentially single-issue voters. He's made big promises to evangelicals, the NRA, trade skeptics, etc. who are more-or-less committed to him doing whatever he wants so long as he hits the top item on their agenda. How far they're prepared to stretch this bargain remains to be seen, but I don't think you're going to see, say, evangelicals deserting him en masse as long as a couple of pro-life Supreme Court Justices are on the table.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:30 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:The comparison drawn was to the twitter thing. Obviously that's going to be public. It's not really the same thing. It's just a crap example.

As for the rest, I'm really quite tired of talking about emails, if my previous post didn't make that plain enough. We've already beaten to death why those two situations are not quite equal, but at this point...what does it matter? Where does the "THIS IS WORSE" lead? Some stunning revelation that Trump is sometimes inconsistent? Cool. You're preaching to the choir. Also, that should not be a new revelation for literally anyone at this point.

So, what's the value in talking about emails more?

Sorry, I hadn't really intended to try to start a debate on the emails. But Petraeus *is* being talked about as a candidate for State, which I find wryly amusing. Which again, I'd like to emphasize, is a whole lot better than the reaction the idea of Giuliani in the position gets out of me.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:52 pm UTC

With regards to the betting markets valuation of Trump only finishing his term at 60%, eh...it's a four year bet. I'm not gonna make that unless the spread is great. 60% is wildly undervalued, I think. I'm also confident I can pull >10% returns a year betting(which is true to date) on other stuff. Given the magic of compounding interest, I'd have to be an idiot to buy into that market. There are some inherent issues with directly translating price to percent odds for long term bets.

LaserGuy wrote:It's also important to realize that a decent proportion of Trump voters are essentially single-issue voters. He's made big promises to evangelicals, the NRA, trade skeptics, etc. who are more-or-less committed to him doing whatever he wants so long as he hits the top item on their agenda. How far they're prepared to stretch this bargain remains to be seen, but I don't think you're going to see, say, evangelicals deserting him en masse as long as a couple of pro-life Supreme Court Justices are on the table.


There's always a limit, I think. Almost nobody is *entirely* single issue, whatever they might say. But yeah, they're usually heavily influenced by a couple of things. And there's some overlap, here. I mean, pretty much none of these subgroups are at odds with each other.

I don't think the pro-life group, for instance, really expects much progress. They've kept slogging at the same pointless fight for forever, talking about repealing Roe v Wade, often in races that realistically have zero influence on any such decision. It's as much an ideological war as anything. They don't want to win, they want to fight. As long as the right fighting words are said, I don't think Trump has to actually accomplish anything significant for them. Unless he overtly works against them, he just has to bluster a lot, and he's fine. Trump has this in the bag. Democrats cannot seriously appeal to this demographic, I think.

NRA. NRA can and does endorse Democrats instead of Republicans, where the appropriate stance is taken.* Now, this isn't common, and obviously, Clinton couldn't hope for the NRA's endorsement here. There's literally no way the NRA could have done that without a grassroots rebellion. The Clinton name is basically synonymous with gun control. So...literally nowhere to go but up, from the democrat perspective. At worst, they can run someone who simply doesn't bring up the issue. At best, they could try co-opting some of this group, particularly if Trump doesn't actually do much. The gun lobby has long, long memories, and routinely brings up old examples of people who work against them literally decades later. They're organized, and they never forget. So, if Trump screws up at all here, it actually matters. Even small errors can matter.

Trade Skeptics. I'm gonna say that very few of these people hate trade specifically. They're more people who are worried about the economy, particularly their local one, and for whom trade is a convenient thing to blame. Or illegal immigrants. Or government regulation. Pick the blame, whatever, but end of the day, it's an economic concern. If Trump actually ends up broadly helping small town economics, well...I'll be impressed and a bit surprised, but it seems like a genuine accomplishment, if it works out. If he's doing good things for the economy, that probably bodes well for him in 2020. 's an old fundamentals thing, really, not just something particular to this niche. End of the day, everyone needs money. This is one that could influence the race a lot, but it's not something Democrats have much control over. They're pretty much reduced to hoping that Trump screws up bad. In practice, the President has rather less control over the economy than often imagined, so this one seems to have a heavy dose of luck. If the economy does great, and small towns share in some of that, Trump takes credit, regardless of it's actually the result of anything he did, and probably wins in 2020.

