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Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump 
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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
I think there is widespread disgust by politicians against the "New York Times v Sullivan" decision
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_ ... ._Sullivan
which essentially says a plaintiff who is a public figure must show a reckless disregard for truth to get any damages from suing about the exercise of journalism. In the general case (i.e. not public figures) the defendant who published damaging allegations must show their allegations were true to have a defense.

Both the shifting of the burden of proof and the difficult standard set are considered too much loss of protection by my friend who is a (liberal) politician. In the age of Breitbart, where the reckless disregard for truth basically defends itself with "neener, neener, neener!", maybe those lines should be re-examined. But it would be well to remember that Sullivan was a Southern politician pursuing a long tradition in the South of suing for damages for any criticism, with the courts upholding it if any part of the article in question was false (i.e. not provably true). This previous legal standard had been used as a defense of the racist system of discrimination and denial of the vote. So it is worth considering whether we would like to protect politicians from criticism, even unfair criticism like calling Clinton a neo-communist.



Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:16 am
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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
Robert Tulip wrote:
So too, the advancing tumour of the public sector crowds out the healthy economy, replacing growth with stagnation, self-reliance with an overweening state, and facts with lies.

You would have a hard time substantiating any of these libels against the public sector. Not only has the public sector been responsible for many of the growth-inducing innovations in the last half-century, but interventions such as public schools which stand opposed to "self-reliance" are demonstrably good for growth.
As for facts, the private sector considers them the enemy, preferring good PR by a long shot. If not for government intervention we would still have adulterated food and drink, poisonous air and water, and unsafe transportation.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Clinton represents the rise of a dangerous global neo-communist tendency.
Clinton is no more a neo-communist than you are a neo-fascist.



Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:27 am
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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
Harry Marks wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
So too, the advancing tumour of the public sector crowds out the healthy economy, replacing growth with stagnation, self-reliance with an overweening state, and facts with lies.

You would have a hard time substantiating any of these libels against the public sector. Not only has the public sector been responsible for many of the growth-inducing innovations in the last half-century, but interventions such as public schools which stand opposed to "self-reliance" are demonstrably good for growth.
I am not at all saying there is no need for a public sector, but rather that an ideology of primacy of the public sector has taken hold, and its advance is crowding out the need for self-reliance.

A well-regulated state sets the rules of the game for the economy. Public schooling supports social cohesion, but also has risk of promoting ideological herd mentality that does not really encourage diversity and excellence.

These public/private alternatives are not either/or, but pose a challenge to current trends toward conformity. Support for the autonomy of civil society and private business against state intrusion involves pushback against left wing politics.

There is a political principle called subsidiarity that means all government functions should be as local as is feasible, but the attitude of public sector primacy involves a push toward central uniformity that prevents government decisions from subsiding toward lower levels of local control.
Harry Marks wrote:
As for facts, the private sector considers them the enemy, preferring good PR by a long shot. If not for government intervention we would still have adulterated food and drink, poisonous air and water, and unsafe transportation.
You are fallaciously using marginal problems to support a general critique. The benefits to the world from free enterprise are central to capitalist productivity and modern abundance. While competitive markets do encourage a focus on PR, the underlying factual principle is that society should work to minimise the level of government activity consistent with good regulation in order to foster a culture of private autonomy and freedom and initiative.
Harry Marks wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
Clinton represents the rise of a dangerous global neo-communist tendency.
Clinton is no more a neo-communist than you are a neo-fascist.

These memes from the great conflicts of the last century have an enduring place, mutating into new forms. The communist emphasis on equality as the highest principle in politics has shifted ground following the failures of Marxist central planning, and now is spread through the social democracy movements of the left under the banner of social justice.

The concern that conservative people have about the SJ ideology of equality of outcome starts from its moral hazard, that a herd mentality of conformity undermines the message of the centrality of individual freedom and initiative in creating social value.