The Affordable Care Act. I just added this in here, because Republicans have been talking about it for forever. He really doesn't have to do much. Kill the mandate. That's it. It doesn't have to WORK without the mandate. It's an Obama program. His name's attached to it, as will any failures thereof. This one's faceroll-level easy to pull off.

*This is not common, mind you. Republicans usually do support guns, Democrats, not so much. But they go by a letter grade system, mostly, based on voting records and stuff, so it's hypothetically possible that the next Democratic candidate could be at least decently regarded by the NRA. Kasich in 2010 makes a good example. The NRA supported his opposition due to a 16 yr old beef.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:53 am UTC

Tyndmyr, are there any issues Democrats would single issue vote for? It's hard to think of any that aren't Obama blacks. If Democrats want to expand their coalition, it really helps to have a devoted voting bloc that doesn't require much. The liberal progressive wing is devoted, but demands a lot. The rest are minorities, which are less valuable, voter for voter. (still valuable since you often get high support from the group overall. A fraction of a large number still quite respectable. )

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/201 ... al-america
Interesting tidbit, your average farmer is closer to a corporation than he is to the woes of rural America. Policies that help farmers are unlikely to help the other 80%of rural America. Especially since farmers only care about relaxed regulations, pro trade, and pro immigration. Could be a weak point for Democrats to pick off in the House And state legislatures. (though the lax farming regulation demand is hard to work with)

Another is that jobs follow people, which is the opposite of what I believed.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Liri » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:32 am UTC

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/201 ... al-america
Interesting tidbit, your average farmer is closer to a corporation than he is to the woes of rural America. Policies that help farmers are unlikely to help the other 80%of rural America. Especially since farmers only care about relaxed regulations, pro trade, and pro immigration. Could be a weak point for Democrats to pick off in the House And state legislatures. (though the lax farming regulation demand is hard to work with)

Another is that jobs follow people, which is the opposite of what I believed.[/quote]
I think there was another NPR article (might not've been NPR) a couple weeks about about how the number of farms has increased over the past however many years, but that's because the USDA definition of a "farm" is "any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year" (emphasis mine). That means if an area of land has the potential to produce $1000 or more, it's considered a farm. The REAL farms are the ones you mention, the sprawling corporation-like entities that produce most of what we eat.

Your article also brings up the point that the number of people who list "farming" as an occupation has continued to decrease, which is a much better measure than going off the USDA definition. It's also really grim to think about all those bread-basket towns with young people fleeing them in droves.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:36 am UTC

In 1900 60 percent of the country was rural. As of 1990 25 percent was. So yeah, jobs follow people. Although it might be more truthful to say that jobs happen in areas with growth. A friend of mine loves the mountains in Appalachia always wanted to live in the mountains where his family was. From his ancestral home it's a 2hr trip to catch a jet. Recently I asked him if he wanted to return. He replied no, that their were no amenities. Rural is rural. They even wrote a song about it after the Great War.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:36 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Clinton put information in an insecure place; Patraeus literally just handed it over to a civilian.
I think this is an important distinction to be noted. Not only did Patraeus willingly just hand over top secret information to a civilian, but it was to his mistress. Clinton was irresponsible with her email server in a LESS egregious way than Colin Powell was, and Patreaus got a slap on the wrist for pleading guilty to his crimes. Probation. Whooie.

Again, these double standards are pretty shocking. But hey, 'lets wait and see what happens'.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Nov 30, 2016 3:38 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Tyndmyr, are there any issues Democrats would single issue vote for? It's hard to think of any that aren't Obama blacks. If Democrats want to expand their coalition, it really helps to have a devoted voting bloc that doesn't require much. The liberal progressive wing is devoted, but demands a lot. The rest are minorities, which are less valuable, voter for voter. (still valuable since you often get high support from the group overall. A fraction of a large number still quite respectable. )


Honestly, I think Republicans could pick up a few sub-categories of Democrats, but they're mostly too stubborn to do so. They need to cater to evangelicals less. Where else are they gonna go? They're way too safe for the Democrats to pick them up, and the constant imposition of morals that many others don't share is a problem for a *lot* of other subsectors. If they dialed this back some, they'd have more appeal for extremely little actual cost, since much of this sound and fury doesn't translate to much of anything.

But, they're unlikely to do that. Particularly now that they're on top.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/11/29/503182640/the-farmers-courting-trump-dont-speak-for-rural-america
Interesting tidbit, your average farmer is closer to a corporation than he is to the woes of rural America. Policies that help farmers are unlikely to help the other 80%of rural America. Especially since farmers only care about relaxed regulations, pro trade, and pro immigration. Could be a weak point for Democrats to pick off in the House And state legislatures. (though the lax farming regulation demand is hard to work with)

Another is that jobs follow people, which is the opposite of what I believed.


The farmers are a pretty small block compared to people upset about the lack of manufacturing, etc. As someone who grew up on a farm, I can tell you that very few people from outside that life want it, and plenty within it want out. The shrinking number of actual, functional farms isn't nearly the issue that the lack of jobs in the manufacturing sector is.

I mean, yeah, you probably can pick them off, but they're a really small block now. Adopting those policies might have overlapping effects, though. I mean, the only real change there besides marketing is the relaxed regulations, and you can sell that to other groups. Pretty much everyone likes their life being made easier, so any removal of compliance hassles is probably going to make friends. And nobody really hates farmers, as a group, so doing things nice for them is generally pretty low-cost from a PR standpoint.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Lazar » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:04 pm UTC

I wrote:This is bait. He's pressing his outrage button and expects to be served up videos of idealistic liberal protesters burning the American flag.

And like clockwork, they fall for it.

Spoiler:
Image

If Trump told them not to jump off a bridge, I suspect they would.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby PeteP » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:21 pm UTC

And so are you, by making an issue out of the non issue of them doing it, by spreading the story. :P

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Angua » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:28 pm UTC

It's sad that one of the main headlines for the BBC over the past couple of days has been Trump saying he will leave his business for the Presidency.

Good to know there won't be a part-time president. Bonkers to think that was on the cards in the first place.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby cphite » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:30 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:
I wrote:This is bait. He's pressing his outrage button and expects to be served up videos of idealistic liberal protesters burning the American flag.

And like clockwork, they fall for it.

Spoiler:
Image

If Trump told them not to jump off a bridge, I suspect they would.


I wonder what these self-proclaimed activists would do if someone showed them the Flag Protection Act of 2005 and, more to the point, show them who it was sponsored by... Would they try to deny that it was real? Would they try to spin it somehow? Or would their pointy little heads just explode?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Lazar » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:33 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:And so are you, by making an issue out of the non issue of them doing it, by spreading the story. :P

I charitably assume that this isn't the kind of venue where people will be swayed to support Trump by a cute visual. I am posting it as a cautionary tale to show the danger of letting yourself be manipulated by him.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:14 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
Lazar wrote:
I wrote:This is bait. He's pressing his outrage button and expects to be served up videos of idealistic liberal protesters burning the American flag.

And like clockwork, they fall for it.

Spoiler:
Image

If Trump told them not to jump off a bridge, I suspect they would.


I wonder what these self-proclaimed activists would do if someone showed them the Flag Protection Act of 2005 and, more to the point, show them who it was sponsored by... Would they try to deny that it was real? Would they try to spin it somehow? Or would their pointy little heads just explode?

I'm not surprised she sponsored that one. Flags are like veterans and orphans, except they don't cost as much.

Anyone notice that Carson was offered HUD secretary? It's not a junk posting, it has a multi billion dollar budget, and runs it with 8,000 people. Remember, Carson lambasted Obama for pushing enforcing equality and anti discrimination. Aka Carson doesn't want to help poor minorities.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Mutex » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:16 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
Lazar wrote:
I wrote:This is bait. He's pressing his outrage button and expects to be served up videos of idealistic liberal protesters burning the American flag.

And like clockwork, they fall for it.

Spoiler:
Image

If Trump told them not to jump off a bridge, I suspect they would.


I wonder what these self-proclaimed activists would do if someone showed them the Flag Protection Act of 2005 and, more to the point, show them who it was sponsored by... Would they try to deny that it was real? Would they try to spin it somehow? Or would their pointy little heads just explode?


Plenty of dems weren't very happy with Clinton's past positions on a wide variety of issues.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:19 pm UTC

@Lazar
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cphite wrote: Or would their pointy little heads just explode?
Who cares. There are other things to worry about.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ucim » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:56 pm UTC

cphite wrote:I wonder what these self-proclaimed activists would do if someone showed them the Flag Protection Act of 2005 and, more to the point, show them who it was sponsored by... Would they try to deny that it was real? Would they try to spin it somehow? Or would their pointy little heads just explode?
Well, they might actually read the act. It says: "...with the primary purpose of intimidation or inciting immediate violence or for the act of terrorism..." So, no, not the same thing at all. Pretty much any kind of speech whose primary purpose is intimidation or inciting immediate violence or for the act of terrorism gets at least a second look - not for the speech part but for the intimidation, inciting violence, or terrorism.