The politics of the US Democrats are obviously not communist, and yet the rise of Sanders, and of Corbyn in the UK, shows a main line of support for social democratic parties that draws strongly from communist traditions, alongside a majority that is more centrist.

My personal view is that better outcomes arise from conservative governments that can better limit the partisan influence of communist views.

I do not consider myself a neo-fascist, but I do think that label applies to Donald Trump. The toxic problem in politics is that partisan polarised attitudes create a slow push toward more extreme views that draw from the class conflict traditions of communism versus fascism by forcing people to decide between camps.

One way this polarity is playing out is in the contest for power between cities and towns. The left draws support from a cosmopolitan urban culture, while the right is more agricultural and decentralised in its vision of society. This concern about domination by big city attitudes was part of the federal compromise driving the structure of the US electoral college.

Hillbilly Elegy explores the strange paradox of the alliance between small town social conservatives and big business. That alliance carries fascistic risks, and yet also celebrates core values of liberty that give voice to legitimate questions about the social directions promoted by left wing politics.


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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
HRC is thoroughly corrupt and dangerously incompetent. The email scandal indicates this incompetence and corruption all in one completely pointless act of setting up a private server for the Secretary of Sate....which only makes sense if as Secretary of State is engaged in illegal activity which one wants to keep hidden....the incompetence is driven home by the fact that this woman stupidly thought no one else would ever see her email. I am very glad she is not President of the United States.



Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:36 pm
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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
TEKennelly wrote:
which only makes sense if as Secretary of State is engaged in illegal activity which one wants to keep hidden.
You do realize this practice of using a private email server was followed by the previous, Republican, Secretary of State and National Security Adviser, right? And that the SoS suggested it to HRC?

Government security procedures are burdensome and IT is slow and inefficient because of it. Yes, they all should have used only government servers anyway, but I am not surprised or made suspicious by their use of private servers.

What I find really stupid was the failure to keep the old emails. It is one thing to choose a more convenient method, but by failing to keep the same level of records, she raised appearances of skullduggery. Entirely unnecessary, too.



Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:53 pm
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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
Robert Tulip wrote:
I am not at all saying there is no need for a public sector, but rather that an ideology of primacy of the public sector has taken hold, and its advance is crowding out the need for self-reliance.
You would have trouble substantiating that as well.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Public schooling supports social cohesion, but also has risk of promoting ideological herd mentality that does not really encourage diversity and excellence.
Well then, by all means let us leave half the population uneducated to encourage self-reliance.
Robert Tulip wrote:
Support for the autonomy of civil society and private business against state intrusion involves pushback against left wing politics.
I do some pushback against left wing politics myself, but not with blind blanket condemnation of big government.

Robert Tulip wrote:
There is a political principle called subsidiarity that means all government functions should be as local as is feasible, but the attitude of public sector primacy involves a push toward central uniformity that prevents government decisions from subsiding toward lower levels of local control.
When the red states quit with the racism, we will probably go back to a more decentralized approach. It has a pretty good track record on neutral issues like university education and road construction. You may be familiar with the idea that "a few bad apples spoil it for all the others." Subsidiarity has experienced this to an extraordinary degree in the U.S.
Robert Tulip wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
As for facts, the private sector considers them the enemy, preferring good PR by a long shot. If not for government intervention we would still have adulterated food and drink, poisonous air and water, and unsafe transportation.
You are fallaciously using marginal problems to support a general critique.
Yes, you are right. Untainted food and breathable air are highly marginal. I don't know what I was thinking, going on about them.
Robert Tulip wrote:
While competitive markets do encourage a focus on PR, the underlying factual principle is that society should work to minimise the level of government activity consistent with good regulation
That would be "factual" in the sense of "what right-thinking people believe," no doubt. And I do mean "right" thinking.

Robert Tulip wrote:
The concern that conservative people have about the SJ ideology of equality of outcome starts from its moral hazard, that a herd mentality of conformity undermines the message of the centrality of individual freedom and initiative in creating social value.

The politics of the US Democrats are obviously not communist, and yet the rise of Sanders, and of Corbyn in the UK, shows a main line of support for social democratic parties that draws strongly from communist traditions, alongside a majority that is more centrist.
The typical supporter of Sanders or Corbyn wouldn't know the means of production from a synthesis of thesis and antithesis. I have said before and I will say again, when capital as a class is no longer providing value that the state cannot, their uselessness will be responded to appropriately. Nobody will ask what capital did in its heyday, but only what it offers for the future.

Robert Tulip wrote:
One way this polarity is playing out is in the contest for power between cities and towns. The left draws support from a cosmopolitan urban culture, while the right is more agricultural and decentralised in its vision of society. This concern about domination by big city attitudes was part of the federal compromise driving the structure of the US electoral college.
Cosmopolitan or centralized? Which is it? By the way, there were no big cities in the time of the compromise between big states and small states. Virginia, with essentially no cities, was the largest state. Pennsylvania and Massachusetts were the next, with what passed for big cities then, and New York was still awaiting the Erie Canal to turn it into the leader.

I think the main contrast is between isolation/anonymity of those who move locations due to high education work, on one hand, and small town rootedness, on the other. The shift from Romney to Clinton among those with more education was astonishing. The new Tea Party Republican party, dominated by big money threatening to unleash the deplorables in primaries, is in serious danger of losing the suburbs where fiscal conservatism resides. It has become an ever-hungrier maw of pay-for-play, and an ever-more-corrupt repudiation of common sense and evidence. But until the Democrats learn to honor family values without kowtowing to poobahs of "Family Values" they will not consummate the marriage.



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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAkEHyRQdNA



Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:52 pm
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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
Harry Marks wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
I am not at all saying there is no need for a public sector, but rather that an ideology of primacy of the public sector has taken hold, and its advance is crowding out the need for self-reliance.
You would have trouble substantiating that as well.
The advance of the public sector appears in the willingness of the USA to run up public debt of twenty trillion dollars. Debt is a 'lifestyle residue', like carbon emissions. The burden of interest payment brings a vulnerability to risk. Even if the cause of debt is the imbalance of revenue and spending, the political system creates a demand for spending that undermines the fiscal resilience of the society, feeding expectation of growing public support that cannot be sustained.

Also, on climate change, there is an expectation it is something for governments to solve by taxing carbon. Paradoxically, that attitude crowds out private investment in research and development of new technology, which the climate problem requires on a faster scale-up than the whole carbon tax emission reduction mentality of government can deliver. Which produces the greatest paradox of all, that Trump's 'au revoir' to Paris should be throwing open the climate policy debate - instead the climate lobby has decided just to wait to 2020.
Harry Marks wrote:
leave half the population uneducated to encourage self-reliance.
Reducing the effective marginal tax rate on parents who choose to fund their children’s education would bring a shift from public to private schooling, which would increase overall education investment and free up state resources to lift the quality of the public sector while also giving teachers a better career path and salary. In Australia at least, public schooling is the most unionised sector. This brings a level of teacher control of policy that has prevented competition, while also enabling a Gramscian ‘march through the institutions’ to indoctrinate children with progressive opinions.
Harry Marks wrote:
I do some pushback against left wing politics myself, but not with blind blanket condemnation of big government.
The condemnation should be of the upward direction of government as a share of GDP. A downward trajectory, reducing the burden of tax and debt, would improve the viability of small business, generating creativity, resilience, trade and diversity. I follow Hayek on this point, with his observation that space for entrepreneurs has what he calls a catallaxy effect, "the order brought about by the mutual adjustment of many individual economies in a market" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catallaxy
Harry Marks wrote:
When the red states quit with the racism, we will probably go back to a more decentralized approach. It has a pretty good track record on neutral issues like university education and road construction. You may be familiar with the idea that "a few bad apples spoil it for all the others." Subsidiarity has experienced this to an extraordinary degree in the U.S.
Your example just shows that decentralising powers to bodies that lack competence to regulate according to law is not a proper exercise of subsidiarity. Both federalism and subsidiarity (state rights) have corrupting tendencies and these need to be balanced.
Harry Marks wrote:
I don't know what I was thinking, going on about [pollution etc].
These issues deflect the question of whether the public or private sector is more fact based. Your examples imply that because business is not to be trusted on some things, such as pollution and product quality, we should support a steady increase in overall regulation, since only governments care about facts. The other side of that coin is that businesses require rigorous fiscal accountability that incentives close attention to facts, in ways that governments are shielded from by the absence of a profit motive for their investments.
Harry Marks wrote:
[To minimise size of government is] "factual" in the sense of "what right-thinking people believe," no doubt. And I do mean "right" thinking.
Whereas the ‘alternative facts’ from the “left” thinking people suggest we should maximise the level of government activity, or at least increase it. The issue is what direction of government size optimises public policy. There is a good evidence base for the view that reducing the size of government is a public good. The key here is employment, that a job paid by profitable commerce has stronger sustainability and multiplier effects than a job paid from tax. Smaller government boosts jobs, trade and wealth at all levels.
Harry Marks wrote:
The typical supporter of Sanders or Corbyn wouldn't know the means of production from a synthesis of thesis and antithesis.
And there again I quote Keynes, “Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”.