Yes, slippery slope, and it can be stretched either way - shouting "beat him up" vs "fire" in a crowded theater (to overuse a canard). But still not the same.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:02 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
cphite wrote:I wonder what these self-proclaimed activists would do if someone showed them the Flag Protection Act of 2005 and, more to the point, show them who it was sponsored by... Would they try to deny that it was real? Would they try to spin it somehow? Or would their pointy little heads just explode?
Well, they might actually read the act. It says: "...with the primary purpose of intimidation or inciting immediate violence or for the act of terrorism..." So, no, not the same thing at all. Pretty much any kind of speech whose primary purpose is intimidation or inciting immediate violence or for the act of terrorism gets at least a second look - not for the speech part but for the intimidation, inciting violence, or terrorism.

Yes, slippery slope, and it can be stretched either way - shouting "beat him up" vs "fire" in a crowded theater (to overuse a canard). But still not the same.


It was 11 years ago, but I definitely remember writing a report about this in a general social studies class. I remember that flag burning was a big controversy at that time, especially since post 9/11 we were supposed to stand United and stuff. Actually, I write that social-studies report in 2002 (I remember which teacher I had at that time... good guy) when I wrote the report about the flag burning controversy. (I guess the bill came up a few years later).

The fact that it was limited to "intimidation or inciting violence" doesn't change the fact that the bill was in response to various flag-burning that was going on at that time (probably against those hippies who weren't standing with the rest of Americans who were fine with the Afghanistan / Iraq war).

That's my memory of that era of politics. I wasn't politically active at that time, nor did I really pay attention to the news (I mean... I was basically forced to know about this issue though. Because social studies reports need to be written and all... gotta love school...). But that's what my personal memory-banks tell me anyway.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Vahir » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:06 pm UTC

cphite wrote:I wonder what these self-proclaimed activists would do if someone showed them the Flag Protection Act of 2005 and, more to the point, show them who it was sponsored by... Would they try to deny that it was real? Would they try to spin it somehow? Or would their pointy little heads just explode?


I fail to understand the relevance of that act to the horribleness of Trump's proposal?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby cphite » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:39 pm UTC

Vahir wrote:
cphite wrote:I wonder what these self-proclaimed activists would do if someone showed them the Flag Protection Act of 2005 and, more to the point, show them who it was sponsored by... Would they try to deny that it was real? Would they try to spin it somehow? Or would their pointy little heads just explode?


I fail to understand the relevance of that act to the horribleness of Trump's proposal?


You fail to understand how an act that would make it illegal to burn the flag is relevant to Trump's proposal to make it illegal to burn the flag?

Thank you for demonstrating my point.

ucim wrote:Well, they might actually read the act. It says: "...with the primary purpose of intimidation or inciting immediate violence or for the act of terrorism..." So, no, not the same thing at all. Pretty much any kind of speech whose primary purpose is intimidation or inciting immediate violence or for the act of terrorism gets at least a second look - not for the speech part but for the intimidation, inciting violence, or terrorism.


It amounts to the same thing. Adding a vague qualifier doesn't change the purpose of the law; practically any incident that includes burning a flag could be interpreted as intimidation towards someone.

I just find it funny how people are flipping out over shit like this, like it's some kind of new, outrageous position for someone to take; when it's something their own candidate tried to pass into law just a few years ago.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ucim » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:47 pm UTC

cphite wrote:Adding a vague qualifier doesn't change the purpose of the law; practically any incident that includes burning a flag could be interpreted as intimidation towards someone.
... and yet, vague qualifiers are vitally important. When you kill somebody, they are equally dead whether or not you killed them (e.g.) in self defense or not. But in one case it's murder, and in the other case, it's unfortunate.

But yes, slippery slope, and yes, it was a response to the 60s 00s flag burning (gotta put down the revolution!).

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Vahir » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:12 pm UTC

cphite wrote:You fail to understand how an act that would make it illegal to burn the flag is relevant to Trump's proposal to make it illegal to burn the flag?

Thank you for demonstrating my point.


I fail to see why a previous proposal for this Bad Thing(tm) justifies has any relation to peoples "heads explode".