These ‘typical supporters’ of Sanders are led by people whose intellectual heritage is Marxist.
Harry Marks wrote:
when capital as a class is no longer providing value that the state cannot, their uselessness will be responded to appropriately.
Your comment implies the socialist idea that governments can do everything business can, only better. The problem is that government resource allocation is driven by politics rather than by profit, distorting supply and demand responses away from market signals.

While it is true that privatisation has often been botched and corrupted, the overall principle of subsidiarity also requires that governments not try to run enterprises that are better managed by private capital.
Harry Marks wrote:
Nobody will ask what capital did in its heyday, but only what it offers for the future.
Capital continues to offer people the opportunity to fulfil their potential, to market ideas, to engage in creative invention. The success or failure should be governed by the economics of supply and demand, not by a nomenklatura channelling the voice of the people.
Harry Marks wrote:
Cosmopolitan or centralized? Which is it?
The results of both are intertwined, with the emergence of dominant urban elites who already have disproportionate influence on public policy.
Harry Marks wrote:
By the way, there were no big cities in the time of the compromise between big states and small states. Virginia, with essentially no cities, was the largest state. Pennsylvania and Massachusetts were the next, with what passed for big cities then, and New York was still awaiting the Erie Canal to turn it into the leader.
I would be interested to know if as the federation increased in number to 50 states of the union, the role of the Electoral College helped to mitigate the control of big states, a bit like anti-trust law restraining monopoly tendencies.

Clinton took for granted states she needed to win.
Harry Marks wrote:
I think the main contrast is between isolation/anonymity of those who move locations due to high education work, on one hand, and small town rootedness, on the other.
Anonymity is not just a function of high education, it also reflects the function of cities as dense hubs for their hinterland. Then the imperial syndrome sets in, that the core is unaware of the periphery, and a natural tendency increases centralisation.

There is much to be said for the values of belonging, loyalty, trust and faith that go hand in hand with living in a smaller community. Cities drive growth, but at social cost.
Harry Marks wrote:
The shift from Romney to Clinton among those with more education was astonishing.
Perhaps one factor was that secular voters have disdain for the Mormon faith. Regular church goers backed Trump over Clinton by a wide margin. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/20 ... -of-trump/
Harry Marks wrote:
The new Tea Party Republican party, dominated by big money threatening to unleash the deplorables in primaries, is in serious danger of losing the suburbs where fiscal conservatism resides. It has become an ever-hungrier maw of pay-for-play, and an ever-more-corrupt repudiation of common sense and evidence. But until the Democrats learn to honor family values without kowtowing to poobahs of "Family Values" they will not consummate the marriage.

You are hinting at a key issue here, that suburban voters don’t trust the Democrats to honour family values. And those voters see such values as more important than the policy dominance of big money in casting their votes. The risk is that the Republicans are just fraudulently scamming their base. It will be interesting to see how those social dynamics pan out over time.


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Last edited by Robert Tulip on Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:09 pm
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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
Robert Tulip wrote:
I am not at all saying there is no need for a public sector, but rather that an ideology of primacy of the public sector has taken hold, and its advance is crowding out the need for self-reliance.

That is good that you recognize the need for a public sector (which technically includes the voluntary sector as well). No one's self reliance is harmed by having motor vehicle departments, public works departments, police and fire departments, the military, and many others of which libertarians would quickly feel the loss if defunding occurred. These public services are just about as likely to be insufficiently funded as bloated with waste; you just can't say except in individual instances. What you are saying has "taken hold" is too much public sector social spending. I don't know what standard should be set in terms of percentage of total public sector spending going to what is often derisively called welfare. According to a wikipedia chart, the U.S. spends 44% of GDP through the public sphere, with 19% of that being social spending (about the same as Australia's). That figure is not particularly high in world terms. I would hope that the level of this spending in any democratic country reflects the will of the people. If it does, I don't see much to complain about. Your own ideal would seem to be Singapore, with low public sector spending and a low percentage of that going to social spending.
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A well-regulated state sets the rules of the game for the economy. Public schooling supports social cohesion, but also has risk of promoting ideological herd mentality that does not really encourage diversity and excellence.

The U. S. really doesn't have much experience with strong nationalized education standards, so a ruling ideology producing herd mentality hasn't happened. Herd mentality is anyway a term of some prejudice. British public schools (what we call private schools) reputedly turned out citizens with strong notions of duty to the country and high ethics, a kind of herd mentality, if you will. In fact any system of schooling should try to inculcate values and pass on an ideology to students.



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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
TEKennelly wrote:
Litwitlou has written: "The problem is not Trump's policies as President; the problem is that Trump is President. I'm not saying Mrs Clinton is pure as the driven slush fund, but Donald Trump, really? REALLY?"

Really. I voted for him and deem the choice obvious. Hillary is not fit for the job and I am glad she did not get elected.


I'm glad she didn't get elected as well. But Republicans couldn't put up a better candidate than Trump? I think his election is one of those "desperate times call for desperate measures" things.

Every once in awhile I need to vent about Trump (the man who, according to their PM, just insulted Norway. Norway.) But I don't argue about him anymore. It's pointless. I'm content to sit back and watch him self-destruct.