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:21 pm UTC

Vahir wrote:
cphite wrote:You fail to understand how an act that would make it illegal to burn the flag is relevant to Trump's proposal to make it illegal to burn the flag?

Thank you for demonstrating my point.


I fail to see why a previous proposal for this Bad Thing(tm) justifies has any relation to peoples "heads explode".


Cphite assumes that Clinton was your hero(ine)
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby freezeblade » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:28 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Cphite assumes that Clinton was your hero(ine)

This is a bad assumption, and they should feel bad. Many of the Trumpites that I argue with make the same assumption. My condemnation of one political figure is not an endorsement of another.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:55 am UTC

freezeblade wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Cphite assumes that Clinton was your hero(ine)

This is a bad assumption, and they should feel bad. Many of the Trumpites that I argue with make the same assumption. My condemnation of one political figure is not an endorsement of another.


It should be noted that in the general case, Trump doesn't seem to be anybody's hero either.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:02 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
freezeblade wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Cphite assumes that Clinton was your hero(ine)

This is a bad assumption, and they should feel bad. Many of the Trumpites that I argue with make the same assumption. My condemnation of one political figure is not an endorsement of another.


It should be noted that in the general case, Trump doesn't seem to be anybody's hero either.

The sentiment is true, but if we wanted examples, there are plenty of people that Trump is a literal white knight figure. For whites who are less educated, he's very alluring(promises strength without committing energy, bringing back the glory days where the less educated fueled the world, talks about the people who haven't been heard from). And then there's the ugly side of Trump, which is pretty much grand wizard Trump of the KKK. It's a very white, and male dominated identity politics. But given that both those voters combined, are only 10% of the population, then yes, Trump wasn't really voted for. They voted against Clinton.*

*I question how many more votes a generic Democrat would have gotten, or a specific Democrat. The election was close enough that small changes matter.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:04 am UTC

So the new business strategy for manufacturing firms for the next few years:

1) Plan to lay off half your factory workers and move some operations overseas
2) Announce you will be closing the factory
3) Get massive tax breaks from the government for laying off only half your factory workers and keeping some operations in the US
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:59 am UTC

Thesh wrote:So the new business strategy for manufacturing firms for the next few years:

1) Plan to lay off half your factory workers and move some operations overseas
2) Announce you will be closing the factory
3) Get massive tax breaks from the government for laying off only half your factory workers and keeping some operations in the US


4) President takes credit for spending a fortune to "create or save" all those jobs.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby elasto » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:16 am UTC

The same thing is true for Brexit too of course:

1) Threaten to move abroad due to Brexit whether you actually intend to or not
2) Get some sweetheart deal from Whitehall, either overtly or under the table
3) Get praise from your workers and the wider public for your 'u-turn'
4) Government gets praise for 'stepping in'
5) Everyone but the taxpayer is a winner...

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:12 am UTC

Is that such a problem? If jobs in places with high unemployment (or manufacturing jobs or high-tech jobs or whatever) are better to have around than other kinds of jobs, than what's the problem with a bit of subsidy of tax breaks for them? Just keep the size of the subsidy reasonable, err on the side of too small, put in proper fade-out over time, coordinate the programs at a high enough of level to avoid beggar-your-neighbour schemes.

Yeah, the taxpayer pays. That's not a problem, as long as it's transparent. 'We consider these kinds of jobs worthy of extra support, and we give them this much support.' The opposition can argue that they disagree, same as for other policies.

The problem here is that these Carrier or Nissan deals are reactive, even symbolic, not structural. Oh fuck, company X is leaving and it looks bad and we don't want that, do something. Think in advance. Our region is highly dependent on a few large employers, is there a way to diversify? Talk with those employers about long term stability, what do they need to commit to long term plans?

I get the impression that many governments (and the public) have become scared of this kind of thinking. Oh noes, industrial policy, protectionism! So either they don't plan and act surprised when the holy market causes problems, or they make furtive back-chamber deals that are ripe for abuse. And then the inequality numbers come in, and it's all whocouldaknownmustbetherobots.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby elasto » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:18 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:Is that such a problem? If jobs in places with high unemployment (or manufacturing jobs or high-tech jobs or whatever) are better to have around than other kinds of jobs, than what's the problem with a bit of subsidy of tax breaks for them?

Absolutely nothing.