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Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:21 am
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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
DWill wrote:
No one's self reliance is harmed by having motor vehicle departments, public works departments, police and fire departments, the military, and many others of which libertarians would quickly feel the loss if defunding occurred.
Yes, these are essential services, but the problem is the steady slow drift into debt and dependency. It is like obesity; no one meal makes you fat, but the overall lack of self-control adds up over time, hardening the arteries, slowing you down, sapping your energy and increasing the risk of heart attack and cancer and diabetes and dementia. Exercise and diet are difficult but necessary, and when you have good habits it is easier to keep them. So too with government, a lean and efficient public sector creates space for an energetic economy. The military may be the area of government with the greatest potential for budget cuts. A good entry point is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... ral_budget. We have the same problem in Australia, an electorate unwilling to pay for government and a growing proportion of people dependent on the public dole.
DWill wrote:
These public services are just about as likely to be insufficiently funded as bloated with waste; you just can't say except in individual instances.
Government services should be prioritised by rigorous cost-benefit analysis. That is not possible in a plutocracy.
DWill wrote:
What you are saying has "taken hold" is too much public sector social spending. I don't know what standard should be set in terms of percentage of total public sector spending going to what is often derisively called welfare. According to a wikipedia chart, the U.S. spends 44% of GDP through the public sphere, with 19% of that being social spending (about the same as Australia's). That figure is not particularly high in world terms. I would hope that the level of this spending in any democratic country reflects the will of the people. If it does, I don't see much to complain about.
I am an optimist about the potential for technology to drive growth, but that leaves precious little room to cope with crisis. Times of plenty should be used to store up surplus, not steal from the grandchildren’s inheritance. The problem with the popular will as the criterion of policy is that bad policy can be popular. And the risk that creates down the track is a difficult crisis.
DWill wrote:
Your own ideal would seem to be Singapore, with low public sector spending and a low percentage of that going to social spending.
Yes, I think Lee Kuan Yew is the greatest man of Asian history. Singapore has a series of lucky coincidences, with location on trade routes, diligent Chinese population, good British institutions and above all visionary strategic leadership. The best overseas aid program in world history was the help Mr Lee gave to Chairman Deng to reform China’s bureaucracy along capitalist lines.
DWill wrote:
The U. S. really doesn't have much experience with strong nationalized education standards, so a ruling ideology producing herd mentality hasn't happened.
But herd mentality is the emerging tendency due to internet conformism, no-platforming, bubble worlds and increase in the size of government. Obviously the real herd mentality is in toilet countries like North Korea where everyone gets brainwashed. I am using that term because I have just read Demian by Hermann Hesse who identified herd mentality as a problem in Germany causing the First World War. It comes from Rousseau’s idea of the popular will.
DWill wrote:
Herd mentality is anyway a term of some prejudice.
Yes, because a culture that promotes critical thinking and individuality will prosper more strongly than one valuing conformism where people are too timid to set their own agenda.
DWill wrote:
British public schools (what we call private schools) reputedly turned out citizens with strong notions of duty to the country and high ethics, a kind of herd mentality, if you will. In fact any system of schooling should try to inculcate values and pass on an ideology to students.
No, you are using herd mentality incorrectly in this case. You do not get a herd of cats, you get a herd of cows. Herds follow the leader. The British Public School ethos cultivated self-reliance and independent critical thinking. The degree with the best job prospects in the UK is a first in classics.


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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
Harry Marks wrote:
Robert Tulip wrote:
I am not at all saying there is no need for a public sector, but rather that an ideology of primacy of the public sector has taken hold, and its advance is crowding out the need for self-reliance.
You would have trouble substantiating that as well.

Robert Tulip wrote:
The advance of the public sector appears in the willingness of the USA to run up public debt of twenty trillion dollars. Debt is a 'lifestyle residue', like carbon emissions.
Not all debts are residuals of the same forces. The public sector debt of the 2010s was called for by the drastic decline of private sector employment and the very serious decline of private sector investment. The real irony is that efforts at austerity were in fact responsible for slowing the closing of the deficit and thereby increasing the overall level of debt. The multiplier effect is a real and demonstrable result in economic conditions with high levels of unused resources.

The largest increase in public spending during the Obama administration was for a shift in medical care costs from private burden on the sick and the urban hospitals to public burden. As forecast, this slowed the rate of growth of medical care costs in the US. If the public sector can manage a more efficient system than the private sector, and both theory and evidence argue that it does, then such a shift is a useful development.

Robert Tulip wrote:
The burden of interest payment brings a vulnerability to risk.
Yet we do not castigate businesses who incur such risks to invest. Investment for the future requires borrowing. If the government can do that effectively, and spending during a serious recession is effective without knowing anything about what it is spent on, then it should.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Even if the cause of debt is the imbalance of revenue and spending, the political system creates a demand for spending that undermines the fiscal resilience of the society, feeding expectation of growing public support that cannot be sustained.
Now we are in more difficult waters. Politics demands both more spending (including on defense) and less taxation. Negotiating the net balance is supposed to be the job of the budget committees of Congress, but they have had no real power since Gramm-Rudman expired in the second Bush administration, and before that did not make real decisions since the early Reagan years inaugurated budgeting by voodoo.