The problem comes when firms who had no intention of leaving grab taxpayer money through threatening to do so. Think about it: They threaten to leave; If they get a handout, great, if they don't, they are still heroes for not following through on their threat.

Benefits are being cut; Public services are being cut; The government has put itself in a very vulnerable position vis-a-vis widespread commercial blackmail and as always it's the little guy who ends up suffering.

You're right though: Government should do more long term planning. The problem is the costs are usually upfront (eg. infrastructure) and the current government rarely sees the benefit through the ballot box. Short-term thinking - from voters as well as politicians - is one of the chief failings of democracy.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:44 am UTC

Thing is, if they are worth supporting now, they were worth supporting before. It should not take the threat of leaving to realize that.

I don't buy that part about democracy. Democracies are excellent at long term thinking, it's just hard and you can't expect perfection. There's a long history of pointing at exemplary autocratic regimes that are so much better at long-term thinking than democracies, but somehow every generation needs to pick new examples...

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:57 am UTC

If it weren't gameable by unofficial business alliances, I'd suggest asking how much it would take for them to stay, then offering half that suggested amount as incentives towards competitors creating jobs in the area, and a quarter to smaller, unlinked businesses. Or somesuch.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby elasto » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:02 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:Thing is, if they are worth supporting now, they were worth supporting before. It should not take the threat of leaving to realize that.

They do get supported. They get roads, police, fire fighters, an educated workforce etc. etc. all of which is not cheap. They also often get the wages of their workforce subsidized with in-work benefits.

If they want cash handouts too, then, seriously, wouldn't it be better off just being nationalized?

It's like the rail industry which gets to have its cake and eat it in terms of massive taxpayer subsidies and privatized profits.

It wouldn't be so galling if it weren't for the Brexit politicians who pointed to all the money we hand over to Brussels as if we could keep it all if we left. No. Large amounts of it are going to have to be handed over to private industry to bribe it into not leaving...

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Dauric » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:16 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:Thing is, if they are worth supporting now, they were worth supporting before. It should not take the threat of leaving to realize that.


The problem is when there's a difference between perceived value and actual value. If the perceived value of supporting an industry/factory is high, but the actual value is low (a relatively low number of actual employees for instance) then you can use the politics of the situation to get those subsidies for your company by making a big political show of an act that you weren't really going to engage in in the first place.

In the opposite, a low perceived value with a high real value, it may be difficult to get the subsidies needed to actually keep your operations local because nobody cares enough about the image of your industry moving away to be politically motivated.

Grand upshot: the beneficiaries of these subsidies go to the industries/factories with the better marketing/lobbying, not necessarily the ones that contribute the most to the economy.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:29 pm UTC

Personally, I think protectionism can be good policy to slow the death of an industry and give time to transition. I think it's a horrible policy to pick and choose individual companies at random for the sake of publicity. I mean, there is no plan for a transition, so this is entirely temporary (and I would bet with all that government money, you can easily afford the investment to automate most of the money away). A better way is either a wage subsidy, which cuts costs without hurting regional cash flow, and directly targets labor, or industry-level subsidies to prevent specific industries. The level of potential corruption if someone like Trump, who isn't even divesting his company, is allowed to pick and choose individual companies for free government money is staggering (plus "sorry, you backed Clinton, we won't save your jobs").
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:10 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Personally, I think protectionism can be good policy to slow the death of an industry and give time to transition. I think it's a horrible policy to pick and choose individual companies at random for the sake of publicity. I mean, there is no plan for a transition, so this is entirely temporary (and I would bet with all that government money, you can easily afford the investment to automate most of the money away). A better way is either a wage subsidy, which cuts costs without hurting regional cash flow, and directly targets labor, or industry-level subsidies to prevent specific industries. The level of potential corruption if someone like Trump, who isn't even divesting his company, is allowed to pick and choose individual companies for free government money is staggering (plus "sorry, you backed Clinton, we won't save your jobs").

Thesh, there's not many instances of Clinton voters not getting subsidies beyond the standard, gut social safety net. For one thing, liberal voters still do coexist with conservative voters. You can't target a liberal factory without hitting a conservative worker.
What's more likely to happen is subsides might shift from green jobs to subsidies to dirtier industries. Besides, those are future voters, why antagonize the only swing voters in the country?

Trumps current corruption levels are all about inquiring about his buildings while meeting with other countries. That doesn't really affect the average voter except government gets more inefficient and wasteful. They're not gonna notice that.


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