There is a simple rule for budgeting the public sector effectively, which is to balance the budget over the business cycle. This means deficits in times of recession (and slack) and surpluses in times of high growth. Since neither party has been able to resist the temptation to demagogue violations of this rule, the U.S. has had bad budgeting for more than half the years since the Carter Administration. On the other hand, the deviations from effective budgeting have not been all that bad, and if you are willing to accept a military that is twice the size needed, a social safety net that pays more to people with more income, and a health care sector more than 50% more expensive than in other industrialized countries, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... per_capita) we seem to be managing resources within the bounds of reason.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Also, on climate change, there is an expectation it is something for governments to solve by taxing carbon.
No, a market for traded GHG permits would work just fine.
Robert Tulip wrote:
Paradoxically, that attitude crowds out private investment in research and development of new technology, which the climate problem requires on a faster scale-up than the whole carbon tax emission reduction mentality of government can deliver.
I already know your line on this, but I am not going to let that stop me from pointing out that it is a pernicious lie. Incentives to reduce GHGs would accelerate, not crowd out, private investment in climate salvation.
Robert Tulip wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
leave half the population uneducated to encourage self-reliance.
Reducing the effective marginal tax rate on parents who choose to fund their children’s education would bring a shift from public to private schooling, which would increase overall education investment and free up state resources to lift the quality of the public sector while also giving teachers a better career path and salary.
Because education is a positional good, meaning that parents will pay more to get education that is better than others get than they will for the absolute quality level of it,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positional_good
your prediction of improved quality is probably 180 degrees off. The result if secondary school were privatized would probably be close to the result of increased private university resources in the U.S. starting in the 80s, namely increased competition for high profile factors which add mainly to prestige, but neglect for the actual education process.

Furthermore, since the easiest input to demonstrate is education level of classmates' families, schools would compete to get the children of Ph.D.'s in and charge the other students extra for the privilege of going to school with them. While this might provide some satisfaction to Ph.D. earners who normally do not recoup the opportunity cost of their years of graduate school, it is hardly likely to lead to uplift of the overall society.

Robert Tulip wrote:
In Australia at least, public schooling is the most unionised sector. This brings a level of teacher control of policy that has prevented competition, while also enabling a Gramscian ‘march through the institutions’ to indoctrinate children with progressive opinions.
It is always easier to complain about the things you don't like about a system than to demonstrate a case for an alternative. Introducing competition in the U.S. has produced a few cases of dramatic improvement (even fewer of which can be clearly shown to result from effects other than increased selectivity of students) and on balance no improvement in the areas where it was introduced. Private schools on average add no more value than public schools. As with medical care there is a huge barrier to the logic of market incentives, because the consumer is simply not in a position to assess the effectiveness of the producer. Not a single case of improvement attributable to competition has resulted in a business plan which can be scaled up for use in many other schools.
Robert Tulip wrote:
The condemnation should be of the upward direction of government as a share of GDP.
All services have had an upward trend in their share of GDP. Education, government, medical care, transport, entertainment, retailing, and on and on. This is due to the higher level of productivity growth in goods, which can be standardized and mass produced much more easily. No one wants a society with government taking only 20 percent of GDP, as in pre-FDR nations, because today we can better afford the improved services that come from a government which produces scientific knowledge, effective support for the weaker elements, and social insurance over the lifetime.

Robert Tulip wrote:
the question of whether the public or private sector is more fact based. Your examples imply that because business is not to be trusted on some things, such as pollution and product quality, we should support a steady increase in overall regulation, since only governments care about facts. The other side of that coin is that businesses require rigorous fiscal accountability that incentives close attention to facts, in ways that governments are shielded from by the absence of a profit motive for their investments.
Many government activities have been privatized or spun off as self-sustaining businesses. There is nothing wrong with requiring accountability in government. In fact government these days regulates other governmental institutions, with federal government watching over state activities and vice versa.

My point was not a claim that only governments care about facts, but rather that there are some types of facts businesses systematically ignore if they can, precisely because of their rigorous fiscal accountability. There is not a single case of self-policing corporations adopting a self-enforced code of conduct that protects less informed stakeholders. It's just not done.
Robert Tulip wrote:
There is a good evidence base for the view that reducing the size of government is a public good. The key here is employment, that a job paid by profitable commerce has stronger sustainability and multiplier effects than a job paid from tax. Smaller government boosts jobs, trade and wealth at all levels.
Not in the evidence I have seen. A smaller military increases private growth, but infrastructure and education have as strong a multiplier as building private buildings.

Robert Tulip wrote:
These ‘typical supporters’ of Sanders are led by people whose intellectual heritage is Marxist.
I don't think so, except in the very vague sense that your intellectual heritage is the right-wing conspiracies that gave us George Mason University and the John Birch Society, and democracy has the guillotine as its intellectual heritage.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
when capital as a class is no longer providing value that the state cannot, their uselessness will be responded to appropriately.
Your comment implies the socialist idea that governments can do everything business can, only better.
Exactly the opposite. My use of "no longer" directly implies that capital has done great things that the public sector would not have, and probably could not have.
Robert Tulip wrote:
the emergence of dominant urban elites who already have disproportionate influence on public policy.
One of the odd effects of globalization has been to increase the income from "direction" of private sector enterprise. It is easy to show that the shift offshore of manufacturing has been linked to a concentration of headquarters functions in the industrialized countries. Those urban elites are much more likely to be in engineering or marketing than in government.
Robert Tulip wrote:
There is much to be said for the values of belonging, loyalty, trust and faith that go hand in hand with living in a smaller community. Cities drive growth, but at social cost.
Agreed, but we are fairly clueless as to how to offset those social costs.
Robert Tulip wrote:
You are hinting at a key issue here, that suburban voters don’t trust the Democrats to honour family values. And those voters see such values as more important than the policy dominance of big money in casting their votes.
That is clearly the case. Republicans lost the substantive issue of gay marriage by an overwhelming margin, and Democrats squandered the victory on an immediate push for restriction of any right to dissent from this decision. The same drama has played out repeatedly, with Democrats unable to settle for less than everything they think is right and just, making it very easy for right-wing scare-mongers to play on conservative fears.
Robert Tulip wrote:
The risk is that the Republicans are just fraudulently scamming their base.
That train has left the station. There is no force for integrity left in the Republican party, as the tax bill scramble once again made clear. The GOP basically stopped confirming judicial nominations under Obama, and the courts are now being packed with party hacks to create a "deep state" the likes of which the U.S. has not seen since Southerners fought for racism from the Supreme Court. The pretense of making good policy for the entire nation has been thrown under so many buses it is no longer recognizable, and the party is now open about being donor-driven.



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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
Every once in awhile I need to vent about Trump (the man who, according to their PM, just insulted Norway. Norway.) But I don't argue about him anymore. It's pointless. I'm content to sit back and watch him self-destruct.[/quote]

As he did before the election in 2016, no doubt.



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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
"according to their PM, just insulted Norway."

No, that is fake news. Norway Government declined to comment. If they have since weighed in to back up Haiti and North Korea I have not heard.


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Post Re: Draining the swamp - Thank you Donald Trump
Robert Tulip wrote:
society should work to minimise the level of government activity consistent with good regulation in order to foster a culture of private autonomy and freedom and initiative.


I'm no so sure these goals should dominate. At face value, they appear to be in lockstep with the more noble goal of collective well-being. But is that really the case? Do private autonomy, freedom, and initiative lead directly to maximizing the collective well-being of a society's citizens? I think it's more complex than that. Too much private autonomy and freedom can cause issues where the economy is red in tooth and claw. Collective well-being goes down as a result.


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